Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Undersea cable laid for 'transformative' ocean observatory

The article at the very end of this blog post mentions the cities of Pacific City and Astoria, Oregon. So I share two maps showing the location of each city on the Oregon coast.

Then there's some brief info about the Oregon Coast - there's lots more ifo at Wikipedia on these areas should you wish to read them.

Finally is the article itself.

Oregon - pronounced Or-a-gun - is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries, respectively. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers, and settlers who formed an autonomous government in Oregon Country in 1843. The Oregon Territory was created in 1848, and Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859.

Oregon's Pacific coastline:
The Oregon Coast is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It runs generally north-south along the Pacific Ocean, forming the western border of the state; the region is bounded to the east by the Oregon Coast Range. The Oregon Coast stretches approximately 363 miles (584 km) from the Columbia River in the north to the Oregon–California state border in the south. The Oregon Coast is not a specific geological, environmental, or political entity, but instead includes the entire coastline of Oregon, including the Columbia River Estuary.

1967's Oregon Beach Bill allows free beach access to everyone. This Bill allows private beach landowners to retain certain beach land rights, but it removes the property tax obligation of the beach landowner. In exchange, the beach landowner grants an easement passage to pedestrians. The Beach Bill grants a public access easement on the beach that cannot be taken away by the landowner nor can the landowner build on the beach.

Traditionally, the Oregon Coast is regarded as three distinct sub-regions, each with its own local features and regional history. While there are no legal or objective boundaries, most Oregonians consider the three regions to be:

The North Coast, which stretches from the Columbia River to Neskowin.

The Central Coast, which stretches from Lincoln City to Florence.

The South Coast, which stretches from Reedsport to the Oregon–California border.

The largest city along the Oregon Coast is Coos Bay—population 16,000—in Coos County on the South Coast. U.S. Route 101 is the primary highway from Astoria to Brookings, and is known for its scenic overlooks of the Pacific Ocean. There are over 80 state parks and recreation areas along the Oregon Coast. However, there are only a few highways that cross the coast mountains from the interior to the coast.

This has led to highways US-20, US-30, US-26, SR-18 and SR-22, all serving the Willamette Valley / Portland area to the North and Central Coasts as being considered some of the worst in terms of traffic, a conclusion disputed by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Highways SR-18 and US-20 are considered two of the most dangerous roads in the state.

The Oregon Coast includes Clatsop County, Tillamook County, Lincoln County, western Lane County, western Douglas County, Coos County, and Curry County.

From Undersea cable laid for 'transformative' ocean observatory
This spring there was a big volcanic eruption in the Pacific Northwest. If you missed it, you're not alone. It happened under the ocean off the northern Oregon coast.

However, all this week [Sept 8-15) a University of Washington research ship has been streaming live video via satellite of lava flows in the undersea crater. In a couple years, 24/7 video coverage of the ocean floor will be made possible by a new underwater fiber optic cable.

"This is big deal," says UW oceanography professor John Delaney. "Suddenly the ocean is going to be accessible to people. We can't take them all out there deep in the ocean, but we can bring the ocean to them."

Wiring the ocean
Delaney is describing his baby ... a very expensive and ambitious high-tech baby. He is one of the driving forces behind an effort to wire the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon and Washington coasts for science.

Delaney says the vision for this cable and instrument array dates back twenty years.

"I think I was complaining to a friend in a bar, probably in San Francisco."

Delaney recalls bemoaning the expense and difficulty of gathering data in the deep ocean. Then the conversation turned to new undersea fiber optic cables.

"'Bingo!' We said, let's do something about this," Delaney recalls. "That was a long time ago."

Laying cable
Now the vision is becoming reality. A commercial-cable laying ship has just finished spooling out 560 miles of fiber optic cable. One strand starts from Pacific City, Ore., goes out to the edge of the continental shelf and then loops down toward Newport. Another line heads far out to sea to an underwater volcano.

Scientists plan to attach dozens and dozens of instruments to the cables. Seismometers could give us a better idea about the offshore earthquake threat. Other sensors will track fish migration, ocean acidification, weather trends and dissolved oxygen, just to name a few.

Underwater microphones could capture whale calls, like hard-to-find blue whales.

Delaney says the undersea network is designed to funnel a fire hose of open source, real time data to the internet around the clock.

