The West Point Townhall Construction Project held its first board meeting Friday, April 4, at the new Evelyn’s Restaurant in Sinkor.Representatives of the township of West Point in the persons of the Commissioner, elders and governors of the various ethnic groups, the European Union, architects and patrons of the project were in attendance.After welcome remarks by West Point Commissioner, H. Miatta Flowers, and an overview of the project by Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, whose brain child the project is, a corp of officers was elected as follows:Mr. Charles A. Minor, Interim Board ChairMr. Amos Sie-Snowie, Kru Governor of West Point, Vice ChairThe European Union, TreasurerMs. Nelly S. Cooper, representing the women of West Point, Vice TreasurerMs. Lindiwé N. Khumalo, Board SecretaryMr. Isaac T. Roberts, Chaplain of the boardMr. Kenneth Y. Best, Sr. and West Point Commissioner H. Miatta Flowers, PatronsLead project architect, Mr. Adolphus McCritty, gave the board an overview of the design of the building, allaying fears that based on the beach front location designated for the town hall, the building might be undermined by sea erosion. McCritty explained that the structure has been designed like that of a bridge to withstand water the force of a tsunami. The building, he said, will have a finished floor 18 feet above sea level as well as four via ducts for water to pass through.Partnering with Mr. McCritty as an architect on the town hall construction project, Mr. F. Augustus Caesar explained to the board that in order to circumvent land ownership issues, the elders of West Point had designated two acres of land for the people’s use. No transfer of ownership is being requested or required. A declaration prepared by a lawyer will be signed by the elders of West Point, attested to by Commissioner Flowers and submitted to the Ministry of Public Works.While the building itself would not require the demolition of houses, some West Point home owners may have to make sacrifices to make way for an access road to the site, Caesar said.Construction is scheduled to begin after soil tests have been completed. The project has been estimated at US$1.5 million. The actual size of the building, the architects explained, will be dependent upon the amount of funds raised.Two financial institutions, the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment and Afriland First Bank, have been designated by the board, and signatories authorized.Supporters and friends of the project wanting to give to the project may deposit funds of any amount into the project’s escrow account currently set up at LBDI. An online portal will, in short order, be set up for overseas-based supporters wishing to make donations to the construction of a town hall for the township of West Point. All supporters making donations of any amount to this cause will have their names engraved on the wall of the building upon completion.The West Point Townhall Project was launched on Saturday, October 27, marking the 75th birth anniversary of Kenneth Y. Best, publisher and managing director of the Daily Observer newspaper.Mr. Best said he wished no celebration for himself but, with the assistance of family, friends and well wishers, to reach out to the people of West Point, from where the Observer got its first front page story at its launching on February 16, 1981. The story was headlined, “West Point Dwellers Are Angry”.The board expresses its thanks to all who have already contributed to the project and calls upon all well-meaning Liberians, especially those whose peoples constitute the township of West Point, to give charitably to this most worthy cause.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As the 19th Biennial Delegates Congress of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) continued on Saturday at the Party’s Headquarters Congress Place, Sophia, plans were discussed for the PNC’s upcoming 60th anniversary.PNCR General Secretary Oscar Clarke during his presentation informed the gathering about the plans for the anniversary which will be on October 5, 2017.A section of the gathering at the opening of the CongressIt was announced that a Special Congress would be the centre-piece of the celebrations which will include a number of other activities at the central and regional levels.Clarke in his address also delivered the General Secretary’s Report, informing of the state of the PNCR, the work of the Party’s Secretariat and the major activities during the review period.Addressing the signing of the Cummingsburg Accord on the 14th February 2015 between the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC), the General Secretary said “our decision was a correct one and indeed is the correct one for the future of our Party and…in-spite of our differences our coalition administration have begun to work together to solve the myriad problems which we inherited…”During the first session which was chaired by Party Vice Chairman, Dr George Norton, a moment of silence was observed in remembrance of party members who died over the last biennium.There was a plenary during the second period of the morning session chaired by Party Chairman Basil Williams.The plenary examined the Chairman’s welcome address, the Party Leader’s address and the General Secretary’s Report.The 19th Biennial Congress passed a motion for the establishment of a resource centre for the preservation of works by former and future leaders of the People’s National Congress Reform.Six hundred and twenty-five (625) delegates and two hundred and seventy-five (275) Observers from one hundred and forty (140) groups are in attendance.