Ramjattan leading fight to keep sedition clause alive

first_imgCyber Crimes BillChairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan, on Friday told a news conference that, despite concerns raised by some members of the party’s leadership and a public uproar regarding Section 18 (1) of the Cybercrime Bill of 2016, he is leading the charge to keep the offence of sedition on the books.“Unless we want to do a major overhaul of your Criminal Offences Act and abolish sedition, then that’s fine; but as I am advised, and I am leading the charge for maintaining it in our books for very good reasons,” Ramjattan said.AFC Chairman Khemraj RamjattanAbout a week ago, AFC leader Raphael Trotman said the party would not support the sedition clause. He cited Section 18 (1) as not what modern and open democracies and government is all about. He stated that this view is shared by many within the party, and revealed that if the section is not amended, then he, along with other AFC Parliamentarians, would have to vote against it.Section 18 (1) states that “A person commits an offence of sedition if the person, whether in or out of Guyana, intentionally publishes, transmits or circulates by use of a computer system or any other means, a statement or words, either spoken or written; a text, video, image, sign, visible representation, or other thing that bring or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in Guyana; advocates the use, without authority of law, of force as a means of accomplishing a governmental change within Guyana”, among other thing.The Bill was first read by Attorney General Basil Williams on August 04, 2016, and was sent to a Special Select Committee, where it stayed for two years and came back to the National Assembly unchanged. After it came back to the National Assembly, the contents created quite an uproar, since it was perceived that freedom of expression is being stifled by the legislation.“Of course, the concerns now coming means we will have to take a second look at it, but I want to make it clear that those who had indicated as if we are affecting freedom of expression, I have written many pieces on freedom of expression, and it is not going to, in any way, affect that; and that is why we were very cautious,” Ramjattan said.“Although we have a Section 18 (1) that says sedition by use of computers or the Facebook and internet…we also have a paragraph 18-4 (b) that says criticisms of the Government, criticisms of any minister, and even wanting to lawfully change the Government does not constitute the offence of sedition,” the Minister added.Section 18-4 (b) states, “For the purposes of subsection (1) – ‘disaffection’ includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity; the following do not constitute an offence under subsection (1): (i) comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection; (ii) comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection; (iii) comments that the President, Prime Minister or any Minister of the Government, or the Government has been misled or mistaken in their measures; (iv) comments that point out errors or defects in the Government, Constitution or Parliament; (v) comments that procure, by lawful means, the alteration of any matter of Government; and (vi) comments that point out, for the purpose of removal, matters that produce or tend to produce feelings of hostility and ill-will between different classes of persons in Guyana.”Ramjattan, who also sits on the Special Select Committee that considered the proposed Bill, said that at the time during the meetings, everyone agreed with the Sedition Clause, but the concerns now require them addressing it. He claimed that the Sedition Clause is not going to affect freedom of expression, and noted that there is no provision in the current laws that caters for cybercrime.He further explained that the Cybercrime Bills captures just that, by making provisions to punish those who utilise the power of the internet to commit crimes that lead to unrest.“As I have said before, sedition is a tool to have in an executive branch, because sedition, as you know, is an offence that goes to the heart of civil strife in your country, and people publishing letters and all of that to ensure that there is civil disorder. It is a part of American law. It is a part of the laws of most Commonwealth countries, although it has been abolished in England,” Ramjattan posited.Meanwhile, AFC Vice-Chairperson Cathy Hughes called on organizations and civil society to make use of the proper channels to raise their concerns.The draft legislation is aimed at tackling the 21st century phenomenon of cybercrime. It treats with the creation of cybercrime offences, and contains provisions for penalties, investigations and prosecutions of such offences.last_img read more

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Ozil’s claims of racism in German camp are ‘nonsense’ – Kroos

first_img“I have played with Mesut for many years and know that he is a nice guy. But the way he retired was out of order.“The proportion of his statement which was fair and justified was unfortunately overshadowed by a much higher proportion of nonsense.“I think he himself knows that racism does not exist within the national team and the DFB.“On the contrary, we are always committed to diversity and integration.“Mesut was a good example of that, like many of our team mates.”Ozil, 29, created a furore last month when he retired from international football in an explosive three-part statement in which he accused German FA (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel of racism.The meeting of Mesut Ozil (L) on May 13 with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) sparked a political debate about integration in Germany and led to the Arsenal star retiring from international football. © TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/AFP/File / KAYHAN OZER“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” wrote Ozil, sparking a racism storm in Germany and triggering fierce debate about integration.Ozil fell offside with German fans and was booed during pre-World Cup friendlies after he and fellow midfielder Ilkay Gundogan posed for pictures with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, raising questions about the pair’s loyalty to Germany.Only a handful of Germany players have spoken about the saga, which captain Manuel Neuer described as ‘stressful’ while Thomas Mueller said there is “no question of racism within the team”.Head coach Joachim Loew has yet to comment.– Missed opportunity –Real Madrid star Kroos says Arsenal midfielder Ozil, who like Gundogan has Turkish roots, was wrong to meet with Erdogan and then wait two months before breaking his silence.“Mesut was criticised for the photo – and rightly so,” said Kroos. “And he missed the chance to explain himself.“Nevertheless, he was completely supported by the coaching staff and the (national) team.“Later he was – like the rest of us – criticised for the performance at the World Cup.“The type of criticism was certainly not always at a good (justified) level – but then you have to deal with that as a player.”In the first game since their World Cup debacle, Germany, who plummeted to 15th in the FIFA rankings, will host world champions France, who have claimed top ranking, in Munich on September 6 in the newly-launched Nations League tournament.Toni Kroos says the Germany team must bounce back against France next month after their woeful displays in Russia saw them suffer a shock exit after the group stages of the World Cup in Russia. © AFP / Luis AcostaGermany head coach Joachim Loew has promised sweeping changes and Kroos has resisted the urge to retire.“Yes, I will continue until Euro 2020 and have set the big goal that we will be far more successful than last time,” said Kroos.However, Kroos says the squad Loew selects must find the necessary drive that was so badly missing in Russia.“We have to be greedy and more forceful again, as far as goal-scoring is concerned,” added Kroos.“And we have to be more unpleasant to play against in terms of defence – without just defending.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Germany’s midfielder Toni Kroos says Mesut Ozil was “out of order” to level accusations of racism within the Germany set up when he resigned from international football last month. © AFP/File / Odd ANDERSENBERLIN, Germany, Aug 16 – Germany midfielder Toni Kroos says Mesut Ozil was ‘out of order’ to make accusations of racism within the German set up as he retired from international football last month.“Basically Mesut is a long-serving national team player and deserved a better exit as a footballer,” Kroos, 28, told German daily Bild.last_img read more

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Spanish tax authorities investigating Neymar

first_img0Shares0000Neymar spent four years at Barcelona before joining Paris Saint-Germain in a world record move in 2017 © AFP/File / Anne-Christine POUJOULATMADRID, Spain, Mar 11 – Spain’s tax authorities are investigating the bonus Neymar earned when he extended his contract with Barcelona as well as his world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, daily newspaper El Mundo reported Monday.The authorities are looking into whether the Brazilian paid tax in Spain related to the two deals, the newspaper said. Contacted by AFP, the tax office refused to comment on the report.Neymar was a tax resident in Spain in 2017, the year he transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year deal for a world record 222 million euros ($249 million).The 27-year-old Brazilian international and Barcelona are already battling in court over a bonus the player was paid when in 2016 he signed a new five-year deal with the Catalan giants just nine months before joining PSG.A hearing over that case is scheduled for March 21 at a Barcelona labour court.The tax authorities have asked the labour court for all the information it has regarding this case, El Mundo said. The court declined to comment.After Neymar agreed to move to the French side, Barcelona refused to pay the player 26 million euros which were part of a bonus it promised him when he extended his contract with them.Barcelona are suing Neymar for 8.5 million euros for breach of contract and to demand he return the amount of the bonus money which it did pay him.Neymar, in turn, is suing Barcelona to demand his former club pay his entire renewal bonus.His is just one of several famous footballers who have fallen foul of Spain’s tax authorities in recent years.A Spanish court in January handed Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo a suspended two-year prison sentence for committing tax fraud when he was at Real Madrid.The player, who joined Italian side Juventus last year, also agreed to pay 18.8 million euros in fines and back taxes to settle the case, according to judicial sources.Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, once Ronaldo’s big La Liga rival, paid a two-million-euro fine in 2016 in his own tax wrangle and received a 21-month jail term.The prison sentence was later reduced to a further fine of 252,000 euros, equivalent to 400 euros per day of the original term.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Kerr gets hero’s welcome

first_imgWHITTIER – As he watched Barbara Kerr visit with students in his third-grade classroom Tuesday at Laurel Elementary School, teacher David Hall was awestruck. That’s because he considers Kerr, who heads the powerful California Teachers Association in Sacramento, to be his own personal hero. “The woman has done so much for teachers and children,” said Hall, highlighting CTA’s successful efforts to defeat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiatives regarding teacher probation and union dues on the November 2005 ballot. “They took the governor down a couple of notches,” Hall said. “And I’m really honored to have her visit this school and my room.” Kerr spent Tuesday touring four schools in the East Whittier City School District, having lunch with board members and administrators, then attending a unit meeting of the East Whittier Education Association – the union that represents the district’s teachers. The visit was prompted by an invitation extended to Kerr by EWEA President Madeline Shapiro at the beginning of the school year. Once Kerr accepted, Shapiro said it was just a matter of time before her schedule was clear enough to make the trip. “I invited her because I’m very proud of this school district and of course, I’m proud to be working with such dedicated teachers,” Shapiro said. Kerr, who has been CTA president for three years, said she tries to visit as many schools as possible to “make sure teachers feel empowered to teach.” “I’m tired of people talking about failing schools, because they don’t see what I see,” Kerr said. “So either they should spend time visiting schools or don’t say anything at all.” Board President Alison Pigott said Kerr’s visit was historic, considering the number of professional people she represents and the political power that the CTA has in Sacramento and the country. “To have her see and hear about our successes and needs, it was quite an achievement to get her here for an entire day,” Pigott said. But Kerr’s rare appearance in East Whittier didn’t seem to faze the young students in Hall’s classroom, who were unflinchingly honest in a letter posted at the front of the classroom that prompted chuckles from their visitors, including Kerr. “We’re not sure exactly what you do,” the letter said, “but Mr. Hall has been smiling so it must be important. We hope you enjoy your visit to Laurel. Sincerely, Room Seven.” tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Mayor kicks off tree recycling

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “We grow these seedlings, and we want people to plant them,” said Mary Nichols, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “The mayor has set a goal of planting 1 million trees, and everyone can be part of it.” Residents also can recycle the trees in their green-waste trash bins after removing all ornaments and cutting them into pieces, officials said. The recycling centers will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Jan. 7, 8, 14 and 15. In addition to the zoo, local sites include: Branford Park, 12200 Branford St., Arleta. GRIFFITH PARK – Clad in a work shirt and gloves, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa kicked off the city’s annual Christmas tree recycling program Thursday, promising gifts to those who participate. “This is a great way to recycle trees and also to protect our homes and families,” Villaraigosa said at the news conference held at the Los Angeles Zoo. “This promotes the protection of our environment and also lets families get rid of the danger of dried-out trees.” Fire officials stressed that a dried-out tree can be engulfed by fire within seven seconds and set a room ablaze in 30 seconds. Sixteen sites are being established where residents can bring their trees for recycling. Those who participate will receive a coupon for a free bag of mulch, an energy-efficient light bulb and a tree seedling for planting. Chatsworth Park South, 22360 Devonshire St., Chatsworth. Balboa Sports Center, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Encino. Sunland Park, 8651 Foothill Blvd. Sylmar Park, 13109 Borden Ave. Other drop-off sites for tree recycling around Los Angeles County include: Brace Canyon Park, 2850 Haven Way, Burbank. Verdugo Park, 3201 W. Verdugo Ave., Burbank. Hidden Hills City Hall, 6165 Spring Valley Road. Hidden Hills Community Center, 24549 Long Valley Road. Lancaster Landfill, 600 E. Avenue F. Palmdale Landfill, 1200 W. City Ranch Road. San Fernando Public Works City Yard, 553 Glenoaks Blvd. Waste Management, 25772 Springbook Road, Santa Clarita. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL IN THE DOCK OVER DIRTY WARDS AND HYGIENE

first_imgBREAKING NEWS: LETTERKENNY General Hospital has been condemned by health inspectors over a series of breaches of basic hygiene rules.The Health Information and Quality Authority says inspectors identified a number of high risks including environmental hygiene, infrastructure, maintenance, hand hygiene, aspergillus control and safe injection practices.And in a shocking condemnation of the hospital HIQA found there was no improvement ONE MONTH LATER! Staff have reacted angrily to the report – saying cuts and lack of staff are to blame – not them.Varying levels of dust were observed in all areas and patient equipment cleaning was “unsatisfactory.”Maintenance of the patient environment in the Orthopaedic Unit was of significant concern with ward wide issues related to maintenance.Surfaces, finishes, flooring and some furnishings in patient rooms including windows, wall paintwork, woodwork, wood finishes were worn and poorly maintained and as such did not facilitate effective cleaning. But in one shocking finding staff washed their hands just 55 per cent of the times they should have done.The Authority was also not assured that the risk of invasive aspergillosis was being fully managed in line with the Infection Prevention and Control Standards.Letterkenny General Hospital is a 323 bedded Acute General Hospital providing a broad range of acute services on an in-patient, out-patient and day-case basis.But staff hit back today.“The hospital is in crisis,” said one member of staff. “This is all very well but there aren’t the staff to cover the growing demand from the public. Some nurses haven’t time to bless themselves; if these are failings they rest with management.”Hospital boss Sean Murphy is expected to issue a statement later.LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL IN THE DOCK OVER DIRTY WARDS AND HYGIENE was last modified: October 8th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:dirtyHIQALetterkenny General Hospitallast_img read more

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Evolution Teacher Promotes Gentler Way to Propagandize Students

first_imgFlummoxed by stable numbers of students not accepting Darwin, a teacher tries a gentler nudge.Michael Reiss has been teaching evolution for 30 years in the UK. He has come to the conclusion that browbeating students into “accepting” evolution is not effective. Expressing his thoughts at The Conversation, the professor from University College London thinks teachers need to change from stick to carrot, because the stick isn’t working.But the fact is that a large number of young people are reluctant to accept evolution. In the UK, 10 to 15% of students feel this way. The percentage is even higher in many countries – in the US, a country with a high proportion of practising Christians, it’s as high as 40%.As both a professor of science education, with research expertise in evolutionary biology, and a priest in the Church of England, I believe that we need to rethink the way we teach evolution. I’ve spent 30 years teaching evolution to school students, undergraduates and teachers in training. It is clear to me that the way the subject is typically taught in schools can force religious children to choose between their faith and evolution. This is as true for Christian students as it is for Muslims, Orthodox Jews and members of other religions.It’s not that Reiss has any doubts about his own faith in Darwinism. He began with a strong affirmation of faith, not in the Biblical doctrines once affirmed by the Church of England, but in the doctrines of Darwin:Evolution is near universally regarded by the scientific community as a cornerstone of modern biology. Treating it as anything other than incontrovertible fact can therefore incur the wrath of scientists, who highlight the extensive depth and breadth of robust scientific evidence supporting the theory.Certainly he is not about to incur the wrath of his colleagues. Reiss, therefore, aims to increase the percentage of students who “accept” evolution. His only concern is how to achieve that. His main proposal is to treat evolution as a “sensitive issue.” But since he has just said it is a “cornerstone of modern biology” supported by an “extensive depth and breadth of robust scientific evidence,” this is clearly an accommodation to students at best, or a lie at worst. That a Darwinist would advocate subterfuge should not be surprising. Darwinian morality would certainly accept pretense, just like a stick insect pretending to be a twig. And so Reiss pretends to make evolution a sensitive issue, using the terms of political correctness: diversity and inclusion.I propose that a way forward may be to teach evolution as a sensitive issue.A teacher who approaches evolution in this way is respectful of their students’ beliefs and attentive to their emotional states, rather than dismissing them as “silly”, “ignorant” or “causing problems”. Such teachers would employ teaching approaches that embrace diversity, address classroom bias, and hold in conscious awareness the individual experiences of students. These techniques are commonly used when teaching sensitive issues such as sex, pornography, ethnicity, religion, death studies, terrorism, and others….As a science educator, I believe in taking seriously and respectfully the lived experiences of religious students. It is not the role of educators to forcefully convert doubters into accepting evolution, but to build an inclusive classroom that encourages those less comfortable with the concept to willingly engage with it. What is important is that all students can explore and understand the theory in a context that doesn’t force them to choose between science and their religious beliefs.Presumably this would gently nudge the doubters toward accepting evolution by having them lay down their defenses. And yet one thing is clear: any evidence opposing evolution would be omitted from the lesson plans.Teachers would still cover the full range of content when teaching evolution. However, when, for example, teaching about how humans and other mammals share a common ancestor, they would not actively seek to establish agreement among all students. When running a group exercise about the age of the Earth, they might use clicker technology that anonymises responses.Clicker technology, as described by the NEA, is a way for a teacher to poll students’ answers without revealing their identities. For example, students could text their responses to an app that gathers and presents the data on screen as a bar chart. It would also allow the teacher to see how many Darwin doubters or un-moyboys there are in the classroom.According to Reiss, the goal of this kind of evolution is to gently nudge the students toward accepting evolution by not fearing it.Though more work needs to be undertaken to test the effect of shifts in teacher approaches, teaching evolution in this way is likely to help some students to consider evolution as a possibility who would otherwise not do so. People are more open to change when not put on the defensive.But is Reiss subject to change himself? What would happen if other science educators used his method on him? What if they taught Darwin dogmatism as a “sensitive subject” and presented “extensive depth and breadth of robust scientific evidence supporting the theory” of intelligent design? Would he call this inclusive? Would he appreciate the exercise in diversity? Or would it “incur the wrath” of his own Darwin dogmatism? Questions like this are clearly the furthest thing from his mind. He ends,Evolution does not need to be incompatible with faith. Good science teaching can be invaluable in helping students resolve any perceived conflict, at a crucial age that shapes how they see and interact with the world. I want everyone to be able to experience the same fascination that I did when I learnt about how fossils are formed, and how natural selection works. Whether it awakens scientists who would have otherwise turned elsewhere, or simply helps students to understand one another, rethinking how we teach evolution can only be a good thing for society.Since Reiss’s method involves one-way communication, with a single acceptable outcome, it represents propaganda, not education (see “The New Teacher” in the 21 Dec 2005 entry). Reiss is not motivated by “facts and arguments on both sides of each question,” as Darwin advised. He is not interested in teaching the strengths and weaknesses of Darwin’s theory. He wants to lure students into the spiritual ecstasy he himself felt when he saw a vision that the Stuff Happens Law might explain everything.Let’s dispose of the fallacies in the line, “Evolution does not need to be incompatible with faith.” Reiss is presuming that evolution represents “science,” and having a religious objection to evolution represents “faith.” Actually, if we define “faith” as the willing suspension of disbelief when confronted with reams of evidence contradicting one’s position, it takes vastly more faith to believe evolution than to accept the historical evidence supporting the Bible. Reiss has to believe in multiple cosmic miracles to support evolution. He has to believe that nothing banged and became his brain through a long process of accidents. He has to suspend all logic in order to think that the Stuff Happens Law invented morality and logic. His classroom would be a prime venue for the new Science Uprising videos to interrupt his lessons.If you know Dr Reiss, how about trying a nice, gentle approach on him. Take him out to lunch. Ask him some gentle questions, like “What, to you, does natural selection mean?” Nudge him toward admitting that it is equivalent to the Stuff Happens Law (see “Time to Ditch Natural Selection?” and “New Version of Natural Selection Goes Mystical“). Work with him to calculate, on the back of a napkin, the mathematical probability of getting a single protein. Discuss the fine-tuning that would require a big bang to produce a habitable universe. Gently probe his reasons for trusting in the Stuff Happens Law until he admits that he accepts it by faith. Assure him right then you do not want to incur the wrath of his Darwinist colleagues, or risk him losing his D-Merit Badge. Then say with a wink and a nod, as you hand him copies of Signature in the Cell and Darwin Devolves, “Thank you, Dr Reiss. I certainly don’t want to cause you distress by upsetting your faith.”Humpty Darwin sits on a wall of foam bricks held together by decayed mortar. Cartoon by Brett Miller commissioned for CEH. All rights reserved. (Visited 410 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Hiking in South Africa

first_imgSouth Africa has a variety of scenic hiking trails you can try out. Here’s a guide to help find one near you.Lush forests, rugged shorelines, mountain streams and waterfalls and fragrant fynbos are found among many hiking trails in South Africa. (Image: South African Tourism, Flickr)Brand South Africa reporterThere’s no better way to experience wild places than to put your boots on and your feet on the ground, one in front of the other. South Africa has a huge variety of awesomely scenic hiking trails. Here are some of the highlights.The Otter Trail along the Tsitsikamma coast is probably the most popular hike in the country. Lush forests, rugged shorelines, mountain streams and waterfalls and fragrant fynbos make this a special one. It’s strenuous, with lots of ups and downs, but the distances aren’t too great.If you want the scenery and walking with less slog and more luxury, try the Dolphin Trail. It traverses similar terrain to the Otter – joining up with it in places – but instead of hiking huts you stay in fully catered guest houses with great views and good food. Your pack is transported to your next overnight spot by vehicle, and you carry only a day pack with lunch, water, camera and swimsuit.The Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape offers similar trails but dramatically different scenery: miles of deserted beaches, wave-lashed rocks and occasional tropical forest.Accommodation is in coastal hotels instead of huts. The usual is to carry your pack, but you can arrange to have it driven around, if you plan ahead.Purists can tackle the Wild Coast rough as they like. There are miles and miles of unspoiled hiking trail traversing high mountains, deserts and forests, where the accommodation is the usual hiking hut, and the cuisine whatever you decided to carry.For an even wilder experience, you can hike for days in the Cedarberg, near Cape Town, or the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, without seeing a hut or a route marker. These are designated wilderness areas, and you simply take a map and a permit and set off, sleeping under the stars or in convenient caves.There are many others, some of which are on private land. You can get a reasonable idea of what’s available from the Footprint Hiking Club.Of course, the most important aspect of a hiking trail is that you don’t constantly bump into other people. And the only way to ensure that is to limit numbers, so that means you have to book.Hiking linksActive Escapes is a leading authority on Wild Coast Hiking. From traditional backpacking trails to fully supported ‘slackpacking’ holidays; the entire Wild Coast can be hiked, with accommodation ranging from luxury hotels to tented camps or village based homestays. They also offer fully guided and supported hiking trails in the Drakensberg, Eastern Cape Highlands and KZN Midlands, as well as more challenging Drakensberg hikes with a registered mountain guide.Adventure Dynamics International specialise in organising mountain and trekking logistics and guided mountaineering expeditions worldwide. They also offer team building through Peak Teams.Berg Free is run by Dave Sclanders, a registered mountain guide. He offers hikes in the beautiful Drakensberg, ranging from one day in length up to five days. Descriptions of a wide variety hikes are provided, along with extensive safety information, photos, and feedback from hikers. The Boksburg Hiking Club meets on the first Wednesday of every month. They organise trails and a hiking programme is available on the club’s website. To see what it’s all about, take a look at the club’s photo section too. Cape Nature provides information on numerous outdoor activities, including hiking – from one day to multi-day trips in the province’s many nature reserves. Other offerings include mountain biking, kloofing, canoeing, kayaking, fly-fishing and horse trails, among others.Drifters, a tour operator, offers a tour that features either hiking and cycling on the Wild Coast. It lasts six days and five nights and passes along beautiful unspoiled coastline, and a three-day option is also available.EveryTrail in South Africa features a list of trails, which are described and rated by users. Google maps are included which show useful features like elevation and satellite shows. Photos are included and a list of similar trips is also provided.Excelsior Wine Walks offers something a little different: a three-day wine walk through beautiful Cape vineyards and orchards that includes visits to a number of wineries, and walking in the Elandsberg and Langeberg Mountains.Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife oversees game parks in KwaZulu-Natal, from the coast to the Drakensberg Mountains. They have a section on hiking, which includes a weekly hiking report, links to weather reports, safety information, tips, and vital information. Some links to hiking operators are also provided.Footprint Hiking Club offers pictorial reports on various trails, as well as written reports. A hiking calendar is included, as well as advice on hiking equipment, hiking with children, and how to start hiking. The club’s mission statement is “to offer members the opportunity to enrich their lives by partaking in environmental and socially related activities offered by the club while taking an active and responsible stance in the preservation of the environment”.Garden Route Hiking Trails has information on different routes around different towns. The hikes are also rated according to difficulty and contact numbers are provided.High Adventure Africa is a mountain guiding and training company based in Cape Town. They offer guiding services that cover the Cape Peninsula mountain chain and other Cape mountain rangers, as well as all the the significent ranges and climbing areas in other parts of South Africa and Namibia. Their guided activities include mountain walking through to rock climbing and accomodate all levels of ability and experience. Hike and Trail Run Cape Town is a comprehensive site that focuses on day hikes in the Cape Peninsula. There is also information on guided walks and trail running. Walks are graded according to difficulty, and a good description is given of each one. Time and distance is included.Info Hub has a list of hiking and trekking tours. Each of the tours includes comprehensive information on the itinerary and links to tour operators are supplied. Johannesburg Hiking Club organises hikes and hiking-related events, and fosters a sense of responsibility towards the environment. Meet like-minded outdoor and conservation-orientated people who wear heavy boots and smell like the mountain air. The club offers youthful, midweek and Sunday hikes, backpacks, base camp weekends, slide shows, club evenings and social events.Komatiland Eco-Tourism, which operates out of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, offers hiking, 4×4 trails and mountain biking. There are seven overnight hiking trails and eight day trail options, all featuring wonderful scenery.Linx Africa – Trails in Southern Africa is a useful resource which, region by region, allows one to click on specific areas in each province and find out more about the hiking trails in those areas, including the type of trail, the closest town, a description, and contact details.Mountain Club of South Africa. Hiking is one of the MCSA’s main activities, with the club’s different sections organising hikes ranging from short day walks in kloofs to multi-day traverses across remote mountain areas.MTO Forestry is the custodian of the famous Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail. Located in the southern Cape, it is a hiker’s paradise, passing through beautiful indigenous forests and mountain fynbos. It is about 60 kilometres in length and features excellent overnight accommodation facilities.Namaqua Silver Sands Trails & 4X4 offers the fully-catered six-day Namaqua Coastal Tour, while the self catered Namaqua Coastal Tour last five days.The Num-Num Trail, in Mpumalanga, is a five-day, 42-kilomerte hiking trail that passes through a a variety of pristine landscapes, from yellow-wood forests to sandstone mazes and open grasslands. Not only will you find game along the way, but there are also almost 1 000 waterfalls on the property, including spectacular views of the Uitkomste Falls that are the highest in Mpumalanga. There are five hiking camps all offering fully equipped kitchens, hot and cold showers and braai facilities.Peak High Mountaineering offers trekking, rock-climbing, ice-climbing, and Mountain Development Trust Courses in mountaineering, trekking and abseiling. Equipment is also available for hire. Mountain biking is another option, as well as mountaineering on Mount Kenya. A nice photo gallery is included.Ridgway Ramblers offer guided tours and operate out of Cape Town. They cater to all levels of hikers, including individuals, families and schools. Table Mountain is a favourite venue, but the hikes go further afield too, including at Kirstenbosch, the Lions Head, Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, Kogelberg Nature Reserve, and the Three Sisters.South African National Parks manages a system of parks which represents the indigenous fauna, flora, landscapes and associated cultural heritage of South Africa. Click on the links to Game Parks run by SA National Parks to find out more about hiking opportunities inside of them, including the famous Otter Trail.Sandpiper Safaris provides accommodation and hiking safaris in Boggomsbaai, situated close to Mossel Bay, on the beautiful Garden Route. Included in the hikes on offer is the Oystercatcher Trail, a spectacular guided, luxury and fully catered route, which has earned high praise from, among others, National Geogrphic, Getaway Magazine, and the BBC.Serendipity Eco Trails is situated on a beautiful bushveld farm called Tierkloof, near Polokwane in Limpopo. There are hiking, motorbike, 4×4, and quadbike trails. The hiking options include 16- and 24-kilometre trails, with overnight stays in comfortable bush camps.SHAKAbarker Tours is located in St. Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, and operates in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve. They offer a number of different trails, ranging from short walks to the Emoyeni Trail, which is 65 kilometres in length and lasts from a Friday afternoon to a Tuesday morning.South African Hiking Trails has information on more than 300 trails. Useful details such as duration, layout, difficulty, distance, and a good description of the trails are provided. A list of popular trails is also provided.SA Adventure Trails is based in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a number of trails and a calendar of when these hikes will be done is provided. Search the website for options all over South Africa, or check on their mountain bike options too.Spanafrican Adventures organises hiking expeditions in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Park, ranging from day hikes to seven-day traverses on top of the escarpment. Highlights include the natural beauty of the mountains and cliffs, the flora, the fauna, and the rock art. Included in the offerings is the Giants Cup trail, the only established trail in the Drakensberg, which is 60 kilometres in length and usually takes five days to complete.The Strandloper Hiking Trail, on the Transkei coast, covers 60 kilometres over four days, starting at Kei Mouth and finishing at Gonubie. A literal translation from Afrikaans for “strandloper” is beach walker, which gives one an idea of what to expect. An easier option, the Strandloper Sundowner Trail, is also available.Trail Guide South Africa is continually adding new trails around South Africa, including hiking and mountain biking trails, and has put together an impressive list of routes on an app.The Trails Club of South Africa is based in Cape Town. It offers a wide variety of hikes and trails to visitors and members, including Saturday afternoon hikes, full-day Sunday hikes, Wednesday evening hikes in summer, Weekend away hikes of two to four days in duration, longer trails, including in the Drakensberg and Namibia, and socials too.Venture Forth International is based in Cape Town and incorporates the Cape Town School of Mountaineering. It’s a specialised mountain guide service and an accredited mountaineering school. They offer guided treks and hikes in the the Cedarberg, Swartberg, and Drakensberg mountains, as well as on Table Mountain. Rock climbing and kloofing are also undertaken, while expeditions to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina are also offered.Wikitravel provides a list of trails in South Africa, including distance, days, e-mail and telephone contacts, and price.Wild Coast Holiday Reservations offer exciting holiday options in one of South Africa’s undiscovered jewels, the Wild Coast. Their choice of hiking trails includes the four-night, five-day Hole-in-the-Wall Trail, the six-day Wild Coast Meander, the six-day Wild Coast Amble, and the four-day, three-night Wild Coast Pondo. Catering is provided, as well as a warm bed and hot shower every evening.Wild Mountain Adventures operates in the beautiful mountainous regions of the Eastern Cape, including around Barkly East, Rhodes, Lady Grey and Wartrail/New England. They specialise in is luxury adventure trails, and tailor-made activity holidays, fully catered in beautiful farmstay accommodation. Other options are fly-fishing, river rafting, mountain biking, horse riding, 4 x 4, and quad routes.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Genetic excellence a family tradition at Bunker Hill Farm

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseWhether through on-farm production, the show ring or industry service and leadership, the Shultz family and Ohio’s sheep industry have been intertwined for generations on Bunker Hill Farm in Logan County. The current generation on the farm — Bill and Susan Shultz — were recognized with the 2019 Charles Boyles Master Shepherd Award Dec. 14.“The award is about being good shepherds and good sheep people, but also leadership and involvement in the industry,” said Roger High, executive director of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and director of livestock policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. “Both Bill and Susan as well as Bill’s dad have been very involved in the leadership of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association for what is now 70 years.”Three generations of the Shultz family worked together on Bunker Hill Farm with Farrell Shultz, his son Bill, Bill’s wife Susan, and their son Joe.Farrell Shultz served as the first president of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association in 1949. His son, Bill, served as OSIA president in 1979 and Bill’s wife, Susan, served as president in 2009.“Getting involved in the sheep industry is a heritage thing. My father came back from Ohio State University in the mid-30s and started a Shropshire flock. That was the big time breed back in that era,” Bill Shultz said. “We have continued on with several breeds, but our main breed when Susan and I got married was the Rambouillets. We did a lot of work with them and travelled to shows and sales. I worked part time for the Sheep Breeder Magazine out of Columbia, Mo. too. That is kind of how we survived the tough years of the 1980s.”The farm has since transitioned to more production-oriented sheep.“About 20 years ago we got rid of the Rambouillets and got into Suffolks. We decided we could no longer do the show ring thing because it didn’t have a future for the direction we were going. We got into production-oriented Suffolks and started keeping a tremendous amount of data. Now we are down to about 75 breeding ewes and the data collection has become more important,” Bill said. “We have not maybe gone intentionally towards a smaller sheep, but as we look at production, performance and function, the general trend will be toward more feed efficient sheep and that will be a different frame size than what we thought 20 years ago.“Our focus has always been genetics. How that has changed in the last 50 years isBill has a long history in his efforts to improve sheep genetics.probably the most exciting and now we’re into genomics. That is a far cry from the 50s and 60s when everything was done on visual appraisal. It is a complete change of focus. It probably doesn’t pay off really well, but if you want to have a future in this you have to collect data.”Bill has been a national leader with genetics through his involvement with the Genetic Stakeholders Committee and a strong advocate for genetic data collection in an industry that has often been reluctant and unable to move in the direction of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for sheep.“The sheep industry is the one industry that hasn’t used EBVs a whole lot. Some of that is due to the fact that it is hard to artificially inseminate ewes because of physiological restrictions,” said Tim Barnes, an Ohio sheep producer. “We are aware of how the beef, swine, dairy and poultry industries how AI has influenced that greatly. Bill has made a real concerted effort with their flock to promote that here in mid-America and out in the range country.”With a dedicated production-oriented focus to the breeding program, Bunker Hill Farm sheep have found a niche in Western range genetics for large commercial sheep operations.“Almost all of our sheep now go into the Western range operations. They can deal with large quantities of our rams. We normally only make one or two shipments a year and all of our bucks are gone. Utah has ended up being a very good market for us and the last few years that has been our focus,” Bill said. “One of our big sales is the Utah Ram Sale and there has never been anybody from East of the Mississippi selling there. We have been in it now for about 15 years and they have grown used to having us around.”Data drives positive change in the genetics of the Shultz flock and sets the stage for significant improvements moving forward.“We’ll probably collect tissue on two-thirds of our lamb crop next year and have DNA analysis done. One of the more exciting things we are doing is with the myostatin gene. They see it in the Texel sheep, which is a small, meaty kind of animal,” Bill said. “We are trying to transfer just that gene into the Suffolk breed, which would be a large-framed terminal sire. We are just a generation away now of having a purebred Suffolk that will carry the myostatin gene. Even though it is only a single gene trait, it stretches where we are within the industry.”That single genetic improvement could have dramatic implications for per animal meat production efficiency to help meet the rising demand for domestic lamb.“We need to produce more. Consumption is up. We are not producing enough lamb to fill the void and then imports come in to take our place,” said Susan Shultz, who is currently serving on the American Sheep Industry executive board. “I got very involved in Production Education Research Council, which was kind of a natural since I was a retired teacher. I am very interested in research and education outreach at the national level. Then there was an opportunity to become a regional director and I represented six states. The opportunity arose for me to move up in the ranks and I now serve as vice president of the organization and a year from now I’ll run for president. Because Bill’s father believed in giving back, we have tried to carry on that tradition. Both Bill and I are a team. We both believe in giving back to the industry and we both found time to get involved.”In her role at the national level, Susan is an advocate for the wide array of issues facing the U.S sheep industry.“There are many challenges. We are a minor species, so even access to pharmaceuticals is a challenge. We have problems with parasite resistance and to get new products available takes a lot of lobbying and work at the federal level,” she said. “Another challenge we have is that it is hard for people to change. Bill has been a change agent. He loves change and he is not afraid of change.”The influence of Bill and Susan fits in well with their family heritage but also the reputation of Ohio as a hotbed of gifted national leaders in the sheep industry.“Ohio is unbelievably well respected on the national level and I attribute a lot of that to Roger High. For over 70 years Ohio has had tremendous leaders who have gotten involved at the national level and made a difference,” Susan said. “Ohio now is third in membership of all of the state organizations behind Texas and Montana. Ohio has a real presence at the national level. We have tremendous diversity here with club lambs, show sheep, commercial sheep and they all work together and we have a wonderful organization here in our state.”Bill and Susan’s son Joe grew up travelling the country to sheep shows and related events and now has a successful career in Washington, D.C., but still comes home to help on the farm of his forefathers.“We took our little boy Joe on trips around the United States. Every vacation we took was showing and selling sheep,” Susan said. “He comes home during lambing season to help us out every single year. Those are my best days.”Looking back, the couple has put together many great days due to their steadfast dedication the animals in their care, the industry they happily serve and the many people they call friends who share the common interest of sheep production around the country.“It really is about the people,” Bill said. “I get caught up in the numbers a good bit and I could spend more time with the numbers and less time with people most days, but in general the people have made the sheep industry great for us.”last_img read more

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