Condolences for helicopter crash victims

first_img2 April 2013President Jacob Zuma, as the commander-in-chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), has expressed his sincere condolences to the families of the five soldiers who died in a helicopter crash at the Kruger National Park on the weekend.The SANDF helicopter had been on a scheduled aerial patrol of the park as part of Operation Rhino, which is aimed at stemming the scourge of rhino poaching in South Africa.The tragedy occurred as the nation mourns the 13 soldiers who fell in Bangui in the Central African Republic last week.“We certainly hope that investigations will shed light on the circumstances of the crash, but the whole country is saddened by the loss of our national servicemen on duty,” Zuma said.“On behalf of government and the entire nation, we wish to express our sincere condolences to the families of these five soldiers and may their souls rest in peace.”Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and her deputy, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, together with the South African National Parks (SANParks) board, have also expressed their condolences to the families of the soldiers.The ministry and SANParks Board said they supported the SA Air Force in determining the sequence of events that led to the fatal crash.“We hope this sad event will not deter our men and women working tirelessly to protect our country’s rhino population against the ongoing scourge of poaching by marauding bandits,” the ministry said in a statement.Of the 188 rhinos poached in South Africa since January, 135 were killed in the Kruger National Park.The park remains the hardest hit by poaching, having lost 425 rhino to poachers during 2012.Source: read more