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says he only sold Sandro to QPR as he needed to reduce the size of his squad.The Brazilian left White Hart Lane for Loftus Road in a £10million deal on deadline day, with many Spurs fans upset the club had decided to sell one of their most popular players.But Pochettino says he had to allow the 25-year-old to leave as his squad was too large and unmanageable, rather than as a reflection on Sandro himself.“You need to take a decision,” he said.“It is true that we have a bigger squad and needed to reduce our squad – in these moments you need to make a decision but this is football.” 1 QPR midfielder Sandro
The San Fernando Valley is home to some of the nation’s leading specialty medical facilities. Among them is the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital, which treats patients flown in from as far away as Japan and Afghanistan for burn treatment and therapy. Northridge Hospital Medical Center specializes in rehabilitation and treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries. Last year, Northridge became one of only about 100 hospitals nationwide to offer a state-of-the-art Gamma Knife Center that uses gamma radiation – rather than traditional surgery – to treat lesions or tumors in the brain. The outpatient procedure targets specific areas of the brain to preserve healthy tissue. It is performed without a single cut and patients need not shave their head. The cost is about 25 percent less than for traditional methods, with patients having little discomfort and a shortened recovery time. Patients even bring CDs to listen to during treatment. Patient Claudette Sieger, 75, of Porter Ranch gets ready for her Gamma Knife treatment at Northridge Hospital Medical Center as her medical team monitors the procedure. Photo by Tina Burch / Staff Photographer AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 “In many instances, it’s much safer than doing open surgery,” said Dr. David Huang, a radiation oncologist who helps perform Gamma Knife treatment at Northridge Hospital. Both Northridge and Providence Holy Cross Medical Center are part of Los Angeles County’s trauma-care network, which treats the most critical cases. West Hills Hospital and Medical Center plans to expand its emergency department, intensive care unit, and outpatient services facility beginning in April. The project, which will add 47,000 square feet to the hospital, is set for completion in 2008. West Hills Hospital specializes in cardiovascular health, oncology and critical care services. Many of the Valley’s hospitals also have wellness classes and support groups. For example, Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center has a Diabetes Care Center that offers services for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The program includes support groups. Here is a list of major hospitals in the Greater San Fernando Valley: • Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center 16237 Ventura Blvd., Encino; (818) 995-5000. Tarzana, 18321 Clark St.; (818) 881-0800. Women’s Resource Center (parenting and childbirth), (800) 779-6636. • Glendale Adventist Medical Center, 1509 Wilson Terrace, Glendale; (818) 409-8000. • Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, 1420 S. Central Ave., Glendale; (818) 502-1900. • Kaiser Permanente Foundation Hospital, 13652 Cantara St., Panorama City; (818) 375-2000. • Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, 5601 De Soto Ave., Woodland Hills; (818) 719-2000. • Mission Community Hospital-Panorama, 14850 Roscoe Blvd., Panorama City; (818) 787-2222. • Northridge Hospital Medical Center, 18300 Roscoe Blvd., Northridge; (818) 885-8500. • Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, 14445 Olive View Drive, Sylmar; (818) 364-1555. • Pacifica Hospital of the Valley, 9449 San Fernando Road; Sun Valley, (818) 767-3310. • Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, 15031 Rinaldi St.; Mission Hills, (818) 365-8051. • Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, 501 S. Buena Vista St.; Burbank, (818) 843-5111. • Sherman Oaks Hospital and Health Center, 4929 Van Nuys Blvd.; Sherman Oaks, (818) 981-7111. • Valley Presbyterian Hospital, 15107 Vanowen St., Van Nuys; (818) 782-6600. • Verdugo Hills Hospital, 1812 Verdugo Blvd., Glendale; (818) 790-7100. • West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, 7300 Medical Center Drive, West Hills; (818) 676-4000.