Share We’ve written often about hurricanes, great and small. Of note, forecasters predict a likelihood of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher) for this season. An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.The combination of several climate factors is driving the strong likelihood for above-normal activity in the Atlantic this year. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Nina, meaning there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.This column is about rip tides, rip currents and undertows – which are what distant storms often leave us. Lest one of us comes to grief…Undertow v Rip Tide v Rip CurrentsAnybody that has ever been to a beach understands undertow. It is the backwash as gravity returns a breaking wave to the sea. All but small children can stand against it – and its effect ends at the leading edge of the next breaking wave. While it might knock you down and thus “suck” you under, it won’t pull you out to sea. Our mothers didn’t know that because they confused undertow with rip tides and rip currents.A rip tide is the result of tides and the egress and ingress of large volumes of water flowing through inlets, estuaries, and bays. As facts would have it, most people don’t swim near inlets or where bays meet the sea. They swim near beaches, where sand bars often form, and where rip currents, “the killer current,” form in concert.The Anatomy of a Rip CurrentRip currents are by far the biggest killers of ocean swimmers. Rip currents form as waves disperse along the beach causing water to become trapped between the beach and a sandbar or other underwater feature. This water becomes the “feeder” that creates the deadly force of the rip current. The water converges into a narrow, river-like channel moving away from the shore at high speed.Marine scientists define a rip current as having a “neck” (the river-like channel moving away from the shore) and a “head” that is often defined by an unusual disturbance or choppiness in the water and by murky discoloration caused by sand and debris. As the water, and swimmer, reaches the “head,” the velocity and strength of the rip current circulation begins to weaken considerably.Can I See a Rip Current?Often, yes. As a result of the current’s speed, sand is forced into suspension often causing a rip current to be associated with “dirty” water. It is characterized by a strong, localized current flowing seaward from the shore; visible as an agitated band of water, which is the return movement of water piled up on the shore by incoming waves.Most Importantly, Can I Get Out of the Grip of a Rip Current?If you don’t panic, and play the water’s power to your advantage, yes. Don’t try to swim back to shore against the rip current that is dragging you out. Most likely, you will tire beyond recovery and drowning, flatly put, will follow as surely as night follows day. Swim with and across the rip current. Let it give you some speed – as you “exit – stage left!” Or right – but get out of the grip of the current and into “normal” water. Then, deal with the hand you’ve been dealt – swim back, or just tread water while waving your arms for help, or just float and rest. This is why swimming with a “buddy system” is so critical…If you are interested in being part of USCG Forces, email me at JoinUSCGAux@aol.com or go directly to the D1SR Human Resources department. Vincent Pica is Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR) of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
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Astika Holdings Inc. announced today that, as part of the Company’s growth strategy through the acquisition of service, agriculture and industrial companies, it has authorized the execution of a letter of intent to begin negotiations with Nantong Dredging Machinery CO LTD, a limited liability company and joint venture of Great Britain and China. Nantong is a private company engaged in Mechanic Ships for Underwater Dredging, Grain Seeder with High Accuracy, Cement Construction Tool in Dark Drains and also undertakes construction for river canal dredging and cement construction in dark drains.Mark Richards, the director for Astika Holdings said: “The modernization of agriculture for farmers and increased profit potential has our initial focus on the Nantong Grain Seeder of High Accuracy which meets the requirement of agriculture modernization in China. There are large rural areas and farmers eager to utilize a multi-functional grain seeder to improve yield in seeding rice, oilseed rape, corn, beans and wheat to supply the growing Asia and world markets. Additionally, the Nantong seeder performs a multi-function agriculture process which reduces the utilization of tractors, lowers the associated costs, increases the yield and uses less fertilization. Nantong’s Grain Seeder of High Accuracy also decreases pollution and protects the environment.”He added: “We are excited about this potential growth opportunity for Astika Holdings and look forward to accelerating our acquisition plans. We appreciate the support and are excited to lead the Company and its shareholders into the future.”[mappress]Press Release, February 20, 2014
