Happy birthday Harry Belfonte, 87 today.
Glenn Miller would have been 106 today.
In honour of St David’s Day I’m not going to eat leeks, but I did enjoy listenign to this.
1. Who was the Greek goddess of civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, craft, justice and skill?
2. What are the female seeds of humulus lupulus called?
3. What is a pantisocracy?
4. What did/do Lewis Caroll, Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein, Fidel Castro, H.G. Wells, Cole Porter, Pele, Nietzsche, and Queen Elizabeth II have in common?
5. What is a terremoto?
My initial reaction to the report from the independent review panel into Environment Canterbury was to support the recommendation that the council be replaced by an independent commissioner.
However, I didn’t realise that while the government can appoint a commissioner if requested to do so by a regional council, it would take a change of law for that to happen without the council’s request.
That makes me a bit more cautious about the idea.
Another reason for caution is that the district councils which were so unhappy with ECan before are much happier with the improvements since Alec Neill became chair. That gives me more confidence that ECan may be able to come up to scratch without the need for a commissioner.
But whether or not a commissioner is appointed the need for action from ECan is urgent.
The last water consent for water takes from the Waitaki River was North Otago Irrigation Company’s in 2002.
There are now around 40 applications to take water languishing in the system. That includes applications to renew existing consents among which are farmers with businesses built on irrigation who are in limbo until their consents are renewed.
This sort of delay in processing consents is unacceptable.
Whether or not a commissioner is appointed I have concerns that the size and population make-up of ECan is part of the problem.
The population base is in Christchurch and while people there ought to be concerned about their air and water quality I can understand that they might not even think about the Waitaki River about three hours south of the city.
Yet that river is vitally important for the country because it generates about half our hydro power. The river and its lakes also provide recreational opportunities for tourists, boaties and fishers.
It’s also important for farming because it provides water for around 70,000 of irrigation.
But many of us who live just a few kilometres away from the river are in the Otago Regional Council’s area not ECan’s and so have little or no influence on policies affecting it and us.
It is difficult to comprehend the human impact of a disaster like the earthquake in Chile when those affected are a number in a news report.
But within an hour of hearing the news of the earthquake and the tsunami warnings for New Zealand we were talking to the daughter of friends. She told us they were hosting a Chilean exchange student who had been desperately trying to reach his family by phone but couldn’t get through and was waiting anxiously for a call from them.
What had been an abstract disaster became more real as we saw her concern for a teenager thousands of miles from home, waiting and worrying about his family and friends.
On March 1:
752 BC Romulus, first king of Rome celebrated the first Roman triumph after his victory over the Caeninenses.
1445 Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter, was born.
1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born.
1457 The Unitas Fratrum was established in the village of Kunvald, on the Bohemian-Moravian borderland. It is the second oldest Protestant denomination.
1565 The city of Rio de Janeiro was founded.
1628 Writs were issued by Charles I of England mandating that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date.
1633 Samuel de Champlain reclaimed his role as commander of New France on behalf of Cardinal Richelieu.
1815 Napoleon returned to France from his banishment on Elba.
1840 Adolphe Thiers became prime minister of France.
1872 Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first national park.
1873 E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York began production of the first practical typewriter.
1886 Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) was created in response to Maori concern they were being cheated by Pakeha bankers.
1896 Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity.
1904 Glenn Miller, American bandleader, was born.
1901 The Shotover Bridge (from which I threw myself a couple of years ago – on a bungy cord) opened.
1910 The worst avalanche in United States history buried a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.
1910 David Niven, English actor, was born.
1912 Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.
1917 Robert Lowell, American poet (, was born.
1922 Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.
1927 Harry Belafonte, American musician and activist, was born.
1932 The son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, was kidnapped.
1936 The Hoover Dam was completed.
1939 Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, killing 94.
1946 The Bank of England was nationalised.
1947 The International Monetary Fund began financial operations.
1953 Joseph Stalin suffered a stroke and collapsed, he died four days later.
1954 Ron Howard, American actor and director, was born.
1956 Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, was born.
1956 – Formation of the National People’s Army
1958 – Turkish passenger ship Uskudar capsized and sank at Izmit Bay, Kocaeli, killing at least 300.
1961 President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps.
1961 – Uganda became self-governing and held its first elections.
1975 Colour television transmissions began in Australia.
1981 Bobby Sands began his hunger strike.
1992 Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia.
2002 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda began in eastern Afghanistan.
2002 – The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reached an orbit 800 kilometers (500 miles) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (9.5 tons).
2003 – The International Criminal Court held its inaugural session in The Hague.
2004 Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum becomes President of Iraq.
2005 Death penalty for juveniles revoked in United States of America.
2007 Tornadoes swarmed across the southern United States, killing at least 20.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia