Duringhis statement at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) on May 18, 2016, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Sydney Allicock, issued a statement which did little to deflect from the rhetoric of speeches delivered in the past.Some of the points he raised resurface at each Forum as matters of prime importance to Amerindians, despite the level of progress achieved over the years. For instance, the issue of accessibility to quality health care continues to stand out as an area in which the Government has failed miserably to provide for indigenous peoples.The Minister is quoted as stating: “There also needs to be improvement in the provision of health care services, personnel and facilities for indigenous peoples, in particular indigenous women and girls. Provision must also be made for emergency and medical services for all remote communities”.Ironically, the Ministry that Allicock heads cannot even take proper care of the sick it houses at the Amerindian Hostel in Georgetown.The Amerindian Hostel has stood out like a sore in the management of the Ministry—and for years now. It was common knowledge in the past to hear of the lack of maintenance of the Hostel, or rather, of the incompetence of the staff stationed there who failed at maintaining the comfort of the patients it accommodated.Reports of mattresses without pillows and bed sheets, mattresses on the floor, unhygienic sanitary facilities and mismanagement of resources by Hostel staff were common. The measures implemented in the past were insufficient in countering the challenges faced at the Hostel.However, with the advent of a new administration which won the May 2015 election based on a manifesto tanked up on promises of betterment for Amerindians, one would have thought that Minister Allicock and his gang of advisors would have, more than a year later, been capable of providing quality services for Amerindians staying in Georgetown. Unsurprisingly, as anyone can imagine, the situation has deteriorated further into one of shame for the Government’s inaptitude.It is unfortunate that no one mentioned at the UNPFII that now, there are two patients per mattress at the Georgetown Amerindian Hostel, and that the Ministry remains uncooperative when it comes to funding travel expenses for patients to return home. Instead, it prefers to house in the most uncomfortable of situations, patients who want nothing more than to return to their abodes in the interior.It is now easier to understand why the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region 9, Carl Parker, has officially signed the interruption of fuel reimbursements for patients and school children in the Rupununi, when the very Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs is reluctant and subsequently incapable of providing for his own people.Allicock has his priorities mixed up and would rather disregard his manifesto promises, as he expends hundreds of thousands to eat, drink and sleep in Lethem for the Ministry staff during the big Rupununi Rodeo sport, while patients are being forced to sleep on the floor and share mattresses. But the Georgetown Hostel is not an isolated case.In terms of primary health care, there are communities which, because they are not eligible for title under the Amerindian Act no. 6 – 2006, or do not identify as Amerindian villages, do not benefit from a Health Centre. Many of these communities are located on the coastal strip, but fall under the governance of Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and not Village Councils. Yet, they are populated predominantly by Amerindians, in particular Arawaks, Caribs and Warrous.Strangely however, the presence of the Indigenous Affairs Ministry, and initiatives aimed at promoting Amerindian development are absent. For the Ministry, these communities are irrelevant.Consequently, it is baffling that the Minister can sit at the UNPFII and speak of the need to achieve better health care for Amerindians in Guyana, when he has fallen short of respecting his contractual obligations as the first leader of the First Peoples of Guyana.This is just another display of how hallow the words of Allicock remain, deprived of will and effort to fight for the advancement of Guyana’s indigenous peoples.
Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ Though Petron kept its winning streak intact, the win did not impress import Stephanie Niemer.Niemer, who had 16 points, said they could have done better despite the dominant win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsKath Bell led the Blaze Spikers with 19 points as Petron needed just over an hour—and just one game—to march on.“We’re very happy that we’re now in the semis. But, of course, the road ahead will be a lot tougher,” Petron coach Shaq delos Santos said. LATEST STORIES A memorable, meaningful Open win for Mondilla Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPowerhouse defending champion Petron expectedly breezed by Sta. Lucia Realty, 25-17, 25-11, 25-18, Saturday to become the first semifinalist—deservedly so—in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at Filoil Flying V Centre.In scoring their 15th straight win, the Blaze Spikers lined themselves up for a best-of-three semifinals against either the Cignal HD Spikers and the United VC Spikers.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Comelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
NORWALK – Despite the presence of a state mediator, teachers at the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District say they were disappointed with a Thursday negotiating session that didn’t bring them any closer to resolving pay issues in their job contracts. And at the same time Thursday in Pico Rivera, dozens of El Rancho Unified School District teachers took to the streets to show dissatisfaction with their current contract negotiations as well. At the heart of both disputes is annual pay raises, union officials say. Gerald Gandolfo, president of the Teachers Association of the Norwalk-La Mirada Area (TANLA), said the teachers are asking for a 3.75 percent increase in this year’s contract, but the district has offered only a 3 percent raise. District officials were unavailable for comment throughout the day. Gandolfo said he asked the state mediator to allow the union to proceed to the fact-finding process. During this stage, a union representative, a neutral party and a district representative go over the budget and the proposals together and make a finding of facts that the school board must publish, Gandolfo said. But the state mediator refused the request Thursday. Another mediation session had yet to be scheduled. In Pico Rivera, dozens of teachers picketed outside El Rancho High School and the district office in anticipation of contract negotiations that get under way at 9 a.m. today. Marcia Hall, president of the El Rancho Federation of Teachers, said she became concerned about negotiations a couple of weeks ago when an attorney for the district said salary discussions had been closed. While Superintendent Norbert Genis said he was not present at that meeting, salary negotiations were not closed and he was “looking forward to meeting the teachers Friday to see what we can work out.” Hall said the picketing was more informational than anything. Because financial problems at the district caused the teachers to go without pay raises for three years, she said their salaries are toward the bottom when compared with neighboring districts. “We’re demanding they build in a pay increase at the beginning of each year from now on,” Hall said. “We’re in a situation of declining enrollment on top of everything else, so it’s going to be hard to get pay raises after next year.” Hall said teachers are asking for at least a 2 percent raise for next year and hope the district makes a counter-offer during today’s negotiations. email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThat caused both sides to declare an impasse in March and call for a state mediator. But after their first daylong mediation session Thursday, the district’s offer didn’t get any better, Gandolfo said. “Basically, if the district gets more money next year than they’ve projected in revenue, then they’ll give us an added increase – and that contingency language is what is of concern to us,” Gandolfo said. Gandolfo said the district is also saying any extra pay increase over 3 percent this year could be deducted from next year. “I’m disappointed that we had so many teachers give up so much of their spring break this week for so little in return,” Gandolfo said, citing one teacher who gave up a trip to Seattle to attend negotiations. “I’m just very disappointed.”
Karim Benzema (France) – 51 Champions League goals 37 Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 93 Champions League goals – Click the right arrow above to see who the top Champions League goalscorers are, by country… 37 37 37 Jackson Martinez (Colombia) – 13 Champions League goals 37 Mirko Vucinic (Montenegro) – 10 Champions League goals 37 37 Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine) – 48 Champions League goals Ruud Van Nistelrooy (Netherlands) – 56 Champions League goals 37 Didier Drogba (Cote d’Ivoire) – 44 Champions League goals 37 Oscar Cardozo (Paraguay) – 11 Champions League goals 37 Michalis Konstantinou (Cyprus) – 11 Champions League goals 37 Filippo Inzaghi (Italy) – 46 Champions League goals Raul (Spain) – 71 Champions League goals Michael Essien (Ghana) – 11 Champions League goals 37 37 Jari Litmanen (Finland) – 23 Champions League goals Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) – 48 Champions League goals 37 37 Dwight Yorke (Trinidad and Tobago) – 11 Champions League goals Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Norway) – 20 Champions League goals 37 37 37 Alexis Sanchez (Chile) – 12 Champions League goals 37 37 37 37 37 George Weah (Liberia) – 11 Champions League goals 37 Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) – 14 Champions League goals Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic) – 15 Champions League goals Wayne Rooney (England) – 30 Champions League goals Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) – 24 Champions League goals Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) – 30 Champions League goals 37 Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria) – 13 Champions League goals Dejan Stankovic (Serbia) – 11 Champions League goals 37 37 Claudio Pizarro (Peru) – 21 Champions League goals 37 Roy Keane (Republic of Ireland) – 12 Champions League goals Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo) – 11 Champions League goals 37 Kaka (Brazil) – 30 Champions League goals Robert Lewandowski (Poland) – 38 Champions League goals Javier Hernandez (Mexico) – 14 Champions League goals Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 95 Champions League goals 37 37 37 37 37 Hakan Sukur (Turkey) – 13 Champions League goals Thomas Muller (Germany) – 31 Champions League goals Ryan Giggs (Wales) – 28 Champions League goals 37 Jon Dahl Tomasson (Denmark) – 11 Champions League goals 37 Have you ever been in a pub quiz with your mates and felt utterly useless?Have you ever been asked who the leading Champions League goalscorer from Montenegro is and kicked yourself for not having this vital information to hand?Well, worry no more because we are about to give you this crucial information and you can laud it over your friends when that question pops up.We have found out who the top scorers are in the Champions League by nationality and there are some surprising entries.Scroll through the gallery using the arrow above to check out who the esteemed goal machines are. Konstantinos Mitroglou (Greece) – 14 Champions League goals 37
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Tesoro Adobe Historic Park is open to the public, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Saturday with guided tours of the Harry Carey/Farmer John Ranch House, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Call (661) 702-8953. Family Nature Walk, 11 a.m.-noon, and an animal presentation, 1-2 p.m., every Saturday at Placerita Canyon Park and Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 259-7721. Grateful Dudes perform bluegrass music, 7:30-10:30 p.m. every Saturday at Vincenzo’s, 24504 1/2 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 259-6733. Hotel California will perform songs by the Eagles as part of the city’s free Concerts in the Park series, 7 p.m. Saturday at Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Campfire program, 8-9 p.m. Saturday at Placerita Canyon Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 250-7721. Cross Country Summer Series 3-mile run, 7 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 17 at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia. Cost: $3 for adults and $2 for kids. Call Lindie Kane at (661) 362-3205. The Delgado Brothers will perform as part of the Jazz & Blues Concert Series, 7-9:30 tonight outside the Hyatt Valencia on the corner of Town Center Drive and McBean Parkway. Call (661) 290-2911. Night Hike, 8-10 tonight at Towsley Canyon, 24255 The Old Road, Newhall. Call (661) 255-3606. Moonlight Hike, 8-9 tonight at Placerita Canyon Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 250-7721. Ranger-led nature hike, 11 a.m. the second, third and fourth Sundays of each month at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce. Call (661) 268-0840. Swazzle puppet show, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Newhall Library, 22704 9th St., Newhall. Call (661) 259-0750. Radio Disney family night will feature Radio Disney artists including Kristy Franks, The Truth Squad and Daniel Patrick Ellis, 7-9 p.m. Tuesday in Town Square at Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Santa Clarita Pop Star competition, 6 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 24 at Panera Bread, 24133 Baywood Lane, Valencia. Visit www.santaclaritapopstar.com. To submit an event for the Things To Do calendar, contact Sharon Cotal two weeks prior to the event at (661) 257-5256, fax her at (661) 257-5262, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at 24800 Avenue Rockefeller, Valencia, CA, 91355.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
MONEY Eden Hazard looked dejected during Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat to Manchester City earlier this month REVEALED Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes Eden Hazard should leave Stamford Bridge.Earlier this month, the Blues star confirmed he had made a decision on his immediate future, with his current contract expiring in 2020. Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Reports claim Hazard will push through a “dream” move to Real Madrid this summer, as the LaLiga giants have been chasing the winger for years and could finally land their man.Chelsea were dumped out of the FA Cup by Manchester United on Monday and face a daunting task of avenging their 6-0 thrashing to Manchester City in this Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, which is live on talkSPORT. Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Cascarino, who played for Chelsea between 1992 and 1994, thinks Hazard, 28, needs to leave west London to allow the club to move in a “different direction”.He told The Times: “I hate to see great players leave the Premier League but over the past couple of months I’ve developed the feeling that it would be better for Eden Hazard and Chelsea if he moved on.“The Belgian has reached a turning point in his career – he has won the league twice with Chelsea and I can’t see him getting any better by staying at Stamford Bridge. 2 RANKED 2 REVEALED Eden Hazard could leave Chelsea at the end of the season REPLY BEST OF Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move ADVICE Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade no dice huge blow shining Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury “He is a fantastic player but he needs to leave for his own sake and to allow Chelsea to move in a different direction.“They have become so reliant on him that everything needs to go through him. If he is not at his best then Chelsea are rarely at their best either.”Hazard has won every domestic honour since joining Chelsea from Lille in 2012.
