Lessons from History

first_imgRecessions can have a deep impact on the ideas that shape people management.Stephen Overell looks back at how economic hard times have spawned newmanagement theories and asks what will be the casualties of a recession todayThe air hangs heavy with talk of recession. In just two days in mid-October, United Technologies cut 5,000 jobs, Opel axed 2,500, Commerzbankslashed 3,400, Siemens 7,000 and Rolls-Royce 4,000. Many less familiar names did likewise and, for the first time in months,there was a rise in unemployment on some measures. But as well as the personal sadness of people losing their jobs, recessionsoften tend to have another less publicised, but no less profound impact onpeople management. They are the times when the ideas which shape how organisations are run andhow people are motivated tend to undergo something of a shake-up. Dominantmanagement theories in place when a recession bites are going to be perceivedas inadequate to a stultifying business environment – new, and often extremeanswers can seem compelling. Bob Norton, head of information services at the Institute of Management,says, “Recessions can be times when thinking gets a clean-out. It will beinteresting to see if things like emotional intelligence survive unaltered. “Ideas that are more focused on the bottom line, like re-engineeringwill inevitably tend to do better.” There is evidence to support this view. The two biggest fads of the past 25years were born out of major recessions – Tom Peters and Robert Waterman’s”excellence” cult, conceived in 1982, and business processre-engineering (BPR) pioneered by James Champy and Michael Hammer, which firstsaw light in 1990. Recessions can be times for reappraisal – and this one is unlikely to bemuch different. Indeed, the publication of Michael Hammer’s new book last monthcould be seen as prescient. In The Agenda, Hammer defends BPR from its criticsand says that with a few tweaks and a new emphasis on human capital management,there could be life in the old religion. It begs the question, could the hard-won emphasis on people as thefundamental source of value and competitive advantage be diminished ascompanies trim costs? Sol Davidson, a coach with Penna Executive Coaching,believes that is unlikely. “The future – whether there is a recession ornot – is about building intelligent organisations that can cope with change.Hierarchical power is no longer effective – the future is about interconnectednetworks, building partnerships and joint ventures. “What I fear is that while organisations may pay lip service, they willmake decisions around cost and as a consequence lose the intelligence and thecollective memory of their organisation.” The hard-won evidence that the way people are managed and developed has adirect relationship with the bottom line is strong. More than 30 differentstudies in both the US and the UK have confirmed it during the course of the1990s. The imperative of good people management remains, come recession or boom time.John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, says this potential recession isunlikely to distort priorities as much as previous ones. “Some of the management ideas that have evolved out of recessions havehad a rather tough and unsympathetic character,” he says. “I thinkthat this time there will be a calculated attempt to try and avoid that. Themacho thing that workers can be dispensed with, has, I think, been defeated bya combination of management theory saying just how fundamental people are to businesssuccess and basic common sense.” Philpott says the war for talent will also probably survive the downturn.”Most businesses understand that initiative and flair are important and needto be nurtured. Provided businesses do not lose their heads, the essentialelements of the psychological contract should be preserved.” However, the haemorrhage of knowledge is inevitably the anxiety during timesof recession. During the last recession, in 1993, one Institute of Managementsurvey found that cutting staff was the single most popular response of seniormanagers. Some 50 per cent said they were reducing headcount, while 34 per centwish they had cut back more severely earlier on. The fear of loss of knowledge is just. Already, it appears to beknowledge-based businesses which are suffering the most. Consultancy firmsreport very lean times. Commerzbank of Germany is saving £94m on consultants’costs. Accenture has cut 1,000 jobs while allowing another 1,000 to take asabbatical. PricewaterhouseCoopers plans to cut more than 2,000. However, others are attempting to turn a stagnant market into anopportunity. HR consultancy Barnes Kavelle has launched a new programme calledCorporate Skills Leaseback to prepare employees facing redundancy for a life asindependent consultants. Elsewhere, an active debate has been circling about how to structureincentives to encourage employees fearful of redundancy to share information.Naturally, many are seeking to hoard it to increase their value. While recessions have undoubtedly acted as a spur to some importantmanagement ideas in the past, it is unclear whether companies in difficultcircumstances are unduly conversion-prone. The Institute of Management’s Norton explains, “For the most part,companies are not preoccupied with theory in difficult times. They bracethemselves and get ready to move off when things pick up.” But some commentators believe the “softer”, perhaps more marginalmovements in management are likely to be the first casualties of recession. Professor David Norburn, director of Imperial College Management School,says, “Anything that is less readily perceived to have an impact onbusiness performance is likely to go.” If that is true, there could be a drop in the hunt for meaning at work. Recent years have witnessed a noticeable trend towards management theoryblending into metaphysics, as questions of spiritual purpose and calling becomerelevant or people trying to shift the culture of their organisations. Emotional intelligence has also spawned spiritual intelligence, whilequestions of value are seen as critical to world-class performance. All thismay come to seem a little like the luxuries of boom time – at least for a shorttime. In October, the first of a series of talks laid on by the Industrial Societyentitled The Soul @ Work had to be cancelled due to a lack of bookings. However, Norburn says the craving for big, new solutions to problems in thebusiness environment – solutions that are only ever likely to be part of theanswer – will endure. “The Tom Peters excellence stuff was stunningly good when it came out.People matter, put yourself in the customer’s shoes, Management By WalkingAround, and all that – really good