Sri Lanka wields mangroves, its tsunami shield, against climate change

first_imgConservation, Environment, Mangroves Article published by dilrukshi Fifteen years after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Sri Lanka’s government intends to keep expanding the island’s coastal green belt — the chain of mangrove swamps credited with limiting the damage and destruction of the deadly waves.The government plans to add 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of rehabilitated mangrove swamps to the island’s current mangrove cover of 15,670 hectares (38,700 acres), largely by reclaiming fish farms and salt-drying pools.Coastal towns in the tourism-dependent southern district of Galle are leading the way in those efforts, with their community-led mangrove regeneration programs considered among the most successful.There’s also wide recognition of the importance of engaging more women in these efforts and expanding awareness about environmental sustainability. KOGGALA/UNAWATUNA, Sri Lanka — About 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, lies the coastal town of Koggala, named after a picturesque lake and identified with author Martin Wickremasinghe, who lived there and wrote his famous children’s novel Madol Doowa (The Island of Mangroves) after one of the eight ecologically rich islets that dot the estuary lagoon.Koggala and neighboring Unawatuna, one of Sri Lanka’s most popular tourist destinations, had for decades experienced significant environmental destruction: from sand extraction to mangrove clearance to reef destruction — all resources on which the local communities were highly dependent.Then the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 struck, destroying lives and property on a scale that the Indian Ocean island had never before experienced. The tsunami also left a single powerful lesson behind: those who lived behind the lush vegetation of mangrove swamps were better shielded against the ferocious waves.As part of the post-tsunami recovery, new mangrove regeneration and conservation efforts were carried out along the more ravaged areas of the southern coast. In Galle district, where Koggala and Unawatuna are located, a multi-stakeholder approach was adopted with public-private partnerships to drive replanting efforts.The rich vegetation comprises both mangroves and other plants that provide food and fuel for local communities. Image by Dilrukshi Handunnetti.Long after the NGOs and the government moved on, however, it’s the local community that’s responsible for the success of the “mangrove green belt” that’s sprouted up along the southern coast today, locals say.One of these community members is Thilakaratne de Silva, 63, a fisherman who saw the wave sweep half of his home village of Akurala out to the sea on that fateful Dec. 26, 2004. Months later, once the rubble had been cleared away and new initiatives introduced to strengthen coastal natural buffers, he was among the first to engage in the replanting of mangroves.“I began to respect what nature had endowed on us,” he told Mongabay. “For long, the value of mangrove forests was socioeconomic. Even their beauty was monetized: for cheap tourism. But now we know, it saves lives; it has.”Half of Sri Lanka’s 1,620-kilometer (1,000-mile) coastline suffered the ravages of the tsunami, and a vast number of mangrove replanting initiatives were focused here. Over the years, the communities have sustained those original efforts — although success on the ground has been sketchy for the most part.Several initiatives have been undertaken to expand the total area of mangrove forests around Sri Lanka. Image courtesy of Kanchana Handunnetti.A threat greater than the tsunamiToday, Sri Lanka faces threats of a far more destructive kind: rising seas and extreme weather events as a result of climate change. The island has been identified as among the top five countries that will be impacted by climate risk, and that has spurred a fresh move to expand Sri Lanka’s mangroves. The coastline of Galle in the island’s south is cited as a success story to be replicated as the nation once again seeks to strengthen its natural buffers.In August, the cabinet approved a proposal to rehabilitate state-owned mangrove lands that have been abandoned after being used for shrimp farming or as salt-drying pools, known as salterns. The plan targets adding 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of rehabilitated mangrove swamps to the island’s current mangrove cover of 15,670 hectares (38,700 acres).“The effort to retake some abandoned land and declaring critical associate regions is part of a policy to increase resilience,” said M.P.D.U.K. Mapa Pathirana, state secretary of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. He told Mongabay that the government is keen to strengthen the island’s natural buffers, especially against increasing extreme weather events.A young boy fishing in Koggala Lake. Image courtesy of Kanchana Handunnetti.Authorities say a significant factor in the mangrove replanting efforts that have taken root is the implementation of regulations relating to both coastal and forest conservation, effectively curbing coral and sand extraction as well as mangrove clearing. Since a 2009 listing of mangroves as forming a part of forests, there have been strict prohibitions on activities other than traditional fishing and subsistence-level use of mangrove forests.Community-led replantingSri Lanka, home to 82 lagoons and estuaries, has seven types of interrelated ecosystems: coastal marine zones, beaches, bays, estuaries, lagoons, tidal flats, and dunes. Embedded within these parent ecosystems are a multitude of mangroves, sea grasses, coral reefs, and soft mud bottoms, all of them making the Indian Ocean island’s coastal ecology both rich and diverse.Anuradha Wickramasinghe, head of the NGO Sudeesa, which runs the world’s first mangrove museum and serves as the local partner of Seacology, a U.S.-based environment conservation organization, said Galle’s success in replanting mangroves comes from consistency and community engagement.“They need to be community-driven, for which we must incentivize. Women are the best leaders; they influence both children and communities much better,” he said.Toque monkey searches for edible fruits in the mangrove forest. Image courtesy of Kanchana Handunnetti.Among them is Wathsala Padmini, 39, who said the prevailing top-down restrictions on how communities may use forests didn’t work.“Officials used to preach that we should not collect any edible plants. Little do they know that we are so poor and cannot afford to buy vegetables every day — or fuelwood. When planned replanting programs were introduced, I joined them, and learned about sustainable access and how to protect my environment,” she said.Senuli Anosha, 29, showed off an armful of karen koku (Acrostichum aureum), an edible variety of fern used in a local delicacy. It was a precious find from a nearby mangrove swamp for Anosha, the wife of a fisherman: it would be the only curry served for lunch in her modest home made of wattle and daub.In addition to their vegetation, mangroves also provide a home to a variety of marine life, serving as nurseries for several fish species.Men from the local communities fish while the women gather fuelwood and edible plants for household consumption and sometimes for sale. The more enterprising women also brew a popular beverage of ripe kirilla fruit (Sonneratia caseolaris), also known as mangrove apple, which they also sell.An Asian water monitor rests on a mangrove root. Image courtesy of Kanchana Handunnetti.Mangrove-dependent communities Fifteen years after the tsunami, many of the affected regions in Sri Lanka still lack adequate natural buffers. But authorities see some positives changes.While the results of replanting efforts may be patchy, the communities have begun to adapt. “The gathering of edible mangrove varieties continues, and that is allowed. But cutting down trees and shrubs for fuelwood has given way to the collection of twigs and branches,” said Sarathchandra de Silva, who works with an international agency engaged in a replanting program.“We are mindful of not cutting mangroves for fuelwood, so we collect them,” said Sugunawathi, 51, a villager. He explained that other types of fuelwood are available but that people prefer mangroves over these or even kerosene or gas, due to their burning efficiency.Several initiatives have been undertaken to expand the total area of mangrove forests around Sri Lanka. Image courtesy of Kanchana Handunnetti.The frequency and extent with which communities access mangrove forests has much to do with rural poverty and lack of livelihoods. Small-scale fishing also persists, but as the growing tourism industry employs more rural men, incomes are rising — and with them, an appreciation for the importance of maintaining mangroves.Gamlath, a forest officer, said that while significant progress is being made in the coastal belt of Galle, the pressing need now isn’t for more planting, but for sustaining the positive conservation efforts that have been made.“In doing so, we must understand that people have a right to access natural resources for survival,” he said. “But such practices need to be sustainable.”Banner image of Koggala Lake in southern Sri Lanka, one of the best-preserved mangrove forests on the island, courtesy of Kanchana Handunnetti.This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 300 news outlets worldwide to strengthen coverage of the climate story.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Carbon emissions from Peruvian gold mining ‘alarming,’ experts say

first_imgArticle published by Genevieve Belmaker Amazon Mining, Carbon Emissions, Forests, Gold Mining, Mining, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Tropical Forests According to a new study, small-scale gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon is contributing to the climate crisis.The study developed a novel approach toward measuring carbon emissions through deforestation, drawing on Earth imagery from a network of nanosatellites.In 2017, gold mining in one part of the Madre de Dios region emitted as much carbon as nearly 250,000 cars do in an average year.The study’s authors say their new approach will help global efforts to monitor forest destruction and carbon emissions. Gold mining in just 23,613 hectares (58,349 acres) of the Peruvian Amazon forest — an area about twice the size of the city of Paris — emitted as much carbon as nearly 250,000 cars between 2017 and 2018, according to a new study. The research covered the Madre de Dios region of southern Peru, a heavily forested high-biodiversity area that’s become the site of a gold rush.In the past decade, prospectors have flooded into Madre de Dios from other parts of Peru hoping to capitalize on high gold prices.Published in the journal Environmental Research Letters on Jan. 14, the study used a novel approach to assess forest damage, combining data from aircraft flyovers with images from a network of nanosatellites capable of providing detailed daily updates. The network is operated by Planet Labs Inc., a company that specializes in Earth imaging, and is comprised of more than a hundred Dove satellites, each about the size of a coffee table.“The critical thing is that there are so many Planet satellites in orbit that they pass over all tropical forests every day,” Greg Asner, one of the report’s co-authors, said in an interview. “That’s a huge breakthrough technologically that nobody had yet hooked up to the issues we’re trying to address with forest conservation and management.”According to experts, gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon picked up steam after the 2008 financial crisis, when gold prices began to skyrocket. In 2012, a major international highway connecting the coasts of Brazil and Peru was completed, making things worse by providing easy access to the Madre de Dios region for small-scale gold miners.“The mining is mostly artisanal, which means it’s on the low end of the technological spectrum,” said Luis Fernandez, executive director of Wake Forest University’s Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation. “We aren’t talking about large companies, we’re talking about something more similar to what happened in the [California] gold rush in the 1850s.”Fernandez, who was not involved in the study, said migrants from other parts of Peru can earn “tens or hundreds” of times what they’d typically make in a month in just a single day of successful gold mining.The Madre de Dios region is home to a number of indigenous communities, including the Ese’eja, who have frequently clashed with miners and loggers operating illegally on their land. It also contains the Tambopata National Reserve, a world-renowned biodiversity hotspot. According to the new study, gold mining in the region was responsible for 100,000 hectares (247,100 acres) of deforestation between 1984 and 2017 — 10% of which occurred in 2017 alone. That year, 155 metric tons of gold was removed from the Peruvian Amazon overall, at a current-day market value of almost $10 billion.Damage caused by gold mining in Madre de Dios is so extensive that it can be seen from space and has encroached into Tambopata as well as the park’s surrounding buffer zones. In addition to the immediate environmental damage caused by mercury poisoning and deforestation, the study points to the contribution gold mining is making to another problem as well: climate change.By combining satellite and aircraft imagery with a “deep learning” computer model, the authors were able to provide estimates for carbon emissions being caused by gold mining in Madre de Dios. In one heavily trafficked 23,613-hectare sector, an “alarming” 1.12 trillion grams of carbon was released in 2017 — the equivalent of over a million metric tons.Researchers also found evidence of incursions into protected forests and crucial buffer zones, blaming “a lack of coordination between responsible agencies, corruption problems and inadequate funding.”In early 2019, the Peruvian government launched Operation Mercury, a massive police and military operation in Madre de Dios intended to bring a halt to illegal gold mining. The operation has been tentatively heralded as a success, with early indications of a sharp drop-off in deforestation.“I’ve seen data that shows a 90 or 95 % reduction of mining in [the La Pampa] focus area,” Fernandez said. La Pampa began as a small mining camp in Madre de Dios but grew to become a “gold rush” town of 25,000 people.But, he added, since the operation at least some of the mining activity has simply shifted to adjacent areas where there is less enforcement: “The Peruvians call it the balloon effect. If you squeeze the balloon in one part it kind of pops out at the other.”The study’s authors note the methods they developed to measure carbon emissions in the region will enable scientists and policymakers to have a clearer picture of conservation and forest management needs across the globe.“One of the biggest problems is monitoring,” Asner said. “This is a huge breakthrough because it’s going to be harder for people to game the tropical forest system as these measurements from Earth’s orbit become more and more detailed.”Asner said the team behind the study will soon be releasing data from Borneo that further demonstrates the value of their new approach.“We know it worked well there too, so now we’re ready to take it global,” he said.Banner image: Plane view of Amazon landscape scarred by open pit gold mining. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Citation:Csillik, O., & Asner, G. P. (2020). Aboveground carbon emissions from gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon. Environmental Research Letters, 15(1), 014006. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab639cAshoka Mukpo is a freelance journalist with expertise in international development policy, human rights, and environmental issues. His work has been featured in Al-Jazeera, Vice News, The Nation, The Guardian, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @unkyoka.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Follow the Trace: Light at end of tunnel

first_imgThe triumph of the West Indies under 19 cricketers in winning the region’s first world title at this level is a sweet experience worth savouring for the long suffering fans of West Indies cricket. Many of us have, in recent times, become despondent, resorting to cynicism and blind hope in our search of that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for the region’s cricket. However, the manner in which this team went about its business in this tournament suggests that the hope might no longer be blind. The region’s cricket administrators now need to do everything in their powers to ensure that the core of this group makes the transition into the senior ranks sooner, rather than later. The tenacity, passion, commitment and basic cricket intelligence shown by this Shimron Hetmyer-led team has not been seen in any West Indies team at any level since the glory days of the 70s and 80s. There were some teachable moments during this tournament which left no doubt that these players possess some of the crucial qualities that have been missing from our cricket for many years. DESIRE TO WIN The ruthless desire to win, at first manifested in that now infamous run out of the Zimbabwean tail-ender by all rounder Keemo Paul to win the game and effectively keep the West Indies team in the tournament. Then there was that stumping by the wicketkeeper, which accounted for the first wicket against India in the final. Then later in the Innings when another Indian batsman was struck by a short rising delivery, the West Indies bowler was all business getting back at his mark ready to do more damage, even as the wounded batsman received treatment. There have been many West Indies senior teams in recent years that lacked both the awareness and killer instinct of these teenagers, to run out that Zimbabwean tail-ender, to stump the Indian opener; title-winning decisions made in the heat of battle. Our fast bowlers of recent years, would probably have been apologising to the injured batsman instead of keeping their eyes menacingly and uncompromisingly on the prize. These are but some of the conspicuous differences I saw with this team that should inspire genuine hope for the future. Even with elevated expectations, I urge caution as West Indies cricket overall is still in a pretty bad place, especially in the longer versions of the game. We must not forget amid our visions of grand turnaround, these Under-19s won a 50-over tournament and not a tournament of Tests. I posit that most of these young players will evolve and develop into T20 stars and not Test cricket stars. Natural athleticism, speed, power and flair remain the trademarks of Caribbean players, including the Under-19s, which make them a perfect fit for the shorter, more explosive format of the game. The reality is that these young players, like those before them, will more than likely be smote by the irresistible incentives of T20 cricket and will inevitably gravitate towards those goodies, therefore deepening our already substantial talent pool in that version of the game, as our Test and ODI relevance continue to diminish. It is downright foolhardy and naive to expect that this group of young players will behave significantly different from the current crop of international senior players, when faced with the reality making five or 10 times more the amount of money they can make as ‘T20 freelancers’ playing in the glamorous high paying T20 leagues around the world, compared to what they would make as international Test cricketers representing the West Indies. Those are the fundamental realities we need to ponder going forward, even as we raise our expectations thanks to the performance of the new Under-19 world champions, the West Indies.last_img read more

Warm weather to increase Forest Fire risk

first_imgThe Prince George Fire Centre says the wildfire risk will increase this weekend.Warm, dry weather is predicted for the area north of Fort St. John and in the Fort Nelson area. The forecast of high temperatures and lower humidity will contribute to drier forest fuels.So far this season, the Prince George Fire Centre has responded to 19 wildfires, all caused by humans. The Fire Centre urges the public to be extremely cautious this weekend when using fire.- Advertisement -Smoke from Alberta is moving across the border and affecting some parts of the northeast. Most of the smoke is expected in the Fort Nelson area. For more information on the air quality in your area, go to www.firesafebc.ca and access links to BC Air Quality reports.last_img

50 firefighters to shave heads

first_img“The biggest thing is showing moral support for the children going through this,” Hurd said. “It’s important that we show support for children who’ve lost their hair to make them feel that they aren’t different than anyone else.” St. Baldrick’s is the biggest volunteer fundraising program for childhood cancer, with similar events in 42 states and 10 countries. Last year, it raised more than $20 million shaving 26,000 heads. gideon.rubin@dailynews.com (661) 267-7802 If you go The St. Baldricks Foundation event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Sweetwater Cafe in Agua Dulce. For more information or to make donations: www.Stbaldricks.org. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – About 50 firefighters from Station24 will shave their heads Saturday to raise money and morale for children with cancer as part of an international charity event. Station 24 will participate in the St. Baldrick’s Foundation event for a second straight year. It will be held from noon to 5p.m. at Sweetwater Cafe in Agua Dulce. Saturday’s event will feature food and entertainment, including live music. Young cancer survivors as well as those undergoing treatment will be at the event. The firefighters raised more than $23,000 last year, and they hope to raise $50,000 on Saturday, Fire Department Inspector Jason Hurd said. Proceeds from the event benefit pediatric cancer research. last_img read more

Tough start makes Arsenal’s Emery evolution a slow burner

first_img0Shares0000Work in progress: Unai Emery has been handed a tough start as Arsenal manager © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 17 – Unai Emery couldn’t have asked for a tougher start to life as Arsenal manager as hot on the heels of defeat to Manchester City in his Premier League bow, the Gunners travel to Chelsea on Saturday.The task facing Emery to turn Arsenal merely back into contention for the top four, after missing out on the Champions League for the past two seasons, let alone title challengers was laid bare as City cruised to a 2-0 win at the Emirates. Reversing seasons of decline towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign was never going to be a quick fix, particularly with Arsenal’s spending over the summer not near the top of the Premier League arms race.Emery’s decision to not start £20 million new recruit Bernd Leno in goal was therefore even more of a surprise as Petr Cech kept his place.Veteran Cech, 36, struggled with Emery’s demands to play out from the back against City and almost scored a comical own goal by passing the ball inches past his own post.Cech subsequently became embroiled in a Twitter spat with Leno’s former club Bayer Leverkusen and Emery’s tactics were branded as “stupid” by former England manager Sam Allardyce.However, Emery insists he will keep faith with Cech on his return to Stamford Bridge, where he enjoyed 11 years as a Chelsea player, and vowed to stand by his principles.“You shouldn’t change your mentality if you lose the first game. I want consistency,” said Emery on Thursday.“Against Manchester City, the team kept their ideas, kept their spirit in the game for the full 90 minutes, even when we were losing, and didn’t let (their heads) go down.“That was a good thing, despite us losing 2-0. I want us to continue with this work and to be competitive for 90 minutes, but with a better performance than on Sunday.”– Building from the back –High hopes: Much is expected of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in his first full season at Arsenal © AFP / Glyn KIRKDespite the early gloom, there remains plenty of hope for the new era at the Emirates.An attacking quartet of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil will pose a serious threat when afforded more of the ball than against City.And Emery has already begun to address systemic problems Wenger was long accused of overlooking.On top of Leno, Arsenal’s summer signings have all be brought in with an eye to strengthening a porous defence.Defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner may be in their thirties but provide an experience and a cynical edge Arsenal have lacked for so long.Meanwhile, Matteo Guendouzi and the tough tackling Lucas Torreira bring a youthful energy to the midfield that should provide a more solid base behind the creative talents of Ozil and Mkhitaryan.Arsenal’s wretched away form in the Premier League last season is what cost them a place in the top four and finally Wenger his job.The Gunners won just four of their 19 away trips and failed to even muster a single point on the road between December and the final day of the season. A record Emery is keen to improve on quickly.“Saturday is a very good option to show our personality, our capacity against a big team like Chelsea, and away from home,” he added.“(We) have an opportunity to change last year’s difficulties when the team played away. On Saturday we need to be a more competitive team on the pitch to change these away performances.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Cristiano Ronaldo hits 100 Champions League wins

first_img0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus last summer from Real Madrid, is targeting a sixth Champions League title to add to his four with the Spanish team and one with Manchester United © AFP / Marco BERTORELLOTURIN, Italy, Nov 28 – Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed the impact Cristiano Ronaldo was having on the Italian champions as the Portuguese star became the first player to achieve 100 Champions League wins in Tuesday’s 1-0 success over Valencia that clinched their passage to the knockout rounds.“Ronaldo gives us a sense of security and confidence,” said Allegri of the beaten finalists in two of the last four editions of the elite European competition. “The team is essentially the same as last season. We’ve grown, become faster in playing the ball, but then of course, there is Cristiano Ronaldo.“This team is constantly improving – they’re passing and putting play together more quickly.”Ronaldo — who joined Juventus last summer from Real Madrid — is targeting a sixth Champions League title to add to his four with the Spanish team and one with Manchester United.The Italian team are looking for their third European title and first since 1995.Last season they exited in the quarter-finals to Ronaldo’s Real Madrid.Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed the impact Cristiano Ronaldo was having, saying he gave the team “a sense of security and confidence” © AFP / Miguel MEDINAThe 33-year-old played a key role against Valencia providing the assist on 59 minutes which Croatian Mario Mandzukic tapped in for his third goal in as many matches.Juventus had needed just a point to ensure qualification.Their win combined with Manchester United’s late 1-0 win over Young Boys at Old Trafford means Valencia crash out of the competition.Allegri’s side will now have to wait to see whether they top Group H when they play their final group game mid-December in Bern against Young Boys.– ‘Great spirit’ –Ronaldo came out firing on all cylinders after his controversial red card during his first Champions League game for Juventus in Valencia back in September, which Allegri’s side still won 2-0.The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had two chances within the first three minutes to add to his record tally of 121 Champions League goals.Valencia had their best chance before the break when Mouctar Diakhaby’s header off a corner was punched out with one hand by Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.Just before the hour mark, Ronaldo broke free of Valencia defender Gabriel and with some fancy footwork fired low across the face of the goal leaving Mandzukic to finish off.Cristiano Ronaldo played a key role against Valencia providing the assist on 59 minutes which Mario Mandzukic (R) tapped in for his third goal in as many matches © AFP / Marco BERTORELLOValencia thought they had scored the equaliser two minutes later but Diakhaby’s header was ruled to have come off his hand.Valenica goalkeeper Neto kept out a late goal-bound header from Ronaldo, who rose to meet Paulo Dybala’s out-swinging corner.“You can see how united we are including the forwards,” said Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini.“All three of them – Ronaldo, Mandzukic and Dybala, really put themselves about today. If we scrap like that, with the skill we have in the side, it makes everything much easier.“We have to turn the page now – we’ll start thinking about the Champions League again in February. We must focus on Serie A because we have a tough month ahead,” added the defender as the league leaders target an eighth consecutive domestic title.“The match was decided by great play by Cristiano,” said Valencia coach Marcelino Garcia, “but out team gave everything, showing great spirit against one of the best teams in Europe.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

DONEGAL TOURISM CAN WALK, GOLF AND SURF ITS WAY TO GROWTH IN 2011

first_imgAll the local players in Donegal tourism will need to work closely together to ensure that tourism in the North West can recover in 2011.This “Team tourism” approach was the central message of Fáilte Ireland’s Annual Tourism Industry Briefing held in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny.During a series of presentations and a panel discussion, Fáilte Ireland said 2011 would be the year for tourism in the North West to improve with prospects hinging more than ever on the performance of our overseas markets as the home market has effectively peaked. Reinforcing that belief, citing Fáilte Ireland’s own research, CEO Shaun Quinn pointed out that most tourism enterprises are relatively optimistic regarding their business prospects for 2011, with approximately three in five expecting to maintain or grow their business levels in 2011.Mr Quinn emphasised that everyone in tourism in the North West will need to work closer together to identify all opportunities for growth and maximise their potential –“There are some positive signs in some of our key markets, particularly Europe and the US, and business sentiment about future prospects has improved slightly.“We have a good quality product, we have better infrastructure and we are better value than before. We know where our target markets are and what needs to be done – particularly the need to grow market share in the UK. “Tourism has a significant role to play in this county’s economic recovery and it is imperative that as we develop the sector in 2011 that we leave no stone unturned nor potential untapped.“The local hotel, the B&B owner, the nearby self-catering operator, the activity provider up the road, the local Fáilte Ireland representative, all  the tourism agencies, other local state bodies and community groups all have a vested interest in ensuring that tourism grows in the North West.Fáilte Ireland is committed to working with all the key players in the region to ensure this happens.”By way of example, Mr Quinn pointed out that further investment in the northwest tourism sector has continued into 2011 with the recent announcement of funding of €2.7 million for the further development of Sliabh Liag under Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Capital Infrastructure Programme.In addition, a total of almost €800,000 is being invested in three iconic projects – Water World in Donegal, Ben Bulben in Sligo and Glencar Waterfall in County Leitrim. Mr Quinn acknowledged the particular obstacles facing businesses in the region.He said- “Tourism businesses walked the tightrope in 2010 – paring back prices and offering good value while ensuring their businesses remained viable.Many businesses, including those in Donegal, are now expressing concern over access to working capital for the year ahead.One in five claims that they have no access to working capital, a further three in five say that they have very limited access or that working capital is available but more limited than they would like.  Only one in five claims to have adequate access to working capital.” The industry continues to have significant concerns regarding local authority charges and utility costs. One in three businesses have also cited difficulties due to local competition – particularly in the accommodation sector where there are fears regarding so-called “zombie hotels” driving rates down to levels which may not be sustainable in the long term.Mr Quinn, drawing on concerns about credit, emphasised – “In an industry which is seasonal, the concerns regarding access to credit are quite serious.“Fáilte Ireland is working closely with Donegal tourism businesses to ensure that they are well prepared in their dealings with their banks and we are helping and supporting viable tourism businesses to access the credit they need.”The tourism sector overall needs targeted inputs and Mr Quinn explained to local operators where Fáilte Ireland will focus its investment support this year.He cited four national areas for investment, all of which will impact on Donegal. • Driving demand on the home holiday market – through a €4m 40-week intensive marketing campaign using a mixture of innovative marketing and an exciting mix of festivals, events and offers , Fáilte Ireland will continue to leverage all potential demand within the domestic market to create additional tourism activity, revenue and jobs; • Expanding its business support network (by 50%) to more tourism businesses around the country. In particular, it will invest heavily in those services which will assist tourism businesses to increase their international customer base, with a particular emphasis on the British market. • Investing through its capital investment programme to improve and broaden the appeal of Ireland’s portfolio of tourist attractions, activities and tourism related infrastructure. Last year, some 23 projects were approved for grant –aid totalling almost €40m and this investment effort will be continued through 2011 to ensure that Ireland is well place to take advantage of longer-term growth. • Investing in significant business, sporting and cultural events which offer good prospects for tourism growth in 2011. Particular emphasis will be placed on the business meetings and conferencing market where performance has been relatively strong.TOURISM IN THE NORTH WEST IN 2011Mr Paul McLoone, Head of Operations for Fáilte Ireland in the North West pointed out that despite the economic downturn, the national tourism development authority supported a busy year of tourism activity in 2010 and provided training to hundreds of members of the local industry.“During 2010, over 1,000 members of the trade in the North West region trained in areas such as Web Check, Web Skills and Marketing on a shoestring.  In addition, local bed and breakfast owners were trained through a B&B development programme, covering areas such as menu development and customer care.“Fáilte Ireland is placing increased focus on skills development throughout 2011 in order to ensure the North West industry is fully equipped to sustain and grow their business in the current environment.”A key focus for Donegal in 2011 will be the development of the activity tourism market in particular walking, golfing and surfing.There has been progress in the walking market through the established Walking Hub that exists in Donegal Town and there is great potential for additional tourism visitors in 2011.In March, over 40 international golf tour operators, representing the key overseas markets, will visit Donegal on a super familiarisation trip which will provide a unique opportunity for the North West golfing community to showcase all that they have to offer.Mr McLoone added that the European Surfing Championships will take place in Donegal this year – a significant boost for the region and stressed –“The staging of the European Surfing Championships will bring with it significant overseas media coverage which will profile Donegal as a premier international surfing destination.“This is a significant addition to our events calendar and we will be working closely with local industry to ensure that the event is a great success and one that generates as much publicity as possible, not just in Ireland but overseas as well.“Events will play an integral role in the North West region in 2011 with Donegal Live returning to Dublin and Glasgow in May of this year.”* ALL PICTURES BY CLIVE WASSON PHOTOGRAPHYEndsDONEGAL TOURISM CAN WALK, GOLF AND SURF ITS WAY TO GROWTH IN 2011 was last modified: February 15th, 2011 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more

Parishioners protest ‘Da Vinci’ movie

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsWeilbacher, who organized the protest, said she had not seen the movie, but had read part of Dan Brown’s blockbuster thriller on which it was based. “I started to read the book. I got so disgusted and threw it down,” she said. karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 267-5744 LANCASTER – “The Da Vinci Code” opened in Lancaster to protesters carrying signs reading, “I Love Our Lord Jesus Christ – I Reject `The Da Vinci Code.”‘ Led by members of Queen of Angels Church in Newhall, Friday night’s protest on the sidewalk outside the Cinemark 22 theater drew some 100 people, who prayed as they walked along behind altar boys carrying a crucifix and candles. “It’s very blasphemous against our Lord Jesus. Also it’s untrue,” said Queen of Angels parishioner Karen Weilbacher of Leona Valley. Marchers objected to the story’s plot in which members of the Catholic Church commit murder to maintain a 2,000-year-old cover-up – that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and that their descendants are alive today. last_img

DALY COULD BE FIRST DONEGAL PRESIDENT OF THE GAA

first_imgDONEGAL GAA stalwart Tom Daly could be the first President of the GAA from the county, donegaldaily.com can reveal.The Donegal County Convention has rubber-stamped his bid for the job in a race that includes Liam O’Neill from Leinster and Con Hogan from Munster.Donegal GAA has approved the bid by the Aodh Ruadh club man. Daly has shone as an ambassador for GAA in Donegal and Ulster in recent years holding several high level positions at provincial level including President of the Ulster Council.It’s thought he will get huge support from across the Ulster counties and beyond.DALY COULD BE FIRST DONEGAL PRESIDENT OF THE GAA was last modified: December 14th, 2010 by gregShare 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)last_img read more