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As climate in Florida sets ‘new normal,’ cost of property insurance will separate haves, have-nots – Florida Politics

Posted: May 22, 2022 at 1:56 am

Florida lawmakers poised to act against soaring property-insurance rates may address allegations of insurance fraud and may manage to lure jittery reinsurance companies back into Floridas crippled marketplace.

But one thing they cant do is change the weather.

Insurers believe that due to climate change, this is the new normal. Theyre finding that catastrophic and non-catastrophic weather events are increasing in severity every year, said Paul Handerhan, president of the Federal Association for Insurance Reform, a national nonprofit advocacy organization based in Fort Lauderdale.

The consequences of climate change not only include catastrophic and increasingly expensive weather such as hurricanes and wildfires, but also more everyday events such as storms that pelt residential and commercial properties with straight-line wind and hail.

Add in fast population growth in Florida, high demand for high-risk areas such as coastal communities, higher prices for construction and labor, and alleged abuse by contractors who lure policyholders to file inflated damage claims, and you have what one prominent insurance executive calls total collapse of the overall Florida marketplace.

The actuarially sound way to respond to the new normal is to raise rates, reduce coverage, or throw in the towel, as eight property insurance companies in Florida have done since 2018. Just this week, three others asked state insurance regulators to approve hefty rate increases as high as 49 percent on policyholders not among the tens of thousands who recently lost coverage altogether due to non-renewals.

Over time, Handerhan said, property insurance coverage will become so expensive that only the wealthiest of the wealthy can afford to live in paradise.

The imminent problem

Job 1 for lawmakers convening in Special Session next week, said Handerhan, is to secure as much reinsurance coverage as possible for Floridas remaining insurance companies by June 1, the start of the official hurricane season, 13 days away.

Reinsurers with access to vast capital insure primary insurance companies to cover payouts for catastrophic events that exceed the primary companies available funds. Without reinsurance, primary insurers cannot afford to offer coverage in risky areas which applies to most of Florida.

The most pressing, imminent problem is addressing the reinsurance issue, Handerhan, a 20-year property and casualty executive, said in an interview Thursday.

That has to be a part of the agenda and that has to be meaningful. They have to provide some comprehensive reforms to provide an ample supply of reinsurance capacity, so these insurers are able to complete their programs and have the reinsurance capacity they need to get them through this hurricane season.

Handerhan said that means lawmakers must tap billions of dollars in Floridas Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. The so-called Cat Fund provides reinsurance coverage but likes to be stingy with it to keep a strong surplus on hand in case Florida suffers another Hurricane Andrew (1992) or season of back-to-back hurricanes like the series that clobbered Florida four times in 2004 (Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne).

Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the states insurer of last resort, has more than doubled its volume of policyholders in less than two years to absorb customers left stranded when their insurers non-renewed their policies or went out of business. On Wednesday, its board of governors authorized spending $400 million to buy $4.25 billion in reinsurance coverage. Thats nearly double what it needed last year.

This market is completely,100% out of control, said Barry Gilway, president, CEO, and executive director of Citizens, during the board of governors meeting. It all has to do with the total collapse of the overall Florida marketplace, and that collapse continues.

Gilway said the massive growth in the states last-resort insurer, caused by the massive drop-off of private coverage, has seriously spooked reinvestors. It would be an amazing event if Citizens is able to land even a substantial portion of the $4.25 billion in reinsurance capacity it seeks, he said.

Were struggling, frankly, to get reinsurers interested, knowing that level of growth, not knowing when its going to stop, and how far its going to go, Gilway said. Were struggling to find reinsurers that are willing to provide that level of capacity.

Gilway said the insurance industry is watching closely to see whether anything relevant will come out of next weeks special session.

That will be a determinant, I think, in terms of whether reinsurers in any way, shape, or form reverse their position and release capacity into the marketplace.

The long view

At the Federal Association for Insurance Reform, Handerhan recommends tapping into the Cat Fund, reducing the states Rapid Cash Buildup Factor that imposes a 25% surcharge on policies to keep the Cat Fund flush with cash, and other measures to treat the symptoms of the crisis.

The long view, he said, is that property insurance rates will remain high and get higher as modeling companies, which calculate likely losses in various scenarios for specific areas hit by specific events, improve their accuracy.

These companies increasingly are setting higher and higher estimates on catastrophic and non-catastrophic losses, based on historical data showing the costs of the new normal of severe weather.

But also, as legislators have widely asserted, fraud adds to the escalating losses. Handerhan said the fraud at hand mostly involves roofing contractors who search for localized events of severe weather and go there to encourage policyholders to file claims, whether or not it is clear the roof was damaged by the weather event.

They always find something, he said. Its almost impossible to disprove it.

Insurance companies in Florida want to stop insuring aging roofs, which would impose financial hardships for low-income and fixed-income residents who may not be able to privately afford to replace their roofs, Handerhan said. That can lead to the mortgage holder force-placing insurance on a homeowners property that typically costs two to three times as much as private market coverage and only covers the outstanding balance owed to the mortgage company. And that, he said, can lead to increases in foreclosures.

Fraud is really, truly a problem and it has a ripple effect, especially for the most vulnerable, Handerhan said.

Its going to get more expensive. People of means can do it. It could become cost-prohibitive for others. Thats Florida.

___

Laura Cassels reporting via Florida Phoenix.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: [emailprotected] Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

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Termites are conducting their annual swarm now | Education | magnoliareporter.com – Magnoliareporter

Posted: at 1:54 am

LSU AgCenter urban entomologist Karen Sun says right now is when Formosan subterranean termites swarm and spread their colonies in the region.

The swarm season for this destructive pest starts as early as April and lasts through June, with a peak in early to mid-May around Mothers Day.

