Travelweek Group Share Tags: Saint-Martin, St. Maarten New re-opening dates for resorts on St. Maarten and Saint-Martin Wednesday, March 14, 2018 TORONTO — Six months after Irma, the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin has seen 12 hotels and inns reopen on the Dutch side and 10 hotels and inns reopen on the French side.The island’s roads are free of debris, several restaurants and shops have reopened, and beaches have been cleaned and reopened.The main terminal at Princess Juliana International Airport continues to make do with a temporary terminal while the main terminal undergoes repairs. On the French side, Grand Case International Airport is open. Taxis service is available at both airports, and ferry service to St Barths and Anguilla is fully operational.WIMCO Villas, which offers villa rentals in Saint-Martin in its global portfolio, has put together a list of what’s open and what’s re-opening soon in Saint-Martin and St. Maarten:HOTELS OPEN (ST. MAARTEN)Simpson Bay: Atrium Beach Resort, Commodore Suites, Baker’s Suites, Travel Inn Hotel, Simpson Bay Suites, El Zafiro Boutique Hotel, Mary’s Boon Beach Plantation ResortDawn Beach: Princess Heights Luxury Condo HotelPhilipsburg: Alicia’s Inn, Holland House Beach Hotel, Horizon View Beach HotelPROJECTED RE-OPENING DATES (ST. MAARTEN)The Belair Beach Hotel will open by the end of March 2018The Colombus Hotel will open at the end of April 2018Divi Little Bay Beach Resort will re-open May 1 2018Sonesta Ocean Point Resort will open Aug. 31, 2018The Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa is undergoing repairs and will open for the 2019 seasonMore news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthTOP RESTAURANTS & CASINOS OPEN (ST. MAARTEN)Simpson Bay: Little Bamboo, Toppers, Avantika, Buccaneers, Shiv Shakti, Sal & Pepe, Top Carrot, The Carrousel, Thai Savanna, Beirut, The Green House and Pineapple PeteJump Up Casino in the town of PhilipsburgThe Hollywood Casino in PelicanThe Princess Casino at Port de PlaisanceTropicana Casino in Cole BaHOTELS OPEN (SAINT-MARTIN)Grand Case: Bleu Emeraude Residence and Hever HotelSandy Ground: Mercure Saint Martin Marina and Spa HotelOther: Le Beach, Les Balcons, Golfe Hotel, Shamrock residences, Adam & Eve residences, Mon Reve guesthousePROJECTED RE-OPENING DATES (SAINT-MARTIN)Hotel La Plantation will be having a soft opening April 16, 2018Oyster Bay Beach Resort will open with limited rooms in April 2018Grand Case Beach Club opening Oct. 1, 2018Le Petit Hotel will open June 1, 2018.Marquis Boutique Hotel opening June 2018Hotel L’Esplanade will open on Nov. 1, 2018Le Shambala Hotel will be open in November 2018Alamanda Resort will open November, 2018Belmond La Samanna Hotel will open late 2018VILLAS (SAINT-MARTIN)WIMCO Villas (wimco.com) reports that of the 114 private villas in its portfolio in Saint-Martin, 17 villas will available for rent starting in the first week of April. Select villas available for a spring vacation in St Martin including Villa Ambiance, Villa Blue Beach, and Villa Mumbai.More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionTOP RESTAURANTS OPEN (SAINT-MARTIN)Marigot – Bistro de la Mer, Le Patio, Le Grand Saint Martin, La Main a la Pate, Tropicana, O Plongeoir, Le Grillardin, Chez Polo, L’Arhawak, La Terrasse, Yacht ClubGrand Case – La Villa Restaurant, Bistrot Caraibes, Cafe Spiga, Blue Martini, Rainbow Cafe, Les Bains, Max Place, Piazza Pascal, Spiga, La VillaOrient Bay – The Alamanda Kitchen and The Perch Beach Bar and Grille at Club Orient, Rancho del Sol, Cafe Plantation, L’Epicurien, Le P’tit BistroPinel Island – KaribuniNettle Bay – Les VoilesBellevue – Bistrot Da Vinci, La Fourchette, Le Gouter, Rice upon a timePort La Royale Marina – Crêperie du Lagon, La Main à la Pâte, La SourceSaint James – Chez Dounce, You & MeOyster Pond – BYZ, Mama Pizza, L’Oasis, La Petite Pause, Quaie OuestSandy Ground – Pizz’ HayoATTRACTIONSMany of the island’s top attractions are up and running such as snorkelling, charter boat cruises, zip lines and a new Eco-adventure park called Rain Forest Adventures. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Las Vegas “This ribbon roof becomes the central organizing feature of the entire campus,” said Rob Svedberg, principal at Atlanta-based architecture and interior design firm tvsdesign. “It’s quite simple and elegant. It basically lays across all the public circulation space of the building. So, wherever you see this ribbon is where you’re meant to move.”The expansion, which will extend the convention centre to the Las Vegas Strip, is part of a $1.4 billion project that also includes the renovation of every existing hall. The same law that authorized an increase in the room tax paid by guests of area hotels that’s partially funding the Oakland Raiders’ stadium in Las Vegas is also helping pay for the convention centre project.The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expects the entire project to be finished in 2023. The agency responsible for promoting the destination has estimated that the expansion and renovation will attract an estimated 610,000 new convention attendees per year.More news: Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Svedberg said some utility and other work has begun at the site, where the Riviera hotel once stood. But construction will pick up this fall after the authority’s board approves the maximum guaranteed price for the project.Tvsdesign has partnered with local design firms for this venture. The authority has estimated that the expansion and renovation will lead to an estimated 13,800 construction jobs.Chuck Bowling, the vice chair of the authority’s board of directors said input from top trade shows was considered in the design to ensure that the facility meets their needs and brings them back year after year. The city hosted more than 6.6 million conventioneers last year.“We know we are the number one trade show destination,” Bowling said. “This addition ensures that we will maintain that position and will bring new customers.” Las Vegas Convention Center unveils the design of its $860M expansion By: Regina Garcia CanoSource: The Associated Press Share LAS VEGAS — The multimillion-dollar expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center that officials say will allow the city to remain at the top of the list of trade show destinations will have a modern design tied by a ribbon-like roof on the outside and iconic imagery inside.The board of directors of the agency that promotes Las Vegas will be presented with the final design Tuesday. The $860 million project that involves the construction of a 600,000-square-foot (55,741-square-meter) exhibition hall is expected to be completed by January 2021, in time to welcome the annual CES gadget show.Renderings unveiled Monday show replicas of the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada sign and marquee of the Stardust hotel hanging at the new hall’s atrium. Street and aerial views of the venue show the silver metallic ribbon roof arching as it reaches the atrium – with glass windows allowing a view of the colorful signs – extending across a road and curving up again to create another lobby.More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passenger
