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Public health emergency: 3 big Iloilo events cancelled

first_imgThe incubation period – between infection andshowing any symptoms – lasts up to 14 days, according to the World HealthOrganization. But some researchers say it may be as long as 24 days. AndChinese scientists say some people may be infectious even before their symptomsappear. The first-ever Iloilo Summer ArtsFestival originally planned for this April and May will be moved to October. She said the NCCA consulted various organizations and government agencies both locally and internationally. In announcing the cancellations, MayorJerry Treñas cited the health advisory of the Department of Health (DOH) regardingpublic events and gatherings issued in February. The DOH advisory read: The children’s certificates will justbe released by day care teachers to the parents, he said. “We recognize the high level of risk should we insist on holding the event this April,” according to Cruz. “We are convinced that it is for the best interest of everyone to postpone the Dance Xchange 2020 to a much later date in the hope that by that time the COVID-19 scare would have been resolved.” Treñas also urged residents to practice properrespiratory hygiene when at mass gatherings. This includes covering the noseand mouth with disposable tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing. Disposeused tissue properly. Treñas said the Iloilo Summer ArtsFestival will be staged in October. He was hopeful that by then, the situationwould have already improved. Meanwhile, Dr. Shirley Halili-Cruz, the DanceXchange director, said “It is with a heavy heart that we made this decision (tocancel), considering that the excitement for this grandest international dancefestival has truly gone high.” “With the ongoing threat of the spreadof the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV ARD), the Department of Healthstrongly urges the public to avoid attending, participating in, and organizingevents that draw a huge number of attendees. The DOH likewise recommends thecancellation of such planned big events or mass gatherings until furtheradvice. “To further minimize the risk ofcontracting 2019-nCoV ARD, the public is advised to avoid crowded places andcontinue to practice self-protection measures.” After a week, it leads to shortness ofbreath and some patients require hospital treatment. Treñas recently ordered thatforeigners from countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are prohibited fromattending mass gathering. As to the graduation ceremonies ofvarious elementary, secondary and tertiary schools, Treñas said he would beconferring with various school authorities. For the new schedule of Paraw Regatta,he said he would still be discussing it with the organizers. Dance Xchange has some 200 foreign delegations from New Zealand, Nepal, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Turkey, England, Japan, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka and Singapore. Treñas has also ordered thecancellation of “moving up” ceremonies for pupils of city government day carecenters. “Moving up” referrers to the pupils’ transition to a higher level oflearning. Persons with signs and symptoms of respiratoryinfection such as cough and cold should wear medical masks, he added, and aftercontact with respiratory secretions, one should perform hand hygiene./PN “The safety of all Ilonggos is theparamount consideration for all our decisions,” said Treñas. “We will do ourbest to make Iloilo safe for everyone.” The Paraw Regatta Festival, initiallyscheduled from Feb. 23 to March 1 then moved to April 1 to 5, has beencancelled for the second time, with no definite new date for staging. ILOILO City – A day after PresidentRodrigo Duterte declared a nationwide state of public health emergency due tothe threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the city governmentannounced the cancellation of three mayor events. COVID-19 seems to start with a fever, followedby a dry cough. He appealed for the public’s “utmostcooperation.” People with a history of travel to othercountries with COVID-19 and have not completed 14 days of quarantine are alsonot allowed to attend mass gatherings, he added. Dance Xchange 2020, an internationalevent of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), will be movedto October from its original April 29 to May 2 schedule.last_img read more

Saints looking to three-peat; get pushed by Nelson contingent

first_imgThe Saints advanced to the final by knocking off the University of Victoria Vikes in two games.The Vikes, with a pair of Nelson Leaf grads — forwards Carsen Willans and Linden Horswill — and a coach behind the bench who is a graduate from Nelson Minor Hockey —Harold Schamhart  — made remarkable strides this season.The Vikes, with no less than 10 rookies on the roster, watched the Saints narrowly escape the first game in overtime — 4-3— before scoring two quick second-period goals to eliminate UVIC — 4-1— in game two.Both Willans and Horswill fit seamlessly into the Vikes squad.Willans finished the season with five goals and 14 assists for 19 points while Horswill scored four times and added 14 assists for 16 points.Both players played all 24 games for UVIC.The puck drops on Game One of the BCIHL Final at 7 p.m. at the Castlegar Recreation Centre on Friday night.Game Two will also start at 7 p.m. on Saturday and if necessary Game Three will be played on Sunday (time to be determined). The Selkirk College Saints are looking to become the first team in BC Intercollegiate Hockey League to capture three straight titles.The Saints host Simon Fraser Clan beginning Friday at the Complex in Castlegar.“Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would be in this position,” said Selkirk defenceman Lucas Hildebrand after Saturday’s game.“When I came here, I didn’t really know what to expect. This third year has really opened up my eyes to how great this program has become. Everybody has done such a great job, starting with [Selkirk College Athletics Director] Kim [Verigin] and [Saints head coach] Alex [Evin], it’s just incredible to be part of it and I’m loving every minute of it.”last_img read more

California’s water battle puts agriculture on the front line

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Most anyone reading this will be very familiar with Ohio’s water woes — there is too is much then too little, too many nutrients in lakes and streams, and toxic algae results. While the challenges with water in Ohio are significant, they are not unique and represent only a small fraction of the daunting water challenges being dealt with around the country. The issues of water quality and supply are monumental and will not be going away any time soon. Water could very well be the defining challenge in the current era of agriculture.With this in mind, a series of stories over the next few months will be taking a look at the some of the nation’s water issues. What better place to start than California?When the 2016 water year began on Oct. 1, water storage in California’s federal Central Valley Project was at 47% of the 15-year average, about 200,000 acre-feet less than last year at the same time. With California in the midst of one of its worst droughts in history, the vital agricultural industry in the state is paying a heavy price to maintain production and conserve valuable water.“It is all interrelated with different nuances in every part of the country. Water supply for us right now is the major issue,” said Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau. “In California we are unique because we have always been able to store water. We have the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sierra Nevada on the other and that allows us to have mountain reservoirs for snow capture and runoff. Typically, 70% of our water comes from snowmelt that fills our reservoirs and underground aquifers. We are one of of a few Mediterranean regions in the world and we have an arid climate, but we can apply water when we need it and we have the warm temperatures to grow the myriad of crops we do.”The system has worked well for years to allow for incredible agricultural production, but the major drought has put tremendous strain on the state’s water resources required to support agriculture and the state’s large population.“We have not really grown our water infrastructure in 40 years while our population has grown from 20 million to almost 40 million,” Wenger said.Wenger produces almonds and walnuts on his central California farm and has seen dramatic water use reduction for his crops.“We are seeing a 60% reduction in the water allotment of surface water from what we had last year. We own a reservoir in the Modesto Irrigation District in combination with the Turlock, which is the town just south of us. We’ve always had ample amounts of water available but now with drought and the environmental restrictions, we are being reduced on the water we can use out of the reservoir,” he said. “This year we were allotted 16 inches of water to apply to our fields. For our almonds and walnuts in a normal year we require 30 and 36 inches of applied water. If we are going to irrigate a corn crop or alfalfa we would also use around 30 or 36 inches depending on the soil type. As you go further down the valley, that water demand goes up because of the heat. It could be 50% higher for the amount of water needed.”In response to the necessary water use reductions, Wenger and other farmers are employing new water management practices.“The water issues result in more expense and more management. Growers have gotten into micro-irrigation. They are using drip lines and spoon-feeding the amount of water that goes onto the plants. We are seeing things like strawberries grown on subterranean drip lines,” Wenger said. “But what we are seeing is that we are not recharging the underground aquifers. Before when we used less efficient irrigation techniques, our plants would grab 30, 40 or 50% of the water applied and the water that wasn’t used by the plants helped fill the underground aquifer.”As the surface water supply grows increasingly scarce, more supply is required from the groundwater supplies, which brings a new set of challenges.“Now that we are not filling those underground aquifers, we are seeing a concentration of nitrates in the groundwater. A lot of the N is legacy N from agriculture and from domestic sewer treatment plants. For our part, we are working steadfastly to address our contributions from agriculture, but it will take some years to do that,” he said. “We have virtually quit applying nitrogen on our ground. When we use surface water we may need to apply some N, but if we are using groundwater we are using those nitrates and we have really reduced N use. We are learning. As we condense things in the water and reuse it and reuse it and don’t capture some natural rainfall and snowmelt, we are going to have more challenges with water quality.”There is reason for some optimism, though, as a strong El Niño is settling in which could mean a very wet winter for California.“The last El Niño year we had was 1998. They are calling this a Godzilla El Niño. A concern is that is could provide very hard rains but not provide snow or it could provide flash flood potential that is just running off. We could get heavy rains and still be in a drought,” Wenger said.  “We need to adapt to the realities of the weather. The last few years the snow has been very minimal and 70% of our water supply comes from our snow pack. If we see less snow and more rain in the future, we need to rethink our water infrastructure so we can capture those rains for future use and prevent devastating flooding downstream.”There are efforts underway to facilitate this.“Urban areas are talking about cisterns and other things. Those efforts to capture storm water can help, but the problem is that you have to slow that water down so it can percolate into the ground and be dealt with later. There are some smaller projects but they are moving slowly and we need some bigger picture strategies as well. There are larger efforts looking at off-stream storage for water in reservoirs too,” Wenger said. “But there is a component of the environmental community that doesn’t want any new water infrastructure because they don’t want California to grow. There is a theory out there that if we don’t do anything about our water that people will just move to Ohio. They think if they say ‘no’ that eventually people just won’t want to live in California any more.”Such theories contribute to the complexities of California politics that drive many of the water resource management decisions in the state.“In the regulatory environment we have, there are well meaning legislators that make a decision today and expect results tomorrow. Things don’t work that way. We are working in a natural environment and the weather is unpredictable. What works in a dry year may not work in a wet year. We need to make plans and give them time to take action. Just last year a plan was put into action with groundwater and already this year the governor has said we have to move quicker on groundwater,” Wenger said. “You can’t stop a locomotive by just saying stop when it is going down the track. You have to slow it down first. We are trying to educate regulators and political leaders that we need to make plans and put them into action realizing things are not going to change in six months. We are hoping to see changes over a decade. When I plant a walnut tree it takes five years until I produce a crop. Folks in agriculture have a long-term view of things and make long-term commitments. We realize that our investments of today may not pay off for many years down the road. I fully anticipate in the next 10 to 20 years that we can correct this problem. The bigger issue is whether government will allow us to do this. Every step of the way they are putting up roadblocks for research and technology. They say they want you to improve the situation, but rather than allow companies to expedite their research and get approvals, they really drag their feet. “last_img read more

Virginia Tech Unveils Hokie-Stone Uniforms For “Battle At Bristol”

first_imgA generic picture of a football pylon.BLACKSBURG, VA – NOVEMBER 17: A general view of an end zone pylon during the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and North Carolina Tar Heels at Lane Stadium on November 17, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)Tonight, the new Virginia Tech uniforms for the Hokies’ “Battle at Bristol” game against Tennessee were revealed.The new Virginia Tech uniforms are officially titled “Hokie Stone,” a tribute to the legendary on-campus stone structures. In addition to the heavy use of grays, the uniforms also contain a major black element. A description from one of the creators said the entire uniform “feels strong and powerful.”The Hokies teased their new uniform on Twitter and also did a full YouTube reveal. We’ve included both below.College Football’s Biggest Ever…#BattleAtBristol ??? pic.twitter.com/kQpi9dj3Ek— HokiesFB ? (@HokiesFB) August 20, 2016Virginia Tech fans, what do you think? It’s a far cry from the team’s usual maroon-and-orange look but, in our opinion, it is pretty clean and distinctive. You also have to love the nod to university tradition and the Hokie stone.Virginia Tech and Tennessee will face off in the “Battle at Bristol” at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. on Sept. 10. Kickoff will be at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.last_img read more

Daylight saving time comes to an end this weekend — amid renewed

first_imgThis is the weekend most Canadians will gain an hour of sleep as they switch from daylight saving time to standard time.In most parts of the country, clocks should be turned back one hour by 2 a.m. Sunday.The time change doesn’t apply to Saskatchewan, which remains on central standard time year-round.Other parts of Canada that keep to standard time include northeastern British Columbia, the East Kootenay region of southeastern B.C., three communities in northwestern Ontario, the eastern tip of Quebec and Southampton Island in Nunavut.But there are rumblings across the continent that people are growing weary of moving their clocks ahead one hour in the spring — losing an hour of sleep — and then turning them back in the fall.The Alberta government looked into scrapping daylight saving time before rejecting the idea last week, and there are similar proposals taking root in New England, where there are several anti-DST bills at various stages.last_img read more

