Indonesia trains its citizens to deal with sea-mammal strandings

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored The waters around Indonesia serve as both a habitat and an important migratory route for dozens of species of whales, dolphins and porpoises.These cetaceans, however, are often found dead on Indonesian beaches, or alive but unable to return to deeper waters themselves.To prevent the deaths of marine mammals that strand themselves on its shores, the government has sought to establish a network of first responders equipped with the knowledge and training to deal with problem.Experts say what’s more important than providing an adequate response is to reduce the threats that lead to the strandings, including by improving the management of marine habitats and tackling pollution in the sea. DENPASAR/JAKARTA — In November 2017, when locals spotted 10 sperm whales stranded on a beach on the island of Sumatra, they had no idea what to do.Stuck in shallow waters, the sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were vulnerable to dying from injury, suffocation or organ failure. Eventually, government reinforcements arrived to help push the enormous creatures out to sea, but not before four of them died.Such strandings are common in Indonesia, home to the longest coastline in Asia. Its waters serve as both a habitat and an important migratory route for dozens of species of whales, dolphins and porpoises. These cetaceans, however, are often found dead on Indonesian beaches, or alive but unable to return to deeper waters themselves.A pod of sperm whales was stranded in November 2017 on a beach in Sumatra’s Aceh province. Image courtesy of WWF-Indonesia.The incident in Sumatra was one of 54 recorded sea-mammal strandings in Indonesia that year, according to Whale Stranding Indonesia (WSI), a group that logs such events. But little is known about why they occur — or, when it comes to Indonesians living near the coast, how to respond when they do.Indonesia is hoping to change that. To prevent the deaths of animals that wash up on its shores, the government has sought to establish a network of first responders to deal with strandings. With the help of civil society groups, more than 900 people have been trained in some 30 workshops across the country, mostly in Borneo and Bali. Government officials, law enforcers, veterinary students, fishermen and others are taught how to safely return whales, dugongs and other animals to the sea, or how to otherwise provide preliminary care while they wait for the authorities to arrive.“There’s still a lot of people who are clueless [about how to deal with a stranded sea mammal], so a rescue effort can instead become an opportunity for a selfie,” Gustaf Mamangkey, a marine scientist at Sam Ratulangi University in North Sulawesi province, told Mongabay. “Or a rescue has to wait for officials and becomes very ceremonial. It would be very unfortunate if this continues to happen.”Indonesians in West Sulawesi found the beached body of the dugong (Dugong dugon). Two fishermen were arrested after trying to sell parts of the carcass. Image by Muhammad Yusri for Sahabat Penyu (Friends of the Turtles).Mysterious casesThe first known report of a sea-mammal stranding in Indonesia was produced in 1987 by Whale Stranding Indonesia. Over the next 16 years, the group recorded 203 strandings in the country, an average of more than 12 a year.Those figures jumped in 2013, when the group improved its tracking efforts with the launch of an online, open-access database on stranding events. Over the past six years, the database has recorded hundreds of cases, with a peak in 2017 (54 strandings). Thirty strandings were recorded last year. Most of the reports are submitted by WSI itself based on news articles or tip-offs, though it also relies on crowdsourcing.“Right now in Indonesia, we can’t say strandings are increasing — what’s increasing are reports of strandings,” WSI co-founder Putu Liza Kusuma Mustika told Mongabay. “I think we’ll be able to see a trend when [the database] has run for 10 years.”The big question is why these strandings are happening. More often than not, the answers are buried along with the bodies.Indonesian authorities typically do not conduct a necropsy — an autopsy performed on an animal — due to limited funds, a lack of biologists on hand, or even simply a lack of understanding of why the post-mortem examination is important to do in the first place.General theories for why strandings occur include starvation due to a stomach full of marine debris, such as plastic or fishing nets; offshore underwater activities that use sonar, like submarine excursions or oil-and-gas exploration, which can disrupt sea mammals’ echolocation; and getting struck by boats while passing through busy shipping lanes. But for the marine biologists trying to combat the problem, theories aren’t enough.