Tags: Trafalgar, Trafalgar Spotlight Posted by Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Trafalgar, a world leader in travel for over 72 years is excited to connect Canadian clients like no other with the launch of their 2019 ‘Family Experiences’ program. From becoming a gladiator, exploring castles and dungeons or jus wandering the opens paces of cattle ranch, cowboy style, Trafalgar’s nine immersive itineraries to 52 cities will have clients and their families truly living ‘The Good Life.’ Clients will unlock special moments with their loved ones and are free to be in the moment and feel pure joy anywhere they choose to explore!Trafalgar values the importance of quality time for families of all ages to maximize their vacations perfectly tailored for hassle-free travel which will leave guests smiling all around. Trafalgar’s 2019 ‘Family Experiences’ trips allows guests to enjoy a perfect mix of fun, hands-on and educational activities that children of all ages will love. Also, perfect for multi-generational families too, Trafalgar’s carefully crafted trips allows clients to take their loved ones on a journey of fun, learning and inspiration.Clients and their families can enjoy ‘The Good Life’ and travel to Europe, North America and Central America with Trafalgar on the following NEW 2019 trip:Shamrocks and LeprechaunsOn Trafalgar’s NEW 2019 Shamrocks and Leprechauns adventure, clients and their families will learn everything eiré about the grand family adventure through emerald isle. They will see them play the game of thrones and encounter leprechauns and giants along the way! Some trip highlights that the entire family will enjoy include: ‘Dive Into Culture’ at the Titanic Belfast Visitor Center and gain a new perspective into the world’s most famous ship and the tragedy that befell it. As well as, enjoying a Trafalgar ‘Stays With Stories’ experience at County Down’s Slieve Donard Resort and Spa which features Victorian architecture and a beautiful coastal landscape that is picture perfect and enjoy some family fun and become a medieval archer and dress in costume before shooting medieval arrows using ancient bows.For more information on Trafalgar’s ‘Family Experiences,’ please contact your local Sales Manager or visit Trafalgar.com/en-ca and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and, Twitter. Saturday, October 6, 2018 Trafalgar Offers 2019 ‘Family Experiences’ to Europe, North America & Central America
Posted by Travelweek Group Mumbai airport to cancel 5,000 flights through March MUMBAI — Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is rolling out weekly flight cancellations to allow for repairs of two of its runways.Approximately 5,000 flights – domestic and international – coming in and out of the airport will be ‘cancelled’ for six hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between Feb. 7 and March 30, 2019.The only exception will be Thursday, March 21 when full-day operations will resume.An average 230 flights will be cancelled on each of these days for a total of 4,8000 cancellations until the end of March.Morning flights that are delayed and can’t take off or land before 11 a.m. may be grounded or diverted, reports Condé Nast Traveller.International flights will be put in priority sequence for takeoffs and landing, causing delays for domestic flights. Tags: Airport, Mumbai Friday, February 8, 2019 Share << Previous PostNext Post >>
It’s final: Residents in Costa Rica will be required to pay taxes on purchases made online. This was the word from the Finance Ministry, despite a recommendation by the Ombudsman’s Office to exempt online shopping from taxes.Finance Vice Minister Álvaro Ramos said in a press release that items free from taxation include “those sent by a friend or relative from another country to Costa Rica, for personal enjoyment and not exceeding $500” in a six-month period.The day before the U.S. shopping holiday known as “Black Friday,” in late November, the Finance Ministry reported that all online shopping would be taxed, although exemptions were applied in previous years. Online shopping taxes Facebook Comments Do you think it’s fair to eliminate tax exemptions for online purchases? No. They should allow it at least once a year. Yes. All purchases are the same. No response. No related posts.
From the print editionThe idea of apartheid in Costa Rica seems far-fetched today. But in the early colonial era, Costa Rican society followed rigid rules of caste. Cartago, the colonial capital and center of government and high society, represented the crown and imitated the social rules of Spain.A short time before Columbus set sail for the New World, Spain regained its own territory by forcing out the Moors and giving Jews a choice: convert or move elsewhere. The lands of the New World would also be white, Spanish and Catholic. People of color or mixed heritage, including blacks from African colonies, mulattoes, and Zambos (people of Indian and Spanish heritage) had to live in their own barrios. There was Puebla de los Pardos, or town of the brown people, for Pardos and Mulattoes, and Laboria for Zambos.This caste system was rigid and practiced in all of Spanish America. It was a means to control the population, making it easier to collect taxes for the crown, and for the church to evangelize. To let people know where the line was drawn, the Spanish colonists erected a Cross with two crossbars, a Cross de Caravaca, in Cartago.Costa Rican history of the l6th and l7th centuries is part legend and part fact, but the most important story of colonial Cartago of that Aug. 2, 1635. That’s the day an Indian girl named Juana Pereira is said to have been collecting firewood when she found a small, black statue of the Virgin Mary with her infant in her arms. Although the girl took the figure home, it somehow returned to its original spot. The girl took the relic home several more times but it always returned to the spot she found it. Today, that is the spot where the basilica now stands. Young Juana’s find was significant for ethnic minorities living around Cartago. If the Virgin appeared to an Indian girl, in a “colored” barrio and was itself “color,” how could the white population discriminate against people of color? It brought about an end to the racial separation in the colonial capital. “La Negrita,” or the Virgin of the Pardos, is now honored as the patron saint of nation and Barrio de los Pardos is now Barrio Los Angeles.The cross remains, having withstood time and tremors. It is made of stones and cement used in early colonial days. The symbol of the double-barred cross was used in battles against the Moors, and became associated with racial division. The cross made its way to Spain when Christian armies of Europe marched around the Mediterranean to wrest the Holy Land from Islamic rule. They conquered Jerusalem around 1098. Robert, the first patriarch, had a double-tiered cross containing a fragment of the cross of Christ.In 1232, the cross was carried to Spain to adorn a church in the castle of Alcazár de Caravaca. In the 15th century, it became a symbol in the fight against the Moors.Costa Rica’s Cross de Caravaca stands alone in a vacant lot, somewhat abandoned, just two blocks north of the basilica de Los Angeles. The basilica houses the same statue found by Juana Pereira 377 years ago. It remains a touchstone of history and a part of Cartago’s heritage. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Ashley Harrell Alejandro Berkowitz built the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas almost 20 years ago. An avid surfer, he chose the location on the hill so that others who participated in the sport would be able to check the waves from their room, pool or restaurant, then scamper across the street to the closest break. During my first two and a half-year stay living at the hotel, I too caught the surfing bug. I had met the infamous Robert August one day at the pool when I first came down, and when I moved he arranged for me to get my first surfboard, a 9’6 Wingnut Noserider. He also took me out downstairs and across the street to show me a few things in the water. He named our spot Ellen’s Reef.During those first years with the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, I often helped out with marketing and even did a short stint at its surf shop, originally run by the infamous Surf Patti, a woman known throughout the town for her vast surf knowledge. As a matter of fact, Patti wrote the surf column in the local magazine The Howler, and when she finally left Tamarindo, I inherited the job. That surf shop has remained an important asset for the hotel over the years, providing the guests with everything from surf wax to bikinis and board shorts, and valuable information about the area’s surf spots.After 10 years of living in Tamarindo, I was ready to retire from the entertainment business; I wanted to start a new career in Costa Rica. After a conversation with Berkowitz, I found myself back at the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, living in another room, and working as the new reservations manager. I just couldn’t stay away.There’s a lot