Benj Pasek & Justin Paul Are Oscar Winners for La La Land

first_img Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have nabbed their first Oscar! The Dear Evan Hansen music duo won for the La La Land song “City of Stars.” They share the win with La La Land composer Justin Hurwitz. The trio also garnered the Golden Globe back in January, when “City of Stars” won Best Original Song.”This award is dedicated to all the kids who sing in the rain and to all the moms that let them,” Pasek said in the speech.Pasek and Paul created the music and lyrics for Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen. They also lent their musical talents to A Christmas Story. Their musical Dogfight premiered at the Second Stage Theatre in 2012 and garnered the Lortel Award for Best New Musical. Their other stage works include James and the Giant Peach and Edges. On screen, their music has been featured in Smash, Sesame Street and Johnny and the Sprites. They are also working on Hugh Jackman’s movie musical, The Greatest Showman.Congrats to Pasek, Paul, Hurwitz and theater nerds everywhere! Benj Pasek, Justin Hurwitz & Justin Paul(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images) View Commentslast_img read more

Extreme Drought.

first_img Very Short 37 28 18 Short 41 30 34 — Percentages — Source: Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service Adequate 21 39 42 ÿ June 4, 1999 June 5, 1998 5 Year Avg. Surplus 1 3 6 Soil Moisture for Week Ending June 5, 1999 ATHENS, Ga. — Central Georgia is now in extreme drought conditions,according to the PalmerDrought Severity Index. The rest of the state remains in severe drought except thewest central region, which is in moderate drought, and the northwest corner, which is inmild drought.For the PDSI, the Central Georgia Region includes Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Butts,Crawford, Dodge, Greene, Hancock, Houston, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Laurens, Monroe,Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Rockdale, Taliaferro, Twiggs,Treutlen, Washington, Wheeler and Wilkinson counties.Soil moisture continued to get drier last week. The Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service reportedsoil moisture as short to very short in 78 percent of the state. Only 21 percent of thesoils had enough moisture. Crop and pasture conditions continued to decline.The CropMoisture Index also shows drying topsoil across most of the state. Central, southwestand south central Georgia are excessively dry, reducing prospective yields.The east central and southeast regions of the state are abnormally dry, and yieldprospects are deteriorating. North central and northeast Georgia report short topsoilmoisture.Northwest and west central Georgia have adequate topsoil moisture now. However, dryareas remain in these regions. The PDSI and the CMI are calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center.Little relief is in store for Georgia this week. Most of the state needs 9 to 12 inchesof rain to end the drought. Northwest Georgia needs about 4 inches.Georgia is now in the typical summertime weather pattern. The state depends onscattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms for most of its rain. It is rare that adrought will be broken by scattered thunderstorms. It may take a tropical storm to breakthe current drought.Current weather information on 38 Georgia locations is at the University of Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring NetworkWeb site. Find current drought information at the UGA Drought ’99 Web site. Or talk toyour county Extension Service agent about the drought’s effects on crops, landscaping,gardens or livestock.last_img read more

‘Genes for Georgia’

first_imgBy Natasha SplaineUniversity of GeorgiaATHENS, Ga. — A new University of Georgia research project will focus on the practical benefits of biotechnology, uniting genetic research with economic growth.Aptly named “Genes for Georgia,” this effort will allow UGA scientists to map out genes of plants and animals important to Georgia agriculture.The project, funded by a two-year, $600,000 grant through the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Innovation program, will make this information accessible to regional agricultural and biotechnology industries.”This award will enable our scientists to explore genomes of high economic value,” said UGA provost Karen Holbrook, the lead investigator. Participation of a senior administrator is an unusual requirement for the NSF program.”Genes for Georgia” was conceived by UGA scientists Andrew Paterson, a professor of crop and soil sciences, botany and genetics, and Robert Ivarie, a professor of genetics.The two will work to decipher the genetic codes of chicken and cotton. They will collect this information into what they call “gene encyclopedias.”A pilot projectThe study will serve as a pilot project. But eventually, the researchers want to create gene encyclopedias for each of Georgia’s top 10 farm commodities. Together, these 10 have an estimated economic impact of nearly $15 billion a year.”The encyclopedias themselves will represent the ‘spellings’ of a large number of genes in plants and animals that are commercially important to the state of Georgia,” Paterson said. He will be working on the cotton genome.Using tissues from economically important commodities, such as cotton, peanuts or chickens, the scientists can extract and sequence DNA, discovering the “spelling” of each gene.”Each one of these sequences becomes essentially a page in the gene encyclopedia,” Ivarie said. “And these sequences identify the gene.” Ivarie will sequence the chicken genome.Gene encyclopediaThe “pages” will be compiled into an entire gene encyclopedia for that organism. They then will be made accessible on the Web with the help of computing and networking specialists.Bio-based companies could use this information to improve the quality and yield of their products.Transforming genetic research into economic growth requires private investment. But small, bio-based companies often can’t afford this costly research. They’re unable to compete with larger, national companies.”The idea here,” Ivarie said, “is to create the encyclopedias and make them available to small companies, Georgia farmers and geneticists who are working on trade improvements.”Interpreting genetic data”Genes for Georgia” scientists will also help Georgia’s bio-based industries interpret the genetic data. The program has the potential to usher in a new era of innovation for these industries, Paterson said.To stimulate interest among these industries, the program will include workshops to educate target businesses and stakeholders. The first of these workshops is scheduled for next summer.”We hope it will be a demonstration project,” Paterson said. “We want to engage a community of stakeholders in Georgia’s bio-based industries and educate them on what can be learned from a gene encyclopedia.”More information about ‘Genes for Georgia’ is on the Web at read more