5 5 It’s March 2009. Michael Kightly is preparing for what should be one of the highlights of his career.Injury, however, quickly turned it into the toughest period of his life.Kightly is playing for Wolves at the time and having the best season of his career, with eight goals and a staggering 19 assists helping Mick McCarthy’s side cement their position at the top of the Championship table.His form captured the attention of Stuart Pearce and England’s Under-21s, only for Kightly to pull out of the squad due to a slight problem to ensure he was ready for the season run-in.As a result, the winger agreed to take part in a behind closed doors friendly during the international break at McCarthy’s request to maintain his fitness. That decision, unfortunately, would haunt Kightly for the rest of his professional career. 5 At Grays, Kightly, right, earned the nickname the Ryan Giggs of non-league football Kightly left Wolves for Stoke in 2012 and spent two years at the club Jamie O’Hara opens up about his struggles with mental healthSuch chronic problems wrecked Kightly’s hopes of playing regular Premier League football for the first time and he made just fourteen appearances across the following two seasons.It was Wolves, though, who resurrected the winger’s career, after Kightly came close to walking away from football altogether having left Tottenham Hotspur in 2001, where he was a youth player, after finding the pressure ‘too much.’Thankfully, he decided to give football another crack with Southend, only to be released for a second time and consequently joined Non-League Grays Athletic in 2005 where he became known as the Ryan Giggs of non-league football.McCarthy, though, had a habit of unearthing rough diamonds and it was that which made the promotion winning Wolves side of 2008/09 so successful, Kightly feels. Getty Images – Getty Injuries caused havoc in Michael Kightly’s professional career Leaving Wolves reduced Kightly to tears, telling talkSPORT he loves the club Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:25Loaded: 6.81%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Getty Images – Getty Getty Images – Getty “But the Chairman brought in Stale Solbakken. He was a really nice guy and I got on well with him, but he just had a different look on what he wanted to do with the club, players he wanted to bring in and the way he wanted to play and I just felt, for me, that wasn’t going to work.“I had a year left on my contract and had a good six to eight months before that. I had a little bit of interest from Stoke and West Ham. I didn’t want to go and if Wolves had turned round to me and said: ‘We don’t want you to go, we want you to stay and here’s a contract,’ I think I’d have stayed.“But they didn’t do that. Although I didn’t feel pushed, I didn’t feel they were too bothered about losing me. They paid £25,000 for me from Grays Athletic, I’d been injured for 18 months or two seasons really and I think they got £2m from Stoke for me.“That’s the only club I’ve ever left that I’ve cried. I loved that club.” Getty Images – Getty Getty Images – Getty 5 5 “Mick McCarthy was top draw. He was as honest as they come. If he was going to drop you, he’d pull you before and treat you like a human being.“That made me so comfortable and it allowed me to express myself when I played because I never feared that he might bring me off if I gave the ball away or put in a bad cross.“[The Wolves team] didn’t realise how good we were because we were a similar group of lads, in that we’d all come from the lower leagues. That was what Mick McCarthy was great at as he signed these lads who were young, hungry and hadn’t played at that level, so they were out to prove themselves.“I honestly feel we didn’t just have eleven players like that – we had 20. Everyone wanted the team to win. We had a lot of ability and a lot of goals. It was a top team.”Given his affection for Wolves, the way he left Molineux to join Stoke City following the club’s relegation from the Premier League in 2012 is still something he struggles with.“I loved Wolves and never wanted to leave,” the 33-year-old explains. Kightly’s last Premier League side was Burnley and he ended his career at Southend in 2019 “I broke my metatarsal in that game,” Kightly tells talkSPORT in an exclusive interview.“That hit me hard because I could have gone away with England and got two more Under-21 caps and I missed the last part of the promotion winning season. Although I’d played in 40 games, it felt like I wasn’t really part of it. I found that really hard.“I had my foot repaired and while I had my foot repaired, I had my hip repaired in America. I had all the off season working hard trying to get back for pre-season or just after pre-season and from nowhere, I had chronic tendonitis in my knees. I couldn’t walk up the stairs it was that bad. I had to walk down the stairs sideways.“I tried to come back and I literally couldn’t run because of my knees. I honestly felt I wasn’t going to play again – that’s how bad it was.“Tendonitis was an injury where no one knew any timescales and I really struggled. It just ate me up within a season or a season-and-a-half. Looking back, I was definitely depressed. Unless it’s happened to you, you don’t realise how much it affects you mentally.” Following a stint with Stoke, Kightly then went on to enjoy a successful spell with Burnley, winning two promotions with the Clarets, before the lure of returning to his roots to resolve some ‘unfinished business’ with Southend in 2017 proved to be too much, despite interest from MLS.It was a surprise, therefore, when the 33-year-old announced his sudden retirement from the game earlier this summer and in a brutally honest assessment, Kightly admitted it was an easy decision to hang up the boots.“The last couple of years, I’ve just stopped enjoying playing to be honest,” he explained.“I found it hard to stay as professional as I was in the past and stepping down doesn’t help that. I’ve got a family and they live in Birmingham and I was down south and if you lose a game and you get told you’re in on a Sunday when you’ve planned to see your children, those little things just affect you and your family life.“I felt my body wasn’t quite what it used to be and I found that quite frustrating. You’ve got these young lads coming through and they’re all strong and quick and they’re getting even quicker and I was getting even slower.” A career as an agent is now on the cards for the former Stoke, Wolves and Burnley winger.He added: “I think I’ve got a lot of experience to help youngsters in the game. I feel like I can help them on the pitch with their game and off the pitch and that [working as an agent] is something I’m going to look towards to do. I feel like I have a passion about that when I talk about it and a passion to help others.”
Pimm’s Cup, one of the most popular drinks at Swizzle Lounge. Ingredients: Pimm’s No. 1, Sprite, Cucumber, and Lemon. (photo by Brandon Glover)Swizzle Rum Punch is a must get for any fan of rum. Packs a wallop! Ingredients: Bacardi Gold Rum, Bacardi “O” Rum, Banana Liquor, Blackberry Brandy, Fruit Juices, and a Splash of 151. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Swizzle Lounge. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Swizzle Lounge. (photo by Brandon Glover)#blessed–This past summer Swizzle Lounge was even used for a scene in the movie Sharknado 3 as stars Bo Derek and Tara had a quiet conversation right before sharks started falling from the sky.Bo Derek and Tara Reid sit at the Swizzle Lounge during Sharknado 3.Previous Drinks of Christmas:DAY ONE: Polynesian Pearl at Trader Sam’s Grog GrottoDAY TWO: Dufftoberfest at Duff BreweryDAY THREE: Godiva Chocolate Martini at Mizner’s LoungeInterested in theme park drinks? Then do we have a eBook for you! The Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges eGuide by Brian McNichols. Over 250 pages and containing well over 400 photos, this eGuide takes you through EVERY bar and lounge on WDW property (trust me, Brian has the kidneys problems to prove it!) Also included? Recipes for some of your favorite WDW drinks. Ratings, descriptions, and photos for each of the 70+ bars and lounges. Talk about the perfect Christmas present!Special thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover and Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and Brian Carey.You can always find Your Humble Author each week on the SATURDAY SIX, each month with the Disney Outlet Store Photo Report, and on Twitter (@derekburgan) producing original pieces of Burgan Fine Art™ Share This!We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day. Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!DAY FOUR: Blood Orange Side Car at Swizzle Lounge (Cabana Bay Beach Resort)Blood Orange Side Car at Swizzle Lounge. (photo by Brandon Glover)–Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort – the new gold standard in theme park value hotels – will start your vacation off on the right foot as one of its best bars is located in the lobby. We know what you are thinking, lobby bars are usually the absolute worst, but Swizzle Lounge is a cocktail bar that feels like it came right off the set of Mad Men. A throwback to the ’50s and ’60s, Swizzle Lounge offers a wide selection of cocktails, wines, draft beers, and local craft beers. There’s a lot of fantastic choices on their menu, including the Swizzle Rum Punch, Pimm’s Cup, and Cucumber Gimlet, but our best bet is the Blood Orange Side Car.Having a nice, smooth bourbon flavor with a hint of sour and orange, a Blood Orange Side Car is going to take you back to a simpler time.Ingredients: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Solerno, Sour, and Blood Orange Puree.Blood Orange Side Car. (photo by Brandon Glover)
An elephant in the Kruger National ParkImage: Tanya JeffreyKhanyi MagubaneThe South African government has announced breakthrough legislation for the control of South Africa’s burgeoning elephant population. Set to be published in the Government Gazette on Friday 29 February, the Norms and Standards for Elephant Management in South Africa is set to reintroduce culling as a last resort to curb the devastating effect elephant overpopulation has on conservation areas and other species.With no significant natural enemies and if protected from hunting and poaching, elephant numbers can explode in the confines of conservation areas. Since culling was outlawed in 1995, South Africa’s elephant population has soared from around 8 000 to more than 20 000.“Our simple reality is that the number of elephants per square kilometre of the current elephant range has risen so much in some Southern African countries that there is concern about [the] impact on the landscape, the viability of other species, and the livelihood and safety of people living in elephant ranges,” Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said when announcing the new measures on Monday 25 February.Elephants are the world’s largest land animal, growing to four metres in height and weighing up to seven tons. A single elephant eats an estimated 170kg of grass, tree bark and leaves a day.Not only do they consume vast amounts of vegetation, they do it destroying their habitat: flattening bushes and ripping up tree roots. Enclosed national parks such at the Kruger cannot let elephant numbers get out of control without serious degradation of the environment, which