NCS D-VII championship: Ferndale falls to Salesian College Prep 50-29 in section title game

first_imgA memorable season for Ferndale came to a close Saturday night with a 50-29 NCS D-VII championship loss to Salesian College Preparatory, Saturday night at Alhambra High.Ferndale never led in the first half but never trailed by more than a score either as the Wildcats matched each touchdown by Salesian.Lane Branstetter, Jenner Christiansen and Landon Gomes each rushed for first-half touchdowns. Branstetter’s came first on a 70-yard run. Both Christiansen and Gomes punched in short runs for …last_img

Senate Farm Bill passes committee — Lake Erie, dairy programs included

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Joel Penhorwood The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry passed their version of the 2018 Farm Bill on Wednesday, 20-1.Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Committee, said it’s an important bipartisan effort during a crucial time for Ohio agriculture and natural resources.“This bipartisan bill is good for farmers, good for families, good for taxpayers, good for jobs, and good for Lake Erie,” Brown said. “This bill is a big win for Ohio, and it’s the product of a long, bipartisan process, working with farmers and stakeholders over the past year.”Listen to Sen. Brown’s comments following the vote. Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Sen. Brown spoke with reporters in a conference call immediately after the vote. He was joined by Dr. Cathann Kress, Dean of the Ohio State College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. She commented on the positive movement forward for Ohio agriculture.Known formally as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the legislation can be read in its entirety here.The currently active 2014 Farm Bill is set to expire in September. When a farm bill terminates, some programs cease to operate unless reauthorized, while others, including major commodity programs, revert to permanent, outdated law from the 1940s. These consequences are partially motivating lawmakers towards the fast-approaching finish line later this year.Sen. Brown said there is hope to get a full Senate vote before the Independence Day recess.He outlined several key provisions in the Farm Bill that he helped introduce and secure, including:Brown’s Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act:This bill would help farmers sell their products directly to consumers, create rural jobs, and invest in local and regional food economies.Provisions from Brown’s water quality improvement bill, the Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work (GROW) Act:This legislation will improve water quality in Lake Erie and across Ohio by refocusing federal investments to improve water quality and soil health. These efforts will improve federal conservation programs and better support Ohio farmers by reforming the three largest conservation funding programs to protect waterways while expanding access to quality farmland.Provisions that would make improvements to dairy programs in order to better target support for small- and medium-sized producers:The Farm Bill replaces the Margin Protection Program (MPP) with the Dairy Risk Coverage program, which invests an additional $100 million to improve affordability, flexibility, and effectiveness for Ohio dairy farmers.Provisions that protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for hungry families in Ohio:Brown pushed to help protect families in need by helping avoid harmful eligibility changes that would force working families to jump through unnecessary bureaucratic hoops.Sen. Brown remarked how the needs of Ohio farmers and communities, exhibited through roundtables and other meetings in recent months, helped craft the bill’s current state.“That’s why we wanted to do the updated to ARC, that’s why we tackled dairy the way we did — in northwest Ohio, particularly worked on the conservation title and finding ways to entice more farmers to want to do that. We want to help farmers plant to the market, not to the program,” Brown said. “We looked at rural broadband issues in certain parts of the state, especially in southeast Ohio. Young people and entrepreneurs have trouble meeting their challenges of school work or growing their businesses because of lack of broadband.“All of those were part of this bill.”The House version of the Farm Bill, passed committee but was surprisingly voted down on the main floor after a group of conservatives voted against the action, in favor of tackling immigration changes first. The House is set to reconsider the bill later this month.Several farm groups chimed in to the news of the Committee’s vote, including the National Corn Growers Association.“Today’s Committee action marks another step forward in getting a new farm bill passed and signed into law before the current bill expires, providing some certainty to farmers facing declining commodity prices and the uncertainty caused by trade tariffs and ethanol market disruptions. NCGA commends Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for working together to write a bipartisan bill,” said Kevin Skunes, President of the National Corn Growers Association. “NCGA is pleased to see the bipartisan bill maintains support for a robust crop insurance program, our organization’s top farm bill priority. At the same time, it is very disappointing that provisions attempting to secure a more regionally equitable commodity title and improve the ARC-county program to ensure producers have a viable, market-oriented risk management option were not included in the final bill. We hope there will be opportunities to improve these areas as the bill moves forward.”The American Soybean Association also applauded the passage.“Soy growers and farmers across the country are in need of certainty during this time of low crop prices and volatile conditions affecting export markets,” said ASA Vice President Davie Stephens. “The Senate Committee’s action today takes us one step closer to completing the farm bill this year, providing much needed stability across the countryside.”The National Association of Wheat Growers noted important trade inclusion.“NAWG commends the Senate Agriculture Committee for working together to move the Farm Bill forward and out of Committee. It’s vital for the bill to be reauthorized before the September 30th deadline, so that farmers can have access to these beneficial programs,” said Jimmie Musick, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers. “NAWG is pleased that the Committee accepted language to allow trade promotion dollars from Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) to be used in Cuba. Cuba is a growing market for U.S. wheat growers and these programs help strengthen this partnership.”Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was the lone dissenting vote. His proposal to limit subsidy payments was not added.Other notable inclusions to the 2018 Farm Bill are hemp legalization as well as language that allows funding for a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank, something livestock groups have lobbied for heavily.last_img read more