stuff,” he says. “But the problem is they [managers] adopt things with religious fervourand it gets taken out of proportion – the classic magic bullet fallacy. “Most of these theories either come at it from the supply side, likePeters, or from the demand side – how to build new markets like Gary Hamel andCK Prahalad, but they only look through one lens, as it were. There has to be abalance between the two.” In truth, genuine revolutions in business thinking rarely happen. It hastaken the bursting of the dotcom bubble – and with it all the far-fetchedhyperbole – to realise the new economy was really not much different from theold. Still subject to the same logistical pressures, the same customerimperatives and the same laws of finance. According to management expert and author Carol Kennedy’s new book The NextBig Idea, the ideas that take off in the future are likely to be fairly smallones. In the speeded-up world of modern business, she suggests companies may notbe able to afford the time to work management fads through the system as in thepast. Smaller ones can be tried out, adopted or dumped without too muchinvestment – as Idealab and other internet incubators currently do with theirstart-up projects. If the recession aids this movement, many employees might breathe a sigh ofrelief. Why business process re-engineering caught on during the last recessionWhen re-engineering first appeared inan article in the Harvard Business Review in July/August 1990, the dominant fadof the day was quality or TQM – roughly translated as getting products orservices right first time rather than waiting to check them once they werefinished. The quality movement began to wane precisely because it becameuniversal – it was no longer a source of competitive advantage, merely acommercial necessity. TQM was about doing the same things better. Re-engineeringpromised radical change. When asked what he did for a living, Michael Hammerused to respond, “Reversing the industrial revolution.” The newmovement’s catchphrase was, “Don’t automate, obliterate”. BPR was aimed at breaking an organisation down into itscomponent parts and then putting them back together again to create a newmachine, hence the emphasis on process. Re-engineers favoured tearing up all the old procedures,”functional chimneys” and layers and getting everyone workingtogether in one multi-functional team with computers doing the rest. By the time Champy and Hammer came to set out their ideas morethoughtfully in Re-engineering the Corporation of 1993, the fad was in fullswing. The book sold 2 million copies in 17 languages. By 1994 a survey by Price Waterhouse found 78 per cent ofFortune 500 companies and 68 per cent of British ones were engaged in some formof re-engineering projects. Yet despite its extraordinary success, BPR soon becameassociated with just sacking people.While re-engineering undoubtedly contributed directly tomillions of people working in entirely new ways, millions also lost their jobs.A survey of large US companies carried out in May 1995 foundthat the main reason for wanting to re-engineer was cost cutting (29 per cent)followed closely by “someone important said we should do it” (26 percent). At Lloyds Bank, 2,100 branches became 1,800. There was soontalk of “the anorexic corporation”. According to management expert and author Carol Kennedy,”Re-engineering probably enjoyed the vogue it did because many companiesused it as a cloak for savage downsizing simply to cut headcount in therecession. “They then found they were not equipped to take advantageof growth when it came.”Fads we could do withoutSport as a motivational metaphorFor a brief phase in the mid to late 1990s, everyone becameobsessed with the workplace lessons of touchline and locker room. Footballers,rugby players and round-the-world yacht people leapt on board to the extentthat the business lecture circuit became a retirement paddock for sportsheroes. The problem was that while they had no difficulty enthusing a crowd,the impact on the workforce did not last. It was soon realised that scoring agoal and closing a sale are very different.Paradox ManagementThis attempted to help managers navigate perilous, changeabletimes by making a reference point of the contradictions of modern businesslife. Firms had to be global and local, profit-focused, but sociallyresponsible. Managers needed to be autonomous, but team-players; decisive, butconsultative. Paradox management was an attempt to transcend polar opposites.The problem was, it was far too esoteric. Management has always been aboutnegotiating between conflicting pressures, so it was really just another sillyname.Work as CommunitySome of the crassest cod-psychology developed around the themeof work replacing geographical communities in people’s lives, while providingsome of the functions of the shrinking nation state such as childcare. Thetruth is that so-called concierge services never expanded beyond a clutch ofprofessional service firms in London. Work is back to being work.Ones towatchSpirituality/Meaning/Values/Emotional IntelligenceGuilty of some Class A hocus-pocus around the turn of themillennium, this movement has yet to burn itself out. Work is assuming a largerrole in people’s lives, while there remains a lingering suspicion that thosewho do well at work and are happiest with their lot tend to have”something”. Boiling down that something is likely to preoccupyexecutive development specialists post-recession. Academic research has foundthat the only way to explain the superior performance of some companies overthe long term is through the values by which the firm operates. Change ManagementNothing new about this, of course, but the subtlety, skill anddetermination involved in solid strategic thinking and, more importantly,thorough implementation, will ensure change remains a key issue for executives.The focus is likely to move away from fantastic strategic modelling towards howto secure a new vision, years down the line. Making it work, in short. Ischange going to reduce in life, work and business? Unlikely.Knowledge ManagementSome of the most venal, idiotic thinking has gone into KM,while its tangible contribution to the workplace has been negligible. KM hasbeen guilty of the classical hubris of attempting to replace humans withmachines as organisations gather and distribute corporate knowledge. For awhile everything was being called KM – intranets, libraries, databases. But ithas to be acknowledged that knowledge really is one of the key elements ofcompetitive advantage, which is why KM – hopefully in a more muted form – willsurvive. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Lessons from HistoryOn 13 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

