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49ers notes: Breida mulls resting ankle; receivers rarely spotted

first_imgClick HERE if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.SANTA CLARA — Just when it appeared the 49ers were at their healthiest since the season opener, several players exited with injuries, starting with running back Matt Breida aggravating his left-ankle sprain on his first carry.Breida fumbled on his next run, and he finished with five carries for 15 yards while giving way to Raheem Mostert and Alfred Morris. Both Shanahan and Breida said they’ll evaluate whether the …last_img read more

Registration now open for OEFFA’s Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Registration is now open for Ohio’s premier educational and networking event for ecological farmers, backyard growers, and others committed to sustainable agriculture, local food, and green living.The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 40th annual conference, A Climate for Change, will run Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton. “This year’s event features speakers and sessions dedicated to creating a climate to change agriculture,” said Renee Hunt, OEFFA program director. “Cultivating a resilient, just, and sustainable agricultural system can help farmers mitigate their climate risks, and address our global crisis.”Each year, the conference draws more than 1,100 attendees. Online registration is now open at www.oeffa.org/conference2020.OEFFA’s popular conference will feature keynote speakers including:Friday keynote speaker Laura Lengnick is an award-winning soil scientist who has explored agricultural sustainability for more than 25 years as a researcher, policy-maker, educator, author, consultant, and farmer. She is the author of Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate and founder of Cultivating Resilience.Saturday keynote speaker Eric Holt-Giménez is an agroecologist, political economist, activist, and author. He has worked extensively abroad, helping to start the Campesino a Campesino (Farmer to Farmer) Movement, and is the former Executive Director of Food First. His most recent book is Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?In addition there will be three full-day Food and Farm School class options on Thursday to provide in-depth learning opportunities:Market gardening 2.0—led Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer and author of The Market GardenerLearning from the numbers: Deepening farm financial awareness — led by author and farmer Jody PadghamWhat the hemp is going on?! A practical guide to hemp farming in Ohio — led by a team of experts on regulation, production, and marketingThis three-day event offers more than 100 hours of workshops, abundant networking opportunities in the Exhibit Hall and beyond, moments to unwind and share a drink with new friends, activities to please the whole family, and more, including:Nearly 80 90-minute workshops on topics including sustainable farming, gardening, homesteading, livestock, business management, and policy, and moreAn expanded three-day trade show featuring dozens of businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies, along with areas for large equipment displayA half day special session, Building Agricultural Resilience to a Changing Climate, with Aaron Wilson, Rafiq Islam, Vinayak Shedaker, and Alan SundermeierThe Contrary Farmers’ Social on Thursday at 2nd Street MarketThe Cream of the Crop Banquet on FridayA free FarmLink Live training and networking session on ThursdayA kids’ conference for children ages 6-12 and a playroom for young childrenLocally-sourced, from-scratch lunches; raffle; book table; book signings, and much more.OEFFA is offering a special registration rate for members who register by Dec. 12. A limited number of scholarships are available to minorities, beginning farmers, and Columbus-area farmers, along with reduced rate volunteer spaces. Online registration will be open until Jan. 27. On-site walk-in registration will also be available for an additional fee. For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2020.last_img read more

Tax Overhaul Keeps Breaks for Wind and Solar

first_imgOne reason that existing solar and wind incentives will continue, according to The New York Times, is the rising influence of the renewables industry, even among Republicans. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Dean Heller of Nevada, for example, both objected to the rollback of incentives in the House bill. Grassley may not be convinced that global warming is a problem, but Iowa gets more than one-third of its electricity from wind turbines. Heller’s home state is where Tesla is building a giant factory to make batteries for its electric vehicles.Wind and solar together accounted for about 6.5% of all U.S. electricity in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.“As wind and solar projects have soared in the U.S., in both red and blue states, so has the industry’s influence in Washington, D.C., on both sides of the aisle,” Dan W. Reicher, director of the Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford, told The Times. Expired tax credits lower salesUntil the end of 2016, consumers could take advantage of federal tax credits for energy-related improvements made to their primary homes, including heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, windows, and insulation. Those benefits have expired.Ground-source heat pumps (also called geothermal systems) had been eligible for the 30% credit, and the industry experienced a sharp decline in sales after it expired. Manufacturers were encouraged by an early version of the tax bill in the House of Representatives, which restored the credit and made it retroactive to the beginning of 2017. But in the end, the provision was not included.“It was a kick in the pants,” said Ryan Dougherty, the chief operating officer of Geo Exchange, the trade group representing the ground-source heat pump industry in the U.S.Along with other “orphan technologies” like fuel cells and small wind, the industry has been left behind, despite what Dougherty said was support from a “broad coalition” of Democrats and Republicans in Congress.The 30% tax credit was especially useful for heat pump manufacturers because it made the relatively expensive systems competitive with other HVAC options, Dougherty said by phone. When the credits were no longer available, sales fell by as much as 50%. Allowing tax credits to expire amounted to the government telling consumers the “technology is not worth your money,” he said. “It’s leaving the little guys behind. Our industry is the little guys.”Mike Bergey, president and CEO of Bergey Wind Power, a manufacturer of small wind turbines, expressed similar views. The loss of tax incentives was “pretty devastating,” he said in a call, and “completely killed” the company’s residential market. Loss of sales persuaded many of Bergey’s mom-and-pop distributors to begin selling PV modules instead of wind turbines, and rebuilding the retail network won’t be easy.Bergey found the disparity between continued tax credits for PV modules that are largely made overseas and the lack of any credit for residential wind turbine buyers in the U.S. disturbing. “It’s just not a good narrative,” he said.A sliver of good news for the small wind industry, however, is a continuing tax credit for small commercial customers, such as ranches and farms. That credit is 24% this year and will drop by 6 points per year until it’s gone. That appears to be untouched in the new tax bill. Some concerns remainOne sour note for environmentalists is the provision that will open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other Republicans have been pressing for the change for years and argue it can be done without harming the 19.6 million-acre refuge, what has been described as one of the most pristine regions in the U.S. Democrats have fought the move.Another sticking point for renewable energy advocates was the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT), a provision designed to prevent big corporations from moving their profits overseas to avoid federal taxes.The American Council on Renewable Energy had warned in November that BEAT would have “a devastating if unintended impact” on the solar and wind industries by undermining the use of renewable energy tax credits to pay for new projects.The final version of the bill, Greentech Media said, lets corporations continue using the Investment Tax Credit and the Production Tax Credit to lower taxable income, although at a lower rates.BEAT is not something, however, that residential renewable energy customers are going to spend much time worrying about. (For a detailed explainer on how BEAT works, read this.) The tax overhaul passed this week by Congress leaves tax breaks for solar and utility-scale wind projects in place, but does not restore tax credits for ground-source heat pumps and small wind turbines as those two “orphan technologies” had hoped. The Associated Press reports that the $1.5 trillion package does nothing to change tax credits for the wind and solar industries. Under terms of a bill passed in 2015, the incentives for utility-scale wind run through 2020 and solar benefits until 2022.The bill also includes a tax credit of up to $7,500 for plug-in vehicles, despite earlier attempts in the House to kill it. (If you’re interested in wading through the 560 pages of the bill, you can find it here.)Of key importance to homeowners is survival of the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar hot water systems. The ITC will drop to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. After that, the residential credit drops to zero while the commercial and utility credit goes to 10% permanently, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.While the solar industry benefits, the bill does nothing to restore tax credits that would have helped manufacturers of small wind turbines and ground-source heat pumps — a bitter pill for both of those industries. Still a ‘glimmer of hope’Dougherty sees a “glimmer of hope” in a House bill sponsored by Tom Reed, a New York Republican, that would restore tax credits for geothermal and small wind systems. But, Dougherty said, Congress is unlikely to consider stand-alone bills — that is, bills with a single purpose rather than proposals that become part of omnibus legislation — and the chance of passage at the moment looks “slim to none.”“It’s not that heavy a lift,” he said of the bill’s $2.3 billion price tag over five years. “It won’t break the bank.”But the situation appears fluid. Dougherty and Bergey were hoping to get language to restore the credits into an “extender bill” for the federal budget that could be considered in January. Bergey said he understands there’s interest in that approach, and its chance of approval could be as high as 60%.“These are tough times,” he said. “We’ve seen tough times before. We’ll come out of this OK.” RELATED ARTICLES Tax Bill Would Deal a Blow to RenewablesDeciphering the Tax Creditslast_img read more

