Bridge of Sigh-cle ride for Hertford Principal

first_imgThe Principal of Hertford College, Will Hutton, will cycle from Oxford’s Bridge of Sighs to Venice’s Bridge of Sighs next July, to mark one hundred years since his college’s building of the famous Oxford landmark.Hutton sent out an email to Hertford students asking for their help in the attempt to carry out the challenge, set to take place over two weeks next July.In the email, Hutton said, “Over the next twelve months we celebrate the centenary of our iconic bridge and in thinking about ways to celebrate, the idea of a sponsored cycle ride from the Hertford bridge to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice was mooted.“This idea has increasingly caught my imagination, and over the last few days I have decided to do it – providing we can make it work. Believe me, at about a thousand miles over a fortnight next July this will be probably the most physically challenging thing I have ever done – and just the preparation is a daunting prospect.”Although Hutton intends to hire a professional company to help with the organisation of the trip, he is also keen for Hertford students to become actively involved. As his email explained, “I am looking for a group of individuals who can share my enthusiasm for this idea and help get it off the ground.“No, you don’t have to commit to ride with me, although you will be most welcome – my aspiration is to tap into the wider Hertford community rather than have the whole project driven by an outside contractor.”About half a dozen students will be asked to help Hutton in four areas – route planning, technical support, accommodation and transport. He says that he already has two possible routes planned.Hutton will formally announce the idea in September, when the centenary of the Bridge of Sighs will be celebrated by Hertford College with a series of lectures on the Bridge’s history, the screening of a short documentary about it, and a drinks reception and party.Hertford’s Bridge of Sighs was designed and built in 1913 and now connects the two main college buildings, spanning New College Lane. It was first opened in January 1914. The Bridge of Sighs in Venice, or the Ponte dei Sospiri, was built in 1602 and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace.The distance between them is 757 miles, just under the length of the famous John O’Groats to Land’s End ride in the UK, at about 840 miles.last_img read more

A Divide on Split-Rail Fences in Ocean City

first_imgIn the soft light of an Ocean City sunrise, new split-rail fences paint a pretty picture as they angle through the dunes and mark pathways to the beach.Storm surf from a northeast gale encroaches on a new split-rail fence at 57th Street in Ocean City less than a week after it was installed.But in the howling winds of a nor’easter with the ocean lapping at their posts, the same fences start to look a less peaceful and a little more like potential battering rams.That’s likely the image the city had when it passed an ordinance in 1993 regulating steps and ramps that provided access to the beach from private beachfront properties.“Cognizant of the potential harm of steps or ramps in the event of rising tidal water, but desirous of providing beach access to privately or publicly owned beach front lots, the City wishes to adopt and enforce rules and regulations governing the manner in which ramps and steps may be installed on the beach …,” the ordinance states.The local law (18-8) goes on to require that all such structures be portable — to be moved and stored safely within 24 hours of any National Weather Service coastal flood or hurricane watch/warning. It also requires that owners register the name of the person responsible for removing the steps and authorizes the city to do the work, if that person doesn’t.Split-rail fencing at the south end of Ocean City.So it’s with a mix of curiosity and dismay that beachfront property owner Jeffrey Monihan looks out on the hundreds of sections of split-rail fence recently installed between 37th Street and 59th Street as part of a massive Army Corps of Engineers beach and dune replenishment project.Monihan owns property on the 5600 block of Central Avenue and said he was arrested in the early 1990s around the time the ordinance was first passed. He had constructed concrete stairs over the rocks that line the bulkhead in front of his home.The case ultimately was buried by time and new sand from a beach replenishment project that took the urgency away from the issue, according to Monihan.But for him, the question remains: How did split-rail fence get approved?An Army Corps of Engineers contractor installs fencing marking dune crossovers between 37th Street and 59th Street.“The primary factor seems to be aesthetics,” Army Corps spokesman Richard Pearsall said. “But split rail also works well. The purpose of the crossover fencing is to serve as a delineation between the dune and the crossovers. It discourages people from walking on and destroying the dune grass, while at the same time allowing sand to pass through and across. The local sponsors pick what they want in terms of the style, and the split rail has become the standard up and down the Jersey coast.”“It’s possible that fence debris could cause some additional damage during a major storm that breaches the dune, but in such an extreme event, any additional damage from floating or projectile fence debris would be relatively minor compared to the primary storm damages that would occur from flooding and direct wave impact,” Pearsall said.The state Department of Environmental Protection Division of Land Use also approved the dune crossovers, according to DEP spokesman Bob Considine.He suggested the relevant permit dates back to 2006 and includes fencing, crossovers and materials — with the city able to decide what fence to use.Julie Baumgardner, who lived on the beachfront at 30th Street at the time, submitted a petition of 40 names in 2013, asking the city to use sand fence instead of split-rail.Superstorm Sandy wiped out a healthy dune at Waverly Beach and demonstrated the potential danger of heavy wooden structures on the beach.She said split-rail is ineffective as a deterrent — with people easily climbing over it and walking on the dunes. She also said it does little to allow new sand to collect on the dunes, as traditional sand fencing does. And she supported Monihan.“They break apart and become projectiles,” Baumgardner said.The city ultimately used sand-fencing in addition to split-rail at 30th Street and some nearby crossovers.With beach replenishment recently completed at the south end of Ocean City and with a new project expected to start at the north end next week, the concern likely will fade with the ocean a safe distance away.But it was three years ago today (Oct. 29, 2012) that Superstorm Sandy leveled dunes at the north and south ends of Ocean City. Earlier this month and again on Wednesday, a strong northeast swell carved into the dunes again at many spots on the north end. New split-rail fence delineates the dune crossover at 24th Street in Ocean City, NJ.last_img read more

Denmark to develop digital passport proving vaccinations

first_imgCOPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s government is developing a digital passport that would show whether people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The idea is that the passport would allow people to travel and could help the government ease restrictions on public life. The finance minister said Wednesday that “in three-four months, a digital corona passport will be ready for use in, for example, business travel.” He said “it is absolutely crucial for us to be able to restart Danish society so that companies can get back on track.” The EU says it is looking into various proposals for similar systems to help travel.last_img

One in 10 Whale Watchers Staying in Dominica Choose This Destination for the Whales

first_img Tweet 22 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Whale in Dominican waters.Results from three-year survey indicate that Dominica’s marine mammals are a major tourist attraction and that whale watchers visiting the island support efforts to protect whalesOne in 10 whale-watching tourists staying on the island said their main reason for coming to Dominica was to see whales, according to a three-year survey by CARIBwhale, the association of Caribbean whale-watch operators.An additional 70 percent said whale-watching was one of the attractions that drew them here. From 2008 to early 2011, more than 1,000 whale-watch passengers on CARIBwhale boats, such as Dive Dominica’s, completed the survey.The questionnaire was designed and its results were analyzed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, a global nonprofit organization with more than a decade of conservation experience in Dominica and other Caribbean islands.Whale watchers surveyed expressed satisfaction with their excursion in Dominica: 98 percent of those surveyed said they would recommend this tour to family and friends, and 95 percent said they would go on another whale watch tour.Three-fourths of survey respondents were very satisfied with the quality of their whale-watch tour overall, and 69 percent agreed with the statement “I learned a lot about whales and dolphins.”Elderly couple answering survery Survey respondents demonstrated concern for protecting whales.Three-quarters of whale watchers said “minimizing the tour boats’ impact on marine life” was important; nearly half of all respondents (48.9 percent) said it was “very important.” Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents said that “knowing the tour operator has committed to a code of conduct” is important; 59 percent said “very important.”CARIBwhale operators such as Mr. Augustus Bernard say they strive not only to be responsible stewards of the ocean in their work, but also to raise tourists’ awareness about protecting marine mammals.“Even when we don’t see a whale, I want to educate tourists about whales and the environment,” said Mr. Bernard, who has 13 years of experience leading whale watches at Dive Dominica and has participated in several CARIBwhale training programs about sustainable whale watching and natural resources management. “I talk about the environment a lot, such as how trash, pollution, marine debris and all that affect marine life and whales specifically.”Nearly half of all whale-watch survey respondents (46 percent) agreed strongly or somewhat with the statement “After this trip, I am more concerned about threats to marine life.”“These survey results underscore that whales are worth far more to Dominica alive than dead, as clearly marine mammals and the island’s other underwater treasures are a major draw for tourists,” said Jacob Levenson, IFAW’s whale program officer. “Careful protection of these natural resources will yield long-term economic benefits for Dominicans for years to come – a position reflected in the Dominica government’s prudent and praiseworthy decision not to support a pro-whaling agenda at the meetings of the International Whaling Commission.”The 2011 International Whaling Commission meeting is scheduled for early next month in Jersey, a small island of the United Kingdom just north of Normandy, France.CARIBwhale Inc. is an association of whale-watching operators as well as hotel and tourism organizations committed to responsible whale watching in the Caribbean.Its mission is to foster protection of cetaceans and their Caribbean habitat, and to support non-invasive scientific whale research, conservation, education and advocacy.Launched in 2007, CARIBwhale’s membership today spans six nations: Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.By: Alice Dalrymple Sharecenter_img LocalNews One in 10 Whale Watchers Staying in Dominica Choose This Destination for the Whales by: – June 29, 2011 Share Sharelast_img read more