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The rallying world has been paying tribute to multiple time Donegal International Rally champion Manus Kelly, who died in a tragic rally crash at age 41 on Sunday.Kelly was named as the competitor killed following a crash at the Donegal International Rally.Kelly, 41, is survived by his wife Bernie and their five children. Kelly’s co-driver Donall Barrett was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.Kelly lost his life as a result of a horror crash as he competed in this year’s Donegal International – an event he won in each of the previous three years.The tragedy occurred about midway in the Fanad Head stage at a place called Baile na Brocar a relatively short distance from a hairpin right.The Hyundai i20 R5 Kelly was driving left the road during special stage 15, Fanad Head, the first of six stages planned for Sunday afternoon, the final day of the three-day event. Kelly, a prominent businessman and Donegal County Councillor, was an extremely popular competitor on the Irish rallying scene.Manus lived in Glenswilly close to Gartan, where a stage of the rally was run on Saturday and was regarded as his home stage.Tributes have been flowing in on social media for the late Kelly who was described as ‘gentleman’, ‘top class competitor’ and a ‘huge loss to the community’.Tributes pour in for rally legend Manus Kelly was last modified: June 23rd, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)
After nine years of work, three universities including a team at Rockefeller University completed a beautiful new model of the nuclear pore complex. The story is told by Science Daily. The article attributed the origin of this exquisite gatekeeper of the nucleus to evolution: “their findings provide a glimpse into how the nucleus itself first evolved,” the article says. How can this be? The article claims that eukaryotic cells split off from the prokaryotes “when they developed a nucleus and other specialized organelles that allowed them to compartmentalize different aspects of cellular metabolism.” This language suggests some kind of plan or intention – certainly not what neo-Darwinian theory allows. Nevertheless, Michael Rout of Rockefeller continued the language of planning and purpose as he described himself visualizing an evolutionary progress from earlier structures: “We think that once the cells gained this coating complex, they ran with it and started to duplicate it and specialize it.” As for a mechanism that could generate complexity from simplicity, Rout invoked a kind of copying and tinkering algorithm: “Evolution is a process of duplication and divergence,” he said. Because the nuclear pore complex contains multiple copies of similar structures arranged like a wheel, he thinks this is evidence they must have formed by gene duplication, even though wheels are usually built by intelligent agents:He and his colleagues saw clear evidence of this when they color-coded the proteins in the pore. One method of color coding revealed alternating stripes, like spokes on a wheel: For every protein, there was another one that looked quite similar. Color coding a different way showed the same pattern in the pore’s outer and inner rings, one of which appears to be a slightly modified duplication of the other. These are evidence of duplication events, Rout says, showing that the evolution of the complicated nuclear pore was a more straightforward affair than previously thought. “It’s made of many different variations of a theme of just one unit.”In music, “Theme and Variations” pieces are usually ascribed to intelligent composers. Strangely, as Rout continued describing the nuclear pore complex, his language shifted. He began talking less about unguided processes, and more about engineering and detective work:The nuclear pore is the communication device that the nucleus uses to communicate with the rest of the cell. And if you don’t understand how that works, you don’t understand a key part of how the cell works. And if you don’t understand that, you can’t completely understand how cancers work or how a single cell turns into a human being, or how a single grain of wheat turns into a whole crop. You have to see the cell as a machine and understand all of its parts.No attempt was made in the article to reconcile the apparently contradictory forms of description.We need a new word to describe evolutionary biologists who talk like intelligent fools. Everything they observe requires intelligent design and looks like intelligent design, but they glibly describe them as coming about from stupid, blind processes. Somebody provide us a one-word concoction that encapsulates the apostle Paul’s description, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Wait: there is such a word – “sophomore.” (Apologies to all second-year