Re-rootedHS2 could very well be derailed after receiving a blow to its plans to knock down everything in its path, as a highly prized tree along the route was crowned 2015’s Tree of the Year by the Woodland Trust. The ancient pear tree in Cubbington, Warwickshire – which is believed to have been growing for over 250 years – pipped nine other finalists to the title. HS2 officials say its hollow trunk means it will have to be felled, but said younger trees would be planted in the area to offset its loss. Opposition groups say the award sends a “clear message” to politicians about the high-speed line. HS2 may have to pear back its plans.There goes the neighbourhoodJeremy Corbyn may be on the hard left of the political spectrum, but this has not stopped his Labour party picking the upmarket Kensington High Street as the home of its new headquarters. A Labour insider suggested to the Financial Times the move may only be temporary, adding the party had moved to a cheap “shell” building rather than something more befitting of their surroundings in London’s richest borough, and could be there for as little as four months. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the move is that the Daily Mail will be one of the party’s neighbours on Kensington High Street, which of course has succumbed to Corbynmania, or rather, anti-Corbynmania.Chew storyFeel guilty about scoffing more calories than the recommended daily allowance? You’re not alone. A new piece of research by constructaquote.com found male construction workers in the UK eat on average 4,000 calories a day – 1,500 more than the government recommended amount. When asked about the most common meals they ate during a normal working day, the most popular answers were: breakfast baguettes, meat pie/pasties, burger and chips, a fry-up and fried chicken. Only 4% said they regularly had a salad, while the other 96% presumably had hands so greasy they were unable to complete the survey.Down the kitchen sinkPeter Bonfield’s review of the government’s energy efficiency policy may not need to look any further than the millions of Brits who are apparently throwing away money on inefficient energy habits in the kitchen. A survey by an online appliances retailer has revealed that many homeowners have attitudes and usage habits that are inadvertently costing them a fortune by wasting energy. The survey says 47% regularly boil more water than they need while using the kettle, and one in five use their dishwasher before it is full. Just 11% fill their freezer to its full capacity, meaning most are freezing air rather than produce. Mark Kelly, marketing manager at the firm behind the survey, AppliancesDirect.co.uk, warns ominously: “Many are sleepwalking into paying much more than they need to, and probably aren’t even aware they are doing anything wrong.”Sold down the riverGarden Bridge-watchers may be interested to note that a consequence of the development is the planned relocation of Second World War ship HQS Wellington to accommodate the blooming bridge. The ship has been moored on the Thames since 1948. It will be moved to a site at Temple Stairs, which will in turn have the knock-on effect of the proposed Thames Baths swimming area being moved up or down river.Source: Anwar Hussein / Empics EntertainmentGrin and bear itI’m sure the partners of Arcadis – the UK consultant formerly known as EC Harris and Hyder respectively – are as fit and active a bunch as you can expect a group of largely middle-aged QSs and engineers to be. Which is why I reacted with alarm when news reached me that the partners’ annual team away day was being organised by Bear Grylls Survival Academy. Instructors from the Mission Survive TV host’s own company, apparently took the group out after a morning of solid rain. One can only hope, for the sake of Arcadis’ long-term health, that Grylls (pictured) applies the same rules to his survival academy as to his own TV programme – in which he has been accused of exaggerating his endurance missions.
