We’ve been amazed at the reception to our gin from overseas buyers. We’re expecting our exports to grow substantially over the next few years, especially as we continue to find trusted contacts in new markets, with support from DIT. We’re very excited about the launch of Forest Whisky. We’re only the 15th distiller in England to be granted a licence to mature whisky, and to receive pre-orders at this early stage shows how highly regarded British distillers are internationally. We expect to face a few challenges as we grow our exports. The logistics of transporting our porcelain bottles is an obvious one. But support is on hand from DIT to help us connect with distribution partners that we can trust to take maximum care of our products. With the support that’s available, there’s nothing stopping others like us in the drinks business to find a footing in new markets. Husband and wife team Karl and Lindsay Bond have big plans for their new whisky brand – Forest Whisky – to help secure the firm’s future through exporting. They plan to increase their exports to constitute 90% of their total revenue in 5 years’ time.Currently, the family-run distillery’s exports make up 17% of its sales, with its gin sold in 10 countries, including Japan, China, Australia and the US. UK stockists include Harvey Nichols and their gin is available by the glass in the Virgin Trains First Class lounge in London.Interest in the new whisky brand follows repeat orders from distributors in Japan for the firm’s earl grey infused gin over the last year.Forest Gin is the only gin to have ever been awarded 2 separate Double-Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards in 2016, a competition that assesses hundreds of spirits from all over the world.Since starting operations 3 years ago, the business has leveraged worldwide demand for premium products with a clear British heritage to fuel its impressive growth. The team joined trade missions to China, Japan and the US, organised as part of the Food is GREAT campaign, a joint initiative by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to help British food and drink businesses sell their goods and services overseas. Forest Gin Distillery (c) Forest Gin While it’s the Scottish that are typically best known for their whisky exports, ambitious drinks businesses like the Forest Distillery are beginning to fly the flag for English whisky overseas. We’re also currently seeing a surge in demand for British gin from abroad, as part of a so-called ‘ginaissance’, which is the result of excellent products like Forest Gin. UK exports of gin have risen by 19% in the first half of 2018 and are predicted to reach £600 million by the end of the year. This is more than double the value exported in 2008. The US and Australia in particular are hot markets for British gin, and we’d urge any distiller to get in touch with one of our local international trade advisers to find out how they can begin or grow their trade overseas. Paul Stowers, Head of North West region at DIT, said: Founders Karl and Lindsay Bond with their daughter. (c) Forest GinKarl Bond, co-founder of the Forest Distillery said: Online support, find a buyer, and export readiness tools are available at great.gov.uk, where thousands of live export opportunities are also promoted.
LLW Repository Ltd (LLWR) has facilitated its 1,000th shipment of waste around the UK and overseas for the year in record time.The landmark figure has been achieved in quarter 3 of the financial year and marks a 30% increase on last year’s record-breaking total at the same point in the calendar.The increased pace of low level waste shipments is testament to LLWR’s success in treating or diverting waste away from disposal at the LLW Repository in Cumbria.Dave Rossiter, Head of Waste Management Services at LLWR, said: “We are diverting increasing amounts of waste, using road and rail, utilising a range of treatment, recycling and alternative disposal routes, such as appropriately licensed commercial hazardous waste landfill sites.“It’s ensuring that our people are busier than ever, arranging transports, but they are certainly up for the challenge.“Around 5% of low level waste is now disposed of at the Repository, down from 95% a decade ago, and that means we are preserving valuable capacity, removing the requirement for a second Repository, at a projected cost to the taxpayer of over £2 billion.”