to be said about living and working at the hotel. My job is to fill the rooms on the property with guests from all over the world, and we receive a steady stream of people all year round. Sure, the hotel is a Best Western, but it is distinctly Costa Rican. Nearly all the staff is from this country, and the flourishes in the room and public areas reflect the local flavor.The hotel itself has only 29 rooms – four standard, eight ocean view, seven tropical suites, four large “corona” suites, four newly-renovated corona deluxe suites, a three-bedroom imperial suite and a two-bedroom casita called the Pilsen suite. Most of the rooms have beautiful ocean views. Now the rooms offer WiFi, cable TV, air conditioning, safe deposit boxes and coffeemakers to clients from the United States, Canada, Argentina, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Venezuela, Israel, and the rest of the world. Certainly, our brand name helps with the bookings, but the 4- and 5-star TripAdvisor reviews don’t hurt either.Since I eat most of my meals here at the hotel, I can speak with authority about their tastiness. Every night when I go for dinner, I meet some guests at the Crazy Monkey Bar or restaurant, dining on something from our chefs. We specialize in pizza, nachos, fish, hamburgers, chicken wings, ceviche, and more. Trevor greets the guests every morning at our free continental breakfast, and he seems to be able to answer just about any question about Tamarindo and Costa Rica.The surf shop is now run by one of my oldest friends in town, former national surf champion Andrea Díaz. She used to be sponsored by Roxy, so she was able to make her Waves Costa Rica Surf Shop, the only Quiksilver/Roxy surf shop in the country, and the first in Latin America. Her lessons are terrific, as she offers ocean theory as well as the physical surf experience.I’m also well-placed for nightlife, which comes to me every Friday night with a Salsa Dance Party right upstairs from where I live. The event draws an average of 300 people every week to dance, drink and have a good time at the hotel bar by the pool. In between the live set of band Vino Tinto, we feature the beats of DJ Pipe. The event has been going strong for 10 years, with no sign of letting up.Of course, Tamarindo is so much more than a single hotel. I feel fortunate to be centrally located, near both the beach and the town. And when I don’t feel like venturing out, I just have to hit pool on Sunday, a draw for locals who come and use the facilities for the price of a drink or a meal at the restaurant.With nearly three years as reservations manager with the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, I can say I have found my home. I live in a little room under the stairs and I love my work at the hotel. I also love being a part of a place that can offer a great vacation to those who visit, and who knows? Maybe the experience I help provide might sway another guest to move to here. Facebook Comments The owner built the hotel up high so surfers could monitor the waves. Years ago, in an effort to please a man, I visited Tamarindo, Costa Rica. We ended up at a small hotel called the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, because the hotel sat on a hill overlooking Tamarindo Bay and was conveniently located near six famous surf breaks in Guanacaste. That was important to the man.Our Tropical Suite had a bedroom, living room and kitchen, with a patio and a partial ocean view, and we adored the wood and floral finishes. I spent my time looking out over the Pacific, soaking at the swim-up bar and dining at the topside restaurant, and it was a truly wonderful vacation experience. The friendly staff not only attended to our needs in the room, but were also eager to be our social guides in town. For me, the Vista Villas was instantly home.The guests were a mix of surfers young and old, as well as families and travelers who, like me, had found the place on the Internet or through word of mouth and come to enjoy it on vacation. As a community gathering place, I met a lot of people from all around the world who had given up their previous lives and moved to Tamarindo to start new ones. I was intrigued.Soon after we arrived, we learned a common adage: “It’s not a Costa Rica vacation unless you change your flight at least once.” Following suit, our 10-day trip was extended to two and a half weeks. We changed our flights twice.When we left, I couldn’t keep Tamarindo and the hotel I had discovered out of my mind. To wit, I made three more trips down in the next six months, and on the final trip, I decided to move there, this time on my own. To make the move to Tamarindo, I needed to find a place that would have the facilities to allow me to keep my job from the United States, where I was a publicist in the entertainment industry. Back then, in 1999, telephones were few and far between in Tamarindo, and the Internet was dial-up. I had to find a place that would provide both of those services. After considering many different locations, I once again settled on the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas. The manager provided me with a nice room with a kitchenette, refrigerator, air conditioner, television (at the time Tamarindo didn’t have cable) and that all-important telephone. No related posts.
Related posts:Former Broad Front Party lawmaker Ronal Vargas Araya wants his job back 11 lawmakers return to Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly for second term Guatemala’s Pérez Molina says he’s ‘calm’ as impeachment storm swirls around him Guatemalan ex-President Pérez Molina indicted for corruption, sent to jail pending investigation Me siento burlado por las revelaciones entorno a la renuncia de Ronal Vargas a su curul. Engañó al país.— Luis Guillermo Solís (@luisguillermosr) February 6, 2015 Ronal Vargas Araya’s seat will be filled by Suray Carrillo Guevara, also from Guanacaste. Carrillo currently serves as a legislative adviser to the Broad Front Party. Facebook Comments Broad Front Party lawmaker Ronal Vargas Araya on Thursday afternoon brought his colleagues in the Legislative Assembly to tears when he announced that he had submitted a letter of resignation to the Supreme Elections Tribunal in order to undergo medical treatment for a severe health problem.“My [health] situation is delicate, and I don’t want to affect my party or the Assembly with my absences,” he said. Lawmakers cheered and embraced him for several minutes, accompanying him as he left the building.His story, however, doesn’t appear to be truthful.As the legislative session resumed, rumors began to circulate that there was another cause for his resignation. At about 9 p.m., Broad Front Party legislator Edgardo Araya summoned members of the media to a press conference, where he revealed that his party had asked Vargas Araya to step down after discovering the legislator likely will face criminal charges for allegedly sexually harassing an office assistant.Edgardo Araya told reporters that no other Broad Front Party legislator was aware of the true reasons for Vargas Araya’s resignation at the time of his speech. He denied that his colleagues intentionally concealed the information.Edgardo Araya also said his party would respect the alleged victim’s request to remain anonymous. “We accepted her request in order to avoid causing her further emotional distress,” Araya said.The Broad Front Party’s top lawmaker, Gerardo Vargas Varela, told the daily La Nación that earlier in the day, he met with the party’s former presidential candidate, José María Villalta, and the party’s secretary general, Rodolfo Ulloa, to discuss the accusations against the Guanacaste legislator and to ask him to resign. According to Vargas Varela, the party sought Vargas Araya’s resignation so that he could face trial without the immunity from prosecution granted to lawmakers.Gerardo Vargas also told La Nación that he was surprised by Vargas Araya’s sob story before the full Assembly.“He agreed to resign and he never mentioned anything about health problems. That excuse was completely unknown to us,” he said.President Luis Guillermo Solís reacted to the news on his Twitter account, saying he felt “cheated.”
