Farmers worried about heavy rain forecast

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 9:56 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 9:59 PM

The prospect of heavy rains this weekend is not filling every farmer’s heart with joy.

Winegrape growers in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio are watching the remnants of Hurricane Isaac with a wary eye, because heavy rains at or near harvest can wreak havoc on the quality of the grapes and on the taste of the resulting wines.

WHIO-TV Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said even though the precise track of the former hurricane is not known, Isaac could dump two to five inches of rain on the area by the end of Labor Day. That would be a good first step toward easing the drought that has bedeviled farmers this summer.

But is also might complicate the harvest of certain varieties of wine grapes that are approaching peak maturity, Ohio winegrape specialists say. Prolonged rain at harvest time can cause thin-skinned grapes to expand and split their skins, which in turn can lead to rot or to unwanted attention from insects. And the water that gorges the grapes can knock the sugars and palate-friendly acids out of balance and dilute the flavors of the resulting wine.

Joe Schuchter, part of the third generation of the family that owns and operates Valley Vineyards near Morrow in Warren County, said vineyard workers there are accelerating the harvest of some grape varieties that have ripened sufficiently. “We’ll pick until the rain starts, and for a little while after, because it takes a while for the grapes to absorb the moisture,” Schuchter said.

The winery’s “vinifera” grapevines — varieties such as chardonnay and cabernet franc that are native to Europe and are most recognizable to consumers — ripen later in the fall and should weather this storm without damage, Schuchter said.

James Brandeberry, owner and winemaker of Brandeberry Winery in Clark County northwest of Yellow Springs, said he intends to leave his grapes on the vine. “They are not ready to pick yet,” Brandeberry said of his seyval blanc, vidal blanc and cayuga grape varieties growing in his estate vineyard. “I’ll take my chances.”

The ground is so dry that a heavy, brief rain may not soak into the ground enough to bloat the grapes, the winery owner said.

Todd Steiner, enology program manager and winemaking specialist at Ohio State University’s agricultural research center in Wooster, said the current rain forecast “is not a vintage-breaker” for Ohio winemakers and grape growers.

“But I wouldn’t want to see too many other Isaacs come through here and settle right over us” in the weeks ahead, Steiner said. “That would break the harvest.”

The Ohio wine and grape industry had an economic impact of $582.8 million, employed 4,000 people, provided a payroll of $124.2 million and contributed an estimated $62 million back in state, local and federal tax revenue, according to the industry’s 2008 Economic Impact report, its most recent impact report.

Protecting your data

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 2:58 PM


            The son-and-father team of Alek (left) and David Mezera guide web and cloud-hosting services firm DataYard to locally focused success. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
            Thomas Gnau/Staff

When President Donald Trump this month signed legislation that repealed Federal Communication Commission privacy protections for Internet users, the principals behind Dayton-based ‘Net services firm DataYard had a simple message:

DataYard will not sell customer information. Period.

As much as they opposed the legislation, DataYard principals (and father and son) David and Alek Mezera, say they saw the government’s move as a chance to distinguish their company.

“They (other companies) can collect it, they can store it for indefinite periods of time and they can do what they see fit with it, when they decide to do so,” said Alek Mezera, the younger Mezera and the company’s director of client partnerships.

“We will not collect it,” said David Mezera, company president. “We will not keep it for any longer than is necessary to deliver the services we deliver.

“We’re absolutely not interested in monetizing that information.”

The federal privacy rules would have taken effect this year. Enshrined by the previous administration, they would have banned Internet providers from collecting, sharing and mostly importantly, selling user information without consent.

“I don’t think was a surprise, really,” the younger Mezera said of Congress’ push back against the rules.

Ajit Pai — nominated by the Trump administration this year to be FCC chairman — has said the Federal Trade Commission, not the FCC, should regulate how Internet providers use data.

Now in its 22nd year, DataYard was born as Donet, with all of eight phone lines in the beginning. It re-branded as DataYard in 2012.

“We were taking a more strategic business focus, instead of the residential consumer market that we initially started with in ‘95” DataYard’s president said.

The business since then has transformed. Today with 13 employees, the focus goes beyond Internet access. Offered also are server co-location, cloud computing, data backup and more.

The Internet back in the mid-90s was basically a hobby, the Mezeras recalled. Today, it is threaded into our lives in ways few imagined back then.

“Now, the Internet is an essential utility,” the older Mezera said. “It’s an essential element of every business.”

Based downtown at 130 W. Second St., the company is bigger today but remains local — and unmistakeably Daytonian. The focus is not necessarily on ever-growing sales, but on building relationships with customers.

“We’re not trying to get a national footprint or a global footprint,” Dave said.

Why not aim to get bigger?

“It’s harder to maintain those personal relationships,” the elder Mezera said. “You lose that flavor.”

“It’s a race to the bottom from the price side,” Alek said.

Hash browns recalled for possible contamination with golf balls

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Hash browns sold under the Harris Teeter and Roundy's brands have been recalled for an unusual reason: possible golf ball contamination.

The Food & Drug Administration's recall notice says that McCain Foods USA, Inc. has voluntarily recalled frozen hash browns sold under the Harris Teeter and Roundy's brands because they may be "contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials, that despite our stringent supply standards may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes."

>> Read more trending news

The FDA warns consumers that, "consumption of these products may pose a choking hazard or other physical injury to the mouth." No injuries have been reported, according to the FDA.

The recalled products include Roundy’s 2 lb. bag of frozen Southern Style Hash Browns (UPC 001115055019) and Harris Teeter’s 2 lb. bag of frozen Southern Style Hash Browns (UPC 007203649020). The recalled products were manufactured on January 19, 2017 and bear a production code date of B170119.

The Roundy’s products were sold at Marianos, Metro Market, and Pick ‘n Save supermarkets in Illinois and Wisconsin. The Harris Teeter products were distributed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia and Maryland. 

Frito-Lay recalls jalapeno chips over salmonella concerns

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 9:06 AM

Frito Lay is voluntarily recalling select brands of its jalepeno-flavored chips due to concerns of salmonella contamination.

The Food and Drug Administration's recall notice says the seasoning powder used on the chips is the target of the recall.

>> Read more trending news

No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recall. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, according to the FDA. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. 



The recall affects products sold throughout the U.S. and includes the following:

  • All sizes of the following two products with a “guaranteed fresh” date of JUL 4 or prior
    • Jalapeño Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips
    • Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato chips
  • All of the following multipack offerings that have a “use by” date of JUN 20 or prior printed on the multipack package. In addition, a “guaranteed fresh” date of JUL 4 or prior is printed on the front upper panel of the individual recalled product packages inside each multipack offering. Any other products or flavors contained in these multipacks are not being recalled.
    • 12 count Lay’s Kettle Cooked Multipack Sack
    • 20 count Frito-Lay Bold Mix Sack
    • 30 count Miss Vickie’s Multipack Tray
    • 30 count Lay’s Kettle Cooked Multipack Tray
    • 32 count Miss Vickie’s Multipack Box 

The FDA advises consumers not to consume any of the products included in the recall. Consumers can contact Frito-Lay Consumer Relations at 866-272-9393 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or visit www.jalapenochiprecall.com for more information.

Home sales remain hot in Dayton area

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 2:06 PM

TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Home sales in the Dayton area remained hot in March and have now increased 15 out of the past 16 months when comparing year to year sales.

March sales of single-family and condominiums totaled 1,301, the highest monthly sales in 2017 and a 13 percent increase compared to March 2016, according to data released today by the Dayton Area Board of Realtors.

Home sales

201220132014201520162017
Jan.577717739726820 834
Feb.686807754696801 855
March93297793310331148 1,301
April9481085104912251299 
May11301258123113171563 
June10391292128815761,576 
July11071336126115471,495 
Aug.11201337121413841,618 
Sept.9831192115513941,478 
Oct. 10461162123812251,325 
Nov.8949748949441,201 
Dec. 81091598810731175 
Total1127212137127441414015499 
Source: Dayton Area Board of Realtors     

Sales volume generated by March’s activity totaled $194.7 million, leading to an average sale price of $149,720 and a median sale price of $130,000.

Through March, homes sales reached 3,020, a seven percent improvement from 2016 when 2,823 transactions occurred over the same period. Sales volume showed $437 million in sales transactions so far, a jump of over seventeen percent from 2016.

The average sale price year-to date stood at $144,701 and represented a nine percent increase over 2016’s year-to-date numbers. The median sale price also grew, from $113,000 in 2016 to $126,825 through March 2017, a 12 percent increase.

There were 1,961 new listings added in March, down from last year’s 2,085, and year-to-date listings saw 4,800 listings, a decrease of 5.6 percent from the figures submitted through March of last year.

The rate of homes sold across Ohio in March rose 6.3 percent from the level posted during the month a year ago, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors.

“Activity in the housing marketplace in March displayed continued resiliency, as the rate of sales posted a best-ever for the month since Ohio’s Realtors began tracking data in 1998,” said Pete Kopf, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors “We also experienced a healthy rise in the average sales price, evidence that housing is a solid, long-term investment.

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