Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is funding projects to harness wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power to reduce energy costs for farms and small business across rural America. Funding was also announced to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems. Funding is made available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. Rural Development Deputy Under Secretaries Doug O’Brien and Dallas Tonsager made the announcements on the Secretary’s behalf. In Vermont, Green Mountain Environmental Consulting, Inc of Bennington will receive $49,325 of REAP funding to assist in the installation of a 50 kilowatt micro-hydro system that is expected to generate 436,800 kilowatts of power annually. The $197,300 project is expected to produce enough power to supply 48 average Vermont homes annually. This project represents the first hydro project financed in Vermont by USDA Rural Development. In addition, Lemington Solar Farm, LLC, and Green Mountain Clean Energy, LLC. received $15,000 and $49,325 respectively to perform feasibility studies. The studies will analyze system design, environmental impacts, resource assessments and the cost effectiveness for the construction of solar and wind powered renewable energy systems. “The Obama Administration is assisting small businesses, including farmers and ranchers, as they work to reduce their energy costs,” O’Brien said of the announcement. “When energy costs are reduced, American rural businesses become more competitive, allowing them to expand and create jobs.” Molly Lambert, USDA Rural Development State Director for Vermont and New Hampshire followed the announcement by stating, “The Obama Administration is committed to making America more energy self-reliant. The REAP program furthers this commitment by encouraging rural businesses to study and build renewable energy systems.’ Including today’s announcements, the REAP program has funded a total of 162 projects in Vermont that total just over $34 million in total development and construction costs. Of this amount, $13.46 million has been funded from the REAP program and an additional $21 million dollars of private capital has flowed into project development costs. USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov(link is external) for additional information about the agency’s programs.Montpelier VT, November 17, 2011 ‘
4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: David MorrisonMortgage software firm Ellie Mae reported Wednesday that 61% of mortgage loans originated through its lending platform in June went to purchase money loans, and in addition, lenders’ closing rates on all purchase loans had reached 69%.That means June was the first month since October 2014 during which purchase money loans accounted for 60% or more of mortgage loans in a given month. June also saw the highest level of purchase loan closing rates since Ellie Mae began tracking origination data in August 2011, the Pleasanton, Calif.-based firm said. continue reading »
Los Angeles, United States | AFP | Floyd Mayweather has accused Conor McGregor of “fighting dirty” in training but is confident of a clean battle when the two men meet in their August 26 superfight.Mayweather told reporters on a conference call on Thursday he believed mixed martial arts star McGregor had used illegal tactics in sparring sessions.The undefeated former welterweight king, who is coming out of retirement to fight McGregor in Las Vegas, said he had spotted rabbit punches in footage of McGregor’s sparring session with Paulie Malignaggi.McGregor, who has never fought in a professional boxing contest, appears to floor Malignaggi in the footage.Mayweather, 40, was unimpressed.“I had a chance to see it and my thought were, it was interesting,” Mayweather said of McGregor’s Malignaggi knockdown.“A lot of rabbit punching, a lot of illegal shots, behind the head,” he added.McGregor has hired veteran referee Joe Cortez during his training camp to help advise on boxing rules and ensure he fights clean.“He’s had Joe Cortez in his training camp and I’ve still seen him being extremely dirty,” Mayweather said. Veteran referee Robert Byrd will be responsible for managing the fight and Mayweather is confident he will maintain control of the contest. Byrd officiated in Mayweather’s 2013 win over Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas.“I truly believe the referee is going to do a great job,” Mayweather said.“The referee’s job is to keep the fight clean. He don’t have anything to worry about. I’m looking forward to following the Queensberry rules of boxing,” he added.Mayweather retired from boxing in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 record to emulate former heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano. A win against McGregor would see the welterweight become the only man to ever hold a perfect 50-0 record.Mayweather insisted however that moving clear of Marciano’s historic benchmark was not on his mind.“Even though this is my 50th fight, this is not my focus,” Mayweather said. “Rocky Marciano is a legend, he did it his way. I just like to do it the Mayweather way.”Win or lose, Mayweather is adamant that nothing will be able to tempt him back into the ring following his return against McGregor. He reiterated an earlier statement that this month’s fight will be his last.“This is my last one. I gave my word to (adviser) Al Haymon, I gave my word to my children, I don’t want to break that,” Mayweather said.“I’m going to stick to my word — this is going to be my last fight.”Share on: WhatsApp