The Formosan subterranean termite is an invasive species and the most destructive structural pest in Louisiana, she said.

They were introduced to the continental U.S. from their native range in East Asia via military cargo ships after World War II.

In Louisiana, this insect was first reported in the port cities of Lake Charles and New Orleans, and now it has spread to 42 of the 64 parishes.

Subterranean termites nest underground and tunnel in soil to search for cellulose-containing materials as food sources, such as dead or live trees, structural lumbers, cardboard and paper, she said. The Formosan subterranean termites pose a greater threat than the native species because they form larger colonies, are more aggressive and build above-ground carton nests.

A Formosan subterranean termite colony can have millions of individuals and cause more damage in less time than native termites.

At this time of the year, termite colonies produce swarmers, which are winged adults that fly out of the nest to find mates and sites for new colonies.

After a short flight and dropping the wings, a pair a female and a male run in tandem and search for a suitable nesting site with moisture and food.

They mate in their newly dug nest chamber, produce offspring that develop into workers and soldiers, and become the queen and king.

Sun said in most cases, the swarmers simply die if they cant find the right environment to dig through and build a nest.

Unlike the native subterranean termites in Louisiana that swarm during the day, the Formosan subterranean termites fly at dusk, and they prefer warm, humid and windless evenings, she said. Their swarmers are yellowish-brown in color and are attracted to lights.

Formosans swarm in such large numbers, and thousands of termites may be seen hovering around a streetlight.

These swarmers dont cause any damage, but if you dont take a few precautions, they can spell the beginning of termite problems.

If youre seeing swarmers, that doesnt necessarily mean that you have termites in your home, but it does mean they are in your neighborhood, Sun said. In order to keep them away from your home, you need to get rid of any water sources such as leaky pipes and also remove food sources such as mulch contacting the foundation.

Another thing residents can do during the swarming season is turn off outside lights. Even dimming inside lights will help, as termites are attracted to the light.

The Formosan subterranean termite is the most costly in the world, and Louisiana is one of the worst-infested states, Sun said. This termite loves subtropical areas, so they do really well here.

Sun said termite swarmers can be a nuisance when they fly in large numbers. But killing the swarmers in or around the house does not provide any protection from further termite activity and damage.

Protecting your home from termites begins with an inspection by a pest management professional, followed by a proper treatment depending on the situation, she said.

Because subterranean termites require cellulose and moisture to survive, homeowners can help ward off potential damage by limiting the termites food and water sources. Here are several actions you can do to protect your home:

Turn off outdoor lights at night in May and June to avoid attracting swarmers.

Remove all wood, cardboard and other cellulose-containing materials from around or under your home.

Keep mulch 8 to 12 inches from the foundation or perimeter of your home.

Fix dripping outdoor faucets and repair leaks in the roof or pipes.

Slope the landscape so water will drain away from the house.

Use only licensed and certified pest management professionals for termite treatments.

When termite swarms occur, you can collect some of the insects or their wings so they can be identified by a pest control service or an entomologist, Sun said.

These specimens can be submitted to the LSU AgCenter Department of Entomology or an LSU AgCenter parish office. For further information, contact Sun at qsun@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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So Whats Actually Up With Elon Musk and These Twitter Bots? – Vanity Fair

Posted: at 1:54 am

Elon Musk, who seemed poised to take over Twitter less than a month ago, has spent this week attempting to maneuver his way out of the $44 billion bid he made for the companybecause of bots. Last Friday, Musk said that the deal was temporarily on hold until Twitter could prove that less than 5% of its users were fake or spam accounts. Then, this week, he opened the door for renegotiations. But its clear that Twitter is not interested in letting Musk out of the agreement: Twitters board told The New York Times Tuesday that it believes Musks offer is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement. So who wins here? Twitters board? Musk? The bots? According to close industry observers, what were seeing play out is likely less about spam accounts and more about the power dynamics between Twittera company thats struggled to get itself on firm footingand Musk, the only man who appears interested in buying it.

To rewind a little, the bots in question are referred to in a line in Twitters quarterly financial report, which estimated that during the first three months of 2022, fewer than 5% of the platforms active users were fake or spam accountssomething Musk took issue with, questioning whether the number was falsely low. This is a big deal. It seems like if you said, Okay, I agree to buy your house. You say the house has less than 5% termites. Thats an acceptable number. But if it turns out it is 90% termites, thats not okay. Its not the same house, Musk said during a Monday appearance at podcast summit. And so hes put his offer to buy Twitter on hold until the company assures him that there are in fact not a lot of bots on Twitter.

Underlying this latest twist in the MuskTwitter saga is the irony, which Bloombergs Matt Levine pointed out, that Musk literally said he wanted to take over Twitter to defeat the bots. If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying! he tweeted not long after offering to buy the company. Once the board accepted the bid, Musk noted in a press release statement that defeating the spam bots would be a top priority under the company's new ownership. He said he wanted to buy Twitter to get rid of the spam bots, and now hes saying he doesnt want to buy Twitter because it has spam bots. Only one of those things can be true, Casey Newton, who writes the tech newsletter Platformer, tells Vanity Fair. The report detail Musk is grumbling about, an estimate in line with those of past Twitter security filings, was disclosed 11 days before Musk started bot-gate.

So what changed? Observers are quick to note that this bot drama all happened amid a recent market downturn that resulted in huge losses for Tesla, which harbors the vast majority of Musks fortune. The macro environment has changed so much from the beginning of the deal to where we are now, so one would think negotiations would start over, Douglas Boneparth, a member of CNBCs Digital Financial Advisor Council, tells Vanity Fair. Musk certainly does not want to pay more for something that he feels now is worth less given market conditions.