Related posts:Transport Ministry says Cañas-Liberia highway expansion will help local businesses, but residents are wary City officials finally promise relief to Cartago residents facing ongoing water shortages More rains expected over Costa Rica starting Tuesday evening Construction of Discovery Costa Rica set to begin in 2018 TAMARINDO, Guanacaste – Last month after a rousing surf session, I returned to my Tamarindo home well in need of a shower. I was covered with sand. While soaping up my hair, the water coming out of the shower head reduced to a trickle. With the last drops I was barely able to rinse the shampoo out. Once again, the local water company had curbed the flow to where I lived.After a few hours, the water returned — shortly after my decision to jump in the pool to finish cleaning off.This was not a rare occurrence these past few months. As a matter of fact, for the last couple of years, the beachside town of Tamarindo has been suffering repercussions from a lack of regular and consistent precipitation during its rainy seasons. According to some estimates, by this time of year the town should have reached about 11 mm of rainfall.But area officials have acknowledged that the rain accumulation is well short of that mark. National Meteorological Institute (IMN) Director Juan Carlos Fallas says Guanacaste, the northwestern province that encompasses Tamarindo, is facing a 65 percent rain deficit this year. The shortage has meant the three local water companies – Tamarindo’s rural water company, or ASADA; the one run by the National Water and Sewage Institute (AyA); and one owned by Tamarindo developer Russell Wenrich – have implemented emergency measures in order to preserve what’s left in the town’s wells and prepare for high tourism season.According to a local water manager, nine wells currently are in operation in Tamarindo, including one recently donated to the community on a 14-month lease by the Tamarindo Diria Hotel. The water manager said salt water intrusion had ruined one of the town’s best wells.In order to ensure a fair distribution of water to all sectors of Tamarindo, AyA has imposed a rationing system whereby different neighborhoods get water to their taps at prescribed times of the day. Additionally, AyA has two water trucks running back and forth from various aquifers to Tamarindo’s wells, but even that assistance is not without problems.Recommended: If building in Costa Rica, know your water rights before you buy“They are not always consistent. There have been problems with the trucks themselves and sometimes the drivers call in sick,” reported Trevor Bernard, manager of Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas. Bernard is a civil engineer by trade, and a board member of the Tamarindo Development Association and the Tamarindo Chamber of Commerce.“The water trucks are not enough to single-handedly meet our town’s demand and they will not be enough to compensate for the deficit of water production when the town is full,” he said.Hernán Imhoff, chairman of the Tamarindo Chamber of Commerce, said the town is currently in discussions with the Diria Hotel about donating a second well to help the community become water solvent. The dry Diría River in Costa Rica’s northwestern province of Guanacaste. Michael Krumholtz/The Tico TimesNimboyores to the rescue?The aquifer below Tamarindo is replenished by a process known as “infiltration,” where a portion of the precipitation falling seeps into the ground. Many factors affect how much of this precipitation makes it to the aquifer and how much water returns to rivers and oceans as surface runoff, mainly the slope of the terrain, type of soil, duration of the rainstorm and rate at which the rain falls. Once the water saturates the ground, part of it can move up as natural springs, part of it flows like a slow river to the ocean, and part penetrates deep into the ground to form the area’s aquifer. Wells are drilled to bring water from the aquifer to the surface.“The reason the water is getting so low, is that we have not had the same consistent amount of precipitation needed to replenish the water in our area’s aquifer after the water is pumped out,” Bernard said.Last July 25 a group of tourism operators, community groups and organizations — among them ADI and the Guanacaste Chamber of Tourism — marched from Liberia to Nicoya Park as part of the Annexation of Nicoya anniversary celebration. Called Agua Pro Guanacaste, the movement has begun to achieve its goal of making the government aware of the dire water problem in the area.AyA now says it will allocate $3.5 million towards getting more water to the Tamarindo area. (The total amount designated is actually $5 million, but the remaining money is slated for another zone.) AyA plans to build an aqueduct to get water out of the Nimboyores aquifer, located northwest of Tamarindo, and distribute it to the coastal areas between Potrero and Avellana.According to AyA adviser Sandra Salazar Vindas, “Nimboyores is good because its inland, bigger, has more water and has a higher output.”But residents of that area, particularly the town of Lorena, are not happy about the plan, fearing that piping water to the coast would mean a shortage for them. “The opposition is not from the ASADAS, but from two other groups: the Commission for the Defense of Nimboyores and the Institute of Oceanology Society of Costa Rica,” Salazar explained. “They believe this area should be completely protected, and that it’s not necessary that the aquifer be used for the other areas,” Salazar explained.AyA is facing additional resistance from the coastal area ASADAS, which are afraid AyA will demand high prices for the water.Bernard, the civil engineer, said: “The problem is AyA has not given these ASADAS the price of what it’s going to cost.” He explained that ASADAS are limited by the public regulatory agency in how much they can charge their customers for water, and they’re worried that paying for water from the Nimboyores project will drain their operational budgets. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesWater trucks and conservationTamarindo businesses and locals are coping with the inconsistent water service in any way they can. Hotel Capitán Suizo is using less water on its gardens, and the owner is building a new water treatment plant in order to use recycled water for landscaping in the future. So far, the hotel’s large water tank has maintained enough water for guests, but some of the property’s gardens have dried out. A written request for conservation is included in every guest room.“We bought a water truck,” said Urs Schmid, owner of Capitán Suizo and president of the Tamarindo Development Association. “If things get even worse, we would start to look for a place where we could buy water and bring it to the hotel.”Schmid said the hotel began implementing water-saving techniques years ago, including low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, water-efficient toilets and drip irrigation.“By asking our customers to decide for themselves if they would like to have their bed linens and towels changed, we can further cut back on water consumption. In our experience, our customers are happy to save water if given the option to do so,” Schmid said. “We hope that every business and house in the area will analyze how they can save water because together we can make a big difference.”RPM Vacation Rentals, which oversees 160 properties and 10 homeowners associations around Tamarindo, is also working to cut water use. The company has instructed gardeners to use as little water as possible; maids only change and wash sheets once a week unless otherwise requested by a guest; and maintenance staff spends a lot of time checking water tanks to ensure they are full.Carolyn Herman, owner of RPM, has her staff educate guests at check-in about the drought, and “we explain the concept of having a water tank that fills up from the street, but we also explain their need to be careful [about water use].”Still, she said renters often find themselves, grumpily, with dry taps.