Sales agreed during August at highest level since 2015, claims portal

first_imgDespite the terrible weather battering the UK at the moment, Rightmove says the property market has been hotter than usual so far this month.It’s latest house price index reveals that so far August has seen the highest number of sales agreed since 2015 and that market activity is up by 6.1% up on last year.Sales agreed have increased across the UK but particularly in the North East, East of England and Yorkshire where sales agreed have jumped by 10%.Rightmove says the average asking price of a property is £305,500, slightly down on July, driven mostly by house prices softening at the top of the market, although it claims that this is ‘usual’ for this time of the year as vendors and buyers take their summer holidays.Purchasers are also taking the plunge as they realise it’s their last chance to get a good deal before the latest Brexit deadline takes place on 31st October.“I think the impending Brexit deadline that is looming over us could well be having an impact on activity in the market,” says Ian Marriott of East Midlands agency FHP Living (left).“People were more cautious at this stage last year than this year, so we’re seeing that they are getting on with their lives and pushing through with moves ahead of the October deadline.”Rightmove spokesperson Miles Shipside, says: “Surprisingly there seems to be a bit of a summer buying spree, despite it normally being a quieter time of year.“For some reason more buyers have cottoned on to the fact that it can be a good time of year to buy, with less competition from other buyers, and sellers typically more willing to accept a lower price.”Rightmove Miles Shipside Brexit August 19, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Sales agreed during August at highest level since 2015, claims portal previous nextHousing MarketSales agreed during August at highest level since 2015, claims portalRightmove claims sales agreed are also up by 6.1% during August compared to last year as people tire of waiting for Brexit to be sorted one way or another.Nigel Lewis19th August 20190430 Viewslast_img read more

