Southwestern US states close to sealing drought deal

Filed under: uinqbywb — Tags: , , , — admin @ 4:10 am October 13, 2019

first_imgLAS VEGAS — Water managers from seven Southwestern states that depend on the Colorado River for drinking and irrigation water are getting closer to finalizing an unprecedented drought contingency plan they may have to enact in 2020, officials said Thursday.The federal government’s top water official, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman, was expected to urge action by representatives of Indian tribes and government agencies from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming during an address at an annual conference in Las Vegas.A pact was supposed to be signed by the end of 2018, under threat that the bureau that controls the water distribution levers on the river would impose its own restrictions affecting drinking water to 40 million people and irrigation for crops in arid parts of U.S. and Mexico.Arizona and Nevada are would be the first states to feel the pinch if a shortage is declared as expected next year. Supplies to California also could be curtailed.After 19 years of drought and increasing demand, the river’s two largest federal water managers project a 52 per cent chance that the river’s biggest reservoir, Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam, will fall low enough to trigger cutbacks under agreements governing the system.The Lower Colorado River Basin states of California, Arizona and Nevada want to keep Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam above a shortage declaration trigger point by using less water than they’re legally entitled to receive.If the lake falls below that level, Arizona will face a 9 per cent reduction in water supply, Nevada a 3 per cent cut and California up to 8 per cent. Mexico’s share of river water also would be reduced.Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming want to keep the surface of Lake Powell above a target level to continue water deliveries to irrigation districts and cities and also keep hydroelectric turbines humming at Glen Canyon Dam.Lake Powell is currently at 43 per cent capacity and Lake Mead is at 38 per cent.Water officials in most of the affected states have signed off on plans in recent weeks, including the key Central Arizona Project irrigation system and the sprawling Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves some 19 million people.Arizona’s plan, unlike other states, still needs approval from state lawmakers. They convene in January.Ken Ritter, The Associated Presslast_img read more

UK house prices drop amid Brexit uncertainty

first_imgLONDON — One of Britain’s leading mortgage providers says house prices in the country fell in December by their biggest amount in six and a half years, in a further sign that uncertainty surrounding Brexit is weighing on economic activity.The Nationwide Building Society said Friday that house prices fell by a monthly rate of 0.7 per cent in December, the biggest monthly decline since July 2012.On an annual basis, prices were up only 0.5 per cent, the lowest since February 2013.The housing market, a barometer of the British economy, has slowed since the country voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union. Now that the country’s actual departure in March is looming, the property market, like other sectors, is being hobbled by uncertainty over what Brexit will mean economically.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Making your own homecleaning products Some pro tips

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first_imgTo reduce waste and avoid unnecessary plastic bottles and chemicals — and to save money — many people are opting to make cleaning products from scratch at home. You can find an abundance of recipes for household cleaning products online, along with reusable glass spray bottles designed to hold them.But not all homemade cleaning products are created equal, and some simple concoctions can be downright dangerous.“To have an unlabeled cleaning product in a Mason jar with kids around can be a dangerous thing,” warns Carolyn Forte, director of the home appliances and cleaning products lab at Good Housekeeping. “And be careful never to mix bleach with anything but water. Certain combinations can be toxic.”Baking soda and vinegar also should not be combined. Mixed together they are ineffective at cleaning and, if contained in a jar, likely to explode, she warns.So when making your own cleaning mixtures at home:—Double check the safety of the combination you choose;—Keep all products out of reach of children or pets;—And list all ingredients clearly on the jar or spray bottle.Test your cleaning mixture before using it. “Making your own window cleaner may be OK, but years of chemistry and safety research have gone into products like laundry and dishwasher detergents and furniture polishes, and you don’t want to risk accidentally damaging something that’s precious to you,” Forte says.Even so, it can be useful to know what to use in a pinch when you don’t have time to rush to the store, says Stephanie Sisco, home editor at Real Simple magazine.And many homemade cleaning combinations do work, with far fewer chemicals than in many store-bought brands.To help people make gentle cleaning products at home, Mike and Martha Robinson founded Cleaning Essentials, which sells sturdy glass bottles in various colours and sizes, labeled with recipes for solutions that can be made using mostly vinegar, water and essential oils.“Sixty years ago our grandparents wouldn’t have gone to the store for cleaners. They would have used vinegar, baking soda, some elbow grease, and been healthier for it,” says Mike Robinson.Katy Kiick Condon, senior editor for home design at Better Homes & Gardens magazine, agrees: “Just steam, hot water and some elbow grease can accomplish a lot.”DO’s:Know the basics about the cleaning properties of various household products:—Baking soda is a great deodorizer and is useful as a mild abrasive;—Vinegar cuts grease, removes mineral deposits and has disinfectant qualities;—Lemon juice with some salt can remove rust stains.DON’Ts:– NEVER combine bleach with anything but water. And remember that baking soda and vinegar, while trusted standbys individually, are ineffective for cleaning if combined — and will bubble up explosively.– Don’t use lemon on wood, since it can destroy protective finishes, says Sisco.– Don’t overdo it with vinegar, which can dull surfaces, she says. There’s a reason that cleaning-product recipes call for adding water.RECIPES:With the above basics in mind, here are a few recipes recommended by the pros.Window cleaner: For clean, streak-free windows, Condon, at Better Homes & Gardens, swears by the combination of 2 cups hot water, 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol. “I tested a bunch of recipes, and this one is hands-down the best for mirrors and windows,” she says.All-purpose cleaner: Sisco, at Real Simple, recommends combining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of castille soap, such as Dr. Bonner’s. For a stronger cleaner, she recommends mixing 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup vodka, 10 to 20 drops of essential oil and 1 1/2 cups water.Carpet cleaner: Sisco recommends blotting the stain then saturating it with club soda. “The bubbles will work the stain to the surface,” she says. Then coat it with a hefty dose of table salt, which will absorb the stain, she says. “Then just vacuum it up once it’s dry, maybe 12 hours later. It’s a good overnight cleaning solution, and great for wine and other stains. The key is to blot all excess stain before starting with club soda and salt.”Katherine Roth, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Facebook shuts hundreds of Russialinked pages accounts

