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  • Watch: EcoOnline expands its Limerick operation

    first_imgEmail A Limerick-based supplier of health and safety software has opened a new 7,000 sq ft office and plans to increase its workforce from 34 to 45 by the end of next year.The new EcoOnline office on the National Technology Park in Plassey will serve as a centre of excellence and operational base to support the company’s existing and expanding client base.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up An 18 month recruitment programme is focusing on its customer support, IT development, customer and account management teams.The Limerick EcoOnline team has extensive expertise in the Chemical Safety and SAAS software sector and is expanding its product portfolio. Earlier this month, the company released a full-service health and safety software solution product called Safety Manager.EcoOnline Ireland and UK Manager Henry Mooney said that the release of the new product gave them a unique advantage over their competitors.IDA Ireland’s Emerging Business Division Manager Rory Mullen said the company’s expansion was a great vote of confidence by EcoOnline in its Limerick operation and testament to the company’s commitment to Limerick and Ireland. Limerick on Covid watch list TAGSbusinessecoonlineLimerick City and CountyNewsvideo Linkedin Exercise With Oxygen Training at Ultimate Health Clinic Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR NewsBusinessVideoWatch: EcoOnline expands its Limerick operationBy Staff Reporter – May 1, 2019 1091 Advertisementcenter_img Ann & Steve Talk Stuff | Episode 29 | Levelling Up Previous articleLimerick Soviet highlighted role of workers in War of IndependenceNext articleTom Morrissey focused on taking it ‘game by game’ ahead of Munster opener Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites WhatsApp Print Limerick businesses urged to accept Irish Business Design Challenge Facebook TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type!last_img read more

  • The Coming Decade

    first_imgCensus 2020 will determine many things about New Jersey for the coming decade.  The statistics generated in Census 2020 will be used to make policy at every level of government from 2021 until 2031.  If Bayonne’s population is undercounted, we will be underserved.  If Bayonne’s population is counted fairly, we are more likely to receive our fair share of dollars from the federal government over the next ten years.The census will determine whether New Jersey keeps twelve members in the U.S. House of Representatives, or whether we lose one to another state. We would lose political clout as a state if we had smaller representation in Congress. × The census will determine how more than $45 billion in federal funds will be distributed in New Jersey each year.  This money can fund education, healthcare, transportation, housing, senior programs, and other important human needs in Bayonne.Businesses use census data to help make decisions about jobs, investments, and locations.  They would rather locate in a growing community than in a declining one.  They like to go where they know that good potential employees and customers are available.  Let’s make Bayonne one of those desirable communities.You have the power to make good things happen by filling out a form for Census 2020.  You can respond online, on paper, or by phone.A few weeks ago, the Census Bureau sent out one last mailing to addresses that have not been counted yet.  That mailing included a paper census form.  If you would like to be counted with that paper form, please fill it out and mail it back today.You can also go directly to the census website.  You can be counted online by going to www.2020census.gov, then follow the directions.If you would like to be counted by telephone, please call 844-330-2020.Hudson County will be organizing a census party in Bayonne on Sunday, September 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Kopcinski Park, by 19th Street and Broadway.  The event will feature a Corn Guys food truck that will offer free meals to the first 150 households that complete the census at the event.You could also be counted by census workers who are going around town.Since Census 2000, Bayonne’s official population count has been going up.  Let’s keep a good thing going.  For the third census in a row, let’s show that population growth that we all know is there. Stand up for Bayonne.  The clock is ticking. Please do it now!  Thank you!last_img read more

  • Bruins to face Maple Leafs in 1st round of NHL playoffs

    first_imgELLSWORTH — The Boston Bruins will begin the NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a best-of-seven series beginning at 7 p.m. today, April 11.Boston finished second behind Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division in the regular season with 107 points. The Bruins will have home ice against Toronto, which finished third in the Atlantic Division with 100 points.The matchup will be the second straight between the two franchises in the East quarterfinals. Last year, the Bruins fended off the Maple Leafs in seven games to advance to the conference semifinals.Below are dates, locations and TV listings for all games. If necessary, times and TV listings for Game 5, Game 6 and Game 7 will be announced at a later date. All times are Eastern.Game 1: 7 p.m. today, April 11, NBC Sports Network (Boston)Game 2: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13, NBC (Boston)Game 3: 7 p.m. Monday, April 15, NBCSN (Toronto)Game 4: 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, NBCSN (Toronto)Game 5 (IF NECESSARY): TBD next Friday, April 19, TBD (Boston)Game 6 (IF NECESSARY): TBD next Sunday, April 21, TBD (Toronto)Game 7 (IF NECESSARY): TBD April 23, TBD (Boston)This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

