Winter gardening chores

first_imgGardeners who chose not to grow cool season crops may be getting restless as temperatures drop and the growing season comes to an end. Well, a gardener’s work is never done. Here are a few garden chores that can be accomplished over the next few months.Now is a great time to test the soil. Developing and maintaining productive soils begins with soil testing. Whether it is for your lawn, flowerbed or vegetable garden, University of Georgia soil test results will reveal the soil’s actual nutrient status. Follow the test’s recommendations for ideal soil in your spring garden.Compost leavesDo you have an abundance of leaves on your property? Chop them up and add them to your garden as a mulch, or work them in to improve the soil’s organic matter. Unchopped or shredded leaves can also be used, but they tend to mat down and will not breakdown as rapidly. Leaves can also be added to your compost pile to provide a carbon element.Speaking of compost piles, work off some of those delicious holiday desserts by grabbing a shovel or pick and giving your compost pile a thorough turn. This will speed the decomposition process and add needed air and circulation to the pile.Inspect and repair toolsWhile you have that shovel or pick handy, look at it closely. Does the handle appear to be rotting or cracking? If the handle is beginning to crack or turn gray, sand it down and apply a coat of marine or outdoor varnish to preserve the life of the handle. Is the shovelhead showing rust or wear? Take the time now to clean, sharpen and repair your garden tools and you will be glad when spring rolls back around. Remove caked on dirt with a wire brush and rinse and dry tools thoroughly.Apply lubricating oil to any working parts on pruning shears or saws, and sharpen the blades. To sharpen properly, place the tool in a vise and sharpen away from the tool’s head, on the push-stroke side only. Proper storage of gardening tools will extend their life. My worst nightmare is when my son “borrows” my lopping shears to clear a path in the back woods. Weeks later when I am looking for them to prune that overgrown Cleyera, I find them rusting in the dirt on that new path in the back woods. Don’t let this happen to your tools. Keep them out of the weather in a shed or garage in a neat and orderly fashion. This will not only save you a lot of frustration when it comes time to use them, but your storage space will be maximized –- making room for that latest and greatest gardening tools on your Christmas list.last_img read more

Payments: A fast follower’s dilemma

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In a June article I advocated for credit unions to take a “fast follower” approach to payments innovation.I suggested that most credit unions don’t need to be on technology’s bleeding edge, and should instead monitor the market and be prepared with a plan for prompt action when a new solution shows signs of traction.While I continue to endorse this position overall, dialogue at the recent Bank Customer Experience (BCX) Summit reminded me of its limitations.I find the best value of industry conferences often comes from my own brainstorming while absorbing the random nuggets of various presentations. BCX clearly delivered in that regard and, despite its name, I saw several credit union colleagues in attendance as well.BCX’s opening panel addressed the challenge of balancing simplicity and security in electronic transactions. The perspectives of Bud Yanak, head of product for Fujitsu’s biometric identity arm Frontech, were particularly interesting. continue reading »last_img read more

KPK receives more than 800 complaints on social aid in less than 3 months

first_imgTopics : According to Jakarta-based SMERU Research Institute researcher Athia Yumna, the root cause of the problem was the sluggish pace at which regional governments regularly updated their list of beneficiaries.To ensure accountability in the distribution, the KPK issued a circular in April that urged government agencies and regional administrations to utilize the Social Affairs Ministry’s Integrated Data on Social Welfare (DTKS), in addition to citizen identification numbers to verify social aid recipients.The KPK has also urged regional governments to deliver the aid to citizens who are unregistered but meet the central government’s criteria to receive the COVID-19 relief. Afterward, regional governments are expected to submit reports on said social aid distribution to the Social Affairs Ministry to update the beneficiary data. Previously, KPK chairman Filri Bahuri asserted that those found guilty of corruption relating to COVID-19 relief funds could face the death penalty. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has received 894 complaints pertaining to social aid in less than three months through its dedicated digital platform, JAGA Bansos, as the government distributes trillions of rupiah to help citizens during the COVID-19 epidemic. The complaints came from 243 regional administrations, namely 19 provincial administration and 224 cities and regencies administration, between May 29 and Aug. 7.“As many as 369 reports were from those who did not receive social aid even though [they said] they had registered for the program,” said KPK commissioner Lili Pantauli Siregar during a press conference on the KPK’s biennial performance report on Tuesday. center_img The KPK has resolved 357 of the total complaints, while 207 others were being processed. In the meantime, the agency is still verifying the remaining 312 complaints. JAGA Bansos is a feature in KPK’s portal and mobile app, JAGA, which provides the public with information and complaint submission services. The feature, which is accessible at, allows the public to make reports over suspected irregularities and misappropriations regarding the distribution of COVID-19 relief.The initiative is also part of the KPK’s role in supervising the government’s national COVID-19 mitigation spending, totaling Rp 695.2 trillion (US$47.03 million). Out of this budget, the government has allotted Rp 203.8 trillion for social safety nets, including various forms of social assistance.The distribution of the assistance, however, has faced many hurdles, with reports mentioning slow or mistargeted distribution amid red tape and lack of coordination among central and regional governments. last_img read more