Protect the pollinators

first_imgYou may be suffering like I am from the over-abundance of pollen. Before you curse the air as you pop in another anti-histamine, remind yourself to be thankful for that pollen. It helps provide the food, fiber and many other products we use every day. Although many plants are self-pollinating or wind-pollinated, many more rely on insects and animals for pollination. Unfortunately for many of those pollinators, research shows that the health and populations of many pollinator species are declining. You can use your garden and landscape as a haven for pollinators and provide valuable habitats and food sources while helping promote the pollination of important crops.Flowering plants need pollinatorsOf the more than 250,000 different flowering plants species known to exist, 90 percent require insects, birds, bats or other organisms to act as pollinators. These pollinators are important for the following reasons: they play a significant role in producing more than 150 food crops in the United States (including apples, almonds, peaches, soybeans and even kiwi); they pollinate the alfalfa and clover crops that feed many of our nation’s meat and dairy animals; and they help produce important medicines and more than half the fats and oils in our diet. It has been said that every third bite of food we eat comes from a plant that depends on insect pollinators. Pollinators also help maintain and increase biodiversity while creating more food for wildlife. We tend to think that plants only need sunlight, food and water to survive, but for many of our plants, pollinators are just as critical.Insects are our most abundant pollinating organisms. There are more than 100,000 varieties of insects that serve as pollinators, including bees, moths, butterflies, beetles and even flies. Bees are one of the most regarded and known pollinators. There are more than 3,500 species of native ground-nesting twig-nesting bees and wasps in the U.S. The bumblebee is one common native bee that is especially good for pollinating blueberries and tomatoes. The honeybee was brought from northern Europe for the honey and wax they produce, but they play a pivotal role in pollinating our nation’s crops. In the U.S., the added value to agriculture from honeybee pollination is around $15 billion annually. Many pollinators are threatenedProviding suitable habitats for pollinators is important because more than 50 pollinator species in the U.S. are listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Researchers believe that a combination of habitat loss, overuse or misuse of pesticides and introduction of exotic parasites, such as the Varroa mite, are to blame for the decline in honeybee and other pollinators’ populations. Home gardeners and landscapers can provide pollinator-friendly gardens to preserve pollinator populations. Do this by adding pollinator-attracting plants from the following list:Trees and shrubs: American beautyberry, pawpaw, redbud, yaupon, yellow poplar, Southern magnolia and sassafras.Herbaceous perennials: purple coneflower, phlox, black-eyed Susan and goldenrod.Vines: crossvine, trumpet creeper and American wisteria.These are only a few of the plants that can help provide sanctuary and food for pollinators. More detailed information is available at your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office. Ask for a list of the “25 Garden Plants that Attract Pollinators.”last_img read more

Using the Windows 10 update to enhance the ATM experience

first_imgNearly a third of Americans visit the ATM at least once a week.1 Even after 50 years, ATMs continue to be an important self-service channel between credit unions and members looking to deposit checks, withdraw cash or check their balance.Research from Mercator Advisory Group shows that while members value the convenience of ATM locations and surcharge-free access the most when it comes to ATMs (both of which they receive as part of the CO-OP ATM network), as technology evolves they are wanting more from the ATM experience.2At the same time, an important industry mandate is fast approaching that will have significant impact on the world of ATMs. Beginning January 14, 2020 credit unions that have not upgraded their ATMs to the Windows 10 operating system will no longer have access to security updates, security patches, non-security hotfixes, free or paid support options and online technical content updates supported by Microsoft.But Windows 10 isn’t just about security and PCI-compliance; the upgrade is designed to equip your ATMs to support the features your members expect and to respond to the video- and app-based platforms of the future. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

In Texas, an Emerging Problem for Democrats on the Border

first_imgMr. Trump defeated Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Texas, winning a more narrow victory than he had in 2016 but winning nonetheless. Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, won re-election. Wendy Davis lost again, one of several Democrats who tried and failed to grab Republican-controlled congressional seats. A push to flip the Texas House foundered, as Republicans held on to their majority. – Advertisement – Many residents in this part of Texas have strong Christian, anti-abortion, pro-gun and back-the-blue views that put them more in line with conservatives than liberals, and in Zapata, there is a strong sense among his supporters that Mr. Trump will bring jobs to the economically struggling region.In a brief exchange during the final presidential debate, Mr. Biden had said he would “transition from the oil industry” because of its pollution, a remark that did not go unnoticed by Zapata residents, including Yvette Gutierrez De Leon, 56, who is a secretary for an oil-field services company and who voted for Mr. Trump.“At the end of the day, in the little bit of oil field that is still left, if it goes away tomorrow our county will go away,” Ms. De Leon said. “Oil is all we have here.”Isela Gonzalez-Lindquist, 42, a saleswoman at a Laredo mattress store, said she voted for Mr. Trump even though she was opposed to his plans to extend the border wall in the area, because she believed it would hurt wildlife and infringe on the rights of property owners.“I want to convey that he is not perfect and we know that, but he is the best candidate for the job,” she said. “I like Trump’s grit and that he’s not a career politician.”James Dobbins reported from Zapata, and Manny Fernandez from Houston. David Montgomery contributed reporting from Austin, Texas. ZAPATA, Texas — Democrats spent years focusing on how they could finally win Texas. But since Tuesday’s election, they have been wrestling with a more pressing question: How did they lose Zapata County?In the reliably Democratic and majority-Hispanic stronghold of South Texas, Zapata County, population 14,179, had never been a political bellwether. It is a largely rural border community on a narrow stretch of the Rio Grande between Laredo and McAllen, home to oil-field workers and one of the highest poverty rates in Texas.- Advertisement – Mitt Romney lost Zapata County in 2012 by 43 percentage points. Donald J. Trump lost it in 2016 by 33. Ted Cruz lost it in 2018 by 26. On Tuesday, President Trump reversed many years of political history, including his own, and won Zapata County by 5 percentage points. “Why should I apologize for it? I’m not going to apologize anymore. Just because the president wants people to come into the country the right way, it doesn’t make him a racist. He’s not a racist and neither am I.”- Advertisement – Mexican-American families have called Brownsville, McAllen, Edinburg and other Rio Grande Valley cities home not for years but for generations. They identify with their Mexican roots just across the river but identify just as strongly with America. At the formal southern line of the nation, patriotism intensifies, and many an American flag waves in yards and on porches. Young Mexican-American men and women eagerly sign up to become Border Patrol agents. Often, their older relatives and neighbors worked for Border Patrol, and they are proud to do so, too, ignoring the perception of the agency among immigrant families elsewhere in the country. Many Trump voters in Zapata know one another, and they have formed an unofficial booster club and support group. It includes Ricardo Ramirez, 51, the president of a local bank branch, and Jack Moore, 45, an oil-field construction worker who said the Democrats of 50 years ago “are not the same Democrats today.”center_img These working-class and middle-class Mexican-Americans feel compassion for the Central American migrants who have been flooding the border off and on since 2014. Volunteering at migrant shelters and donating clothes and food have become Valley traditions. But many view those migrants as outsiders. The Hispanic migrant in a shelter and the Hispanic longtime Valley resident are culturally and economically disconnected. Texas is more politically and culturally complex than any one poll or election can capture. There were Houston oil-and-gas workers who voted for Mr. Trump, but many in the industry voted for Mr. Biden. There were longtime Democrats who, on the same ballot, voted for Mr. Biden and Mr. Cornyn. The president may have won Zapata County, but Mr. Cornyn lost it.If there is any one force determining how Texans vote, it is neither party nor politics. It is something that resists party labels but has helped transform Texas from a place to a cause — an ideology disguised as a brand disguised as a state. It is a cliché to say Texas is filled with mavericks, but the whole notion of mavericks belongs uniquely to Texas — the word comes from the surname of a Texas rancher and lawyer who left his calves unbranded in the late 1800s, Samuel A. Maverick.At first glance, Mr. Biden’s support in most of South Texas appears solid. He carried all four of the counties that make up the Rio Grande Valley region, next door to Zapata County. But a closer look reveals the emerging Democratic challenge on the border. Mr. Trump broadened his support in all four, plus in other border counties. In one of those communities, rural Starr County, Mrs. Clinton won in 2016 by 60 percentage points. On Tuesday, Mr. Biden carried it by just five.South Texas has long been a place where a lot of people are politically liberal but culturally conservative. The flipping of Zapata County was one of many Republican victories in a state that Mr. Trump carried. But it stunned Democrats and reflected their enduring struggle in the country’s largest conservative-led state. Not only do Democrats have a problem surging forward, they may be going backward in places.“When I was running, I’d get 85 percent in Zapata County — and Trump carried it,” said Garry Mauro, 72, a Democrat and former state land commissioner who was the chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign in Texas in 2016. “The idea that Trump, who has been so overtly racist about Hispanics in particular, was able to do so well has got to be a failure of our party not having a message.”In the postelection aftermath, a changing Texas remained largely unchanged.- Advertisement – Updated Nov. 7, 2020, 4:37 a.m. ET “When I would tell people I helped a friend sell air fresheners in the shape of Trump’s head, I would apologize because I supported Trump,” said Anna Holcomb, 55, a Latina and former oil-field administrative assistant who lives in Zapata, the county seat. Mr. Trump’s support in that context was not surprising.“I believe that many Mexican-Americans who ordinarily vote Democratic are attracted to his personality,” said State Senator Judith Zaffirini, a Democrat who is Mexican-American and whose district includes Zapata County. “He’s very strong here. I don’t find him appealing but I’m fascinated by his appeal to so many Texans.”The town of Zapata lies along five traffic lights on Highway 83.Halloween decorations, hay bales and pumpkins were still up on a highway plaza in the aftermath of the election this week. Payday loan, auto parts and pawn shops outnumber gas stations and restaurants. The gentle western slope down to the Rio Grande gives residents spectacular sunsets and views of Mexico. In town and on the more rural roads around the county, where Border Patrol agents can be seen on hilltops gazing through binoculars across the river, there were an equal number of Trump signs and Biden signs.Two of the few orchestrated Trump events in Zapata happened in September, when stickers and signs were handed out at a local restaurant and a “Trump Train” caravan rode through town.But they did not draw huge crowds, and even now, some people who supported him said they feared retaliation for speaking out.last_img read more

Ralph A. Evans

first_imgRalph A. Evans, 69, of Aurora, Indiana, passed away Saturday January 4, 2020 in Lawrenceburg, IN.He was born April 18, 1950 in Batesville, IN, son of the late Ralph H. Evans and Eloise (Schipper) Evans.Ralph graduated from Aurora High School and attended Purdue University. He left college to join the Navy. Ralph served as a Petty Officer Third Class on the USS Santa Barbara. He worked as a Loan Officer for People’s Savings & Loan, retiring after over 25 years of service. He worked in real estate for many years prior to his banking career. He was a former member of the River City Classic Car Club. He had an old blue pick up truck that he displayed at the events. He enjoyed woodworking and made different types of furniture, such as, tables, cabinets, beds, and pedestals. Ralph loved being outdoors in nature, enjoying the solitude. He had a farm with land and a pond. Ralph was always mowing or finding a job to do outside. He also loved his dogs, that he had throughout the years.Ralph is survived by his sister, Sharon Ann Cross of Aurora, IN; brother-in-law, Cecil “Joe” Martin of Sebring, FL; nephew, Randy (Meg) Cross of Lawrenceburg, IN; nieces, Amy (Paul) Hohenadel, and Angela Martin; great nieces and nephew, Savannah Cross, Nathan Cross, Chelsey Grubbs, Cassandra (Jordon) Busse, Afton Hohenadel.He was preceded in death by parents; sister, Georgette L. Martin, and niece, Deborah Ann Elizabeth Grubbs.Friends will be received Thursday, January 9, 2020, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Rullman Hunger Funeral Home, 219 Mechanic Street, Aurora, Indiana.Services will be held at the Funeral Home, Thursday at 7:00 pm with Fr. Ben Syberg officiating. Military services will be at held at the funeral home.Interment will be at a later time in the River View Cemetery, Aurora, Indiana.Contributions may be made to the Aurora Fire, Aurora Rescue Unit or St Mary’s Catholic Church. If unable to attend services, please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more