New case raises Egypt’s H5N1 count to 45

first_imgMar 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Egypt announced on Mar 1 that a 25-year-old woman who is hospitalized with severe respiratory symptoms has an H5N1 avian influenza infection.Abdel Rahman Shaheen, spokesman for Egypt’s health ministry, said in a statement from MENA, the country’s state news agency, that tests on Mar 1 confirmed that the woman’s samples were positive for the virus, according to a report from Reuters. If the woman’s illness is confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), she will be listed as Egypt’s 45th H5N1 case-patient.Shaheen said the woman had been transferred from Fayoum governorate, about 53 miles south of Cairo, to a hospital in the country’s capital, where she is being treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu), an antiviral medication, Reuters reported. He said she had a high fever and inflammation of both lungs.News reports on the woman’s illness gave no details on the source of her infection.The woman is the second Egyptian patient in a week to be reported as sick with an H5N1 infection. On  Feb 26 health officials announced that samples from a 4-year-old girl from Menia governorate in upper Egypt were positive for the H5N1 virus.In a Feb 28 statement, the WHO said the girl got sick on Feb 21 and was hospitalized 3 days later. The statement from MENA said the girl is still hospitalized in Cairo, where she is in stable condition, according to a report yesterday from Xinhua, China’s state news agency.An investigation into the source of the girl’s infection revealed that she had contact with sick poultry the week before she became ill, according to the WHO statement. She is listed as Egypt’s 44th case-patient. The disease has been fatal in 19 of those. See also:Feb 28 WHO statementlast_img read more

Granit Xhaka must apologise to fans immediately to save Arsenal career, says Alan Shearer

first_imgGranit Xhaka must apologise to fans immediately to save Arsenal career, says Alan Shearer Granit Xhaka swore at Arsenal fans as he was substituted during the side’s draw with Crystal Palace (Picture: Getty)England and Newcastle legend Alan Shearer believes there’s only one way back for Granit Xhaka – and that’s to issue a hasty apology to Arsenal supporters.Unai Emery decided to replace Xhaka with Bukayo Saka in the 61st minute of Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace after Arsenal managed to throw away a two-goal lead.Reacting furiously to boos from fans for a lack of urgency in leaving the field, Xhaka tossed the captain’s armband towards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, cupped his ear at the crowd and told the Emirates faithful to ‘f*** off’ before storming straight down the tunnel.AdvertisementAdvertisementJust nine minutes earlier, Jordan Ayew headed home an equaliser for Palace and it proved decisive as Roy Hodgson’s men held on to share the points with the Gunners.ADVERTISEMENT Emery: Granit Xhaka was wrong to swear at fansTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 12:45FullscreenEmery: Granit Xhaka was wrong to swear at fans is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Unai Emery hinted that Xhaka could lose the captaincy as a result of his behaviour and the Spaniard has an extremely tough decision to make ahead of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash with Liverpool in midweek.In his column for The Sun, Shearer condemned Xhaka’s actions and urged the Swiss to say sorry before it’s too late.‘I do not know how Granit Xhaka comes back from this,’ the ex-England striker said.‘It will be toxic at Arsenal if Unai Emery picks him again and the player needs to come out and apologise sharpish to the fans.‘No one expects Xhaka to be pleased when your own fans are cheering when you’re being substituted.‘But, as captain, you just cannot react to your fans in the way he did. There is no way back for Xhaka unless he apologises.’ Comment Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead against Palace (Picture: Getty)Ian Wright agreed that Xhaka must apologise to Arsenal fans as he ‘owes them a lot more’ than to react as he did at the Emirates.‘Players getting booed is not the best, but this is the captain,’ the former Arsenal forward said on Match of the Day.‘They are frustrated that he hasn’t run off the pitch. I’ve seen him before bolt off when he’s substituted. He’s walked off and then he goads them.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘We’re talking about fans who have watched him play a handful of good games in three years. And he’s treating them like that.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘He should apologise. That’s the guy Arsenal have chosen as captain… that’s not captain behaviour.‘Arsenal fans have been patient with him. He owes them a lot more than that.’MORE: Lucas Torreira pictured in tears as Granit Xhaka tells Arsenal fans to ‘f**k off’ Metro Sport ReporterMonday 28 Oct 2019 8:09 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.2kSharescenter_img The midfielder stormed straight down the tunnel (Picture: Getty)He added: ‘The longer he leaves it, the bigger a mistake the incident will turn out to be.‘When supporters have a go at you like that, it is because they are not happy — but he is the team’s captain.‘So you cannot react like that, telling the fans what to do in that language.‘Whatever you think of the fans, they are the ones that pay their money.‘They are the ones who buy season tickets and come and support you week in, week out. Like it or not, supporters are entitled to an opinion.’ Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

How to get an online supermarket delivery slot if you are shielding

first_imgSo what should those who have received a letter do to secure a slot? “I’ve wasted hours, getting up in the middle of the night to try and find slots”Hazel Dakers received a text from the NHS on March 31, informing her that she had been identified as extremely vulnerable. A four-page letter followed days later, spelling out that coronavirus put her at “very high risk of severe illness”.Warned to stay at home “at all times” and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks, Dakers went online in the hope she could get groceries delivered rather than put herself at risk by visiting a store in person.Like so many others who have received the NHS letter, securing a delivery slot has been close to impossible.“I have been battling to obtain a supermarket slot on a regular – even if not frequent – basis. I have been banging my head against a brick wall,” said the 70-year-old, who suffers from asthma and other chronic conditions. “I feel very distressed.””I have been banging my head against a brick wall”Dakers, who lives in Brentford in west London, had already bought an Ocado Smart Pass on the advice of her son in March, booked one delivery and received it. But she hasn’t been able to secure a slot since, because three deliveries with the pass are required before Ocado considers someone a priority customer. She has a Waitrose card and had set up an order three weeks in advance. As she was editing her order to include items for neighbours, the slot vanished.“I was dismayed, and angry,” Dakers said. “It’s not what I find entertaining.”Dakers called the Sainsbury’s customer careline and left her details. Weeks later came an automated call back: “The wording and tone came across as though they didn’t believe me.” The advice given if she thought they had made a mistake was to call another number, but she would need a Nectar card first, which she doesn’t have.By “sheer chance” – tipped off by her daughter, who had heard on a community website that Tesco were releasing new slots one evening – Dakers managed to secure a one-time slot with the supermarket.“I’ve wasted hours, getting up in the middle of the night to try and find slots. Many times at midnight trying to find one. And many hours trying to source things elsewhere from independent shops,” Dakers says. “I’m extremely vulnerable, and they can’t be bothered.” Last month, the NHS wrote to around 1.5 million people in England warning they were at “very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus”.Recipients have been told to stay at home “at all times” and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks. That includes “going out for food”.To get supplies, those deemed “extremely vulnerable” are advised to “ask a friend, neighbour or family member” for help. The letter implies that it’s also risky for someone else in the household to do the shopping, even though those on the so-called ‘shield list’ are advised to minimise contact with them, too.As a result, many of those shielding are turning to online grocery as their last hope in staying fed. They are not alone. Supermarket delivery services have been swamped by demand in recent weeks as Brits look to avoid going to the shops. You have completed the additional support form AND are an existing online customer of a supermarket. Now what?In most cases the supermarket will be proactively trying to contact you. In other cases, next time you log in there will be slots available to you.Waitrose: “We’ll be in touch with our customers on the list – they will see priority access to delivery slots when they log in (on an ongoing basis). Please be reassured that we’re doing all we can as quickly as possible. To allow us to cope with demand, we are kindly asking customers to wait for communication from us rather than trying to get in touch at this time.”Ocado: “We have already identified our customers on this list and reached out to offer them delivery slots with We will continue to play our part as the government updates its shield list of people in need of support. In order for us to identify you on the government’s list, you must declare that you are in need of getting essential supplies delivered to you.”Asda: “We’ve contacted everyone who is on the list the government gave us and offered them free, recurring delivery slots.”Tesco: Existing customers should call 0800 917 7359.Sainsbury’s: “We continue to receive more data and have been able to match nearly 250,000 additional customers against our database so far, and are contacting them to arrange priority home delivery.”Morrisons: Has not revealed any use of the government database to give priority to those in it.Iceland: “We are regularly emailing customers that we have matched and are providing exclusive times for them to book a slot before other customers. The details on how to do this are contained within the email they receive, including a special link to use.” If you have received a letter and want to get a priority supermarket delivery slot, you must visit the website on the letter and fill out the online formThe government is sharing a database of people on the shield list with supermarkets to help them assign priority slots.However, the government is not sharing the entire shield list. To get on the database shared with supermarkets, letter recipients must register here.Although the website wording can seem like you are registering to get on the shield list, you are registering to “get support” as a shielding person, which includes priority deliveries.The online form will ask for your name and details, and your NHS number. This number is on the letter, but you can also proceed if you don’t have it to hand.The form asks: “Do you have a way of getting essential supplies delivered at the moment? For example, friends or family who can make sure you have enough food.”To get on the list shared with supermarkets, you must answer ‘No’.Next, the form asks if you have any dietary requirements and tells you that “deliveries will be left on the doorstep”. This is because everyone on the shield list also qualifies for a free food package from the government. Even if you don’t need a free food package from government, you must answer these questions and submit the online form in order to get on the database shared with supermarkets.Defra advises those shielding who only need access to online delivery slots to turn away the free food box at the doorstep when it arrives if they don’t want it, and it will be given to someone else. Once a delivery slot has been secured with a supermarket, you can go back and edit your needs.It is understood supermarkets are receiving updates to the database on a weekly basis. You have completed the additional support form BUT are NOT an existing online customer of a supermarket. Now what?“We are looking at how we can assist those who are clinically vulnerable, but who are not on any supermarkets’ existing online customer list, to gain access to an online delivery slot,” Defra says.In the meantime, if you are on the database shared with supermarkets but are not on the retailer’s own customer database, you will need to register as a new customer with one.Most supermarkets are still accepting new online customer registrations.Tesco: “New customers who have a letter from the NHS can either create an account online or call us on 0800 917 7359. We will then be able to verify whether they are on the government’s list.”Iceland: “We’re receiving regularly updated data from the government, so for new customers to be matched to this, they just need to create an Iceland account. Customers should make sure that the data they register with matches that which they have provided to the government to ensure we can match it.”Sainsbury’s: “We are working with government to understand how we can support customers who are not already signed up to a home delivery service.”Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons are also accepting new online customer registrations. Ocado is not. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland the whole process is similar. But supermarkets can’t help yetIn Scotland 136,000 people are in the shielded group and have been asked by text if they want their details forwarded to supermarkets for priority service. In Wales 88,000 are on the shield list, which has been passed to supermarkets.Housing minister Julie James last week acknowledged it was “very unlikely” all would get a priority slot and urged family and friends to help. In Northern Ireland there are 10,400 homes where someone is shielding.NI minister for communities Deirdre Hargey has said informing retailers is more complicated than in England because patient information is held on disparate databases.The supermarkets have stated they are ready to assist those on shield lists in each country but are waiting to receive government databases.last_img read more

Trade liberalization has boosted Latin American and Caribbean Economies

first_imgMIAMI, Florida – Latin America and the Caribbean region saw faster economic and wage growth thanks to a lowering of trade barriers, a new report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) shows.The study also provides policy recommendations to ensure the region is better positioned to take advantage of trade liberalization and make its benefits more tangible to citizens.The average tariff cut of 56 percent that took place in the region between 1990 and 2010 accelerated the region’s average annual per capita GDP growth by 0.6 percent. While the results are positive, the region harbors skepticism on the benefits of more openness, in part because initial expectations were so high, according to Trading Promises for Results: What Global Integration Can do for Latin America and the Caribbean.“Trade liberalization did not turn out to be the silver bullet that put us in the same growth leagues as some top-performing Asian economies,” said IDB Chief Economist Eric Parrado. “However, trade has clearly been a positive contribution for the region’s wellbeing and development, and we should resist temptations to return to our closed economic policies of decades past.”The book was edited by IDB researchers Ernesto Stein and Mauricio Moreira. Trading Promises for Results is part of the annual Development in the Americas (DIA) flagship research publications series that provides analysis and advice to policymakers on key development topics.The report also looked at the level of support for free trade. Latin Americans back more trade by big margins though support drops sharply when presented with information emphasizing negative consequences such as job losses in vulnerable sectors. The IDB commissioned Latinobarometro to undertake a survey and carry out an experiment to better understand how framing affects perceptions about trade.Almost three out of every four of those surveyed said they favored increasing trade with other countries, with support running highest in Venezuela, Honduras and Uruguay. Almost six out of every ten Latin Americans equate trade with more jobs. However, providing information about potential job losses in vulnerable sectors reduced support for trade to 46 percent, from 73 percent.Making trade work betterWhile liberalization is positive for the economy, it does have winners and losers, with special interest groups linked to import-competing sectors often blocking trade reforms. The report provides an in-depth look at trade policymaking processes in the region, and the type of institutional architecture that is more likely to lead to good policy outcomes.To make the most of the opportunities afforded by globalization while mitigating risks, governments need to look beyond the traditional agenda of trade agreements, trade facilitation and foreign investment attraction. Policymakers should work on ensuring labor markets are not only more flexible but also provide help for those who lose out to trade to transition to competitive firms and sectors. Policies should be consistent with global integration rather than bolster uncompetitive sectors and firms, and governments should seek successful strategies in sectors such as modern agriculture and services-two sectors with considerable technological progress in which the region has comparative advantages – and not just in manufacturing.“We are moving into a world where competitiveness is determined not just by tariffs but by overcoming regulatory, logistics and information costs, as well as by incorporating new technologies,” said Fabrizio Opertti, manager of the Trade and Integration Sector in the IDB. “We are confident that governments can move into these new frontiers in order to facilitate access to more affordable goods and services, as well as to create new economic opportunities and wellbeing for more citizens.”last_img read more

LSU coach Will Wade won’t meet with LSU, NCAA over allegations

first_imgA letter given to LSU by Wade’s attorney, which was obtained by The Advocate, details how the coach is waiting for the federal investigation into NCAA basketball’s recruiting scandal to be over before he discusses the allegations.Since the trial where Wade is subpoenaed isn’t supposed to start until April 22, that means the coach will be barred from LSU’s SEC Tournament run and possible NCAA Tournament appearance. Related News Athletic director Joe Alleva and other LSU officials reportedly said Wade could return this season if he agreed to a meeting and explained his comments on the wire tap. With Wade refusing to do so, the earliest he can be reinstated is after the trial and if he is cleared of any wrongdoing. Will Wade likely will remain suspended for the rest of the season.The LSU coach won’t meet with the school nor NCAA officials over the FBI wiretaps that reportedly catch him talking about a “strong-a— offer” he gave to a recruit. Arizona’s Sean Miller, LSU’s Will Wade to be subpoenaed to testify in corruption trial, report says Freshman guard Javonte Smart, who appears to be the recruit Wade was talking about on the wiretaps, has also been benched pending the investigation. However, he could return as soon as Friday, depending on the results of an LSU investigation into his recruiting.LSU has already talked to Smart’s mother, Melinda, about the issue, but had to conduct its own investigation since the FBI refuses to share the recorded wiretaps.”We have discovered something that’s been alleged. It hasn’t been denied by coach Wade,” Thomas Skinner, LSU’s general counsel and vice president for legal affairs, said. “We have to assume the worst and investigate it to the fullest.”last_img read more

Baseball legends honored at Atlanta City Hall

first_imgSeated from left to right: James Moore, Norman  F. Lumpkin and Lawrence Williams. Standing from left to right: Brian Jordan, Rubye Mims Lucas and Atlanta City Councilmember Michael Julian BondAtlanta City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond on Monday honored baseball greats Norman  F. “Geronimo” Lumpkin; James “Red” Moore and Lawrence “Larry” Williams on Monday at Atlanta City Hall. All honorees were members of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Due to segregation in American sports, teams within the Negro Leagues began to form in 1867. They fell apart gradually from 1947 to 1959. In addition, Bond honored Rubye Mims Lucas, the wife of the late Bill Lucas, who was the first African-American general manager in Major League Baseball as a front-office boss; and two-sport great Brian Jordan for their contributions to the Atlanta community.Norman Fred “Geronimo” Lumpkin was born on January 15, 1919 in Atlanta in a part of the OldFourth Ward section of the city known as Buttermilk Bottom. Lumpkin got his love of baseball playing in empty lots at school and played baseball in the Negro League from 1938 to 1949 on commercial and industrial teams and played semi-pro during World War II and was picked up by the Atlanta Black Crackers.James “Red” Moore was born in Atlanta on November 18, 1916 and is recognized as one of the Negro Major League’s premier first basemen. He played for the Atlanta Black Crackers in 1935, 1938, and 1946-48. During Moore’s storied career, which was abbreviated by his military service, he played on three All-Star teams, three Second Half Championship teams and was selected to the 1938 Southern News Services All-American Negro League Baseball Team.Lawrence “Larry” Williams was born February 9, 1933 in LaGrange. Williams was hired by Buck O’Neil as a lead of hitter for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1954. He once had a perfect night going four for four, with four doubles in one game. Williams has teamed up with Melvin Duncan and James Moore to educate the public about the Negro Leagues through panel discussions throughout the U.S.last_img read more

Ravi Shastri to receive a massive salary hike in his new contract

first_imgAdvertisement lsNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vstqo8Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ez47( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 8ohenWould you ever consider trying this?😱kCan your students do this? 🌚lj59yRoller skating! Powered by Firework Following his reappointment, Ravi Shastri will be receiving a hike on his contract which is, as per some reports a 20 per cent increase. The Indian head coach is now believed to take home Rs 9.5 -10 crores per year, while he earned Rs 8 crore from his old contract.Advertisement The support staffs of the Indian team will also be getting a boost in their paycheck with Bharat Arun, the bowling coach, is expected to draw approx. Rs 3.5 crore, same as fielding coach R Sridhar with Vikram Rathour, the newly hired batting coach will earn around Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3 crore per annum. The new contracts will come to effect from September 1.Advertisement After being announced as the head coach for another term, Shastri spoke about his ambitions and goals for the upcoming few seasons. In an interview he told the,“The reason why I came in here is the belief I had in this team, the belief that they could leave a legacy which very few teams have left behind which other teams going down will try and emulate,”Advertisement “Next two years is to see the smooth transition happening. You will get a lot of youngsters coming — in both white-ball setup and Tests. You need to identify another three-four bowlers to add to the pool by the end of our tenure. My endeavour by the end of this tenure would be to leave the team in a happier space so that they can set a legacy in the time to come,” he added.  Advertisementlast_img read more

Attorney Vows To Fight Hampton Inn Approval

first_imgGasiorowski had also argued against the project’s traffic plan this go-around, opposing the developer’s proposal to allow traffic traveling north on Route 35 to make a left-hand turn, crossing two lanes of oncoming, southbound traffic at the busy intersection onto the property. Some board members expressed serious reservations about that idea, intimating they would vote against the project based on that provision. That led Cohen to withdraw the condition.An objector seeking to reverse a local land use board’s decision has to show a judge the board acted in an arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious manner, under the state land use law, a traditionally high burden for the plaintiff to meet.Martin A. McGann Jr., the lawyer representing RBank Capital, responded by noting, “My client will vigorously defend against any appeal.” McGann also took Gasiorowski and his clients to task, insisting they are “costing the borough of Red Bank money in legal challenges and lost ratables by an out-of-town competitor.”Michael Leckstein, the planning board attorney, declined to comment given he hasn’t even completed the approval resolution and the appeal has yet to be submitted. By John BurtonRED BANK — The objectors against the planned hotel for the Route 35 entrance to the borough want their day in court.As anticipated, Ron Gasiorowski, the Red Bank attorney representing the objectors, confirmed this week he plans to file an appeal of the borough Planning Board’s Feb. 6 decision approving the application to construct a 6-story, 76-room Hampton Inn and Suites at the Route 35 South/Bridge Avenue/Rector Place/Riverside Avenue intersection at the northern entrance to the borough. The site, which overlooks the Navesink and Swimming rivers, had been an Exxon gas station, but has been vacant for approximately 20 years and has deteriorated, becoming overgrown with weeds and still in need of contamination remediation.The appeal, Gasiorowski said, will be filed with state Superior Court in Freehold once the planning board memorializes its resolution of approval.Gasiorowski said the objections concern the size and scope of the project given the limitation of the property and the impact to area traffic, especially since the proposed hotel will be next to a residential area on Rector Place. “It truly is the proverbial 10 pounds of sand in a five-pound bag,” Gasiorowski said.Another sticking point, Gasiorowski noted, is the developer intends to construct a boardwalk area along the riverfront but may look to limit public access. Limiting it, Gasiorowski alleged, is counter to the standing borough-required easement, allowing public access to the river. “It’s violative of the public trust act; it’s violative of the terms of that easement,” he charged. “It defeats the whole purpose of what the easement is for.”RBank Capital and its principal, Larry Cohen, have been down this road before, during past efforts to construct a Hampton Inn franchise on this site. Gasiorowski has been representing Carey and Doran Tajfel, brothers, with Tinton Falls Lodging Realty, who own and operate the Doubletree by Hilton hotel franchise on Hope Road in Tinton Falls, and have objected to the project, presumably seeing this hotel, which will cater to business travelers, as a direct competitor. The Tajfels had tied up the project in court a few years ago, with Gasiorowski arguing many of the same points in two separate suits against the project. That eventually resulted in RBank Capital withdrawing the application.last_img read more

New Activity Center Planned for Holmdel Park

first_imgOstrowski noted the park system hopes to have the project ready for bid by November or December 2019. Ostrowski said the existing activity center will be torn down and the new construction will be built on the same site; it is expected to include a program room, a covered outdoor space and new restroom facilities. “Welooked into restoring the home and making all the accessibility upgrades butthe project would have been too costly. It’s more cost-effective to start freshand build something new,” Ostrowski. In 1975, the Monmouth County Park System purchased an 11.68-acre parcel next to Holmdel Park on Longstreet, near the intersection with Crawfords Corner Road. The property included a split-level house, which over the years has hosted numerous grade school classes and youth groups for general natural history lessons and nature interpretation programs. RobinOstrowski, park system principal landscape architect, said a new facility was essentialbecause the house is breaking down with age and has ADA accessibilitycompliance concerns which need to be addressed. Improvementsto ensure a safer link between the activity center and the entrance of the566-acre park and its outdoor recreational opportunities – including thehistoric and operational Longstreet Farm – are also in the works. This article was first published in the May 16-22, 2019 print edition of The Two River Times. Thougha budget is still being crafted to encompass the entire scope of the proposedwork, the Monmouth County Park System Board of Commissioners has recommendedthe acceptance of an $89,900 proposal by the Hamilton-based SpiezleArchitectural Group, Inc. for the preparation of plans and constructiondocuments for the project. “Wehaven’t been able to use the activity center of late for several reasons,mostly because we’ve outgrown it. We really need to build a new one,” Ostrowskisaid. HOLMDEL –A new, modern activity centerfocused on nature appreciation is coming to Holmdel Park. It will replace thebuilding on Longstreet Road that the Monmouth County Park System has been usingfor 30 years.  Asfor the site plan, Ostrowski said it is only conceptual at this point and stillneeds to be presented and reviewed by the Holmdel Township Planning Board. Thesite’s existing Long Street Road entrance and parking area will be maintainedand a vegetative buffer will be installed between the roadway and the site. Accordingto the park system’s request for proposal for architectural and engineeringservices, “the building has outlived its useful life span and is no longersuitable for public use. Utilities need replacing and Americans withDisabilities Act (ADA) access to and within the building is problematic.”last_img read more

Get close to the wild at Mosetlha

first_img28 July 2010South Africa boasts hundreds of luxury game lodges charging dollar rates for tourists to “experience the African bushveld”. There’s a lot to be said for the five-star safari option – but does being waited on hand and foot really constitute an authentic bushveld experience? And what if you can’t afford to pay all those dollars?Some of South Africa’s national parks have basic accommodation, and there is always the alternative of staying in a nearby town or resort and driving into the park each day – but that’s also not the ideal way to experience the bushveld.MediaClubSouthAfricaFree high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. Fortunately, there is another option, combining reasonable down-to-earth comfort with a really close-up bush experience, as my family and I recently discovered on a trip to the Madikwe Game Reserve. Lying near the border between South Africa and Botswana, it goes by the name of Mosetlha Bush Camp.Roughing it in styleMosetlha was started in the early 1990s as a rustic camp with basic facilities, a place where rangers-in-training and other wilderness enthusiasts came to learn about wildlife conservation during Operation Phoenix, a project to reintroduce game into the Madikwe area.As more and more lodges were built in the reserve and the number of tourists increased, Chris and June Lucas, with their daughter Caroline, opened Mosetlha to the wider public. But they kept the camp’s ecological ethos and relaxed, down-to-earth atmosphere.At Mosetlha, you do things for yourself. There’s an old-school donkey boiler, with water heated in a drum over a fire for bucket showers, and you also take your own water to flush the VIP – ventilated improved pit – toilets.That may sound a little rough and ready, but this really is a comfortable form of camping. In fact, it isn’t actually camping at all. Guests stay in raised wooden cabins, with canvas awnings over the front and back to allow maximum appreciation of the sights and sounds of the bush – including, at night, the not-too-distant howls of hyena. There is no electricity, but oil lamps give a warm and cosy glow.Mosetlha may be a place where you can get the dust of Africa on your feet, but you don’t do everything for yourself. Sumptuous but simple meals are served up from the camp kitchen and eaten communally. In between there are lazy late mornings and early afternoons when you can snooze or read a book. After dark, a roaring fire encourages the cheerful swapping of anecdotes over a glass of wine or a beer from the honesty bar. You settle very easily into the indulgent rhythms of camp life.The focal points of each day are, of course, the morning and evening game drives. Operation Phoenix was tremendously successful, and today Madikwe boasts an abundance of wildlife. With a large mammal population of over 16 000, the reserve provides some of the best game-viewing in the country.Our visit yielded, among other sightings, a close-range encounter with lions at a zebra kill, a pack of wild dogs (very rare), both white and black rhino as well as a leopard up a tree. On one occasion, a pride of lions – moms, dads and cubs – sauntered up to our Land Rover and strolled casually past on either side, leaving our party a little perturbed.You’re guaranteed to see some great game at Madikwe, but there is a lot more to enjoy besides. For the twitchers, there are over 340 bird species to spot. Amateur geologists can take in the striking topography of the area, with numerous koppies and even low mountain peaks rising from the savannah plain.And there’s nothing quite so gratifying as that moment when, just as the off-road bumps are starting to take their toll, your guide stops the vehicle and you climb out to discover a table, magically produced and laden with goodies: coffee and rusks for those brisk mornings, or drinks and snacks in the evenings while the orange disc of the sun slips below the horizon.I told you this was roughing it in style …Rich in historyGood game rangers are walking encyclopaedia when it comes to flora and fauna – and they love to share useful bits of trivia – such as the fact that the collective noun for giraffes is a “journey”. Mosetlha’s knowledgeable guides can also tell you almost anything you might want to know about the region, including its unusual history.Places such as Groot Marico and Mafikeng Road have been immortalised in the stories of Herman Charles Bosman, and the area regularly attracts literary pilgrims for whom the place has a special resonance. But long before Bosman invented his famous serio-comical narrator, Oom Schalk Lourens, the terrain had been criss-crossed by Mzilikazi and the Matabele people, Boer and British soldiers, traders, explorers, hunters and missionaries.If the spirits of the past haunt Madikwe, it is a gentle haunting. Like so many of South Africa’s game reserves, it is a place of tranquillity and astounding beauty. Unlike any other park, however, it is also home to the unusual and memorable wilderness experience that is Mosetlha Bush Camp.First published by – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more