Musk himself has hinted at this desire to get back at the negotiating table. After declaring the deal on hold last week, on Monday he suggested he could get Twitters board back to the bargaining table, saying that a cheaper deal was not out of the question. That said, Twitters board has been forced to constantly adjust to Musks erratic shifts and respond to his whims. For example, on Monday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal explained why it is difficult to assess how many spam accounts are on the platform, as some accounts that look fake are actually real people, while others that are fake can look totally legitimate on the surface. (Musk shrugged off Agrawals detailed thread with a poop emoji.) As Boneparth asks, Where does Twitter draw the line?

The board, having already rolled over for Musk once, could again capitulate and sell the company for a lower price. But as of Twitters latest statement, it appears it wants to draw the line at $44 billion. Musk could walk away. Both Musk and Twitter consented to a $1 billion breakup fee if either side breaks from the agreed-upon deal (though Musk could try to use the bot accusations to avoid the fee). But as Boneparth and Newton both note, Musk might have the upper hand in all this. Musk does not need to come up with an excuse like bots in order to force Twitter to renegotiate, Newton says. He was the only person who was willing to buy Twitter at that price.

Then again, because Elon has destroyed so much value in the company already, there could be another buyerwilling to pay $10 billion, $15 billion, or $20 billion for Twitter, Newton says. In a weird way, the sweepstakes for who owns Twitter could get more interesting in the aftermath of this.

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Watch Your Back: Top Frauds And Scams To Look Out For In 2022 – Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle

Posted: at 1:54 am

Fraud is the daughter of greed.

by Luke Schmaltz

The continuous exchange of money for goods and services is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week fact of life. The neurology of commerce pulses onward like the relentless heartbeat of the human race. But, like seagulls swooping down on a fishing boat, like termites eating at the frame of a house, like flies laying eggs in an open wound the fraudsters and scammers are at work round the clock, attempting to gain access to what is yours in order to make it theirs.

As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, so too does the savvy of hackers and scammers. Here are a few of the top signs of trouble which are afoot today.

Job Robbers

Savvy Scammers: Be alert for warning signs of a scam. Rip-off artists are working to access what is yours and make it theirs.

The cruelty of a rip-off artist knows no bounds, and if you think no one would try to scam a person who is simply trying to better their position in life by looking for a job think again.

This scheme starts with a text message offering the recipient a job with a reputable company. This is typically described as a nonspecific position such as customer service representative. The person on the other end will say they saw your profile on a job board such as Indeed or ZipRecruiter.

Once you express interest, they will say the hiring manager will need to interview you via Google Hangouts. During the hangout they will inform you that you have been hired and proceed to request personal information for your background check, paycheck direct deposit, etc.

Takeaway: Any job offer which comes to you via text from an unknown person should be considered a scam.

Amazombies

Urgent Amazon Bluff: Be wary of urgent emails, text messages, and phone calla about your Amazon account.

One of the top drivers of perpetual, sleepless commerce is Amazon. The online behemoth of retail owns a massive market share so naturally; Amazon scams are proportionately prevalent. In fact, the top news item in this arena is that Amazon scams are up 500% from last year.

Urgent communications about your Amazon account may arrive via email, text message, or phone call. The text or script will say there is a problem and that your account must be verified and the matter is urgent.

Clickable links will lead you further into the phishing web, as will calling a phone number provided by the message.

Takeaway: Always access your Amazon account via your device and initiate communication from the website chat or messaging portals. Amazon does not send emails or text message with click here prompts.

Ill Be You

People who post notices online for missing pets, items for sale, or requesting specific makes and models of cars or musical instruments can be targeted by scammers pretending to be on the lookout for fraud.

The person will contact you and express concern that they want to make sure youre not a scammer. In order to proceed, they will then send you a verification code from Google Voice and ask you to read it back to them.

In doing so, they are capturing your unique voice imprint and setting up a Google Voice account in your name so that they can continue to perpetuate what they claimed to be wary of.

Takeaway: Never read back verification codes to anyone over the phone.

The Sky is Falling

Phony Phone Calls: Charlatans ask you to read back verification codes to capture your voice imprint and make it their own.

The rise in extreme weather events and the vigor with which the news reports them has viewers highly attuned to the suffering of others.

Scammers see sympathy as weakness and as soon as a hurricane gets named by the World Meteorological Association, a relief fund in its name is poised to be launched the moment the storm makes landfall. The same is true with wildfires, tornadoes, and the typhoons.

Charity organizations and relief efforts are monitored by watchdog groups such as the Better Business Bureau, CharityWatch, and CharityNavigator. If you are contacted and asked to donate, you should first verify the legitimacy of the charity through at least one of these organizations. Also, you can Google the charitys name followed by the word scam and any reports of fraudulent activity will come up.

Takeaway: A legitimate charity will never apply a high-pressure hard sell when asking for a donation.

The Metacurse

The latest trend in digital lifestyles, while buzzing with fascination and excitement, is rampant with new opportunities for scammers looking to swindle distracted, googly-eyed gawkers.

This relatively new construct using headsets, virtual reality, and avatars in place of analog interaction has an emperors new clothes appeal for fraudsters. The avatars of coworkers, customers, customer service reps, and sales agents can all be easily impersonated by hackers.

Interaction based solely on digital identities places all participants in jeopardy of being easily played.

Takeaway: If it seems too unreal to be true, it probably is.

