Word of the day

May 8, 2019

Fedifraction – breach of covenant or faith; breaking a pledge or agreement, faithless, perfidious.


Maya muses

May 8, 2019


Rural round-up

May 8, 2019

Chinese demand still strong – Hugh Stringleman:

China’s dairy demand is steady and the feedback from customers there is strong, Miraka chief executive Richard Wyeth says.

After talking to Chinese customers and Miraka’s sales representatives through Global Dairy Network, Wyeth doesn’t expect big commodity price increases for the season ahead but neither will there be big decreases.

“I think it will be steady as it goes, which is a nice situation to be in.”

All of Miraka’s UHT liquid milk output and about half of its milk powder volume go to China. . . 

Artist and actor riding high in a bull market – Sally Rae:

“You’re the chick who paints cows. You’re the bull painter.”

Amelia Guild gets used to hearing such comments from those familiar with her bold and bright paintings of animals, particularly cattle.

The Canterbury-based artist and actor is excited about her upcoming exhibition, “Mustering the Muscle”, which opens at The Artist’s Room Fine Art Gallery in Dunedin on May 11.

Life is busy – “on the cusp of getting chaotic” – for the mother of 4-year-old Willa and 16-month-old Rollo.

But she is also living the dream, being able to reside in her “happy place” on High Peak Station, the high country property she grew up on, inland from Windwhistle, near the Rakaia Gorge. . . 

Farmer-led group lobbying for changes to Waimakariri water plan – Emma Dangerfield:

A group of young North Canterbury farmers are challenging proposed environmental rules they say are “unachievable”.

The farmers had established the Waimakariri Next Generation Farmers Trust in response to planned changes and rules affecting farmers in the district.

They hope to collaborate with industry and local authorities to address environmental concerns, particularly relating to water quality and management issues. . . 

 

Breeders on tour – Sally Rae:

Bruce Robertson describes the fellowship of Dorset Down breeders as being like a family.

Breeders from throughout the country were in Canterbury and North Otago last week for an annual tour.

About 35 people visited studs in the Ashburton area, before heading to Aoraki-Mount Cook for a night, a visit to merino property Benmore Station, and then to Oamaru. It ended with a visit to studs in South Canterbury. . . 

IHC fundraising calf scheme is on again– Annette Scott:

The annual IHC calf and rural fundraising scheme fell short of its target last season with organisers reaching out to farmers to get on board this year.

IHC national fundraising manager Greg Millar said last year was terrible for many farmers and he hopes the scheme can bounce back this year. 

“Farmers still managed to raise $650,000 for people with intellectual disabilities and despite falling short of our $1m target it was great to see the rural community continue to support our cause,” Millar said.

The national advocacy organisation for people with intellectual disabilities has acknowledged the challenging times with the introduction of new processes as the industry grapples with Mycoplasma bovis. . . 

Helping hands needed for animal farm rescue centre in Glenhope – Carly Gooch:

Lisa Grennell did everything she could to save a piglet but when the little porker lost its battle, the decision was made – time to set up an animal farm rescue centre.

Plum Tree Farm in Glenhope, 80km south of Nelson is home to Lisa and her husband, Mal, but it’s also a sanctuary for farm animals including donkeys, alpaca, kunekune, calves, lambs and goats.

The animal farm “gradually happened”, Lisa said, after the couple moved to the 42 acres nearly four years ago.  . . 


Fonterra has a heart

May 8, 2019

The world’s biggest dairy exporter shows  it has a big heart:

Fonterra’s milk tankers are Andrew Oliver’s favourite thing in the world and local tanker drivers have long known that Andrew won’t go to bed until they’ve been on the farm.

But when it became unmanageable for his 65-year-old parents, the world’s biggest dairy exporter stepped in to help.

They changed their milk tanker schedule in the entire district so that Andrew would go to bed on time.

Andrew Oliver is one of about eight people in the world living with Fryns-Aftimos syndrome – he’s the oldest known to have it and the only one in New Zealand with the condition.

