Capture the rain

Put rainwater to use in your landscape with the help of rain barrels. This centuries old technique allows you to capture rainfall to use for watering ornamental gardens and containers.

Always start with a call to your local municipality. Some have restrictions on water harvesting, but most encourage this practice and some even offer rebates or rain barrels at a discounted rate.

Purchase a rain barrel or make your own from a large, recycled food grade container. In either case, there are some features to consider when purchasing, creating, and adding a rain barrel to your landscape.

Make sure the top is covered to keep out bugs and debris. Some come equipped with a solid lid with an opening just big enough to accommodate the downspout. Others use a screen to keep out debris, while letting in the rain.

Don’t worry about mosquitoes breeding inside your rain barrel. Just use an organic mosquito control like Mosquito Dunks and Mosquito Bits (SummitResponsibleSolutions.com) in rain barrels and other water features. Mosquito Bits quickly knock down the mosquito larval population, while Mosquito Dunks provide 30 days of control. They are both safe for people, pets, fish, wildlife and beneficial insects.

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From Cold War to Cold War

During World War II, U.S. sailors were warned: “Loose lips sink ships.”

A similar warning should have gone out to all U.S. officials in recent days—and the president should have been the first to acknowledge that the warning included him. Because thanks to loose lips in Washington, the U.S. is contributing to Vladimir Putin’s propaganda, and possibly still worse, to a direct confrontation with Moscow.

Biden initiated this round of loose lips by seeming to suggest regime change in Moscow — Putin “cannot remain in power,” he proposed — is part of U.S. policy.

His secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, said while in Kyiv that weakening Russia’s ability to invade its neighbors was a U.S. objective.

Then came comments that implied direct U.S. responsibility for the intelligence that led to the sinking of the Russian Black Sea flagship Moskva and the battlefield deaths of several Russian generals.

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To protect patients, first we must protect patents

This spring, a U.S. negotiating team in Geneva made a deal that could have dire consequences for patients around the world.

Those negotiators threw their support behind a proposal that would effectively nullify intellectual property protections on COVID-19 vaccines.

Though ostensibly intended to make the shots more accessible, the deal will do the exact opposite -- by discouraging the research investments that lead to lifesaving vaccines and treatments.

Patients can only hope that negotiators come to their senses and back out of the deal.

In October 2020, before the shots were even approved by regulators, India and South Africa asked other member nations of the World Trade Organization to waive patent protections on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.

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