threatens not only the animals themselves but also many other species, large and small. In the past, as the herd population increased, it would migrate to another, less populated region, allowing the grazed and degraded habitat it left behind to recover. But today’s elepants can no longer roam freely, so their damage is compounded in the fixed range they are allowed to roam.The Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest reserve, has an elephant population of 13 000 – and growing by an estimated 7% a year. If left unchecked, this might reach 20 000 by 2012 and 30 000 by 2019. Researchers say the ideal elephant population for the Kruger would be 7 500.The final draft of the norms and standards follows several months of public consultation with scientists, conservationists and others. Implementation will begin in May.“What has emerged is a thoughtful piece of legislation that balances the interest of elephants with all other aspects of biodiversity, and societal values, ” Van Schalkwyk said. “It includes a ‘toolbox’ of options for the management of elephants, both wild and captive.”Rob Little, conservation director at WWF in South Africa, welcomed the announcement, saying the country’s rapid elephant population growth was unsustainable.“All available options must be available to control the elephant population here and conserve the biodiversity of the national parks,” Little told the UK Guardian. “The new framework imposes a hierarchy of choices, and culling is right at the bottom. We are not going to see a mass destruction of elephants here.”According to the Guardian, the WWF says there are good reasons to believe that culling is one of the ways to deal with the crisis of growing elephant numbers. It argues that South Africa’s national parks will not be able to support either elephants or many of the other large species if matters continue.The measuresCulling is one of the new elephant-control tools, but not the only one. Van Schalkwyk gave the assurance that steps had been taken “to ensure that this will be the option of last resort that is acceptable only under strict conditions”.There would be no “wholesale slaughter”, he said.Culling would be allowed only in terms of a plan prepared by the reserve owner and management, in consultation with an ecologist recognised as an elephant management specialist.The plan would have to show that the existing or projected elephant numbers were “incompatible with the agreed land-use objectives spelt out in the management plan and that a reduction in population numbers was therefore necessary”.It would also need to show that all other population management options, such as reserve expansion, contraception and translocation, had been rejected by the ecologist.In addition, the import and export of captive elephants will be prohibited, as will intensive breeding of the animals in captivity.“The capture of elephants for commercial exhibition facilities, such as elephant-back safari industries or circuses, will as of May 1 be prohibited,” Van Schalkwyk said. The norms and standards would apply to all conservation areas, as well as to private land on which elephants were found.Guiding principlesOn 20 September 2005, Van Schalkwyk outlined the government’s approach to addressing what was considered the increasingly pressing challenge of managing both wild and captive elephants in South Africa. He formed a task team, comprising of representatives from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, conservation authorities in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North West provinces. The team also included various specialists in the industry.Principles guiding the task team included:Elephants are intelligent, have strong family bonds and operate within highly socialised groups and unnecessary disruption of these groups by human intervention should be minimised.While it is necessary to recognise the charismatic and iconic status of elephants and the strong local and international support for their protection, proper regard must be given to the impacts of elephants on biodiversity or people living in proximity to elephants.Elephants are recognised engineers of habitat change and their presence or absence has a critical effect on the way in which ecosystems function.Every effort must be made to safeguard elephants from abuse and neglect.Elephant populations in the wild should be managed in the context of objective based management of the complex ecosystem in which they occur.Useful linksDepartment for Environmental Affairs and Tourism Elephant Management and Owners AssociationWWF