Major U.S. Builder Tests Net-Zero Market

first_imgA time of turmoil in the companyThe project comes at a time of unrest in the company. The Wall Street Journal reports that Pulte founder William J. Pulte and CEO Richard Dugas Jr. are battling over the direction the company is taking, and that Dugas had agreed to step down next year.Pulte’s grandson, also named Bill Pulte, has complained that the company’s share price, revenue, and housing deliveries have been “relatively stagnant over the last two or three years.” The two Pultes and director Jim Grosfield launched a surprise attack on Dugas in late March, demanding that he retire or “there would be war.”But the Pultes and Grosfield are apparently at odds with the rest of Pulte’s board. In a letter to shareholders, James Postl, an independent director, said that the trio had undertaken a “misguided” effort to boot Dugas and “influence our considered succession planning process and change the strategic direction of PulteGroup,” the newspaper said.The public dispute points to how volatile the politics at big, publicly traded companies can be, and how quickly company strategies can change. One of the country’s biggest residential developers is dipping its toes into the high-performance housing market with a prototype net-zero-energy house in California.PulteGroup announced earlier this month that it would wrap up work on its first net-zero home in a Brentwood, California, development called Botanica in May. The goal, PulteGroup President Ryan Marshall said in a press release, “is to help define the most efficient path to building zero-net-energy homes that effectively balance constructability, cost, and quality.”Net-zero houses are relatively rare, but California has more of them than any other state in the country, according to a survey published earlier this year by the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. They are likely to become much more common as the state approaches its 2020 goal that all new houses be net-zero, and the state’s zero net energy action plan for reaching that milestone lists a number of steps, including construction of single-family and multifamily demonstration projects.According to rankings by Professional Builder, Pulte is the third biggest home builder in the U.S. with a total of 17,196 closings in 2014 and sales of $5.5 billion. The company says that it’s the largest builder to date to take part in the net-zero demonstration program.In an email response to questions from GBA, Brian Jamison, PulteGroup national procurement director, said that the company has been “testing and implementing innovative energy solutions and sustainable practices” in new houses around the country. Some of the houses have been very efficient, but the Botanica house will the first one designed specifically to hit the net-zero mark.Other big builders also are working their way into the net-zero market. For example, KB Home, ranked at #8 in the country with 2014 sales of $2.4 billion, debuted a net-zero energy home in Los Angeles County in 2014. The 2,537-square-foot house in the city of Lancaster also uses no water for landscaping, making it what KB calls a “double zero house.” Features of the prototype houseThe part of California where Pulte’s demonstration house is being built, 55 miles east of San Francisco, is in Climate Zone 3. As described by Pulte, the slab-on-grade house will have two levels with three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and a total of 2,343 square feet.Botanica is a 297-unit subdivision, but the prototype will be the only one in the neighborhood to get the enhanced package of energy upgrades. Pulte has yet to set a sales price for the house, but the base prices of homes in Botanica range from the high $400,000s to the low $600,000s and vary in size from 2,343 square feet to 3,590 square feet.Asked what Pulte estimated to be the additional costs to bring the house to the net-zero level, Jamison sidestepped the question. He responded, “The energy performance of the home will be monitored for a year after it is sold, and overall energy performance and consumption will be evaluated. We are collaborating with many valued partners in building, tracking and evaluating the prototype and hope to get more insight into the cost and myriad of energy efficient offerings our homes in California and beyond will offer in the future.”Here are some of the home’s features:A building envelope with an air leakage rate of 3.5 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals (ach50). Accoding to Pulte, an air leakage rate of 5 ach50 is typical in new houses.A HERS Index target of zero.A whole-house ventilation system consisting of an exhaust fan that runs continuously and a duct that brings in fresh air.A conditioned attic with a sealed, insulated roof deck insulated to R-38. (The company didn’t answer questions about the type or amount of insulation in exterior walls or say whether any insulation would be placed beneath the slab.)Heating and cooling with a SEER 19 air-source heat pump made by Lennox.A tankless water heater made by Rinnai. The hot water system includes a dedicated, insulated loop that connected to a pump controlled by switches in the kitchen or the master bedroom. The system is designed to reduce water waste.A 4.34-kilowatt photovoltaic array installed by SolarCity.LED lighting.A Site Sage energy monitoring system that keeps track of plug loads, major appliances, and lighting.Low-e vinyl windows, Energy Star appliances, an induction cooktop, and a front-loading gas-fired dryer.last_img read more

Rani Mukerji unveils Mardaani anthem, says she feels term women-centric ‘strange’

first_imgActress Rani Mukerji on Monday unveiled Mardaani anthem and says it talks about “anger and frustration” women go through.”This anthem is a thought that has come from the anger and frustration we go through in our daily life,” Rani told reporters here.”The anthem is written by Kausar Munir. This anthem is beautifully depicted. The lyrics are very powerful,” added the actress.Rani Mukerji at the unveiling of Mardaani anthem Director Pradeep Sarkar’s film Mardaani will see Rani as Shivani Shivaji Roy, an officer of the Mumbai Crime Branch unit. In the raw and gritty tale, Rani displays women power.She said: “Men are physically strong but women are mentally and emotionally strong. There is nothing man can do without women.”However, Rani had a point to make on Mardaani being tagged ‘women-centric’.”I feel the term women-centric is a bit strange. We don’t call a normal film male-centric. It is either a good film or a bad film. The content should be the king,” the actress said.”There are many love stories in which women had strong roles, but the females were not the protagonists. Just because the female protagonist is playing the title role, the mindset is such that people call it a women-centric film. Yash Chopraji has directed so many films where women had a strong role,” she added.Meanwhile, Rani feels the audience would be able to connect to the theme of the movie.”We have made the film with heart and we all feel it’s a relevant subject,” she said.advertisementProduced by Rani’s husband Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Films banner, Mardaani is slated to release Aug 22.last_img read more