Related GAZETTE: Let’s talk about the border. What’s the role the border has played in the relationship between the two countries?CARRASCO: One of the problems the border brings is that people always understood the border as a borderline, but the borderline has always been ambiguous. People who lived on both sides of the borderline understood that there was a borderland, which is a much broader territory where Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and Americans exchanged money, ideas, music, and food over hundreds of years, and therefore this borderline has never been the factor defining the culture of northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest. It has always been a frontera, or borderland, and this borderland has continued to expand. Some people say that the U.S.-Mexico borderland extends from Michoacán to Chicago. So the ambiguity of the borderline is in part what’s behind Trump’s obsession with the wall. He thinks if he can define the borderline with his wall then he can destroy the borderlands. But that’s not possible. He’s haunted by the revenge of geography.GAZETTE: What does that mean?CARRASCO: The United States and Mexico have had this surveyor’s borderline that didn’t do much to define the cultural or political geography of the two countries. Because of the long Mexican presence in the southwest of the United States, the United States has a Mexican imprint in it just as parts of northern Mexico have a U.S. imprint there. And with free trade and globalization, Mexico and the United States have a more complex, dynamic, and also contentious relationship than ever. The idea that the wall is going to divide the United States from Mexico is actually going to divide the United States itself.GAZETTE: What would be the effects of building a wall? Which of the two countries would be most affected by it?CARRASCO: A Mexican economist said recently that the Mexican president should have told Trump, “Go ahead, build the wall, and see what it does to your economy, because it’s going to cause the U.S. more pain and economic confusion than it’s going to cause us.” An immense amount of trade goes back and forth between the two countries, and we now know who benefits the most from NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement]. It’s not Mexico. The two countries must find ways to work together rather than creating this dark fantasy of Mexicans as the big threats to democracy, because they are not. The greatest threats are within the U.S. — the insatiable demand for drugs, the immense production of weapons — and that is in part what was so disgusting about Trump’s speech the other night. It was a broad brush of scapegoating some American problems onto the Mexicans.GAZETTE: Finally, are you hopeful that the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico will improve?CARRASCO: An overview of history shows that the U.S. and Mexico have periods of cooperation as well as antagonism. So there is always hope. I’m hopeful that the new demography can lead to a better democracy in the United States. As for Trump, I have to say that when I saw him on the stage in Mexico, I realized that he had a dangerous precursor. During the Spanish conquest, there was a redheaded conquistador named Pedro de Alvarado. He caught the attention of the Aztecs because of his red hair and cruelty and they called him, partly in jest, Tonatiuh, the sun god. He participated with Cortés in the war to conquer Mexico City and was one of the most boisterous conquistadores. He led one of the most brutal massacres of unarmed warriors, musicians, and artists, which is still remembered to this day in Mexico. He had a very strange end. He was trying to put down a rebellion by Indians, and during the fight, his horse fell on him and crushed him. I think that’s going to happen to Donald Trump’s campaign.This interview was edited for length and clarity. Aided by Harvard experts, officials are tackling housing, pollution, and traffic problems — and solving them The makeover of Mexico City Of the 42 million immigrants who call the United States home, more than 11 million are Mexican. They represent the nation’s largest immigrant group, after Indians and Chinese, according to the Pew Research Center. Over the past three decades, Mexican immigration has surfaced as an issue in every U.S. presidential election, but Republican candidate Donald Trump made it a pivotal part of his campaign from the start. In June 2015, Trump announced his presidential bid with a tirade against Mexican immigrants, calling them criminals and rapists and promising to build a wall along the 2,000-mile border and make Mexico pay for it. A week ago, Trump visited Mexico and displayed a softer side with President Enrique Peña Nieto. It lasted only a few hours. During a speech in Phoenix, he reclaimed his harsh position on immigration and repeated his border wall pledge. The Gazette interviewed Davíd Carrasco, the Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America, who teaches at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Extension School, and in the Department of Anthropology, about U.S.-Mexico relations and the thorny issues of immigration and the wall.GAZETTE: Donald Trump’s disparaging words against Mexican immigrants are a central part of his presidential campaign. What do these attacks symbolize in the history of U.S.