Amy Schumer Performs At North Shore Animal League America Celebrity Gala

first_imgNorth Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, held its annual Celebrity Gala on Friday, November 20th at The Pierre Hotel in New York City.Howard Stern, Amy Schumer and Beth Stern at the North Shore Animal League America 2015 GalaThe evening included a wonderful group of attendees from all sectors of New York’s animal-loving community. Comedian Lisa Lampanelli served as host for the evening, and Emmy-award winner Amy Schumer took the stage for a special performance. Singers Wilson Phillips completed the evening with a mini concert.Among the “bold face names” to stride the red carpet, Celebrity Cook, TV Host and Published Author, Rachael Ray; Raquel Castro of “Empire;” David Castro of “Shadow Hunters;” New York Yankees play-by-play TV announcer and ESPN radio host Michael Kay; Michael’s wife, broadcast journalist Jodi Applegate; Director, Producer, ABC Channel’s “All My Children” Star, Ricky Goldin; President & CEO of The Hallmark Channel, Bill Abbott; Published Author and TV Personality, Carole Radziwill; President and CEO of Forbes Family Trust, LLC, Keith Bloomfield; Professional Equestrian and philanthropist, Georgina Bloomberg; WPIX-11 weather anchor Linda Church; TV producer, entertainer and comedian, Brian Balthazar; WPIX Evening News Anchor Tamsen Fadal; and well-known actress Floriana Lima to name a few.Four compassionate students from across the country were honored with Animal League America’s Crystal Collar Award, presented by Animal League America Volunteer, Foster Parent and National Spokesperson, Beth Stern, for their outstanding work saving the lives of animals through their involvement in the Mutt-i-gree’s Movement. In one case the Ambassadors work is credited with bringing a kill shelter down to a virtually no-kill shelter. In addition all the Ambassadors are actively involved in NSAL’s mission to rescue, nurture, adopt and educate as they spread message of the importance of rescue and adoption to their peers and their communities. All of these outstanding students have been involved with the Mutt-i-gree’s Curriculum and are shining examples for the future of animal welfare. The honorees were:Ragan Fletcher of Bixby, Oklahoma
Layne Meek of Ashland, Kentucky
Gracie Kate Lee of Clinton, Arkansas
Madalyn Pennington of Bee Branch, ArkansasAmong the other highlights of the evening was a video montage of the more than 200 kittens and cats Beth and Howard Stern have fostered over the years as well as a Reflections video focusing on some of the important work done by Animal League America over the past 12 months.The Gala supports North Shore Animal League America’s ever-expanding no-kill mission with all proceeds from the event dedicated to Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center. This 14,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will enable Animal League America to rescue many more animals by adding a second floor to the existing shelter that will host a cage-free, natural living environment for felines. In addition, this expansion to the shelter will open up space on the first floor to increase the number of dogs we take in and enrich their lives. Overall, this project will enable them to provide the best quality of life for all the animals in their care while they await adoption into loving homes.last_img read more

May proclaimed MS Awareness Month and other brief city council news

first_imgCouncil passed a resolution to write a letter to the provincial government outlining their concerns, and to also have the issues brought up at the NCLGA Annual General Meeting in Fort Nelson next month. North Peace Drug Awareness Society acknowledgedThe North Peace Drug Awareness Society was also given an acknowledgement by city council for their nearly 20 years of work in the Fort St. John area. Mayor Lori Ackerman spoke about the Society’s work in running the D.A.R.E. Program in Fort St. John, as well as other various drug awareness and education initiatives. In 2004, the Society was approached to take on the contract of the RCMP’s Police-Based Victim Services Program. Since then, the Society was responsible for 1 – 2 employees who ran the program. Society Chair Rick Ekkel thanked the City for its years of support and partnership in their work with the program.City concerned about cost of new employer health taxFort St. John City Council is going to be collaborating with the Union of B.C. Municipalities and the North Central Local Government Association on sending a message to the provincial government that the new Employer Health Tax won’t be cheap to implement. According to a report to Council from Human Resources Rashid Hasan, the City will pay $127,800 in MSP premiums of its employees covered under a collective agreement each for year in 2018 and 2019. For 2019, it is estimated employer health tax of 1.95% will cost the City $396,566 in addition to the estimated MSP premiums of $127,800 – a total cost of $524,366 and a 4.44% increase in the tax rate. In 2020, MSP premiums will be phased out, and the employer health tax is estimated to cost $406,480.75 – a 3.44% increase in the tax rate compared to the rate set for the 2018 budget. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Mayor Lori Ackerman proclaimed May to be MS Awareness Month at Monday’s City Council meeting.Sherri Mytopher, who serves as a board member with the MS Society of Canada’s Northern Regional Chapter, gave a brief presentation about the struggles of her and 100,000 other Canadians who live with Multiple Sclerosis every day. According to Mytopher, Canada has one of the highest incidents of MS among developed nations. The MS Society will also be hosting an MS Walk in Fort St. John on Sunday, May 27th at Centennial Park.last_img read more