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first_imgLONDON — Facebook says it has removed hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups and accounts that it says were part of two big disinformation operations, in its latest effort to fight fake news.The social media company said Thursday it took action after finding two networks “that engaged in co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour” on its Facebook and Instagram platforms.Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a blog post that one network operated in countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the other focused on Ukraine.The people running the accounts represented themselves as independent news sources and posted on topics like anti-NATO sentiment and protest movements.Gleicher says one network of 364 pages and accounts was linked to employees of Sputnik, a Russian state-run English-language news site.Sputnik did not reply to emailed requests for comment.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Woman sues luxury resort after severe allergic reaction

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first_imgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A luxury Massachusetts resort has been sued by a woman with a nut allergy who landed in the hospital after being served a veggie burger containing cashews.The Berkshire Eagle reports that the suit filed in federal court in Springfield this week against Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort in Lenox alleges negligence, breach of warranty, breach of contract and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. It seeks unspecified damages.Kristin Chu Smart, of New York City, says she and her mother paid $3,000 for a weekend at the resort in December 2017.Smart says she informed numerous staff at the resort, including her server, she was allergic to nuts and was assured there were none in her food.A Canyon Ranch spokeswoman said she could not comment on pending legislation.___Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.comThe Associated Presslast_img read more

Today is Miracle Treat Day in Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Today is Dairy Queen’s Miracle Treat Day in Fort St. John.Every resident who purchases a blizzard will see all their cash go directly to the B.C. Children’s Hospital.DQ worker hard at work. Photo by John Luke Kieper. Last year’s Miracle Treat Day brought in approximately $15,000 and Fort St. John Dairy Queen co-owner Tyler Kramer hopes to see a similar number this year.“Every year we try to stay right around that range,” said Kramer. “Our goal this year is $15,000, we always hope to beat it but we don’t want to be too greedy.”Customers purchasing Blizzards on Miracle Treat Day. Photo by John Luke Kieper.Kramer explained that today has started slower than most Miracle Treat Days partly due to the smoky weather, though he is confident that will turn around.“We’re hoping it will pick up by the evening, I’m pretty confident we will make our goal still.”DQ worker inspecting his masterpiece. Photo by John Luke Kieper. Kramer went on to say that every minute 62 kids walk into a children’s hospital and it is very crucial and fulfilling to be able to supply them with donations to help said kids.last_img read more

Old Fort residents could return home once new road is complete

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Westrek Geotechnical says some residents of the Old Fort could return home once the road into the community is finished.In a posting to the Peace River Regional District website late Friday, the PRRD said Westrek says things are looking favourable to possibly allow some residents to return home when road standards are met.The message goes onto say “The PRRD is working with  MOTI to ensure 24/7 operation of a semi-permanent access road capable of supporting emergency vehicles, school buses, other service vehicles, and all resident motor vehicles. 50% legal axle loading restrictions will remain.” The final geotechnical report on the slide should be completed by the middle of next week.  The report was supposed to be finished this week, but a large amount of new data from the Province was given to Westrek on Wednesday.Once the PRRD receives the geotechnical report, the report will then be sent for a peer and legal reviews.  From there, the PRRD will determine the next steps for residents of the Old Fort.The Regional District has not yet released a timeline for when the report will be released to the public.last_img read more

Oil prices Alberta election call cloud Stampede chuckwagon auction expectations

first_imgThe current NDP government introduced controversial oil production curtailments in January and is investing in crude-by-rail capacity to fill a shortfall in export pipeline room.Bensmiller also took the prize for the highest tarp price of $130,000 last year as a total of $3.2 million was bid at the auction.“I’m hoping with the economy the way it is, if we stay close to what it was last year or even the average comes up a bit as a whole, the driver group will be pretty excited about that,” he said in an interview.“I’ve talked to a few (prospective sponsors) and they expressed interest in me so I’m not really on pins and needles.”The top money bid last year came from Versatile Energy Services, Ltd., a private oilfield services company based in the resort town of Sylvan Lake in central Alberta.Versatile president Kent Stormoen said he plans to be at the event tonight but declined to make any predictions for results given the province’s current uncertain times. “The industry still isn’t rolling like we expect it to but (the sponsorship) did help with the exposure of our company,” he said.“I think there’s a lot of uncertainty with the provincial election coming now and the new federal budget that’s come out.”Stampede spokeswoman Kristina Barnes said Wednesday the number of bidders who have pre-registered for the auction is at more than 130, a bit behind last year’s pace while adding many bidders register just before the event.The record year for overall tarp auction results came in 2012 when bidders pledged just over $4 million, including the highest bid of $300,000 by oilfield services firm Tervita Corp. At the time, oil prices were hovering above US$100 per barrel versus recent prices of around US$60 per barrel. CALGARY, A.B. – Chuckwagon drivers and sponsors are hoping for the best as clouds of political and energy industry uncertainty gather ahead of the Calgary Stampede canvas auction tonight.The success of the annual event is considered a bellwether for the Calgary-based oil and gas industry, as many of the sponsors who pay to have their company names on the 36 rigs competing in the 10-day July tribute to cowboy culture are energy industry players.Champion driver Kurt Bensmiller, who won the chuckwagon derby for the fourth time in five years in 2018, says the calling of an Alberta election on Tuesday creates more uncertainty for an economy battered by recent commodity price volatility and slowing oilfield activity.center_img About 80 percent of the canvas auction proceeds go to the drivers and the rest is used for prize money, safety and other chuckwagon initiatives.last_img read more

RCMP continue to search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky in Manitoba

first_imgThe RCMP said they pair were last seen driving a 2011 Rav 4, but rumours on social media suggest the vehicle may have been found near Gillam. The RCMP has not yet confirmed those rumours. Kam McLeod is described as:6 foot 4Approximately 169 poundsDark brown hair and facial hairBrown eyesBryer Schmegelsky is described as: Originally the pair were considered missing after their truck was found burnt near Dease Lake.Saskatchewan RCMP confirmed the pair were spotted in Meadow Lake on Sunday and continued to travel east.3/4 Both Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were seen in Meadow Lake, SK on Sunday, July 21, 2019. We believe they are continuing to travel.— RCMP Saskatchewan (@RCMPSK) July 24, 2019 6 foot 4Approximately 169 poundsSandy brown haircenter_img GILLAM, M.B. – The search for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky continues in Manitoba.The Mayor of Gillam Manitoba has told CBC Manitoba there is a heavy police presence on the only road in and out of the community. The Mayor went on to say the RCMP haven’t confirmed if the suspects are still in Gillam. The Mayor is also telling residents to stay indoors or travel in groups.In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, the Manitoba RCMP said the two suspects were recently in the Gillam area of Manitoba. Gillam is approximately 1,000km north of Winnipeg by road. PUBLIC SAFETY – Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky MAY be in Manitoba and are considered dangerous. We have reasons to believe they were recently in the Gillam area. If you spot them – take no actions – do not approach – call 911 or your local police immediately. #rcmpmb pic.twitter.com/yh2yV78oZd— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) July 23, 2019In a bizarre twist Tuesday, the RCMP named Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky as suspects in the case of three deaths in Northern B.C.last_img read more

21 Oppn parties to move Supreme court on EVMs

first_imgNEW DELHI: Twenty-one opposition parties will move the Supreme Court over the demand of keeping 50 per cent VVPATs in the counting of election results.According to sources, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu is in touch with all the opposition parties and he will collect the signatures from the representatives of these parties thereafter the parties will move the apex court. The sources also confirmed that Left parties who did not join the recent opposition meeting at NCP stalwart Sharad Pawar’s house have also come on board. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in JammuUntil now not all the EVM machines have the VVPAT facilities and the election commission also observed earlier that introducing this facility to all the EVM machines would not be possible before the Lok Sabha elections. It may be recalled 50 per cent VVPATs has been one of the key demands of Opposition parties for a long time. The opposition has demanded that if there is any vote difference after counting in EVM and the VVPATs , then the latter (VVPATs) should be relied on.last_img read more

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