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Inmate Photos of the Week (#19-2022) – ADVrider

Posted: at 1:54 am

Hello, Inmates, and welcome to Photos of the Week no. 19. We start this week with an unusual shot of an unusual bike. The 1963 Maico 250B is old enough to have seen the Beatles, and it is quite a musical beast, too. The Maico, an old Bundeswehr machine, is in its element here, but is a bit loud with that never-ending exhaust pipe, says @Skogs, who photographed it, and the 1999 Suzuki XF650 in the photo below, on a section of the German TET north of Berlin a couple of weeks ago. Only about 30% of the trail in this country is unpaved, which is unfortunate, but its still a great ride, and not too difficult, even for novices like us. Lots of old cobblestone roads between villages, and no traffic, which is a treat in a country that is so densely populated. The Bundeswehr, for those who dont have Wikipedia, is the armed forces of Germany, so we offer a salute of gratitude to the old Maico. Although the photograph does not suggest great adventure, its clear enough, the bike commands our respect, and check out those tires!

Only in Florida, you say? Right you are, and these three elephants photographed in early May at the Ocala, Florida, World Equestrian Center are looking well groomed, just like proper Floridians and that nice-looking 2017 Honda Africa Twin DCT. And look, it has a trunk, too! Were a little confused by the form that Kurt sent in with these photos, because where it says Country photo was taken in he entered Burkina Faso. Were reasonably sure that Ocala is not in Burkina Faso, but the West Africa nation is home to a large population of the trunked wanderers, so well blame any geographical miscalculation on the elephants. They mustve forgotten where they were.

Our good friend @Tjilpi sends us this pic of a 1982 Honda XL500 next to a giant termite mount, taken a few years ago on a solo ride from . . . well, well let Tjilpi tell us: During a solo ride from Alice Springs (Central Oz) across the Tanami Track into Western Australia then to Darwin (why go the easy way?!) He says the XL was an excellent bike. Solid and reliable. There were no mods except for the larger fuel tank. You gotta wonder about termite mounds, though, dont you. How do they stay up with all those termites in em?

Here we have BigHawk and the boys in late November 2021 near Lake George in Colorado. Little snow on the road and some greasy uphill trail known as Mount Frenchie, says @Cleepa. Theres a nice-looking 2021 KTM 890 ADV R in the photo, too. Thats BigHawk getting stuck in the second photo. Cleepa says he wont mention his name! so mums the word!

Out on their On Any Sunday ride a few weeks ago are @I Ride with his brother-in-law and his son-in-law on a GS1250, a 2000 DRZ400E, and I Rides Mule, the 2006 Suzuki DR650.

Westside Road, High Rolls, New Mexico, to nearly Timberon, NM. 35 miles of winding dirt mountain trail/road built by the military in the late 40s to monitor the White Sands Missile Range below in the Tularosa Basin. Beautiful views of the White Sands National Park and whole mountain area.

Below, the Mule.

Below, a 2021 KTM 890S Adv, photographed by @Nytrainer near Canaseraga, New York, in the Hiltonville State Forest. Shot was taken last fall.

Oh, but this is another one. Pike State Forest, in fact, in southeast Ohio just a week or two ago. A wonderful day playing on the 2012 Kawasaki KLR, says @Baxterj787. But which way to go? Well, thats easy. Take the fork!

This is @MightyMouse and his 2007 Suzuki DR650 one August day on Colorados Ophir Pass, or as a friends wife called it after doing it in their rental car on my recommendation, Oh Fear Pass.

Ophir Pass is a shortcut from Silverton to Telluride, although the longcut is pretty scenic too. Sadly, several skiers lost their lives in an avalanche a couple winters ago when the snow slid on the slope on the upper right of this picture.

The shot below of @Alpinas 2021 Suzuki DR650 has the South Platte River for a background. Arnold and I went fishing, beautiful day till the wind kicked up. No fish, but a good day riding.

The two shots below, from @sn2234, were taken recently in the Raut River gorges in the Republic of Moldova. Thats a 2019 Honda CRF250L.

The 2017 Suzuki DR650 in the photo below was photographed by a field of yellow just a few days ago, says @stlskybob, who was out for a midday ride north of St. Louis and just west of the Mississippissippi and Missouri river confluence. Yes, we know. We did it on purpose. But more importantly, stlskybob says, Not sure what the flowers are. Mustard, maybe? We couldnt agree more.

It was just a week or so ago that @Spkr took one of his diesel KLRs out for a run around the dirt trails on Mt. Lemmon in southern Arizona. Faster than a tractor and more powerful than a locomotive, he says.

He informs us that the bike is a Diesel KLR M1030M1.

Faster than a tractor and more powerful than a locomotive. Amazing torque, had to change the rear sprocket from 58 teeth to 53 to make it more manageable. 100 mpg and just a very mild vibration through the bars and footpaths. What do you expect from a diesel thumper that can rev over 6K rpm?

And this will be our last photo this week, another shot of Spkrs diesel and another of his Kawasakis, which were guessing is also powered by diesel. Lovely bikes, and we cant speak for you or anyone else, but that one on the left catches our eye.

Well, thanks for coming by again, Inmates. Youre always welcome at Chez POTW, so dont be strangers! And remember . . . well, heck. You know what Im gonna say:

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Dinosaurs Roam The ‘Prehistoric Planet’ In Exclusive Clip From The Apple TV+ Show – Gizmodo

Posted: at 1:54 am

Footage of Mononykus hunting in the Apple+ new show. Credit: Apple TV+

Behold: Exclusive footage from Prehistoric Planet, the upcoming Apple TV+ show that offers viewers some of the most scientifically accurate depictions of dinosaurs to ever grace the screen. This clip depicts the methodical hunting routine of Mononykus, a petite, insect-eating theropod recognizable for its massive claws.

Narrated by David Attenborough, produced by Jon Favreau and scored by Hans Zimmer, Prehistoric Planet show is a five-episode series (one episode will be released every night starting May 23) that will transport viewers to five different habitats of the Late Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago, around the same time that a meteor impact wiped them all out. In case you missed the first captivating trailer for the show, it can be found here.