The extremely rare syndrome is the result of a mutation in one of his chromosomes which means that, at 35 years old, he has the mental age of a 6-year-old and suffers many other symptoms.

For the past 15 years he’s had a special relationship with Fonterra tanker drivers.

Ken Oliver, his father, said Andy discovered the tanker when the farm went onto the night shift for milk pick up.

“[He] learned what it was, came out to see it occasionally and once in awhile would talk to a driver. But then with Andy, the normal thing is with something like this – it would become a habit. And so he had to be out to see the tanker. That became part of his nightly routine.”

Andy’s nightly routine consists of a list of things he has to tick off.

Every night he draws a picture to give to the tanker driver, he has to watch the weather report on the 6pm news, then he has dinner and a bath.

But the last thing to tick off – is the tanker.

Ken said that if the tanker hadn’t come, Andy wouldn’t go to bed. For him, waking up at 5am to tend the farm, it became a struggle.

“We simply didn’t know when the tanker was coming. You might get 2am in the morning or something like that and he wouldn’t go to bed until the tanker had come.”

For over a decade, Andrew’s parents managed his tanker visits until one day Ken says he came to a breaking point.

“Deirdre had just been diagnosed with having had a minor stroke, I was absolutely out on my feet trying to keep the farm going. Surviving on three or four hours sleep and I’d just run out. I’d hit the wall and so I phoned the call centre and actually started crying on the phone, I was just so shot.

“I just said look, my life has just become impossible and just explained what was going on. I need sleep and I can’t get sleep until this boy’s in bed.”

The person at the call centre decided to help. . .

The company changed its tanker schedule for the whole Te Rapa district so that Andy could go to bed on time.

Tanker drivers have also given Andrew a hi-vis Fonterra jacket and raised money to buy him a bike.

I’m delighted to be a shareholder in a company with employees who care.

UPDATE: TIm Fulton wrote about this in NZ Farmers Weekly several years ago.


Binding ‘reeferendum’ isn’t

May 8, 2019

The government is offering a half-baked proposal for the  ‘reeferendum’ on legalising cannabis:

Justice Minister Andrew Little says:

There will be a clear choice for New Zealanders in a referendum at the 2020 General Election. Cabinet has agreed there will be a simple Yes/No question on the basis of a draft piece of legislation.

“That draft legislation will include:

• A minimum age of 20 to use and purchase recreational cannabis,
• Regulations and commercial supply controls,
• Limited home-growing options,
• A public education programme,
• Stakeholder engagement.

“Officials are now empowered to draft the legislation with stakeholder input, and the Electoral Commission will draft the referendum question to appear on the ballot.

“The voters’ choice will be binding because all of the parties that make up the current Government have committed to abide by the outcome. . . 

This is a half-baked proposal, we’ll be voting on a Bill which could well be changed after the vote and while the Minister might think the referendum will be binding, but it won’t:

I’d be open to decriminalisation with the ability to treat users for addiction providing the funding necessary to enable that was budgeted for.

But I am not in favour of legalisation.

Critics say criminalisation hasn’t worked, but the harm done by alcohol and tobacco prove the dangers of legal drugs and lessons from Canada show that legalisation carries risks:

The Canadian federal study released yesterday found a 27% increase in marijuana use among people aged 15 to 24 over the last year. Additionally, approximately 646,000 Canadians have reported trying marijuana for the first time in the last three months, an amount almost double the 327,000 that admitted to trying the drug for the same time period last year.

“These are disturbing trends, especially when considering the effects on mental health, addiction and public safety,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

Other concerning trends include:
• 15% of marijuana users got behind the wheel of a car within two hours of using the drug.
• daily users were more than twice as likely to believe that it was safe for them to operate a vehicle within three hours of ingesting the drug.
• 20% of Canadians who reported driving under the influence of marijuana admitted to also consuming alcohol at the same time.
• about 13%, or half a million, of Canadian workers who are active marijuana users admitted to using the drug either prior to or during work.

