The late-spring sun is cranking up the heat. It’s hard to believe the long, cold winteris still causing problems in Georgia landscapes.”We’ve had a lot of Botrytis blight in landscape plants this spring,” saidJean Williams-Woodward, a plant pathologist with the University of Georgia ExtensionService.Botrytis blight is caused by a fungus, Botrytis cinerea, she said. Commonlyknown as “gray mold,” it’s the most common pathogen in any greenhouse, nurseryor landscape. It attacks any aboveground part of many vegetable and landscape plants.”Botrytis is always a problem for any flowering plant,” Williams-Woodwardsaid. “The problem this spring has been mostly in bedding plants. It hasn’t been toobad in woody ornamentals.”The problem started, she said, in the state’s greenhouses, mostly because of the winterthat didn’t want to end.”Greenhouse growers had all these bedding plants ready to go, but it was still toocold,” Williams-Woodward said. “They couldn’t sell them.”Waiting for spring sales to rev up, growers wound up having to hold the plants a monthlonger than they normally would have. And the plants suffered from having to be held solong. Some flowers dropped off, and leaves yellowed.Now the plants are in the landscape, where Botrytis is easier to control because theplants are more spread out. But it’s still something to contend with.Because the injured and yellowing tissues are more vulnerable, Williams-Woodward saidBotrytis blight could be more of a problem in landscapes this year.Botrytis attacks these old flowers and leaves and other weak tissues first, she said.Then it spreads into healthy tissue. On bedding plants, Botrytis often causes leaf spotswhen infected flowers drop onto leaves. It’s most active under wet conditions and when thehumidity is high and the air is stagnant.Williams-Woodward said the fungus is easy to identify. With a magnifying glass, andoften without it, she said, you can see a gray-brown web and grape-like clusters of sporeson infected tissues.”The spores are dry and are easily dispersed by air movement,” she said.”Overhead watering and rain disperse the spores, too. The force of the water dropletlanding on a leaf creates a shock wave that dislodges the spores into the air.”Splashing water droplets can carry the spores to nearby plants, too.”Pick up a plant with Botrytis sometime and gently flick the infected plantpart,” she said. “A cloud of spores can usually be seen floating in the airabove the plant.”Controlling Botrytis in the landscape takes a little cleaning up, using a fungicide andmaybe changing a few things around your plants.”Prune dead and injured stems from cold-damaged plants,” Williams-Woodwardsaid. “Clean the ground (and the inside of pots) of dead, fallen leaf litter. Andremove yellowing leaves from the base of plants.”People who pay regular attention to their plants can prevent the spread of the fungus.Picking off and discarding spent flowers and yellowing leaves as they show up will oftenkeep plants healthy.You may need to space your plants farther apart, too, to allow for better aircirculation. If Botrytis is a problem, don’t use overhead irrigation, she said.Because the fungal spores spread around so easily, fungicides can be important incontrolling Botrytis.”Spray a protective fungicide after the plants are free of blighted tissue,”Williams-Woodward said. “Consult your county agent to find out which fungicide to usefor a particular plant.”
Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville has released General Fund revenue results for the month of July, the first month of Fiscal Year 2010. General Fund revenues totaled $83.54 million for July 2009, +$0.62 million or +0.75% above the $82.91 million consensus revenue forecast for the month and year-to-date.“While the General Fund finished above target for the first month of the new fiscal year (FY 2010), this was achieved only after the FY 2010 target was reduced on July 16th,” said Secretary Lunderville. “The pattern of quarterly reductions that we saw throughout FY 2009 has continued into the new fiscal year,” said Lunderville.The monthly targets reflect the recently revised Fiscal Year 2010 Consensus Revenue Forecast that was adjusted downward by the Emergency Board on July 16, 2009. The State’s Consensus Revenue Forecast is normally updated two times per year in January and July. However, with the unstable economic situation, the Emergency Board has been scheduling interim revenue reviews. The next consensus forecast is scheduled to be reviewed by the Emergency Board in mid-November, 2009.Personal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net-of-Personal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax receipts for July were $45.35 million, +$1.51 million or +3.44% ahead of the monthly target. Sales & Use Tax fell short of target by -$0.06 million (-0.33%) and Rooms & Meals Tax was +$0.40 million (+4.32%) above target for July. Corporate Income Tax receipts of $0.90 million significantly fell below target for the month by -$0.99 million or -52.42%.The remaining tax components include Insurance, Inheritance & Estate Tax, Real Property Transfer Tax, and “Other” (which includes: Bank Franchise Tax, Telephone Tax, Liquor Tax, Beverage tax, Fees, and Other Taxes). Results for July were as follows: Insurance Tax, $0.36 million (-6.44%); Estate Tax, +$0.46 million (+43.74%); Property Transfer Tax, +$0.06 million (+9.26%); and other, -$0.72 million (-10.28%).Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund Revenue, revenue of $15.99 million for the month or -$0.45 million (-2.73%), below the monthly target for July. Revenue from the Gasoline Tax, Diesel Tax and Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax were all below target for the month of July, while Motor Vehicle Fees and Other Fees were both above target. The Transportation Fund revenue results for July were: Gasoline, $5.26 million or -13.68% below target; Diesel Tax, $0.54 million or -13.20% below target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $2.97 million or -0.79% below target; Motor Vehicle Fees, $5.77 million or +5.48% above target; and Other Fees, $1.45 million or +15.23% above the monthly target.Education FundSecretary Lunderville released revenue results for the “the non-Property Tax” Education Fund revenues (which constitute approximately 11% of the total Education Fund receipts). “The Education Fund receipts totaled $11.88 million for the month of July, or -$0.43 million (-0.36%) below the $11.92 million consensus revenue target for the month. The Education Fund revenue results for July were: Sales & Use Tax, $9.39 or -0.33%; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $1.49 million or -0.76%; and Lottery Transfer, $1.0 million – which was exactly on target. There was no Education Fund Interest targeted or recorded for July.ConclusionSecretary Lunderville concluded that “July is normally a relatively low revenue month and is historically a poor predictor of the year to come as a whole. However, it is important to note that the July 2009 revenue receipts for each of the three major funds fell well below the corresponding receipts for July 2008 as follows: General Fund, -13.58%; Transportation Fund, -2.27%; and Education Fund, -9.46%. We cannot be certain when we will reach the bottom of this recession and begin a genuine recovery. We continue to be vigilant for future revenue declines,” said Lunderville. Source: Secretary Lunderville’s office. August 14, 2009.
Stresslines December 1, 2003 Diane Vogt Regular News Leadership training develops superstarsand Lori-Ann Rickard “We need to figure out how to hire more Karens and Robs,” a hiring partner of a major law firm told us. “They are our superstars!” He was chagrined by our answer when we told him that superstars are made, not born.Success in any human endeavor begins with potential. The success paradigm explains that potential is applied through action. Action leads to results. Results then inform belief. Belief leads to greater potential. And the cycle repeats.Every lawyer you hire has great potential. That potential can be used to encourage significant positive action toward developing a satisfying legal career. Positive action develops skills. Strong results reinforce the belief that success is possible and that the lawyer has the potential for even greater success.However, the same cycle will repeat itself in negative ways. Lawyers who are perceived to have little potential to develop as strong players in your practice often take very little action, get limited results, and reinforce their own negative beliefs, as well as those of firm management.Were your superstars successful because you believed they were stars and treated them that way? And were your mis-hires unsuccessful because the firm believed they had less potential from the outset?Superstars are perceived to have great potential from their very earliest assignments and fulfill that potential. For others, an early misstep often marks an associate’s career for years. Such associates either leave the firm earlier than the firm can profitably let them go or remain ineffective and a drain on morale.All lawyers can be superstars and mid-career slumps can be avoided by appropriate leadership training. New lawyers must first learn basic skills and to manage themselves. They must learn to complete their work timely and well; master, sharpen and broaden their professional skills; learn the law; learn to plan; perform punctually; meet client expectations; develop and perfect quality of work; and be reliabile.All of these skills can be taught and learned by lawyers. Superstars get the one-on-one mentoring that helps them develop such skills. Other, less successful lawyers do not receive that informal apprenticeship. A structured training program that delivers such training to all lawyers serves the firm, the lawyer and clients by giving every lawyer a better chance to develop into a strong performer.An individual superstar must move from managing herself to managing others. This is the step where superstars often stumble. They have been successful and are comfortable in that role. They want to repeat that success by continuing to do work far below their levels of ability and billing rates. They refuse to push work down to lower levels, doing a disservice both to the firm and their clients.In any service business, such as law practice, significant success requires the development of a first-class team. Building a successful legal practice is assured if the lawyer can develop into a team builder. Teambuilding begins with development of individual skills, but it doesn’t stop there. To manage others, one must learn skills related to planning the work, selecting good people, setting objectives, holding others accountable for results, and offering feedback. This is a shift from doing to getting work done through others. Mastering these skills is essential to increasing revenue and client base.Senior lawyers must value managerial work and not just tolerate it. Each level of work must be understood and valued for its contribution to the overall success of the team, department, and firm. Leading Lawyers learn to motivate, coach, and measure the work of others. They are mentors to others and seek mentors for themselves. Lawyers who develop these skills multiply their revenue production geometrically. Lawyers who never move to this leadership level are a mid-career disappointment to themselves and their colleagues.When mid-career lawyers do not develop into team leaders, it is often because they’ve failed to develop communication techniques that elicit trust from team members. The components of trust include dependability (“Will you be true to your promises?”), openness (“Can I talk freely?”), acceptance (“Will you help and not judge me harshly?”), and candor (“What do you really think?”).Successful leaders in law firms understand the importance of positive framing skills. Framing is our term for perspective on issues that face lawyers daily. Positive framing is a common trait of America’s top business leaders. Positive framing can build lawyers into more effective leaders. Often, lawyers only look at obstacles and identify problems. Framing is a tool that teaches lawyers to view events as opportunities and identify “what’s right with it?”Suprestarts can be hired for every position. But the real question is: What will you do with that superstar after you hire her? Unless you commit to help her develop into an effective firm leader through leadership training, you’re wasting your time. People Wealth is owned and operated by Diane Vogt and Lori-Ann Rickard, both practicing lawyers. PeopleWealth works with professional development staff s to communicate effectively with lawyers and to help lawyers design and build careers. For more information about PeopleWealth e-mail info@PeopleWealth.com or visit www.PeopleWealth.com.