This exclusive footage is from the episode on deserts, and features a Mononykus on the hunt. In the clip, the roughly dachshund-sized dinosaur inspects a withered log in a desert, before rapping on the wood using a claw on one of its stubby forelimbs. Then the dinosaur pokes a hole in the log, and slurps up termites with its prodigious tongue. This depiction is in line with one theory about Mononykus ecological niche: that the dinosaur hunted like modern-day anteaters and pangolins.

Prehistoric Planet is not the first attempt to simulate extinct animals for the screen, but many of the specific reptiles the show features are being depicted on screen for the very first time.

Each animals behavior and appearance was produced with great detail given to their actual anatomy and biomechanics, so the show depicts dinosaurs in ways you may not have imagined beforeand ways that science has only recently revealed they lived. There will be footage of dinosaurs in polar regions (a paper published last year described evidence of the animals nesting near the North Pole), and sweeping shots of massive dinosaurs moving in herds.

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The show aims to depict the breadth of dinosaur biodiversity as never beforefrom duck-billed dinosaurs as shaggy as Dr. Seuss characters, to sauropods with massive, bubble-like accoutrements lining their necks.

You can catch Mononykus, Tyrannosaurus, and many other creatures of the Cretaceous when Prehistoric Planet debuts on May 23.

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Racing Returns This Saturday The Highbanks Of Fulton Speedway – Oswego Daily News

Posted: at 1:51 am

Fulton Speedway logo.

FULTON The racing at the Fulton Speedway has been as hot as the upcoming summer season and continues this Saturday, May 21 presented by Regional Truck & Trailer and Ehrlich Pest Control.

Racing on the Highbanks will feature the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds, DOT Foods DIRTcar Sportsman, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman, and the Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux Hobby Stocks.

Adult G/A is $15. 18 years old and under is free. Pit (All Ages) is $35. Pits open at 4:00 pm. Grandstands 5:00 pm. Hot laps at 6:00 pm with racing at 7:00 pm.

Can anyone stop Tim Sears Jr. in the Modifieds? The Clay, NY racer has made an early season statement with two wins in a row. Last weekend he won the modified features Friday at Brewerton and Saturday at Fulton. Keeping the streak going at Fulton Speedway wont be easy as there is a stout and fast field of competitors that can win on any given Saturday.

Last Saturday, veterans Matt Janczuk and Chris Mackey won sportsman features. Brennan Fitzgibbons (Hobby Stocks) and Jason Parkhurst Jr. (Novice Sportsman) won their career first at the speedway.

Top-Five division point standings:

Modifieds: Tim Sears Jr. (120). Ron Davis III (112). Dave Marcuccilli (100). Marshall Hurd (96). Todd Root (94).

Sportsman: Andrew Buff (120). Emmett Waldron (116). Amy Holland (112) Austin Germinio (110). Teddy Clayton (108).

Hobby Stocks: Adam Hunt (108). Brennan Fitzgibbons (106). Casey Cunningham (104). Bob Buono (98). Ron Hawker (94).

The speedway would like to welcome back marketing partner and one of Saturdays event sponsors Regional Truck & Trailer.

Regional Truck and Trailer is the Truck and Trailer Solutions for Western NY and Northwest PA.

Regional has more than 145 full-time employees and keeps average inventories of $11,000,000 including trucks, trailers, and parts as well as providing warranty and collision repair. The dealership has primary locations in Rochester, Buffalo and Geneva, NY and affiliate location in Jamestown, Portville, Painted Post and Dansville. As Western New Yorks best truck and trailer provider of the top brands on the market today including International, Jerr-Dan, and Wabash, we feel it is important to let our customers know our roots.To see all the services, they have to offer go to http://www.regionaltruckandtrailer.com or call 800-836-0409.

The Fulton Speedway would like to welcome back marketing partner and event sponsor Ehrlich Pest Control who keeps the Brewerton and Fulton Speedways pest free. Ehrlich offers fast, responsive service. Their effective, customized pest control solutions include Fumigation, Bed Bug Control, and Termite Control and more all provided by local offices throughout the east coast from Connecticut to Florida. To find your local office for your business or residence go to http://www.jcehrlich.com or call 1-866-845-5421. As always, remember to support those who support racing.

Any questions you might have and for marketing opportunities contact Cory Reed ay (315) 593-6531 or [emailprotected] For all the latest news, visit http://www.fultonspeedway.ccom and like the speedway social media pages.

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TERMINIX GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (form 10-Q) – Marketscreener.com

Posted: May 10, 2022 at 1:49 am

The following information should be read in conjunction with the unauditedcondensed consolidated financial statements and related notes included in Item 1of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. The following discussion may containforward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates and beliefs. Ouractual results could differ materially from those discussed in theseforward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to thesedifferences include those factors discussed below and elsewhere in this report,particularly in "-Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements."

Overview

COVID-19

Refer to Results of Operations below for further discussion of the impact ofCOVID-19 on our business.

Proposed Acquisition by Rentokil

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Key Business Metrics

To the extent applicable, these measures are evaluated with and withoutimpairment, restructuring and other charges that management believes are notindicative of the earnings capabilities of our business. We also focus onmeasures designed to monitor cash flow, including net cash provided fromoperating activities from continuing operations and free cash flow.

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A reconciliation of Net income to Adjusted EBITDA for the three months endedMarch 31, 2022 and 2021 was as follows:

Effect of Weather Conditions

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Results of Operations

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Revenue

Three months ended March 31, 2022 Compared to Three months ended March 31, 2021

Revenue growth was $25 million year over year, or five percent, including onepercent from acquisitions.

Sales of products and other revenue growth was 18 percent due to increasedchemical demand as we lap the impacts of COVID-19 on three months ended March31, 2021 revenue.