“Most clients are understandably very upset about this. Most do not live in countries where they have ever experienced not having water whenever they want it,” Herman said. “We work hard to patiently explain the situation. If we discover that a tank is empty during the day, and there are clients in the unit or complex, we will call in a water truck to fill the tank up before the evening rush. We are constantly checking water tank levels in all of our properties and associations. We have sometimes brought bottles of water to our clients and other things to try to tide them over.”AyA earned high marks from Herman for its attentiveness to water needs during the recent Tamarindo Beach Marathon, which brought around 12,000 people to town, with many staying at RPM homes and condos. “Not only did they speed up connection of one of the new donated wells, but they also had water trucks coming in all weekend. Our guests did not experience any water issues. We even saw trucks coming all day Sunday, which is awesome. We are happy to see that they have the ability and resources to deal with high demand,” Herman said.For Bernard’s part, he has been investigating an alternative answer to the local water crisis: a desalination plant. But to move ahead, someone, or some entity, would have to come up with the money, and get the proper permits from the Municipality of Santa Cruz as well as the Environment Ministry and the Coastal Commission.“Currently, there isn’t clear legislation on how the whole thing should be set up,” Bernard said.On Oct. 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave a talk in the provincial capital of Liberia about desalinization and Bernard was in attendance.“I feel at this point [the Tamarindo Development Association] and the community of Tamarindo are trying to find the quickest and easiest solution,” Bernard said. “If we don’t find a solution soon, we will have a very interesting summer.” Facebook Comments
Related posts:5 questions for a Costa Rica band – ‘We all have our own chaos’ 5 questions for a Costa Rican actress – ‘Theater keeps my heart full of passion’ 5 questions for Cuban pianist Leonardo Gell – ‘I believe in love and effort’ 5 questions for a Costa Rican filmmaker – ‘It’s important to leave people thinking’ The self-taught journalist and writer Diego Delfino, 35, was born in Costa Rica to Uruguayan parents, went to elementary and high school in Turrialba, and studied computer engineering and then law at the University of Costa Rica. However, he went on to follow his one true passion: putting his thoughts into words. He is the author of the book “Pozo Ciego,” co-creator of the cultural alternative online space 89decibeles, and has contributed to the daily La Nación’s “Tinta Fresca” section, “SoHo”and “Su Casa” magazines, and “GN Móvil.” Delfino sat down on a Wednesday afternoon at the beautiful Bella Vista Park in Rohrmoser to tell The Tico Times about his adventures and his plans for 2016. Excerpts follow.Why did you choose to be a journalist?That goal was always very clear to me. I had the “Adventures of Tintin” comics when I was 9 years old and immediately I knew that was what I wanted to do: tell stories. I remember collecting Colgate boxes to win some computers, which I then used to create a school newspaper. That was when I was 10 years old and it obviously lasted about two weeks, but that interest was always alive. I always wrote diaries when I was a child. They were bad, but I wanted to write. My mom is a philologist, Spanish teacher and amateur writer, so I don’t know if it influenced me or not, but it was there somehow. My uncle is a journalist. He was the president of the Journalists’ Association in Uruguay and was even arrested by the country’s dictatorship.When I was a teenager and the movie “Almost Famous” was released, it was crystal clear to me that I wanted to do something like that and somehow generate a positive impact. It was something that was inside me, and that somehow was going to manifest itself, one way or another. I got into what I’m passionate about.How did 89decibeles come to be?My friend Adrián Pauly is a musician and had a band with his sister; during that time, she was my girlfriend, so I hung out a lot with them and noticed how the music scene functioned. We felt that there was not enough [music] coverage on the part of the traditional media. We were sons of the MTV and Internet generation, and we hated reading reviews in the traditional media that were badly written, without passion and as if the reporters were there due to an obligation. Since there was no social media [when we created 89decibeles], a lot of people joined, and the forum became a form of social media in which people began getting to know each other and share interests. Even people with different interests such as cinematography, alternative culture, television, and web series began getting together. We then began including that content and it consolidated into a digital magazine, and we inaugurated the column and opinion section. Finally, we opened the blog section so it was not only our insight, but also a space in which people could debate.In June, after 12 years of 89decibeles, I told Adrián that I thought the project had accomplished its function and decided to move on because I did not have the inspiration and motivation to continue with it. He continued with the project. I’m completely thankful with this because I met the most important people of my life. I’m planning on creating a compilation of the best texts published on the site over a decade to have a physical reference.Which has been the most challenging piece you’ve done and the one that you’ve enjoyed the most?Definitely, the chronicle about being a boxer for one day that I wrote for “SoHo.” Those chronicles were about placing yourself within the job of another person. For someone with my level of fitness, the workouts were exhausting. I’m a passive, nonviolent person. I think the guy who I fought against was fired. He was a trainer and made the fight way too real. He knocked me out in the first round and it could’ve been dangerous. I did not enjoy that experience.What I did enjoy a lot was being the editor for “Su Casa.” I could show my identity, take it in the direction I wanted, and provide a space for people who are doing great things in the country in different areas. This project brought me a lot of satisfaction, even as much as 89decibeles. Personally, the pieces I’ve liked the most have been writing about Keylor Navas after [Costa Rica’s National Team] qualified for the World Cup. I also enjoyed interviewing Bryan Ruiz and Wilmer López. It was a childhood dream come true.If you could be any character, which one would you be?The other day I was watching Bruce Lee’s “The Crow.” I’d probably be The Crow because I like a lot what he entails: a very solitary and nocturnal guy. The vengeance plot is something I’ve always liked. That’s why I also love Vendetta and the Count of Monte Cristo. Setting things right [by dealing with] people who have abused power and violence is something that draws my attention. The stories about getting everything in order are something that I like. Obviously, he has a very cool outfit and make up and I also love the theatrical part about wearing a mask and scaring people a bit. I also like a character from Batman called Anarchy. He’s an antihero who transgressed, like Vendetta, but for positive reasons.Which are your New Year’s Resolutions?I hope that my three books will be published. One is an approximation of a novel, the second one an approximation of poetry and the third one an approximation of the essay. The three of them are complementary; they’re interspersed. It’s a very intertextual exercise and within the idea of what’s going on with the Internet. You have 14 tabs open and you’re watching something on YouTube, listening to Spotify, answering chats, writing an essay and watching a movie, so it’s a bit of everything. I’m very excited about it. It’s been a process of a year and a half to give it its shape and set it down. It’s going to be a nice beginning and I’m excited about facing 2016. I want to publish my books, create the advertising agency, creating a new news medium. I want all of those things to come out right.Read other Weekend Arts Spotlight” stories here.Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook Comments