“Suppose there’s a murder; you need to do an autopsy to figure out why they died, right? It’s the same with whales and dolphins,” Liza said. “When we can figure out exactly why they strand, then we can work on the root causes of the problem.”Many coastal Indonesian communities remain unaware of what to do when a marine mammal strands itself. Image courtesy of the East Nusa Tenggara Conservation Agency.A new approachThe plan to establish a network of first responders arose after a pair of mass strandings occurred within a week of each other in 2012.The two strandings saw a total of 57 short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) wash up on beaches in the Savu Islands, which lie between the larger islands of Sumba and Timor in the Sawu Sea. Only six of the creatures survived.An account of the two incidents produced by the Indonesian fisheries ministry said locals tried to rescue the whales by “carrying” and “dragging” them into deeper water, but it proved to be an impossible task. The whales were too heavy.The ministry also noted that a team of experts from Jakarta, more than 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) from the Savu Islands, had arrived late to the scene because they “couldn’t get flight tickets.” By the time they showed up, parts of the animals had been severed by locals who wanted to eat the meat or make oil from the skin to use as a substitute for kerosene or pesticide.The whales were eventually buried near the coast, since heavy equipment needed to move the bodies elsewhere couldn’t reach the area, and authorities didn’t want to dump them in the ocean. At the time, experts speculated that more of the animals might have survived if the people living nearby had known how to care for them while they waited for the authorities to show up.“Imagine having a large pod of stranded whales in one location and nobody knows how to handle it,” said Februanty Purnomo, a cetacean expert with WSI. “Imagine the smell, the potential for disease to spread, and the environmental contamination.”The incidents helped catalyze a growing realization that something needed to be done. That year, the fisheries ministry drafted guidelines on how to deal with strandings, and in 2013, two major conferences involving government officials, wildlife experts, veterinarians and civil society groups paved the way for a nationwide initiative to establish a network of first responders to deal with the problem.The fisheries ministry, through its Marine and Coastal Resources Management Agencies, or BPSPL, has assumed the mantle of running and funding the first-responder initiative. Groups such as WSI and WWF-Indonesia provide trainers for the workshops, which are staged with the help of big conservation groups, universities and even local surfing and scuba-diving communities.I Made Jaya Ratha, a veterinarian working on sea turtle conservation in Bali, was one of the first to receive the training. He is now one of the most seasoned volunteer trainers for the national first-responder network, which doesn’t have an official name.“For the trainings, the target participants are those who are highly likely to be involved in the network, as the first people who will handle a stranding event,” Jaya told Mongabay at a turtle conservation center on Serangan Island, just south of Bali.Training on how to handle marine mammal stranding is targeted at fishing communities, government officials, conservationists and veterinarians. Image courtesy of Whale Stranding Indonesia.How to save a beached whaleSo what should Indonesians do when they come across sea mammals washed up on their shores?For smaller animals, like dolphins and dugongs, first responders are taught to carry them back to sea using their bare hands or a large cloth. In the workshops, participants learn how to do this safely.“You must not pull the fins or tail because they are important for swimming,” Jaya said. “If they’re broken because of our handling, then it’s useless to bring it back to the sea, and we’d end up harming the animal further.”If the creature is too big for several people to carry, they’re supposed to report the incident to local authorities, who will usually call in heavy equipment to do the job. In the meantime, the citizens who arrive on the scene need to ensure that the animal stays hydrated.“We should cover parts of the animal’s body with clothing drenched in saltwater or dig a path around it so saltwater can enter and surround the animal,” Jaya said.Sometimes, saving an animal means getting creative.“One time, we had to use a political party’s campaign flags to carry a stranded dolphin back to sea,” Jaya said.If the stranded marine mammal is found alive, keeping it hydrated by covering it with towels drenched in seawater is important before returning it back to the sea. Image courtesy of Whale Stranding Indonesia.The typical training lasts for at least two days. Participants are taught the characteristics of the animals they are most likely to encounter, and how to identify an animal’s condition, the first step in treating it. “Identifying the animal’s condition is important so when you contact the local authorities, you can describe it well and they get a better idea of how to respond,” Jaya said.There are five identification codes, each giving a description ranging from whether the animal is still alive to it being dead and already decaying with missing body parts. Each scenario comes with guidelines on how best to handle the animal, such as keeping it hydrated if it’s still alive, or ensuring that locals aren’t taking parts of the body as it may be contaminated by bacteria that can cause health problems if consumed.How locals should respond largely depends on the animal’s condition. For living creatures, the main goal is to safely bring them back to the ocean. If the animal is too weak or badly injured, it might be best for it to go to a rehabilitation center for treatment.“But that kind of facility is rarely available in Indonesia,” Jaya said. Neighboring countries like Thailand and the Philippines, he said, are more advanced in terms of the resources available for treating stranded sea mammals.Participants are also taught how to bury a dead animal. Proper burial is required to reduce bacterial or viral pollution, and samples can be taken to study the causes of the animal’s death, Jaya said.However, the theories and simulations given at the trainings don’t always play out in reality, Jaya said.“The situation when there’s a stranding event can be very different from what happens in the training,” he said. “In reality, the equipment shown in simulations isn’t always available; not all of the procedures can take place accordingly because of the fact that the location is remote and inaccessible; and getting heavy equipment is difficult.”The typical result of a workshop is the establishment of a new first-responder network. Bali, the Bornean provinces of East and West Kalimantan, and the Sulawesi cities of Kendari, Makassar, Toli-toli and Palu are some of the regions that now have such networks in place. Others include Sumatra (Lampung and Padang provinces), Java (Serang, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya cities), Papua (Sorong city), West Nusa Tenggara (Lombok Island), and East Nusa Tenggara (Kupang city).A chart of the recommended procedures for handling stranded marine mammals. Image courtesy of Whale Stranding Indonesia.Scaling upSome are calling for the initiative to be accelerated. Gustaf, the marine scientist in North Sulawesi, called for one to be established in the province, where strandings are commonplace.The WSI recorded 13 strandings in North Sulawesi between 1996 and 2018, more than any other province on the island of Sulawesi. In Aceh province in Sumatra, where the 10 sperm whales washed up in 2017, 27 strandings were reported from 1987-2018.“Indonesian waters are so expansive that the establishment of a focal point in every province will be very helpful [to handle marine mammal stranding],” Gustaf said, adding that help should not have to come all the way from Jakarta as time is of essence for the beached animals.Gustaf said budget constraints and a lack of sea mammal experts locally are the main reasons for the absence of first-responder teams in some areas.The locally driven initiative could use more guidance from the national level, said Februanty, the WSI cetacean expert. She called for the government in Jakarta to issue a decree formally mandating the establishment of first-responder networks across the archipelago, which would spur local governments in more areas to get with the program.“Even though there are already local networks established, there’s no sense of urgency at the national level,” she said.Dealing with strandings after they occur is only one part of the ideal strategy for combating the problem, said Jaya, the Bali veterinarian. More important, he said, was to reduce the threats to the species by improving management of their habitats. Last November, the government launched its national action plan for marine mammal conservation through 2022.Brahmantya Satyamurti, the director-general of marine planning at the fisheries ministry, which oversees the BPSPL agencies, said his office was committed to expanding the first-responder network across the country.Brahmantya also called for more veterinary students to specialize in sea mammals, and said local authorities should be more flexible and less bureaucratic when handling cases like strandings that involve several government institutions.“Not a lot of people [in Indonesia] are experts in [marine] megafauna,” he said. “Indonesia’s oceans diversity is huge, almost every marine megafauna is present in Indonesia, and it will be a great thing when Indonesia has a lead in that sector for veterinarians who can manage marine megafauna.”The training for handling stranded marine mammals attempts to be as practical as possible. Image courtesy of Whale Stranding Indonesia.The government-led initiative isn’t the only one that has cropped up to deal with strandings.In May 2018, the Indonesian Association of Veterinarians (PHDI) established a team called the Flying Vets, with 19 veterinarians across the country who are on call to respond to strandings in remote areas.The initiative got off to a fast start. In July 2018, a member of the Flying Vets helped with a preliminary necropsy of a stranded dugong in southern Bali. That same month, another flying vet helped with the necropsy of a baby dugong found on the western coast of Java, and another helped with a dead sperm whale in Kupang, on the island of Timor.Ida Ayu Dian Kusuma Dewi, the head of the Flying Vets, said the biggest challenges are bureaucratic. Veterinarians in Indonesia are technically under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture. But it can take ages, she said, to get a permit to help handle stranding cases and to get samples from the animal for necropsy.She said there are veterinarians under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry who are more flexible when it comes to helping with stranding cases, but they’re often not trained to deal with marine mammals like whales and dugongs.“I also hope that there will be more veterinarians who can dedicate more of their time and skills to help with these strandings,” Dian said.For Jaya, more workshops and first-responder networks to handle strandings must happen to save beached animals, and ultimately to help Indonesia better understand why sea mammals wash up on the country’s shores and prevent more such incidents.“The government might not consider this as a top priority, but we hope they still pay some attention to marine mammal protection and management,” he said.A dwarf fin whale (Balaenoptera omurai) was spotted in 2016 in the waters off Indonesia’s eastern province of Maluku. Image courtesy of Ilham Arch via Instagram.Banner image shows dolphins swimming near the northern coast of Indonesia’s Bali island. Image courtesy of Willem van de Kerkhof via Flickr. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Basten Gokkoncenter_img Activism, Animal Rescue, Animals, Cetaceans, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Conservation Solutions, Environment, Environmental Activism, Fisheries, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Wildlife, Wildlife Rescues last_img read more

Vergenoegen Village Day for Christmas Day

first_imgWith Christmas less than nine days away, residents of Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo, are gearing up for yet another celebration to be hosted by Slingerz Family on Christmas Day. The event is billed for the Vaergenoegen Rice Mill tarmac.As usual, the Number One Sound System always gives back to the community and this year will be no different, other than it being bigger and better.This year, the organisers will be distributing gifts and hampers to senior citizens and children in the community. There will also be Santa Claus and his helpers from 15:00h to mix and mingle with the kids and the elderly. There will also be lots of games for the kids including bouncy castle, trampoline, merry-go-round and face painting.In addition to the gifts and hampers, there will be lots of goodies.However, the action begins as the sun sets. Several artistes and deejays are expected to set the tone for the party that is expected to be epic. The list includes Banky Hype all the way from New Jersey; Noah Powa from New York; Guyana’s very own, Selector Face, Deejay Garwin and the Slingerz Family; Deejay Kevin and others.The main attraction, however, will be Carib Soca Monarch Jumo “Rubber Waist” Primo who is known for his vibes and energy. He has several new hits under his belt and will definitely ensure that his fans are well entertained.This is one event you don’t wanna miss…last_img read more

Hawthorne mosque opens its doors to understanding

first_imgBy Sandy Mazza STAFF WRITER Hundreds of men and women left their shoes at the door and bowed for the weekly Friday afternoon prayer at the Islamic Center of Hawthorne. The service was a typical one – adults and children were consumed in prayer for about an hour. Some teens hung around outside the mosque, discussing basketball and the popular reality TV show, “American Idol.” It could be the scene outside any American church or synagogue. And that’s a point local Muslim leaders want to make clear to non-Muslims. On Sunday, the mosque is inviting people of all faiths to an open house at the Islamic center, which also operates an elementary and middle school. The open house is an annual event that also takes place at 12 other Southern California mosques on Sunday. The need to invite non-Muslims is as important as ever, said Ammar Kahf, an administrator at the Hawthorne center. “Our goal is to promote community awareness and education,” Kahf said. “Hate crimes against Muslims increased this year.” Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, local mosques have been “under siege” by prejudice and hate, said Affad Shaikh, a civil rights coordinator at the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “There is a feeling that Muslims are being racially profiled, or they’re being treated or discussed in a way that is different,” Shaikh said. “Their American-ness is being questioned.” Reported hate crime incidents against Muslims in California increased from 12 in 2005 to 14 in 2006, according to the Attorney General’s Office. Kahf said the Islamic Center of Hawthorne, which opened in 1995, has been accepted by the community and is involved in community activities such as fundraising and charitable events. The Islamic Center has a diverse membership of several generations from all parts of the Middle East, northern Africa, Pakistan and India, Kahf said. Though most worshippers are Sunni, the mosque doesn’t ask prospective members if they are Sunni or Shia, he said. “We try to maintain an identity as one people who have lived with Jews and Christians for centuries without problems,” Kahf said. “We are diverse in our interests and concerns, but we are all Americans here. This is where our parents came, where we came, and where our children are born.” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Any team is beatable in football, insists Barry Bannan