Vodka a major cause of death in Russia

first_imgA recent study involving researchers from Oxford University has found excessive vodka consumption to be a major cause of early death for Russian men.The study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, asked 151,000 adults in three typical Russian cities about their drinking habits. Amongst this group of people, there were 8000 deaths over the period. The researchers then followed up to investigate the causes for their deaths. It shows that the risk of death for smokers from 35 to 55 years old who had reported drinking more than three bottles of vodka a week is more than twice higher than people who reportedly consumed less than a bottle a week. The possibility that a 15 year old will die before the age of 55 is 25% for Russian males, compared to around 7% for UK.This new study confirms the findings of a retrospective study published five years ago also in The Lancet. In that study, researchers knocked on the doors of the families of 50,000 people who had died in the three cities to find out how much alcohol the deceased person used to consume.Both studies revealed the unusual and volatile fluctuations of Russian death rates. It is from these fluctuations that researchers were able to establish the relationship between alcohol consumption and high death rate.Professor Richard Peto, the co-director of Clinical Trial Service Unit at Oxford, was part of the team for the studies. He explained, “The fluctuation in death rate of middle aged men in Russia is extraordinary. And this can only be explained by changes in the level of alcohol consumption. When Gorbachev restricted alcohol in 1985, the death rate decreased along with the decrease in use of alcohol. After the Soviet Union collapses in the 1991, the ability to control alcohol was fading, a lot of the workers were out of job, that’s when there was a big increase in alcohol and a surge of death rate from 20% to about 40%.” “The high death rate in that period can not be attributed to other diseases such cancer, since the cancer rate remains fairly constant. It wasn’t due to the collapse of health care, because child mortality, or the death rate for older people, the statistics which are most vulnerable to lack of health care, were quite stable as well.”The major effects of alcohol on these deaths were very short-term, Professor Peto commented. The causes for the deaths of heavy drinkers were mainly suicide, violence, traffic accidents, alcoholic poisoning and eight categories of disease strongly associated with alcohol including acute pancreatitis, tuberculosis and throat cancer.The idea of the research originated in the 1970s when Professor David Zaridze, a Russian epidemiologist spent a year working at Oxford. The research was planned to investigate the relationship between tobacco consumption and death rate. Professor Peto said, ‘We did studies in India, China and US, and tobacco is usually the most influential factor for middle age men. But Russia is very different, as we found out for men younger than 55 years old, alcohol is the major cause.”Ekaterina Savishchenko, the publicity officer of Oxford University Russia Society commented, “I agree vodka is a problem. It is a national drink just like sake for Japan, or ale for UK. It is good for the occasions. Three bottles a week really sounds like a lot.  But, heavy drinkers will usually drink anything, so it is not just vodka that we should blame. Smoking and lack of the culture of gyming or exercising also cannot be ignored.”The death rate, however, has seen a large decrease of 12% since the 2006 alcohol regulation from the height of 37% in 2005. Professor Peto said, “if it is possible to reduce the death rate by 12%, it is also possible to reduce it by another 12% by 2020, if people stop drinking dangerously. Then the death rate would be near 10%, which is where it should be.”The study will still go on with statistics for the year 2013 about to release in the coming weeks and continue to track the correlation between alcohol and death rate in Russia.last_img read more

