New heights reached at end of the ASCENT journey

first_img“More and more people are seeking out wild and beautiful yet fragile landscapes and the challenge of protecting these landscapes from visitor pressures is global” delegates at the ‘ASCENT to Summit’ European Conference in Dungloe were told on Wednesday.This conference which was hosted in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe marks the end of the ASCENT project which was set up to find ways to allow visitors to enjoy those landscapes, while still protecting them.Donegal County Council along with a number of regions from across Europe first embarked on this journey back in 2016 to look at sustainable management at seven unique upland sites including Errigal Mountain in Donegal. The Summit of Errigal Mountain which is one of seven unique upland sites considered as part of the EU ASCENT project looking at new ways to conserve, protect and sustain these natural sites without taking from the experience they offerLiam Ward, Director of Service Donegal County Council and Chairperson of the ASCENT Steering Committee, explained that the conference was a culmination of research and exchange of international best practice across the Northern Periphery Area of Europe.He said “Donegal County Council managed the three year project and worked with multi-region European partners whose collective experience created new ways to conserve, protect and sustain these natural sites without taking from the experience they offer”.He also acknowledged the support of the INTERREG VB Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (2014 – 2020), which allowed for the implementation of innovative measures to better manage and conserve the seven sites of natural beauty for future generations.25 delegates from across the Northern Periphery and Arctic Area of Europe travelled to Dungloe to attend the project’s closing conference on Wednesday last (26th June). European delegates attending the ASCENT to Summit Conference hosted by Donegal County Council in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on Wednesday with Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Nicholas Crossan and Donegal County Council Chief Executive Seamus Neely.Speaking at the conference An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan explained that “while this marks the end of the ASCENT journey; like all journeys its legacy will continue on the path to sustainable management”.Speaking about the work in Donegal he added “through the commitment of local, regional and national stakeholders, and the community of Dunlewey, in working with Donegal County Council, only then was it possible to find and formulate a solution for one of Ireland’s most important upland sites.”Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Nicholas Crossan launching the ASCENT Conference Report at the ASCENT to Summit European Conference in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on Wednesday.Mr Trygve Sunde Kolderup from Norwegian Scenic Hikes speaking at the ASCENT to Summit European Conference in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on Wednesday.A planning application for Habitat Restoration and Sustainable Access was approved by Donegal County Council on April 24th 2019, which allowed for trialling works to commence across two sites in most need of repair on Donegal’s highest peak.Seven people from Dunlewey and the Sliabh Liag area took part in an upskilling programme on Errigal last week learning more about the highly skilled hand built techniques required for path work ensuring that the necessary skills for upland path repair and maintenance are retained within the local community.Rosita Mahony from Donegal County Council explained that “the ASCENT project demonstrated the value of international partnerships in meeting environmental challenges, finding solutions, encouraging responsible recreation and importantly, empowering local communities to respond to future challenges.” In recognition of its contribution to managing uplands sustainably, the ASCENT project recently received an award for innovation in the Environment sector from the Association of Geographic Information (AGI) in Belfast, Northern Ireland.The conference concluded with Cathaoirleach Cllr Nicholas Crossan and the Deputy Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Cllr Terry Andrews officially launching the ASCENT Conference Report, which provides a key resource to better inform the sustainable management in European Uplands and Natural Environments.  The achievements of those who completed the upskilling programme were also formally acknowledged.Brendan O’Donnell from Dunlewey receiving training certificate from Cathaoirleach Cllr. Nicholas Crossan and Andres Arnalds at the ASCENT to Summit European Conference in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on Wednesday.New heights reached at end of the ASCENT journey was last modified: June 29th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ASCENTErrigallast_img read more

Insurance companies breaking law by not reporting suspected fraud cases – Doherty

first_imgInsurance companies have been accused of breaking the law by failing to report suspected fraudulent cases to gardaí.Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty told the companies they have a legal obligation to report suspicions of fraud, or they could face up to three years in prison.The accusations were made as representatives of Aviva, Zurich and AIG appeared before the Finance Committee. The companies were asked to detail the percentage of claims they dealt with that were fraudulent.John Farrell, head of claims at Aviva, said: “In terms of the personal injuries that we receive, approximately one in five would give rise to fraudulent claims.”He told the committee that Aviva reported about one in five suspected fraudulent claims to gardaí.Declan O’Rourke, general manager at AIG, said that out of 2,500 personal injury cases, 18% were flagged as suspicious, with 10 reported to gardaí and one leading to a conviction in court. Anthony Brennan, chief executive of Zurich, said his company had 2,700 injury claims last year, and 100 were investigated. He added that only four were reported to gardaí.Mr Brennan added: “Our fraud savings from those cases were roughly €15m, which is 6% or 7% of the total premium income.”Mr Doherty replied: “I don’t understand because you’ve got a situation where an insurance company didn’t pay out on claims that were made because you believe they were fraudulent. Only four of them were reported to the gardaí.“How does that sit with Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act, where you are under an obligation, personally, and as a company, to report suspicions of fraud to the gardaí, and failure to do so could result in up to three years imprisonment?“There is a legal obligation on insurance companies to report suspicions of fraud. “Your company has determined that there were 100 fraudulent claims made in 2018 and 96% of them you haven’t passed that information to the gardaí.Mr Farrell told the committee that in the last three years, Aviva has reported more than 500 cases to gardaí that were suspected fraudulent cases.He told the committee there is a “very real compo culture” in Ireland.The Government has faced calls to tackle the impact of rising insurance premiums and fraudulent claims. The Judicial Council Bill is expected to allow judges to recalculate damages and produce guidelines on personal injury payouts.The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission – the country’s competition watchdog – is also to carry out a major review into public liability insurance costs.Mr O’Rourke also told the committee that Ireland has had “significantly higher” personal injury awards by its courts than other European jurisdictions, with awards for minor injuries on average 4.4 times higher than the UK.He added: “Claims awards and legal costs make up the majority of insurance premiums and this is a key factor in the cost of insurance in Ireland.“The higher awards arise from a combination of factors, including the relatively high award levels for personal injury claims set out in the ‘Book of Quantum’, inconsistency of awards made by the courts, combined with a time-consuming and costly appeal process.”Aviva chief executive John Quinlan said the problems faced by the insurance market became a consumer issue from 2015.He said this arose from significant increases in customer premiums for certain segments of the market and significantly reduced availability.He added: “The business sector experienced an additional challenge in that Aviva, and indeed most of the domestic insurers, reduced capacity for certain segments of the market, for example leisure, and these were replaced primarily by UK-based insurers.“Business customers face an additional challenge – the excessive award levels have created a ‘compo culture’ that is significantly impacting the liability market in Ireland.”Mr Brennan said: “We believe this continued rise in claims costs and volatility has been the key driver of increased insurance premiums and reduced availability of cover in certain lines across the Irish market.“We cannot get away from the fact that the single biggest input into our calculation of insurance premiums is the cost of claims, insurers transfer the risk and costs of claims and we share it across our portfolio.”Insurance companies breaking law by not reporting suspected fraud cases – Doherty was last modified: October 4th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:claimsdonegalinsurance companieslawPearse Dohertylast_img read more

Answers for your food questions

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Chow Line is a service of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences that provides answers to consumers food related questions. Below are some recent consumer questions and the answers. Send your questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH, 43210-1043, or filipic.3@osu.edu.We are enjoying fresh vegetables from our garden, especially the tomatoes. But we have a disagreement about whether or not they are actually healthier than store-bought fresh or even canned tomatoes. We each think we’ve read information that contradicts the other. Who’s right? You’re both right, depending on a few factors.There are few things better than biting into a fully ripe, meaty, juicy tomato fresh-picked from the garden. And as long as it doesn’t sit around on the kitchen counter very long, you will get the peak amount of nutrition that the tomato has to offer.Homegrown vegetables have two things going in their favor over store-bought: They have a longer time on the vine, and they have a shorter time in storage and, of course, transport. Tomatoes sold at the grocery store are usually picked before they’re completely ripe so they can withstand the rigors of being boxed up and transported across the state, the country or even the ocean. Before they’re sold, they’re ripened artificially with ethylene, a gas that plants actually produce naturally. But that results in a ripeness that’s not quite the same as when you pick that love apple off the vine yourself at peak maturity. That’s when fruits and vegetables typically have the most vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.To retain the most nutrients, store your fresh produce properly. While 55 degrees F is the optimal storage temperature for tomatoes, room temperature will do, and keep them out of direct sunlight. Proper storage helps slow the respiration process. After being picked, produce continues to “breathe,” or respire, breaking down carbohydrates to use as energy and resulting in the loss of flavor and nutrients. Some types of produce, such as asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, peas and sweet corn, have higher respiration rates than others and are more perishable. Others, such as apples, garlic, grapes, onions and potatoes, have low respiration rates, allowing them to be stored for a longer time and still retain their quality. Tomatoes are in between, classified with carrots, peaches, pears, lettuce and peppers as having a moderate respiration rate.When produce is commercially canned or frozen, it is processed immediately after harvest to take advantage of the product’s peak ripeness and to lock in as many nutrients as possible. The product is then stored in a way to protect it from heat, light and oxygen, all of which naturally destroy nutrients. So, compared with “fresh” produce that may have been picked before it was fully ripe and spent days or weeks in less-than-optimal storage or transport conditions, canned and frozen versions often retain more of the original nutrients.Canned tomatoes also provide another benefit: A phytonutrient in tomatoes, lycopene, is absorbed more readily by the body from processed tomatoes than fresh. Lycopene has been associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer. So, in that way, canned tomatoes are more beneficial than fresh. When my children don’t like what’s offered for school lunch, I pack a sandwich and they carry it in a brown paper bag. My kids say most of their friends use insulated bags when they bring their lunch. Is that necessary? It depends on the sandwich. If it contains anything perishable — lunchmeat, for example — then you’re taking a risk. It may be hard to believe, but about one in six Americans gets food poisoning every year. While most cases aren’t severe enough to be reported, about 128,000 people end up hospitalized.The most frequent cause of foodborne illness, Salmonella, is responsible for about 42,000 reported cases annually, and almost half are infants and school-age children. Young children are generally more at risk than adults, so keep that in mind as you determine what to pack for lunch, and how to pack it. Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees F, so perishable foods shouldn’t be kept at room temperature for more than two hours before being eaten.Besides lunchmeat, perishable foods include eggs, yogurt, tofu, hummus, cut fruit and vegetables, and tuna, chicken or ham salad.Perishable foods may be unsafe to eat by lunchtime, so using an insulated lunch box is recommended. Include a frozen gel pack or other cold source to ensure the food will remain below 40 degrees F until your child’s lunchtime. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends using at least two cold sources in insulated packs, such as a freezer pack and a frozen bottle of water or frozen juice box. By lunchtime, the beverages should be thawed and ready to drink.If you want to avoid concern about keeping the lunch cold enough, pack only nonperishables. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a good example: Bread isn’t perishable, and neither is peanut butter or jelly. Unopened canned tuna or chicken (or other canned meat and fish) are other options. Just pack a pouch or a can with a pop-top lid along with a fork or spoon, and your kids have their main course all set. Single-serving containers of fruit and pudding that you find on grocery store shelves (not the refrigerated section) are also safe at room temperature. Other items that are shelf-stable include whole fruits with a peel (think apples, oranges, bananas, plums and grapes), hard cheese, dried fruit, nuts, chips (look for healthier options), crackers, cereal bars and pickles.It’s also important to be sure to keep things clean. Before preparing pack lunches, wash counters, cutting boards and utensils with a clean dishrag and hot, soapy water, and wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Clean the insulated box or bag with hot soapy water after each use, and don’t re-use paper bags. If you pack lunch the night before, keep it in the fridge with the lid open for proper cooling.Talk with your children about leftovers. They should be discarded, and perishable items should never be eaten at a later time. I’ve never been a fan of Nutrition Facts labels, but a friend recently mentioned that she reads them all the time, using something called the “520 rule.” What is the 520 rule? Ah, she was talking about what is known as the ”5-20 rule,” and it applies to the Daily Value percentages that are listed on the label.Basically, it’s just a quick guideline to use when you look at those percentages to determine how a food might fit into your daily dietary goals.Any nutrient listed as 5% or less of the Daily Value is considered low. Any listed as 20% or more of the Daily Value is considered high.For nutrients you want to limit, such as saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, try to choose foods with low Daily Value percentages. Foods with 5% or less would be great choices, while it would be smart to limit foods with 20% or more.For nutrients you want to get enough of, such as fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron, look for foods with 20% or more of the Daily Value. A food with 5% or less of the Daily Value for those nutrients simply isn’t a good source of them.By now, you are probably wondering, “What the heck is a Daily Value?” Simply put, the Daily Value is a generic nutrient-intake standard based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet. For key nutrients, the Nutrition Facts label provides percentages of the Daily Value that a serving of the food contributes toward the daily total.In reality, daily nutrient recommendations depend on your age and gender. However, it’s not practical to have different food labels for each individual group, so Daily Values are used instead. Still, it could be important for you to know where your needs vary.For example, the Daily Value for calcium is 1,000 milligrams, so a food with 300 milligrams of calcium in it would have a Daily Value percentage of 30%. But teenagers need 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day, and women 51 and older and men 70 and older need 1,200 milligrams a day. So, even if you consume 100% of the Daily Value of calcium, you still might not be getting enough.Sodium is similar. The Daily Value for sodium is 2,400 milligrams, but that might be too much for some people, especially those with hypertension.Daily Value percentages aren’t listed for everything on the label. For example, you won’t see a percentage for trans fats, because, basically, there is no level of trans fat that’s recommended for consumption. You should keep it as close to zero as possible.Also, a Daily Value percentage for protein is listed only when a food makes some type of claim for protein, such as a high-protein breakfast bar. In those cases, the percentage is based on a total Daily Value level of 50 grams of protein a day.Once you start examining the Daily Values, you can find yourself getting lost in a bit of a rabbit hole. But you don’t need to know all the nitty-gritty to make them useful. Just use the percentages — and the 5-20 rule — to make comparisons between foods to help you make the best choices.last_img read more