first_imgScotland’s Barry Bannan believes the national team can triumph over their oldest rivals on Friday despite the hosts’ status as top seeds.Bannan and his Scotland teammates will head to Wembley looking to cause an upset as they bid to revive a stuttering start to their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.The Auld Enemy currently top Group F, with Scotland sitting in fourth place behind Lithuania and Slovenia.While Bannan is aware of the talent that the Three Lions possess, he is adamant Gordon Strachan’s side will strike the right balance between respect and opportunism on the pitch. Asked if England were beatable, the former Aston Villa playmaker said: “Yeah, definitely. I think any team is beatable. “You see that with Man City going and beating Barcelona and things like that so if you can get the game plan right and everybody turns up on the day then any team is beatable in football.”England have taken seven points from their opening three qualifiers, with only a 0-0 draw in Slovenia stopping them from having a 100% record. Scotland have stalled since their opening day thrashing of Malta, with a disappointing home draw to Lithuania compounded by defeat in Slovakia. Bannan insists the squad is aware of England’s quality but thinks the Tartan Army should be positive about Scotland’s chances.“They’re a great football team,” Bannan said. “There’s no getting away from it.“I don’t think they’ve lost a game in qualification for a while now so they are a top, top team.“We’ll respect them but we’ll be confident of going there and getting a result so it’s finding that in-between where you respect them but don’t respect them too much where you sit back in awe of them.”“It’s a massive game, don’t get me wrong,” he added. “But I think this group has thrown up some surprise results already and I think it’s going to be a group that goes down to the wire.“I think we’ve got four games next year that are all at Hampden, which will be a big bonus for us.“I think it’s a massive game but this group will go to the end.”last_img read more

Tenants announced for WCU’s mixed-used facility Noble Hall

first_imgA full-service restaurant, an outdoor equipment outfitter, a combination bookstore and coffee cafe, a popular convenience store and a nationally known sandwich shop are among the expected occupants of Noble Hall, the mixed-use facility being constructed on the site of a structure damaged by fire in 2013 at Western Carolina University.Signed lease contracts are in hand for three out of five business tenants of the facility, said Mary Ann Lochner, WCU’s legal counsel. They are a new convenience store to replace the iconic Bob’s Mini-Mart, an upgraded Subway sandwich restaurant and a Cullowhee outpost for the Sylva-based Blackrock Outdoor Co.Negotiations are still in progress for the building’s anchor establishment, a restaurant that would be operated by Aramark (WCU’s food service provider), and for the combined bookstore and coffee shop, Lochner said.“We are pleased that we are able to bring back at least two of the original business owners from the old commercial strip on Centennial Drive, with Bob Hooper of Bob’s Mini-Mart and local Subway owner Scott Welch,” she said. “And we are glad to be able to welcome a new local business, as Blackrock Outdoor Co. will be a great fit on a campus that is home to the top outdoor adventure school in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.”Construction is well underway on the 120,000-square-foot building that will feature a mix of residential units and commercial and dining establishments on the ground floor with student residential spaces on the upper floors. The facility will include a total of about 420 student beds. Work began last spring, and the building is expected to be completed in time for the opening of the 2016 fall semester in August.The building, which will consist of three segments, is named Noble Hall in honor of the Noble Nine, the group of nine trustees from the late 1800s who were instrumental in the development of the school that evolved into WCU.The yet-to-be-announced restaurant, with seating capacity for about 200 people, will be located in 4,197 square feet of the building’s east end toward Central Drive. The establishment will be adjacent to a patio providing outdoor dining options. Blackrock Outdoor will occupy about 1,615 square feet of retail space beside the restaurant.Three retail establishments will be located in the building’s middle section – the convenience store in 2,197 square feet of space, the 1,595-square-foot Subway, and the 2,037-square-foot bookstore and coffee shop. The west end of the building, located toward the Central Plaza and fountain area, will feature student housing on the ground floor and upper floors.Although construction of the mixed-use facility was an element of the university’s master plan, it was originally envisioned as a project that would not see the light of day for several years. That changed when fire broke out in the morning hours of Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, severely damaging three restaurants on the ground floor of the two-story structure – a Subway sandwich shop, Rolling Stone Burrito, and Mad Batter Bakery and Cafe.The second story of the building, which had contained apartments until several years ago, was unoccupied. The section of the building that housed Bob’s Mini Mart was not damaged, nor were other nearby commercial properties.Owners of the affected businesses and other existing establishments along the commercial strip were afforded the right of first refusal for commercial space in the new building.The building damaged by the fire was formerly the site of the Townhouse restaurant, a longtime campus landmark and popular gathering place for students, faculty and staff from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s.The Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund, owner of the property, decided in February 2014 against replacing or repairing the structure after reviewing cost estimates, tax assessments and anticipated insurance settlement proceeds, choosing instead to proceed with demolition of the property followed by private development of a new mixed-use facility on the site.The board weighed factors such as the historic significance of the property to the campus community, the contributions to WCU culture made by private businesses operating in the center of campus, and ongoing support by members of the campus community for owners and employees of the affected businesses.An independent architectural and engineering firm estimated the cost to replace or repair the damaged building, including additional expenses associated with bringing a structure originally built in the 1940s up to current building codes, would be more than $1.5 million. According to Jackson County records, the tax value of the structure was assessed at $254,430.last_img read more

