Word of the day

June 18, 2015

Haggleable – able to be haggled over; negotiable.


Rural round-up

June 18, 2015

Winning vet ever on the go – Sally Rae:

Oamaru-based veterinarian Dave Robertson has been described as ”someone who lives and breathes sheep and beef”.

Mr Robertson, a partner at the Veterinary Centre, has received the inaugural sheep and beef cattle vet of the year award from the sheep and beef cattle branch of the New Zealand Veterinary Association. . .

Never too busy for trialling – Sally Rae:

Newly elected New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association president Graham White may have a big year ahead of him – but he will still fit in some dog trialling.

”Too right”, Mr White (64), who already has several judging appointments for the next season, said. His involvement with dog trials spans more than 40 years and he has been vice president of the association for the past four years. . .

Tech expos for everybody – Sally Rae:

From the technophobes to the techno savvy, all farmers will be catered for at technology expos in Otago this month.

The Beef and Lamb New Zealand farming for profit technology expo is being held in Tapanui on June 25 and Alexandra on June 26.

The focus was on profiling innovative technologies designed to make farming more efficient, profitable and easier, AgFirst Otago agricultural business consultant Nicola Chisholm said. . .

Scientists reveal underpinning of drought tolerance in plants – American Society of Plant Biologists

Regions all over the globe are suffering from severe drought, which threatens crop production worldwide. This is especially worrisome given the need to increase, not just maintain, crop yields to feed the increasing global population. Over the course of evolution, plants have developed mechanisms to adapt to periods of inadequate water, and as any gardener can tell you, some species are better able to handle drought than others. Accordingly, scientists have invested much effort to understand how plants respond to drought stress and what can be done to increase the drought tolerance of economically important plants. . .

 

Africa must modernise its farms in order to fight hunger and poverty – Mark Lynas:

Africa desperately needs agricultural modernisation. With the most rapidly growing population in the world and hundreds of millions still suffering malnutrition, African leaders cannot afford to close the door to innovation.

Poverty is endemic and “yield gaps” mean that African farmers commonly harvest less than a tenth of the global average in maize and other crops.

Part of the problem has been political resistance to adopting new and improved technologies, particularly in seed breeding. Some of this unwillingness has been home-grown, but much has been imported to Africa by rich-country NGOs with a colonialist ideological agenda that see poverty as dignified and want to keep farmers permanently trapped in subsistence lifestyles. . .

Farmside to offer rural 4G:

Faster 4G internet is coming to parts of New Zealand previously denied access to the latest technology, and Farmside is happy to help roll it out.

“We are the leading rural supplier of 3G through the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) that gets in to some of the country’s most hard-to-reach places. Now Farmside, through Vodafone, can offer this next generation technology in selected areas,” says General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Stuart Cooper. . .

 

 


Thursday’s quiz

June 18, 2015

1. Who said: What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.
Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week?
Or sells eternity to get a toy?

2. What is a metagrobologist?

3. It’s jouer in French, giocare in Italian, jugar in Spanish and tākaro in Maori, what is it in English?

4.  How does this phrase end and in which game would you find it: Go to jail, go directly to jail . . .?

5. You’re stuck inside with a group of friends on a cold, wet . Would you opt for board games, cards, puzzles or  . . . ?


Flag of the day

June 18, 2015

The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.

There are more than 3000 in the gallery already.

This one is Silverblue Fern by Martin Hermans.

flag

 


Commissioner for SDHB

June 18, 2015

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has appointed a commissioner to replace the Southern District Health Board.

The financial problems at Southern DHB are longstanding. I do not have confidence that the current governance arrangements are suitable for delivering on the changes required in Southern DHB,” says Dr Coleman.

“Southern is forecasting a final deficit of $27 million for the current financial year. That figure has effectively doubled in the last six months.

“The DHB has also forecast that its deficit position will further increase in 2015/16 to between $30 million and $42 million – this accounts for over half the combined deficit of all 20 DHBs. This situation of fluctuating forecasts and progressively worsening deficits cannot continue.