This report comes on the heels of another study finding that the black market in Canada is absolutely thriving, with over 79% of marijuana sales in the last quarter of 2018 occurring outside the legal market.

Regulation, testing and taxing of the drug if it’s legal will make it more costly. That will still provide on opportunity for a black market to sell cannabis at a lower price, and also to sell it to people under 20.

“Canada is quickly finding out that so-called regulation of marijuana does nothing to mitigate the harms of the drug. Legalisation simply exacerbates them. Diane Kelsall, editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, called the new law “a national, uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians.”.”

“Canada’s new law on legal marijuana demonstrates that cannabis legalisation is high in promise and expectations, but the reality is far lower. Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used by adolescents. In US states that have already legalised the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh tax revenues from marijuana. These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, sustained marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana. Portugal has seen a rise in the prevalence of alcohol and tobacco consumption and of every illicit psychoactive substance (affected by the weight of cannabis use in those aged 15-74) in the last five years.”

“Big Marijuana has high hopes for New Zealand, but liberalising marijuana laws is the wrong path to go down if we care about public health, public safety, and about our young people.”

Closer to home a community worker in Northland says there’s no simple fix for drug laws:

Community worker Ngahau Davis said while cannabis was often used in a social context without many issues in affluent areas, it played a more dangerous role in the poorer communities he worked with in Northland.

“A lot of whanau I work with where there’s chronic unemployment, really huge social issues from trauma, all sorts of things going down with that person, they use it really heavily on a daily basis just to survive and just to feel good. The difficulty with that type of usage is you’re starting to see a lot of problems around mental health issues.

“People say ‘Well it’s a drug that chills you’ – well I say to people don’t smoke it for a day or so, then this whole other thing starts happening; paranoia, frustration, irritability, and even violence.”

While he was yet to read the government’s Cabinet paper, he wasn’t convinced legalisation was the answer.

“When we talk about the issue of, say, prohibition with alcohol, people said ‘Well they’re going to do it anyway, and you’ve got to do this’. It still hasn’t stopped the pain, it still hasn’t stopped the damage.

“Nobody wants to talk about that because it’s legal and there’s a whole industries where people are getting rich. My caution is that while they’ve done that and it’s legal, it still doesn’t diminish the effect that it has on people in our society and our people, more so because they’re in a situation where dependency is higher because of the social issues that go with regions like mine.” . .

Can we legalise the drug so the affluent can indulge in occasional use without breaking the law without doing considerably more harm to more people in poorer areas?

In related news, health experts want medicinal cannabis to meet the same standards as other medicine:

In a discussion paper published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, it urged for more caution to be taken, following the government recently passing a bill increasing access to medicinal cannabis.

The government now needs to determine the regulations for a Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

The paper said public surveys show widespread support for increased access to medicinal cannabis, yet GPs and clinicians generally remain more reserved.

“We believe that part of this difference lies in the lack of clear public understanding of the term ‘medicinal cannabis’, and a relatively greater awareness by health professions of what generally constitutes a medicine,” it said. . .

Medicinal cannabis should be treated like any other medicine with its composition and use governed by scientific research not anecdote and public pressure.

 


Quote of the day

May 8, 2019

People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure. David Attenborough who celebrates his 93rd birthday today.


May 8 in history

May 8, 2019

589 Reccared I summoned the Third Council of Toledo.

1450 Jack Cade’s Rebellion: Kentishmen revolted against King Henry VI.

1541 Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River and named it Río de Espíritu Santo.

1753 – Miguel Hidalgo Mexican revolutionary was born (d. 1811).

1788 The French Parlement was suspended and replaced by the creation of forty-seven new courts.

1794 French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a tax collector with the Ferme Générale, was tried, convicted, and guillotined on the same day in Paris.