“A lot of professionals asked me to put information into a format that is easy to understand,” said Smith, a University of Pittsburgh police officer and martial arts instructor. “The BYAM Method believes people are creatures of habit, conditioned to specific behaviors. With my method, people learn how to protect themselves on the street, in the car, in the home, on the phone and in many other places.”Smith maintains that BYAM is not a self-defense course, but a lifestyle change.“A person can learn all of the techniques of self-defense, but unless they practice every day, they will be forgotten. By learning the proper observation and awareness skills, participants can take a minute—actually a second or two—to think about any situation and interpret its degree of threat,” said Smith who created the BYAM Method in 1987.“In the class, I get people to put their whole minds and psyche on how the criminal thinks.”Smith is well-known as a sports star. While enrolled at Brentwood High School in Long Island, N.Y., he played football, ran track and wrestled. His stellar football play earned him the Hanson Award and the status of All American and All State Player. As a result, he won a scholarship to play football under the tutelage of coach Johnny Majors at the University of Pittsburgh.While enrolled at Pitt, Smith played in the Sun and Fiesta bowls. His wrestling skills netted him more than 136 wins. He graduated from Pitt in 1976 with a degree in Social Sciences. After graduating, Smith devoted his energy to the martial arts. He was named Competitor of the Year by the Kwan Mu Kan Federation in 1977-1978. He was also a member of the winning AAU Tae Kwon Do national team in 1977. He is listed in “Who’s Who in Karate,” The World’s Martial Arts Hall of Fame Directory.Smith holds master rank in Ju-Jitsu, Shotokan, Kwanmuzendokai Karate. He has an accredited class at the University of Pittsburgh and the Community College of Allegheny County. His company, Universal Professional Training, operates martial arts classes at Pitt, Carnegie Mellon and several community locations.Smith graduated from the Allegheny County Police Academy in 1980. He was the 1987 Police Athletic League Martial Arts Director and a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. He works as a police instructor at the Criminal Justice Training Center of Pennsylvania.“BYAM’s main purpose is to teach people to take a moment and use their mind and think about what to do without panicking in the face of danger,” Smith said.That was one of the reasons Pitt student Shantel Butler took one of Smith’s classes.“From taking this class, I have learned how to avoid danger and how to respond in certain situations. I learned different techniques that will help me defend myself, like how to position my body when walking, or how to hold my purse and much more. In the long run, this class will allow me to protect myself physically and mentally,” Butler said.According to Smith, a large number of women take his courses.“We have a high amount of women in our classes, but there are men, too. Men say that women really need the classes, but that’s fallacy. Men need to be street-savvy as well,” Smith said.Although he has been featured on many television shows, commercials and newscasts, Smith is searching for a national platform to get his BYAM Method of Protection to a broader audience.“We need to get out and do more lectures. I am looking for that national forum to get the message out there,” Smith said.(For more information on BYAM Method of Protection or Curtis Smith, call 412-661-2244.) GET OFF ME—Curtis Smith oversees Shantel Butler, an 18-year-old freshman from Chicago, fend off a staged attack from Coniah Grimes, a 25-year-old junior from Americus, Ga., with whatever she had in her hand at the time, which was an umbrella. Curtis Smith took his love for martial arts and parlayed it into a formula for self-defense that has been used to prevent sexual, physical and criminal assaults.The Buy Yourself A Minute Method of Personal Protection uses a behavior modification approach that teaches people how to avoid incidents before they happen. The method teaches people how to increase awareness and recognition skills so they can identify and evaluate threatening situations.