“The Government is committed to the redevelopment of Dunedin Hospital and the provision of high quality health services to all the people of the Southern region.

“All DHBs are funded according to the same population-based funding formula. This formula includes adjustments to recognise rural populations, age and other demographic issues.

“In a tight fiscal environment, all DHBs need to use available funding effectively. No other DHB has failed to control its finances in the way that Southern has.”

Kathy Grant has been appointed Commissioner and takes up the role on 18 June 2015. After discussions with Mrs Grant, she has indicated that she intends to appoint Graham Crombie and Richard Thomson as deputies. A third deputy with a strong clinical background will be appointed by the end of the month.

“Mrs Grant is from Otago and brings significant local knowledge. She has significant business and governance experience and a proven track record in turning around struggling organisations,” says Dr Coleman.

“The team will bring together a mix of strong financial, governance and clinical skills.

“I would like to thank the Board members for their work to date. My decision is not intended to devalue their efforts and achievements. However, a new approach is now necessary.

“My decision is based on the need for a new approach to the DHB’s longstanding financial issues, and to help move the DHB to a more sustainable position over time.”

This is a good move by the minister and the commissioner has made a very good start in the appointment of her deputies:

Kathy Grant bio
Kathy Grant was born in Otago and has spent most of her life in the region.

Mrs Grant currently works as a consultant in the legal practice of Gallaway Cook Allan in Dunedin. She has significant governance experience. Mrs Grant holds several current directorships including Chair of the Otago Polytechnic Council (appointed 2010), a trustee of Sport Otago (appointed 2007), and a director of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (appointed 2012), Dunedin City Treasury Ltd (appointed 2013), and Dunedin International Airport Ltd (appointed 2008). She was also a member of the Anglican Family Care Board (2009-2013).

Mrs Grant has been on the Board of Trustees for several schools and colleges, and a previous member of the University of Otago Council (2007-2010). She was also previously Chair of the Dunedin College of Education Council (2001-2006).

Graham Crombie bio
Graham Crombie is a Dunedin local. He attended Bayfield High School and Otago University. Mr Crombie has a strong background in accountancy, with a proven record in high level assessments of the sustainability of health organisations. He was President of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (2008) and went on to become chair of the organisation (2009-2014).

Mr Crombie also has lengthy governance experience. He is currently chair of Dunedin City Holdings (appointed 2012), Dunedin City Treasury (appointed 2013), Otago Museum Trust Board (appointed 2011), Dunedin Venues (appointed 2015) and director of Surf Life Saving NZ (appointed 2013). He was also the independent chair of South Link Health (1999-2009).

Richard Thomson bio
Richard Thomson was born in Invercargill and attended Otago University. After specialising as a Clinical Psychologist he took up a lecturer role at Otago Medical School. He is now a successful businessman.

Mr Thomson has key insights into Southern DHB. He was chair of Otago DHB (2001-2009) and became a Board member after Otago DHB merged with Southland DHB (2009-2015).

Mr Thomson is currently serving his second term on the Dunedin City Council.

They have a difficult job to do but it must be done to secure health services in the south.

All DHBs have population based funding which takes into account a variety of factors.

Advocates in the south have long-argued that the formula doesn’t take enough account of the costs of servicing a smaller population, which isn’t growing much and is older than the average, spread over a large area.

The ODT editorialises:

. . . The fairness of the opaque population-based funding model again has to be questioned. The South failed to attract the increases of other areas in recent times and for various reasons could be seriously disadvantaged.

If the appointment of a commissioner is the signal for a fresh start then everything should be on the table, including how funding is calculated with an analysis of its fairness. After all, the South has to cope with the largest geographic area, the extra costs for teaching and many – and usually more costly – older patients. . .

The commissioner and her deputies will have to make the formula work or prove the advocates right.

 


Quote of the day

June 18, 2015

Humans have always held some wrongheaded beliefs that were later subject to correction by reason and evidence. But we have reached a watershed moment, when the enterprise of basing our beliefs on fact rather than intuition is truly in peril. . .