Gavel Gamut By Jim Redwine

first_img Gavel GamutBy Jim RedwineTHE PIPELINEAntonin Scalia served on the United States Supreme Court from 1986 to 2016. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan who left office in January 1989. Scalia was confirmed by the Senate for a lifetime appointment. Justice Scalia’s decisions were often characterized as hostile to liberal interests and supportive of conservative views. When Scalia’s friend, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was nominated by President William Clinton in 1993, leaves the court, she will be remembered as hostile to conservative causes and supportive of liberal interests.Neither Scalia nor Ginsburg nor any other federal judge was ever subject to a democratic election or ever subject to voter review for their performance in office. No one doubts the conservative political views of Reagan and the liberal political views of Clinton were at the forefront of their reasons for choosing particular federal judges. Yet, when the politicians who chose Scalia, Ginsburg and others left office, the legacy of their political choices remained.There is nothing wrong with judges having political views, who doesn’t? In fact, would we want anyone in any office who was unaware or uninformed? The issue is not what are a judicial candidate’s political or social views. The issues are who gets to select the judges and how can judges be removed when their decisions are based on their personal views instead of upon the law and the evidence of the case in front of them?These issues are not restricted to federal judges. Many state judges are selected by systems that rely on small groups to the exclusion of the general public. While many of these systems ostensibly subject these unelected judges to public retention votes, in practice, once selected, the judge will be in office as long as he or she wishes.It is important to note unelected judges are no worse or better than elected judges. We get our judges from the same pool we get our cowboys, plumbers and clergymen. Judges are humans. Plato’s dream of a government by philosopher kings was just that, a dream. In the real world we must make do with what we have, keeping in mind our overarching goal of democracy.America’s democracy is preserved by having three equal branches of government. This basic framework was devised from an analysis of the ideas of John Locke (1632-1704), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) and especially Montesquieu (1689-1755). The people who attended the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were afraid of European monarchies and unrestrained power of any kind. Our government’s duty is to restrain itself and maintain control in the public. When the power of any branch is usurped by the others, the power of the people is the ultimate loser. Public control over the Executive and Legislative Branches is maintained by electing their members and having short terms of office.Some form of these elements can be applied to the Judicial Branch. The pipeline through which we get judges to decide our cases has openings at both ends: (1) the pool they come from; and (2) how or why they leave the Bench. We can work with our existing system and, perhaps, make it better soon without the need for more elemental changes that will require more time.I suggest we start with the front end of the pipeline, that is, the pool of people from whom we elect (or select) our judges. If we look to other areas, neurosurgeons or electricians, for example, we define the pool of available workers by setting forth credentials they must have to be considered. Judges should probably go through several levels of preparation before they can be considered for the job. Now about all that is required is the graduation from law school and the passing of a Bar Examination and maybe friendship with a senator. We might want more.Politics can be removed from the creation of the pool of people who might become judges. While the potential judges will still be subject to their personal biases, we can, at least, have a better chance to find judges who are attuned to the job of judging as opposed to just anyone with a law degree.The law schools of some countries separate those who wish to become judges from those who wish to practice law. Such a change in America’s law school structure could happen almost immediately. In addition to a high school diploma, a college degree, the Law School Aptitude Test and background investigations as are now required, an additional year or two as a judicial intern or law clerk could be imposed. Passing a Bar Examination and a minimum number of years practicing law could follow this. Such requirements as these and others before one can stand for election or appointment as a judge would help us avoid politics as the most important consideration.The rest of the judicial pipeline, that is, how we elect/select our judges using democratic processes and how we get rid of judges we do not want, we can discuss next week.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Phil Lesh & Friends Announces Terrapin Crossroads Run With John Scofield, Scott Metzger, & More

first_imgPhil Lesh & Friends has announced a new two-night run at Lesh’s own Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA, set to take place on January 23rd and 24th.Lesh has rounded up an all-star cast for the upcoming run including guitarists John Scofield and Scott Metzger, multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby, and drummers Alex Koford and Tony Leone.This Thursday, January 10th, Lesh will host a “Winter Hootenanny” with a cast of Terrapin regulars including Stu Allen, Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz, Greg Loiacono, Cass McCombs, Grahame Lesh, Ross James, Mike Pascale, Alex Koford, Scott Guberman, and Nathan Graham.Tickets for the upcoming two-night Phil & Friends run are on sale now here.last_img read more

Watch This Sign Language Interpreter Sign Phish’s “Chalkdust Torture” At MSG [Video]

first_imgLast weekend, Phish rang in 2019 with a four-night stand at Madison Square Garden, where tens of thousands of fans heard the band play one of their strongest New Year’s runs in years. But for those fans in attendance who couldn’t hear the music being played, performance sign language interpreter Terri Reisinger was on hand to bring the lyrics to life.In a video shared on Reisinger’s Facebook page from New Year’s Eve, you can see her in action signing “Chalkdust Torture”—a song with notoriously fast-paced and out-there lyrics—like an absolute champ.As Reisinger noted in her post,What an honor to interpret for my favorite band I have been seeing for 25 years. Phish is the greatest Rock and Roll band out there and the energy they bring is sure to give you amazing feels! So blessed to show the lyrics and the sound to my phriend So he could share in the groove! Thank you Phish!!!Watch the clip below:Terri Reisinger Signs Phish’s “Chalkdust Torture” On New Year’s EveFor more information about Terri Reisinger and her engaging live music sign language interpreting, head to her website here.Related: 3 Heartwarming Soundcheck Stories From Phish’s NYE Run That Will Make You Love Them Even Morelast_img read more