1821 Greek War of Independence: The Greeks defeated the Turks at the Battle of Gravia.

1828 – Jean Henri Dunant, Founder of the Red Cross; Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1910).

1846 – Oscar Hammerstein I, American businessman and composer, was born (d. 1919).

1846 Mexican-American War: The Battle of Palo Alto – Zachary Taylor defeated a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.

1861 American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia was named the capital of the Confederate States of America.

1877 At Gilmore’s Gardens in New York City, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opened.

1884 – Harry S. Truman, President of the United States, was born (d. 1972).

1886 Pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invented a carbonated beverage later named “Coca-Cola”.

1898 The first games of the Italian football league system were played.

1899 The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin opened.

1902 In Martinique, Mount Pelée erupted, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing more than 30,000 people.

1903 – Mary Stewart, Baroness Stewart of Alvechurch, British politician and educator was born (d. 1984).

1913 – Sid James, South African-English actor and singer, was born (d. 1976).

1914 Paramount Pictures was founded.

1916 – Swami Chinmayananda, Indian spiritualist, was born (d. 1993).

1919 Edward George Honey first proposed the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate The Armistice of World War I, which later resulted in the creation of Remembrance Day.

1925 – Ali Hassan Mwinyi,  second President of Tanzania, was born.

1926  NZ Railways Magazine was launched.

NZ Railways Magazine launched

1926 – David Attenborough, English naturalist, was born.

1927 Attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French war heroes Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli disappeared after taking off aboard The White Bird biplane.

1933 Mohandas Gandhi began a 21-day fast in protest against British oppression in India.

1942 World War II: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebelled in the Cocos Islands Mutiny.

1943  – Jon Mark, English-New Zealand singer-songwriter and guitarist was born.

1943 – Paul Samwell-Smith, British bassist (The Yardbirds) was born.

1944 – Gary Glitter, English singer, was born.

1945 Hundreds of Algerian civilians were killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.

1945 – World War II: V-E Day, combat ended in Europe. German forces agreed in Rheims, France, to an unconditional surrender.

1945 End of the Prague uprising, today celebrated as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.

1946 Estonian school girls Aili Jõgi and Ageeda Paavel blew up the Soviet memorial that preceded the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn.

1951 – Philip Bailey, American singer (Earth, Wind & Fire), was born.

1951 – Chris Frantz, American musician (Talking Heads), was born.

1953 – Alex Van Halen, Dutch-born American drummer (Van Halen), was born.

1953 – Billy Burnette, American singer and guitarist (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1963 – Soldiers of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem opened fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, killing nine.

1970 John Rowles hit number 1 on the charts in New Zealand and 20 in Australia with Cheryl Moana Marie.

'Cheryl Moana Marie' hits No. 1

1970 The Hard Hat riot in the Wall Street area of New York City: blue-collar construction workers clashed with anti-war demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.

1972 Vietnam War – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon announced his order to place mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.

1973 A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation atWounded Knee, South Dakota ends with the surrender of the militants.

1976 The rollercoaster Revolution, the first steel coaster with a vertical loop, opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

1978 First ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler.

1980 The eradication of smallpox was endorsed by the World Health Organization.

1984 The Soviet Union announced that it would boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

1984 Corporal Denis Lortie entered the Quebec National Assembly and opened fire, killing three and wounding 13. René Jalbert, sergeant-at-arms of the assembly, succeeds in calming him, for which he later received the Cross of Valour.

1984 Thames Barrier officially opened.

1987 The Loughgall ambush: The SAS kills 8 IRA members and 1 civilian, in Loughgall, Northern Ireland.

1988 A fire at Illinois Bell‘s Hinsdale Central Office triggers an extended 1AESS network outage once considered the worst telecommunications disaster in US telephone industry history and still the worst to occur on Mother’s Day.

1997 A China Southern Airlines Flight 3456 crashed on approach into Shenzhen’s Huangtian Airport, killing 35 people.

1999 Nancy Mace became the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel military college.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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