students.) How about sophoxymoroniac? Perfect.Sophoxymoroniac, definition: a sophomoric (wise-fool) scientist with a mania for speaking in oxymorons (wise-foolish statements), like evolutionary design and Darwinian rationality. Now, we can expand our code language when describing Darwinists: you know, those sophoxymoroniacs with the fability to howl ev-illusionary mythoids in fogma. (To decode the message, see commentaries from 05/14/2007, 05/29/2003, 07/27/2007, 12/20/2007, 01/16/2007, 05/14/2007.) Believing that blind duplication can produce machinery as elaborate as a nuclear pore complex (06/02/2003, 08/06/2004, 11/13/2007, 12/02/2007, bullet 2) is like believing that swirling snowflakes can produce a living snowman without a kid and a fairy godmother. For a detailed response to the claim that gene duplication can produce new complex designs, see Jerry Bergman’s article “Does gene duplication provide the engine for evolution?” on CMI, and read Michael Behe’s latest book The Edge of Evolution – drastic measures, we know, but shock treatment is the only known cure for sophoxymoronia.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
14 March 2013Investor confidence in South Africa’s Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is growing, with six new investors committing to the IDZ in the second half of 2012, and new investments set to inject R1.7-billion into the Eastern Cape economy in 2012/13.The IDZ is currently a hive of construction activity as new investors start laying the foundations for their developments.“On either side of the Coega IDZ section of the N2 coastal highway – linking Port Elizabeth from east to west – are major construction works by Chinese car and truck manufacturer First Automotive Works (FAW) and Africa’s leading quick service and casual dining restaurant franchisor, Famous Brands,” the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said in a statement last week.FAW has begun construction on a truck assembly plant, while Famous Brands is building a 2 400 square metre cold storage and distribution centre.Deeper within the IDZ, construction is also taking place at Coega Cheese, Agni Steels and the Rehau Extension in the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park. Wind turbine parts manufacturer DCD and industrial gas supplier Air Products are also due to start construction in the new financial year, according the CDC.“By the second quarter of the new financial year, the Coega IDZ will have commenced with construction to the approximate value of R700-million, with the current value of construction projects estimated at R350-million,” said CDC spokesperson Ayanda Vilakazi.“This means a great amount of opportunity for local businesses and in turn, significant job creation prospects.”The FAW investment, worth more than R600-million in total, has been hailed as a major coup for the province.The initial R280-million investment in the first phase of the project, a truck assembly plant covering 10 hectares, is expected to create about 500 jobs during construction. Construction began in December and is due for completion by the end of the year.Famous Brands, which supplies inventory to leading franchise stores such as Debonairs Pizza, Steers, Wimpy and Mugg and Bean, is also involved in Coega Cheese, a joint venture with Coega Dairy, which will see the launch of a cheese factory to supply cheese to Famous Brands franchise stores in the Eastern Cape.Famous Brands managing executive for logistics, Tony Stephens, said their new cold storage and distribution centre, including state-of-the-art multi-temperature facilities, offices for regional management and staff, and a staging area for the distribution fleet, was due to be commissioned on 1 June.On their decision to invest in the Coega IDZ, Stephens said the demographics suited Famous Brands’ store footprint. “The easy access to the highway enables us to get en route quickly to franchisees in the north, as far as Mthata and East London, those in close proximity to Port Elizabeth and as far south as the Garden Route.”According to the CDC, the Coega IDZ is currently home to 21 operational investors, and has enabling the creation of 3 735 direct operational jobs and over 40 000 construction jobs in total.SAinfo reporter