Bountiful berries

first_img“Ochlockonee has shown high yields when compared to the late-season rabbiteye standard, Tifblue,” NeSmith said. “In fact, in afive-year study, Tifblue’s yield in south Georgia was only 59percent of that of Ochlockonee.” Ripens later and makes bigger berriesThe newest release is touted for its late-ripening ability, highyield and medium-to-large berries. UGA horticulturists are breeding new releases that will producehigher yields and resist diseases. Try this at homeIf you’d like to grow your own blueberries, Stanaland has a fewsuggestions.”Pick a blend of plant varieties that produce early-, mid- andlate-season fruit,” he said. “This will assure that you have agood window of fresh fruit all season.”He recommends rabbiteye blueberry varieties because they’reeasier to grow. It will take a few years for your plants toproduce a lot of fruit.”After a couple of years, you’ll start to see your home harvestgrow,” he said. “Just remember, as your plants grow larger, sowill your fruit production.” Last year, NeSmith released Alapaha, which should be ready forfarmers and home gardeners by fall. He plans to release threemore new blueberry varieties over the next four years, each namedfor a river in south Georgia. Blueberries first grew as nativeplants along these rivers. Scott NeSmith, a UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences horticulturist, recently released a new rabbiteyeblueberry, Ochlockonee (ok-LAHK-uh-nee). A joint release by UGACAES and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it’s named for thesouth Georgia river. New varieties always wantedStanaland said blueberry growers are always searching for newplant varieties to replace aging ones.”Growers are also looking for the early varieties so they can befirst to the market,” he said. “That’s where your highest pricesare.”Blueberry plants mature after five to six years and begin to losesome of their redeeming qualities, he said. Besides growing more berries, Ochlockonee grows them bigger,especially during its first harvest, NeSmith said. “These twoproperties alone make this selection desirable as a highlyproductive late-season rabbiteye cultivar,” he said. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaThis year’s Georgia blueberry crop is expected to be better thanlast season’s, despite the problems caused by an overabundance ofrain in March.”From an individual standpoint, some of our growers won’t have asgood a year because we had a lot of rain,” said Danny Stanaland,the University of Georgia Extension Service coordinator in BaconCounty.”The wet conditions prevented some farmers from getting in theirfields on a timely schedule,” he said. “It caused heavy diseasepressure.”Stanaland said he is seeing some of the worst cases of botrytisand mummy berry disease he’s ever seen. And serving Georgia’slargest-producing blueberry county, he knows blueberries.Botrytis is a bloom disease that causes the bloom to shut down.Mummy berry causes the berries to mummify and fall off the bush.Georgia growers began picking this year’s crop a few weeks ago.The harvest should continue until mid-July. Ochlockonee may be new to the farm and garden scene, but it wasactually first selected in the mid-1960s by UGA researchers inTifton, Ga. It was bred in Beltsville, Md., by USDA researcherswho crossed Tifblue with Menditoo.”We know this plant is very durable,” NeSmith said, “because wehave an Ochlockonee planting in Alapaha, Ga., that’s more than 25years old and is still quite vigorous and productive.”About 40 percent of Georgia’s blueberry crop is sold as a fresh-market product. The rest goes into the frozen-foods market.Georgia farmers have more than 5,000 acres devoted toblueberries. Bacon County, in southeast Georgia, has about halfof that. Tifblue and Ochlockonee are comparable in their vigor and theirberries’ color and firmness. And, like Tifblue, the new blueberryis “favorable” for escaping south Georgia’s spring freeze damage,NeSmith said.last_img read more

May 10 – 18 is the 20th Annual National Tourism Week

first_imgMay 10 – 18, 2003 is the 20th Annual National TourismWeek. Tourism contributes approximately $4.2 billion and 35,000 jobs tothe Vermont economy annually. Tourism supports and promotes such diverseelements within Vermont as agriculture, outdoor recreation, naturalheritage, cultural heritage and Vermont-made products.Vermont has long held a reputation for the finest in products and lifeexperiences. Sharing our way of life through tourism enhances Vermont’simage as a great place to visit. This awareness, accomplished througheffective marketing, keeps Vermont a top global destination.National Tourism Week was developed to acknowledge the economic benefitsthat tourism brings to the United States and to educate the public aboutthe tourism opportunities that are available locally. In a spot to bebroadcast on Vermont’s radio and television stations, Vermont’s GovernorJames Douglas invites Vermonters and visitors to discover and enjoyVermont’s exceptional and varied tourism resources.At his press conference May 8, the Governor and Vermont Tourism andMarketing (VDTM) Commissioner Bruce Hyde acknowledged National TourismWeek. They unveiled a new advertising campaign by Cabot Creamerypromoting Vermont on their packaging as a tourism destination.During National Tourism Week the Vermont Department of Tourism andMarketing and Vermont businesses will conduct a Vermont trivia contest andaward prizes.Prizes include:* A Vermont Symphony Orchestra gift certificate sponsored by VSO* Camping and a 2003 Season Family Day Pass sponsored by Vermont’sState Parks* Vermont Golf Exclusive Links Cards sponsored by Vermont Golfmagazine* A Simon Pearce glass vase sponsored by Simon Pearce Glass* The grand prize is a vacation getaway to Vermont’s NortheastKingdom, including lodging at the Wildflower Inn, Lyndonville, and a wateradventure tour with Vermont Adventure Company, Westmore.Contest information will be available online at www.VermontVacation.com(link is external)and through many Vermont broadcast and print media.last_img read more

NextEra expects to spend $1 billion on battery storage projects in coming year

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Companies across the global renewable energy industry are anxiously assessing the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their bottom line. Every company, it seems, except NextEra Energy.NextEra, the leading U.S. renewables developer, reported its first-quarter financial results on Tuesday, saying that not only has its renewables development unit been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it may actually benefit by being able to scoop up other projects that run into trouble.NextEra expects to build around 5 gigawatts of renewables capacity this year, and it added another 1.6 gigawatts of wind, solar and storage to its pipeline during the first quarter. None of its 2020 projects are expected to be delayed. The company also made a stunning, if not entirely surprising, prediction: It will spend $1 billion on battery projects next year. NextEra believes it will be the first company in the world to cross that threshold for energy storage investments in a single year.“Remember that as oil prices have come down, rig counts have come down in the Permian [Basin], which means there’s a lot less associated gas — which has actually helped natural-gas prices” from the perspective of renewables operators, John Ketchum, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources, said on an earnings call Tuesday. “We’ve seen a bit of an uptick [in natural-gas prices], especially recently.“When we’re out originating new renewables [deals], we really have not seen competition from gas-fired units for that reason,” Ketchum said. “They still remain in the $30-$40 per megawatt-hour range [on a levelized basis], versus wind, which is still in the teens in most parts of the country, and solar [is] in the $20-$30 range. So, it’s very, very competitive, looking at renewables versus gas-fired generation.”Batteries, too, have become increasingly competitive with gas peaker plants, Ketchum said. “There’s a significant opportunity in almost every part of the country where batteries are now more economic than gas-fired peakers, even at today’s natural-gas prices.”[Karl-Erik Stromsta]More: NextEra Energy looks to spend $1B on energy storage in 2021 NextEra expects to spend $1 billion on battery storage projects in coming yearlast_img read more

Australia to continue to support freedom of navigation in South China sea, PM says

first_imgThe US waded back into the heated South China Sea debate after almost a year of disengagement from Southeast Asia, punctuated by a snub of the ASEAN summit in November last year that saw a low-level US delegation attend – a diplomatic faux-pas that has inspired similar moves among ASEAN member states.Administered under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), of which China is a signatory, the international tribunal made the unprecedented ruling in favor of the Philippines, a claimant in the South China Sea dispute.Topics : Australia will continue to advocate “very strongly” for the freedom of navigation through the South China sea, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.”Australia will continue to adopt a very consistent position,” Morrison told a media briefing in Canberra when asked if the country backed the position of the United States on the South China Sea.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States would support countries that believed China has violated their maritime claims in the South China Sea, but stressed doing so in multilateral and legal forums.last_img read more