...89101112...


California’s far north deplores ‘tyranny’ of the urban majority – The Independent

The deer heads mounted on the walls of Eric Johnsons church office are testament to his passion for hunting, a lifestyle enjoyed by many in the northernmost reaches of California but one thatJohnson says surprises people he meets on his travels around America and abroad.

When people see youre from California, they instantly think of Baywatch,saysJohnson, the associate pastor of Bethel Redding, a megachurch in this small city a three-and-a-half-hour drive north of San Francisco. Its very different here from the rest of California.

Johnson lives in what might be described as Californias Great Red North, a bloc of 13 counties that voted for President Trump in November and that make up more than a fifth of the states land mass but only 3 per cent of its population.

From Hollywood to Silicon Valley, California projects an image as an economically thriving, politically liberal, sun-kissed El Dorado. It is a multiethnic experiment with a rising population, where the proportion of white people has fallen to 38 per cent.

Californias Great Red North is the opposite, a vast, rural, mountainous tract of pine forests with a political ethos that bears more resemblance to Texas than to Los Angeles. Two-thirds of the north is white, the population is shrinking and the region struggles economically, with median household incomes at $45,000, less than half that of San Francisco.

Jim Cook, former supervisor of Siskiyou County, which includes cattle ranches and the majestic slopes of Mount Shasta, calls it the forgotten part of California.

In the same state that is developing self-driving cars, theres the rugged landscape of Trinity County, where a large share of residents heat their homes with wood, plaques commemorate stagecoach routes and the county seat, Weaverville, is an old gold-mining town with a lone blinking stop-and-go traffic light.

The residents of this region argue that their political voice is drowned out in a system that has only one state senator for every million residents.

This sentiment resonates in other traditionally conservative parts of California, including large swaths of the Central Valley, which runs down the state, and it mirrors red and blue tensions felt in areas across the country. But perhaps nowhere else in California is the alienation felt more keenly than in the far north, an arresting panorama of fields filled with wildflowers and depopulated one-street towns that have never recovered from the gold rush.

People up here for a very long time have felt a sense that we dont matter, saysJames Gallagher, a state assemblyman for the Third District, which is a shorter drive from the forests of Mount Hood in Oregon than from the beaches of San Diego. We run this state like its one size fits all. You cant do that.

Many liberals in California describe themselves as the resistance to Trump. Residents of the north say they are the resistance to the resistance, politically invisible to the Democratic Governor and legislature. Californias strict regulations on the environment, gun control and hunting impinge on a rural lifestyle, they say, that urban politicians do not understand.

The states stringent air quality and climate change regulations may be appropriate for technology workers, Gallagher says, but they are onerous for people living in rural areas.

In the rural parts of the state we drive more miles, we drive older cars, our economy is an agriculture- and resource-based economy that relies on tractors and trucks, Gallagher says. You cant move an 80,000-pound load in an electric truck.

Northern California is predominantly white, conservative and rural

A recently passed gas tax, pushed through by the Democratic majority, will disproportionately hurt rural voters, he says.

Taxation and hunting are two issues northerners are quick to seize upon when criticising laws they feel are unfairly imposed by the state. But there are also more fundamental issues related to incomes and job opportunities that split California into a two-speed economy.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, unemployment rates hover around 3 per cent. In the far north, where many timber mills have shut down in recent years, unemployment is as high as 6 per cent in Shasta County and 16.2 per cent in Colusa County.

Despite a go-it-alone ethos, residents of the 13 counties in the northern bloc are much more likely to receive government medical assistance than those in the Bay Area. In the north, 31 per cent take part in Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program, while the Bay Area rate is 19 per cent, and Californias overall figure 28 per cent.

United States Representative Doug LaMalfa, a Republican representing Northern Californias First District, blames regulations that have shut down industries for the economic disparities.

Theyve devastated ag jobs, timber jobs, mining jobs with their environmental regulations, so, yes, we have a harder time sustaining the economy, and therefore theres more people that are in a poorer situation.

Because incomes are significantly lower than the state average and the region is so thinly populated, tax revenue from the far north is a fraction of what urban areas contribute. In 2014, the 13 northern counties had a combined state income tax assessment of $1bn (776m), compared with $4bn from San Francisco County.

Resentment toward the rest of California has a long history here there have been numerous efforts to split the state since its founding in 1850. After the presidential election, a proposal to secede from the union, driven by liberals and known as Calexit, gained attention.

Residents here have long backed a different proposal for a separate state, one that would be carved out of Northern California and the southern reaches of Oregon. Flags of the so-called State of Jefferson, which was first proposed in the 19th century, fly on farms and ranches around the region.

Jefferson, named after the President who once envisioned establishing an independent nation in the western section of North America, is more a state of mind than a practicable proposal. Many see it as unrealistic for a region that has plenty of water and timber but perhaps not enough wealth to wean itself away from engines of the California economy.

However, two recent initiatives have channelled the deep feeling of underrepresentation.

In May, a loose coalition of northern activists and residents, including an Indian tribe and the small northern city of Fort Jones, joined forces to file a federal lawsuit arguing that Californias legislative system is unconstitutional because the Legislature has not expanded with the population.

The suit, filed against the California secretary of state, Alex Padilla, who oversees election laws in California, calls for an increase in the membership of the bicameral Legislature, which since 1862 has capped the number of lawmakers at 120.

The lawsuit argues that California now has the least representative system of any state in the nation. Each State Assembly member represents nearly 500,000 people and each state senator twice that.

This arbitrary cap has created an oligarchy, the lawsuit says.

By contrast, each member of the New York State Assembly represents on average 130,000 people; in New Hampshire, its 3,330 people for each representative.

Mark Baird, one of the plaintiffs, says residents of Californias far north feel as though they are being governed by an urbanised elite.

I wake up in the morning and think, What is California going to do to me today? says Baird, a former airline pilot who owns a ranch about an hours drive from the Oregon border. In a grass valley framed by low-lying hills, Bairds pastures are filled with his small herd of buffalo and a few pens of horses and donkeys.

Baird complains of restrictions on the types of guns he can own. Its tyranny by the majority, he says. The majority should never be able to deprive the minority of their inalienable rights.

Scott Wiener, a state senator representing San Francisco, says he has sympathy for the concerns of rural voters but rejects the proposal for a larger legislative body.

When you have a state as big and diverse as California, decisions are made that we dont all agree with, he says.

The second initiative is a proposed amendment to Californias Constitution that would change the method for dividing districts of the Legislatures upper house, the Senate. Instead of being based on population as they are now, Senate seats would be tied to regions, giving a larger voice to rural areas in the same way the federal Senate does.

I am asking the people with power to give up some of their power in order to allow all the voices in the state to have a little bit more strength than they do right now, says Gallagher, the assemblyman.

Northern Californians point out that the United States House of Representatives and Senate are based on the compromise between population and geography.

What I cant get over is that a court can rule that its not good for the state but it stands up at the federal level, says LaMalfa, the congressman. We wouldnt have a union if we hadnt come up with that compromise.

LaMalfa, who lives on a farm, says Californias urban denizens think of the rural areas as their park, and deplores what he describes as trophy legislation to protect animal species.

You have idealists from the cities who say, Wouldnt it be great to reintroduce wolves to rural California? LaMalfa says. He has a half-serious counterproposal: Lets introduce some wolves into Golden Gate Park and the Santa Monica Pier.

New York Times

See original here:

California’s far north deplores ‘tyranny’ of the urban majority – The Independent

Free Netarts Bay events set for July | Community … – Tillamook Headlight-Herald

The following is a press release from Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS:

The beautiful Netarts Bay is a unique ecosystem home to great marine life and birds. It also holds countless stories shared through its landscape and waters. Exploration of the area hints at how this bay formed to how it has been used by people throughout time. Discover these stories and more during any of a number of FREE events offered by the Friends of Netarts Bay – Watershed, Estuary, Beach and Sea (WEBS) this month!

A number of these events are also part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Explore Nature events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the areas natural resources and natural resource-based economy. Learn more at http://www.explorenaturetillamookcoast.com./

WEBS is a local non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining the Netarts Bay area through education and stewardship. Learn more at http://www.netartsbaytoday.org.

Hike Netarts July 19

Netarts Bay is housed between two capes, a part of the natural landscape that shapes the area. Join WEBS to explore Cape Meares. Octopus trees, giant Sitka spruce trees, and dramatic ocean views will not disappoint on this easy to moderate hike along the cape.

When: July 19 from 1 4:30 p.m.

Where: Netarts Bay area. Sign up for specific location.

Registration: Registration is required. Please register online at EventBrite.Com. More information and registration details are also available at http://www.explorenaturetillamookcounty.com.

The Art of Growing Oysters July 22

Do you enjoy Pacific Northwest oysters? Have you ever wondered about where the oysters come from? The oyster industry is an important part of Tillamook County and includes a number of farms, like JAndy Oyster Company and Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery on Netarts Bay. The tour is a rare opportunity to learn about the industry, the state of the art scientific research going on at the hatchery, and the issues faced by the shellfish along the Pacific Northwest.

When: July 22, 10 a.m. 2 p.m.

Where: Netarts Bay area. Sign up for specific location.