Cost of Services Rendered and Products Sold

We reported cost of services rendered and products sold of $296 million and $270million for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.

Selling and Administrative Expenses

The following table provides a summary of selling and administrative expensesfor the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021:

Selling and marketing expenses were relatively flat in the three months endedMarch 31, 2022 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2021.

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Amortization Expense

Amortization expense was $10 million for both the three months ended March 31,2022 and 2021.

Acquisition-related costs were $1 million for the three months ended March 31,2021.

Restructuring and Other Charges

Interest expense was $11 million and $12 million in the three months ended March31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.

Interest and Net Investment Income

Interest and net investment income is comprised primarily of net investmentgains from equity investments and interest income on other cash balances.Interest and net investment income was $1 million for the three months endedMarch 31, 2021.

Provision for Income Taxes

Net Income

Adjusted EBITDA

Three Months Ended March 31, 2022 $ 86

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Termite Damage Claims

A summary of Litigated Claims and Non-Litigated Claims for the three monthsended March 31, 2022 and 2021 was as follows:

A summary of Litigated Claims and Non-Litigated Claims reserve activity for thethree months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 is as follows:

Free Cash Flow

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The following table reconciles net cash provided from operating activities,which we consider to be the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to Free CashFlow using data derived from our unaudited condensed consolidated financialstatements for the periods indicated:

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

Liquidity

Capital Resources

Fleet and Equipment Financing Arrangements

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Limitations on Distributions and Dividends by Subsidiaries

Cash Flows

Cash increase (decrease) during the period $ 54 $ (131)

Operating Activities

Investing Activities

Net cash used for investing activities was $40 million for the three monthsended March 31, 2022, compared to $26 million for the three months ended March31, 2021.

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Financing Activities

Mobile Bay Formosan Termite Settlement

Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

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?risks and uncertainties related to the proposed acquisition of the Company byRentokil, including stockholder approvals, challenges to the proposedacquisition, business operational uncertainties and potential loss of keyteammates;

?implementation of Mobile Bay termite Settlement remediation measures to currentand former customers, including refunds of certain price increases and theestablishment of the consumer fund intended to settle future Non-LitigatedClaims for termite damage;

?weakening general economic conditions, especially as they may affectunemployment and consumer confidence or discretionary spending levels, all ofwhich could impact the demand for our services;

?the impact of reserves attributable to pending Litigated Claims andNon-Litigated Claims for termite damages;

?compliance with, or violation of, environmental, health and safety laws andregulations;

?our ability to attract and retain key teammates, including our ability toattract, retain and maintain positive relations with trained workers andthird-party contractors;

?adverse weather conditions;

?our ability to generate the significant amount of cash needed to fund ouroperations and service our debt obligations;

?our ability to successfully implement our business strategies;

?increase in prices for fuel and raw materials, and in minimum wage levels;

?changes in the source and intensity of competition in our segments;

?our franchisees, subcontractors, third-party distributors and vendors takingactions that harm our business;

?changes in our services or products;

?our ability to protect our intellectual property and other material proprietaryrights;

?negative reputational and financial impacts resulting from future acquisitionsor strategic transactions;

?laws and governmental regulations increasing our legal and regulatory expenses;

?increases in interest rates increasing the cost of servicing our substantialindebtedness;

?increased borrowing costs due to lowering or withdrawal of the ratings, outlookor watch assigned to our debt securities;

?restrictions contained in our debt agreements;

?the effects of our indebtedness and the limitations contained in the agreementsgoverning such indebtedness; and

?other factors described in this report and from time to time in documents thatwe file with the SEC.

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Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended toexpress any future trends, or indications of future performance, unlessexpressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.

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Edgar Online, source Glimpses

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TERMINIX GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (form 10-Q) - Marketscreener.com

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Pricing Guide: How Much Does Termite Treatment Cost?

Posted: at 1:48 am

The average cost for termite treatment ranges from $275 to $863, with most homeowners paying $558. A low-end termite treatment job can cost as little as $135, while high-end extermination projects cost an average of $1,390.

If termites have moved into your house, youll want to get rid of them as soon as possible. If you wait too long to call in a professional, the termite colony may grow to an extreme size and cause significant damage to your home.

There are many factors to consider when estimating your total termite treatment costs. The infestations size, the termite type, and the type of treatment required will impact the price.

If you aim to keep your home pest-free, consider requesting additional control treatments that target pests like bed bugs or ants we also have those prices covered in this pricing guide.

Termite treatment costs typically range from $275 to $863, depending on the type of treatment used and the infestations size.

On average, homeowners pay $558 for termite treatment. Low-end costs average around $135 for a small infestation that requires a simple remedy. If the infestation needs advanced treatment, expect to pay upward of $1,390.

A professional termite exterminator will assess the infestation to determine the best treatment method. Some termite treatment methods are more expensive than others, with chemical applications usually being the most affordable option.

But remember, the cheapest termite treatment isnt always the most effective method. If your termite problem is severe, you may need more than a chemical application to kill the entire colony.

Bait treatment involves poisoning an attractive food source that migrating termites will bring back to the rest of the colony. The cost of bait treatment ranges from $7 to $11 per linear foot.

How This Works: Exterminators will typically place the bait stations around your home. As the termites take the bait and the colony begins to die off, your pest control exterminator will routinely monitor the bait systems to ensure the termites take to the food.

Pro Tip: The Sentricon baiting system is among the highest-rated bait treatments in the pest control industry. Ask your termite exterminator about Sentricon to see if it meets your needs and budget.

The average cost for chemical applications to get rid of termites typically ranges from $4 to $14.50 per linear foot.