2019 Feeding Farmers | Rob Wilson, Hardin County

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest For the final week of Feeding Farmers 2019, thanks to AgriGold, the Ohio Ag Net crew traveled to Hardin County where the rains from a night-before rain were variable, just like the crop progress in the area.Rob Wilson and his family raise crops plus a bit of livestock while staying involved in the local community. Dale Minyo catches up with him on how this year has been treating their operation in this video.last_img

How An Engineering Toy For Girls Went From Kickstarter To Bestseller

first_imglauren orsini Less than a year ago, Debbie Sterling’s concept of a toy that would teach engineering skills to little girls was nothing more than a prototype on Kickstarter.Today, GoldieBlox holds the distinction as one of Amazon’s top 100 toys (top 20 as of this writing). The toy, which teaches engineering skills through the adventures of kid inventor Goldie, is available in 600 Toys “R” Us stores, and 400 other toy stores nationwide. But it’s not the sales that make Sterling proudest. Instead, it’s the messages from the parents that pour in every day. Stories about little girls that sing songs about building and engineering, or are inspired to build their own toys after playing with GoldieBlox.“My favorite story was when a mom wrote in about being in a public restroom with her daughter where the toilet paper dispenser was broken,” Sterling said. “The girl said, ‘Mommy, it’s missing its axle!’ She’d learned the vocabulary from GoldieBlox.” Disrupting The “Pink Aisle”Debbie Sterling, CEO of GoldieBloxAn engineer herself, Sterling was floored by the lack of options for little girls in what she calls the “pink aisle” of the toy store. There were “girl” versions of toys like Legos and Lincoln Logs, but they were little more than the same toys painted pink.After doing research herself, through everything from talking to little girls about their favorite toys to speaking with toy manufacturers, she settled on a prototype for GoldieBlox, a construction-and-book set for girls aged five to nine. “GoldieBlox is the best of both worlds: reading and building,” Sterling explained on Kickstarter. “It appeals to girls because they aren’t just interested in ‘what’ they’re building … they want to know ‘why.’ Goldie’s stories relate to girls’ lives. The machines Goldie builds solve problems and help her friends.”As shown in the video, kids follow along with a picture book to use the toy, wrapping ribbon around pegs in a pegboard to make a functioning machine. “In the first story, Goldie makes a belt drive,” she said. “But you can take that same toy and make a plane, a car, all kinds of things. We want to show people there are infinite ways to play with it.”Sterling loves to hear from parents about kids who take the skills they learned with GoldieBlox and apply them to all kinds of projects.“I was told about one little girl who was inspired to build a massive, multi-story dollhouse on her own out of materials around her room,” she said. “I actually designed the construction pieces to look like household objects. I was hoping to inspire a maker and tinkerer mindset.”Just The BeginningSterling designed the GoldieBlox kit in 2012, writing and illustrating the picture books herself while looking for a manufacturer to mass produce the toy. Before the Kickstarter, she invested her entire life savings into production. Luckily for her, the Kickstarter was funded in just four days. By October 2012, Sterling had over 5,000 backers and over $280,000 in funds.On the final day of the Kickstarter, Toys “R” Us contacted Sterling. This summer, GoldieBlox became available in the mega toy chain for the first time. It’s the final step in GoldieBlox’s transition from concept to commercial product. Now GoldieBlox has seven employees; Sterling serves as CEO. In advance of the holiday shopping season, Sterling’s company will launch an additional books as well as an expansion pack of parts to go with the original GoldieBlox toy. When not building her company, Sterling devotes her time and energy to conferences, talks, and lectures in schools as well as at the likes of Google, Twitter, and Microsoft. Most recently, she gave a keynote speech at Girls Who Code. “One of the best things about founding GoldieBlox is that I get to speak and go to events all the time on behalf of getting kids excited and interested in engineering,” she said. “Even though the toy targets nine-year-olds, I get to inspire people of all ages.”Photos courtesy of GoldieBlox 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts Tags:#education#Engineering#women in technology center_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

UP BJP leaders vent ire at SP MP Naresh Agrawal

first_imgA day after senior Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal made a controversial statement about Hindu gods in Parliament and later apologised, BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh filed several complaints, demanding his arrest and registration of an FIR against him for hurting their sentiments.The convenor of the BJP’s State traders’ cell, Vineet Sharda, announced a reward of ₹1.25 lakh for anyone who blackens Mr. Agrawal’s face and shaves his head. Mr. Sharda along with Mayor of Meerut Municipal Corporation Harikant Ahluwalia and other BJP workers demanded Mr. Agrawal’s arrest. Also Read Uproar over MP’s remark on Hindu gods  Later, they went to the Partapur police station in Meerut and registered a complaint demanding police action against the Samajwadi Party MP.last_img