Understanding important solar lease terms

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law ProgramWith all the rain and delayed planting that Ohio farmers have experienced this spring, signing a solar lease has been a very appealing prospect for many farmland owners. While this may be the right decision for a farm, it is very important that the farmland owner understand exactly what he or she is signing. Once an energy developer offers to pay you to enter into an agreement, and you sign that agreement, its terms will be legally binding.We wanted to highlight some of the important provisions of a solar lease that you as a farmland owner should look for in your solar lease, and understand what they mean. A good solar lease will be very thorough, and include a lot of legalese. It would be a wise decision to consult with an attorney to ensure that your understanding of your solar lease reflects what the documents say.For now, here are a few provisions to be on the lookout for in your solar lease. The termHow long does this lease last? Most solar leases last for 20 to 30 years. This is the time during which solar energy is being collected and sold. Solar energy developers like this multi-decade duration because it allows them to use of the solar panels for their expected productive lifespan.Thirty years is a long time. Many careers are retirement-eligible after that period, and many farms will transition to the next generation in that amount of time. This long of a term is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that a farmland owner should look back and look ahead. Think back 30 years to 1989. What all has changed on your farm? What would it have looked like to not be able to use this ground for the past 30 years? Now look ahead. What do you expect your needs and those of your family to look like when this lease ends in 2049? Only you can determine if not being able to use your land for that long is a good thing. PhasesHow is this lease broken up? We just explained that most solar leases will last for 20 to 30 years, but that clock usually starts ticking once construction has started on the project. Solar energy developers will often reserve a year or two during which they can conduct their final feasibility studies and obtain necessary permits. Some leases structure this pre-construction phase as merely an option phase, meaning that the energy developer will pay a small amount of rent to keep its option alive for that one or two-year period, but it does not necessarily have to commence construction.Further, toward the end of the term, the energy developer may have written in an option to renew for another 5 or 10 years. These renewals are often structured as a right that the energy developer may exercise merely by giving notice to the landowner. Additionally, in the middle, if there is a natural disaster that puts the operation out of service for any period of time, a solar lease may stop the clock from ticking until the project is operational again and solar energy is being collected.The important take-away for the phases is being able to know when each phase begins and ends. When all of the different phases are combined, instead of just a 30-year lease, you could be looking at a 42-year agreement. The only way to know how long it could last is to thoroughly read the entire lease. A description of the premisesEvery solar lease will contain a description of the premises. If an entire parcel is being leased, then this part is fairly easy. However, if only a portion of the parcel is being lease, the farmland owner will want to make sure that the lease provides an adequate description so that the leased portion can be easily determined on the ground. Often, this will include a survey and maps. Knowing the boundaries is important because these leases are often exclusive, such that the farmland owner has little or no use or access of the leased land throughout the term. EasementsWhat rights are being granted to the solar energy developer? Solar leases include a series of easements that give the solar energy developer the right to use your land. Some of the common easements include a:Construction easement: a right to cross over portions of the farmland owner’s property in order to construct the solar facilityAccess easement: a right to cross over portions of the farmland owner’s property to reach the solar facilityTransmission easement: a right to install power lines, poles, and other equipment to transmit the energy produced by the solar panels to the gridSolar easement: a right to unobstructed access to the sun without interference from structures or other improvementsCatch-all easement: a general right to do whatever is necessary for the benefit of the projectSolar energy developers want their easements to be as broad and generous as possible in order to maximize their flexibility with the project. This is not always to the advantage of the farmland owner. If the lease is general enough to allow the solar energy developer to sub-lease to another entity such as a telecommunications company, the landowner will have a difficult time preventing the solar energy developer from doing so. The farmland owner wants to make sure that the easements being granted are specific enough to not result in any surprises. Landowner obligations and rightsWhat does the lease require of you as the farmland owner? Usually private solar energy developers include a non-interference provision, a quiet enjoyment provision, and an exclusivity provision. All combined, these provisions are a promise by the farmland owner to not enter the solar facilities without prior permission, not interfere with the solar facilities, and not allow anyone else to do so for the duration of the term.Further, solar leases often include a confidentiality provision that courts will enforce as legally binding. These provisions allow the solar energy developer to control the flow of its proprietary information, and also prevent landowners from talking with one another about topics such as rent rates. It is important to understand:What information is protectedIf there are any exceptionsWhen consent might be grantedIf specific penalties applyHow long confidentiality lastsThe solar lease may also include a provision about farmland owner improvements. These explain if and when the landowner needs to obtain prior approval of the solar energy developer in order to build a structure or plant something that may interfere with the solar project. Property maintenanceWho is going to mow? Ohio landowners have a legal duty to cut noxious weeds, and a well-drafted lease will cover which party to the lease bears responsibility for keeping the leased land clear. Usually, the solar energy developer will take this responsibility, but it helps to have this in writing. Cleanup termsCleanup involves a lot of questions. Does the solar lease require the solar energy developer to restore the land to its previous state? If so, how is this measured? Will all stakes and foundations be removed? Will all improvements, like roadways, be removed? How will the solar energy developer guarantee that it will be able to pay for this cleanup in 30 years? Does it post a security, and if so, when? A thorough lease will answer these questions. Tax and conservation penaltiesTax and conservation also involves a lot of questions because constructing and operating a solar facility will make the property ineligible for the full benefits of CAUV and most conservation programs. Does the lease require the solar energy developer to cover real estate taxes? Does the lease require the solar energy developer to cover the three-year lookback penalty for removing land from CAUV? What will the solar energy developer do toward the end of the lease so that the land can be put back into production and made CAUV eligible again? Similar questions must be asked for conservation programs. CompensationIt’s not that we saved the fun and best part for last. We just wanted to make sure that compensation is not the first and only thing considered when deciding whether or not to enter into a solar lease. While it certainly is important, some of the issues discussed above must be just as carefully understood.The solar leases that we have seen involve cash rent that increases over time based upon a fixed escalator. The escalator is a percent increase. If the escalator increases at a rate greater than inflation, then the farmland owner will receive more bang for his or her land. However, if the escalator increases at a rate lower than long-term inflation, then the solar energy developer will have to pay less over time.Another point of compensation to consider is how damages will be calculated for harm to property and crops. When the solar energy developer decides it is time to start construction, its option and easements grant it the right to begin construction even if there is a crop already in the ground. This makes it in a farmland owner’s best interest to have this issue addressed up front. These damages will often be calculated my multiplying the number of acres by the average county yield for that crop by that crop’s commodity future price with the Chicago Board of Trade for a given date. This provides an objective calculation for damages. Verbal promisesA note of caution: if the solar energy developer makes you a verbal promise, ask for that promise to be included in the written lease. If there is a conflict between what a representative of the solar energy developer tells you and what is written in the lease, the terms in the written lease are likely to prevail.The activity we are seeing across Ohio right now with solar reminds us of the early stages of the recent wind and shale energy booms. Some of the biggest regrets that we hear about are from landowners who thought they were getting a better deal than they actually did. Reading through, understanding, and thinking about the lease is an essential part of calculating whether or not the lease being offered is actually a good deal for a farmland owner and his or her family. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your team of professionals in this process. Your attorney, tax professional, Extension educator, and others can be a great resource.last_img read more

Muguruza, Venus out; French Open to have 1st-time Grand Slam champ

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Basketball legend Russell once told PH great Campos to just shoot the ball Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heading into the French Open, many figured the women’s draw was wide open, because of the absences of Williams’ sister, Serena (who is pregnant), and Maria Sharapova (who was denied a wild-card entry that she needed as she comes off a drug suspension).How right those folks were.This was Muguruza’s first attempt at defending a Grand Slam championship, and she ran into a determined Mladenovic, who was backed by a vocal crowd of countrymen who chanted her nickname, Kiki, throughout the match. Mladenovic often played to the fans, waving her arms to ask for more noise.“I’m playing at home. Obviously they are excited. The atmosphere was just, yeah, amazing,” Mladenovic said.When Muguruza’s complaints about the crowd were relayed to Mladenovic, she said she thought it was just as tough on her, because she had to deal with the burden of thousands counting on her to win.“I don’t think that they crossed the line,” Mladenovic said. “Honestly, no, I don’t think it was unsportsmanship or unfair or anything.”The last woman representing France to win the country’s Grand Slam tournament was Mary Pierce in 2000. The 24-year-old Mladenovic never had been past the third round at her home major — and has never made it beyond the quarterfinals at any other.But she managed to pull off the biggest victory of her career despite 16 double-faults, seven in each of the last two sets on a windy day with the temperature in the 60s (teens Celsius).“Everything wasn’t perfect. There were a few concerns,” Mladenovic said, before joking: “I made about 35 double-faults today, but everything’s OK!”Muguruza, who was seeded No. 4 in Paris, beat Serena Williams in the French Open final last year. She also was the runner-up to the American at Wimbledon in 2015. “She had so many answers today,” said Williams, who also lost to Bacsinszky in the fourth round a year ago.Kuznetsova, who won the 2009 French Open and 2004 U.S. Open, was ousted by two-time major runner-up Caroline Wozniacki 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, while 2011 U.S. Open champion Stosur was eliminated by 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.Mladenovic will face Bacsinszky next, and Wozniacki meets Ostapenko. In addition, all eight women who play in the fourth round Monday are seeking a first major title, so it will be the first French Open since 1977 — and first major tournament anywhere since the 1979 Australian Open — without a past Slam champion among the quarterfinalists.Asked for her thoughts on the way things worked out, Williams replied: “I have no idea. It’s all behind me now, so whatever happens in this tournament is not necessarily my concern anymore.”In men’s action, nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and defending champion Novak Djokovic both won in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals in Paris for the 11th time, equaling Roger Federer’s record for the professional era. Next up: Nadal vs. No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta, and Djokovic vs. No. 6 Dominic Thiem, with the winners facing off in the semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast MOST READ “The crowd was really tough today,” Muguruza said at a news conference that was halted at one point so she could compose herself after getting choked up.“Sometimes,” she added, “(fans) should be a little bit more respectful.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAll four of the day’s fourth-round matches pitted one woman who has won at least one major trophy (Muguruza, Venus Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Samantha Stosur) against a woman who has not. And each time, the less-accomplished player won. Add it all up, and it means that there will be a first-time major title winner at the end of the tournament.About an hour after Muguruza’s exit, seven-time major champion Williams lost to 30th-seeded Timea Bacsinszky 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 at Court Philippe Chatrier. LATEST STORIES Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR View comments Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV But the Spaniard has been repeatedly answering questions recently about whether expectations are different now that she is a major champion and whether that sort of pressure might affect her on court.“I obviously was a little bit nervous,” Muguruza said. “Through the match, I was getting more and more.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Defending champion Spain’s Garbine Muguruza reacts as she plays France’s Kristina Mladenovic during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 4, 2017 in Paris. Mladenovic won 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)PARIS — Garbine Muguruza did not take kindly to the way spectators pulled for her opponent — her French opponent, mind you — at the French Open.So after her title defense ended with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 loss to 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic at a packed and rowdy Court Suzanne Lenglen on a surprise-filled Sunday that left zero past Grand Slam champions in the women’s field, Muguruza walked toward the locker room while wagging a finger toward the stands, as if to say, “Tsk, tsk!”ADVERTISEMENT Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCPlast_img read more

Mahindra Racing chooses Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna for Formula E

first_imgThe soon-to-be-held FIA Formula E championship, will get participation from Mahindra Racing Formula E Team, which is ready to prove its mettle at the world’s first fully-electric racing series. Incidentally, this is the eighth and the only Indian team to join the E racing series. Indian driver Karun Chandhok and Brazil’s Bruno Senna will be Mahindra team drivers for the championship’s inaugural season. 10 races in city-center locations around the world will be held in the FIA Formula E championship’s first season. This includes the famous cities of London, Beijing and Los Angeles. Through the global race, awareness about the usage of electric vehicles in this grim phase of environmental degeneration will be raised. At the same time, it will also act as an impetus to the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry.Chetan Maini, Director of Formula E Racing & CEO Mahindra Reva said, “The Formula E series has already created a significant interest globally and this race will provide the necessary impetus to the EV ecosystem, serving as a platform to propel R&D around the electric vehicle industry and pave the way for a sustainable future. The race will be an amalgamation of kinesthetic intelligence, technology and design, exemplifying the importance of electric vehicles in the context of modern mobility.”Mahindra is not a stranger to international motor sport, as Mahindra Racing has made its present felt within the two-wheeled world of the MotoGP? World Championship. The Formula E event will be broadcast on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 2.advertisementDriver profilesKarun ChandhokChennai-born Karun Chandhok has been a leading force in Indian motorsport from the start of his career. He was the winner of the first ever Formula Asia V6 Championship, and also the first driver for A1 Team India in the former A1GP Series. Soon after, Chandhok went on to race in Formula One’s closest feeder series, GP2 in 2008, which was the year he first partnered with Senna. The duo met again in 2010 when both made their F1 debuts with the HRT team.Chandhok made a one-off appearance in Formula One in the year 2011, at the German Grand Prix for the Team Lotus F1 team.Bruno SennaThe Senna name is synonymous with international motorsport (Ayrton Senna), but Bruno has carved out his own space. The Sao Paulo native started a strong career in the junior categories and ended the 2008 GP2 Series as vice champion. Senna began his Formula 1 career in 2010 with the HRT team, in which he was partnered with Chandhok. After getting invaluable experience, he moved to the Lotus Renault GP team in 2011 as Reserve Driver. He was promoted to race driver half way through the season. In the 2012 F1 season,. Senna’s career continued when he raced for the Williams F1 team, scoring valuable championship points for the team.last_img read more

Navios Partners Takes Delivery of Bulker Trio

first_imgGreek shipowner and operator Navios Maritime Partners informed that three dry bulk vessels joined its fleet.The ships in question are Navios Symphony, Navios Aster and Christine B.Built in China in 2010, the 178,132 dwt Navios Symphony was delivered to the company on September 20. The Capesize vessel has been chartered out at a rate of USD 17,575 per day until March 2018.Additionally, the Navios Aster, previously known as Asterix, was delivered to Navios Partners on August 21. Built at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in South Korea in 2010, the 179,314 dwt Capesize bulker will work for an undisclosed party at a rate of USD 14,963 per day until March 2018. The ship was purchased from Greece-based Capital Maritime and Trading in August 2017, VesselsValue’s information show.The third ship, Christine B, was handed over to Navios Partners on August 11. Constructed at Tsuneishi Zhoushan shipyard in 2009, the 58,058 dwt bulker has been chartered out at an index-linked charter until November 2017. Christine B was bought from Greek company First Lines in July this year, according to data provided by VesselsValue.Following the delivery of these vessels, Navios Partners has 13 Capesize vessels, 14 Panamaxes, three Ultra-Handymaxes and seven container vessels on the water.last_img read more