Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) began debating the specific programming of “Proud Past, Promising Future,” the proposed student leadership development program, at its Tuesday meeting. The program, set to begin in November, will focus on a different theme each month. SGA members discussed the possibility of focusing the first month on self-reflection, encouraging students to consider the strength of their leadership skills. Kelly Reidenbach, Student Diversity Board president, said beginning with a month of self-evaluation would help students decide whether the program would benefit them. “It’s important to start with the reflecting, then from there people can gauge where they need to go,” she said. “So it’s in stages.” Despite only having a few weeks in December for programming, executive treasurer Liz Busam said finals would be a good time to focus on the theme of motivation. “Motivation [is fitting] because it will give [students] motivation to get through finals,” Busam said. Reidenbach said the theme would encourage the personal drive to work through finals, as well as interpersonal motivation to inspire others as leaders. “The focus should be how to be a leader for yourself, and then how to be a leader for your group,” she said. In January, the group plans to focus on personal presentation and professional development. Emily Skirtich, chief of staff, suggested an etiquette-themed dinner. “We could have a leadership etiquette dinner and have someone come in and give specific etiquette lessons,” Skirtich said. Public Relations commissioner Amanda Lester said students would benefit from having prominent businesswomen speak at the College. “We could bring in different CEOs and have them talk about how they got to their position and their different experiences,” she said. In keeping with the theme of leadership mentors, SGA president Nicole Gans suggested taking advantage of the Board of Trustees visit in February. The program would conclude in March with a proposed theme of inspiration.
Mention the word “ascot” and you probably think about a silky, men’s tie most likely worn by the upper crust of European society. Then there is the Royal Ascot horse race, where the word is associated with royalty and high society. Today, however, I want you to associate the word with ‘Ascot Rainbow,’ an evergreen, perennial euphorbia that is capturing the imagination of the gardening world.Botanically speaking, ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is known as “Euphorbia x martinii.” It is native to Australia, where the name “Ascot” is associated with an old, wealthy suburb of Brisbane. In truth, it is known as a spurge, which we most often associate with a host of terrible weeds. ‘Ascot Rainbow,’ however, is worthy of garden royalty.First, know that the plants are perennial in zones 5 to 9, which means much of the country can enjoy the incredible texture this plant offers the landscape border. They reach 20 inches tall, with an equal spread. I am plant-lusting them now in mixed containers where they have been partnered with other cool-season flowers like pansies, violas, kale and snapdragons. There is just something about the plant that holds my attention.The foliage is deep green, with golden margins in the cool season. This drop in temperature also fires them up with shades of red, pink and even orange. In spring and summer, the bloom is among the most unique as it features a cup of lime-colored bracts with red centers.The ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is drought tolerant, and boasts another trait that will thrill gardeners everywhere – they are rabbit and deer resistant. As you would probably think, a drought-tolerant euphorbia from Australia needs good drainage and thrives in full to partial sun.In a way, I think of them as evergreen perennials, but it helps in design if you consider them more as dwarf shrubs. Plant them in a cluster of three with ornamental grasses and perennials like purple coneflowers, rudbeckias and blue salvias. They fit this type of border, perfectly adding a great deal of interest from both leaf texture and bloom.If you are the lucky gardener with rocks or a slope, then let ‘Ascot Rainbow’ dazzle all of your visitors as you combine it with other drought-tolerant, tough-as-nails flowers. But as I have stated, you will treasure them as the thriller plant in cool-season mixed containers. They naturally form a rounded ball, and with a layer of pansies, including some trailing in front, they are most picturesque. If your container is large enough, then your options are limitless as you can use them with tall snapdragons, and dianthus and blue-leafed kale, which contrasts with the golden variegation of ‘Ascot Rainbows.’ You are the artist and simply using it will make your neighbors think, “Look who took a special gardening class!”Maintenance is easy. Remove old bloom stalks all the way to the ground in late summer or fall. Like other spurges, we grow this one not to be eaten, but to be enjoyed for the beauty and texture it offers your garden.Follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about the University of Georgia’s Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm at www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/.
Topics : Economic uncertainty Although numbers have dwindled, China is still recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak that first appeared in central China late last year and spread globally — sparking accusations Beijing had mishandled its initial response, leading to nearly 330,000 deaths and economic carnage worldwide.The pandemic has also sent US-China tensions spiraling to new heights, with Trump this week saying Beijing was responsible for “mass worldwide killing”.China’s economic growth shrank 6.8 percent in the first quarter because of the virus, its first contraction in decades.Li had originally been expected to announce a 2020 growth target of around six percent — but the pandemic has scrambled expectations, leaving millions of Chinese jobless and imperiling countless businesses.In a statement published after the speech finished, the government announced it would increase its military budget by 6.6 percent in the year.The budget will be set at 1.268 trillion yuan ($178 billion) for the year — the second biggest in the world after the US but continuing a trend of slowing increases.China’s rapidly growing and modernizing armed forces are a source of concern in the United States and neighboring Asian countries nervous about Beijing’s rise.The NPC’s highly choreographed annual meetings are conducted amid great pomp aimed at underlining Communist Party control, but this the session was delayed more than two months as China struggled with the coronavirus outbreak, and reduced to only a week.The session began with a minute’s silence for the country’s coronavirus victims. China moved to impose a controversial security law on Hong Kong at the opening of its annual parliamentary session on Friday, with Premier Li Keqiang also warning of the “immense” economic challenges caused by the coronavirus.Li’s opening speech to the 3,000-member National People’s Congress (NPC) is China’s version of the US president’s “state of the union” address, and he went straight into the threat posed by the pandemic that emerged on Chinese soil.”At present, the epidemic has not yet come to an end, while the tasks we face in promoting development are immense,” Li told mask-wearing delegates in Beijing’s cavernous Great Hall of the People, while also touting China’s success in suppressing the contagion. The draft proposal, to be debated by Beijing’s top leaders, will “guard against, stop and punish any separatism, subversion of the national regime, terrorist group activities and such behaviors that seriously harm national security”.It would authorize Chinese lawmakers to directly enact long-delayed Hong Kong security legislation itself at a future date, rather than leaving it up to the territory’s administration.China has made clear it wants legislation passed after Hong Kong was rocked by seven months of massive and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests last year.Wang Chen, deputy chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, told delegates Beijing must “take powerful measures to lawfully prevent, stop and punish” anti-China forces in Hong Kong.A bid to enact such legislation in 2003 was shelved after half a million people took to the streets in protest. But the controversial initiative has been put back on the table in recent years as the pro-democracy movement has gained pace.”This is the end of Hong Kong, this is the end of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, make no mistake about it,” Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok told reporters, referring to China’s description of the territory’s status.”One Country, Two Systems” gives Beijing ultimate political sway over Hong Kong but allows the former British colony to retain liberties unseen elsewhere in China.”Xi Jinping is burning Hong Kong,” said Lee Cheuk-yan, Hong Kong’s Labor Party leader, referring to the Chinese president.Stocks tumbled in the city Friday on news of the security law move.US President Donald Trump promised to respond “very strongly” once details emerge, and US senators introduced legislation to impose sanctions on any entity involved in curbing Hong Kong’s autonomy.Targets could include police who crack down on demonstrators, Chinese officials involving in Hong Kong policy, and banks that conduct transactions with anyone who infringes on its freedoms. Hong Kong under siegeThe most controversial move at this year’s NPC is a measure that would impose security legislation in Hong Kong — immediately denounced by the US and pro-democracy figures in the financial hub who called it a death sentence for the territory’s unique freedoms. Citing “great uncertainty” ahead, Li took the rare move of refraining from announcing a 2020 growth target for China’s coronavirus-battered economy, offering only a vague promise to address mounting joblessness and improve living standards.
Syracuse practiced for a Wake Forest defense that never made an appearance.The Orange’s game plans for a defense with soft coverage and basic pressure packages — things offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said the coaching staff saw on film from all 12 Demon Deacons games last year — became futile. Syracuse lost five yards total in the first quarter on offense when they presented a more attack-oriented defense than was expected.‘You always have things that kind of protect yourself,’ Hackett said. ‘Things that you think that you’re good at that the guys can execute right. And those are the things that we ended up having to go to down the road.‘And it was one of those things that you wish we could have got to a little early.’It took Syracuse three-plus quarters to adjust to the crazy, attacking defense Wake Forest brought and to pick up a last-ditch win in overtime. And with Football Championship Subdivision opponent Rhode Island (0-0) entering the Carrier Dome this week, the Orange (1-0) wants to get out to a much faster start in all facets. Wake Forest had more than double the amount of plays and time of possession as SU in a lopsided first half last Thursday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile the Rams may look like an easy win for the Orange on paper, Saturday’s game against URI (4:30 p.m., Time Warner Cable Sports) is a chance for Syracuse to mend the mistakes it made in its miraculous first victory.That begins with a faster start.‘Just coming out excited,’ safety Shamarko Thomas said. ‘Coming out excited and just pushing each other and competing more. And have faster tempo in the game.’Syracuse players said the coaching staff’s main emphasis this week was coming out and playing fast in the first quarter on Saturday. Hackett said he tells the players that starting fast has to become a way of life in team meetings. A way of life all the way down to the manner in which they eat — having the best breakfast they can in the morning and then going after the day.Slow starts were a problem for Syracuse last season, too, especially on offense. The Orange was often stagnant in the first half last season, failing to score in the first quarter in three wins — including one against Maine, an FCS team. Two years ago, Syracuse trailed at the half against Maine. Rhode Island comes from the same conference as the Black Bears, the Colonial Athletic Association.The Orange scored double-digit points in the first quarter in just one of its eight wins last year.‘We’re not necessarily known for coming out of the gate and doing great things,’ Hackett said. ‘That’s something our team has to be better at, and every one of them know that. And that’s a big goal for us.’With Rhode Island, Syracuse faces the same conundrum that it just faced against Wake Forest. Although the majority of college teams started the season last weekend, URI had a first-week bye.So just like last week, SU has to work with potentially outdated film. The Rams will be debuting a new defensive coordinator on Saturday, too.The game is also sandwiched between nonconference games against two power-conference opponents. SU has to put behind the adrenaline rush that came with last Thursday’s win and avoid looking ahead to Southern California next weekend.All that while also trying to get out to a faster start.The matchup has the makings of a so-called trap game, although running back Antwon Bailey said last week’s performance is a reminder that will keep SU focused.‘We still got a lot to prove,’ Bailey said. ‘We got the crap beat out of us for three quarters, so I don’t think — trap game won’t be a problem around here at all.’Defensively, a fast start will depend on increased communication. Rhode Island features a dual-threat quarterback, Steve Probst, who ran for 600 yards last season.Thomas said SU needs to talk more on defense when facing a quarterback who can run as well as pass. The secondary needs to communicate with each other so the cornerbacks know if they need to break off from their wide receiver if Probst is scrambling.‘I might be sticking the receiver and I don’t know it’s a run,’ cornerback Keon Lyn said. ‘So as a defense you got to communicate, talk out there so I can get off my block earlier, get off my keys, get off the player and go make a play on the ball.’And on offense, Hackett said the difference will be making adjustments faster. Rhode Island has shown a couple of unique looks on film. Plus, URI may base its game plan off of what it saw from SU last week.But Hackett said there’s only so much he and the coaching staff can do to prepare. He can’t ever tell whether Syracuse will come out of the tunnel playing fast. That’s just going to depend on the players.‘I sure as heck hope so,’ Hackett said. ‘I think I thought we were for Wake Forest, but you never know until the lights come on and people are in the stands.’[email protected] Comments Published on September 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr Facebook Twitter Google+