Variety selection key to successful farming

first_imgSelecting the best crop variety to plant can determine whether or not farmers make a profit. One wrong selection can result in acres of nothing to harvest. In farming, no harvest means money lost. Each year, the University of Georgia Statewide Variety Testing Program works to take some of the guesswork out of farming. Based at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences campus in Griffin, Ga., the program tests both publicly and privately developed cultivars, including summer crops like corn, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, grain sorghum and summer annual forages. Winter crops tested are wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale, canola and winter annual forages.Different soils, different temperaturesTo make the information useful for Georgia farmers, each variety is tested in the state’s different geographic regions. “Georgia’s soils differ from the limestone valley in Calhoun, to the red clay in the Piedmont and the sandy soils of the Coastal Plain,” said Don Day, the program’s director. “If that weren’t enough, there are agronomic challenges within each of these region’s microclimates, too.”Temperatures, too, vary greatly from one end of the state to the other. For example, Day said, Tifton lies 300 feet above sea level. In the Piedmont, Griffin lies 1000 to 1,200 feet above sea level and is at least 5 degrees cooler than Tifton. Further north in Blairsville, the temperatures are another 5 degrees cooler year round.These temperature and elevation changes not only affect how Georgians dress for the day, they also affect how crops grow and the size of the yield they produce. “Blairsville’s temperatures are like the Midwest in that it’s cooler at night,” Day said. “It’s great for growing corn, bright, sunny days and cooler nights. But you can’t grow peanuts or cotton there because of the short growing season and the risk of frost.”The program also tests crop varieties for their resistance to pests and diseases. A two-headed coinThere are no “guarantees in farming,” he said, but the most important decision is starting with the right variety. He says farming is like a two-headed coin.“On one side a farmer can do everything right, have the right soil, the perfect fertility and irrigation. But if he plants a nonadapted variety, he’s still going to lose,” Day said. “On the other side of the coin, a farmer can plant the right variety, his crop does well, he makes a profit and other farmers immediately want to know what variety he planted.”The UGA program tests seed types from several private seed companies as well as crop breeders from other land-grant universities across the Southeast.Sharing the resultsAt the end of each crop’s season, the information is published annually in five research reports made available to farmers, private industry and researchers at other land-grant institutions. The crops on the research fields are harvested and sold. Profits are used to fund the program and UGA research farms across the state.To make the information handily available to farmers, all of the data is online at Data going back 13 years is available there. The information is also presented at field days across the state for farmers and others in the agriculture industry.“I sometimes get calls from farmers, and I answer their questions, but rather than tell them specific varieties to grow, I ask them to talk with their local county agent” he said. “We provide nonbiased, research-based information, but the ultimate decision is still the farmer’s.”last_img read more

ADT I returns to UGA

first_imgThe Georgia National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team I will be on the University of Georgia campus June 11 at 2 p.m. to present the faculty of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences with a UGA flag that was flown over their base in Logar Province in Afghanistan. ADT I, made up of citizen-soldiers from across Georgia who are part of the 201st Regional Support Group out of Augusta, served in Afghanistan from May 2011 to May 2012. They assisted the Afghan government in helping the country’s farmers develop more-productive farming practices and new markets for their produce.Soldiers from the unit trained with faculty from the college at UGA’s Athens campus in February 2011. Before the unit’s deployment, CAES Dean J. Scott Angle and Assistant Dean for Extension Steve Brown gave the group a UGA flag to remind them of home while they were in Afghanistan. “I promised them that we would fly this flag in Afghanistan and that we would all sign it and return the flag to UGA after our deployment was completed,” said Col. Bill Williams, who served as commander of ADT I. “Our mission was a success because we were very well prepared, and the UGA faculty helped set us up for success. We are following through on our commitment to return the flag to UGA and are honored to do so.” While they were deployed, ADT I worked with local Afghan Extension agents to host basic veterinary and agribusiness workshops and organized farmers into marketing groups. They also worked with village women, teaching them how to grow and market fruits and vegetables. “We found that they knew how to farm, but the problem was they couldn’t store the food and they couldn’t sell it,” Williams said. Afghani farmers grow wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, apples and apricots. The food preservation and marketing techniques that the guardsmen introduced increased the profits for some farmers by 214 percent, he said. A second group of Georgia Guardsmen, dubbed Agribusiness Development Team II, received agricultural training through the college in fall 2012 and recently deployed for a yearlong agricultural mission to Afghanistan. Agribusiness Development Team III will train at UGA’s Tifton campus this fall. “It was our pleasure to arm the Georgia National Guard with the information they needed to accomplish their mission in Afghanistan,” Brown said. “From worming goats to trellising grapes, our faculty stopped what they were doing and helped give these soldiers the basic knowledge they would need on the ground in Afghanistan. We are staying in touch with these teams throughout their deployments, and the feedback they have provided is valuable to us as well.” The four members of ADT I who are UGA alumni, along with the colleges they graduated from, are Gary Church, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; Carmen Benson, CAES; George McCommon, CAES and College of Veterinary Medicine; and Catherine Tait, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. They have been invited to attend the June 11 ceremony. Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard, assistant adjutant general of the Georgia Army National Guard, will also be present at the flag ceremony. Jarrard commands the more than 11,700 citizen-soldiers of the Georgia Army National Guard.last_img read more

Horticulture Award

first_imgFor University of Georgia horticulture professor Paul Thomas, cultivating the next generation of horticulturists has always been as important as cultivating his next crop of plants.This fall, the Society of American Florists (SAF) will honor Thomas’ dedication to his students and his contributions to horticultural science with the 2017 Alex Laurie Award, the industry group’s most prestigious award.Thomas will accept the award at SAF’s 133rd annual convention on Sept. 9 in Palm Beach, Florida.“For years, Paul’s dedication to his students and the floriculture industry have helped earn him a reputation as an excellent teacher and Extension Specialist at the University of Georgia,” said Doug Bailey, professor and department head at the UGA Department of Horticulture. “We’re proud and excited to see that reputation is now national. The Alex Laurie Award is one of the greatest honors in American horticulture and no one deserves it more than Paul.” Established in 1948, SAF’s Alex Laurie Award is named for the Ohio State University eminent professor. Over the course of his 60-year career, Laurie laid the groundwork for research that revolutionized the floriculture industry and left a lineage of students, teachers and researchers who continue to provide the information necessary to ensure the industry’s future.Thomas earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in botany from Southern Illinois University and his doctorate in plant physiology, with a specialization in plant carbohydrate transport in maize, from Pennsylvania State University.Prior to joining the UGA faculty, Thomas served as the education greenhouse director at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the greenhouse manager at Southern Illinois University and as a scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service’s Northern Regional Research Center in Peoria, Illinois.He currently serves as the UGA Cooperative Extension state specialist in floriculture and conducts research into water conservation, sustainable greenhouse practices and smart greenhouse irrigation systems.While he has made a mark through both his research and Extension work, his work with students has shaped the future of the floral and greenhouse industries both in the U.S. and around the world.Thomas teaches classes on greenhouse management, horticultural business practices and interiorscaping — landscaping indoors — and he is known for connecting his students with the greenhouse industry internships to help launch their careers.Thomas’ mentorship reaches far beyond his horticulture students. For more than 20 years, he has served as an adviser for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ chapter of the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences organization and as a mentor in the college’s Young Scholars Program, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentoring program for high school students. Currently, he serves as faculty adviser to the Tau Chapter of the Pi Alpha Xi national academic honor society for horticulture.Thomas has published more than 350 peer-reviewed scientific and outreach articles and has received 41 academic awards. He has given more than 600 presentations to industry groups and has extensive diagnostic experience.He serves as a grant reviewer on the education committee for the American Floral Endowment (AFE) and chairs the endowment committee for the American Society for Horticultural Science. Thomas has also been very active in the Vic and Margaret Ball Internship Program managed by the AFE.Notably, he served a six-year term as an oversight committee member for the D.C. Kiplinger Endowment and Chair in Floriculture and served as a grant panel manager for the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.He has also served as a judge for the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a coalition of Georgia colleges created to recruit underrepresented demographics to STEM studies; the Georgia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at UGA; and the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair at UGA.For more information about the UGA Department of Horticulture, visit Society of American Florists contributed to this release.)last_img read more

Producing Results

first_imgLike the moments before a race begins, dozens of staff with Georgia Grown and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension prepared to load thousands of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables into hundreds of waiting cars and trucks stretched out in long lines at the Gwinnett Georgia Grown to Go event in Lawrenceville, Georgia, on May 27, even before the 3 p.m. start time.Held at Coolray Field, the event was the third in a series of events being held around metro Atlanta to give consumers a chance to purchase produce straight from the farm — and to give farmers the opportunity to sell crops that have seen the marketplace narrow due to the COVID-19 crisis.“There is food that is growing in Georgia that is just going to rot in the fields if the farmers can’t find buyers, and we have hunger on the other end,” said Mary Black, county coordinator and Family and Consumer Sciences agent with the Gwinnett County UGA Extension office. “We hope this will help connect the farmers with the people who need the food.”In addition to helping coordinate the event with county officials, Gwinnett County Extension provided each customer with information packets that included recipes, nutrition information, and tips on food preservation and food safety, as well as links to UGA Extension resources available at event’s online presale orders totaled $82,733 for mixed vegetable boxes, flats of blueberries, cases of peaches, bags of Vidalia onions, as well as artisan cheeses and gourmet cooking sauces, all from Georgia producers, said Paul Thompson, deputy director of marketing and promotion with Georgia Grown, a division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture focused on promoting agribusinesses. Day-of sales generated another $21,146.Tina Fleming, director of community services with Gwinnett County, said that the event served as an opportunity to bring fresh produce to the county’s residents and to assist disadvantaged members of the community. Those who ordered online ahead of the event were given the option to pay to donate a box of produce to local service organizations, resulting in the donation of 118 boxes of produce and, after the event, farmers donated another 1,004 boxes of vegetables, 218 flats of blueberries, 10 boxes of peaches and 120 pounds of onions for food-insecure Gwinnett citizens. “This has been a multiagency event and a great partnership for us,” said Fleming. “There was a lot of talk about the event on social media and it has been a benefit for our county residents, as well as generating donations for 11 community nonprofit agencies that serve the county.”Coolray Field, where the event was held, is a Gwinnett County-owned venue that is the home of the minor league Georgia Stripers baseball team. The setting offered an ideal location, with nearby access to I-85 and the space to accommodate the trucks needed to deliver the produce as well as customer traffic.“We hope to be able to do this again this year,” Fleming said.Corbett Brothers Farms from Lake Park, Georgia, and Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable from Norman Park, Georgia, worked together to bring 2,750 boxes of mixed vegetables to Gwinnett for the event.Ken Corbett, founder of Corbett Brothers Farms, said the Georgia Grown to Go events have helped fill a void left when revenues from food service and restaurant customers dropped due to COVID-19 restrictions.“I have been pleasantly surprised in the amount of interest we’ve seen and, just as important, is educating consumers on what Georgia farmers grow,” said Corbett, whose family farm started in 1987 with 1 acre of bell peppers and now primarily grows bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash, along with about a half dozen smaller scale crops, on 3,000 acres. “As farmers, we help each other out all the time, and it has been good to have Georgia Grown on our side in this.”Customers were encouraged to post about their experience on social media using #GeorgiaGrownToGo.“Great event in Gwinnett yesterday! Well run and very organized, even with long lines and rain. My fridge is stocked with wonderful fresh veggies and fruits! So happy to support our Georgia farmers,” wrote Gwinnett County consumer Debbie Holmes Martin on Facebook.Information on upcoming Georgia Grown to Go events is available at and additional resources for producers and consumers are available at read more

Champlain College Named Best Workplace for Commuters

first_imgChamplain College Lauded for Improving Air Quality and Reducing Traffic CongestionBurlington, Vermont Today, Champlain College was designated one of the Best Workplaces for CommutersSM by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).Best Workplaces for CommutersSM, a voluntary partnership program designed to cut traffic congestion and traffic-related air pollution, recognizes employers that provide environmentally friendly commuter benefits to employees. Offering these commuter benefits identifies Champlain College as an organization committed to reducing pollution, commuting costs, traffic congestion, and employee stress caused by single-occupant vehicle commuting. Through Champlain Colleges membership in the Campus Area Transportation Management Association (CATMA) the private college is able to offer an array of benefits that help their employees pursue environmentally friendly and cost-effective commuting strategies. These programs include a confidential Carpool Matching service, a Guaranteed Ride Home program, and a Bike/Walk Reward Program. Additionally, Champlain College has implemented FREE transit on all local and express bus routes to their faculty, staff and students. Free off-site parking options with free express shuttles to their main campus are also provided.According to Margo Oge, EPA director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, the effects of incentive programs like Best Workplaces for CommutersSM can be dramatic. If just half of all U.S. employees were covered under these commuter benefits, said Oge, traffic and air pollution could be cut by the equivalent of taking 15 million cars off the road every year, saving American workers about $12 billion in fuel costs. Thats both cleaner air and real savings for families. The CATMA institutions have always been committed to a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy that moves as much traffic out of our district as possible. We are proud to have Champlain College join CATMA and the other CATMA institutions, Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont on the Best Workplaces for CommutersSM list. We continue to work to create programs, services and products that help reduce traffic congestion, increase mobility and improve air quality, said Meredith Schuft, Marketing Director of CATMA. The results of Champlain Colleges efforts will be reflected in the environment and in the bottom line. Champlain Colleges programs reduce commuting costs not only for its faculty, staff and students, but also for all commuters by taking cars off the road and reducing traffic congestion. The production of ground-level ozone, the major component of smog, is reduced as well. Best Workplaces for CommutersSM is a public-private partnership developed by the EPA and DOT. EPA and DOT have established a voluntary National Standard of Excellence for employer-provided commuter benefits. The program challenges employers across the country to voluntarily meet the National Standard of Excellence.last_img read more

Vermont Employers Optimistic About Sales, Spending , Employment

first_imgSouth Burlington, January 24, 2007—Overall, Vermont CEOs are confident about the economyexpecting sales, capital spending, and employment to increase in the coming six months, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the Vermont Business Roundtable. Since the last quarterly survey, the number of CEOs predicting a rise in sales climbed six percentage points to 73 percent. Fifty-six percent of respondents forecast a rise in capital spending, compared with 40 percent in the third-quarter. The number of CEOs expecting to add employees jumped 23 percent in the 4th quarter, landing at 53 percent. The optimism expressed by Vermont CEOs echoes recent predictions made by economists to state officials, and remarks by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Cathy Minehan to the 16th annual Vermont Economic Outlook Conference held January 15th. The experts cited Vermonts low unemployment rate, 3.7 percent vs. 4.5 percent nationally, and the continued strength of its real estate market. Coincidentally, the Roundtables upbeat prediction for Vermont came as New Hampshire legislators received a more pessimistic forecast. The Nashua Telegraph reported on January 10th that Ross Gittell, Vice President of the New England Economic Project, told New Hampshire lawmakers the business advantage provided by the states low taxes was not sustainable in the face of competition from India and China. Roundtable President Lisa Ventriss states, The positive, short-term economic outlook gives us an opportunity to act for the long term. As a state, we must set priorities for the allocation of our scarce resources and make wise investments, beginning with our education system, to prepare our children for success in the global market. The current discussions around public K-12 school spending are the right place to begin that process.The Roundtables quarterly CEO Economic Outlook Survey measures the attitudes of Chief Executive Officers for 120 of the states top employers. Vermonts construction, education, health services, finance, real estate, insurance, hospitality/leisure, manufacturing, information, transportation, utilities, professional/business services and non-profit industries are represented. The response rate for this Quarter was 63%.Survey results, and the Roundtable recommendations for education delivery can be found at the Vermont Business Roundtable website at is external) -###-The Roundtable is composed of 120 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employersdedicated to making Vermont the best place in America to do business, be educated, and live life.Member businesses employ over 49,000 employees in virtually every county across Vermont.CONTACT: Chris Falk 802.865.0410 sends e-mail)last_img read more

Class Manager hired by Vermont Training Solutions

first_imgRobin Gorges was recently hired as Class Manager of Vermont Training Solutions, where public training courses, seminars, workshops, and in-house customized training is offered. Gorges brings several years experience in the training field, including employment as Training Manager at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Vermont Training Solutions is the licensed Dale Carnegie Training ® franchise serving Vermont, Western New Hampshire and Northeastern New York. For more information, please call 800-639-1012, or is external).last_img read more