The Truth Commission created by the Nicaraguan Parliament to investigate the violent acts that have left 47 dead during anti-government protests in recent weeks, announced Thursday that investigation has begun and that the committee hopes to receive the support of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), based in San José, Costa Rica.“To fulfill its mission, the Commission has established and will develop contacts with specialized organizations in human rights on the national, regional and international level, such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as well as the appropriate authorities,” the commission said in a statement read by one of its members, Mirna Cunningham, at a news conference.“We consider the collaboration of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to be valuable,” explained another member of the commission, Adolfo Jarquín, who said members have sent letters to the court rapporteur as well to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.The rapporteur on human rights from the United Nations (UN) has also been contacted, he added. The invitations must be issued by the Nicaraguan government, which has been pressured by various sectors within the country and by the United States to allow the participation of the Inter- American Court.According to Jarquín, the government has not rejected the idea, as said last week, but rather that it “asked for time to advance” the organization of the Truth Commission and the implementation of national dialogue, for which no date has been set.The Truth Commission was installed on Sunday by the parliament, dominated by the president’s party, to investigate the acts of violence that took place during anti-government protests that started on April 18 and have left 47 dead and more than 400 injured.The commission said Thursday that it is preparing to investigate “the deaths, the wounded, the imprisoned, reports of missing persons, fires, and acts of vandalism,” as well as “destruction of private goods.” Sandinista stronghold calls for Nicaraguan leader to end repression “The Committee is ready to start receiving reports and evidence from sectors, with no exclusion, effective immediately,” Cunningham said.The investigation, which will last three months, will include an analysis of the origins of the protests and “where this is going,” she added.On Tuesday, a student coalition that has lead the protests characterizied the Committee as “illegitimate” and demanded the formation of a “pluralist, just and trustworthy” entity. VIDEO: Inside Nicaragua’s historic protests Facebook Comments Nicaragua’s primal scream Related posts:PHOTOS: Nicaraguans in Costa Rica gather to support their country during hard times Costa Rica’s Epsy Campbell speaks out against Venezuelan elections Nicaraguan crisis leaves vital street market with economic bruises Nicaraguan resistance group speaks out, refutes Nicaragua pointing finger at Costa Rica for attacks
A lack of firefighting equipment and personnel coupled with safety violations has resulted in major fire disasters in the Philippines, especially in shantytowns. Butuan is a city of more than 300,000 about 790 kilometers (500 miles) southeast of Manila.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories Comments Share Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Bystanders used a hydraulic car jack to pry open the gate and pulled the three screaming women out from the burning lobby, Basil said.“The women kept on pounding the hot steel gate while yelling for help,” Basil told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that the employee who kept the door key perished in the room upstairs.Mylene Tulo, one of three who escaped, said she woke up as the fire spread rapidly in the third-floor room where they slept. She managed to dash out with two colleagues. All three sustained minor burns on their arms.“We wanted to rouse others from sleep, but the fire was already too strong,” a stunned Tulo said.Investigators were trying to determine what sparked the fire, which broke out at 3:55 a.m. and raged for five hours, city police chief Pedro Obaldo said.Many stores in the Philippines allow their employees to sleep over, especially those from faraway homes.Relatives and friends failed to identify any of the 17 badly burned bodies at a funeral home and were asked to bring dental records or anything that could help authorities establish the identities of the dead.The building in Agusan del Norte province in the southern Mindanao region was a theater before being turned into a commercial center with several stores, including the Novo Jeans and Shirts, where the victims died. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Associated PressMANILA, Philippines (AP) – An inferno at a three-story clothing store in the southern Philippines early Wednesday killed 17 employees, all women who were sleeping on the top floor, police said.Three women managed to dash out of a burning room and groped their way down three floors in darkness but found that the main steel door in the building in downtown Butuan city was locked, police investigator Jonathan Basil said. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day
Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day He noted that during his three-day visit to the Lebanese capital, which begins Friday, he would meet with Lebanese authorities as well as Christians from Lebanon and other nearby countries.“I am not unaware of the often dramatic situation endured by the populations of this region which has been for too long torn by incessant conflict,” Benedict said. “I understand the anguish of many Middle Easterners steeped daily in sufferings of every kind, which afflict sadly, and sometimes mortally, their personal and family life.”The pope urged the international community to support efforts at dialogue and reconciliation, as he stressed “the importance for the whole world of a stable and lasting peace in the entire region.“My apostolic voyage in Lebanon, and by extension in the Middle East in its entirety, comes under the sign of peace,” Benedict said.In recent weeks there was concern that spillover in parts of Lebanon from the fighting in Syria might derail the trip by the 85-year-old pontiff. But the Vatican has assured the faithful that despite a climate of tensions in Lebanon the pilgrimage is going forward.Benedict’s visit is also aimed at encouraging his flock in the Middle East. Some Christian communities there have suffered for their faith, including terror attacks in Iraq. His schedule also includes his celebrating Mass in Beirut and attending a gathering with youth.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Patients with chronic pain give advice Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) – Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday characterized his trip to Beirut later this week as a pilgrimage for peace for the entire Middle East region and its anguished people.Benedict told pilgrims at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome that while finding solutions for the Middle East’s problems seems difficult, people “shouldn’t resign themselves to violence or worsening tensions.” Men’s health affects baby’s health too Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Top Stories
Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Girls in bright traditional dresses from a group called “La Carimba,” for the brand burned by a hot iron on the skin of slaves, dance to a beat produced by the jawbone of a donkey on a wooden box.Cat races, a fireworks dance and a night of eating and drinking close out the celebration.A chapel was built in La Quebrada in the 18th century dedicated to Santa Efigenia, who was popular among the then Spanish colony’s African slaves. Fervor for the saint faded over the years, until in 1994 efforts by black activists to honor the Afro-Peruvian culture led to a festival being held for Efigenia in La Quebrada.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Men’s health affects baby’s health too Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Comments Share Top Stories LA QUEBRADA, Peru (AP) – Every year, Peruvians descended from African slaves come to La Quebrada to celebrate an adored black saint.The devotees join in a procession for Santa Efigenia, enthusiastically singing Afro-Peruvian songs interspersed with solemn Roman Catholic hymns as they walk the dusty streets of this Pacific coastal town 85 miles (138 kilometers) south of Lima.Standing next to the bier holding a statue of the only African saint venerated in Peru, a young boy recites verses about the arrival of slaves rom “Angola, Mozambique and Timbuktu” to work in the region’s sugar cane fields.