Duke’s Zion Williamson wins AP men’s college player of the year

first_imgThe open-court moves more nimble than his 6-foot-7, 285-pound frame should allow.Even the freak occurrence of one of his feet tearing through its shoe in a fall to the court.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsHandling all that attention became maybe the biggest lesson for the freshman, who quickly became the face of college basketball and the game’s biggest star in years — then fittingly finished as The Associated Press men’s player of the year.“I was comfortable with it because you don’t really have a choice,” Williamson said in an interview with the AP earlier this week. “I think if you try to force it out, then it’s going to bother you. … My mom just told me to look at it as a lot of kids would wish to be in my position, so if it does bother me, I just think about it like that.” Williamson said there’s “obviously a high possibility” he enters the draft but he’s not ready to make anything official as he enjoys being a college student a little longer with plans on taking summer classes toward a degree.Williamson said he has no regrets, calling the season “the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”“My mom would tell me, ‘College is something you don’t want to miss out on’ because not only have I enjoyed the basketball side of coming to Duke, I’ve enjoyed being a student here just as much,” Williamson said. “The relationships I’ve built with the students here — like talking to kids I guess people wouldn’t picture me talking to, hanging out with them — it’s bigger than basketball.”VOTING BREAKDOWNZion Williamson, Duke — 59R.J. Barrett, Duke — 2De’Andre Hunter, Virginia — 1Ja Morant, Murray State — 1Cassius Winston, Michigan State — 1 DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew There was the charisma, too. He projected a self-assured ease amid the crush of postgame interviews, even routinely having walk-on Mike Buckmire join him as a wingman as though bringing his teammate into his unique orbit. “It’s been remarkable what he’s done,” said North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who recruited Williamson. “There hasn’t been many guys like that to come down the road. So the attention he’s gotten, I think he’d deserved. … He’s driven a different ship.”That February shoe blowout illustrated just how different.Williamson missed nearly six full games after injuring his knee in the fall, which had his left foot sticking through the side of his Paul George signature shoe from Nike. The bizarre image wounded Nike’s day-after stock price and had some arguing that he shouldn’t return to protect his pro stock.That was never an option for Williamson. He returned in the ACC Tournament sporting a reinforced pair of Kyrie Irving Nikes, which followed Nike representatives visiting Duke’s campus to sort out what went wrong.The unusual moments of stardom didn’t stop there, either.“Cars will be driving by (on campus) and I mean, they’ll just stop,” Williamson said with a chuckle. “In the middle of the road. And people will jump out of the car and get pictures. I’m looking at my watch, I have two minutes to get to class and my class is a five-minute walk. … I’ll look at them and they’ll be so high, I’m like, ’Yeah, I got you, I’ll take the picture.”He also frequently encountered Duke fans waiting near the practice gym for autographs.“You’ve got 20 minutes before that clock starts for practice, you’ve got like 20 people outside,” Williamson said. “You’re like, ‘I don’t think I can do this.’ So then it comes down to: do I say no? Or do I tell them to wait?“I’ve been in a lot of situations. Sometimes they understood, other times they weren’t so accepting of it. But I guess that’s part of life.” Williamson claimed 59 of 64 votes from AP Top 25 voters before the NCAA Tournament in results released Friday. Freshman teammate RJ Barrett earned two votes as a fellow AP first-team All-American, while Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Murray State’s Ja Morant each earned one vote.Williamson had hoped to be in Minneapolis preparing for Saturday’s national semifinals like Hunter and Winston. But the Blue Devils fell to Winston’s Spartans in the Elite Eight as the top overall seed.“I was just telling (teammates) don’t let nobody tell you this season was a disappointment, because people have got to understand it’s March Madness,” he said, adding: “I mean, winning the championship is not a cakewalk.”In a likely one-year college stop for a possible top overall NBA draft pick, the 18-year-old Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds while ranking second nationally by shooting 68%. He also ranked among the Atlantic Coast Conference leaders in steals (2.12) and blocks (1.79).Williamson’s play was marked by breathtaking athleticism to go by, through and over anyone to get the ball (look at his personal-favorite 360-degree dunk against Clemson or his rapid-closeout swat of Hunter’s shot at Virginia for proof).ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power gridcenter_img LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Duke freshman Zion Williamson answers questions at a news conference where he was awarded the Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year award at the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Friday, April 5, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)MINNEAPOLIS — Just about everything Zion Williamson did at Duke created a highlight or headline in a spectacle of a season.The soaring dunks.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Philippines bows to Thailand anew in Davis Cuplast_img read more