Word of the day

August 6, 2017

Coruscating – flashing; sparkling; brilliant or striking in content or style; severely critical, scathing.


Clean mud but still muck up

August 6, 2017

Concern over biosecurity issues with mud Rotorua plans to import for a festival have prompted the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to issue this statement:

MPI is aware of the potential upcoming import of mud from South Korea and we have been working with the Rotorua City Council to ensure that there are no biosecurity risks associated with this shipment.

All imports of risk goods including plants and soil or clay must meet our strict biosecurity standards before being allowed into New Zealand. The product in this case, is clay (but called ‘mud’) that would be milled and filtered to remove any possible organic material, then heat treated to between 70 and 80 degrees for 72 hours, before being crushed into a fine powder. The mud is finally irradiated at 10 kilogray before it is imported.

These treatments will make the mud sterile, therefore removing any biosecurity risks.

To ensure the mud is safe, MPI will verify that the treatments have been applied before providing clearance.

We can be assured then that any mud, or clay, that gets to Rotorua will be clean.

There is much less assurance over the wisdom of spending $90,000 to import the mud which prompted a visit from the Taxpayers’ Union Porky:

The Taxpayers’ Union mascot, “Porky the Waste-hater”, visited Rotorua this morning, and awarded the Rotorua Mayor a “Supreme Achievement Award” for imagination and achievement in wasting public money, following the Mayor’s decision to spend $90,000 of public money to import five tonnes of mud from South Korea. The mud is to supplement the local variety at Rotorua’s ‘Mudtopia’ festival later in the year.

After some waiting, Ms Chadwick failed to front (apparently she was too busy). Nevertheless, an official accepted the award on her behalf.  

The award recognises the most creative use of taxpayers’ money we have seen yet. The favourite pastime of our mascot Porky is playing in mud, but even he condemns this total waste of money.

Steve Chadwick has created New Zealand’s very own ‘coals to Newcastle’ story.  Even the BBC has covered this ridiculous and frivolous waste.

The whole reason Rotorua Lakes Council received a tourism grant from MBIE was to promote Rotorua and its mud as a destination.  Instead, these geniuses flew to Korea and used the money to buy the foreign variety.

We elect politicians to be guardians of the ratepayer and taxpayer purse.  Unfortunately, that’s clearly not happening here in Rotorua.

What makes this Council’s behaviour particularly galling is the fact that Councillors tried to defend the spending in local media by saying that it’s ‘only taxpayer’ money, since a large amount was funded from an MBIE grant. What a disgraceful attitude to the hard-working taxpayers who earned that money.

It may be true that where there’s muck there’s brass, in this case it looks like a muck-up using the public’s brass.


Little matters

August 6, 2017

little matters StoryPeople print by Brian Andreas

the days go by with so many little things that don’t seem to matter until they’re no longer there & suddenly, they’re all that ever mattered – Little Matters


Rural round-up

August 6, 2017

Rules tweak still leaves migrant dairy workers in a bind – Chris Lewis:

The Government recently relaxed the “mid-skilled” migrant salary threshold to avoid tough new restrictions down to $41,000. So why are farmers still unhappy?

They’re unhappy because in the dairy sector, salary threshold is not the problem. In submissions to the Government the dairy industry did not object to the original threshold of $49,000.

The fact is, unless the migrant worker is a farm manager or earns over $73,000, they’re deemed “low-skilled” and booted out of the country after three years. Hardly an incentive to even apply in the first place, and disruptive and expensive for the farmer, who has to look for someone else to plug the gap. . . 

Alliance targets UK food service – Tony Benny:

Alliance Group has launched a pilot programme in UK targeting high-end restaurants and hotels in a bid to generate more revenue. Tony Benny reports.

Food service is growing globally while traditional retail outlets in many markets are stagnating and marketers often talk of the need for producers to shift their focus to this growth sector. Now Alliance has established a four-person team in the UK tasked with making direct connections to top chefs and building new distribution channels.

“Historically a lot of New Zealand lamb has gone into wholesale in some form and can go through three or four sets of hands before it gets to the end customer and often the end customer doesn’t know where their lamb’s coming from,” says Alliance director of food service Graham Bougen, who heads the team in UK. . . 

Vet praises farming gorup’s reaction – Sally Rae:

The veterinarian who initially signalled the possibility of an outbreak of a bacterial disease not previously found in New Zealand says it has been an ”enormously stressful and harrowing experience” for the farmers involved.

Yesterday, Merlyn Hay addressed a meeting at Papakaio, outlining how confirmation of Mycoplasma bovis in cows on two Van Leeuwen Dairy Group properties unfolded.

Over the past few weeks, her priority focus – as the group’s key veterinarian – had been her client and their cows and she had ”nothing but admiration” for the way the group had conducted itself during the crisis, she said.

The care and concern shown to animals in their charge had been humbling and the group deserved empathy and respect. She hoped the community would support them as the crisis continued. . . 

Neighbouring properties test negative for disease – Sally Rae:

Results have confirmed nine of the farms bordering Van Leeuwen Dairy Group properties,  all  tested negative for cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

The bacterial disease had previously been confirmed on two Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farms in the Waimate district, the first time the disease had been detected in New Zealand.

In a statement last night, Ministry for Primary Industries director of response Geoff Gwyn said the results for the nine neighbouring properties was good news but further tests, over several months, on those farms would be required before they could be declared free of the disease. . . 

Urgency needed over disease tests:

The discovery of Mycoplasma bovis on two South Canterbury farms understandably has the farming community on tenterhooks.

The bacterial disease may be prevalent among cattle globally but it has never previously been detected in New Zealand.

Fortunately, it presents no food safety risk and there are no concerns about consuming milk and milk products.

But the disease has serious effects including mastitis, abortion, pneumonia and arthritis and therefore the ramifications for farmers — both financially and from an animal welfare perspective — are huge. . . 

Dairy farmers still fighting debt – Richard Rennie:

Waikato and Bay of Plenty dairy farmers face a “back to the future” slog into 2020 to get back to their 2015-16 season when dairy prices took a tumble.

The latest AgFirst financial survey for Waikato-Bay of Plenty dairy farmers was released last week.

Survey compiler Phil Journeaux said the model farm used in the budget incurred an additional $126,560 of term debt, or almost $1/kg of milksolids in 2015-16 to cover the hit the farm took when the payout slumped to $3.90/kg MS that season.

“This loan amount was almost an extra $1/kg milksolids and some debt repayment was made in 2016-17 and is budgeted again for 2017-18. . . 

Image may contain: meme, cloud, text and outdoor

I tried taking some high resolution photos of local farmland  but they all turned out really grainy.

 

 


Sunday soapbox

August 6, 2017

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Image result for quotes sun

Here comes the sun, and I say It’s all right. – Beatles


August 6 in history

August 6, 2017

1284 Pisa was defeated in Battle of Meloria by Genoa, ruining its naval power.

1538  Bogotá, was founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.

1661 The Treaty of The Hague was signed by Portugal and the Dutch Republic.

1787 Sixty proof sheets of the Constitution of the United States were delivered to the Constitutional Convention.

1806 Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, abdicated ending the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

1809 Alfred Lord Tennyson, English poet, was born (d. 1892).

1819  Norwich University was founded in Vermont as the first private military school in the United States.

1825  Bolivia gained independence from Spain.

1845 The Russian Geographical Society was founded in Saint Petersburg.

1861 Edith Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, was born (d. 1948).

1861 The United Kingdom annexed  Lagos, Nigeria.

1862  American Civil War: the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas was scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering damage in a battle with USS Essex.

1870  Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Wörth is fought, resulting in a decisive Prussian victory.

1881 Alexander Fleming, Scottish scientist, Nobel laureate, was born  (d. 1955).

1890 At Auburn Prison in New York murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed by electric chair.

1901  Kiowa land in Oklahoma was opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation.

1909  Alice Ramsey and three friends became the first women to complete a transcontinental auto trip.

1911 Lucille Ball, American actress, was born (d. 1989).

1912  The Bull Moose Party met at the Chicago Coliseum.

1914 First Battle of the Atlantic – ten German  U-boats left their base in Helgoland to attack Royal Navy warships in the North Sea.

1914 – World War I: Serbia declared war on Germany; Austria declared war on Russia.

1915  Battle of Sari Bair – the Allies mounted a diversionary attack timed to coincide with a major Allied landing of reinforcements at Suvla Bay.

1917  Battle of Mărăşeşti between the Romanian and German armies began.

1917 Robert Mitchum, American actor, was born  (d. 1997).

1922 Sir Freddie Laker, English entrepreneur, was born  (d. 2006).

1926  Gertrude Ederle became first woman to swim across the English Channel.

1926  Warner Brothers’ Vitaphone system premiered with the movie Don Juan starring John Barrymore.

1926   Harry Houdini performed his greatest feat, spending 91 minutes underwater in a sealed tank before escaping.

1928 Robert Mitchum, American artist, was born  (d. 1987).

1934 Chris Bonington, British mountaineer, was born.

1936 Jack Lovelock won New Zealand’s first Olympic athletics gold medalwhen he ran the 1500-metres in a world record time of 3:47.8.at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Lovelock wins 1500-m gold at Berlin

1937 Barbara Windsor, English actress, was born.

1942 Queen Wilhelmina became the first reigning queen to address a joint session of the United States Congress.

1945 The atomic bomb “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people were killed instantly, and tens of thousands died in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning.

1952 Vinnie Vincent, American musician (Kiss), was born.

1960  Cuban Revolution: in response to a United States embargo, Cuba nationalised American and foreign-owned property in the nation.

1962 Jamaica became independent.

1964 Prometheus, a bristlecone pine and the world’s oldest tree, was cut down.

1965 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965into law.

1966 Braniff Airlines Flight 250 crashed in Falls City, NE killing all 42 on board.

1969 Simon Doull, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1972 Geri Halliwell, British singer (Spice Girls), was born.

1976 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto laid the foundation stone of Port Qasim, Karachi.

1986  A low-pressure system that redeveloped off the New South Wales coast dumped a record 328 millimeters (13 inches) of rain in a day on Sydney.

1990  The United Nations Security Council ordered a global trade embargo against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

1991  Tim Berners-Lee released files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuted  as a publicly available service on the Internet.

1991  Doi Takako, chair of the Social Democratic Party became Japan’s first female speaker of the House of Representatives.

1993 Heavy rains and debris killed  72 in the Kagoshima and Aira areas, of Kyūshū, Japan.

1996  NASA announced that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contained evidence of primitive life-forms.

1997 Korean Air Flight 801, a Boeing 747-300, crashed into the jungle on Guam on approach to airport, killing 228.

2008 A military junta led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz staged a coup d’état in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

2011 – A helicopter containing members of Navy SEAL 6 was shot down in Afghanistan killing 38.

2012 – NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars.

2015 – A suicide bomb attack killed at least 15 people at a mosque in the south-western Saudi city of Abha.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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