There is simple ignorance and there is willful ignorance, which is simple ignorance coupled with the decision to remain ignorant. Normally that occurs when someone has a firm commitment to an ideology that proclaims it has all the answers — even if it counters empirical matters that have been well covered by scientific investigation. More than mere scientific illiteracy, this sort of obstinacy reflects a dangerous contempt for the methods that customarily lead to recognition of the truth. And once we are on that road, it is a short hop to disrespecting truth.  . .

The strategy of willful ignorance is not to fight theory with theory and statistic with statistic. It is instead to say, “I refuse to believe this,” and then filibuster in the court of public opinion. – Lee McIntyre


June 18 in history

June 18, 2015

618  Li Yuan became Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China.

1178  Five Canterbury monks saw what was possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the moon’s distance from the earth (on the order of metres) are a result of this collision.

1264 The Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature.

1429  French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay.

1757  Battle of Kolín between Prussian Forces under Frederick the Great of Prussia and an Austrian Army under the command of Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in the Seven Year’s War.

1767  Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti. He is considered the first European to reach the island.

1778  American Revolutionary War: British troops abandoned Philadelphia.

1812  War of 1812: The U.S. Congress declared war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1815  Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Waterloo leads to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and last time.

1830  French invasion of Algeria

1858  Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own.  which prompted Darwin to publish his theory.

1859  First ascent of Aletschhorn, second summit of the Bernese Alps.

1873 –  Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.

1886 George Mallory, English mountaineer, was born  (d. 1924).

1887  The Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia was signed.

1895  Minnie Dean’s trial for murdering a baby placed in her care began at the Invercargill Supreme Court.

Minnie Dean goes on trial

1900  Empress Dowager Longyu of China ordered all foreigners killed.

1904 Manuel Rosenthal, French conductor and composer, was born  (d. 2003).

1908 Japanese immigration to Brazil began when 781 people arrive in Santos aboard the Kasato-Maru ship

1908  The University of the Philippines was established.

1913  Sylvia Field Porter, American economist and journalist, was born  (d. 1991)

1915  Red Adair, American firefighter, was born (d. 2004) .

1920 Ian Carmichael, English actor, was born (d. 2010).

1923  Checker Taxi put its first taxi on the streets.

1927 Paul Eddington, English actor, was born  (d. 1995).

1928  Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she was a passenger,Wilmer Stutz was the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic).

1930  Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Franklin Institute were held.

1936 Denny Hulme, New Zealand race car driver, was born  (d. 1992).

HulmeDenis196508.jpg

1936 Ronald Venetiaan, President of Suriname, was born.

1940  Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle.

1940   “Finest Hour” speech by Winston Churchill.

1942 Paul McCartney, British singer, songwriter and musician (The Beatles, Wings), was born.

1945  William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) was charged with treason.

1946  Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, a Socialist called for a Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa.

1953  The Republic of Egypt was declared and the monarchy abolished.

1953  A United States Air Force C-124 crashed and burned near Tokyo killing 129.

1954 Pierre Mendès-France became Prime Minister of France.

1959 Governor of Louisiana Earl K. Long was committed to a state mental hospital; he responded by having the hospital’s director fired and replaced with a crony who proceeded to proclaim him perfectly sane.

1965  Vietnam War: The United States used B-52 bombers to attack National Liberation Front guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam.

1972 Staines air disaster – 118 were killed when a plane crashes 2 minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport.

1979 SALT II was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.

1981 The AIDS epidemic was formally recognised by medical professionals in San Francisco, California.

1983 Space Shuttle program: STS-7, Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

1984 A major clash between about 5,000 police and a similar number of miners at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the 1984-1985 UK miners’ strike.

1994 The Troubles: the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) opened fire inside a pub in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland, killing six civilians and wounding five.

1996 Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, was indicted on ten criminal counts.

2001 Protests in Manipur over the extension of the ceasefire between Naga insurgents and the government of India.

2006  The first Kazakh space satellite, KazSat was launched.

2007 – The Charleston Sofa Super Store fire resulted in the deaths of nine firefighters.

2009 – The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a NASA robotic spacecraft was launched.

2012 – Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud was appointed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: