Cape Town is tops in Africa, again

first_img9 July 2010Cape Town has reaffirmed its status as one of the world’s top tourism destinations by being named Africa’s best travel destination in the World Travel Awards – the third consecutive year in a row that the city has won this prestigious award.The Mother City was bestowed with its latest major travel industry award in Johannesburg on 7 July. In November last year, Cape Town won the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the Best Destination category.The World Travel Awards, which were established in 1993, are seen as the “Oscars” of the travel industry.High concentration of major eventsAlderman Felicity Purchase, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for economic development and tourism and Mansoor Mohamed, the city’s executive director of economic, social development and tourism, received the award on behalf of the city.“This recognition is very important as it reaffirms Cape Town’s global positioning as a highly attractive tourism destination,” said Mohamed. “The city boasts one of the highest concentrations of major events on the African continent, which includes the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the Argus Cycle Tour, the Two Oceans Marathon and Design Indaba.“The City of Cape Town will continue to use major events to attract visitors to Cape Town. Mega events such as the 2010 Fifa World Cup are valuable for legacy projects, whereas major events provide the annual recurring benefits,” said Mohamed.Alderman Purchase said: “Cape Town is reaping the benefits of establishing and maintaining an excellent tourism infrastructure. The City of Cape Town is constantly enhancing the city’s tourism assets and we are building skills and improving opportunities in our tourism sector.“All of these efforts support the city’s key strategy of infrastructure-led economic growth.”‘Very highest achievement’The World Travel Awards was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 17th anniversary, the awards are regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive.Votes are cast by 183 000 travel professionals, which include travel agencies, tour and transport companies, and tourism organizations in over 160 countries across the globe.Votes are cast globally by fellow industry professionals in over 1 000 different categories.Source: Cape Town Partnershiplast_img read more

Knipp Farms preserving history and farmland as an Ohio Century Farm

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest If you were to ask Daryl Knipp at what age he started farming, he wouldn’t be able to tell you.“One of my earliest memories was riding in the truck with my dad when I was a little boy, taking a load of tomatoes to the processing plant,” Knipp said. “I was his shadow and followed him around for as long as I can remember.”Agriculture is all that Knipp has ever known. This makes sense, seeing as how the Knipp family has been in the farming business for over a century now. Knipp Farms Inc. in Sandusky County is an Ohio Century Farm, a program sponsored by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, to recognize and honor Ohio family farms’ heritage. Daryl and his wife Cate currently live on and operate the farm.“My great-grandfather, Henry Knipp, is the one who originally purchased 134 acres here in Lindsey in 1913,” Knipp said. “The story is that Henry was a conservative and religious man, who wanted to find a ‘dry’ community to raise his family in. He packed everything up and moved here from Napoleon, Ohio, where he was raised.”The area was not only dry in spirits, but the Great Black Swamp, the region of Ohio that Henry moved his family to, had been drained by that time. The Great Black Swamp is an area in northwest Ohio that lies in the Maumee and Portage River watersheds. Before the mid- to late-1800s, the area was a densely forested wetland, feared for its wildlife, potential diseases (malaria was a huge concern due to mosquitoes), and impassability.By the time Henry settled his family in the area on what would later be named Knipp Road, the region had been fairly well settled.“This farm is on lake bed soils. It’s also relatively flat,” Knipp said. “The biggest problem in this area is from getting too much water and rain instead of not getting enough. Drainage is truly what made this area successful.”Henry passed his farm down to Knipp’s great-uncle, who then passed it down to his second cousins Harold and Dwight. Daryl and his father Burdell had the opportunity to purchase the farm in November 1988.“The original farm was corn, wheat, beans, hay and dairy cattle. In fact, John and his wife, Nellie and their sons Harold and Dwight were really well known for their Ayrshire cattle. They showed all the time at big shows under the name JON-ELL Farms,” Knipp said. “By the time my dad and I took over the farm the dairy herd had been dispersed and the farm was used totally for crop production.”Knipp and his father grew a variety of vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage as well as grain. They also grew and custom harvested sugar beets.“Diversity is what allowed my father and I to succeed,” Knipp said. “When I returned home from college, my parents were making a living off of 200 acres and had put two kids through college. I was fairly fortunate in that my dad decided to take a step back once I returned home from school. I was the one who made a lot of the choices and decisions for the farm and he supported them.”Their decision to start vegetable production was largely influenced by the amount of processing facilities in their area, the soil type in the former Great Black Swamp and the lake effect climate.“Until 1996 we would take our tomatoes to Heinz in Fremont and in 1998 began selling to Hirzel Canning in Toledo and Pemberville, and we would take the pickles to both Heinz and Valasic,” Knipp said. “Our cabbage went to the Fremont Company and some went to Hirzel.”After Knipp returned home from The Ohio State University with a degree in farm management, he got right to expanding the farm. Knipp introduced some mechanization to the vegetable production side, and started looking for more farm ground. The farm grew significantly over the years, and is currently operating on about 1,000 acres of land. The crops and farming practices have also changed significantly since his college graduation.“When my dad started farming he was using mules to work the ground. The last tractor he drove before he passed in 2012 had auto-steer in it,” Knipp said.When Knipp Farms Inc. first started growing vegetables, there were many hands needed to operate machinery and to pick vegetables by hand.“We relied pretty heavily on good migrant workers. We had some really great families that would come and work for us every year. Unfortunately, it became harder and harder to find workers as the years went on,” he said.A combination of lack of workers and the changing market caused Knipp to harvest his last crop of cucumbers and tomatoes in 2011. Currently, Knipp only grows corn and soybeans, but his final harvest is quickly approaching. Knipp will be retiring this fall after a lifetime of farming and service to the agricultural industry.“I don’t have a successor,” Knipp said. “If I had a successor, I probably would be continuing to grow vegetables and crops.”That isn’t stopping Knipp from continuing the farm’s legacy, however.“I am currently working with the Black Swamp Conservancy and the ODA to preserve the farm,” Knipp said. “This will ensure that the farm ground will be used for agriculture forever.”The Black Swamp Conservancy cooperates with the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Program that purchases the development rights to farms throughout northwest Ohio. It is one of 40 land trusts in Ohio and one of 1,500 trusts nationwide. The goal of the Conservancy is to protect and preserve the heritage of natural and agricultural lands. Currently, the Black Swamp Conservancy protects over 15,000 acres of land in the northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana region. With 40,000 acres of Ohio farmland being lost every year, Knipp saw value in committing his land into the program.“I am not sure what the next generation of owners will do — if they will farm it themselves or if they’ll rent it out,” Knipp said. “But there will still be a farm here and that is very important to me.”Getting into the Agricultural Easement Program is not an easy process. Knipp started working with the ODA and the Black Swamp Conservancy in 2016. The program is very competitive and uses a point-based system in order to select the acreage to be enrolled in the conservancy.“We lucked out because we are right here on the bike trail,” said Knipp, as he pointed to a paved path at the back of his yard. “People like to see the view. It’s a pretty drive or walk down the trail here, with corn and beans to look at.”Knipp’s farm also happens to be nearby another farm that is already enrolled in the Black Swamp Conservancy.“That really helped us out because the ODA likes to keep sections of land together,” Knipp said. Other factors that are used to determine what land can be entered into the Black Swamp Conservancy include soil type, farming practices, and location.“We hope to have all the paperwork signed and completed by January of 2019,” Knipp said.In the meantime, Knipp hopes to enjoy his retirement and potentially dig into his family’s history a little bit deeper.“I looked into the Ohio Century Farm program because I think it’s important to recognize both land and family,” he said. “Fewer and fewer people are engaged in agriculture, and it’s really neat to have a visual demonstration of family history. I think it’s a message that consumers can relate to and connect to.”Knipp is also quite confident that his farm will be in good hands upon retirement this fall.“I am working with a multi-generational family operation that is going to be farming the bulk of our land this upcoming spring. It’s pretty special that my ground is going to give someone an opportunity to farm full time,” Knipp said. “I’ll miss farming, but hopefully, my phone will ring and someone will ask me to come over and do something that’s agriculturally related. If I can give somebody an opportunity to have a lifetime career similar to the one I have enjoyed and the chance to do something they really always wanted to do, then it’ll be good for all involved.”last_img read more

Odisha loses 119 elephants to electrocution in a decade

first_imgOdisha has lost 119 elephants to electrocution alone in past 10 years; the State Assembly was informed on Tuesday.Responding to a written question as to how many elephants died after coming in contact with live electric wire, the State Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha said. “as many as 119 elephants died in electrocution between 2009-10 and by October of 2019-20.”For these deaths, 133 people, 11 forest personnel and four energy department officials have faced actions, said Mr. Arukha.The Minister listed a number steps being taken to check electrocution deaths of elephants.“Officials of all power distribution companies, Principal Chief Wildlife Warden, Regional Chief Conservator of Forests and Divisional Forest Officers regularly meet in coordination meetings to prevent electrocution deaths,” he said.Energy department has been asked to insulate live electric wire in 1519.36 km-long low tension transmission line in 17 forest divisions of the State and insulation of wire should be made in other areas where elephant movements have been noticed, says the written reply.In Angul forest division, movements of elephants are tracked with the help of drone and a control room has been set up for better coordination between people and field level staff.Wildlife experts, however, said given the magnitude of wildlife loss, the action appeared too insignificant.“The actions being taken against forest and energy department officials are just eye-wash. In most cases, officials are asked explanations and those culminate in suspension. After few months, they are reinstated in job. In absence of visible stringent action, officials do not become sincere to rectify lapses,” said Biswajit Mohanty, wildlife expert.last_img read more

Roger Federer Wins 7th Wimbledon Ties Sampras Reclaims 1

WIMBLEDON, England — Once the Centre Court roof was closed, nothing could stop Roger Federer from winning his record-tying seventh Wimbledon title.The 30-year-old Federer finally equaled Pete Sampras’ record at the All England Club, and won his 17th Grand Slam title overall, by beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 Sunday.“It has worked out so many times over the years here at Wimbledon that I play my best in the semis and the finals,” Federer said. “I couldn’t be more happy. It feels great being back here as the winner.”Once Murray’s forehand landed wide on match point, Federer collapsed to the grass with tears welling in his eyes. He got up quickly and shook hands with Murray at the net.Up in the players’ box, Federer’s wife and twin daughters cheered and smiled as he took his seat to await yet another Wimbledon trophy presentation.“When the roof closed, he played unbelievable tennis,” Murray said.Federer is now 17-7 in Grand Slam finals, including 7-1 at Wimbledon. Murray dropped to 0-4 in major finals, with three of those losses coming against Federer.“It’s amazing. It equals me with Pete Sampras, who’s my hero,” Federer said. “It just feels amazing.”Besides Sampras, 1880s player William Renshaw also won seven Wimbledon titles, but he did it at a time when the defending champion was given a bye into the following year’s final.Sunday’s match was the first Wimbledon singles final to be played with the roof closed. The roof was first used at the All England Club in 2009.Britain has been waiting 76 years for a homegrown men’s champion at the All England Club, and the expectations on Murray were huge.Thousands of fans watched the match on a huge screen on “Murray Mount,” but left the grounds still waiting for a British winner.Inside the stadium, Prince William’s wife, Kate, sat in the Royal Box along with David Beckham, British Prime Minister David Cameron and a slew of former Wimbledon champions.Many of them left a bit disappointed as well.“Everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon, how tough it is,” Murray said. “It’s not the people watching. They make it so much easier to play. The support has been incredible, so thank you.”With his victory, Federer regained the No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic, allowing him to equal Sampras’ record of 286 weeks as the top-ranked player.“I never stopped believing. I started playing more, even though I have a family,” Federer said. “It all worked out. I got great momentum, great confidence and it all came together. So it’s a magical moment for me.”Murray is coached by eight-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl, the only other man who lost his first four major finals.At the start of the match, Murray was the one dictating play and winning the tough points. He broke Federer in the first game of the first set, and then broke again late before serving it out. It was the first set Murray has won in his four major finals.The second set was much more even, and both had early break points that they couldn’t convert. Federer, however, finally got it done in the final game of the set, hitting a backhand drop volley that Murray couldn’t get to.Both held easily to start the third set, but then the rain started abruptly, suspending play for 40 minutes. Shortly after they returned, it turned into a one-man show.With Federer leading 3-2, they played a 26-point, 20-minute game in which Federer finally converted his sixth break point — after Murray had slipped on the grass three times. Federer lost only five points on his serve in that set.Source: AP, ESPN read more

Fiscal Balance Remains Strong

Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, May 5 (JIS): The country’s fiscal balance remains in good standing, with the deficit at $7.8 billion at the end of the 2014/15 financial year in March.The figure is $3.6 billion better than the target of $11.4 billion, and can be credited to the lower interest payments on Government of Jamaica (GOJ) bonds, and cuts in expenditure for the period. “What this means is that the Government has to borrow less in order to meet all its expenditures including the payment of interest, and so that is good, because it reduces (the) debt build-up,” said Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Richard Byles.He was speaking at EPOC’s monthly press briefing in Kingston on Tuesday (May 5), where an assessment of the country’s economic performance as at the end of March was provided.Mr. Byles also informed that the country “comfortably” met the Net International Reserves (NIR) target, which stands at US$2.3 billion, which is almost double the target of US$1.4 billion. “So, we passed that target very comfortably I would say,” he noted.Meanwhile, the Government collected 98 per cent of its budgeted tax revenue for March. The EPOC Co-Chair said a total of $52.2 billion of the targeted $53.3 billion in taxes was collected.The shortfall in tax revenues was a result of underperformance from company taxes and General Consumption Tax (GCT) on local purchases. Mr. Byles told journalists non-compliance remains a serious issue in the collection of taxes. “Non-compliance continues to be a challenge for us, and we probably have not met the target we set because of compliance,” he noted.“We have to get tougher in respect of tax compliance. We can’t be going down to the wire, every quarter and just barely meeting the tax targets or missing the tax targets and having to recover by cutting on the expenditure side; it can’t continue,” he noted further. Recommended for you Related Items:Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), fiscal balance, richard byles, strong Epoc Expects Positive Review From Imf Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp EBOLA SCANNING MACHINE FOR SANGSTER AIRPORT read more

JAMAICA Bauxite on growth path says Minister Henry

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, November 15, 2017 – Kingston – Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, says Jamaica’s bauxite and alumina industry is on a growth path, driven by the reopening of the Alpart plant in Nain, St. Elizabeth, by Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) Limited.The company has proposed to invest some US$3 billion over a three-year period in the upgrading of the 1.65-million-tonnes-per-annum plant, which opened in June.This will expand production capacity to two million tonnes per annum by the end of 2020, the Minister said.   He was addressing a press conference held at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue offices in Kingston on Tuesday (November 14) to provide an update on projects under his portfolio.Other aspects of the investment by JISCO include construction of a new US$500 million, 230-megawatt (MW) liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant and a new aluminium foil/stainless steel plant; a new sheet plant; a new welding rod plant with other aluminium hydrate products.The project also includes redevelopment and expansion of Port Kaiser to accommodate mega ships, housing and support infrastructure for workers/investors as part of the special economic zones, and a greenhouse agricultural demonstration project to begin at the end of the second quarter of 2018.Meanwhile, the Mining Minister informed that in another few weeks, ground will be broken for the construction of a new 120MW LNG power plant at the Jamalco refinery in Clarendon.“This will improve efficiency, reduce operating costs and increase (the plant’s) profitability,” he said.He argued that the growth and development expected to come from the proposed investments in the alumina industry offer a unique opportunity to radically transform the economy of the south central section of the island and increase growth throughout the wider economy.“The forthcoming investments in the wider minerals sector, including metallic mineral exploration and the industrial minerals industry, will generate some 2,300 new direct and full-time jobs after the construction phase.   Additionally, over 22,000 new indirect jobs are to be created by the sector over the next three years. I am excited to see these come to fruition,” he said.Between 2014 and 2016, the mining and quarrying sector accounted for 50 per cent of the country’s domestic export earnings with the bauxite and alumina sub-sector responsible for 97 per cent of this amount.This averaged approximately US$663 million for that period. Only tourism generated more foreign earnings than this sector. Related Items:last_img read more

First Measles case confirmed in San Diego County

first_img August 7, 2019 Posted: August 7, 2019 KUSI Newsroom First Measles case confirmed in San Diego County SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The first case of measles this year in San Diego County has been confirmed in an 11-month-old resident who had recently traveled to the Philippines, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.The unimmunized infant is currently hospitalized, but may have exposed others while seeking care.“Measles is a very contagious disease that can be spread easily by coughing, sneezing or being in the same room with an infected person,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Anyone who was at any of these specific locations at the dates and times listed above should watch for symptoms and call their health care provider if they show any signs of the disease.”People with symptoms are asked to call their doctor’s office in advance, rather than visit an office directly, so that infection control measures may be activated to prevent exposure to others. Categories: Health, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more