Saturday, 24 June 2017

Gaillardia of the Outer Banks, NC - Jobell Flower

The Jobellflower

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Outer Banks, it's well worth the trip. They are barrier islands along the Atlantic coast of North Carolina.

If you're lucky, you'll get to see a beautiful flower blanketing the landscape: gaillardia. This flower normally blooms in summer, but on a recent visit to the Outer Banks, I found clumps of them blooming in early spring.

They seem to thrive in the most inhospitable of conditions. I found them growing near the ocean amongst the straggly grasses of the sand dunes. I also found them growing along the side of the road. Every gaillardia flower I found, though, grew in the wide open sun, and grew best surrounded by sand.

The locals have a story for how all those gaillardias got to be all over the sand dunes and along the sides of the road.

Meet Joe and Josephine Bell

In the early part of the twentieth century a middle-aged couple was very much still in love. Their names were Joe and Josephine Bell.

Joe doted on Josephine. You could tell it was true love that they shared.

They loved to frequent the Outer Banks in the summers. At that time, the Banks weren't very developed and the Bells loved the rustic appeal of life near the ocean. They found friends among the fishermen, groundskeepers and hunters that lived there.

The Bells stayed in various vacation homes when they went to the Outer Banks. They always paid their way, but enjoyed meeting all the different people who frequented the area. They enjoyed helping to keep house in the places they stayed and loved helping people who crossed their path.

Josephine's kindness was known all over the Outer Banks. She would even take on the role as a midwife if needed, though she wasn't a midwife by trade. Joe was never far away, and always willing to help. He willingly ran errands for Josephine, helped expectant fathers and was a great handyman.

Time passed and the Bells grew older. O ne winter, at their home inland, Josephine fell very ill. She made Joe promise to return to the Outer Banks to continue their tradition of staying there in the summers and helping people. She died, not long after Joe made his promise.

Joe indeed returned to the Outer Banks the following summer. But after sharing Sprinkler System Installation so many fond memories with Josephine, it was almost too much to bear. The sunrise was beautiful, but filled him with an empty longing for the love of his life. The beaches were peaceful, but lonely without Josephine.

Distressed and sullen, Joe returned inland.

A Sign From Josephine

Unexpectedly, he found a clump of gaillardia flowers growing in a garden where Josephine often liked to work. These flowers surrounded a large seashell that Josephine had once brought back from the beach. He didn't plant those flowers; they had never been there before. He knew, however, that they were Josephine's favorite type of flower. They were fiery orange with a reddish center.

He knew what he had to do.

Carefully digging up the flowers and tediously keeping the roots moist, Joe journeyed back to the Outer Banks. He started in Nag's Head, he planted those flowers one b y one all along the sand dunes. When they seeded, he took them and scattered them wherever he went.

He was sewing the seeds of his true love.

The locals liken Joe Bell to Johnny Appleseed. He spread that flower all over the barrier islands so that now, they blanket the landscape as if they were native flowers. They grow amazingly well and don't seem to mind the salt spray from the ocean.

The seeds happily ride the ever-present winds in the Outer Banks and thrive in the sandy soil.

Now, the locals fondly refer to Joe's flower as the Sprinkler System Installation Jobell flower - often as one word: Jobellflower.

I first heard this story courtesy of Charles Whedbee in his book Outer Banks Mysteries & Seaside Stories. When I visited the islands recently, a National Park employee re-tol d the story to me and I share it with you.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Tyco Fire & Building Products Launches Revolutionary Sprinkler System; Quell(TM)Fire Sprinkler System Designed Specifically for Cold and Unheated Storage Facilities

LANSDALE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 22, 2006--Tyco Fire & Building Products (TFBP), a division of Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC; BSX:TYC), and a world leader in fire protection technology, today introduced the Quell(TM) Fire Sprinkler System. A first-of-its-kind design with a patent pending, the Quell system was created specifically for cold storage environments, such as frozen food storage facilities and unheated warehouses.

The launch of Quell represents a significant advancement in fire sprinkler technology. For the first time, there is now a dry sprinkler solution that does not rely on in-rack sprinklers or anti-freeze- which are historically prone to damage and difficult to maintain. "The absence of in-rack components and anti-freeze allows the Quell system to provide greater commodity classifications, higher roof and storage heights and lower installation costs- three major advantages to property owners," said Charles Toogood, VP of United States Cold Storage, Inc. "This is really a breakthrough in sprinkler technology for companies that require fire protection in cold storage or unheated warehouse settings."

The Quell fire sprinkler system is more economical to install and requires less maintenance than anti-freeze filled sprinkler systems. Additionally, the new Quell solution provides greater flexibility in the storage environment since there are no in-rack sprinklers.

"We designed the Quell sprinkler system to be a total solution for owners of cold storage facilities and outdoor warehouses," said James Golinveaux, senior vice president of research and development at Tyco Fire & Building Products. "We know that managers of these facilities have always wanted two things that they often had to sacrifice with traditional dry sprinkler systems- the ability to expand their hazard classification for what could be stored and the ability to store items at higher levels in the storage facility."

"Tyco's Quell solution will have Sprinkler Installation a direct impact on the bottom line of food service, commercial and industrial Sprinkler System customers who rely on unheated storage facilities."

In the event of a fire, the system employs a "surround and drown" effect to quickly control the fire, preventing costly damage to both storage facilities and the goods housed inside them.

Tyco's Quell Fire Sprinkler System components come with an exclusive, 10-year and industry-leading warranty, and are available through specially trained Tyco licensees. For more information , please call 1-800-381-9312 and request Mark Fessenden, Kevin Maughan or Gordon Farrell. You can also visit

About Tyco Fire & Building Products

Tyco Fire & Building Products is a leading manufacturer of water-based fire suppression system components and ancillary building construction products, distributing more than 28 million sprinklers worldwide every year serving customers in residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional building projects. It continually expands its capabilities through aggressive research and pro duct development to provide its customers effective fire protection and construction solutions.

Tyco International Ltd. Is a global, diversified company that provides vital product and services to customers in five business segments: Fire & Security, Electronics, Healthcare, Engineered Products & Services, and Plastics & Adhesives. With 2005 revenue of $40 billion, Tyco employs approximately 250,000 people worldwide. More information on Tyco can be found at

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Spring Gardens Are Waking Up - Here's What to Do in March

Clean your pruners and get out your gardening gloves. Spring is here, bringing longer days, fresh blooms and annual garden chores. In the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, it's time to prune trees. Early bulbs and wildflowers are peeking their heads above the soil around the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. Start your herbs and vegetables in Texas, and don't forget about companion plants. While you're at it, try something new in the garden -- native or exotic -- and remember your local wildlife. Here's what to do in March in the U.S., region by region.

Northwest. "I'm not sure if I love the apple blossoms or the actual apples more," says landscape designer Karen Chapman, "but I do know that without proper pruning, the trees will not be as vigorous nor produce as much fruit as they could. This is the last month to prune fruit trees, so sharpen those pruners."

California. Plant bougainvillea in a pot now and you can have a showy display by midsummer," writes California g arden editor Bill Marken. "It's best to choose one of the compact varieties, such as 'Singapore Pink', 'Temple Fire' or 'Purple Queen'. When planting, take special care not to break up the root ball -- plants are sensitive about this."

RELATED:Add a Bench to Your Garden and Stay Awhile

Southwest. "Do you love citrus?" asks Arizona horticulturist Noelle Johnson. "March is the best time of year to add a new citrus tree to the garden. Any pruning that your citrus needs should also be done this month."

Rocky Mountains. "While planning your veget able garden, try to incorporate companion plants for improved plant health," suggests Colorado landscape designer Sprinkler System Mckinney Jocelyn H. Chilvers. "Good partners for tomato plants include members of the onion family, carrots, parsley, cucumbers, nasturtiums and marigolds."

Texas. "Get your veggies and herbs in the ground for months of harvest," says landscape designer Jenny Peterson. "Chard, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, pumpkins, summer squash, tomatoes, tomatillos and endive will transplant well this month -- look for healthy (free of pests and diseases) 4-inch pots at your local nursery. Herbs like artemisia, chives, lemongrass, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, sorrel, thyme and santolina can also be planted. Remember that mint tends to aggressively take over a garden, so consider https://www.lowes.c om/projects/lawn-and-garden/install-an-underground-sprinkler-system/project planting it while it's still in its plastic nursery pot to keep its roots from spreading too much."

RELATED: Spruce Up the Outdoor Picnic Table With a New Tablecloth for Spring

Central Plains. "While you're thinking about plugging holes in the garden vista with ornamental native grasses, think about adding some architectural features that are also beneficial to wildlife," writes Nebraska garden consultant Benjamin Vogt.

Great Lakes. "Usually by the end of March, the first of the native wildflowers, sharp-leaved hepatica (Hepatica nobilis var. acuta), begins blooming," writes garden coach Barbara Pintozzi. "It is slightly earlier than round-leaved hepatica (Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa). Both are semi-evergreen and might benefit from a bit of dead-leafing before blooming."

Northeast. "Look for early bulbs," writes landscape designer Charlotte Albers. "They can be hard to see if they're scattered over a big area, but they make a big impact after months of color deprivation. Shown here is reticulated iris (Iris reticulata), one of the very earliest ephemeral bulbs to appear through the leaf duff and debris of late winter."

Mid-Atlantic. "While hunting for new growth, don't forget to look for seeds," advises Amy Renea. "Many plants still have seed pods hanging on for dear life, and you can often harvest seeds to plant immediately."

Southeast. "If you have always wanted to plant a clematis at your mailbox, now is a good time to plant one, but only if you have a sunny Sprinkler System Mckinney location that does not receive the hot afternoon sun," suggests garden writer Helen Yoest. "Clematis needs good soil and good drainage. Mulch around the plant to keeps the roots cool."

Monday, 12 June 2017

How about a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting lawyers from holding political office...

While I think Phoebe is partially correct to the extent lawyers are able to find loopholes, I think our founders wanted common people to be members of the House of Representatives and were not looking at a government composed of lawyers solely.

I think normal people can write laws and find loopholes too. It's not a skill reserved solely for lawyers. If one is logical and a critical thinker they should be able to do just as well.

In many cases, I think the power argument makes lawyers more dangerous and not less simply because they do know all the dirty tricks and the less ethical ones exploit them. A common person may not be able m/watch?v=tx5hfLp3Vqc to do that which makes them safer even if corruptible which we all are.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Betsy DeVos's student loan overhaul would hurt doctors, lawyers

They earn less than their colleagues in the private sector, but they can have just as much student debt.


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"I could have chosen to work for a big law firm and make six figures, but I wanted to make a difference in real people's lives," said Jared Stephenson, a public defender for Orange County, California.

What made it possible for Stephenson to turn down a bigger paycheck with $200,000 of debt hanging over his head was the government's Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. It promises to cancel remaining debt for those who work for the government or nonprofit organizations after they make 10 years of on-time payments.

But President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos want to end that program. Their proposed budget, released last week, calls to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for new borrowers. The cut, which requires an act of Congress, would save $27.5 billion over 10 years if enacted, according to the White House.

In a statement, DeVos said the budget (which would cut 13.5% from the overall department next year) "ensures funding for programs with proven results for students while taking a hard look at programs that sound nice but simply haven't yielded the desired outcomes."

When it was enacted in 2007, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was intended to encourage people to enter public sector jobs. More than 400,000 people have enrolled since it was created, but no one will receive forgiveness until this October, when the first wave of borrowers will have made 10 years of payments.

For many people, the forgiveness program wasn't the main reason they chose a career in public service, but it was a significant factor.

"The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program made us feel like the government had our backs for going into a field purely for the love of treating patients over chasing the bloated salaries of other fields of medicine just to have financial security," said Har ris Khawaja, a first-year pediatrics resident at a teaching hospital.

Pediatrics is the lowest paid medical specialty. They can expect to earn about $200,000 less than some of the highest paid specialties, like orthopedics and cardiology in which physicians can earn more than $400,000 a year.

doctor lawyer debt harris khawajaHarris Khawaja says the forgivenes program made him feel like the government had his back.

Related: What's not in the budget for student loan borrowers

The forgiveness program has been used as a recruitment tool for non-profit employers, said Matthew Shick, Director of Government Relations at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

About one-third of medical school graduates said they were planning to apply for public service forgiveness, according to an AAMC sur vey of the class of 2016.

Medical school leaves students with an average of $190,000 in debt. While they can make a lot of money eventually, it's a slow start. After four years of school, they then have three to seven years of residency during which they typically receive an average annual stipend of $54,000.

Advocates say it's also an incentive for attorneys, who graduate with an average of $127,000 in debt, according to the American Bar Association.

"Without loan forgiveness, fewer people would be able to dedicate their lives to public service as prosecutors, public defenders, legal aid lawyers and other justice-related fields, especially in underserved rural areas," said ABA President Linda Klein, in a statement.

Stephenson became passionate about helping those underprivileged and forgotten individuals that come through a public defender's office while interning during law school.

"Whether it's the homeless, the drug addicted, or the mental ly ill, I came to love doing my part to try to improve the lives of the scorned," he said.

doctor lawyer debt jared stephensonThe loan forgiveness program made it possible for Jared Stephenson to pursue a career as a public defender.

Public interest lawyers and those who work for the government can expect to earn much less than attorneys who go into private practice. In 2015, graduates landed private jobs that paid starting salaries close to $100,000, while those in the public sector earned under $60,000 on average, according to the National Association for Law Placement.

Related: I voted for Trump. Now he wants to cut the aid I need

It's not just the student loan borrowers who would get hurt if the forgiveness program gets cut, said Schick at the AAMC. "It's about the patients served by the prog ram, too," he said.

Some critics say the program is redundant. Without it, borrowers can still seek loan relief through an income-driven repayment program, which promises to cancel debt after 25 years for graduate students.

But here's where the DeVos budget is a double whammy for public service workers with advanced degrees. Not only does it propose eliminating the public service forgiveness program, but it revamps the income-driven repayment system so that graduate borrowers need to pay for 30 years before seeing debt relief.

Related: Trump budget proposes 40% cut to job training programs

Since graduate students can currently borrow an unlimited amount of money from the government and ultimately have remaining debt forgiven, critics claim many are getting their advanced degrees on the taxpayers' tab.

The proposed overhaul of the income-driven repayment plan is a sweeter deal for undergraduate students. It shortens the numbers of years before loan forgiveness from 20 to 15. It would, however, raise the monthly payment from 10% of discretionary income to 12.5%.

"These reforms will reduce inefficiencies in the student loan program and focus assistance on needy undergraduate student borrowers instead of high-income, high-balance graduate borrowers," the budget says.

For Khawaja, the pediatric resident, there's still the temptation of private practice. But his passion has always been in academic medicine and research.

"If it ever was about the money for me, I wouldn't have chosen pediatrics. But it is what I love to do," he said.

CNNMoney (New York) First published May 26, 2017: 12:41 PM ET

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