Yellow Bird

April 29, 2010

Donald Mills would have been 95 today.


It Don’t Mean A Thing

April 29, 2010

Duke Ellington would have been 111 today.


Thursday’s reminder about Tuesday’s poem

April 29, 2010

A couple of days late – this Tuesday’s poem was Coverage by Tim Jones.


Just wondering . . .

April 29, 2010

. . . how difficult it is to check shirt pockets for pens before you take them off so they don’t go into the washing machine?


Why National?

April 29, 2010

Why National?  Young Country asked Justice Minister Simon Power.

He answered:

. . .  I have a fundamental belief that governments should leave people alone, and that the role of the state should be relatively small, and that the state should not be in you life more than it needs to be.

New Zealanders have this natural aversion to being told what to do by governments, both local and central, and I’m pretty much in that camp.

He was also asked to give one piece of advice to a young rural person.

His answer was:

 . . . “Don’t underestimate the impact they can have on the way governments and economies operate if they are going to step up and say their piece.”

My experience with listening to what farmers have to say, whether it is at the saleyards, pub or wherever, they tend to be understated but very, very smart. Their instincts are almost 100% right on where the country should be heading.

The other thing to remember is what good advocates farmers are. So when they come to talk about an issue with me, they have very compelling cases to make due to being well-structured and having thoroughly thought through the process.

Young Country was launched last year.

 It was a brave move, given the recession, but it seems to have hit the spot and not just with its target audience of younger country people. Lots of us not so young ones find it good reading too.

(And no, I don’t have shares in the company or work for the magazine, I’m just an appreciative subscriber).


Why fags and not booze?

April 29, 2010

The Law Commission’s suggestion of a steep increase in the price of alcohol got no traction but parliament went into extraordinary urgency to increase the tax on tobacco.

Why one and not the other?

It is possible to use alcohol in a way which does no harm to the user or others.

You can’t do that with tobacco.

The immediate increase in tax on cigarettes and loose tobacco had almost unanimous support in parliament – just four Act MPs voted against the measure.

Tobacco is price sensitive. An increase in price always leads to a decrease in use.

It impacts particularly on young people and makes it less likely they’ll start smoking.


Hunter Downs irrigation scheme gets consent

April 29, 2010

Meridian Energy has gained resource consent for the Hunter Downs Irrigation Scheme.

 

The Hunter Downs Irrigation Scheme is a community irrigation proposal developed by the South Canterbury Irrigation Trust (SCIT) and Meridian.

The scheme would potentially irrigate up to 40,000 hectares of land from the Waitaki River stretching as far north as Otipua. It would provide opportunities for land use diversification, including horticulture, sheep, beef and dairy farming.

The South Canterbury Irrigation Trust was convened by the Mayors of the Timaru, Waimate and Mackenzie District Councils to develop sustainable irrigation solutions for South Canterbury.

The scheme would involve diverting water from the Waitaki River into an irrigation intake near Stonewall at the existing site of the Morvan Glenavy Ikawai irrigation scheme intake, 35km downstream of the Waitaki Dam.

From there the water would be pumped about 140km for delivery to farms using a pumping station, canal and pipe system.

This is similar to North Otago Irrigation Company’s scheme. It pumps water from the Waitaki to a pond then pipes it under pressure to farms. The first stage covering 10,000 hectares is fully subscribed and the company has started selling shares in the second 10,000 hectares.

The arrival of reliable water has transformed our valley and its value, not just to farms but to the district’s economy, has been highlighted by this autumn’s drought.

There are obvious gains in production but that hasn’t come at the cost of the environment. All shareholders are required to have an environmental farm plan which is independently audited every year.

The scheme has also improved water quality in the Waiareka Creek turning what was little more than a series of near stagnant ponds into a flowing stream.

There have also been social benefits. For the first time since the ag-sag of the 80s farmers’ adult children have returned home for work. There were eight houses on our road before the scheme was launched, now there are 13.

Consent for the Hunter Downs scheme is another step towards similar development in South Canterbury with a corresponding increase in economic, environmental and social benefits.


April 29 in history

April 29, 2010

On April 29:

711  Islamic conquest of Hispania: Moorish troops led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad landed at Gibraltar to begin their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus).

Tariq ibn Ziyad

1429 Joan of Arc arrived to relieve the Siege of Orleans.

Joan of Arc at the Siege of Orleans by Jules Lenepveu

1483 Gran Canaria, the main of the Canary Islands was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile, an important step in the expansion of Spain.

1624 Cardinal Richelieu became Prime Minister of Louis XIII.

1672 Franco-Dutch War: Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands.

1707  Scotland and England unified in United Kingdom of Great Britain.

 1770 James Cook arrived at and named Botany Bay, Australia.

  

1832 Évariste Galois released from prison.

 

1861 American Civil War: Maryland’s House of Delegates voted not to secede from the Union.

1863 William Randolph Hearst, American publisher, was born (d. 1951).

1864 The Theta Xi fraternity was founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

1882  The “Elektromote” – forerunner of the trolleybus – was tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin.

 

1899 Duke Ellington, American jazz pianist and bandleader, was born (d. 1974).

1901 Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, was born (d. 1989).

1903 A 30 million cubic-metre landslide killed 70 in Frank, Alberta.

 

1915 Donald Mills, American singer (Mills Brothers), was born (d. 1999).

1916 World War I: The British 6th Indian Division surrendered to Ottoman Forces at Kt in one of the largest surrenders of British forces up to that point.

1916 Easter Rebellion: Martial law in Ireland was lifted and the rebellion was officially over with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin.

 

1933 Rod McKuen, American poet and composer, was born.

1934 Otis Rush, American musician, was born.

1938 Bernard Madoff, American convict, who was a financier and Chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange., was born.

1945 World War II: The German Army in Italy unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

1945 World War II: Start of Operation Manna.

 

1945 World War II – Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler married his long-time partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designated Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor.

1945 – The Dachau concentration camp was liberated by United States troops.

 

1945 – The Italian commune of Fornovo di Taro was liberated from German forces by Brazilian forces.

1946  Former Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tojo and 28 former Japanese leaders were indicted for war crimes.

 

1952 Anzus came into force.

ANZUS comes into force

1953 The first U.S. experimental 3D-TV broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV.

1954 Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian, was born.

Jerry Seinfeld (1997) cropped.jpg

1957 – Daniel Day-Lewis, British-Irish actor, was born.

A smiling man wearing a gray hat with piping above the band, and a tan Western style shirt, stands in an office, posing for the camera.

1958 Michelle Pfeiffer, American actress, was born.

1958 Eve Plumb, American actress, was born.

1965 Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) successfully launched its seventh rocket in its Rehber series.

 

1967 After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title.

Muhammad Ali NYWTS.jpg

1968  The controversial musical Hair opened on Broadway.

Hairposter.jpg

1970 Andre Agassi, American tennis player, was born.

Andre Agassi 2005 US Clay Court.jpg

1970 Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia to hunt Viet Cong.

1974 President Richard Nixon announced the release of edited transcripts of White House tape recordings related to the Watergate  scandal.

 

1975 Vietnam War: Operation Frequent Wind: The U.S. began to evacuate U.S. citizens from Saigon prior to an expected North Vietnamese takeover. U.S. involvement in the war ended.

Vietnamese refugees disembarking helicopter, Operation Frequent Wind.jpg

1979  Jo O’Meara, British singer (S Club), was born.

1980 Corazones Unidos Siempre Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc. was founded.

1980 Kian Egan, Irish singer (Westlife), was born.

1986 Roger Clemens then of the Boston Red Sox set a major league baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1986 A fire at the Central library of the City of Los Angeles Public Library damaged or destroyed 400,000 books and other items.

1991 A cyclone struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 mph, killing at least 138,000 people and leaving as many as 10 million homeless.

 

1992   Riots in Los Angeles  following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King. Over the next three days 53 people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

  

1997 The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 enters into force, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by its signatories.

1999 The Avala TV Tower near Belgrade was destroyed in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

CK building on fire 1999.jpg

2002 The United States was re-elected to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, one year after losing the seat that it had held for 50 years.

2004 Dick Cheney and George W. Bush testified before the 9/11 Commission in a closed, unrecorded hearing in the Oval Office.

 

2004  Oldsmobile built its final car ending 107 years of production.

Oldsmobile Logo

2005 Syria completed withdrawal from Lebanon, ending 29 years of occupation.

2005 – New Zealand’s first civil union took place.

Sourced from NZ History Online and WIkipedia.


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