Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dec. 23 - Waiting on the weather and top headlines

We have our son flying in from Portland today (which just got about a foot of snow), so we - along with millions of others - are watching the skies today. I think of a sign I saw on MNF at the Bears-Packers game as the masses huddled in the frigid cold. Al Gore: global warming?

Here are some top headlines today:

Organic farming not ready for prime time
From the Southeast Farm Press

I’d like to see Pennsylvania organic methods applied to a few pest-infested hillsides in the Southeast. The fellow from Rodale said weeds in organic cropping are controlled with a roller/crimper device which flattens weeds into a mat of residue rather than killing them. A special planter finds enough dirt to plant a seed.

Sustainability is agriculture's new sizzle
Coverage of wine industry sustainability efforts

Commercial real estate developers look for bailout as massive debt looms

The amount of new commercial mortgage-backed securities -- loans that are sliced, packaged and sold as bonds -- fell from $200 billion in 2007 to only $12 billion in the first six months of the year, Wechsler said. "We've gone from 55 miles per hour to zero," he said.

Fresh and Easy eases off in northern California
Coverage from The Packer

Ag secretary can't walk away from our valley
Edit from The Modesto Bee

A focus on better nutrition is also an economic opportunity for valley farmers. Better nutrition is often as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables, and who knows more about fruits and vegetables than valley growers? Thus a push for better nutrition could fuel a move toward a more sustainable economic environment for the valley's farmers.

8 million foreclosures forecast through 2012

Further, though mortgage walkaways have been important, the disease hasn’t infected the general population. However, should the downward spiral in home prices, neighborhood condition and equity deterioration continue, more and more mainstream borrowers are likely to walk away from their homes. .... That is, the deeper the foreclosure crisis penetrates into the gene pool, the greater the percentage of American consumers with impaired credit, and therefore limited ability to access credit. Therefore, foreclosures aren’t only a housing-related phenomenon and should foreclosures spread, a large percentage of of the population could suffer impaired credit, which in turn would hurt credit availability.

Record settlement in wake of IFCO raid AP coverage of IFCO case

Newspapers adapt to social media

Kansas lawmakers to revisit immigration issue

Mexico cuts direct investment forecast $17 to $18 billion in 2008 down from $23 billion last year

Ohio food co-op raid sparks court case
Retail store wasn't complying with state law requiring license, but co-op says state unlawfully seized records

Flu shows resistance to flu drug

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