Mile 62 fire brings community together

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – When Chuck Fowler received the call from his mother that their property was on fire he travelled from Mile 58 to do what he could to help.Arriving on the scene, Fowler phoned Enbridge and P&G to advise them of the situation as their line was close. They would then call 911 as they knew they were not in Charlie Lakes Fire District.Trying to find people with water trucks they managed to locate a Vac truck. and started fighting the perimeter of the fire. There was a hoe that was also used to attack the fire as they could not get into the big part of the fire shared Fowler. Fowler goes on to say they tried to contact all residents to move their equipment. “By the grace of God, the fire went on a bit of an angle,” said Fowler “That managed to go between a dump structure and the home on 252 Road.”Fowler went on to say “For whatever reason, the fire angled and went away from the home and saved the residents tank truck.”The fire was reported to start at approximately 3:30 pm, Fowler commends the Forestry’s response time as he said the Bomber was in the air with 10-15 men on site within 40 minutes. “We were grateful,” said Fowler.5-6 Hectares of land were extinguished and controlled and nobody was hurt all within 5 hours which makes a good news story out of a bad news story shared Fowler.To read more on the fire; CLICK HERElast_img read more

NE suffering from infiltration due to Congress policies Modi

first_imgMoran/Gohpur (Assam): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said Assam and the rest of the Northeast were suffering from infiltration due to the policies of the Congress and asserted that he, as the ‘chowkidar’, was committed to resolve the issue.He also said it was the erstwhile Jana Sangh and tall leaders such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had raised their voice in support of Bangladesh during the neighbouring country’s independence movement, and not as the Opposition usually portrayed it. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Congress has always cheated the people of Assam and if Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel and (first Assam chief minister) Gopinath Bordoloi had not taken a strong stand at the time of Partition, then Assam’s identity would not have been what it is today,” Modi said while addressing the second of the two election rallies at Gohpur in Assam. Indirectly referring to the Chinese aggression of 1962, Modi said the Congress policy was such that it was only due to the brave people of Tezpur and the armed forces that the state could be saved. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”This chowkidar is committed to fight against Assam’s problems of infiltration, terrorism and corruption and ensure the dignity of the people of the state,” he said. He urged the people to remember on polling day that Assam and the country can become free from illegal migrants and terrorists only if the BJP-led NDA is voted as on one side is the ‘dumdaar chowkidar’ (strong watchman) and on the other ”mahamilawat wala parivar” (adulterated family). Modi has targeted the opposition alliance as “mahamilawat”. He highlighted the role played by the right-wing Jana Sangh, which was recreated as the BJP in 1980, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in supporting Bangladesh liberation movement. Indira Gandhi, who was prime minister of the country during creation of Bangladesh in 1971, is usually credited for its liberation from Pakistan. Modi had in 2015 received award of Bangladesh Liberation War Honour on behalf of Vajpayee for his “active role” in the country’s independence struggle and consolidating India’s friendship with the nation. Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid had handed over the award to Modi at a function at Bangabhaban, the President’s House, on June 7, 2015 which was attended by Premier Sheikh Hasina. In his speech at that time, Modi had said he was one of the young volunteers who came to Delhi to participate in a Satyagraha launched by Jana Sangh to support Bangladeshi freedom fighters in 1971. He had also recalled Vajpayee’s speech in Parliament on December 6, 1971 in which he had asked government to recognise Bangladesh as a nation. “The whole world is with country but this has worried the Congress and they are not only opposing the chowkidar alone but also the nation. Will you give a befitting reply on the polling day,” he said, launching a scathing attack on rivals. Referring to the Ahom commander Lachit Barphukan’s historic quote that the ‘Deshkot ke Mama dangor no hoi’ (Mama or uncle is not greater than the nation), Modi quipped for Congress “all Mamas is greater than the country as is evident from Michel Mama, Quatrochhi Mama, etc for whom they have put the nation at stake.” He was referring to Christian Michel, arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, and Ottavio Quattrocchi, the middleman associated with the Bofors scam.last_img read more