  • Chef Michael Symon Inspires a Record-Setting Night at Saint Martin’s Gala

    first_imgFacebook106Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Saint Martin’s UniversityA spirit of generosity took center stage Saturday night at Saint Martin’s University, as celebrity chef Michael Symon cooked and joked his way through the 2013 Saint Martin’s Gala, inspiring a crowd of more than 600 guests to raise $960,000 for student scholarships. This marks the highest amount the Gala has raised in its eight-year history.The annual Saint Martin’s Gala, held Saturday, Nov. 2, featured Symon, the award-winning culinary giant best known as an Iron Chef and a co-host of the ABC talk show The Chew. Flanked by students dressed in chef’s whites, Symon made his entrance into Marcus Pavilion, which had been transformed into an elegant silver and white dining space accented with shimmering tablecloths. Symon went right to work on the Viking-sponsored stage, charming his audience with his vivacious laughter and ebullient personality.Symon, the second Iron Chef in three years to headline the University’s signature fundraising event, offered a culinary demonstration accompanied by a five-course dinner and live auction. The chef’s signature laugh rang out throughout the evening, whether he was cooking, talking about his family or sweetening an auction item. Symon expanded one item — a trip to Cleveland to dine at his Lolita restaurant — by agreeing to meet the highest bidder in his hometown for a round of golf.Several guests had the opportunity to join Symon on stage, including those whose winning bids landed them on barstools “in the kitchen.” When two guests were offering competitive bids on a chance to work alongside Symon as his sous chef, the celebrity chef invited both on stage to share the role.Another auction item, a trip to Rome featuring a private, after-hours tour of the Sistine Chapel and Vatican galleries, brought in $16,000 for student scholarships. The highest-fetching auction item of the evening was an authentic Italian picnic for 30 people, which raised $24,000.Emcee Elisa Jaffe, of KOMO News, and auctioneer Jeff Stokes, of Stokes Auction Group, led the Gala festivities.As in years past, students played a major role in the event. Saint Martin’s junior Jeneva Burton welcomed the crowd to the Gala and introduced President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. Later in the evening, senior Dillon Linhart shared his story of success and expressed his gratitude for the financial assistance he has received. Inspired by the students’ remarks, guests “raised their paddle” to make gifts toward the University’s “Feed-a-Mind” scholarship funds. This portion of the program alone raised $343,000 — more than $130,000 above last year’s total.“Every dollar we raise through Gala goes toward funding student scholarships,” Heynderickx told the crowd. “We have more than 150 volunteers at this year’s Gala, and many of them are our students. They are here because they are dedicated to serving you as our guests.”When Symon arrived on the Saint Martin’s campus Friday, Nov. 1, a crowd of enthusiastic, sign-waving students gathered at the Baran Drive entrance to welcome him as he cruised by in his vehicle. Soon after his arrival, Symon took part in “Symon and Saints,” a meet-and-greet event with 80 students in the University’s Trautman Union Building.During the event, Symon delighted students with stories of how he became a chef, recounting how a badly broken arm ended his career as a high school wrestler. The injury cost him any possibility of receiving college scholarships. “I started working in a restaurant that summer, and that experience profoundly changed my life to being able to do something that I love to do for a living,” Symon told the students.The co-chairs for the 2013 Saint Martin’s Gala were Armandino ’59 and Marilyn Batali and Rick and Pam Panowicz.Next year’s Gala is scheduled to take place Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, at Marcus Pavilion, and will again feature a celebrity chef. Those interested in attending the 2014 Gala are encouraged to check Saint Martin’s website, www.stmartin.edu/gala, for updates on next year’s celebration.Saint Martin’s University thanks the following Gala Event Sponsors:Presenting Partner: Bon AppétitSaint Martin Table Patrons: Forma Construction; Armandino ’59 and Marilyn Batali, Brian and Debbie Charneski, Terence ’62 and Mary Louise ’60 Monaghan, Rick and Pam Panowicz, and John and Hollie Xitco; and Joe and Liz WilliamsSaint Benedict Table Patrons: Cronk Family Foundation; Financial Advocates; Jim ’72 and Melissa Guerci; Matt Marcus ’94; The Rants Group; Salumi Artisan Cured Meats; Sunset Air, Inc.; and Viking Range CorporationSaint Gertrude Table Patrons: Joe HS ’62, ’66 and Betty Alongi; Charlie’s Produce; Jack and Luellen Charneski; Dunamis Interiors & Setina Manufacturing Co., Inc.; Kathryn Fies; Jim and Linnea Bremner, Bill and Jacki Gavin, Fred Goldberg and Carolyn Lakewold, Larry and Gail Larson, Richard and Laurel Seaman; GM Nameplate; Heritage Bank; Kathy Lombardo and Fred Wright; Lucky Eagle Casino; Miller Nash LLP and Strader Hallett CPAs; Olympia Federal Savings; Panagiotu Pension Advisors; Panowicz Jewelers; Rice Fergus Miller Architecture and Planning, Propel Insurance, and SCJ Alliance; Rob Rice Homes; Dick ’64 and Karen Roney and Phil and Judy Weigand; Jay and Carla Rudd; RuffaloCODY; Saint Martin’s Alumni Association; Soderstrom Architects; South Puget Sound Community College; Sur La Table; Attila ’78 and Katalin Talaber; U.S. BankSaint Scholastica Table Patrons: Waite ’65 and Patty Dalrymple; Mary ’73 and Fred Gentry; McGranahan Architects; Metropolitan Market; Kathleen O’Grady; Saint Martin’s College Class of 1959; SkyCity at the Needle; The Stars Foundation of Thurston County; Timberland Bank; Virgil Adams Real Estate; Robert and Joan WubbenaIn-Kind Sponsors: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters; Caffe Vita Roasting Co.; Capitol City Press; Charlie’s Produce; g. miller Olympia; Glass Distillery; Grand Central Bakery; Lucky Eagle Casino; Olympia Olive Oil; Ostrom’s Mushrooms; Ralph’s Thriftway; Ramada Inn Olympia; Sur La Table; Taylor Shellfish; Viking Range CorporationSaint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 375 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.last_img read more

  • Brigade of ‘Angels’ Fix Unheated Home For Family of 7

    first_imgBy Jay Cook |MIDDLETOWN – When Kevin Garrison walks through the front door at 240 First Ave., he’s no longer the unfamiliar face from two weeks ago; he’s now a cherished part of the family.Through a dizzying number of connections and chance encounters, Garrison helped change the lives of Hattie Hunter, her five great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.Under the banner of his nonprofit, Blessing Bag Brigade NJ, Garrison and about 50 volunteers and tens of local businesses donated thousands of dollars, countless hours and 11 total days of their time earlier this month ripping apart, renovating and redesigning a two-story, 110-year-old home in the Navesink section of town. And it wouldn’t have happened without a simple plea for help.“I think it’s a miracle from God. I’m going to call all these people my angels,” said Hunter, 78. “And that’s what they are, every single one of them. I didn’t expect this. I knew they were going to fix some things, but not fix everything.”But Garrison did more than fix a home. He turned into a place of warmth and comfort.The First ConnectionOver the past year, Garrison has seen Blessing Bag Brigade NJ evolve from a personal Christmastime endeavor into a regional, charitable 501(c)(3) organization. When the Atlantic Highlands resident, father of two and Amtrak employee, isn’t maintaining signal systems or spending time with his daughters, he’s volunteering his time in New York City and Newark to help the homeless in a unique way.Straying from the usual practice of handing out food, he’s gone down a different path to help the less than fortunate, literally bringing them a refreshing sense of self-hygiene. Anything from basic toiletries to socks to water bottles can be found in one of his blessing bags.“Most of these people, when they reach a certain level, getting food is easy – food pantries and soup kitchens are open morning and night,” Garrison said. “The problem is then they have nothing to clean themselves up with.”Kevin Garrison works alongside Jacob Foracker, left, and Timmy Coward during one evening last week as they helped renovate their own house in Middletown.After spreading his message on social media, over 6,500 blessing bags were made in 2017 by local ice hockey teams and church groups, as well as students and special needs classes in Colts Neck, Freehold Township, Jackson, Middletown and Rumson schools.“You can walk around the dollar store for 10 minutes and you’re doing someone a service that’s necessary,” Garrison said.But Blessing Bag Brigade developed into something much more in 2018. While running a bag-packing effort at Thorne Middle School this month, Garrison learned through teacher Susan Mosely about a student’s family stuck in a tough situation. That student was Timmy Coward, one of Hunter’s grandsons.Garrison went to Hunter’s house, only to find harsh living conditions for a family of seven. A burst pipe meant there was no baseboard heat in the home; nearly every window in the house was broken, some even shuttered with plastic wrap to help keep the cold out; and piles of saved boxes and goods were packed ceiling high in some rooms.“I just couldn’t walk away when I saw the situation they were in, the way they were living,” Garrison said. “I felt like I had to do something.” Living in the home with Hunter were her five great-grandchildren – all siblings who share the same mother – and her newborn great-great-granddaughter, including Dajah Osborn, 18, an enrollee at Monmouth Project Teach and mother of three-week-old Neveah; 17-year-old Rossi Jackson and 16-year-old Jacob Foracker, both students at Middletown High School South; and 14-year-old twins Timmy Coward, a student at Thorne, and Ta’mya Coward, a student at Bayshore Middle School. Hunter said she’s had custody of the children for nearly a decade, and relying on social security checks to get by.“But this house, there was everything,” Hunter said. “It was a mess. I did the best I could. I’m the only adult.”Enlisting the ArmyOn Jan. 10, Garrison, captaining a one-man army, once again reached out to his followers on social media for any assistance they could provide. The first order of business was to get the family out of the house, which had no heat during the early January cold spell. For 11 days, they lived in two rooms at the Comfort Inn on Route 35. Garrison said the rooms were paid for by himself, Thorne Middle School and a YMCA men’s basketball league.Garrison found the best way to spread his message was through Facebook Live videos every morning, posted on his charity page and detailing what was in store for him daily. And many of those videos came just a few short hours after his 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shifts with Amtrak.Timmy and Jacob helped tear out old cabinets and rip up floorboards. Garrison said about three, 20-yard dumpsters were filled and hauled away by ADL Demo from Hazlet.After a few short days, more help than they could have imagined came through the home, with people giving time and sweat to refurbish the house.Dozens of local small businesses donated labor and products to the cause. Builders’ General gave new cabinets; Woodhaven Lumber installed the windows, doors and trim; The Floor Store in Freehold provided new flooring throughout the home; A.B. Carpet in Monroe and D n’ R Carpet in Hazlet both donated carpets for the living room; and the Co-Cathedral of St. Roberts Bellarmine in Freehold donated most of the new furniture.Middletown residents Tommy and Scott Moran helped coordinate daily efforts, and Garrison’s friend and Freehold police officer, Todd Smith, aided in finding donors. Nearly 50 individuals helped daily to renovate the home and aid the family. One of those volunteers was fellow Middletown resident Jen Baker, a mother of four.“It was rough at first,” Baker said. “Lots of hours put in priming, painting, all that stuff. Once I went to the hotel and brought dinner to the family and saw the baby, it made it all so worth it.”A Tear-Filled Finishing TouchAt about 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 20, Garrison walked into the Comfort Inn for the final time to escort Hunter back to her finished home. After an anxious 15-minute car ride with the family, they were greeted at the house by dozens of the volunteers.Hunter said she was overcome with a feeling she’d never experienced in her life.“They believed in (Garrison) and they believed in us even though they never met us,” Hunter said, holding back a tear. “But they wanted to do something and make sure we were secure in our home and had a nice place to come to.”Garrison didn’t want the gaudy reveals that happen all too often on television; he aimed for a more personal moment between the family and the volunteers.“I know what it’s like to feel despair, what it’s like to feel depressed and not be able to get out of your own way sometimes,” Garrison said. “And I just wanted everyone to have that human touch because we don’t always get that.”The family has been thoroughly enjoying their new living quarters since returning home over the weekend. Timmy Coward was taking shots on the basketball hoop beside the home on a recent evening. Osborn is utilizing the additional space to walk around with her daughter. Upstairs the three girls share a small bedroom, with two beds separated by the baby’s crib. Just across the hall, the three boys each have their own bed in another bedroom. “It was amazing, especially in the time they did it in,” said Osborn, of the volunteers. “I was in awe walking in and seeing everything. It was a lot to take in.”“Not that we didn’t have a place to call home before, but it’s a better home,” she said.For more information about Blessing Bag Brigade NJ, visit their Facebook page or blessingbagbrigadenj.wordpress.com.last_img read more

  • South Africa honours Rivonia trialists

    first_img12 July 2011 President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to ensure that the story of Liliesleaf Farm, where a key group of anti-apartheid activists was arrested in 1963, is told in full for the benefit of current and future generations. Speaking at a ceremony to remember the stalwarts in Johannesburg on Monday night, Zuma said the Liliesleaf Farm arrest was one of the important milestones in South Africa’s liberation struggle. Monday marked the 48th anniversary of the 1963 arrests at the farm, which led to eight of the 10 accused – including former President Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni and Ahmed Kathrada – being sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage. While Mandela was not at the house during the arrests, he subsequently became accused number one for his role in the formation of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), which marks its 50th anniversary this year. Kathrada, Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg and Mandela are the only four surviving members of the group. Zuma said the events that followed the trial made South Africa what it is today. “Ours is a society which is a model for many countries, especially those in conflict … it is this society that those who used Liliesleaf Farm as a place for meetings and hide-out hoped to achieve. “We owe it to them and the many sacrifices they have made to preserve this heritage and ensure that it is used to heal our nation and bring unity and social cohesion.” Zuma said the Department of Arts and Culture had decided to declare the farm a national heritage site to make sure that it was properly preserved. “Those who worked and held meetings at the farm were convinced that the goal of a united, free and prosperous South Africa was possible, hence they took practical decisions to ensure that it was achieved,” added Zuma. Mandela, who could not attend Monday night’s ceremony, said through a written message that the anniversary should be used to honour and remember all those who laid down their lives in the fight against apartheid. “At that time, we were not the ones on trial by the system so we must honor and remember those who fought it,” Mandela said. Goldberg said the events of 1963 should always be used to build and unite the country. “We said we need unity and vision and we all decided to put our differences [aside] and I ask you Comrade President [Zuma] that in our fight against poverty today, we adhere to this vision of unity and building our country,” Goldberg said. Source: BuaNewslast_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

  • Pompeo Champions Trade Agenda

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest DES MOINES, Iowa (DTN) — Iowa farmers noted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo largely kept his cards close to his vest regarding trade talks with China, but they nonetheless appreciated Pompeo coming to the state on Monday to make the case about the importance of demanding structural market changes in China.The secretary of state didn’t share many specifics on trade talks with China, but reiterated the Trump Administration’s case why the trade talks were needed even if the resulting tariffs led to lower market prices and export sales for U.S. farmers in the short term. While the secretary largely avoided domestic politics in his talk, the trip to Iowa could be viewed as trying to shore up support with farmers, a favorite constituency of President Donald Trump.Roughly 200 people attended the event at the World Food Prize headquarters in downtown Des Moines. Pompeo also toured a Corteva facility earlier in the day and spoke with a local Future Farmers of America group.Pompeo criticized the state control asserted over business in China, saying it leads to corruption and poor overall oversight and control. He pointed to food outbreaks in China such as contaminated baby formula to show where government control failed Chinese consumers.“Competition and choice requires companies to play by the rules,” Pompeo said, pointing to journalists, non-government groups, investors and food-safety advocates as an “entire eco-system” that keeps an eye on the government and markets. “Only the free market makes life better in the long run.”INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFTFocusing on intellectual property theft, Pompeo highlighted a case out of Iowa in which a Chinese national was caught trying to steal seeds out of a cornfield. It was later discovered the man had sent several packages of corn seed to China. In another agricultural case, Chinese nationals were caught by Customs and Border agents trying to leave the country with bags of biotech rice.Farmers asked about the major obstacles left to getting a trade deal with China, as well as when the U.S. might lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada to further facilitate ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. On China, Pompeo said he can’t get into specific details, but the issue of market access is overshadowed by the intellectual property theft and forced transfer of technology that China demands. Those technology issues “are real and not something the Chinese are going to give up easily,” Pompeo said.CURB RETALIATORY TARIFFSPompeo indicated U.S. negotiators are trying to embed enforcement mechanisms into trade deals, but at the same time curb the ability of China, Canada and Mexico to place retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.“This risk of retaliatory tariffs — you’ve seen it in pork and we’ve seen it in other places — is real,” Pompeo said. “The president is deeply aware of this, the trade teams are all aware.” He added, “We’re working to clean up all of these issues along the side of that. I hesitate to get too far ahead of myself, but I’m optimistic we’ll get resolution and pull back some of these retaliatory tariffs.”Pompeo said trade agreements need enforcement mechanisms that don’t require long battles in court, adding that this has been a repeated mistake in past administrations negotiating trade deals. Pompeo joked, “We’re trying to make original mistakes and not repeat the past ones,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure we don’t fall down the same trap that American trade negotiators have done so many times.”CONFIDENT OF USMCA PASSINGPompeo also told farmers he was confident there were enough votes in Congress to pass the USMCA. In the end, officials in Canada and Mexico will also see that ratifying the new trade deal is the best outcome, he said. Pompeo said it “remains to be seen” how the Trump Administration will unwind the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, but he reiterated confidence on the USMCA.“I am, as is the president, enormously sympathetic to what you all are going through, but I wouldn’t want to predict a day or a week or how this is going to fall out,” Pompeo said.Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, now ambassador to China, said he wanted to bring Pompeo to Iowa to talk about what is being done “on these very delicate and important issues.” Besides the trade talks, Branstad highlighted the nuclear talks with North Korea and talks between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to restrict the chemicals used to make the opioid fentanyl.“Obviously trade is a huge issue Iowans are concerned about, and yet frankly it is an issue that should have been addressed a long time ago,” Branstad said, adding, “We can’t let this continue and if we get an agreement we’ve got to find a way for it to be enforceable.”Branstad told reporters he did not know if Chinese officials would take up Trump’s call for China to eliminate tariffs on agricultural products.STEEL AND ALUMINUM TARIFFSMark Recker, chairman of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, told Pompeo farmers invest in checkoff dollars to invest in promoting international markets. Going from that, Recker asked the secretary about the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, and how those could be removed to get the USMCA finalized.“I think he still held his cards close to his vest,” Recker said. “I think they want to keep those (steel and aluminum tariffs) on for whatever reason to, I guess, keep the carrot out there for Mexico and Canada to get the agreement done.”Canadian and Mexican officials have noted that they do not want to ratify the USMCA until the tariffs are lifted, Recker noted. “Speaking as a farmer, we know we have to get those removed to get that agreement done.”FARMERS’ VIEWS ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATIONRecker had just returned from the Commodity Classic event in Orlando, Florida. When asked about the sense of farmers’ views on the Trump Administration and trade, Recker said, “I think the general sense, I think they are OK yet. They have made the commitment to this administration and Trump, knowing before the election this was an avenue he could take and the financial consequences coming along. But I still think farmers are going to look and ask, ‘Who’s our alternative?’ Right? I think they are still going to stay committed to this administration in general.”Ben Riensche, a farmer from Jesup, Iowa, had a similar take as Recker regarding how much Pompeo could say about the talks with China. “Our administration has clear goals on what they want to get to and they aren’t going to show all of their cards to get there,” Riensche said.Riensche added Pompeo wanted to assure farmers the administration continues to negotiate aggressively. Riensche said he continues to have patience with the talks.“Farmers by nature are just used to poor crops, hail, bad crops and markets,” he said. “One little rough patch negotiating doesn’t really scare us off. Give me a little more time and that might change, but this hasn’t tested the farmers’ resilience yet.”Riensche also had asked Pompeo about the status of Indiana farmer Kip Tom’s nomination to be agricultural ambassador to the United Nations. Tom was nominated last July, but has yet to get a confirmation vote in the Senate — despite a unanimous committee vote last September advancing his nomination. Riensche’s question was one of the few that got Pompeo off script as the secretary complained about roughly 40 nominations being held up in his department right now.“I should have you all sign letters on his (Tom’s) behalf,” Pompeo said, adding he was “enormously frustrated” with the Senate process. “I couldn’t tell you (about a confirmation). I don’t know what those timelines look like.”Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(ES/)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • Geocaching.com Hamsters Go Big Time

    first_imgGeocaching.com HamstersRumor has it Geocaching.com internet servers are run by cute, hard-working, squeaky-voiced hamsters. Now you can have a Geocaching.com hamster of your own. Your hamster could either be a Trackable or commemorated on clothing. The hamsters just launched  their own products today. You know you’re kind of a big deal when you have your own merchandise line. But the humble hamsters weren’t always big time.The hamsters toiled running Geocaching.com (Groundspeak) servers in obscurity for years. All that changed six months ago. Thousands of geocachers watched this first Geocaching.com hamster video as the site received a server upgrade in May. Instantly the hamsters were a hit.Hamster Trackable TagTwo lucky geocachers even adopted retired Geocaching.com hamsters used in the video. You can follow the adventures of one the hamsters in Germany on the blog, “Karlson the little hamster from Groundspeak.”Now Shop Geocaching is introducing hamster themed merchandise. Customers outside the United States can ask their local Official Groundspeak Distributor for hamster merchandise. You can buy Trackable Groundspeak Hamster Tags.  You can also purchase hamster shirts.Detail on Hamster ShirtIf you’re interested in watching the hamsters in their natural habitat, you can watch all three Geocaching.com hamster videos at the end of this blog post.As far as what’s next for the Geocaching.com hamster, a lot of folks are asking. The answer may just rhyme with “bleacher tankth smoothie” (feature length movie) … or could that just be another rumor?Hamster Shirt GEOCACHING.COM HAMSTER VIDEOSThis is the first Geocaching.com Hamster video launched in May of this year. Geocachers discovered the history of the hamster rumor and learned more about the server upgrade. SharePrint Related”Hammy” a Groundspeak Hamster Finds a New HomeJune 22, 2011In “Community”Groundspeak Hamsters Find New HomesJuly 1, 2011In “Geocaching.com Souvenirs”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – April 27, 2011April 27, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter” Share with your Friends:Morecenter_img The video you see below is the “Down for Maintenance” hamster video which will appear when the site is briefly down for performance upgrades. Geocachers in Europe sent hamster food to Groundspeak Headquarters when the servers were slow during one week in the summer. We thought it was hilarious and wanted to thank them, including a cameo by Geocaching.com Co-Founder and CEO Jeremy Irish. This is the response video from Geocaching.com posted on German blogs. Ironically since the hamster food arrived the servers have been faster than ever. Hmmmm…  (Please do not send any more hamster food)last_img read more

  • Illinois Enacts Withholding Tax Credit for Small Employers

    first_imgIllinois enacted a personal income withholding tax for small employers.Who Qualifies for the Credit?Employers with 50 or fewer Illinois full-time employees who make minimum wage can qualify for the credit. An employer must aggregate its employees to determine the threshold if:– the employer operates more than one franchise; or– the employer is a unitary business group member.The credit does not include employees who have worked fewer than 90 consecutive days before the reporting period. But, credits can accrue during that 90-day period for future reporting periods.An employer is not eligible for credits unless:– the average wage paid each employee for all employees making less than $55,000 during the reporting period exceeds;– the average wage paid each employee for all employees making less than $55,000 during the same reporting period in the prior calendar year.How Much Is the Credit?The base credit is the difference between wages paid in Illinois during the reporting period to:– employees who made minimum wage; and– employees who made less than minimum wage.The credit cannot exceed the employer’s tax liability for the reporting period.The amount of the credit equals:– 25% of the wages paid for 2020 quarterly reporting periods;– 21% of the wages paid for 2021 quarterly reporting periods;– 17% of the wages paid for 2022 quarterly reporting periods;– 13% of the wages paid for 2023 quarterly reporting periods;– 9% of the wages paid for 2024 quarterly reporting periods; and– 5% of the wages paid for 2025 quarterly reporting periods.Employers can continue to claim the credit for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2026 and:– ending on or before December 31, 2026 for employers with more than 5 employees; or– ending on or before December 31, 2027 for employers with no more than 5 employees.P.A. 101-1 (S.B. 1), Laws 2019, effective February 19, 2019Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more