-Mexico relations? CARRASCO: The relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has often been predatory. I see Donald Trump as an example of a predator in the way he posed next to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, as if he was studying his prey, and in the way he tried to dominate the stage. The very same day, Trump came back to the United States, and, in front of a national audience, he debased, demeaned, and victimized Mexican immigrants by painting them in broad brushstrokes as criminals, as dangerous, as a kind of epidemic or existential threat to the United States economy and to the American culture. As a historian of religions, familiar with predator and prey relationships, we call this a process of scapegoating, which looks for a vulnerable member of your kin group to punish for the problems in the clan or the family, and the country itself. The intensity and meanness of Trump’s language is designed to scapegoat the Mexican people for insecurities internal to the U.S. Mexicans have launched several political revolutions within Mexico, each leading to a revitalization of its deep cultural heritage and imperfect struggles in search of an improved civic well-being. They have real capacities to negotiate effectively and work as political partners. Those capacities must be nurtured and supported, not blurred by scapegoating aggressors.GAZETTE: When did the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico begin?CARRASCO: It began with the formation of New Spain, which was settled in the 16th century and 17th century. What is now the southwestern part of the U.S. was part of New Spain long before it was the United States. Between the 17th and the 19th centuries, Spaniards, Spanish-speaking mestizos [a mix of indigenous people and Spaniards], and Mexicans began to populate and shape the culture of what are now Texas, California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico. All the while, indigenous people who had occupied these lands for many centuries interacted with this Spanish-speaking population. It’s important to learn this to understand how deep the historical relationship is between Mexico and the United States.GAZETTE: It also helps us notice how old the Mexican presence in the United States is.CARRASCO: Mexicans were present here even before the United States or the colonies were being shaped. Both Mexican and Spanish-speaking presence in the United States developed way before Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Spanish was spoken here before English was even spoken in the Eastern seaboard or the territory we now call the United States. But as years went by, after about 1800, Mexicans and U.S. citizens formed a kind of kinship in the areas where they coexisted. They occupied the same territory, the same house, as it were, and they exchanged food, language, and culture, forming mixed families and often bilingual communities. So when Trump insults and degrades Mexicans, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans become defiant because many of us understand how old our presence and contributions have been in the territory of the United States.‘The idea that the wall is going to divide the United States from Mexico is actually going to divide the United States itself.’ — Davíd CarrascoGAZETTE: The relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has often been filled with mistrust and uneasiness on both sides. When did the antagonism begin? Was it when the U.S. invaded Mexico in the 1840s?CARRASCO: During the Mexican-American war, you had a struggling Mexican government located in Mexico City dealing with territories in its northern frontier that they didn’t have much control over. They ultimately yielded to occupying forces of the United States, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded half of Mexico’s territory to the United States, including Texas, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado. But by that time, there were already thousands of Mexicans living in that area with deep roots. Look at all the names: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nevada, and so forth.
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: PxhereJAMESTOWN – While the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone on edge, expecting mothers represent one group that may have more concerns than others.Those pregnant, no doubt are questioning if the new virus poses a risk to the baby.In response, a COVID-19 maternity task force has been created in New York State to urgently protect mothers and ensure women have much needed safe birthing options.The task at hand will be to authorize and certify additional birth centers to expecting mothers during the pandemic and in hopes to ease the already stressed hospitals. It is spearheaded by the Secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa and the New York State Council on Women and Girls. The task force will also review the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy in the state.“This pandemic strained our hospital system in a way no one could have ever imagined, and while New York leads in ensuring laboring mothers were able to have a healthy partner, friend or family member with them during childbirth we can and should explore additional ways to make the experience less stressful,” said DeRosa.“Birth centers can serve as a safe alternative for low risk pregnancies, reliving the strain on hospitals and providing a supportive environment for mothers during an already stressful time.”The task force is expected to make recommendations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo by the end of the week. The location of these birth centers is yet to be announced. The task force will maintain an ad hoc status throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency to address any additional issues related to COVID-19 during pregnancy through the postpartum period.