The Trident Alliance is a coalition of ship owners and operators that share a common interest in the enforcement of maritime sulphur regulation and are willing to collaborate to help bring it about. The current members include: American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARRC), EUKOR Car Carriers Inc, Höegh Autoliners, J. Lauritzen, Maersk, Rickmers-Linie, Stena, Torvald Klaveness, UECC, Unifeeder and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.Roger Strevens, vice president environment of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, who has been elected chairman of The Trident Alliance, explained: “Robust enforcement of sulphur regulation is needed for health and the environment and, from the perspective of maintaining a level playing field, it is a business imperative. Already during its formation the Trident Alliance has raised awareness of the current shortcomings of enforcement and related consequences, particularly in the European ECA. Now our work starts in earnest.”The alliance will use a number of different strategies to bring about robust and transparent enforcement, which is likely to vary from country to country, and will raise awareness globally. It will also communicate with industry stakeholders regarding innovations in enforcement technologies.www.tridentalliance.org
AUSTRALIA: The Queensland government has announced plans to award a long-term lease to operate state-owned assets including the 1000 km Mount Isa line and the associated port of Port Townsville. The 1067 mm gauge single track line is a critical link between inland mining areas and the coast. The lease would run for 50 years with an option to extend for a further 49 years. The government plan would also see the state lease out assets including the Port of Gladstone, water pipelines and electricity generation and distribution companies. The plan would not be implemented until after the next state election. ‘Leasing some assets is the strongest and smartest choice because it will generate the funds needed to bring the state’s debt back under control, while ensuring Queenslanders always retain ownership’, said state Treasurer Tim Nicholls on October 7.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Hazelle Rogers among Clinton advocatesIn their efforts to court the Caribbean vote ahead of the Florida presidential primaries tomorrow, the Hillary Clinton campaign has established a Caribbean Leadership Council of state and local leaders among the Diaspora. Advocates for the Clinton campaign include state representatives Hazelle Rogers and Daphne Campbell, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, and Miami Dade commission chairman Jean Monestime.Clinton’s husband, Former President Bill Clinton, made a campaign stop in Miami Gardens Sunday recently where he spoke at an event at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex and was joined by U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson, among others.He told the crowd her Republican rivals don’t want her to win the Democratic nomination out of fear she will beat them.“Everything Hillary accomplished — as Secretary of State, a Senator, in the White House — she actually had some good Republicans supporting her,” Clinton said. “Now, they start being mean to her when she left the Secretary of State’s office because they said ‘Oh my goodness, we have to run against her, what will we say.’”During his speech, President Clinton addressed the recent shooting death of 6-year-old King Carter and honored the mothers of gun violence, including Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin.At the rally, Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami singled out Trump in making her case for Clinton, who would continue President Obama’s legacy.“She deserves to go back to the White House, but this time as the commander in chief,” Wilson said. “If we elect Donald Trump, all of Obama’s hard work will be wiped out.”Wilson also made sure to mention that Clinton would be the first woman president, something female voters of Florida seem to be keenly aware of in the poll. Among women voters polled, Clinton was favored 58-20 percent over Sanders. Men backed her 49-20 percent over Sanders. Clinton also beat Sanders among every age group of voters who were polled.
The aftermath of last weeks violence in Malakal, many shelters belonging to Internally displaced persons destroyed and now they have to sleep outside“I see that this condition is very difficult because we are just lying to ourselves that we have peace and peace agreement where unfortunately such things are happening. If there is really peace in people’s hearts that there is peace then there is no reason that these things (fighting) should happened, civilians are killed, victimized and thrown out like this is difficult.” Said Theresa Lak, displaced motherThe latest clashes broke between Shilluk and Dinka youths living inside the UN Camp. The UN mission says the clashes were aggrevated by shooting coming from outside – reportedly from armed men wearing SPLA uniforms. Peacekeepers have now intensified their patrols around the perimeter of the site and secured specific areas in the vicinity of the UN base.“..UN should exert effort now to see the immediate needs of these citizens. All round protection fences are opened, you should mend the fences and these days the health of people has deteriorated and weak, see the health of these people, see the food and water for these people and see where they can settle.” said Mathew Bechoul, chairman for peace and Security Council, Internally Displaced PeopleCurrently discussions with community leaders from the Protection of Civilians site are ongoing in a bid to promote calm and dialogue between the communities.Fighting has been ongoing in South Sudan since 2013 when clashes broke out between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and his deputy, Riek Machar. The conflict however quickly took on ethnic overtones.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInLast Thursday, Kirkcudbright Rotary Club once again held its Primary Schools’ Quiz at Gatehouse Primary School. Five local Primary school teams took part. Teams of four students from Auchencairn, Borgue, Kirkcudbright and Twynholm, and Gatehouse Primary schools were all competing in this, the first round of the Rotary District 1020 Quiz. Gatehouse Primary School were defending their titles won by their team last year when they won the Kirkcudbright Club competition, the Area competition and the grand final, the District competition. In front of a sizeable audience of teachers, family, friends and Rotarians, Question Master Paul Tebay asked a series of questions on language and literature, maths and numeracy, health and well-being, expressive arts, science and technology, Scotland and its people, social studies and religious and moral education, and finally ‘pot luck’. The five teams of students were each supported at their tables by a member of the Kirkcudbright Rotary Club whose role was to help the students understand the questions, not to give them the answers! At the end of what was once again a very keenly contested Quiz, last years winners, Gatehouse Primary School, finished second with a score of 55 points, just two and a half points behind the winning team, Kirkcudbright Primary School who now go forward to the Area Final of the Rotary District 1020 Quiz in early May and then, we hope, on to the final! At the end of what was a very enjoyable evening, this year’s Kirkcudbright Rotary Club President, Chris Ingram, presented certificates to all the young people who had taken part and Paul Tebay, Youth Service Convenor, thanked all those who had helped to make the evening such a success and, in particular, he congratulated all of the young people who had taken part.
24 Views no discussions NewsRegional Caribbean urged to honour free movement commitment by: – February 17, 2014 Sharing is caring! Tweet Share Share Share BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Household domestics and artisans from five Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will on Sunday engage in their latest efforts to get regional governments to honour their rights to freedom of movement, granted them more than five years ago.The domestics and artisans from Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis and Barbados will participate in a region-wide town hall meeting, to be broadcast on the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) international channel, Caribvision.Organisations representing these workers will join with the regional civil society umbrella, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), in telling of their struggle to move freely and legally under the CARICOM Single Market (CSME), one week before CARICOM leaders meet for their mid-term summit in St Vincent.The CPDC said it is concerned that since the respective decisions of CARICOM leaders in 2007 and 2009 to allow for the free movement of artisans and household domestics within the region, member states have not succeeded in implementing the necessary procedures to give effect to their rights. CPDC Executive Coordinator Shantal Munro-Knight said the town hall meeting is expected to capture the growing frustration of many artisans and domestics that no one can say for certain when the necessary processes will be in place to give effect to their rights.“It’s time CARICOM governments act now with concrete steps towards fulfilling the a five-year-old commitment to allow artisans and domestic workers to join artistes, graduates, intellectuals, media workers, musicians, sportspersons, holders of associate degrees, teachers and nurses in moving for employment purposes without the need to obtain a work permits in under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME),” she said.Sunday’s town hall meeting, titled “Making CSME Work for Artisans and Domestics,” is a part of a unique civil society project advocating for an end to delay in allowing actual free movement that has long been granted to artisans and domestics.Munro-Knight said the project has noted that the delay has significantly hampered artisans and domestics in the exercise of their rights, leaving them open to exploitation by unscrupulous hosts.Among those scheduled to appear on the programme are president of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Union of Domestic Employees (NUDE) Ida Le Blanc and Shirley Pryce, the head of Jamaica Household Workers Union.Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago have been the five CARICOM nations in the project where educational workshops were staged by the CPDC to educate artisans and domestics on their rights and responsibilities to free movement throughout the CSME. The five countries are considered the leading CARICOM member states in the free movement of people.The CPDC has also been cooperating with CSME member nations and the CARICOM Secretariat to achieve “tangible, meaningful progress” on to the free movement of artisans and domestic workers,” Munro-Knight said.The project has been highlighting the need for domestics and artisans to utilise the rights, which they have been granted in the CSME to move legally and the consequences of illegal migration.“With this education campaign, we hope to help protect workers from unscrupulous agents who may seek to exploit them when they move illegally for work. The best way to fight this is by helping workers to use the free movement regime properly,” said Munro-Knight.The project is funded by the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund) and financed by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).Caribbean Media Corporation