Word of the day

January 8, 2015

Prebuttal – an argument or response formulated in anticipation of a criticism; a pre-emptive rebuttal.


Rural round-up

January 8, 2015

Farmer furious cows shot with arrows :

A Kaiaua farmer is calling for more to be done to protect animals in rural environments after three of his cattle were shot with a bow and arrow.

David Olsen, who farms a 600 hectare block at the southern end of the Hunua Ranges, southeast of Auckland,  has been on high alert after his wife spotted an injured cow when taking their dog for a walk on Sunday morning.

On initial inspection, Olsen could not see what was bothering the wounded beast but when he returned later in the afternoon, he realised the seriousness of the situation.

“I saw an animal with three arrows in it and one with one,” he said.

“I looked for the other one I saw in the morning and it was dead so I immediately came back and called the vet and the police.” . . .

Back into the swing – Jenna Cairney:

WHEN Emily Bowman runs her five-kilometre route on the family farm near Barraba, sometimes she feels so energetic, she’ll jump the gate and laugh.

She laughs because she’ll remember when she’d put on her runners and exercise gear in the morning and refuse to take it off until she worked out.

She remembers when her baby boy Oliver would go for a sleep, she’d put her two little girls on a picnic blanket with some morning tea and toys.

She would listen to the baby monitor, then sprint up the hill at “Tarpoly”, sprint back down, check the girls and the monitor again, and repeat. . .

Rural women’s champion honoured  – Anna Williams:

A Marlborough woman who moved to Blenheim when she was 17 for a job at the Marlborough Express has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Liz Evans has been recognised for services to rural women in the New Year Honours List.

She is one of two Marlborough honours recipients this year, joining fellow Marlburian Ted Collins, of Spring Creek, who received a Queen’s Service Medal.

Evans, who is a national life member of Rural Women New Zealand, was the national president of the organisation from May 2011 to November 2013. . .

Rural Women congratulates Liz Evans ONZM on her Queen’s New Year’s Honour:

Rural Women New Zealand members are thrilled that Liz Evans, our former national president and a national life member, has been recognised for her services to rural women in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, having been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Liz Evans served as Rural Women® national president from 2011 to 2013, and was Marlborough provincial secretary for 10 years. She was also the administrator for the Marlborough Provincial Federated Farmers from 2003 to 2011.

Mrs Evans says she sees the award as both a personal recognition, and recognition of Rural Women New Zealand as an organisation. . . .

Swimming cow saves farmer’s life:

The area north of Wellington was affected badly when floods hit the country in 2004.

A burst of cold air blowing in from the Antarctic ice shelf combined with moist air from a weak tropical low in the north, producing wind and rain on a scale seen only about once every 10 years, with wind speeds peaking at 104kmh.

Hundreds of North Islanders were forced to evacuate their homes, and insurers estimated the cost of damage at $40 million.

Kim Riley was out early in the morning on her dairy farm in Woodville, trying to head off half her herd, which were moving in the direction of the floodwaters, when she was swept away by the current herself. . . .

What the Heck? Killer cows culled – Victoria Ward,

A UK FARMER has been forced to cut down Britain’s only herd of ­Nazi-engineered cows because they were too aggressive and tried to kill his staff.

Derek Gow imported more than a dozen Heck super cows to his west Devon farm in 2009. It was the first time the creatures had set foot on British soil since the Bronze Age.

But the farmer has now been forced to destroy seven of the cows due to their ­ferocious nature. The meat was turned into sausages which Mr Gow said were “very tasty” and a bit like venison. . .

 

Nominations in for Silver Fern Farms’ Director Elections:

Three nominations have been received for the two available positions on the Silver Fern Farms’ Board of Directors.

Rob Hewett and Herstall Ulrich retire by rotation at the Company’s 2014 Annual Meeting which is to be held in Dunedin on Wednesday 18 February 2015. Rob Hewett and Herstall Ulrich have advised they will stand for re-election.
The candidates for election are:

– Fiona Hancox
– Rob Hewett
– Herstall Ulrich . .

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"In 2015, I hope the world will finally begin to understand that the environment and family farmers are not obstacles to sustainable growth, but preconditions for it." - Danielle Nierenberg in Edible Manhattan


Thursday’s quiz

January 8, 2015

1. Who said: How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.?

2. Who captained the Royal Navy sloop HMS Resolution on voyages to New Zealand?

3.  It’s résoudre in French, too easy in Italian and Spanish, beschließen in German and whakatau in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 2015 resolution?

5. If you could make a resolution for someone else who and what would it be?


How strong are they if words scare them?

January 8, 2015

Twelve people have been killed and others injured in Paris:

Gunmen have shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack.

Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers.

A major police operation is under way to find three gunmen who fled by car.

President Francois Hollande said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”.

It is believed to be the deadliest attack in France since 1961, when right-wingers who wanted to keep Algeria French bombed a train, killing 28 people.

The masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping by car. They later abandoned the car in Rue de Meaux, northern Paris, where they hijacked a second car.

Death threats

Witnesses said they heard the gunmen shouting “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “God is Great” in Arabic (“Allahu Akbar”). . . .

How strong are these people if they are scared by words?

How weak are their arguments if their best response to satire is to kill?

How powerful is what they believe in if it can’t stand up to ridicule?


Drought reinforces need for storage

January 8, 2015

We woke to mizzle – a misty drizzle – on Tuesday morning.

Holiday-makers wouldn’t have been pleased but we were delighted.

However, by mid-morning the sky had cleared and temperatures were rising.

We haven’t had a decent rain since July and it’s got all the signs of the droughts which in North Otago every few years.

Irrigation schemes using water from the Waitaki River have 99% reliability but takes from the Kakanui River are restricted and will stop altogether if the weather doesn’t break soon.

Further north in South Canterbury it’s drier still.

Less snow melt put less water in the Opuha Dam in spring and those irrigating from it are now on restrictions.

Friends near Waimate ran out of stock water weeks ago and the tanker which comes to collect their milk brings water for them.

There is nothing new about drought but the recurrence reinforces the need for more water storage:

Water restrictions for irrigating farmers look set to follow a similar pattern to the 2012-13 summer, says IrrigationNZ, when drought conditions in the North and South Island wiped more than $1billion dollars from the NZ economy.

“This summer once again highlights the need to fast track alpine-fed* water storage infrastructure in both the South and North Islands. Despite the focus upon irrigation development over the past five years, New Zealand has made very limited progress in this space,” says IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis. “We have modernised and improved our irrigation distribution systems but have failed to invest in alpine water storage to our detriment.”

(*Alpine-fed water storage refers to dams and water storage lakes that are replenished by rainfall and snowmelt within our alpine environments in contrast to streams and rivers that are fed by foothills rainfall. Alpine rainfall is more consistent and plentiful than foothills and plains rainfall, hence its suitability to provide reliable water supply).

‘We’re losing sight of the prize that reliable alpine-fed irrigation water storage could bring to both the environment and economy. Certainty of water supply allows investment in SMART irrigation technologies that greatly improve nutrient management and production. There are also direct benefits from storage including the augmentation of summer river flows or being able to release flushing flows that cleanse rivers of summer algal growth,” says Mr Curtis.

Irrigation restrictions are now widespread in Canterbury and Otago, with Hawke’s Bay dry but maintaining flows.

One of the worst hit areas is South Canterbury with the Opuha Dam, a foothill-fed river catchment, facing unprecedented water shortages. Opuha’s lake level is of major concern, says Opuha Water Supply Ltd CEO Tony McCormick. “Our situation and outlook have not improved and the lake level continues to drop steadily. Today the lake is at 31% full. We are currently on 25% irrigation restrictions and expect to move to 50% restrictions next week when the lake hits another ‘trigger’ level of 25% full. Our current predictions suggest that the lake could be fully depleted by the end of February.”

Mr McCormick says while the initial problem was a lack of stored water, the situation is now being compounded by very dry conditions being experienced across the South Canterbury region.

The Ashburton River is on full restriction which has forced the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Company to place shareholders on 85% allocation. However the Rangitata River is currently flowing at a healthy level due to good rainfall in the alps over the New Year, says Jess Dargue, ALIC scheme manager.

While some North Canterbury rivers are on restriction, Amuri Irrigation Limited CEO Andrew Barton says both the Waiau and Hurunui, both alpine rivers, are maintaining flows so scheme restrictions look unlikely in the near future.

While there are no restrictions on major irrigation schemes in the Lower Waitaki at the moment, all fed by the Waitaki River, an alpine river with storages built for hydropower, Elizabeth Soal, Policy Manager of the Waitaki Irrigators Collective says partial restrictions affecting independent irrigators are in effect on hill-fed tributary rivers including the Hakataramea, the Maerewhenua and the Awakino. There are also restrictions (some full restrictions) on some of the South Canterbury Coastal streams and waterways, including parts of the Waihao River, Buchanans Creek and the Sir Charles Creek.

In Otago, supplementary permits off the Kakanui River have ceased with the first minimum flow alert being active, and the river is approaching its absolute minimum flow, which would mean full restrictions kick-in.

Parts of North Otago are extremely dry, with the area receiving a third of the historical average rainfall since August.

“For us down here, it’s much, much drier than in 2012-13. Some are saying it’s the driest it’s been in ten years, so the restrictions will bite even harder,” says Elizabeth Soal.

While the Hawke’s Bay is dry, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Group Manager Resource Management Iain Maxwell, says that’s not unexpected for the region at this time of the year and irrigation water availability is being maintained.

“River flows are holding well and there are no irrigation bans on the main rivers so farmers are still able to irrigate,” he says.

Drought is costly in financial and human terms. It also degrades water quality, threatens water life and can lead to soil erosion.

Drought is a fact of life for farming on the east coast but the consequences of it would be minimised with more storage to capture the excess at times of high flow for use for farming and maintaining minimum flows in water ways during droughts.


December 8 in history

January 8, 2015

307 – Jin Huidi, Chinese Emperor of the Jin Dynasty, was poisoned and succeeded by his son Jin Huaidi.

871 – Alfred the Great led a West Saxon army to repel an invasion by Danelaw Vikings.

1297 – François Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, led his men to capture the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco, establishing his family as the rulers of Monaco.

1455 – The Romanus Pontifex was written.

1499 – Louis XII of France married Anne of Brittany.

1697 – Last execution for blasphemy in Britain; of Thomas Aikenhead, student, at Edinburgh.

1734  Premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

1746 Second Jacobite Rising: Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Stirling.

1790 George Washington delivered the first State of the Union Address in New York City.

1835  The United States national debt was 0 for the only time.

1838 – Alfred Vail demonstrated a telegraph system using dots and dashes ( the forerunner of Morse code).

1862 Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher, was born  (d. 1934).

1863 Geologist Julius von Haast led an exploratory expedition in search of a route from the east to the west coasts of the South Island.

Haast begins West Coast expedition

1867 African American men were granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.

1867  Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born  (d. 1961).

1877 – Crazy Horse and his warriors fought their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).

1900  Dame Merlyn Myer, Australian philanthropist, was born  (d. 1982).
1908 – William Hartnell, British actor, was born(d. 1975).
1911  – Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress and entertainer, was born (d. 1970).
1912 The African National Congress was founded.
1926  Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud became the King of Hejaz and renamed it Saudi Arabia.
1926 Soupy Sales, American comedian, was born(d. 2009).
1935 Elvis Presley, American singer, was born (d. 1977).
1937  Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer, was born.
1941  Graham Chapman, British comedian, was born  (d. 1989).

1946  Robby Krieger, American musician (The Doors), was born.

1947  David Bowie, English musician, was born.

1959 – Fidel Castro‘s Cuban Revolution was completed with the take over of Santiago de Cuba.

1959 Paul Hester, Australian drummer (Crowded House), was born (d. 2005).

1962 – The Harmelen train disaster killed 93 people in The Netherlands.

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in the United States.

1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 was launched.

1973 – Watergate scandal: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate begins.

1975 Ella Grasso became Governor of Connecticut, becoming the first woman to serve as a Governor in the United States other than by succeeding her husband .

1994  Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 left for the space station  Mir. He stayed on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.

2004 The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake’s granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

2005 – The nuclear sub USS San Francisco collided at full speed with an undersea mountain south of Guam. One man was killed, but the sub surfaces and was repaired.

2010 – Gunmen from an offshoot the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda attacked the bus carrying the Togo national football team on its way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, killing three.

2011 – An attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and subsequent shooting in Casas Adobes, Arizona at a Safeway grocery store killed 6 people and wounded 13, including Giffords.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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