Details: Please be prepared to walk on uneven, wet, and/or muddy surfaces.

Registration: Registration is required. Please register online at EventBrite.Com. More information and registration details are also available on the Friends of Netarts Bay Facebook page.

Geology of Netarts Bay July 23

Join the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS on an amazing and free Geologic tour around Netarts Bay. You will see landslide areas, fossil deposits on Cape Meares, Happy Camp, bay overlooks and tsunami layers from the Big One in 1700. The walk will be led by Tom Horning, a Seaside native, and Registered Geologist. Horning has been a featured speaker at the Listening to the Land series hosted by the North Coast Land Conservancy and a central figure in the new book The Next Tsunami: Living On A Restless Coast by Bonnie Henderson.

When: July 23, 8:30 a.m. noon

Where: Netarts Bay area. Sign up for specific location.

Details: Weather on the Oregon Coast is unpredictable and change quickly. Please dress accordingly. Please be prepared to walk on uneven, wet, and/or muddy surfaces. Transportation around the bay will be provided.

Registration: Registration is required. Please register online at EventBrite.Com. More information and registration details are also available on the Friends of Netarts Bay Facebook page.

Tidepool Discovery Day July 25

What amazing creatures are lurking at the waters edge? Come out to Oceanside and see! Friends of Netarts Bay Watershed Estuary Beach and Sea (WEBS) staff and volunteers will be onsite in the tide pools helping visitors understand what is living along the coastal edge. Learn about anemone clone wars, how a sea star eats, or how hermit crabs steal shell homes from other crabs! From seaweeds to sculpin fish, there is a new world to discover. Come out and enjoy! Look for our WEBS t-shirts and let us guide you through the tide pools.

WEBS is a local non-profit organization working to sustain the Netarts Bay area through education and stewardship. Learn more at http://www.netartsbaytoday.org.

When: July 25, 8:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

Where: Oceanside Recreation Area

Details: Where boots or bring a change of shoes. Flip flops are never ideal for exploring tide pools. Be prepared for Oregon coast weather.

Registration: Let us know you are coming by registering! For a link, please visit Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS Eventbrite site or Facebook page. We expect people to come and go, we have no limit on size at this time. We will help as many people as possible and lend resources for you to make your own discoveries.

More here:

Free Netarts Bay events set for July | Community … – Tillamook Headlight-Herald

Organic farming best option for rural economies – The Register-Guard

There are a variety of approaches we could take to boost the economy of Oregons rural counties. We can look back, and try to recapture a fragment of Oregons old economy based on resource extraction, or we can look forward to more stable and sustainable opportunities.

Organic agriculture and commerce is one such opportunity; however, the clean air, water, and soil needed for this industry to flourish are threatened by Oregons weakest in the West environmental rules. New research shows why Oregon should embrace organics and ensure that organic farming can be a big part of our states future.

Unfortunately, the rear-view mirror vision often presented by Oregons industry and policy leaders overlooks diverse, vibrant and modern economic drivers, such as organic farming and the organic trade. Instead, the focus is often on a return to industrial forestry and mass clear-cutting practices whose harm outstrips the potential economic benefits.

A recent Environmental Protection Agency report shows that one-half of Oregons 10 biggest polluters are in the wood products industry. According to the director of Oregons Office of Economic Analysis, even if we went back to peak harvest of the 70s, wed only have one-third of the workers in the mill as we did in previous years, due to technology alone.

The organic industry provides a stunning contrast. Nationwide, organic food sales in 2015 jumped by 11 percent to almost $40 billion, far outpacing the 3 percent growth rate for the overall food market. Oregon companies such as Mountain Rose Herbs, Organically Grown Co., and Hummingbird Wholesale are just a few clear examples of how organic businesses can benefit local economies, while supporting high-quality jobs in organic agriculture.

Research published by the Organic Trade Association in May 2016, from Penn State agricultural economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke, shows that supporting the growth of organic businesses can be a major boon to rural economies. Jaenickes research links economic health at the county level to organic agriculture, and shows that organic food and crop production and the business activities accompanying organic agriculture creates real and long-lasting regional economic opportunities.

Most importantly: Counties within organic hot spots have lower poverty rates and higher median annual household incomes. On average, poverty rates drop by 1.3 percentage points and median income rises by more than $2,000 in these counties. The same benefits are not found in general agricultural hot spots.

Clearly, organics can and do benefit Oregons economy, but the organic trade relies on organic agriculture, and organic agriculture depends on clean water and air.

Industrial clear-cutting practices, such as aerial herbicide spraying, threaten both the economic potential of organics and the health of our state. Herbicides that drift onto neighboring properties during routine timberland aerial spraying are a direct threat to small organic farms and businesses.

Many would-be organic farmers simply cannot afford to risk their farm becoming contaminated with Atrazine or Glyphosate by neighboring corporate landowners, which may necessitate the loss of their crop and the associated investments and income.

Protecting the environment has benefits far beyond nurturing a successful organic industry. People want to live, work and grow in places with drinkable water, breathable air and a sustainable future. Lawmakers in Oregon should take meaningful steps to protect people, farms, and drinking water. Gov. Kate Brown deserves recognition for committing to working hard for rural Oregons economies; lets also talk more about empowering communities with innovative organic ideas supported by data and science, in line with modern values.

After all, what could be better for Oregon than growing more good clean food, and protecting clean, pure water for us all?

Stacy Kraker chairs the Oregon Organic Coalition and is director of communications and marketing for Organically Grown Company in Eugene.

More Guest Viewpoint articles

Go here to read the rest:

Organic farming best option for rural economies – The Register-Guard

Alberta hits the trifecta for GHG emissions – REMI Network – REMI Network – Real Estate Management Industry Network

A newly released communiqu from the National Energy Board highlights Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario as standouts among mediocre performers aiming for Canadas greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target. In particular, the two Atlantic provinces are hailed for already achieving a 30 per cent drop in GHG emissions within their borders compared to 2005 levels, but accompanying federal sustainability indicators accentuate that more populous and economically productive areas of the country are well off that pace.

Nationwide, Canadas annual GHG output fell from 738 (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to 722 Mt CO2e over the first 10 years of its commitment period under the Paris Agreement. This leaves a substantial gap still to close to reach the targeted 523 Mt CO2e by 2030.

Canada must reduce its GHG emissions by 28 per cent within the next 14 years, the National Energy Board release affirms.

Differing populations, economic drivers and sources of electricity generation are easily discernible in the provincial/territorial breakdown of emissions statistics. Together, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia accounted for just 4.2 per cent of national emissions in 2015. However, even before their impressive curtailment, they contributed less than 6 per cent of national emissions in 2005.

A move away from coal-fired electricity generation underpins much of the improved performance in the three provinces receiving kudos. Ontario registered the largest volumetric decline in emissions, which fell from 204.4 Mt CO2e in 2005 to 166.2 Mt CO2e in 2015. Across Canada, emissions from coal-fired electricity generation dropped from 95 to 61 Mt CO2e in the same period, with 21 Mt of that decrease occurring within Ontario.

Economic malaise and restructuring fill in the rest of the GHG reduction story, with decreased manufacturing activity, shut-down of the Dartmouth refinery and Ontarios declining emissions from heavy industry credited.

British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec all enjoy a low-carbon hydroelectric-based electricity supply, but had somewhat disparate emissions tallies, as Quebec registered a 10 per cent decrease, B.C. saw a 5 per cent drop and Manitoba edged slightly above its 2005 emissions output with a 0.9 per cent increase. Saskatchewan the lone provincial/territorial holdout onthe Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change recorded a more significant jump, with emissions growing to 75 Mt CO2e in 2015 from 69.5 in 2005.

Meanwhile, Alberta hits the GHG trifecta with a resource-based economy, surging population growth and a carbon-intensive electricity grid. The oil and gas sector is the single greatest national source for GHG emissions, representing 26 per cent of the 2015 national tally, and it has also become more carbon-intensive as the industry expands in Albertas oil sands. The provincial population rose by 26 per cent between 2005 and 2015 surpassing the 11 per cent national average and adding to the emissions output of both the transportation and electricity sectors. Annual GHG emissions rose nearly 18 per cent over the 10-year period, from 233.8 to 274.1 Mt CO2e by 2015.

Pulling the lens out 25 years, the sustainability indicators report further outlines the Ontario-Alberta GHG divide. In 1990, Ontarios GHG emissions were higher than those from other provinces because of its large manufacturing industry. Albertas emissions subsequently surpassed Ontarios, increasing 56 per cent since 1990, primarily due to the increase in the oil and gas sector for export markets, it explains.

Nevertheless, they have simply traded places in the big-two rankings of provincial/territorial emitters. In 2015, the combined emissions from Alberta and Ontario represented 61 per cent (38 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively) of the national total, the report notes.

Excerpt from:

Alberta hits the trifecta for GHG emissions – REMI Network – REMI Network – Real Estate Management Industry Network

Salt Marsh Ecology Walk set for July 16 – Tillamook Headlight-Herald

People will have a chance to walk along the salt marsh of Netarts Bay while learning about how plants survive in a salty world on Sunday. The walk will run from noon to 4 p.m.

The Friends of Netarts Bay Watershed, Estuary, Beach, and Sea (WEBS) will have a free guided tour along the salt marsh at the southern end of Netarts Bay.

The tour is designed to give people the opportunity to learn about the plants and animals that live in this unique habitat and the importance of this environment from the forest to the waters edge. The guides will also explain how plants survive in a salty world and explore the succession of vegetation from the bay to the dunes.

The tour includes an easy to moderate walk through muddy areas and trails covered by brush. It is best suited for participates 12 years and older comfortable with walking in these environments. Participants should wear long pants and closed toe shoes for this adventure.

The event is part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Explore Nature events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the areas natural resources and natural resource-based economy.

The size of the even is limited to Class size is limited to 10 participants, so registration is required. There is a link on the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS Facebook and Eventbrite pages.

Transportation to natural areas provided by WEBS.

Please be prepared for dynamic coastal weather on the Oregon coast and wear sturdy closed toe shoes or boots (no flip flops please and expect your feet to get muddy). At times, the tour areas will have a moderate number of mosquitoes.

For more information, contact jimyoung4990@gmail.com or call 503-842-2153.

See the original post here:

Salt Marsh Ecology Walk set for July 16 – Tillamook Headlight-Herald

Putin’s weak economic hand – The Boston Globe

Foreign currency mortgage borrowers rallied against banks in Moscow in 2014, holding balloons reading Mortgage.

As President Vladimir Putin of Russia meets President Trump this week at the G-20 summit, it will hardly be from a position of economic strength. Despite the steep drop in oil prices that began three years ago, Russia has managed to escape a deep financial crisis. But while the economy is enjoying a modest rebound after two years of deep recession, the future no longer seems as promising as its leadership thought just five years ago. Barring serious economic and political reform, that bodes ill for Putins ability to realize his strategic ambitions for Russia.

Back in 2012, when Putin appeared onstage with the Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman at a Moscow bank conference, Russias 1998 economic crisis seemed a distant memory. With oil prices well over a $100 a barrel, the governments coffers were bursting. So Putin could proudly contrast Russias government budget surplus with large recession-driven deficits across the West. He surely delighted in having Russian audiences hear Krugmans view that Western democracies had come up badly short in handling the global financial crisis.

Advertisement

In a different session, Russian academic economist Sergei Guriev (who later had to flee the country) argued that there was no hope for diversification of Russias resource-based economy as long as institutions such as courts were so weak. Too many key decisions rested with one man. Speaking in the same session, I emphasized that without fundamental reforms, a sharp drop in global energy prices would create profound problems.

Inevitably, that drop came, with prices plummeting from $119 in February 2012 (for Brent crude oil in Europe) to $27 in 2016. Even the current level (under $50 at the start of July 2017), is less than half the 2011-2012 peak. For a country that depends on oil and natural gas for the lions share of export revenue, the price collapse has been a massive blow, rippling through the economy.

Get This Week in Opinion in your inbox:

Globe Opinion’s must-reads, delivered to you every Sunday.

The fact that Russia has avoided a financial crisis is remarkable and largely due to the efforts of the Central Bank of Russia. But the burden of adjustment has largely fallen on consumers, owing to a roughly 50 percent drop in the rubles value relative to the dollar; real wages and consumption both fell sharply.

The attorney general gave a vote of confidence to Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation.

The shock to the real economy has been severe, with Russia suffering a decline in output in 2015 and 2016 comparable to what the United States experienced during its 2008-2009 financial crisis, with the contraction in GDP totaling about 4 percent. Many firms went bankrupt, and in 2016 the International Monetary Fund estimated that almost 10 percent of all bank loans were nonperforming (a figure that surely understates the severity of the situation).

In many cases, banks chose to relend funds rather than take losses onto their books or force politically connected firms into bankruptcy. At the same time, though, the Central Bank moved aggressively to force smaller banks to raise capital and write down bad loans. And, in the face of intense lobbying by powerful oligarchs, the Central Bank kept interest rates up to tame inflation, which had reached more than 15 percent but has since fallen to close to 4 percent.

Advertisement

Of course, Western sanctions, particularly restrictions on banks, have exacerbated the situation. But the media tend to over-emphasize this aspect of Russias economic woes. All countries that rely heavily on energy exports have suffered, especially those, like Russia, that have failed to diversify their economies.

In a Western democracy, an economic collapse on the scale experienced by Russia would have been extremely difficult to digest politically, as the global surge in populism demonstrates. Yet Putin has been able to remain firmly in control and, in all likelihood, will easily be able to engineer another landslide victory in the presidential election due in March 2018.

Russias state-owned media juggernaut has been able to turn Western sanctions into a scapegoat for the governments own failures, and to whip up support for foreign adventurism including the seizure of the Crimea, military intervention in Syria, and meddling in US elections. Most Russians, constantly manipulated by their countrys schools and media, are convinced that conditions are much worse in the West (a hyperbolic claim even in the era of fake news).

Unfortunately, such disinformation is hardly a recipe for generating reform. And, without reform, there is little reason to be optimistic about Russias long-run growth trend, given its poor demographic profile, weak institutions, and abject failure to diversify its economy, despite having an enormously talented and creative population.

Where will future growth come from? If the world continues to move toward a low-carbon future, Russia will confront an inevitable choice: Launch economic and political reforms, or face continuing marginalization, with or without Western sanctions. No meeting between the US and Russian presidents can change this reality.

Read more from the original source:

Putin’s weak economic hand – The Boston Globe

Fourth Economy

We effectively blend both quantitative and qualitative inputs at every point in the process. Most importantly, our focus is on developing realistic recommendations that can be easily understood and readily implemented.

Over time, the world has witnessed three major economic phases. The first was based on agricultural and natural resource extraction the second driven by industrial manufacturing. The most recent has been firmly rooted in technology, supported by innovation and knowledge networks.

The fourth economy represents the convergence of the three, defined by collaborative approaches to solving problems, growing markets and attracting investment. We believe the most effective and sustainable market strategies must reflect how community, industry and the environment converge and interact.

See the original post:

Fourth Economy

Russia’s future looks bleak without economic and political reform – The Guardian

Petrorubles If the world continues to move toward a low-carbon future, Russia will confront an inevitable choice, with or without western sanctions. Photograph: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

When the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, meets his US counterpart, Donald Trump, at this weeks G20 summit in Hamburg, he will not be doing so from a position of economic strength. To be sure, despite the steep drop in oil prices that began three years ago, Russia has managed to escape a deep financial crisis. But while the economy is enjoying a modest rebound after two years of deep recession, the future no longer seems as promising as its leadership thought just five years ago. Barring serious economic and political reform, that bodes ill for Putins ability to realise his strategic ambitions for Russia.

Back in 2012, when Putin appeared onstage with the Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman at a Moscow bank conference, Russias 1998 economic crisis seemed a distant memory. With oil prices well over $100 a barrel, the governments coffers were bursting. So Putin could proudly contrast Russias government budget surplus with the large recession-driven deficits across the west. He surely delighted in having Russian audiences hear Krugmans view that western democracies had come up badly short in handling the global financial crisis.

In a different session, Russian academic economist Sergei Guriev (who later had to flee the country) argued there was no hope for diversification of Russias resource-based economy as long as institutions such as courts were so weak. Too many key decisions rested with one man. Speaking in the same session, I emphasised that without fundamental reforms, a sharp drop in global energy prices would create profound problems.

Inevitably, that drop came, with prices plummeting from $119 in February 2012 (for Brent crude oil in Europe) to $27 in 2016. Even the current level (under $50 in early July 2017), is less than half the 2011-2012 peak. For a country that depends on oil and natural gas for the lions share of export revenue, the price collapse has been a massive blow rippling through the economy.

The fact Russia has avoided a financial crisis is remarkable and largely due to the efforts of the Central Bank of Russia. Indeed, Elvira Nabiullina, the CBRs governor, has twice won international central banker of the year awards.

But the burden of adjustment has largely fallen on consumers, owing to a roughly 50% drop in the rubles value relative to the dollar; real wages and consumption both fell sharply. As one Russian put it to me, he used to take 1,000 rubles to the supermarket and come home with two bags; now he comes home with one.

The shock to the real economy has been severe, with Russia suffering a decline in output in 2015 and 2016 comparable to what the United States experienced during its 2008-2009 financial crisis, with the contraction in GDP totalling about 4%. Many firms went bankrupt, and in 2016 the International Monetary Fund estimated that almost 10% of all bank loans were non-performing (a figure that surely understates the severity of the situation).

In many cases, banks chose to re-lend funds rather than take losses on to their books or force politically connected firms into bankruptcy. At the same time, though, the CBR moved aggressively to force smaller banks to raise capital and write down bad loans (something European policymakers have taken forever to do). And, in the face of intense lobbying by powerful oligarchs, the CBR kept interest rates up to tame inflation, which had reached more than 15% but has since fallen to close to 4%.

Of course, western sanctions particularly restrictions on banks have exacerbated the situation. But the media tend to over-emphasise this aspect of Russias economic woes. All countries that rely heavily on energy exports have suffered, especially those, like Russia, that have failed to diversify their economies.

In a western democracy, an economic collapse on the scale experienced by Russia would have been extremely difficult to digest politically, as the global surge in populism demonstrates. Yet Putin has been able to remain firmly in control and, in all likelihood, will easily be able to engineer another landslide victory in the presidential election due in March 2018.

Russias state-owned media juggernaut has been able to turn western sanctions into a scapegoat for the governments own failures, and to whip up support for foreign adventurism including the seizure of the Crimea, military intervention in Syria, and meddling in US elections. Most Russians, constantly manipulated by their countrys schools and media, are convinced that conditions are much worse in the west (a hyperbolic claim even in the era of fake news).

Unfortunately, such disinformation is hardly a recipe for generating reform. And, without reform, there is little reason to be optimistic about Russias long-run growth trend, given its poor demographic profile, weak institutions and abject failure to diversify its economy, despite having an enormously talented and creative population.

Where will future growth come from? If the world continues to move toward a low-carbon future, Russia will confront an inevitable choice: launch economic and political reforms or face continuing marginalisation, with or without western sanctions. No meeting between the US and Russian presidents can change that reality.

Kenneth Rogoff is professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics.

Project Syndicate

Here is the original post:

Russia’s future looks bleak without economic and political reform – The Guardian

Opinion: Why Putin can’t make Russia great again – MarketWatch

Vladimir Putin will meet with Donald Trump on Friday.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Project Syndicate) When Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his American counterpart, Donald Trump, at this weeks G-20 summit in Hamburg, he will not be doing so from a position of economic strength.

To be sure, despite the steep drop in oil prices CLQ7, +1.13% that began three years ago, Russia has managed to escape a deep financial crisis. But while the economy is enjoying a modest rebound after two years of deep recession, the future no longer seems as promising as its leadership thought just five years ago.

Barring serious economic and political reform, that bodes ill for Putins ability to realize his strategic ambitions for Russia.

Back in 2012, when Putin appeared onstage with the Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman at a Moscow bank conference, Russias 1998 economic crisis seemed a distant memory. With oil prices well over $100 a barrel, the governments coffers were bursting. So Putin could proudly contrast Russias government budget surplus with the large recession-driven deficits across the West. He surely delighted in having Russian audiences hear Krugmans view that Western democracies had come up badly short in handling the global financial crisis.

In a different session, Russian academic economist Sergei Guriev (who later had to flee the country) argued that there was no hope for diversification of Russias resource-based economy as long as institutions such as courts were so weak. Too many key decisions rested with one man. Speaking in the same session, I emphasized that without fundamental reforms, a sharp drop in global energy prices would create profound problems.

Inevitably, that drop came, with prices plummeting from $119 in February 2012 (for Brent crude oil in Europe) to $27 in 2016. Even the current level LCOU7, -2.56% (under $50 in early July 2017), is less than half the 2011-2012 peak. For a country that depends on oil and natural gas for the lions share of export revenue, the price collapse has been a massive blow, rippling through the economy.

The fact that Russia has avoided a financial crisis is remarkable and largely due to the efforts of the Central Bank of Russia. Indeed, Elvira Nabiullina, the CBRs governor, has twice won international central banker of the year awards.

But the burden of adjustment has largely fallen on consumers, owing to a roughly 50% drop in the rubles value relative to the dollar USDRUB, -0.0002% ; real wages and consumption both fell sharply. As one Russian put it to me, he used to take 1,000 rubles to the supermarket and come home with two bags; now he comes home with one.

The shock to the real economy has been severe, with Russia suffering a decline in output in 2015 and 2016 comparable to what the United States experienced during its 2008-2009 financial crisis, with the contraction in gross domestic product totaling about 4%. Many firms went bankrupt, and in 2016 the International Monetary Fund estimated that almost 10% of all bank loans were non-performing (a figure that surely understates the severity of the situation).

In many cases, banks chose to relend funds rather than take losses onto their books or force politically connected firms into bankruptcy. At the same time, though, the CBR moved aggressively to force smaller banks to raise capital and write down bad loans (something European policy makers have taken forever to do). And, in the face of intense lobbying by powerful oligarchs, the CBR kept interest rates up to tame inflation, which had reached more than 15% but has since fallen to close to 4%.

Of course, Western sanctions, particularly restrictions on banks, have exacerbated the situation. But the media tend to overemphasize this aspect of Russias economic woes. All countries that rely heavily on energy exports have suffered, especially those, like Russia, that have failed to diversify their economies.

In a Western democracy, an economic collapse on the scale experienced by Russia would have been extremely difficult to digest politically, as the global surge in populism demonstrates. Yet Putin has been able to remain firmly in control and, in all likelihood, will easily be able to engineer another landslide victory in the presidential election due in March 2018.

Russias state-owned media juggernaut has been able to turn Western sanctions into a scapegoat for the governments own failures, and to whip up support for foreign adventurism including the seizure of the Crimea, military intervention in Syria, and meddling in U.S. elections. Most Russians, constantly manipulated by their countrys schools and media, are convinced that conditions are much worse in the West (a hyperbolic claim even in the era of fake news).

Unfortunately, such disinformation is hardly a recipe for generating reform. And, without reform, there is little reason to be optimistic about Russias long-run growth trend, given its poor demographic profile, weak institutions, and abject failure to diversify its economy, despite having an enormously talented and creative population.

Where will future growth come from? If the world continues to move toward a low-carbon future, Russia will confront an inevitable choice: launch economic and political reforms, or face continuing marginalization, with or without Western sanctions. No meeting between the U.S. and Russian presidents can change that reality.

This article has been published with the permission of Project Syndicate Shaking Russias Weak Economic Hand.

Original post:

Opinion: Why Putin can’t make Russia great again – MarketWatch

California’s far north deplores ‘tyranny’ of the urban majority – MyAJC

REDDING, Calif.

The deer heads mounted on the walls of Eric Johnsons church office are testament to his passion for hunting, a lifestyle enjoyed by many in the northernmost reaches of California but one that Johnson says surprises people he meets on his travels around America and abroad.

When people see youre from California, they instantly think of Baywatch,’ said Johnson, the associate pastor of Bethel Redding, a megachurch in this small city a 3 1/2-hour drive north of San Francisco. Its very different here from the rest of California.

Johnson lives in what might be described as Californias Great Red North, a bloc of 13 counties that voted for President Donald Trump in November and that make up more than a fifth of the states land mass but only 3 percent of its population.

From Hollywood to Silicon Valley, California projects an image as an economically thriving, politically liberal, sun-kissed El Dorado. It is a multiethnic experiment with a rising population, where the percentage of whites has fallen to 38 percent.

Californias Great Red North is the opposite, a rural, mountainous vast tract of pine forests with a political ethos that bears more of a resemblance to Texas than to Los Angeles. Two-thirds of the north is white, the population is shrinking and the region struggles economically, with median household incomes at $45,000, less than half that of San Francisco.

Jim Cook, former supervisor of Siskiyou County, which includes cattle ranches and the majestic slopes of Mount Shasta, calls it the forgotten part of California.

In the same state that is developing self-driving cars, theres the rugged landscape of Trinity County, where a large share of residents heat their homes with wood, plaques commemorate stagecoach routes and the county seat, Weaverville, is an old gold-mining town with a lone blinking stop-and-go traffic light.

The residents of this region argue that their political voice is drowned out in a system that has only one state senator for every million residents.

This sentiment resonates in other traditionally conservative parts of California, including large swaths of the Central Valley that runs down the state, and it mirrors red and blue tensions felt in areas across the country. But perhaps nowhere else in California is the alienation felt more keenly than in the far north, an arresting panorama of fields filled with wildflowers and depopulated one-street towns that have never recovered from the gold rush.

People up here for a very long time have felt a sense that we dont matter, said James Gallagher, a state assemblyman for the 3rd District, which is a shorter drive from the forests of Mount Hood in Oregon than from the beaches of San Diego. We run this state like its one size fits all. You cant do that.

Many liberals in California describe themselves as the resistance to Trump. Residents of the north say they are the resistance to the resistance, politically invisible to the Democratic governor and Legislature. Californias strict regulations on the environment, gun control and hunting impinge on a rural lifestyle, they say, that urban politicians do not understand.

The states stringent air quality and climate change regulations may be appropriate for technology workers, Gallagher said, but they are onerous for people living in rural areas.

In the rural parts of the state we drive more miles, we drive older cars, our economy is an agriculture- and resource-based economy that relies on tractors and trucks, Gallagher said. You cant move an 80,000-pound load in an electric truck.

A recently passed gas tax, pushed through by the Democratic majority, will disproportionately hurt rural voters, he said.

Taxation and hunting are two issues northerners are quick to seize upon when criticizing laws they feel are unfairly imposed by the state. But there are also more fundamental issues related to incomes and job opportunities that split California into a two-speed economy.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, unemployment rates hover around 3 percent. In the far north, where many timber mills have shut down in recent years, unemployment is as high as 6 percent in Shasta County and 16.2 percent in Colusa County.

Despite a go-it-alone ethos, residents of the 13 counties in the northern bloc are much more likely to receive government medical assistance than those in the Bay Area. In the north, 31 percent take part in Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program, while the Bay Area rate is 19 percent, and Californias overall figure 28 percent.

U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a Republican representing Northern Californias 1st District, blames regulations that have shut down industries for the economic disparities.

Theyve devastated ag jobs, timber jobs, mining jobs with their environmental regulations, so yes we have a harder time sustaining the economy, and therefore theres more people that are in a poorer situation.

Because incomes are significantly lower than the state average and the region is so thinly populated, tax revenues from the far north are a fraction of what urban areas contribute. In 2014, the 13 northern counties had a combined state income tax assessment of $1 billion, compared with $4 billion from San Francisco County.

Resentment toward the rest of California has a long history here there have been numerous efforts to split the state since its founding in 1850. After the presidential election, a proposal to secede from the union, driven by liberals and known as Calexit, gained attention.

Residents here have long backed a different proposal for a separate state, one that would be carved out of Northern California and the southern reaches of Oregon. Flags of the so-called State of Jefferson, which was first proposed in the 19th century, fly on farms and ranches around the region.

Jefferson, named after the former president who once envisioned establishing an independent nation in the western section of North America, is more a state of mind than a practicable proposal. Many see it as unrealistic for a region that has plenty of water and timber but perhaps not enough wealth to wean itself away from engines of the California economy.

However, two recent initiatives have channeled the deep feeling of underrepresentation.

In May, a loose coalition of northern activists and residents, including an Indian tribe and the small northern city of Fort Jones, joined forces to file a federal lawsuit arguing that Californias legislative system is unconstitutional because the Legislature has not expanded with the population.

The suit, filed against the California secretary of state, Alex Padilla, who oversees election laws in California, calls for an increase in the membership of the bicameral Legislature, which since 1862 has capped the number of lawmakers at 120.

The lawsuit argues that California now has the least representative system of any state in the nation, with each state Assembly member representing nearly 500,000 people and each state senator twice that.

This arbitrary cap has created an oligarchy, the lawsuit says.

By contrast, each member of the New York Assembly represents on average 130,000 people; in New Hampshire, its 3,330 people for each representative.

Mark Baird, one of the plaintiffs, says residents of Californias far north feel as if they are being governed by an urbanized elite.

I wake up in the morning and think, What is California going to do to me today?” said Baird, a former airline pilot who owns a ranch about an hours drive from the Oregon border. In a grass valley framed by low-lying hills, Bairds pastures are filled with his small herd of buffalo and a few pens of horses and donkeys.

Baird complains of restrictions on the types of guns he can own. Its tyranny by the majority, he said. The majority should never be able to deprive the minority of their inalienable rights.

Scott Wiener, a state senator representing San Francisco, says he has sympathy for the concerns of rural voters but rejects the proposal for a larger legislative body.

When you have a state as big and diverse as California, decisions are made that we dont all agree with, he said.

The second initiative is a proposed amendment to Californias Constitution that would change the method for dividing districts of the Legislatures upper house, the Senate. Instead of being based on population as they are now, Senate seats would be tied to regions, giving a larger voice to rural areas in the same way the federal Senate does.

I am asking the people with power to give up some of their power in order to allow all the voices in the state to have a little bit more strength than they do right now, said Gallagher, the assemblyman.

Northern Californians point out that the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are based on the compromise between population and geography.

What I cant get over is that a court can rule that its not good for the state but it stands up at the federal level, said LaMalfa, the congressman. We wouldnt have a union if we hadnt come up with that compromise.

LaMalfa, who lives on a farm, says Californias urban denizens think of the rural areas as their park, and deplores what he describes as trophy legislation to protect animal species.

You have idealists from the cities who say, Wouldnt it be great to reintroduce wolves to rural California?’ LaMalfa said. He has a half-serious counterproposal: Lets introduce some wolves into Golden Gate Park and the Santa Monica Pier.

See the rest here:

California’s far north deplores ‘tyranny’ of the urban majority – MyAJC

Trod the salt of the earth in Netarts Bay – Oregon Coast Today

Walk along the salt marsh of Netarts Bay while learning about how plants survive in a salty world noon- 4 pm Sunday, July 16.

Join Friends of Netarts Bay Watershed, Estuary, Beach, and Sea (WEBS) for a free guided tour along the salt marsh at the southern end of Netarts Bay. Learn about the plants and animals that live in this unique habitat and the importance of this environment from the forest to the waters edge. Learn about how plants survive in a salty world and explore the succession of vegetation from the bay to the dunes.

The tour includes an easy to moderate walk through muddy areas and trails covered by brush. It is best suited for participates 12 years and older comfortable with walking in these environments. Participants should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for this adventure.

This event is part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Explore Nature events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and nonprofit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the areas natural resources and natural resource-based economy.

If you go:

When: July 16, 2017 from 12pm to 4pm

Where: Netarts Bay area. Register for details.

Cost: There is no cost to attend this program. Tax-exempt donations

Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

Share with Us – We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism.

Be Civil – It’s OK to have a difference in opinion but there’s no need to be a jerk. We reserve the right to delete any comments that we feel are spammy, off-topic, or reckless to the community.

Be proactive – Use the ‘Flag as Inappropriate’ link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Read more from the original source:

Trod the salt of the earth in Netarts Bay – Oregon Coast Today

Why the future of this world is reserved for the UAE – The National

Abdullah Ali Ameri, 14, programs a robot at the Higher Colleges of Technology Men’s College in Abu Dhabi designed to encourage more youngsters into a career in the sciences. Silvia Razgova / The National

The UAE will never accept being just an observer to development, especially in the fields of science and technology. The country meticulously plans and maps its way.

The UAE is fully aware that to ensure a leading position in the world, it should be more creative, innovative and productive. Such achievements do not come out of the blue, but instead are a result of planning, determination, ambition and willpower, in addition to having highly qualified human capital equipped with skills and capabilities to compete in the field of progress.

When Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, launched the National Innovation Strategy in October 2014 and declared 2015 to be the Year of Innovation, he reflected on the correlation between innovation and the future and existence itself, which characterises the insightful vision of our wise leadership.

Within this context, the National Innovation Strategy has been launched in order to ensure that the UAE ranks among the most innovative countries of the world in the coming years. Hence, a comprehensive strategy in an institutional framework has been adopted to ensure the implementation and the achievement of the countrys goals. Such endeavours are an integral part of UAE Vision 2021.

Innovation and creativity can never be achieved without providing an excellent and modern education system, establishing adequate infrastructure and institutions, encouraging all social sectors to contribute to innovative efforts and promoting creative people and fostering their ideas and skills.

This also requires the transformation of the prevailing national culture. Accordingly, the UAE has taken major steps to improve education, promote scientific research and prioritise innovation at all national institutions.

It is believed that the promotion of education will make it possible to celebrate the moment that the last barrel of oil is exported in 50 years time, as stated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in a speech he delivered in 2015.

Innovation is the main source of wealth and income in the age of a knowledge-based, rather than a resource-based, economy. A country that possesses creative ideas and is capable of transforming them into reality will retain wealth, strength and influence over its surrounding area and the worldregardless of its size, demography or geography.

Secondly, innovation has no limits. It is actually an endless line stretching towards the horizon. Some countries have made great steps ahead of us along this pathway, yet there is always enough space for those who possess the will to excel and adopt the means to reach the predefined goalbecause progress is not an exclusive preserve of a certain state or a group of states, but is available to whoever conscientiously and knowledgeably works and plans for it.

Thirdly, innovation is not a luxury, but rather it is the backbone of life, and those who are not engaged in the innovation process in the coming years will condemn themselves to obsolescence in the margins of history.

In February 2014, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said that countries are faced with a simple choice: either to innovate, or become irrelevant, adding that 65 per cent of children in primary school will grow up to work in jobs that do not exist today and 47 per cent of job categories are at high risk of ceasing to exist because they can be automated.

The world has already gone through three industrial revolutions. The first was based on the invention of the steam engine in the 18thcentury. The second, which began in the late 19thcentury and continued until the First World War, was related to the development of electricity and manufacturingand the third, which began in the late 20thcentury, was triggered by information technology and computerisation. Nowadays, the world is heading towards the fourth industrial revolution, revolving around artificial intelligence and all the related advancements in the field of robotics, 3D printing and the likes.

The UAE seeks, through its ambitious innovation strategies, to lead the region in the preparation phase to enter this fourth industrial revolution, which is likely to witness major shifts. In this context, during proceedings at Global Future Councilsin November 2016 in Dubai, the UAE declared that the country was about to establish the worlds first council for the fourth industrial revolution. This reflects the leading role the country plays in this regard, as well as the countrys readiness to embrace the new global technological and scientific developments, relying on tangible actions, plans and self-esteemrather than empty slogans.

Many in the Arab world talk about the importance of knowledge and Arab underdevelopment in the field of technology, discussing the reasons behind such a situation and even suggesting solutions for emancipation from the shackles of this abject condition. Few, however, translate words into actions.

In this regard, the region can extract lessons from the UAE, which is strongly committed to fully engaging in the field of innovation and creativity as a source of inspiration for Arab countries.

Many underdeveloped countries have moved up the progress ladder thanks to the special attention accorded to science and knowledge, while Arabs lagged behind because of their neglectof knowledge and scientific research. Now, it is high time Arabs realised that the future path, status and even the existence of their nations essentially depends on science, innovation and creativity, rather than relapsing into the past and identifying with delusional plans propagated by forces of political Islam. The future of the world is exclusively reserved for creative nations.

Dr Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi is the director general of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research

See the article here:

Why the future of this world is reserved for the UAE – The National

Minister backs proposal to list MTN in NSE – Tribune – NIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog)

THE Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that the proposal to list the telecommunication giant, MTN in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will foster good business for MTN Nigeria and boost the nations economy.

Ogbonnaya said this, when the delegation from MTN Nigeria communications limited paid a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.

He said that MTN Nigeria, with 62 million subscribers had played a dominant role in the telecommunication industry in Nigeria and had contributed to her economy.

He said that most developed countries came to source for raw materials in Africa, pointing out that, as at today, 80 per cent of developed countries relied on African raw materials and it would be important for Africa to develop the appropriate technology and utilise it for her common good.

Dr Onu reiterated that the ministry was committed in working to redirect the Nigerian economy from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.

He added that Nigeria should be the leading market because of the population it has and that MTN should tap into the huge human capital that Nigeria was endowed with.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, who is the Deputy Head Mergers Acquisition, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, Mr Kholekile Ndamese, informed the minister that MTN was listing the company in the Nigerian capital market, which is one of the largest markets in the continent.

He said the listing would showcase Nigeria in the global spotlight, and MTN group had structured the listing as a give-back project for its teeming customers in Nigeria, which was broad-based and inclusive in nature.

Confront and defeat corruption, dont balkanise Nigeria

Fashola/Senate rancour: Experts say tension may lead to project failure

Read the original post:

Minister backs proposal to list MTN in NSE – Tribune – NIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog)

Inventive, open Edmonton hopes new brand will help shift the base of its economy – Edmonton Journal

It sounded like a big unveil, but Edmontons new slogan is rather simple in the end.

This is it; this is our one-word brand, said Brad Ferguson, posting a slide of the word Edmonton with a small Canadian maple leaf for a period.

Its tongue-in-cheek because Edmontons re-branding is more complex than that. Its also critical to its economic future as local corporations struggle to attract the educated talent needed to compete in a new technologically-based economy, said Ferguson, president of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

Our fundamental economic structure is changing, he said, pointing to a shift from a resource-based economy to one based on innovation. That will require an influx of highly-educated 18- to 35-year-olds, in addition to keeping home-grown talent.

Edmontons new brand is more about a story packaged and pitched to different audiences and less about a slogan or logo, Ferguson told councils executive committee Tuesday.

EEDC and city officials believe the words that describe Edmonton are: inventive, open, courageous and cooperative.

Their sentence is: If you have the courage to take an idea to reality, to build, to make something, Edmonton is your city.

Ferguson said for years Edmontons brand or image has been that of an industrial, tough and rough city. Its been discounted on the national and international stage. This re-branding builds on the work of Make Something Edmonton, an online forum where 2,000 local residents posted their own stories about what they are building and making.

A screen-capture from EEDCs Brad Ferguson July 4, 2017.

It seeks to articulate a new vision for something Edmonton already is. Edmonton spends $1.5 million annually on the brand development and associated marking, targeted campaigns to attract tourists from Nordic countries and to support the KLM direct flight, for example.

Committee endorsed the new brand Tuesday and asked the team to report back in six months on how its being implemented.

Ferguson also evaluated Edmontons cost competitiveness for council, comparing the Edmonton region to other similar city regions. Edmonton is average when it comes to the cost of setting up a business, he said.

At least were in the game and were average, he said, adding thats not going to be enough for Edmonton to compete if oil is no longer driving a resource-based economy.

Other cities have mountains, sea-side views and direct flights around the world; major employers in Edmonton are struggling to attract the talent they need.

Coun. Michael Walters said Edmonton has the river valley, great festivals and a volunteer community that welcomes and can root newcomers in a supportive community. It needs to proudly share that story, but it also needs to focus on education.

Our big challenge is we dont have a skilled enough workforce, said Walters, adding education hasnt been enough of a priority for any level of government. This is starting to ring the alarm bell.

Edmonton also needs to identify exactly where excessively onerous permits and other red tape is causing increased cost for businesses, said Walters. Hes hoping that will come back to committee when EEDC returns in September.

Ferguson and city staff will report back on how to update the citys economic strategy. It has a 10-year plan passed in 2013 thats already starting to feel outdated, said Mayor Don Iveson.

We need a bunch of three year strategies in rapid succession, said Ferguson. Youll end up being a faster city in the process.

estolte@postmedia.com

twitter.com/estolte

Read more from the original source:

Inventive, open Edmonton hopes new brand will help shift the base of its economy – Edmonton Journal

MainOne completes repair of submarine cable – The Nation Nigeria – The Nation Newspaper

MainOne has announced the completion of repair works on its submarine cable with a final splice on Sunday. The company has also conducted subsequent tests to ensure the cable is in good operating condition.

In a statement issued by the company, the Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke expressed the companys appreciation to its customers and partners for the patience and support during the recent outage incident on the MainOne submarine cable which occurred on June 18.

Describing the outage as a Force Majeure, due to movement in the seabed, the Chief Executive Officer highlighted the companys efforts to resolve the outage to its customers.

The submarine cable fault was in a known area of ridges in the seabed, at a location 3400 meters water depth in the international waters outside Senegal. After we discovered the outage and isolated the fault to a location 3000km South of Portugal, our operational processes and disaster recovery plans worked as expected and we deployed a repair vessel from our membership in the Atlantic Cable and Maintenance Agreement which left France by 8am on Monday June 19th. The vessel travelled to Portland, United Kingdom, where it picked up critical spares and then journeyed to the repair location which was further isolated to within a 2 kilometer range while the vessel was in transit. We have concluded a full repair of the submarine cable with a final splice yesterday, Sunday July 2. The cable has been tested to be in good operating condition and we have since restored all our customers services to normal operating conditions, she said.

She continued: During this period, we had some restoration capacity and rerouted internet traffic on our network via alternative routes to minimize the impact of the outage to our customers. However, we were unable to provide enough capacity and interconnection to fully restore our entire network. We realize many of our customers have become solely reliant on MainOne for Internet services and we will continue to secure more restoration capacity in case of any such eventualities in the future.

While thanking its customers and partners for their cooperation and support during this outage, the company reiterated its commitment to transforming West Africa from a resource-based economy to a fully digitized, knowledge-based economy.

See the rest here:

MainOne completes repair of submarine cable – The Nation Nigeria – The Nation Newspaper

Faith guide – Billings Gazette

Saturday

Peace Lutheran Church, 1301 Ave. D: Ralph Sappingtons Country/Gospel Liturgy is featured during the 5 p.m. worship service.

United We Stand, Karin, Ryan and Dijana Gunderson in concert at Atonement Lutheran Church, 1290 Sierra Granda Blvd.: At 7 p.m., Heavenly Harp presents United We Stand, a concert by Karin, Dijana and Ryan Gunderson, a mother, daughter and son trio, to encourage people in these tenuous times. The concert features harp, piano, flute and vocals on popular and Christian pieces. For information, call 245-7004, or go to christianharpmusic.com.

Billings Association of Humanists meeting at First Congregational Church, 310 N. 27th St.: Ben Hahns presentation of An Introduction to a Resource Based Economy is at 1 p.m. The term and meaning of resource based economy originated with Jacque Fresco. It is a whole factor socioeconomic system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude.

St. Johns Lutheran Ministries, 3940 Rimrock Road: Marcia Muir, staff chaplain, leads worship in the Ocee Johnson Chapel at 7 p.m.

Pilgrim Congregational Church, 409 36th St. S.: After the 9 a.m. coffee fellowship, the Rev. Steve Heppner leads the 10 a.m. worship service, themed God is worshiped for his authority over peace. Also, John Christian, of Billings American Legion Post 4, gives a patriotic Scripture reading, and Sharon Baldwin offers special music.

Peace Lutheran Church, 1301 Ave. D: Ralph Sappingtons Country/Gospel Liturgy is featured, and Paul Freeman gives a musical offering during the 10 a.m. worship service.

East Gate Wesleyan Church, 625 Mattson Lane: The Holy Eucharist is celebrated as the Rev. Kevin Jones, of Grace Anglican Church in Sheridan, Wyoming, leads the 3 p.m. worship service. Fellowship and refreshments follow.

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 180 24th St. W.: At the 9:30 a.m. worship service, the Rev. Susan Thomas preaches about transformation, using the texts Isaiah 61:1-3 and Mark 5:1-20, and the Lords Supper is shared with all who wish to partake. Thomas served as a hospital chaplain for many years at Billings Clinic. After the service, refreshments are served in the Garden Room.

Unity of Billings, 9 14th St. W.: At 10 a.m., the Rev. Danielle Egnew, singer/songwriter and interfaith minister, shares her message, “Fear as Our Teacher.” Russ White leads the congregational singing of Daniel Namod songs. A potluck takes place after the service. Everyone is invited to share in food and fellowship.

First English Lutheran Church, 1243 N. 31st St.: Christs welcoming of all and the nations birth are celebrated at the 10 a.m. worship service. After the service, Independence Day is celebrated with ice cream bars, and a womens group meeting takes place.

American Lutheran Church worshiping at Moss Mansion, 914 Division St.: An outdoor worship service takes place at 10 a.m. Bring a lawn chair. (No child care is available for this service.)

Construction work at Billings Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2032 Central Ave.: Billings Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is under construction. No services are planned until August.

American Lutheran Church, 5 Lewis Ave.: Family vacation Bible school is offered in three sessions July 12, 19 and 26. Each takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and includes a meal, lesson, craft and games for the whole family. RSVP by emailing Rochelle Buyse at rochelle@amluth.org.

The deadline for submitting information for the Faith Guide is noon Tuesday for consideration for publication in the upcoming Saturday edition. The items should be special events open to the public and of interest to readers outside your congregation.

You may mail information to: Faith Guide; Billings Gazette newsroom; P.O. Box 36300; Billings, MT 59107. Items also may be faxed to 657-1208 or emailed to citynews@billingsgazette.com. Be sure to address faxes or emails to the Faith Guide. Or you may drop off your item at The Gazette, 401 N. Broadway; please mark it to the attention of Rachelle Lacy.

Items are used as space is available.

Read the rest here:

Faith guide – Billings Gazette

California’s Far North Deplores ‘Tyranny’ of the Urban Majority – New York Times

Californias Great Red North is the opposite, a vast, rural, mountainous tract of pine forests with a political ethos that bears more resemblance to Texas than to Los Angeles. Two-thirds of the north is white, the population is shrinking and the region struggles economically, with median household incomes at $45,000, less than half that of San Francisco.

Jim Cook, former supervisor of Siskiyou County, which includes cattle ranches and the majestic slopes of Mount Shasta, calls it the forgotten part of California.

In the same state that is developing self-driving cars, theres the rugged landscape of Trinity County, where a large share of residents heat their homes with wood, plaques commemorate stagecoach routes and the county seat, Weaverville, is an old gold-mining town with a lone blinking stop-and-go traffic light.

The residents of this region argue that their political voice is drowned out in a system that has only one state senator for every million residents.

This sentiment resonates in other traditionally conservative parts of California, including large swaths of the Central Valley, which runs down the state, and it mirrors red and blue tensions felt in areas across the country. But perhaps nowhere else in California is the alienation felt more keenly than in the far north, an arresting panorama of fields filled with wildflowers and depopulated one-street towns that have never recovered from the gold rush.

People up here for a very long time have felt a sense that we dont matter, said James Gallagher, a state assemblyman for the Third District, which is a shorter drive from the forests of Mount Hood in Oregon than from the beaches of San Diego. We run this state like its one size fits all. You cant do that.

Many liberals in California describe themselves as the resistance to Mr. Trump. Residents of the north say they are the resistance to the resistance, politically invisible to the Democratic governor and Legislature. Californias strict regulations on the environment, gun control and hunting impinge on a rural lifestyle, they say, that urban politicians do not understand.

The states stringent air quality and climate change regulations may be appropriate for technology workers, Mr. Gallagher said, but they are onerous for people living in rural areas.

In the rural parts of the state we drive more miles, we drive older cars, our economy is an agriculture- and resource-based economy that relies on tractors and trucks, Mr. Gallagher said. You cant move an 80,000-pound load in an electric truck.

A recently passed gas tax, pushed through by the Democratic majority, will disproportionately hurt rural voters, he said.

Taxation and hunting are two issues northerners are quick to seize upon when criticizing laws they feel are unfairly imposed by the state. But there are also more fundamental issues related to incomes and job opportunities that split California into a two-speed economy.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, unemployment rates hover around 3 percent. In the far north, where many timber mills have shut down in recent years, unemployment is as high as 6 percent in Shasta County and 16.2 percent in Colusa County.

Despite a go-it-alone ethos, residents of the 13 counties in the northern bloc are much more likely to receive government medical assistance than those in the Bay Area. In the north, 31 percent take part in Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program, while the Bay Area rate is 19 percent, and Californias overall figure 28 percent.

United States Representative Doug LaMalfa, a Republican representing Northern Californias First District, blames regulations that have shut down industries for the economic disparities.

Theyve devastated ag jobs, timber jobs, mining jobs with their environmental regulations, so, yes, we have a harder time sustaining the economy, and therefore theres more people that are in a poorer situation.

Because incomes are significantly lower than the state average and the region is so thinly populated, tax revenue from the far north is a fraction of what urban areas contribute. In 2014, the 13 northern counties had a combined state income tax assessment of $1 billion, compared with $4 billion from San Francisco County.

Resentment toward the rest of California has a long history here there have been numerous efforts to split the state since its founding in 1850. After the presidential election, a proposal to secede from the union, driven by liberals and known as Calexit, gained attention.

Residents here have long backed a different proposal for a separate state, one that would be carved out of Northern California and the southern reaches of Oregon. Flags of the so-called State of Jefferson, which was first proposed in the 19th century, fly on farms and ranches around the region.

Jefferson, named after the president who once envisioned establishing an independent nation in the western section of North America, is more a state of mind than a practicable proposal. Many see it as unrealistic for a region that has plenty of water and timber but perhaps not enough wealth to wean itself away from engines of the California economy.

However, two recent initiatives have channeled the deep feeling of underrepresentation.

In May, a loose coalition of northern activists and residents, including an Indian tribe and the small northern city of Fort Jones, joined forces to file a federal lawsuit arguing that Californias legislative system is unconstitutional because the Legislature has not expanded with the population.

States

Population per House member

States

Population per Senate member

California

489,310

California

978,620

Texas

183,127

Texas

886,100

Florida

168,927

Florida

506,782

New York

131,972

Ohio

351,922

Ohio

117,307

New York

319,287

States

Population per House member

States

Population per Senate member

Wyoming

9,768

South Dakota

24,528

Maine

8,803

Vermont

20,868

North Dakota

8,052

Montana

20,659

Vermont

4,174

Wyoming

19,537

New Hampshire

3,327

North Dakota

16,105

The suit, filed against the California secretary of state, Alex Padilla, who oversees election laws in California, calls for an increase in the membership of the bicameral Legislature, which since 1862 has capped the number of lawmakers at 120.

The lawsuit argues that California now has the least representative system of any state in the nation. Each State Assembly member represents nearly 500,000 people and each state senator twice that.

This arbitrary cap has created an oligarchy, the lawsuit says.

By contrast, each member of the New York State Assembly represents on average 130,000 people; in New Hampshire, its 3,330 people for each representative.

Mark Baird, one of the plaintiffs, says residents of Californias far north feel as though they are being governed by an urbanized elite.

I wake up in the morning and think, What is California going to do to me today? said Mr. Baird, a former airline pilot who owns a ranch about an hours drive from the Oregon border. In a grass valley framed by low-lying hills, Mr. Bairds pastures are filled with his small herd of buffalo and a few pens of horses and donkeys.

Mr. Baird complains of restrictions on the types of guns he can own. Its tyranny by the majority, he said. The majority should never be able to deprive the minority of their inalienable rights.

Scott Wiener, a state senator representing San Francisco, says he has sympathy for the concerns of rural voters but rejects the proposal for a larger legislative body.

When you have a state as big and diverse as California, decisions are made that we dont all agree with, he said.

The second initiative is a proposed amendment to Californias Constitution that would change the method for dividing districts of the Legislatures upper house, the Senate. Instead of being based on population as they are now, Senate seats would be tied to regions, giving a larger voice to rural areas in the same way the federal Senate does.

I am asking the people with power to give up some of their power in order to allow all the voices in the state to have a little bit more strength than they do right now, said Mr. Gallagher, the assemblyman.

Northern Californians point out that the United States House of Representatives and Senate are based on the compromise between population and geography.

What I cant get over is that a court can rule that its not good for the state but it stands up at the federal level, said Mr. LaMalfa, the congressman. We wouldnt have a union if we hadnt come up with that compromise.

Mr. LaMalfa, who lives on a farm, says Californias urban denizens think of the rural areas as their park, and deplores what he describes as trophy legislation to protect animal species.

You have idealists from the cities who say, Wouldnt it be great to reintroduce wolves to rural California? Mr. LaMalfa said. He has a half-serious counterproposal: Lets introduce some wolves into Golden Gate Park and the Santa Monica Pier.

Doris Burke contributed research.

A version of this article appears in print on July 3, 2017, on Page A9 of the New York edition with the headline: The Great Red North of California.

The rest is here:

California’s Far North Deplores ‘Tyranny’ of the Urban Majority – New York Times

As we enter a zone of uncertainty… – The Statesman

April is the cruelest month, so said the famous poet TS Eliot. But one wit remarked that June marks the end of May.

Who would have expected that British Prime Minister Theresa May would lose her majority in Parliament in the June election, which was supposed to strengthen her hand in negotiating Brexit with the European Union?

This expectation reversal was as big a shock as Brexit or Trumpism. May may have found her Ides of March in June. In sharp contrast, unlike earlier in the year when everyone was worried about France falling to populist rule under Marine le Pen, a fresh centrist candidate named Macron won, and was rewarded by a handsome legislative majority to carry out his promise to reform France.

In Bangkok this week to refresh memories of 2 July 1997, I was struck by how history seemed to rhyme in 10 year cycles. Next month would mark not only the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China, but also the 20th anniversary of the Asian financial crisis, when the baht was devalued.

2007 also marked the 10th anniversary of the US sub-prime crisis, which together with the European debt crisis, caused a decade of low growth for the advanced economies.

Initially, investors hardly noticed the tremors from the subprime crisis. On 19 July 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average touched a record high of 14,000. After an adjustment in August to 13,000, the index dropped below 11,000 on September 15, 2008, following the Lehman failure. It fell to a record twelve-year low of 6,547 on 9 March 2009, recording a 53.2 per cent drop over this period. Similarly, the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index also crossed the 20,000 milestone on 28 December 2006 and rose to the all-time peak of 31,958 on 18 October 2007.

A year later, it lost 66.6 per cent to a low of 10,676 on 27 October 2008. Ten years later, both indices have once again touched record highs, with the Hang Seng recovering past the 26,000 mark this month, whereas the Dow hit a record peak of 21,528 this week.

Because this rally is essentially tech driven, even the NASDAQ index has surpassed its 2000 tech bubble peak of 5,048 to hit a new peak of 6,305 on 2 June 2017. These market gyrations suggest that another consolidation may be reached sometime soon, except we do not know the exact timing and the trigger.

All we know is the there are many risks out there, including policy uncertainties from whether the Fed would continue to raise interest rates, the sudden re-appearance of inflation and possible geopolitical or natural disaster events.

So far, market worries about Chinas high leverage issues seem to have receded with the stabilisation of US-China relations and better performance at the growth level.

All in all, the markets have priced in so far almost all the Brexit and Trump fears and did not react too much to the recent normalisation of Fed interest rates. The stark reality is that no one knows for sure whether we are in over-priced territory or bubble zone.

The US economy appears to trundle along in reasonable shape, with unemployment numbers reaching new lows. All we do know is asset prices are at record highs, financed by historically high debt and abnormally low interest rates. In this zone of radical uncertainty, we are no longer sure that the GDP indicator reflects the true state of the economy. GDP measures the old resource-based economy well, but does not capture growth in a datadigital economy.

No economy reflects this contradiction more than China, which has shifted from being the largest assembler of the global supply chain towards a consumption and service-driven economy. Both consumption and services crossed 50 per cent of GDP levels, moving closer towards an advanced country pattern where consumption and services account for roughly 60-70 per cent or more of GDP.

If China succeeds in this historic transition, with the old resource-consuming industries, like coal, steel, energy, being phased out, even as the new internet economy trims the inefficiencies in the current Chinese distribution system, then China could break through her middle-income trap. But one recalls that South Korea achieved OECD status in December 1996, only to fall into the Asian financial crisis in 1997/8. Mexico did the same in 1994.

All countries go through growing pains, especially what Austrian economist Schumpeterian called creative destruction.

This transition creates massive winners and also losers. We see this pattern being reflected in the mixture of top Dow Jones index component companies, whereby the leading tech stocks are being priced to win, whereas the old energy, manufacturing and distribution companies are struggling to maintain their market share. Given these radical uncertainties, history is replete with the rise and fall of nations, as well as the rise and fall of companies.

It teaches humility in forcing us to think holistically on the broader trends, whilst sorting out the signals from the noise. Emerging markets in Asia today are facing what is called a middle income trap whereby they need to break through a pain barrier to rise to advanced income status.

Advanced and aging economies countries like Britain and Japan face the opposite, a high income trap where if major policy mistakes are made, a rich country may slide into stagnation and possible lower income levels. Ultimately, demographics and geography determine destiny.

Asia may face many growing pains and a complex operating environment from disruptive technology and excessive competition, including geopolitical rivalry. Western analysts disdain for Asian demagogues is now being haunted by their own demagogues.

Basically, in the midst of these complex transitions through mega-trends, there is also a governance transition. The millennial generation is rapidly taking over in terms of consumption lifestyle, innovation and governance style.

History suggests that it will not be a bloodless transition. Despite all such noise, we should do well to remind ourselves that Asia is still where there is still demographic and technological growth.

Lets see whether the next market adjustment will stall or disrupt that growth trajectory. Happy 10th and 20th anniversaries!

The writer, a former Central banker, is Distinguished Fellow, Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong.

Special to ANN.

Read this article:

As we enter a zone of uncertainty… – The Statesman

European Union to help India move to a resource efficient ‘circular … – Firstpost

New Delhi: India and the European Union on Friday agreed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of environment, resource efficiency andcircular economy under the EU’s Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI) for India.

Representational image. Reuters

At the eighth EU-India Environment Forum, hosted in Delhi, the necessity of moving to a resource efficient ‘circular economy’ wherein waste is reduced, or becomes useful input in others, or renewable inputs replace non-renewable ones, was discussed.

Union Environment Secretary AN Jha, who took part in the forum said India was preparing its own campaign to develop a resource efficiency strategy and experience sharing with European experts would be of immense help in this regard.

Astrid Schomaker, Director for Global Sustainable Development, Environment Directorate-General, European Commission said that market-based incentives and eco-innovation will create new and exciting products, services and job opportunities in India.

The Resource Efficiency Initiative (REI) project will be implemented on behalf of the European Union by a consortium led by Deutsche Gesellschaftfr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Confederation of the Indian Industry (CII) and Adelphi.

The project objectives include assessment of India’s current and future use of resources and to develop a resource efficiency strategy for India in four sectors – mobility, buildings and construction, renewable energy, and plastic and e-waste management.

The project also aims to foster business partnerships for knowledge and technology transfer between European and Indian industry and raise awareness of best practices in resource efficiency among businesses, the general public, and government and non-government organisations, an official statement said.

Read the original:

European Union to help India move to a resource efficient ‘circular … – Firstpost

Maine Compass: LePage misinforms public in push to end land trust tax exemptions – Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

At the 11th hour and with state government teetering on the edge of a shutdown, the governor has stirred up a cloud of misinformation to distract the Legislature from its work. In his press statement from June 27 and again during a talk-radio appearance, Gov. LePage threatened legislators with a government shutdown unless they support his initiative to tax conservation land owned by land trusts.

Lets look at the facts. Already this session, the Legislature overwhelmingly defeated two bills designed to remove tax-exempt status from land trusts. Both bills were unanimously rejected in the Senate. Why? Because most lands conserved by Maine land trusts fully 95 percent are already on the tax rolls.

Moreover, eliminating land trusts eligibility for a property tax exemption will have little or no impact in addressing property tax concerns in Maine and will not help state lawmakers arrive at a balanced budget. The governors proposal will also not get the state to 55 percent in education funding or allow elderly residents to keep their homes, as he has claimed in the past.

Interestingly, earlier this session the Legislature unanimously approved a bill introduced by the conservation community to allow land trusts to make voluntary tax payments to local governments to support land holdings in rural Maine. This proposal offered the governor a chance to support legislation to ease the property tax burden on Maine landowners. Yet this bill went into law without the governors signature after sitting on his desk for 10 days.

As for the governors current proposal, the latest bargaining tool in the state budget discussions, it would affect fewer than 95,000 acres statewide, less than half of 1 percent of the state. And on roughly 20 percent of these acres the land trusts are already making payments in lieu of taxes. At the same time, the fiscal impact of eliminating the property tax exemption would be negligible.

For example, in legislative testimony in 2015, a licensed appraiser estimated that tax exemptions held by all the land trusts in Bath added roughly $1 per year to the property tax bill on a $300,000 home.

More importantly, the return on investment in land conservation greatly outweighs any costs.

There are examples in every corner of the state of land trusts benefiting their home communities. These conserved lands are an essential part of the foundation for Maines natural resource-based economy, our quality of life and the Maine brand. These lands guarantee access for commercial fishermen, protect working farms, ensure forests for forest products, create opportunities to hunt, fish, hike, swim, walk dogs, snowmobile and canoe, protect important wildlife habitat and serve as vital classrooms for students across the state.

Lastly, there is a growing understanding of the tax benefits generated by conservation land. The latest indication can be found in President Donald Trumps fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, where the president indicates evidence shows that (National Wildlife) Refuges often generate tax revenue for communities in excess of what was lost, by increasing property values and creating tourism opportunities for the American public to connect with nature.

With the important role that trust-conserved lands play providing access to hunters, hikers, birdwatchers, snowmobilers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts one only needs to get out of Augustas Capitol complex to see businesses and communities enjoying similar economic benefits throughout the state.

Maine people love and support conservation lands. Through six overwhelming statewide votes in favor of the Land for Maines Future Program and generous private donations, Maine citizens have made these investments in the future of the state they cherish.

Conservation lands, including those held in land trusts, are a crucial component of our economy and a valued part of our Maine way of life. They deserve more respect than to be treated as an 11th-hour bargaining chip in budget negotiations that could lead to a government shutdown.

Tim Glidden is president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, David Trahan is executive director of the Sportsmans Alliance of Maine and Kate Dempsey is state director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine.

Link:

Maine Compass: LePage misinforms public in push to end land trust tax exemptions – Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel


...89101112...