Enel Green Power breaks ground on 284MW Azure Sky solar-plus-storage project in Texas FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享NS Energy:Enel’s subsidiary Enel Green Power North America has started construction on the 284MW Azure Sky solar and storage project in Texas, US. The solar and storage project is located west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Haskell County, Texas and will have 284MW of solar along with 81MW of battery energy storage capability. The project is expected to be operational by next summer.The project will be powered by nearly 700,000 bifacial photovoltaic (PV) panels, which could generate more than 586GWh of clean energy annually. The energy produced by the facility will be delivered to the grid and will also charge the 81MW battery co-located at the facility.Enel Green Power CEO and Enel global power generation business line head Salvatore Bernabei said: “Enel Green Power is serious about storage in North America. Coming just a few months after our announcement of the Lily project, Azure Sky’s groundbreaking is yet another step forward toward a sustainable future with flexible, hybrid plants that will generate renewable power while further stabilizing power grids.”Enel has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with The Home Depot, a home improvement retailer in the US, to sell a portion of 75MW from the Azure Sky project. The amount of energy will be enough to power more than 150 Home Depot stores. The PPA is part of Home Depot to produce or procure 335MW of clean energy as per its 2020 Responsibility Report.Last month, Enel had started operations at the second phase of its Roadrunner solar plant in Upton County, Texas, with a capacity of 245MW. With the second phase coming online, the overall capacity of Roadrunner solar plant has now reached 497MW.More: Enel begins construction on 284MW solar and storage project in U.S.
My dog is a bit of a brute. At 100 pounds and more athletic than most humans could ever dream to be, Rodney the Weimaraner has a ripped physique and an impressive bark to match. He runs on heel or pulls on command, a hook-up for power on skis in the wintertime and a running partner by my side all year ’round.Living and getting out daily with a “fitness dog” like Rodney necessitates specialized equipment, and over the years I have acquired custom canine gear, fleece doggie jackets, and even fashionable items for workaday walks when I want my dog to stand out from the proverbial pack.The latest “fashion piece” for Rodney is a collar called the Kahuna. Made by Stunt Puppy, a Minnesota dog-gear brand, the oversize collar uses webbing that’s 1.5 inches wide and comes with funky patterns as well as stout construction for the big dogs it’s built to adorn.The Kahuna, which costs $25, is a collaboration with Croakies, a company most known for its sunglasses straps. Stunt Puppy worked with Croakies for its expertise in making high-strength nylon webbing that looks good, and the thick collar is offered in six colorful prints.On the performance side, once the snow falls you’ll find Rodney showing off his X-Back Dog Harness from Skijor Now LLC. The company requires you to perform multiple measurements of your dog’s body before it custom-stitches the X-Back, a harness built for pulling humans around on skis.I got the X-Back five years ago and it has endured many miles of Rodney’s worst. We fly on skis, and he never grimaces because the harness’ padded straps align to his anatomy like a glove. At $39.99, the Skijor Now harness is a bargain for any dog put into the pulling position on snow.Dog park visits see Rodney wearing a collar with a built-in retractable leash. The Release N Run collar has a thin cord that serves as the leash — it pulls out of a slim compartment on the collar. A reeling mechanism retracts the cord instantly back into its hidden place when you let go.For dog parks and wild areas where you rarely need a leash, the Release N Run collar, at $32.95, is a great option. The retracting cord is four feet long, and it is fine for casual walks when you’d rather leave your primary leash behind.Toys keep Rodney entertained at home when he can’t be running. This summer, the Orbee Ball from Planet Dog has been a favorite. Touted as the “world’s best dog ball,” these rubbery spheres come in four sizes and cost $7 and up.The Orbee Balls are nearly indestructible for chewers. They bounce and are somewhat soft for safety while tossing. Best part? The balls float, letting Rodney and I play by water and not worry about his favorite new toy sinking in the creek where he swims. –Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com. Connect with Regenold at Facebook.com/TheGearJunkie or on Twitter via @TheGearJunkie.