15 September 2015Sibella the cheetah died early in the morning in the Samara Private Game Reserve near Graaff-Reinet after a clash with a duiker buck it was hunting. The cheetah suffered a deep wound to its abdomen.Born wild in North West province, Sibella was rehomed in Samara in 2003. It had been captured and tortured by hunters at the age of two. Sibella died on Friday, 11 September.“Lying at death’s door, she was fortunate enough to be rescued by the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust. She owes her life to the five-hour surgery and dedicated rehabilitation that ensued,” said Margie Varney, Samara general manager, said at the time of the relocation.Sibella began a new chapter in December 2003, when it was released on to the Samara game reserve. The release surpassed all expectations.Samara Private Game Reserve lies 20km southeast of Graaff-Rienet in Eastern Cape. It encompasses not only the Karoo mountain complex and parts of the Great Escarpment, but also sweeping plains to create a unique area for wildlife, including four of South Africa’s seven natural biomes. It is home to a variety of buck, birdlife and smaller carnivores, including the African wild cat and brown hyena, but is most famous for its Cheetah Metapopulation Programme, managed by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, of which Sibella was the most fruitful participant.Sibella reared an astonishing 20 cubs in four litters at Samara, alone contributing to a 3% increase in the wild cheetah population in South Africa.According to Varney, Sibella was a consummate mother, giving birth on steep mountain slopes to evade other predators, and always making sure the cubs had enough to eat and were well-protected before going out on their own.Sibella had shared an extraordinary bond with humans. “With the birth of each new litter, when the cubs were old enough to leave their den, this wild cat dutifully presented to her human guardians her latest bundles of fur. The degree of trust she vested in human beings, walking to within just a few metres of them, was simply astounding – her past suffering at the hands of her tormentors all but forgotten,” Varney said.On the official Samara blog, a simple message from Varney and the rest of the reserve team offered some final words on the loss of Sibella: “We mourn her loss but seek comfort in knowing that she lived and died in a wild environment. We feel incredibly privileged to have been witness to the life of this exceptional cat.”On social media, wildlife photographers, conservationists and ordinary people from around the world posted heartfelt messages and photos of Sibella, queen of the Karoo cheetahs.Rest in Peace, Sibella . @samarakaroo #cheetah #SouthAfrica http://t.co/WW1CxNXHLC— Marcy Mendelson (@MendelsonImages) Septemb er 11, 2015Iconic “matriarch’ Cheetah Sibella dies http://t.co/6bleCsbg55#Op4Cheetahs #Sibella pic.twitter.com/HmBxga9Enk— #Op4Cheetahs (@Op4Cheetahs) September 12, 2015Ah. But what a legendary cheetah she was! Samara’s Sibella is no more. http://t.co/KRYpECB9Fs— Julienne du Toit (@KarooSpace) September 12, 2015SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Karl Stenerson Market Reporter – Fertecon Informa Agribusiness IntelligenceHere is a breakdown of wholesale prices and trends of various fertilizers.AMMONIAInternational:Global ammonia prices moved lower once again in March.Markets in the west saw the biggest declines with Yara and Mosaic eventually settling the March Tampa, Florida, contract down to $275 per metric ton (mt) cost and freight (CFR) and the April contract by the end of the month at $255, compared to $285 in February. The delayed ammonia application season in the U.S. obviously took its toll, coupled with weak phosphate prices and reduced phosphate production by Mosaic.Reverberations are now rippling across the west, but it has yet to be seen if this can have any effect on the firm Far East market, where supply is said to be tight and spot product difficult to find. However, the reduction in the Tampa price might make it easier for Trinidad supply to compete in the Far East region.The startup of EuroChem’s new Kingisepp ammonia plant in Russia and the first export to Morocco is also creating a little sense of nervousness in the west. Turkey has succeeded in taking $10 off the price achievable in Yuzhnyy from last month, down to $255-$260 FOB (free on board — the buyer pays for transportation of the goods) per mt for just 6,000 mt, but further falls seem inevitable, especially for larger volumes.Overall, it seems there may be some continued slight weakness in the short-term basis weak phosphate prices and soft natural gas prices.Domestic:Aside from the reduction at Tampa, domestic ammonia prices held mostly stable in March, although there was little activity due to wet weather. There have been some pockets of application taking place in Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. But, for the most part, it has been a slow start to spring ammonia applications in the Midwest. With the application window tightening, spring ammonia volumes are expected to be reduced, and prices will eventually be affected. But, so far, producers have kept prices unchanged, waiting for activity to start up.Corn Belt FOB values are unchanged at $470-$495 per ton (t) FOB for prompt and $530-$545 for full spring. However, there have been few new sales recently as buyers wait to use up current commitments before returning to buy more. With significant downside expected, dealers are being careful not to over procure for spring.Ex-plant offers (the price at the factory, not including any other charges, such as delivery or subsequent taxes) in Oklahoma are posted at $390-$460/t, down slightly from $400-$480 last month.The price outlook for domestic ammonia prices is weak unless there is a strong widespread run. But this seems unlikely with current weather trends.UREAInternational:The downward spiral in global urea prices appears to have stopped in March, or at least subsided.After cutting prices to sell the remainder of March product at the last minute, North African producers went on to sell April and May cargoes, putting themselves in a comfortable position with their sales books and increasing FOB values back up to $235-$260 per mt by the end of the month.Expectations of an India tender, and then the actual announcement, were also mildly supportive late in the month. The tender is set to conclude on April 3, and there is uncertainty as to how much India is wanting to buy. Middle East FOB values edged slightly higher in March, ending at around $235-$240 per mt FOB, compared to $232-$234 at the end of February.We have seen a much-needed pullback in Chinese exports with prilled FOB offers now priced out of the market. However, import demand in the east has been slow with Australia suffering from drought and Thailand and Vietnam suffering from too much rain as an effect of the “weak” El Nino. Overall, this has left pricing largely flat in March.The price outlook is mostly soft, but there is the potential for a small rally depending on India’s purchasing decision as well as how the U.S. spring season progresses.Domestic:The U.S. barge market finally woke up in March with New Orleans, Louisiana, (NOLA) barge prices registering a slight month-over-month increase, the first time since September. However, some of this is thought to be a result of logistical problems. Barges traded at $241-$254/t FOB the last week in March, compared to $229-$233 at the end of February.Market participants are uncertain whether this firmer trend will continue, as weather continues to hold farm demand back and potential overseas spot cargoes loom over the market. However, the major positive continues to be the expected lack of opportunity to apply anhydrous ammonia this spring, which will mean nitrogen requirements will have to be met with increased applications of upgraded products.Logistical issues appear here to stay through at least the next few weeks, as melting snow has contributed to high water levels. This is expected to continue delaying northbound fertilizer shipments, which will make it tough for distributors to get product in place to feed the second round of demand after initial stocks at the retail and wholesale levels are spent.The outlook for domestic urea prices is stable to firm with prices likely to strengthen further once the season commences. Potential for spot urea imports may keep a cap on the extent to which prices can increase.UANDomestic UAN prices continued to move lower in March, as limited application activity stressed producers’ storage capability.The big news came mid-month when the European Commission announced the decision to impose provisional antidumping measures on UAN imports from the United States, Trinidad and Russia. CF and other U.S. exporters to the European Union face a provisional duty of 22.6%. The fallout is expected to increase U.S. supply in the short-to-medium term as overseas suppliers export more to this market instead of Europe and CF keeps more supply domestically rather than shipping to Europe.NOLA UAN 32% barge prices were reported at $165-$170/t FOB at the end of March, down $10 from late February.CF dropped its river terminal prices at Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Mt. Vernon by $20 in March, bringing them to $190/t FOB. The continued lack of movement to the field is thought to have put the producer in a tough spot with its late first-quarter sales books. Furthermore, the producer could be taking a more defensive approach as the EU antidumping investigation looms and producers abroad are more apt to place cargoes anywhere but there.The short-term domestic price outlook for UAN is stable to soft. While a shorter window for ammonia application could garner positive impacts for UAN sales and prices, the antidumping duty could see more aggressive prices for imported product.PHOSPHATESInternational:Global phosphate prices continued to fall in March. At the root of the market weakness has been the oversupply in the U.S. domestic market coinciding with a slower-than-anticipated spring season in China.The market in the Americas fared the worst with barge prices leading the way down, although some stability was evident by the end of March. Even Mosaic’s announcement of production curtailments had little effect. Meanwhile, in Brazil, buyers have remained content to buy only as needed while watching producers position product on the ground in anticipation of the start of the main season. Brazil MAP CFR values declined to $395-$405/mt by the end of the month, compared to $405-$410 in late February.Asian prices have held up better; however, the unprecedented volume of first-quarter imports booked by India, coinciding with the Chinese spring season, should have pushed prices up. What actually happened was that the FOB China price for DAP fell from $388-$391/mt in late February to $382-$386 in March as the Chinese spring season failed to impress, prompting a need to find alternative outlets.The outlook for phosphate prices is stable to soft as a lack of demand-side drivers continues to limit upside to prices.Domestic:NOLA barge prices increased early in the month after Mosaic announced a 300,000-ton production cut for the spring season. By the end of the month, however, DAP prices moved back to $332-$334/t FOB, essentially flat from $300-$338 at the end of February. MAP has been trading as low as DAP or even lower in some cases.The late spring in many areas of the Midwest is currently the main drag on domestic phosphate prices as well as high inventory carryover from last fall and heavy imports earlier this year.Midwest river terminal prices fell to $360-$380/t FOB for DAP, compared to $380-$400 in late February. Warmer weather has signaled the start of spring, and small pockets of activity are reported in the Midwest. However, there have been reports that application of P products has been slightly shadowed in favor of nitrogen.With imports starting to slow from March, as well as end-user demand expected to pick up, prices are expected to stabilize at some point in the coming weeks.POTASHDomestic potash prices could not escape the bearishness in fertilizer markets in March as the slow start to spring weighed on sales books. With some farmers starting to prioritize planting, some wholesalers are concerned that potash sales volumes will be limited this spring. NOLA barge prices fell to $270-$275/t FOB in March, the lowest level since October, down from $274-$283 in late February. River terminal prices were mostly unchanged at $305-$315/t FOB, but more offers were apparent on the low end of the range compared to late February.The outlook for potash prices is slightly soft in the short term. Following a below-average fall season and heading into what also looks to be a below-average spring season, there is very little upside potential for potash prices.**Editor’s Note: This information was supplied courtesy of Fertecon, Informa Agribusiness Intelligence.(AG/BAS)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
One subject being addressed intensively by the inaugural edition of the Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge is how luxury-home builders can push relatively large homes – those exceeding, say, 3,500 sq. ft. – toward high levels of energy efficiency and market them accordingly. The Zero Energy Challenge, which officially launched in May 2009 and is scheduled to end December 1, includes among its 18 entries nine projects larger than 3,500 sq. ft. Many of these properties, not surprisingly, are high-end homes that may not achieve net-zero-energy performance, but are nonetheless aiming for energy efficiency significantly above what building to code would deliver when evaluated using the Residential Energy Services Network’s HERS Index.A luxury Challenge project that recently caught the attention of the Hartford Courant, though, is a home that measures 2,848 sq. ft. Though modest by luxury-home standards, the house nonetheless carries an $897,500 listing price. One objective in building this four-bedroom/2.5-bath single-family, says William Freeman, of Celebration Development Group, was to create a buyer-friendly blend of high-end finishes and amenities, and superior energy performance.Awaiting HERS resultsAfter December 1, each home competing in the Challenge will be evaluated using the HERS Index. The results will be announced on December 8, with the three lowest HERS ratings earning prize money: $15,000 for first place, $10,000 for second, $5,000 for third. Enhancing the challenge for Celebration Development’s house, which is part of a 14-home subdivision in Essex called Heron Pond, is that the house is not optimally situated for solar power. To keep its HERS score as low as possible, it will rely largely on shell insulation – R-19 foundation walls, R-24.5 exterior walls, and R-42.3 frame floors and flat and vaulted ceilings – and a ground-source heat pump system for heating and cooling.Celebration calculates the home’s HVAC operating and water heating costs will come to $1,443 annually, about $3,890 (or 72%) less than it would cost to operate a house of similar size and configuration that was built to code.HERS results for the Heron Pond house have not yet been posted, but Justin Lindenmayer, program administrator for residential new construction at Connecticut Light & Power, which administers the competition through the CT Energy Efficiency Fund program, told the Courant that among the homes reporting HERS results so far, “we’ve had one home that’s below zero, we’ve had a few in the 5-15 range, and more in the 20-30 range.”