366 days of gratitude

February 8, 2016

The campaign to fund the purchase of the beach at Awaroa, about which I wrote two posts earlier, reminded me of the blessing of people who have good ideas and act on them to benefit others.

Today I’m grateful for them.


Word of the day

February 8, 2016

Mussitate – mumble, mutter; talk indistinctly and usually in a low voice.


Give by choice not compulsion

February 8, 2016

Out staff gave us a voucher for two nights at Awaroa Lodge for our 25th wedding anniversary.

It’s in Abel Tasman National Park and not somewhere you go by accident so it took us a while to redeem it but it was well worth the wait.

New Zealand is blessed with many areas of outstanding natural beauty and this is one of the gems – native bush, white sand, clear blue sea and, at least while we were there, sky to match.

The bay is in the news because two Christchurch men, Duane Major and Adam Gard’ner are crowdfunding through Givealittle to buy the privately owned beach and give it to the government.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the beach will become part of the Abel Tasman National Park if the campaign to buy it succeeds.

“I have instructed Department of Conservation officials to formally talk to the campaigners about the legal details of making this beach a part of the Abel Tasman National Park,” Ms Barry says.

“This campaign has struck a deep vein of public support, with more than 11,000 backers so far, and it’s been encouraging to watch the Givealittle fund grow.

“I’m able to give an assurance that if it succeeds the land will be added to Abel Tasman National Park and free access secured for the public in perpetuity.”

“It is a testament to the deep and abiding love New Zealanders have for their natural heritage, and to see people raising money and wanting to be actively involved in what happens to our land is inspirational. I congratulate the organisers of the campaign and wish them all the best in their efforts.” 

She also said:

The Department of Conservation had considered buying the land after it was offered to them before it was advertised, but decided it was too expensive, said Barry.

“The Government doesn’t have untold resources to buy beaches and pieces of bush. Every budget is under pressure.”

She said they did not want to drive prices up at this stage either.

“Sometimes people can see huge dollar signs. So our presence might be an encouragement to people to think the price of this property will go through the roof.”

However due to the “depth and extent” of public interest, Barry said her conservation officials were looking at helping out. . .

So far so very good but then along comes Andrew Little who said the government should step in now and provide the rest of the money.

To the credit of those behind the campaign that isn’t their preferred option:

. . . Mr Major said that though central government contribution would be welcome, he would rather see the money raised entirely by the public.

“People could raise it sooner, actually, and that speed with which we can raise that money will make a huge difference to how we arrange a tender, and arrange a whole bunch of things.

“That would be Plan A and always was Plan A – just reviving that get up and go spirit.” . . 

Why is Labour’s default always taxpayers? Why isn’t he encouraging people to give, starting with his caucus, with taxpayers funding only a last resort?

Instead we have the stark difference – asking people to give voluntarily as those behind the campaign are and demanding we give compulsorily through our taxes as Little is.

Individuals and businesses giving a little with taxpayer top-up only if it’s needed is a far better way than Labour’s usual mode of taxpayers’ giving a lot.

P.S. I have put my money where my mouth is and donated.

 

 

 

 


Quote of the day

February 8, 2016

Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth. – 

Jules Verne who was born on this day in 1828.

February 8 in history

February 8, 2016

421 – Constantius III became co-Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

1238 – The Mongols burned the Russian city of Vladimir.

1250 – Seventh Crusade: Crusaders engaged Ayyubid forces in the Battle of Al Mansurah.

1347 – The Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347 ended with a power-sharing agreement between John VI Kantakouzenos and John V Palaiologos.

1575  Universiteit Leiden was founded and given the motto “Praesidium Libertatis”.

1587  Mary, Queen of Scots was executed at suspicion of having been involved in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.

1612 Samuel Butler, English poet, was born (d. 1680).

1622 King James I disbanded the English Parliament.

1692 – A doctor in Salem Village suggeseds that two girls in the family of the village minister may be suffering from bewitchment, leading to theSalem witch trials.

1693  The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia was granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.

1726 The Supreme Privy Council was established in Russia.

1807 Battle of Eylau – Napoleon defeated Russians under General Benigssen.

1817  Juan Gregorio de las Heras crossed the Andes with an army to joinSan Martín and liberate Chile from Spain.

1828  Jules Verne, French author, was born (d. 1905).

1837 Richard Johnson became the first Vice President of the United States chosen by the United States Senate.

1849 New Roman Republic established.

1855  The Devil’s Footprints mysteriously appeared in southern Devon.

1856  Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei abolished slavery in Wallachia.

1865 Delaware voters rejected the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and voted to continue the practice of slavery.

1867 The Ausgleich resulted in the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.

1879 Sandford Fleming first proposed adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute.

1882 Thomas Selfridge, first person to die in an aeroplane crash, was born (d. 1908).

1887 The Dawes Act authorised the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divided it into individual allotments.

1900 British troops were defeated by Boers at Ladysmith.

1904 Battle of Port Arthur: A surprise torpedo attack by the Japanese at Port Arthur, China started the Russo-Japanese War.

1909 – Elisabeth Murdoch, Australian philanthropist, was born (d. 2012).

1910 The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated by William D. Boyce.

1915 – Able Seaman William Edward Knowles became one of the first New Zealanders to be killed as a result of enemy action during the First World War.

1915 D.W. Griffith’s controversial film The Birth of a Nation premiered in Los Angeles.

1921 – Lana Turner, American actress, was born (d. 1995).

1922 President Warren G. Harding introduced the first radio in the White House.

1924 The first state execution using gas in the United States took place in Nevada.

1925 – Jack Lemmon, American actor, director and musician, was born (d. 2001).

1931 James Dean, American actor, was born (d. 1955).

1931 All three people on board  a Dominion Airline DeSoutter were killed in a crash near Wairoa. This was the first fatal air service accident in New Zealand.
> First fatalities on a scheduled air service in NZ

1932  John Williams, American composer and conductor, was born.

1941  Nick Nolte, American actor, was born.

1948  Ron Tyson, American singer (The Temptations), was born.

1952 Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen of the UK.

1955 John Grisham, American writer, was born.

1955  The Government of Sindh abolished the Jagirdari system in the province. One million acres (4000 km²) of land thus acquired was to be distributed among the landless peasants.

1960 – Queen Elizabeth II issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants would take the name “Mountbatten-Windsor“.

1962 Charonne massacre: 9 trade unionists were killed by French police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Paris Prefecture of Police.

1963 Mohammad Azharuddin, Indian cricketer, was born.

1963 Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba were made illegal by the John F. Kennedy administration.

1968  The Orangeburg massacre, a mass killing in Orangeburg, South Carolina of black students from South Carolina State University who were protesting racial segregation at the town’s only bowling alley.

1969 Allende meteorite fell near Pueblito de Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico.

1971 The NASDAQ stock market index debuted.

1974 The crew of the first American space station Skylab returned to Earth after 84 days in space.

1974 – Military coup in Upper Volta.

1978  Proceedings of the United States Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time.

1979 Denis Sassou-Nguesso became the President of the Republic of the Congo.

1983 – Cory Jane, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

Cory Jane 2011 (cropped).jpg

1983  The Melbourne dust storm .The result of the worst drought on record and a day of severe weather conditions, the 320m deep dust cloud enveloped the city, turning day to night.

1989 An Independent Air Boeing 707 crashed into Santa Maria mountain in Azores Islands killing 144.

1996 The U.S. Congress passes the Communications Decency Act.

1996 – The massive Internet collaboration “24 Hours in Cyberspace” took place.

2010 – A freak storm in the Hindukush mountains of Afghanistan triggered a series of at least 36 avalanches, burying over two miles of road, killing at least 172 people and trapping over 2,000 travelers.

2013 – A blizzard disrupted transportation and leaves hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

February 7, 2016

Catachresis – the use of a word in an incorrect way or in the wrong context; use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech; misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.


Dropping Like Flies

February 7, 2016

dropping like flies StoryPeople print by Brian Andreas

I like people until they give me reason not to, she said. Some days they just drop like flies, though, she added.

Dropping Like Flies ©2014 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

You can sign up for email delivery of a daily dose of whimsy like this at Story People.


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