What’s New in Washington DC – American History and Natural History Museums

first_imgChildhood & ToysAnother small display case–although one getting a lot more attention–is Childhood & Toys, an exhibit containing a handful of cast-iron and tinplate toys from 1870 through the 1950s. The reason for this display’s popularity was that a) it contains old toys (which people like) and b) it is located in the walkway leading toward the popular Transportation and Technology wing.Honestly, unless you are old enough to remember some of the toys (which I am not), the display is only interesting for the novelty of seeing what kids played with in the past. I guess that’s why they only display about 20 of their 1,400 toy collection. National Museum of Natural History Wegman’s WonderplaceOne of the hard things to do at many of the Washington museums is entertain small children. Enter the Wegmans Wonderplace, an interactive play area specifically for youngsters. Children ages 0-6 are invited to explore things like blocks, animals, and sounds, all things I gleaned from the website’s description because I did not have my children with me and couldn’t go in. I also don’t have any good photos because I am a middle-aged man who was alone with a semi-professional camera and was not about to start taking photos of small children. I cannot afford bail.One important thing to notice if you want to use the Wonderplace is what’s printed on the sign in the photo below: timed-entry tickets are required on weekends and holidays (except for the opening half-hour at 10am). The day I was there was the Sunday of President’s Day weekend and the workers said there were no unavailable times that day, so waits aren’t a problem at the moment. Once summer starts, however, plan to make the Wonderplace one of your first stops to get your entry ticket, especially if you want a specific time. Frank Sinatra at 100Speaking of an exhibit being relegated to an odd location, next up is Frank Sinatra at 100 (Note: He would be 100 if he was still alive. He is not). I have always had an affection for Sinatra that was passed to me from my grandfather, so I was eager to see the memorabilia on display. It took me a few minutes to find it, however, because it is located in what the American History Museum calls the “Artifact Walls.”It turns out the Artifact Walls are the display cases that line the walls of the Constitution Ave entrance area. Tucked all the way toward the door on the east side are about 50 feet of Frank Sinatra artifacts, mostly including photos, albums, and a few articles of clothing. I can’t imagine too many people have seen this exhibit unless they look specifically for it, and it’s not really worth seeking out unless you’re a big fan. The front door, security, and the exhibitcenter_img Share This!Welcome to a continuation of a new series on the blog. As we are continuing our research for our upcoming coverage as well as the brand new Unofficial Guide to Washington, D.C., we will be posting about all the new exhibits and events in Washington. For those reading this who are not familiar with Washington, there are dozens upon dozens of museums in addition to the well known monuments. Well, these museums don’t just stay still, they are constantly rotating exhibits in and out. Some are small, some are huge, but we visit them all.Previously I’ve discussed the new exhibits at the Renwick Gallery, Sackler Gallery and African Art Museum, and the American Indian Museum and Hirshhorn Museum. Today, we’re going to look at two of the most popular: the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History.American HistoryNational Museum of American HistoryOne of the things I am always surprised by is that these two museums–two of the most popular–relegate special exhibits to mid-aisle displays or entryway cases. Not that (spoiler alert) any of the below special exhibits are all that special, but when you’re using such broad descriptors as American History and Natural History it seems like they could do a little more.Anyway, I made quick stops into both of these massive museums to check out some of the temporary exhibits. In future posts I’ll cover more about the permanent exhibits, but there is just too much to cover in a single post.Hooray for Politics!Walking into the Constitution Ave entrance it’s hard to miss the Hooray for Politics! exhibit. Not that it’s particularly large or impressive, but because it’s so close to the doors that you practically run into it. There are two temporary stages set up in the lower atrium that contain some fascinating ballot boxes and voting booths from various locations and years. There is also and eye-catching (but generally useless) group of blank wood cutout people holding signs for all of the current U.S. Presidential candidates. As the candidates drop out, the museum moves the signs to the floor–I was there when there were significantly more candidates than there are now.What annoys me most about this exhibit is that it is an interesting subject, integral to American history…and it’s been relegated to the equivalent of a kiosk in the walkway of a mall. Since the Presidential election process takes the better part of 2 years, I feel like they could have easily put up a more permanent (or completely permanent) exhibit all about the process, the equipment involved, and the oft-misunderstood electoral college. Right now, most people just look for the Trump or Bernie signs to take quick photos of on their way to better exhibits. National Museum of Natural HistoryThe Museum of Natural History only had one temporary exhibit when I visited, partially because their entire dinosaur area is under refurbishment (and will be for another three years!). Like a few at American History, it was not only disappointing, but seemingly invisible to visitors.Color In a New LightI thought the placement of the American History exhibits were odd, but they had nothing on Natural History’s Color In A New Light display. The exhibit itself was somewhat interesting: it shows how many of the world’s thinkers viewed color–Sir Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe–as well as some examples of color in nature and how we see and interact with it.The curious part with this display is that it is located in two cases on the bottom level of the museum, where there are no other exhibits. There is a cafe and gift shop, but most, if not all, visitors seem to walk by the cases on their way up to the atrium. It’s almost as if the museum was filling wall space rather than attempting to engage anyone. That’s all for now, coming next will be the Museums of American History and Natural History. There will also be plenty of info coming on visiting D.C., but if there’s anything specific you’d like to read about let me know in the comments.last_img read more

Take Your Friends’ Activities Wherever You Go With MySocial 24X7

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#web These days when I’ve got a hunger for some data I go to FriendFeed more often than I go anywhere else. It’s great to be able to see all my friends’ activities across multiple networks in one place. More than just an RSS aggregator, FriendFeed is a sophisticated platform for viewing and discussing aggregated online social activity through a contact-centric lens. While the service itself has always been exciting, the launch of the FriendFeed API was particularly noteworthy. Now we’re starting to see some of the first uses of that API. The best we’ve seen so far is clearly the new Firefox “companion” MySocial 24X7.First reported on by TechCrunch yesterday, MySocial 24X7 was built on the new Google App Engine platform. It’s a model of good usability and the kinks that need to be worked out are relatively small. Here’s a look at some of the things you might love about this little app. Related Posts marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market It’s “Outside” The BrowserActivity streams are best dabbled in casually; given semi-continuous partial attention. By putting all your friends’ activities outside of the various tabs on a browser, this app keeps the conversation available even as you go about your day. It’s similar to the way that AIR Twitter clients display Twitter conversations. Twitter tends to be very avatar focused, so sidebar displays of Twitter feeds alone are too small to render well. FriendFeed uses avatars to designate media types, trusting that it’s a friend who’s publishing that media. This works great in the sidebar.The full display and most of the functionality of the original app are available here as well – which is more than can be said for the much better named competitor AlertThingy. To AlertThingy’s credit, its Growl notifications are far more useful than MySocial’s. Users should also be able to turn these notifications off. If there’s anything that’s going to lose users for this app, that’s it. Notifications should be descriptive and under user control.A comparison can also be made with the Flock social sidebar. By relying on individual logins to various services, Flock gets over eager and makes its window pop-up and log-in at inappropriate times. MySocial24X7 puts this part of Flock to shame because the FriendFeed API is a far more elegant solution than trying to aggregate a wide variety of services individually.That said, MySocial does seem to be having a hard time autoupdating right now.We’re liable to see many more services simply leverage the FriendFeed API to organize their users’ data, because FriendFeed has already done so much of the work.Sharing Button is HotRemember how Facebook grabs images from any URL that you type into a note? MySocial does the same thing when you click on the share button but lets you click on images on the page to select them. The share button produces a simple but attractive inlayed popup in the corner of your browser. You can share up to three images at once.Right now it insists on linking any text you “share” to the URL your browser is on at the time, so you can’t just post to FriendFeed without sending a link from MySocial. This is clearly an error that presumably will be fixed soon.Navigation is SmartMySocial checks for updates every few minutes and the default behavior is to scroll down your list of items. You can also click on page-forward and back buttons though to scan through updates quickly. I like that a lot.Image enlargement at hover-over is pretty smooth, it’s easy to comment and “like” items from inside the sidebar.You’re not able to deselect some media types, view items from friends of friends that your friends interact with or edit any preferences in MySocial – but for a just out of the gate app it’s a great way to take FriendFeed with you wherever you go around the web.last_img read more

Storage: Object Storage to Optimize Storage for File Sharing, Backups and Archiving

first_imgObject storage is a storage architecture that manages data as objects.  It is an alternative data storage method to standard block storage systems that store data across blocks, sectors and tracks.  Each object includes the data itself, metadata and a global identifier.  Object storage is much simpler, easier to use and is generally much cheaper than block-based storage.Object Storage is particularly well suited for handling large data collections and unstructured files.  Object storage is used by applications like file sharing, backups and archiving.  Dropbox, Amazon S3 and Google’s Picasa are good examples of applications using it.  One reason why object storage excels at this kind of data is that large data often doesn’t fit well into a hierarchical filing system.Object storage systems include Web Object Scaler from DataDirect Networks, Atmos and Centera from EMC, sdNET from IBM’s Cleversafe, and the RING from Scality.  Open Source alternatives include Swift object storage in the OpenStack cloud controller and Ceph by Red Hat.Robert Novak, technologist at HP, said that  “contrary to most popular opinions, object storage can actually outperform block storage. In a block storage paradigm, the block storage has gone through a gradual shift in what makes for the fastest access to data.”last_img read more

ReadWriteWeb Events Guide, July 2, 2011

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market curt hopkins Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#events#web center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… We’re always on the lookout for upcoming Web tech events from around world. Know of something taking place that should appear here? Want to get your event included in the calendar? Let us know in the comments below or email us.last_img

Never Forsake the Fundamentals of Security – Part 1

first_imgRisk ManagementThe evolutionary nature of cybersecurity requires professionals to focus on a multitude of criticalities. We must chase technology innovations, develop novel risk theories, seek insights into evolving threats, institute new controls practices, and push the boundaries of capabilities, cost efficiency, and relevancy outward in the pursuit of better computer security. It is a never-ending race to maneuver for an advantage, driven by both valid concerns and irrational fears. Some paths we take are worthy and many are not. In this pursuit, we risk being distracted from the fundamentals of cybersecurity.Certain aspects of security will always hold true. They are based upon the nature of adversarial conflicts and persist over time. Attackers and defenders. Predators and prey. Security professionals must be vigilant in following these timeless concepts and how they specifically apply to cybersecurity. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted and forsake the basics of protecting computing systems, information, and services.Risk management leadership, understanding the changing threat landscape, and establishing effective controls are fundamentals which drive the way security is perceived and how problems are approached, evaluated, and solved.Three Tips for Stronger Risk ManagementThe very best security organizations all have one thing in common: A leader capable of navigating, commanding, and delivering results. Cybersecurity is difficult and ever changing, so strong risk management leadership is crucial. The security mindset drives action and is essential to every organization serious in defending its electronic assets, capabilities, and sovereignty. Seek optimal risk. Security comes at a cost — attempting to eliminate all loss is not realistic. Identifying the right tolerance of risk is challenging, but necessary to define success. There are tradeoffs to consider in that the triad of risk, cost, and productivity must be balanced. Investments in controls must be rationalized against the costs to acquire, integrate, and sustain capabilities, and also tempered against the user impact and productivity impediments which may be introduced.There is no room for superfluous activity. This is a race, best run with minimal burden and by relentlessly following security basics, leveraging best practices from across the industry, and developing a highly adaptive set of capabilities. Attackers maintain the initiative and are the genesis for the justification to invest in defense. By its very nature, security is responsive and must remain very flexible to adapt to the maneuvers of the threats. Take a lesson from the Maginot Line of World War II. It nearly bankrupted the country only to result in a fixed fortification that did little to protect the nation from invasion. Security must be fluid and not waste time, energy, credibility, or resources on expensive missteps.Keep morale high. Security can be unforgiving for practitioners, viewed as a cost sink by management and an unnecessary nuisance by users. The deck is stacked against us. Deal with it and don’t let that stop you or distract your focus from consistently following good practices. There is no finish line. Communicate up to executives, down to operational teams, and across peers as necessary to gain lasting support, confidence, and cooperation. It is a continuous state of effort, just as quality or customer service requires relentless dedication. Stay rational, settle in, build teamwork, and get comfortable!Proactive management built around strong communication is the cornerstone of establishing a capable, sustainable, and balanced security capability. When you prioritize understanding the complexities and chaos of the threat landscape, as well as establishing effective controls, you will be on your way to properly fortifying your enterprise.In next development of my series on the fundamentals of security, I will discuss threats and how they ultimately drive the needs and requirements necessary to achieving an optimal level of risk. Stay tuned to the IT Center for part two.Twitter: @Matt_RosenquistIT Peer Network: My Previous PostsLinkedIn: Blog: Information Security Strategylast_img read more