Your outdoor news bulletin for June 10, the day Benjamin Franklin’s kite was struck by lightning:Teen Attempts A.T. RecordLike many others, Neva Warren of Florida has a 35-pound pack, a trail name (Chipmunk), and is attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail from South to North. Unlike other thru-hikers tackling the trail this summer, Warren is only 14-years old, and if she completes her journey she will become the youngest solo thru-hiker in the history of the trail. WDBJ7 caught up with the youngster on her way through Craig County, Virginia, roughly a third of the way through the 2,100 mile trek. Inspired by a family trip to Shenandoah National Park, Warren says she trained mainly on flat ground, but has been steadily racking up more and more miles as the hike has progressed. Her family has been meeting her at trailheads although she has spent a few extended stretches in the backcountry. Favorite part of the trail: the wild ponies of the Grayson Highlands of course.You can read more about Chipmunk’s quest on her blog.Man Airlifted Off Trail in Pa.Speaking of the Appalachian Trail, a man was rescued off the trail outside Allentown, Pennsylvania, after falling nearly 100 feet down an embankment. A man described to be in his early 20s was airlifted to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries following a coordinated rescue effort from multiple agencies in the area. The trail is apparently heavily traveled and injuries are not uncommon according to officials. The man had been hiking with friends when he fell around 9 p.m. Be careful out there, especially when hiking near 100 foot banks at night.Climate Record BrokenAnd speaking of breaking records, the global carbon dioxide emissions from energy rose to a record high in 2012. A report from the International Energy Alliance says the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions ros 1.4 percent in 2012, to a record high of 31.6 billion tons. Perennial Pollution Powerhouse China saw the biggest jump from 2011 to 2012, although the acceleration of emissions has slowed. The United States and Europe both posted falling carbon emissions from 2011 to 2012, so kudos to us. This is still bad news for the country and world though as IEA found the world to be on track for a 6-10 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature, higher than the maximum 3.6 degree rise deemed sustainable.
Another year of Trail Mix has come and gone.I’ve lost count as to how long we have been doing this, but I think we are just about at year ten. This year was as good, if not better, than any of them. Twelve incredible collections of music, some 250 artists and songs, all brought to you by the generosity of the folks making the music.This last blog post of 2018 showcases Tulsa, Okalahoma, roots rockers Wilderado. The band, whose previous recorded work has garnered international praise, took an unusual turn in recording and releasing their latest EP, choosing to return to the songs on Favors, a collection of songs released earlier this year, to reinterpret and record them acoustically.While the original edition is rich with slick studio production, nothing gets lost on the bare bones, acoustic approach to the songs on Favors. The ethereal harmonies remain, and there is a hypnotism in the reduction of each song down to its acoustic core.I recently caught up with singer/guitarist Max Rainer to chat about resolutions, revisiting these songs on the new EP, and Christmas gifts that make your mama cry.BRO – What provided the impetus to return to these songs and record them acoustically?MR – We started playing on Triple A radio with this song. They like to have you come in and do live sessions. Usually they’re early in the morning and in small rooms, so we decided to try and play the songs in a way that better for the atmosphere. I believe we did “Siren” first, then adapted the others. It was honestly some of the most fun writing I’ve ever done. We all have a soft spot for the pretty stuff.BRO – You and the band have three EPs behind you now. Plans for a long player in the works?MR – We do have plans for an LP. More than anything, and with today’s streaming format, we focus on writing and releasing music.BRO – Best Christmas gift you ever gave?MR – I had a good streak going of making my mom cry with my Christmas gifts to her. I can’t really remember what they were, but I remember the requirement being the gifts should make her emotional. One was a small clay rabbit, if that gives you any insight into the situation.BRO – We are featuring “Sorrow” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?MR – More than anything, “Sorrow” is about getting to know the other side of joy, its opposite. The other bits are about not letting moments of sadness define you, while accepting the fact that they will come and go. Who cares? Sit through it and look around, ya know?BRO – 2019 is upon us Got a resolution for the new year?MR – We really want to feel like we got better at writing and performing. I would love to have a rockin’ six pack, too. And whiter teeth. Way more hair and a defined jaw line.Wilderado’s tour schedule is pretty quiet until March, when they hit the road for a whole bunch of dates across the country supporting Mt. Joy. Fans in the Southeast who want to see the band need to put Shaky Knees Music Festival on the calendar, as Wilderado will be hitting that Atlanta festie in early May.For more information on Wilderado, when the band will hit a stage near you, or how you can grab a copy of the new EP, please check out the band’s website.And be sure to check out “Sorrow,” along with tracks from The Travoltas, Ryley Walker, Trapper Schoepp, and many more on this month’s Trail Mix.Tune back in soon for the first Trail Mix of 2019!
The annual American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Vehicle Finance Conference and Expo took place in February in Las Vegas. The event hosted more than 250 members of the auto finance industry, from lenders to auto executives to technology providers. Presenters discussed the latest business trends and innovations in auto finance, as well as changing consumer demands and expectations.Technology, Operational Excellence, and Customer SatisfactionDRN introduced a session in which industry experts shared perspectives on the rapid change in technology and the impact on the auto finance space. The team discussed how ever-changing technology can improve operational excellence (and who doesn’t want to do that?).Four keys to improving operational excellence:Eliminate: Stop doing things that don’t add value continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The £2bn (€2.5bn) United Utilities Pension Scheme has allocated 7.5% to private debt after the fund’s triennial valuation revealed the scheme’s improved probability of reaching full funding by 2020.Sponsored by the FTSE 100 water supplier, United Utilities, the defined benefit (DB) plan had as much as 60% in growth assets in 2011 before trimming back in a bid to reduce investment risk.Aided by an internal inflation hedging mechanism, the scheme now holds 80% of its assets in a liability matching portfolios, which it told IPE would be diversified even further give the expected positive funding news.However, the fund said despite also looking at real estate and infrastructure assets, it chose a pooled fund which allocates to real estate and infrastructure debt, alongside private loans. Steven Robson, head of pensions at United Utilities, told IPE the £150m allocation to the debt vehicle was funded by cutting exposure to synthetic equities, corporate bonds and other alternatives.“We see infrastructure and real estate debt as a better option to holding real assets because the debt fund is backed by collateral and felt it was better than the actual asset classes,” Robson said.“It’s the ‘looking for slightly better returns for a similar level of risk’ argument.“We haven’t gone to try and shoot the lights out, but a more certain return and aiming to capture the illiquidity premium.”Robson also said given the fund’s performance from its reduced investment risk and 90% interest rate hedging, it had begun to reduce its reliance on an inflation hedging mechanism.After its 2010 valuation, the scheme agreed an arrangement with its sponsors by which it increased its exposure to inflation risk in return for company contributions to fluctuate based on real inflation levels.It set the fund’s inflation liability projections at an annual increase of 2.75%, well below the market rate of 3.8%.This reduced the fund’s projected liabilities, which allowed the team to take advantage of lower required investment returns by decreasing investment risk and increasing interest rate hedging.In return for the reduced risk in the fund, the sponsor agreed to make cash payments into the scheme to match real liability increases from inflation.Water suppliers in the UK see their revenue increased by inflation each year as part of the agreement reached at privatisation, meaning United Utilities’ revenue would increase by the same proportion as scheme contributions.However, Robson said the scheme was now increasing its inflation expectation to 3%, still below long-term expectations, but reduces the fund’s reliance on the company covenant.In addition, Robson said given the performance of interest rate hedging, and reduced investment risk, the fund was now more likely to be fully funded on a technical basis by 2020.“But that is not the true end game, Robson said. “The end game is fully-funded on a self sufficiency basis, and we are looking at putting a second trigger in place to see how we can get there by a slightly later date.”“Nothing is off the table,” he added.