Associated PressSANAA, Yemen (AP) – Yemen’s president on Wednesday ordered a shake-up of the country’s Defense Ministry, removing the powerful son, relatives and aides of the ousted leader, in a harsh blow to the ex-president’s remaining ties to power.According to Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s orders, the elite Republican Guard and Special Forces, which were commanded by ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son, Ahmed, merged under the ministry, effectively reducing Ahmed Saleh’s power base. However, it was not clear whether Saleh’s son will remain in the Defense Ministry or in what capacity. Hadi also named a new commander to replace Saleh’s nephew, Yahia, as head of the Central Security Forces and merged another unit headed by Yahia, the Anti-Terrorism Force, to the Defense Ministry.Hadi also removed Saleh loyalists to from top positions in the ministry. One of them is the ousted president’s brother Mohammed, who was among at least seven deputies of chief of staff to be dismissed. The positions were not listed in the new structure.The decisions also merged one of Saleh’s top foes, Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who defected last year to the mass uprising that called for Saleh’s ouster and brought his First Armored Division to protect protesters, under the ministry.Restructuring the army was a top demand by Yemenis after Saleh’s ouster in February.On Friday, thousands of Yemenis marched on city centers in the capital and across the country, demanding removal of Saleh’s aides from key government and military positions.Saleh is still in Yemen, and many blame him of behind the scenes maneuvering to stall the new leadership’s reform efforts.On Saturday, a military tribunal sentenced 93 soldiers and officers of the elite Republican Guard to three to seven year prison terms for resisting authorities and mutiny for trying to occupy the Defense Ministry in August. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The defendants were accused of firing at the ministry’s guards. The firefight left one attacker, two ministry guards and two civilians dead.On Monday, a committee of “National Dialogue” by representatives from different political forces and NGOs demanded that the president unify ranks of the army in order to be able to proceed with national reconciliation. That was one of the articles in the power-transfer deal backed by U.S. and brokered by neighboring Gulf countries, which eased Saleh out of power and paved the way for new elections.A retired army brigadier, Mohsen Khosrouf, described Wednesday’s moves as “the most important decisions” taken by Hadi and warned, “no one can resist these decisions because they are backed by international resolutions, and any challenge will be a challenge to international community.”The military took control of the south after battling al-Qaida militants who seized towns during the uprising. With U.S. support, the military managed to push al-Qaida militants out of their strongholds. Al-Qaida militants waged a wave of assassinations of top military officials in retaliation.One of the bloodiest attacks against the Yemeni army took place on May 21, when a suicide bomber _ who turned out to be a son of a colonel _ blew himself up in the middle of a military rehearsal in the capital, Sanaa, killing around 100 soldiers. Men’s health affects baby’s health too In March, al-Qaida militants launched a surprise pre-dawn attack on a southern base while troops slept, killing 185 troops and capturing 73. The militants sprayed tents where soldiers were sleeping with gunfire. They dumped their bodies in the desert, some beheaded, and paraded dozens of captured soldiers through a nearby town.On Wednesday, a top military intelligence official escaped death after assailants blew up an explosive planted in his car in Hadramawt in the south, according to a Yemeni security official.Washington considers al-Qaida in Yemen as the militant group’s most dangerous branch.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share Top Stories Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – A Kenyan court on Monday sentenced two Iranian nationals convicted of plotting attacks against Western targets to life in prison.Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi were arrested in June 2012 and led officials to a 15-kilogram (33-pound) stash of the explosive RDX. Officials in Kenya say the two suspects may have been planning attacks on Israeli, American, British or Saudi Arabian interests in Kenya. Comments Share 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Karathe also argued that nobody had been harmed as a result of what his client was being accused of and asked the magistrate to consider Mohammad’s health. He said Mohammad had undergone heart surgery and needs constant medication and that prison conditions will make his health “life threatening.”Mohammad’s wife, Fatma Rhahimid, said through a translator that both men are innocent and their trial was heavily influenced by “extrajudicial forces.”Iranian agents are suspected in attacks or thwarted attacks around the globe in recent years, including in Azerbaijan, Thailand and India. Most of the plots had connections to Israeli targets. Kenyan anti-terror officials said the two Iranians are members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, an elite and secretive unit.Police Sgt. Erick Opagal, an investigator with Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, asked the court last year to deny bail to the two because more than 85 kilograms (187 pounds) of the explosives that authorities say was shipped into Kenya has not been found.The two Iranians arrived in Kenya on June 12, 2012, and traveled to coastal city of Mombasa on the same day to receive the explosives, Opagal’s affidavit said. They traveled back to Nairobi after receiving the explosives from an accomplice who is still at large, it said. Check your body, save your life Magistrate Kiarie Waweru Kiarie sentenced the two to life in prison for committing acts intended to cause grievous harm. The two were sentenced to additional prison sentences of 15 and 10 years on lesser charges. The sentences will be served simultaneously, Kiarie said.Kiarie said an expert for the prosecution, who testified that the cache of RDX explosives was capable of bringing down a tall building, influenced his sentencing decision. “I shudder to imagine the amount of life and property that would have been forever destroyed,” the magistrate said.“Even as I hear the accused persons mitigating and crying for mercy, there is yet a louder cry by the blood of the previous victims of terrorist attacks, the orphan, the widow and widower due to such heinous attacks. All are crying for justice,” Kiarie said.Mohammad and Mousavi displayed little outward reaction when the sentences were read. Mohammad smiled before media cameras.Defense lawyers said they would appeal.“The decision is outrageous. It’s wrong. It’s illegal. It’s a nullity. The magistrate has totally misconceived the law,” David Kirimi who represented Mousavi, said.Defence lawyer Wandugi Karathe, representing Mohammad, earlier urged the magistrate to give his client a non-custodial sentence, arguing that Mohammad “is remorseful of the circumstances that brought him to the court” and is a sole breadwinner for six children in Iran. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Several resorts on Kenya’s coast are Israeli-owned. Militants in 2002 bombed an Israeli-owned luxury hotel near Mombasa, killing 13 people. The militants also tried to shoot down an Israeli airliner at the same time. An al-Qaida operative was linked to those attacks.Investigators believe that if the Iranian plot had been successful, suspicion would have naturally fallen not on Iran but instead on the Somali militant group al-Shabab. Al-Shabab has threatened to bring Nairobi’s skyscrapers to the ground following Kenya’s military push into Somalia in October 2011.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project
Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, left, and Thai Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, right, leave Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej made a rare public appearance Tuesday to mark the 65th anniversary of his coronation. (Phamorn Manapornchai/Daily News via AP) THAILAND OUT; NO SALES Top Stories Sponsored Stories The heir apparent, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, does not command the same respect and affection as the king.Open discussion of the monarchy is constrained by a strict lese majeste law that makes criticism punishable by up to 15 years in prison.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments Share BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej made a rare public appearance Tuesday to mark the 65th anniversary of his coronation.All television stations carried the event live, as the 87-year-old monarch emerged in a wheelchair from a Bangkok hospital, where he has taken up residence, and was driven through the capital’s historic district to the Grand Palace.Buddhist monks led prayers as the king watched, before an audience of government and royal officials. Parents, stop beating yourself up Thais lined the roads along the route, chanting “Long Live the King!” The palace had not announced if Bhumibol (poo-MEE-pohn) would appear for the ceremony, but crowds had gathered in anticipation of seeing the monarch. Tuesday was a national holiday.Bhumibol has been hospitalized since last October when he had his gallbladder removed. It was the latest ailment and hospitalization for the king, who has faded from public life over the past several years and on the rare outings looks visibly frail and does not speak publicly.Thais hold great affection for Bhumibol, the world’s longest-reigning monarch. He was crowned on May 5, 1950, after coming to the throne in 1946 following the death of his elder brother.While he is constitutional monarch with no formal political role, Bhumibol is widely revered and regarded as the country’s sole unifying figure. Many regard his as a father figure, and his December birthday is also designated as Father’s Day in Thailand.Bhumibol’s near-disappearance from public life has coincided with a decade of political instability in Thailand. Worries about the king’s health and succession have contributed to the instability. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu delivers a speech during a ceremony in honour of the Portuguese policeman and a Turkish citizen who were victims of an attack on the Turkish embassy in Lisbon by an Armenian group in 1983, in Lisbon, Monday, July 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) Mesa family survives lightning strike to home How do cataracts affect your vision? But in a series of cross-border strikes, Turkey has also targeted Kurdish fighters affiliated with forces battling IS in Syria and Iraq.The Syrian Kurds have been among the most effective ground forces in the fight against IS and have been backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, but Turkey fears a revival of the Kurdish insurgency in pursuit of an independent state.The spike in violence in recent days has prompted concerns that a promising peace process between Turkey and Kurdish rebels is falling beyond repair.German diplomats said Tuesday it would be a mistake for Turkey to break off the peace process with the PKK now.“We believe that it’s right to continue the process of rapprochement and to build on the positive steps of the past years,” a diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.As the ambassadors were gathering at NATO headquarters, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a news conference in Ankara that it was impossible to advance a peace process with the Kurds as long as attacks on Turkey continue.The Kurds are an ethnic group with their own language living in a region spanning present-day Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, has fought Turkey for autonomy for Kurds in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Top Stories Meanwhile, NATO allies met in a rare emergency meeting at Turkey’s request and proclaimed “strong solidarity” with the country’s fight against the Islamic State group.“The security of the alliance is indivisible,” ambassadors from all 28 NATO nations declared in a joint statement after the meeting.But a NATO official said members also used the closed-door meeting to call on Turkey not to use excessive force in reaction to terror attacks, while urging it to continue peace efforts with representatives of the Kurdish minority. The official was not authorized to speak on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity.The special session of the alliance’s main political decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, was held at Turkey’s request under a clause of NATO’s founding treaty that empowers member countries to seek consultations if they believe their security, territorial integrity or political independence is at risk.It was called after Turkish warplanes last week started striking militant targets in Syria in response to an Islamic State group suicide bombing in southern Turkey that left 32 people dead, and another IS attack on Turkish forces, which killed a soldier. “There is no difference between PKK and Daesh,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday, using an Arabic acronym to refer to IS.___Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Mark D. Carlson in Brussels, Suzan Fraser in Ankara and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Patients with chronic pain give advice Stoltenberg said the Turks did not use the meeting Tuesday to request military assistance from other NATO members.“What we all know is that Turkey is a staunch ally, Turkey has very capable armed forces — the second largest army within the alliance,” the NATO chief told reporters after the session, which was the fifth such meeting in the alliance’s 66-year history and lasted a little over an hour.The alliance official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Turkey’s allies unanimously spoke at the meeting in favor of its “right to defend itself.” One outside analyst said eliciting such support may have been why Turkey sought the unusual forum in the first place.“I think the main purpose is to give them some reassurance in terms of their bombing campaign in Syria and northern Iraq so that they won’t be accused of violating international law,” said Amanda Paul, a senior policy analyst and specialist on Turkey at the European Policy Center, a Brussels think tank. “They wanted to cover their backs basically by having NATO say, ‘OK it’s fine.’”For some NATO members and independent observers, it’s unclear whether Turkey’s No. 1 target in the recent attacks is the Islamic State group or the Kurds, said Ian Kearns, director of the European Leadership Network, a London-based think tank. Comments Share ISTANBUL (AP) — Fighting between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels escalated Tuesday amid signs of unease from NATO allies attending an emergency meeting about Turkey’s conflicts with the Islamic State group and the Kurds.On a violent day, Turkish fighter jets pounded rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK after soldiers were fired on with heavy weaponry in Sirnak province, according to a military statement. Turkish soldiers also came under attack in two other incidents. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies In the past few days, the PKK has launched a number of attacks on Turkish security forces and Turkish jets have targeted both the PKK’s mountainous headquarters in Iraq and Kurdish fighters in a Syrian village, a Kurdish militia and an activist group said.On Tuesday, a Turkish soldier died after he was shot in the head by a Kurdish militant near the border with Iraq, Turkey said. In a second incident in Sirnak province, suspected PKK rebels hurled a bomb at a military vehicle, wounding one soldier, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.The developments follow a decision last week by Turkey’s leaders to allow the U.S. to launch its own strikes against the Islamic State group from its strategically located Incirlik Air Base.Erdogan told reporters in Ankara that Turkish and U.S. officials were also discussing creation of a safe zone near Turkey’s border with Syria, which would be cleared of IS presence and turned into a secure area for Syrian refugees to return.Asked for his opinion, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said “NATO is not part of these efforts. This is something that is discussed on a bilateral basis between Turkey and the United States.”
Qantas boss says second airport is vital for the future of Sydney and Australia Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Despite the resistance from Premier Barry O’Farrell, plans to build a second airport are vital for Sydney and should commence immediately, Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said.Mr Joyce has called upon the federal government to push forward with the construction of a second airport at Badgerys Creek with or without the Premiers support, The Australian reported.The Qantas boss said moving ahead with a second airport is vital for Sydney and that already passengers and airlines are being inconvenienced due to the peak hour rush at Sydney Airport.“I think this has got to the stage now it just can’t go much longer,” Mr Joyce said.“What’s really good about it is the national government and national opposition are all fully supportive of it at federal level, so I would hope we can push ahead and make progress with the federal government and opposition.“That’s probably the only way we can proceed.”The comments from the Qantas Boss will undoubtedly add more pressure on Mr O’Farrell, who has persistently objected supporting a second airport.”I don’t think (Mr O’Farrell’s) position makes sense,” Mr Joyce said. “I don’t think Canberra works as an alternative, it’s too far away, it’s over 280km away. “I come from Ireland, where Ryanair takes pleasure in finding secondary airports miles away from airports in the city but I don’t even think Ryanair would go 280km away.”Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese insisted that the Federal Government required the help from NSW.“The federal government is determined to do everything we can to plan for a second Sydney airport,” Mr Albanese said.A report drawn up by federal and state governments identifies the need for a second airport and reveals that Sydney Airport will reach capacity by 2030.“We should start planning for a second airport now,” Mr Joyce said.
For 2014, overseas visitor arrival numbers have already seen a 4.91 percent drop for the January to April period, compared to the same time the previous year, with East Asia and South Asia markets showing the biggest decline, especially from China. Despite ongoing political unrest which saw martial law come into effect last month, Thailand has kept its target of reaching 30 million international visitors in 2015 and remains determined to do so. “We’ve noticed a real trend in experiential tourism with new emerging niche markets such as cooking and culinary tours, Thai culture, eco and volunteer tourism and Muay Thai based fitness boot camps, as more people choose to incorporate these into their holidays. However, since martial law put an end to street protests and increased security measures, these markets have indicated improvement. “Despite the political situation in Thailand which has led to a slight decrease in arrivals to Bangkok in particular, there has been a very low number of travel cancellations and the tourism market remains resilient,” ASEAN South Asia and South Pacific Region executive director Mrs Jamnong Junnapiya said. “Thailand has always had so much to offer visitors and it continues to offer in abundance, from the beaches, shopping and world class golf courses to the incredible natural landscapes, wonderful cuisine, vast range of accommodation options and unique Thai hospitality that proudly welcomes visitors of all nationalities and religions.” Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) officials took the opportunity to address international travel media at Thailand Travel Mart (TTM+), reinforcing the message that Thailand remains a safe place for tourists to visit despite the coup situation currently in place. Mrs Junnapiya also noted that particular tourism offerings and destinations such as Krabi, Trang and Nakhon Si Thammarat, showed an increase in popularity, especially amongst the Australian market. “TTM+ has provided an excellent opportunity for people to see for themselves that Thailand remains a safe destination with life carrying on as normal and we will continue to work with our international partners in driving that message across and investing in trade advertising with market partners.” Australian arrivals are at a slight decrease, down 0.43 percent, while Europe arrivals have shown a 7.63 percent increase, with Finland (16.48 percent), Spain (16.59 percent) and East Europe (14.59 percent) showing the most significant growth. TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik stressed that a coup in Thailand is different from a coup in other countries, with daily life carrying on as normal and the country a safe place for visitors, before showing slides of tourists posing with soldiers in the street for photos. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich