An Oxford University conservation unit responsible for tracking lions has responded to allegations that it accepted donations from a pro-hunting organisation.Since the reportedly illegal killing of a lion, Cecil, that was being tracked by Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), donations to the unit have topped half a million pounds, founder and Director Professor David Macdonald told Cherwell on Monday.Oxford alumnus and US philanthropist Dr Tom Kaplan added to the funds, pledging on July 31 to match up to $100,000 in donations made to WildCRU. Dr Kaplan is the founder of field conservation group Panthera, and made his fortune investing in precious metals.Following the pledge, Professor Macdonald told Cherwell, “Dr Kaplan and his wife, Daphne, have been wonderful supporters of WildCRU, and I am deeply grateful. In the context of big cat conservation, he is the greatest living philanthropist”.However, WildCRU faced accusations of receiving funds from pro-hunting organisations after a blog post by Panthera Executive Vice-President Dr Luke Hunter surfaced on Tuesday.In the blog post, Dr Hunter writes, “Just as strong, empirical science has shown that over-hunting is bad for lions, it also demonstrates that hunting can be sustainable […] Hunting survives because hunters are usually more tolerant of hardship, and they pay extraordinary sums – up to $125,000 – to shoot a male lion. The business requires only a handful of rifle-toting visitors to prosper which, in principle, helps protect those areas”. He continues, “Let me state it again; I think sport hunting big cats is repellent and I would welcome its demise. But my personal distaste for hunting won’t help lions if shutting it down removes protection from African wilderness”.In response to the accusations made toward Panthera, Dr Kaplan told Cherwell in an interview, “Luke Hunter has done more for lion conservation across its range than anyone I know. Luke and I started Project Leonardo, which is the only range-wide program for the conservation of the African lion. To see him labelled as pro-hunting is absurd.” When queried about Panthera’s view on sustainable trophy hunting, Dr Kaplan said, “No organisation in the world is doing more to protect big cats. It is now the largest NGO that focuses solely on big cat conservation. None of us like hunting big cats. None of us advocate hunting. Although, professionally, conservationists have to face the reality that lions are hunted for trophies, personally we can’t relate to it, it’s not in our DNA. It goes against everything that motivates us in our passion for conserving wildlife.”Professor Macdonald also expressed WildCRU’s stance on sustainable trophy hunting, stating, “Modern conservation is highly inter-disciplinary – biology is necessary but not sufficient. Ultimately it is about how society wishes to live alongside wildlife, hopefully for the well-being of both. We are an evidence-based organisation, not an advocacy one, so we strive to provide the evidence that informs policy and mitigates the conflicts between people and wildlife”. Dr Kaplan and Professor Macdonald began working together when WildCRU was founded in 1986, in what Dr Kaplan describes as a “rewarding relationship”, to focus lion conservation efforts within Hwange National Park, where Cecil was killed. At first, Professor Macdonald experienced conflict with the Zimbabwean government on matters of hunting law and policy, but Dr Kaplan claims that “WildCRU have proven themselves to be excellent at proving scientifically the effects of hunting, thereby mitigating its effects, and even changing the laws.“Look at what they’ve done in Zimbabwe. In the early 2000s, the lion quota [limiting the number of lions that were legally allowed to be hunted] in the concessions around Hwange was 60. WildCRU’s science resulted in a hunting moratorium for three years, after which the revised quota was four.”Dr Kaplan, stressing his view of the importance of the work done by both organisations, continued, “If you strip out the emotion, the most important aspect of this whole discussion is that it is highlighting the really unknown story of the imperilled nature of the African lion. People assume that because they’re social animals and allow themselves to be seen, that they are ubiquitous. A century ago there were 200,000 lions; now we’re maybe down to 20-30,000.“An example of how this cat is ‘disappearing in plain sight’ is the data that was collected in West Africa, where we were told there were 21 areas where lions were thriving. When Project Leonardo’s study was released a year ago, there were only four areas in which they existed at all, and only one area in which there were more than 50 lions.”Both Dr Kaplan and Professor Macdonald expressed their belief in the positive outcomes that could arise from the public outcry over Cecil’s death. Dr Kaplan told Cherwell, “We need to take the interest that has gone viral, and turn it into a movement. The leading players in this field, Panthera, WildCRU and others, should converge into a partnership so they can express both the current state of the lion population, and concrete ways in which the decline can be reversed. In this way, the spirit that has been unleashed from Cecil’s sad fate, and the renewed donor interest, can be translated into an enduring and sustainable victory for conservation”.Professor Macdonald stated, “While the illegal death of Cecil was a tragedy, our hope is that something good will come of it. I think the extraordinary reaction around the world transcends concern for Cecil, or even just for lions, but reveals that millions of people care about wildlife, the environment and how people are to live alongside the nature on whose ecosystem services we all depend”.
Mayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends, For the sixth straight year, New Jersey residents have picked Ocean City as their “Favorite Beach.” Representatives of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium announced the winners of their annual contest in a ceremony today at the Music Pier. I’d like to thank all of the residents, businesses, organizations and volunteers who help make Ocean City such a great destination. I’m extremely sad to report on the passing of Bill McMahon this week. The McMahon Insurance Agency has delivered local service and expertise to Ocean City property owners for decades. Bill was truly a gentleman and class act in everything he did. When I started to get involved with the Chamber of Commerce, Bill was one of the first people to help me out, and he’s always been an inspiration and mentor. He served church and community in many ways, and one of his greatest contributions is his family, who share his commitment to serving our community. I hope you all join Michele and I in extending our prayers and deepest condolences to his wife, Sandy, and the entire McMahon family. His funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church. Visitation will start at 9 a.m. The ocean is finally starting to warm up, and the weekend weather forecast looks good again. I want to remind you all to swim only at guarded beaches. The Ocean City Beach Patrol began its extended hours program on Thursday with lifeguard protection at Brighton Place, Eighth Street, Ninth Street, 12th Street and 34th Street from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For a list of all other guarded beaches, visit www.ocnj.us/ocbp. There are still tickets left for the “Bruce in the USA” concert at the Ocean City Music Pier on Saturday at 7 p.m. I’m told the tribute band puts on a pretty amazing re-creation of a Bruce Springsteen concert. All proceeds benefit the veterans programs of our local Morvay-Miley Post 524, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American Legion. Tickets and information are available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or at the Music Pier box office. Warm regards,Mayor Jay A. Gillian
The archive of Sir Georg Solti, a body of work of significance to musical scholars and musicians worldwide, has come to Harvard’s Loeb Music Library, the University announced today. The collection includes hundreds of scores heavily marked for performance and annotated by Solti, one of the 20th century’s most renowned conductors of opera and symphony and winner of more Grammy Awards than any other recording artist in any category.Rather than mark up a score and reuse it for subsequent performances, Solti approached each performance as if it were new, creating a uniquely marked score. Accumulated through an accomplished career that spanned decades, these scores illustrate how Solti’s thinking progressed, how he solved musical problems, and how he adapted performances to suit a particular context.“Sir Georg’s conducting scores are of special interest and importance to musicians and scholars as they provide insight into the workings of an inspired and accomplished musical mind, laying bare understandings of style, technique, and interpretations of monuments of Western music,” said Virginia Danielson, the Richard F. French Librarian of Loeb Music Library. “We are tremendously grateful to the Solti family for this most generous gift, which is so significant to music performance and scholarship.”In keeping with the University’s efforts to provide broad access to resources, the Solti gift will enable the collection be digitized and made available online for scholars and music enthusiasts around the world via Loeb Music’s Digital Scores and Libretti site and the Music Treasures Consortium portal hosted by the Library of Congress. Use of these materials will be promoted through collaborations with agencies such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the British Library, which own related material.Cataloging and processing of the archive has begun and the Library hopes to make the collection available to scholars and musicians by early next winter. Much of the work will be accomplished in Harvard’s state-of-the-art audio and digital preservation labs.
On the Town The Lyric Theatre is undergoing a renovation by its new owner, Ambassador Theatre Group, prior to the start of On the Town performances. Related Shows On the creative team of On the Town are set designer Beowulf Boritt, lighting designer Jason Lyons, costume designer Jess Goldstein and sound designer Kai Harada. View Comments Directed by John Rando (A Christmas Story) and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse (Smash), this new staging of On the Town was previously seen at Barrington Stage Company last summer. Featured in the cast were Jay Armstrong Johnson (Chip), Tony Yazbeck (Ozzie), Clyde Alves (Gabey), Elizabeth Stanley (Claire), Deanna Doyle (Ivy), Alysha Umphress (Hildy), Nancy Opel (Madame Dilly) and Michael Rupert (Judge Pitkin). No casting has been announced for the Broadway production. First seen on Broadway in 1946, On the Town follows the adventures of three sailors on leave in New York City. Based on the ballet Fancy Free by Jerome Robbins, the musical features music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Toe-tapping hits from the show include “New York, New York,” “I Can Cook Too,” “Lonely Town” and “Some Other Time.” The classic New York City musical On the Town is coming back to Broadway. The revival will start performances in October 2014 at the newly named Lyric Theatre, formerly the Foxwoods Theatre, where Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark closed in January. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 6, 2015
View Comments On Your Feet! Gloria & Emilio Estefan Lin-Manuel Miranda Related Shows Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 20, 2017 Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today and over the weekend. Estefans on Magic & TissuesThe rhythm is currently getting audiences at the Marquis Theatre and on April 25 Gloria and Emilio Estefan stopped by The Today Show to talk their bio-musical On Your Feet!’s live cast recording. “As a singer I can tell you that there’s no way you can match a performance in a studio as opposed to the stage,” said Gloria. “We wanted to capture that magic.” Oh, and don’t worry about bringing tissues to the show; the Estefans still have a supply. Check out the interview below. Laura Michelle Kelly to Join Christian Borle in BeeLaura Michelle Kelly (Finding Neverland) and Paige Davis (Chicago) will join the previously announced Tony winner Christian Borle, Jose Llana and more, for the first annual Broadway Bee. The event, which will feature actors from current hit musicals in an adults only spelling bee, is scheduled to take place on May 9 at The Cutting Room; proceeds are set to benefit Broadway Bound Kids, a NYC performing arts education organization.Lin-Manuel Miranda Raps for Puerto RicoLast Week Tonight with John Oliver turned its ever more powerful spotlight to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis on April 24…with a little help from Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hamilton‘s creator and star is the son of Puerto Rican immigrants and along performed a rhyming plea to help the “commonwealth without a lot of wealth” (from around 19 minutes in). Check out the video below.
For many wine lovers, running a vineyard is the ultimate dream job, but not many are able to make that dream a reality. At a recent Beginning Grape Growers Conference organized by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, more than 70 new and would-be grape growers learned wine industry basics and the best ways to bring their dream jobs to fruition. Deborah and Josh Jones, a Greenville, South Carolina, couple who recently bought a vineyard from their mentors after making wine in their home for years, came to the workshop to seek a network of growers and to pick up some tips on new varieties to plant when they replace some of their vines later this year.“There aren’t that many vineyards in South Carolina,” said Debra Jones, newly minted co-owner of City Scape Winery. “We don’t have the same resources or expertise in grape growing that you have.”“We came here because (Georgia) has a similar climate and weather profile to upstate South Carolina,” said Josh Jones. “We’re coming to see what you guys are doing in Georgia.”Most of the workshop attendees were from north Georgia, but west Georgians and residents of the Carolinas were also well represented.The daylong workshop, hosted by Crane Creek Vineyards near Young Harris, Georgia, covered technical and business resources, site selection and cultural practices, and a primer on grape varieties that are the best for Georgia’s moist, variable climate. It also featured startup and war stories from successful Georgia winemakers.Eric Seifarth, who started Crane Creek Vineyards in 1995 and now produces about 4,200 cases of wine a year, warned the new and aspiring growers that the vineyard business was not easy, but added that the time was right to pursue their dreams.“I have been to a lot of new grape growers’ conferences over the years and, most of the time, everyone there would fit at one table,” Seifarth said. “With the renewed interest in wine and the new expertise we have in the state, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have 100 or 125 wineries across the state in the coming years.”You can’t be a part-time vineyard owner, he warned. The secret to success is to be devoted to your vineyard and to be really honest with yourself before you get started.“If you want to make money growing grapes, you have to remember what industry you’re in. You’re in agritourism!” Seifarth, who is a retired military officer, said. “If you’re an introvert and you think you just want to spend your time growing grapes in solitude, you may want to reconsider.”Crane Creek, like the majority of Georgia’s almost 60 wineries, relies on attracting crowds to its tasting rooms through wedding weekends, tasting parties, concerts and festivals. The wine business is one-part agriculture, one-part winemaking and one-part event planning and hospitality, Seifarth said.About one-third of this week’s conference was dedicated to business development and business planning for agritourism endeavors, specifically farms and vineyards. While it can greatly vary, new vineyard owners usually don’ t see a return on their investment for 7 to 14 years after planting their first vine, UGA Extension state viticulturist, Cain Hickey, told the crowd“Since planting grapes is a long-term investment, we wanted to help new growers get it right from the very beginning,” Hickey said. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for new and interested grape growers to learn about the challenges they will face and ways in which these challenges can be overcome.” Brandi Peck, a civil engineer from west Georgia, who is planning on a second career as a vineyard owner, wanted guidance on building a strong, realistic financial plan for a new vineyard.“I want to make sure that my concepts are good, and I’m planning it correctly,” Peck said. “I’m glad they’re spending so much time on the financials and cost estimates because I’m in the process of writing my business plan now. Not having any farming background, it’s hard to know what values to include.”The first-time workshop was a success.“I received immediate feedback from attendees,” Hickey said. “Based on the responses, I feel attendees are now better informed about growing grapes and in a challenging climate. They are also now informed about how UGA Extension can help, and the necessary actions to take to have the greatest chance of success with their vineyard.”For timely information about grape growing guidelines and events in Georgia, visit the UGA ExtensionViticulture Blog For timely information about grape growing guidelines and events in Georgia, visit the UGA ExtensionViticulture Blog blog.extension.uga.edu/viticulture.
It’s amazing what a little bit of pampering will do for you, especially when you’re deep in the backcountry and subsisting on crunchy, half cooked freeze-dried meals and muscle memory. I spent three days backpacking in Pisgah last weekend, a last-ditch attempt to engross myself in the fall color. Usually I spend all fall frantically trying to mountain bike as much as possible in an attempt to absorb the glory of fall foliage, but my arm is still broken and my doctor won’t let me get on the bike yet. I figured if I can’t ride right now, I’ll just walk all over the damn forest. We took a route that skirted the edge of Shining Rock Wilderness, hitting a highlight reel of the Southern Appalachians that included high elevation balds, grassy meadows, tight rhodo tunnels and world-class fly fishing streams. The miles were stunning, with steep, technical climbs and Instagram gold all over the place. But no matter how good the hiking is, you still have to spend half of your time in a campsite. Just hanging out. Sitting there. If you’re like me, you spend hours, maybe days cutting unnecessary items from your pack in order to get it as light as possible. Do I need this toilet paper when there are so many leaves in the forest? Why bring a cup when I can just scoop water with my hands?It’s easy to appreciate this sort of minimalist approach when you’re slogging through steep climbs. But when you set up camp and things settle down, and you’re just…sitting there…you can start to question your weight-cutting approach. You have all of the necessities—shelter, warmth (by “warmth” I mean whiskey), food (by “food” I mean whiskey)—but there’s no joy. No comfort.This last trip through Pisgah, I took a slightly different approach and stuffed a couple of completely unnecessary items in my pack—a chair and a couple of beers. The chair was the new REI Flexlite Low Chair, which hovers 10 inches above the ground on aluminum feet. It weighs just over a pound, so it’s an easy thing to justify cutting from your pack. Honestly, I’ve never brought a chair backpacking before because there are so many rocks in the woods to sit on. But let me tell you what’s a hell of a lot more comfortable than a rock: this freaking chair. After two nights of sitting around a campfire with my butt resting comfortably in the Flexlite, I don’t see myself ever sitting on a rock again. I sandwiched a couple of Asheville Brewing Shivas in my pack as well. They were warm by the time we reached camp, but I stuck them in the river for an hour while I set up my tent and started a fire, and by the time I was ready to relax in my fancy chair, I had a cold IPA to sip. I cursed the extra weight during the hike, but having a comfortable place to sit and a cold beer after a long, hot day on the trail made my campsite feel like home. Next time I’m bringing my iPad and Netflix account.
But he remains relaxed about being touted as the heir to fellow Malaysian Lee Chong Wei, a three-time Olympic silver medalist and one of the greatest players of his generation until his retirement last year.”From the beginning, everybody said I am the next Lee Chong Wei, that I am going to replace him,” he told AFP. “It made me [feel] pressure but now, slowly, I have become more mature. “I am starting to accept those pressures, and turn them into motivation.” Packed calendar He has received advice from the elder Lee, 37, and is using the same two coaches his compatriot did before the 2016 Rio Olympics.Lee Chong Wei, who retired last year after failing to regain form following successful cancer treatment, made it to the men’s singles finals in Rio in 2016 only to be defeated by China’s Chen, who a year earlier had also relegated him to silver at the World Championships.”Their combination, I think, is very good,” said Lee Zii Jia of the backroom team of head coach Hendrawan and assistant Tey Seu Bock.”They have worked with Lee Chong Wei for many years, maybe they will share some experiences with me about how he trained.”Lee Zii Jia has an attacking style but in recent matches has shown more patience and consistency, such as during his 21-12, 21-18 victory over Chen in his first appearance the All England Open.Like many athletes, he was not able to train for weeks due to the coronavirus lockdown. But he and others stayed fit by having training sessions via video-conferencing and Lee resumed on-court training last week as Malaysia’s restrictions ease. Lee is concerned about the prospect of a frantic end to the year with a packed tournament calendar once competitive badminton resumes. “There will be many tournaments back-to-back. I have not been back on court maybe three months,” he said. “Maybe it takes me another three months to get back to normal.” Topics : Lee Zii Jia’s charge up the badminton rankings has sparked hopes that Malaysia has found a successor to the legendary Lee Chong Wei — and someone who can finally win the country a first Olympic gold.The 22-year-old jumped to world number 10 after establishing himself in the sport’s elite with some big-name scalps at the start of this year before play was suspended because of the coronavirus. He defeated China’s Olympic champion Chen Long to reach the semi-finals of the prestigious All England Open in March, and beat China’s ninth-ranked Shi Yuqi at the Malaysia Masters in January. The major disappointment in former world number one Lee Chong Wei’s glittering career was that he failed to win badminton’s biggest prizes, being beaten to gold by his nemesis Lin Dan of China in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals, and the World Championships in 2011 and 2013.But Lee Zii Jia, despite the weight of expectation, is downplaying his chances of winning gold at the virus-delayed Tokyo Games next year, which would be his first Olympics. “I don’t think about it… I will just go and try my best to gain some experience,” he said. “For me no pressure, just go and fight, and try my best.”
CNN and The New York Times reported on Wednesday that US public health officials were ordered by high-level members of the Trump administration to push forward with the changes.“This was a product produced by the scientific and medical people that was discussed extensively at the task force,” said Giroir. The task force is led by Vice President Mike Pence.The president of the American Medical Association, the largest US association of physicians, said the advice could accelerate the spread of the virus.”Suggesting that people without symptoms, who have known exposure to COVID-positive individuals, do not need testing is a recipe for community spread and more spikes in coronavirus,” AMA President Susan Bailey said in a statement. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this week that people exposed to COVID-19 but not symptomatic may not need to be tested, shocking doctors and politicians and prompting accusations the guidance was politically motivated.The advice marks a reversal of the agency’s previous position recommending testing for all close contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19.Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said the goal was “appropriate testing,” not more testing for its own sake, and that there was no political pressure from the administration behind the decision. Topics : Anthony Fauci, the top US government infectious disease expert, told CNN he was having surgery during discussion of the change.”I am concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact it is,” he said.The Trump administration has been criticized for its handling of COVID-19 testing, with many states falling short of the volume needed to help contain the virus during major outbreaks.Trump told a rally in June testing is a “double-edged” sword because it leads to more cases being discovered, causing the United States to appear worse off than it would otherwise. He added that he urged officials to “slow the testing down, please.” A White House official at the time told Reuters that the remark was a joke.The United States has had more than 5 million diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 180,000 people have died.California on Wednesday announced a deal with PerkinElmer to nearly double the state’s testing capacity, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly challenged the assertion that politics played no role in the change.“We need public health people who do public health and not politics, and we’re going to disregard the CDC guidance totally,” he told MSNBC.Tests of asymptomatic people conducted too early to accurately detect the virus can lead to a false sense of security and potentially help spread the virus, Giroir said.Health experts said the move could hurt contact tracing efforts to prevent virus spread.“It’s inexplicable why this guidance suddenly changed. There is no new science that we’re aware of,” Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health told CNN. “We need far more testing, not less.”
Lacson and Cadiao along with Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo have also agreed to start processing the travel documents for sacadas and to ensure that they are legally documented for monitoring purposes. BACOLOD City – An official of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has underscored the need to set travel protocols for “sacadas” or migrant cane cutters in Western Visayas amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.SRA Board Member Emilio Yulo III, who sits as the planters’ representative, said on July 20 they have asked the assistance of the provincial governments of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Antique to facilitate the processing of the travel documents of the sacadas in time for the start of the milling season in September. The Antique provincial government is creating a system for the legal deployment of sacadas which will be processed by millers’ representatives until August 15. “This has allayed fears among sugar producers who were worried that travel restrictions may be a problem if sacadas will not be allowed to come to Negros,” he added. The two governors have also coordinated with Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. and Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia for the issuance of provisional transit documents for the workers expected to arrive aboard vessels from Iloilo. According to Yulo, however, there are actually about 5,000 to 6,000 of them. This means that many migrant cane cutters are still undocumented. Aside from the “no ID, no entry” policy agreed by the governors, all cane cutters coming to Negros will also be required to present health certificates. A list from Department of Labor and Employment showed that some 3,000 migrant cane cutters from Antique are working in sugarcane plantations in Negros. Yulo said this will give the provincial government here sufficient time to prepare the certificates of acceptance for the workers. In a statement on Tuesday, meanwhile, the Confederation of Sugar Producers Negros-Panay (Confed NP) Chapter lauded the efforts of the two governors in providing safe travel mechanisms for the return of cane cutters to Negros Occidental. “The ease of travel for our sacadas in coming back here will definitely ease our problems when the milling season opens this September,” said Confed NP chairman Nicolas Ledesma Jr. “There’s already an agreement between Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Antique Gov. Rhodora Cadiao. The sacadas are expected to start coming in (this province) by the first week of September,” Yulo said. Negros Occidental – considered as the sugar bowl of the Philippines – produces about 60 percent of the country’s sugar output. (With a report from PNA/PN)