How This Works: For chemical treatment, a pest control provider usually applies the termiticides to the soil around the infested foundation. The chemical pesticide kills termites coming in contact with it and also acts as a preventative treatment against future infestations.

Pro Tip: Looking for an effective chemical treatment? Termidor is a leading brand of termiticide used to treat subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. Termidor is only available to licensed professionals.

Fumigation costs run from $1 to $4 per square foot or $10 to $20 per linear foot. So for a 2,000-square-foot home, the total fumigation bill will likely range from $2,000 to $8,000.

How This Works: Fumigation pros will seal off your entire home with a tent and pump in toxic gas. The fumigant gas enters cracks and crevices throughout your house and terminates the colony.

The fumigant is poisonous, so people, pets, and plants must remain out of the home for 3 to 5 days. While leaving home might be inconvenient, this treatment method often proves highly effective in killing termites.

Most pest control pros reserve fumigation for severe infestations or infestations that are difficult to locate.

For heat treatment to remove termites expect to pay $1 to $2.50 per square foot or $10 per linear foot.

Heat treatment is an eco-friendly alternative to fumigation. No chemicals are used during heat treatment, and its much safer for the environment.

How This Works: The pros will seal your home with a tent, similar to fumigation, and then heat your house until the structural wood registers a temperature of 120 degrees.

The heat treatment process usually takes one day to complete, and people, plants, and pets can return once interior temperatures return to normal.

Pro Tip: Remove from your home any heat-sensitive items, like antique furniture or paintings before treatment.

The termite treatment type required wont be the only factor determining overall costs. While $558 is the average cost for termite control, many other variables may affect your total termite bill, including:

Large termite infestations often require multiple follow-up visits and expensive treatments, such as fumigation. Small termite infestations located in one area of your home often require minimal treatment and fewer follow-ups.

If youre looking to save on costs, contact a pest control professional as soon as you suspect termites are in or around your home. If you ignore the termites, this gives the infestation time to grow and spread throughout your home, increasing total treatment costs.

According to Orkin Pest Control, homeowners spend an average of $3,000 to repair termite damage. The amount of wood damage varies depending on the termite type, wood type, wood condition, infestation size, and other available food sources.

The average cost for a termite inspection ranges from $82 to $260. Keep in mind that some pest control professionals provide free inspections or will reimburse inspection costs if you hire them to treat the infestation.

If termites are common where you live, youve dealt with infestations before, or you want to be proactive, consider signing up for a termite bond. A termite bond is a termite service agreement between you and the pest control company guaranteeing regular termite inspections and treatments.

Most homeowners spend between $500 to $2,000 for a termite bonds protection plan.

There are three main types of termites:

The type of termite infesting your home will play a significant role in what treatment method the pro uses, affecting your overall bill.

Heres why: Subterranean termites, for instance, are more likely to nest in the soil under your home than live in your homes wooden structures. Because subterranean termites dont live inside your house, costly fumigation usually wont be necessary.

On the other hand, dampwood termites do nest in wood and may require a fumigation treatment that leads to a higher bill.

Subterranean termites are moisture-loving pests, which is why they typically nest and live in the soil beneath your home.

Signs of subterranean termites include small mud tubes leading from the ground to the wood they are infesting for food. Because these termites live below your homes foundation, the infested wood is usually caked with mud and soil brought up by the termites.

The most common treatment methods for subterranean termites are:

Drywood termites dont need as much moisture as subterranean or dampwood termites. These pests get all the water they need from the air and the wood they consume, which is why they dont need to live in the soil.

A drywood termite infestation can be limited to one area, or it can be widespread throughout your home. These termites can cause significant damage to the wood they infest, and repairs are often costly. If the drywood termite infestation is extensive, you may be looking at a high fumigation bill.

The most common treatment methods for drywood termites are:

Dampwood termites need lots of moisture to survive, typically setting up shop in water-damaged wood or wood resting directly on the ground.

Dampwood termites are pros at keeping themselves well hidden, allowing them plenty of time to cause significant damage before theyre discovered.

Unlike subterranean termites, dampwood termites dont build noticeable mud tubes.

And unlike drywood termites, dampwood termites leave no signs of holes in the wood they damage. Instead, they plug the holes with their feces to retain moisture in the wood.

The most common treatment methods for dampwood termites are:

With a pest control exterminator on the way, it may be smart to request some additional inspection services. After all, if youre stopping the termites in their tunnels, you might as well stop the mice in their tracks.

Or maybe the pest control operator can help uncover what bug is biting you at night

Extra services to consider are:

If you find yourself squishing ants left and right, you may have an ant problem. Keep these pests out of the kitchen and off your dinner plates with professional ant control. Most ant treatments cost from $168 to $328, with an average of $217.

Fire ants and carpenter ants are in a league of their own. Fire ant extermination typically costs $300, while carpenter ant control usually costs $500.

If you suspect cockroaches are scurrying around your home, youll want to mention this to a pest control professional. Cockroach control often ranges from $123 to $303, with most homeowners paying $225.

Roaches like the American and German cockroaches can carry bacteria and viruses that are harmful to humans. If these cockroaches are running around your cabinets or countertops, they can contaminate your food.

Mice and rats might be scurrying through the kitchen for a late-night snack. If setting your own traps isnt working, tell your termite control provider.

Most homeowners pay between $317 to $600 for mouse and rat extermination and control, including bait, traps, sealing entry points, and a follow-up visit.

Bed bugs are a nuisance. They are challenging to get rid of and cause many people stress and anxiety. Bed bug treatment costs often range from $917 to $1,917.

If you suspect a bed bug infestation is in your home, dont delay calling a professional for an inspection. Bed bugs spread from room to room, growing in numbers, so its essential to stop the spread as soon as you can.

If mosquitoes keep you inside your home, ask your pest control pro about a mosquito control treatment. Not only are mosquitoes a pain (literally and figuratively) pinching your skin and zipping near your ears mosquitoes carry lethal viruses they can pass to humans. Most mosquito control treatments cost $350 to $500 per season.

Termite control is not considered a DIY project. When it comes to termites and your home, youll want a trained professional to tackle the job so you can rest assured these pests are exterminated for good.

High-performing termiticides and termite baits are reserved only for professionals, so taking on the project yourself without commercial-grade products might not give you the results you want.

Bottom Line: If ignored or not appropriately treated, termites can cause severe damage to your wooden structures. Killing the termite colony should be left in the hands of a professional, not yours.

The costs weve listed in this termite control pricing guide are all national averages. On a local scale, termite eradication prices will vary depending on where you live.

In areas where demand for termite control is high, pest control providers may raise their treatment rates. Termites are a problem all over the U.S., but they are most common in areas with a warm climate and high humidity, such as North Carolina, Florida, and Texas.

In most cases, insurance will not cover the cost of termite treatment or termite damage repairs.

Homeowners insurance usually covers only unpredictable or sudden damage, not damages resulting from home maintenance. Most insurance companies consider termites preventable and will not offer coverage.

Each of the three main termite types has signs that can help you or a professional identify an infestation:

Subterranean Termites These termites build exploratory mud tubes from the ground to the infested wood. These tubes allow the termites to bring food to the colony while staying hidden and protected from predators. If you spot muddy tunnels forming along your homes foundation, you may have a case of subterranean termites. Damaged wood is often full of soil and feces.

Drywood Termites Drywood termites produce dry fecal pellets that are typically the first sign of a drywood termite infestation. The pests dispose of the pellets through kick holes or kick-out holes found in the wood theyre infesting. The fecal pellets, also known as frass, will often accumulate on the ground below a small hole in the wood.

Dampwood Termites Dampwood termite activity can be difficult to spot. These termites dont create mud tunnels like subterranean termites, and they dont kick out their feces like drywood termites. Instead, dampwood termites plug up any holes in the wood to retain moisture, and they keep their pellets inside their tunnel gallery. Dampwood termite tunnels typically contain termite droppings but no soil.

Building a new home or commercial facility? Youll want to hire a pest control professional to apply repellent treatments to the new construction to keep the termites at bay.

Some local and state building codes even require new construction to receive termite control methods, especially in areas where subterranean termites are common. Pre-construction termite protection is an effective way to help prevent infestations in your new home, apartment building, office, or warehouse.

Its best to leave termite control to the professionals. If you suspect termites are chewing on your home, call a local pest control professional near you. Dont put this off. Tackle a termite infestation sooner rather than later to save on treatment costs and repair costs.

Most homeowners pay $558 to treat a termite infestation, with most termite treatment costs ranging from $275 to $863. A small termite treatment job can cost as low as $135, while the average cost for high-end extermination projects is $1,390.

Remember, these total costs will vary depending on many factors, including the treatment method used, the infestations size, and the termite type. For instance, If you need to terminate a widespread dampwood termite infestation throughout a 2,000-square-foot home, the total fumigation bill will likely range anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000.

Main Photo Credit: Jean and Fred / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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Mastotermes darwiniensis – Wikipedia

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Species of termite

Mastotermes darwiniensis, common names giant northern termite and Darwin termite, is a termite species found only in northern Australia. It is the most primitive extant termite species.[1]

This species shows uncanny similarities to certain cockroaches, the termites' closest relatives. These similarities include the anal lobe of the wing and the laying of eggs in bunches, rather than singly. It is the only living member of its genus Mastotermes and its family Mastotermitidae, though numerous fossil taxa are known. The termites were traditionally placed in the Exopterygota, but such an indiscriminate treatment makes that group a paraphyletic grade of basal neopterans. Thus, the cockroaches, termites, and their relatives are nowadays placed in a clade called the Dictyoptera. These singular termites appear at first glance like a cockroach's abdomen stuck to a termite's fore part. Their wings have the same form as those of the roaches, and its eggs are laid in a case as are roach eggs. It is thought to have evolved from the same ancestors as the wood roaches (Cryptocercus) in the Permian. Fossil wings have been discovered in the Permian of Kansas which have a close resemblance to wings of Mastotermes of the Mastotermitidae,[2] which is the most primitive living termite. This fossil is called Pycnoblattina. It folded its wings in a convex pattern between segments 1a and 2a. Mastotermes is the only living insect that does the same.[3]

Unlike cockroaches, only the reproductives have wings (see Life cycle of termites); wings that are considerably longer than their abdomen. Alates are approximately 35mm long with a 50mm wingspan. Soldiers are 1113mm long and workers are 1011.5mm long.[4] The soldiers have an alarm defense system which warns nest-mates within the colony of potential dangers. Two ways they communicate these dangers is through pheromones secreted in its labial glands, and by creating vibrations through movements.[5]

Mastotermes darwiniensis is usually not very numerous, nor are the colonies large when left to natural conditions. However, when given abundant water (such as regular irrigation) and favourable food and soil conditions (such as stored timber or timber structures), populations can be enormous, numbering in the millions, quickly destroying their host. Its diet is varied, as it will eat introduced plants, damaged ivory and leather, and wood and debris, and in fact almost anything organic. It becomes a major agricultural pest, to the extent that vegetable farming has been virtually abandoned in Northern Australia[6] wherever this termite is numerous, which it is outside of the rain forest or bauxite soils.[7] It has developed the ability to bore up into a living tree and ring bark it such that it dies and becomes the center of a colony.

Mastotermes darwiniensis is the only known host of the symbiotic protozoan Mixotricha paradoxa, remarkable for its multiple bacterial symbionts.[8]

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