"So people that are interested – and I'm hoping it will be a growing number of people – will have the ability to tap into what we're doing," he says. "They'll be able to watch over our shoulders electronically as we discover things, as we make mistakes."

Spying on the volcano
One of the cool things to eavesdrop on might be an undersea volcano called the Axial Seamount. It is 300 miles out in the ocean due west of Astoria. Delaney is out there right now with co-chief scientist Debbie Kelley. They're scouting hydrothermal vents to wire up.

"Many people now think the volcanoes on the seafloor are where life originated on the planet," Kelley explains. "One of the things we're going to see later on the dive are these vents called snowblower vents, which is where there is warm water issuing out of the seafloor at about 30 degrees Centigrade. With it, it is entraining novel microorganisms."

This summer, Oregon State University scientists and engineers are also on the water, testing instrument packages and buoys that will connect in part to the fiber optic network.

OSU Professor Bob Collier says it's fair to say the data array will "revolutionize" oceanography.

"With this cable we really are able to provide a whole new way of looking at the ocean, which we honestly have never had before," he says.

The OSU and UW pieces fall under the umbrella of a larger project with locations in other oceans. It's called the Ocean Observatories Initiative. U.S. taxpayers are paying for the whole thing through the National Science Foundation.

Construction of the regional underwater cable network is budgeted for $153 million. It'll be in full service in 2014.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Maryland: Heavy rains yield massive fossil

Dinosaur Park Website:
Dinosaur Park
13200 block of Mid-Atlantic Boulevard
Laurel, MD 20708
301-627-7755; TTY 301-446-3302

Join in unearthing Prince George’s County’s prehistoric past at Dinosaur Park, home of Astrodon johnstoni , Maryland’s state dinosaur. Observe and assist paleontologists in searching for the remains of dinosaurs, plants, and early mammals at this rare 100 million year old deposit of fossils near Laurel, Maryland. Dinosaur Park presents visitors a unique opportunity to experience the prehistoric past. The park features a small garden/entry area with interpretive signage about the Muirkirk Deposit, a unique geological formation with 110 million year old fossils, some of which are the remains of dinosaurs. The park also includes an intact portion of the Muirkirk Deposit surrounded by a fence. Access to this fossil area is allowed only during the bi-monthly open house days listed below, or by appointment for group tours and school programs.

Hours of Operation:
Garden/Entry Area with interpretive signage: Open from dawn to dusk 7 days a week.
Fenced Fossil Area: Open to the public ONLY during open houses and scheduled programs.

The public is invited to assist paleontologists searching for fossils on the first and third Saturdays each month from 12 noon until 4 pm. School programs and group tours are offered weekdays by appointment. Please call 301-627-7755 for reservations. Public access to the Fenced Fossil Area require M-NCPPC staff supervision or a special permit. More information on programs.

What is Dinosaur Park?
Dinosaur Park is a unique place in Laurel, Maryland, featuring a rare deposit of fossils from the Early Cretaceous period about 110 million years ago. The Park is part of a geologic formation called the Muirkirk Deposit that consists of sediments and clays that occur south of Washington D.C. to north of Baltimore. Here, paleontologists have unearthed fossilized bones of several kinds of dinosaurs, early mammals, and fossils of trees and early flowering plants.

Dinosaur Park features an interpretive garden that helps to bring the prehistoric past to the present via plants, trees, and ferns that are similar to those of dinosaur times. The parking area is surrounded by large chunks of ironstone (siderite) that recall the days of iron mining in the 1800s and 1900s, and is paved with crushed brick from when the local clay was used for brick making. Four interpretive wayside signs describe Maryland’s dinosaurs and prehistoric environment, and the industrial and African American history of the area. History of Dinosaur Park

Located in Laurel, Maryland, the park is situated off of Route 1 in Laurel and sits at the end of Mid-Atlantic Boulevard.

From the D.C. area, take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Route 295) to Route 197 (Laurel-Bowie Road). Turn west onto Route 197. Turn left onto Contee Road. Turn left onto Mid-Atlantic Boulevard and proceed straight. Dinosaur Park is at the end of the road.

From Route 29, turn East onto Route 198. Cross I-95 and turn right on Route 1 (south). Turn left onto Contee Road. Take the second right onto Mid-Atlantic Boulevard and proceed straight. Dinosaur Park is at the end of the road.
From News.24: Heavy rains yield massive fossil
Laurel - Scientists say they have excavated Maryland's largest dinosaur fossil find in five years, a football-sized bone weighing about 1.2kg.

Steve Jabo, a Smithsonian fossil expert, excavated the bone on Wednesday, but it's too early to say what kind of dinosaur it belonged to.

The Baltimore Sun reports the fossil was poking from the clay on September 10 at Maryland's Dinosaur Park.

Amateur palaeontologist David Hacker spotted it while scouring the site for fossils exposed by heavy rains from remnants of recent Tropical Storm Lee.

Jabo said the fossil could be part of a leg bone of a plant-eating sauropod.

Dinosaur Park, in Prince George's County, has been yielding fossils for decades and scientists and amateur sleuths deliver any finds there to the Smithsonian Institution.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Booklist: The World of Gerard Mercator

The World of Gerard Mercator: The Mapmaker Who Revolutionized Geography, by Andrew Taylor. Walker & Company. 2004.

The story of discovery and mapmaking is one of pushing back shadows, and no one in the last two thousand years achieved as much as Gerard Mercator in extending the boundaries of the known world.

Hist lifespanned most of the turbulent, extraordinary sixteenth century, a time when war rolled across Europe and revolutions engulfred religion, science and civilization. Almost extinguished by the Inquisition, Mercator survived to bring his his genius to making maps, and his achievement was nothing less than to revolutionize the study of geography.

Appropriately for an era undergoing radical change, Mercator was full of contradictions himself, tied to knowledge and beliefs of the past, yet unafraid to forge a new path. He never traveled beyong northern Europe, yet he had the imagination to draw the entire world anew and to solve a problem that had baffled sailors and scientists for centuries: how a curved Earth could be faithfully redered on a flat surface to allow for accurate navigation.

His "projection" was so visionary that it is used by NASA to map Mars today.

Andrew Taylor has beautifully captured Mercator amid the turmoil and opportunity of his times and the luminaries who inspired his talent - his teacher and business partner, GEmma Frisius, the English wizard John Dee, his benefactor, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, his cartographic collaborator, Abraham Ortelius.

The World of Gerard Mercator is a masterful biography of one of the men most responsible for the modern world.

Table of Contents
1. Pushing Back Shadows
2. Forgotten Wisdom
3. A Small Town on the River Scheldt
4. Among the Brethren of the Common Life
5. At the College of the Castle
6. Doubts and Dangers
7. Gemma's Globe
8. Craftsman and Cartographer
9. The Greatest Globe in the World
10. In the Hands of the Inquisition
11. Two New Arrivals
12. A New Life
13. Our Europe
14. A Mysterious Commission
15. In the Forests of Lorraine
16. Tragedy
17. The Sum of Human Knowledge
18. The World Hung on tthe WAll: The Projection
19. Presenting Ptolemy to the World
20. A "Thick Myste of Ignorance" Dispelled
21. The Geography of the World
22. The Gathering Dark


Archangelsk hosts 2nd International Arctic Forum

From Wikipedia
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost. The area can be defined as north of the Arctic Circle (66° 33'N), the approximate limit of the midnight sun and the polar night. Alternatively, it can be defined as the region where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10 °C (50 °F); the northernmost tree line roughly follows the isotherm at the boundary of this region.

Socially and politically, the Arctic region includes the northern territories of the eight Arctic states, although by natural science definitions much of this territory is considered subarctic. The Arctic region is a unique area among Earth's ecosystems. The cultures in the region and the Arctic indigenous peoples have adapted to its cold and extreme conditions. In Life in the Arctic includes organisms living in the ice, zooplankton and phytoplankton, fish and marine mammals, birds, land animals, plants, and human societies.

In recent years the extent of the sea ice has declined. This has been blamed on global warming. Whether global warming is man-made or just a natural phenomenon is still under debate.

From The Voice of Russia: Archangelsk hosts 2nd International Arctic Forum

Russia sees the Arctic region as a venue for international cooperation. The issues of the region’s development should be discussed on the highest international level. With this purpose on September 21-24, the city of Arkhangelsk in Russia’s north hosts the Second International Arctic Forum “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue” sponsored by the Russian Geographical Society (RGS). Among the participants are scientists, experts, prominent public and political figures, and representatives of Arctic Council member and observer countries.

The Arctic region’s development will be advantageous for everyone – for businesses and governments. Its main treasure – huge oil and gas reserves – is hidden under the ice of the Arctic Ocean. Oil and gas production in severe climate conditions of the North is impossible without proper transportation infrastructure. That is why this year the forum focuses on creating Arctic transportation infrastructure as a foundation for the development of the Arctic. This primarily involves the development of commercial and research navigation, transportation terminals (sea ports and airports) and corridors (the Northern Sea Route), polar aviation, cargo and passenger trans-polar and cross-polar transportation.

It is clear that the main Arctic nations – Russia, the US and Canada - should cooperate to carry out such challenging tasks. The Arctic forum contributes to the progress in discussion of political and scientific aspects of such cooperation, the president of the Russian Geographical Society Vladimir Kotlyakov says.

"After the break-up of the Soviet Union led to stagnation in the Arctic region’s development. Now the time has come when it is necessary to revive it and the forum facilitates cooperation in this field. Cooperation is a must in the Arctic region. It has large reserves which should be used but it is impossible to explore and develop them independently. On the other hand there are political territorial disputes around the Arctic region, which can be resolves only through negotiations. If they are resolved unilaterally new conflicts will emerge."

The participants of the dialogue find that it is necessary to hold the conference of regular basis. Last year the first Arctic forum focused on the issue of environmental clean-up of the region. Since then Russia has got down to business. In particular the barrels with oil wastes are being transported from Franz Jozef Land in the Barents Sea.

The first Arctic conference also triggered the definition of external borders of the Russian continental shelf. Russia submitted its request to the UN for the recognition of Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges as part of the Russian territory of the Continental shelf. The request was grounded by the data Russian scientists had obtained during a special expedition. However, the UN’s commission asked Russia to provide more accurate data. Russia plans to submit a new request in 2013.

In May the first pan-Arctic agreement on cooperation in aviation and naval search and rescue operations was signed. The head of International relations department of the Finnish Interior Ministry Timo Viitanen told our radio station more about this document.

The forum’s participants also spoke about the need to adopt legal framework for the Arctic cooperation. Protection of the unique eco-system of the region should become the key principle of this legislation.

At present, a new document is being prepared on interaction of the Arctic nations in fighting environmental disasters, in particular with oil spills. The talks on this agreement should start in October. It is likely that by the next forum the law on the regulation of navigation along Northern Sea Route will come into force. Speaking at the forum, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that the law will be adopted by the end of the year.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What's happening in Jamaica?

Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 kilometres (145 mi) in length and as much as 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width, and amounts to 10,990 square kilometres (4,243 sq mi). It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Its indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water", or the "Land of Springs".

Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it became an English, and later a British, colony, known as "Jamaica". It achieved full independence in 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. It remains a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

Kingston is the country's largest city and the capital.

I found this article because of the news that the Jamaican government is taking "steps to protect Jamaican Rum" - vua a Geographical Indication (GI) registration. But I thought I'd share the whole series of summary news articles, since they show a snapshot of life on the island.

JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending September 23rd, 2011
Published Sep 23, 2011

Christopher Tufton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has told the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) to enhance its protections of brand Jamaica in regard to rum via Geographical Indication (GI) registration. GI refers to a name or sign used on products that specifies a specific geographical location and represents a certification that these products have certain features, are made with traditional methods, or have a certain reputation because of their geographical origins.

Jamaicans have been angered by revelations that some employers are hiring workers on the basis of skin tone. Many are calling for disclosure of the names of employers who have specifically asked the Jamaican government's skills training agency for light-skinned trainees to fill job vacancies at their firms. Earl Witter, public defender, plans to require the agency, known as HEART Trust/NTA to provide the names of these employers.

Robert Pickersgill, the chairman of the People's National Party (PNP), is encouraging party supporters to work for the end of the governing Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) government. He has called for the "curtain to come down" on the JLP administration. Pickersgill's remarks were made at the PNP's 73rd annual conference and signaled the beginning of the party's active campaigning for the general election in 2012.

China's Vice Premier, Hui Liangyu, and Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding held discussions in Kingston. Hui noted that Jamaica was the first country in the Caribbean to establish diplomatic relations with China some 30 years ago. Hui introduced a five-point plan to further enhance the relations between Jamaica and China, including the creation of stronger economic and trade links.

The Jamaican dance hall musician Vybz Kartel has had his music banned from the state-owned radio network in Guyana. His songs have been banned because of what authorities in Guyana consider to be "obscene lyrics" and because such music provides "nothing positive" to the entertainment industry as a whole. This is the first time Guyana's government has taken such actions against a specific artist. Kartel angered some local promoters in Guyana in August of 2011 when he was a no-show at a music festival sponsored by the government.

Jamaica's Cabinet considered easing visa requirements for Jamaican nationals in order to facilitate entry to the Cayman Islands and to encourage visits by business travelers to Jamaica. If existing regulations were removed, the travel situation would be eased for some Jamaican nationals visiting the Caymans. The regulation removal would primarily impact individuals under the age of 15 and older than 70.

According to the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) in Trinidad and Tobago, there are reasons to be concerned about the lack of security in Jamaica's Port of Kingston. The inadequate port security represents a threat to local importers and customs brokers, who may be used unknowingly to ship illegal substances throughout the Caribbean region. DOMA's concerns were emphasized by the discovery of a shipping container full of marijuana valued at $30 million at the Pt Lisas Port.

Anthony Morgan, a law student in Montreal, Canada, who is of Jamaican descent, filmed white students at a local business school wearing blackface and Jamaican colors and chanting in fake Jamaican accents about using marijuana. According to Morgan, students at Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) took part in these activities during an annual sporting event traditionally held during freshmen week at the school. School authorities issued a formal apology and will investigate ways to ensure that such behavior does not recur.


JN Money Services Ltd. in the United Kingdom has introduced a new money transfer agency known as Ghana Money Transfer. JNMS, which is the remittance unit of the Jamaican National Building Society, began operations in the UK in 2009, but only started its Ghana service in September 2011. The target market for the new financial business service is the approximately 500,000 Ghanaians who live in the UK.

High-level security officials from Jamaica met with their Honduran counterparts to find ways to stop illegal fishing as well as the illegal smuggling of drugs and weapons. The discussions were prompted by the accusations brought against Jamaican coast guard personnel by a Honduran navy commander who believed that excessive force was used to stop a boat from Honduras fishing for lobster and conch in Jamaican waters at Pedro Cays.

McGill University law student Anthony Morgan, who is of Jamaican descent, plans to file a complaint against the HEC business school in Montreal, Canada, for activities that encouraged students to wear blackface, dress in Jamaican flag colors, and mock Jamaican speech by putting on fake Jamaican accents. According to the school, the students were participating in a traditional back-to-school event and said they were attempting to portray Usain Bolt, Jamaica's three-time Olympic gold champion sprinter.

Christopher "Dudus" Coke, convicted Jamaican drug lord, has written a seven-page letter to a federal judge in New York City to request leniency in sentencing. Coke entered a plea of guilty when charged with racketeering and assault. He could spend 23 years in prison for these crimes. In an attempt to forestall a harsh sentence, Coke listed 13 reasons why the maximum sentence was inappropriate in his case, which included a mention of his "charitable deeds and social services" in Jamaica.








Visit for the weekly Caribbean News Summary, Caribbean Events & Announcements and Caribbean Recipes.


Norsk Hydro ASA has agreed to divest its interest of 35 percent in Alumina Partners of Jamaica or Alpart for a cash consideration of US$46 million from UC Rusal. Hydro acquired bauxite and alumina operations in Brazil earlier in 2011, strengthening its position in the aluminum value chain. The divestiture is scheduled for completion in October 2011.

A vice premier from China, along with a 60-member delegation from that country, came to Jamaica in order to sign two grants designed to enhance the island's development. China is increasing its investments in the Caribbean region, and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu has stated his commitment to helping Jamaica achieve its highest economic potential.

Fertilizer producer Newport Fersan Jamaica Ltd., which is the only fertilizer producer on the island, has made a deal with Cuba to supply 98,000 bags of its product to that nation. This represents some 4,600 metric tons. Financing will occur via the Export-Import bank's Cuban line of credit. The fertilizer will be delivered in two shipments, the first of which is scheduled for October 2011, and the second 15 days later.

Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, announced that the island will soon welcome three new airlines, just in time for the lucrative winter tourist season. The announcement came at the same time that British Airways announced its plans to reduce service to the Caribbean beginning in 2012. The two new airlines are Copa Airlines and Satena, and tourist officials believe the addition of these services will create an influx of business from Europe and Latin America to Jamaica.






Visit for the weekly Caribbean News Summary, Caribbean Events & Announcements and Caribbean Recipes.


OnStar will impose a new data-sharing policy as of December 2011. The policy will permit the company to share individual users' information with more people and could include a possible sale of the business operations. Upon the completion of such a sale, OnStar could transfer personal information of its users as part of the "transferred assets" of the firm. The user information will be shared even if users are not paying for the OnStar service.

No fewer than ten automakers plan to integrate Pandora via its Sync AppLink system. Ford was the first to implement the new technology approach, but it will now be joined by nine other car manufacturers, including Toyota and General Motors. The integration of apps means that services like Pandora, Google search, and Twitter can be utilized in an automobile. Control of the apps is likely to be through voice interaction and in-car buttons for safety reasons.


Denroy Morgan, a Jamaican reggae musician, was pulled over by New York police for erratic driving and failing to stop at a stop sign. Their actions resulted in the discovery of over 300 pounds of marijuana, shrink-wrapped in bales, in the car. Denroy was carrying more than 25 pounds of the drug in the car trunk, and the rest was found at an address in the Bronx. Ultimately, armed with a search warrant, police found a total of 351 pounds of marijuana, which has a street value of between $140,000 and $350,000.

The famous Jamaican record label, Cashflow Records, is denying charges that the firm has a direct involvement in a scam that promises interactions with famous musicians for a price. According to a number of artistes, someone posing as a representative of Cashflow has called them to promise the opportunity to tour with prominent musicians for a price. The company's publicist, Buju Wayne, says that only DJ Neil or Father P. can conduct business on behalf of Cashflow, and anyone else who makes promises using the name is involved in a scam.

The first single by Orane "Specialist" Wilson has been well-received by critics and audiences. The catchy "Phone Card Banana Chips" hook has become a part of Jamaica's popular culture and earned Wilson praise from dancehall aficionados. The single has been given significant air play on local radio stations. Wilson calls his success "overwhelming."

Lincoln Barrington "Sugar" Minott died in 2010. He was a reggae singer, sound system operator, and producer. In October 2011, VP Records plans to release its Reggae Anthology, which will include a bonus DVD that feature a live performance by Minott at JapanSplash! Minott was a commanding presence in Jamaican music from the mid 1970s, and his loss is felt throughout the industry. He was very influential and an inspiration to other musicians and singers.


Usain Bolt, Jamaica's champion sprinter and three-time Olympic champion, won the men's 100-meter race in the Diamond League athletics competition in Brussels. He clocked 9.76 seconds to take the top spot. Bolt led a sweep of the races by Jamaicans, including Nesta Carter, Lerone Clarke, and Asafa Powell.

Yohan Blake upstaged Usain Bolt at the Van Damme Memorial competition. Bolt ran the 100-meters with the season's fastest time, but Blake, his training partner, ran his race with a time that was just .07 seconds off of Bolt's world record. Blake surprised many at the meet by winning the 100-meter world title in Daegu after Bolt was disqualified for a false start. Blake himself was surprised by his time of 19.26 seconds.

Tajay Ashmeade, women's basketball senior at Seton Hall, plans to compete for Jamaica's Senior National Team at the FIBA Women's Championship tournament. The meet will be held in Nieva Huila, Colombia during the last week of September 2011. Ashmeade, who was born in Jamaica, was a great help in the team's winning of a silver medal at the 2010 Centrobasket Tournament in Puerto Rico.

Olivia "Babsy" Grange, Jamaica's Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, finds Yohan Blake, who is the new World 100-meter champion and second-fastest man over 200 meters, to be a source of inspiration and a role model for the youth of Jamaica. However, she urged the 21-year-old athlete to stay "humble and respectful," since the world is watching his every performance.


The Sovereignty of God

Have you ever stopped to consider just how big a God we serve? He is not just God; He is Sovereign God exercising controlled sovereignty over all His creation. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines "sovereignty" as "a) supreme power; b) freedom from external control; c) controlling influence." Yet, even such descriptions only provide a small glimpse into the nature of who God really is.

In his exposition on what it means for God to be sovereign, A.W.Pink writes, "We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the god-hood of God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Psa. 115:3). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is 'The Governor among the nations' (Psa. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the 'Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords' (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible."

A sampling of texts from Old and New Testaments reminds us that 1) His purposes are unstoppable, cannot be foiled, and He can do whatever He pleases (e.g. Psalm 33:10-11; 135:6-10; Job 42:2). 2) He is in complete control of everything (e.g. Daniel 1:9; 4:17; Jeremiah 10:13; 2 Corinthians 8:16). 3) He determines whatsoever comes to pass (e.g. Daniel 2:21; Psalm 139:16; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 11:36).

By any standard, that is power and autonomy! Such is the nature of the God that we serve; the God we have the privilege of talking to. When seen for who He is, it becomes easier to trust Him with our todays and tomorrows. At least it should be, and we get to choose. I choose to trust Him. He can do a much better job with my life than I ever could, trying to do it by myself. How do you choose?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mekong dolphins on brink of extinction - WWF

From iol News: Mekong dolphins on brink of extinction - WWF
Tokyo - The Irrawaddy dolphin population in the Mekong River numbers roughly 85, with the survival of new calves very low, suggesting they are at high risk of extinction, environmental group WWF said on Wednesday.

The Irrawaddy dolphins live in a 190 km section of the Mekong between Kratie, Cambodia and the Khone Falls, which are on the border with Laos.

Fishing gear, especially gill nets, and illegal fishing methods involving explosions, poison and electricity all appear to be taking a toll, with surveys conducted from 2007 to 2010 showing the dolphin population slowly declining, the WWF added.

“Evidence is strong that very few young animals survive to adulthood, as older dolphins die off and are not replaced,” said Li Lifeng, director of WWR's Freshwater Programme, in a statement.

“This tiny population is at risk by its small size alone. With the added pressure of gill net entanglement and high calf mortality, we are really worried for the future of dolphins.”

Research also shows that the population of dolphins in a small transboundary pool on the Cambodia-Laos border may be as few as 7 or 8, the WWF added, despite the fact that Irrawaddy dolphins are protected by law in both nations.

The group called on Cambodia to establish a clear legal framework to protect dolphins, including steps such as banning gill nets if needed.

“Our best chance of saving this iconic species from extinction in the Mekong River is through joint conservation action,” Li said.

Dolphins once ranged from the Mekong delta in Vietnam up through the Tonle Sap in Cambodia, and then up tributaries into Laos, but they have been shot by soldiers and harvested for oil in the past.

Irrawaddy dolphins are found in coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three rivers: the Mekong, the Ayeyarwady in Myanmar, and the Mahakam in Indonesian Borneo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Vancouver's geography reels in film industry

From Vancouver Open File: Vancouver's geography reels in film industry
Vancouver’s backyard is sprinkled with snow-capped mountains, lush forests, sandy beaches and glittering waters. Drive a few hours outside the neighborhood and you’ll discover dusty deserts, icy ridges and cozy rural towns.

In all its vegetative forms, Vancouver and B.C.’s geography has been its calling card for major motion pictures and television series, making it a star on the big screen since the early 1970s. According to BC Film Commissioner Susan Croome, Vancouver’s proximity to Los Angeles, its compatible time zone, temperate climate and, of course, spectacular terrain are what originally drew—and continue to draw—big budget productions to our city.

“Vancouver provides the perfect combination of urban comfort and natural beauty,” says Croome. “It’s the third-largest in North America after Los Angeles and New York. All types of productions, from blockbuster movies like Mission Impossible 4 to television series like Fringe, find exactly what they need."

"Vancouver has it all," she continues. "Excellent production talent, expertise, and infrastructure located in a beautiful city, in the midst of a broad spectrum of spectacular natural shooting locations.”

Croome explains that B.C. has 14 biogeoclimatic zones, which is more than Los Angeles, New York or other Canadian provinces. Its diverse geography allows for a variety of films to mold its surroundings to their liking. Some of the more interesting places Vancouver and B.C. have "been" include Mars in Mission To Mars, Singapore in X-Men: The Last Stand, Medieval England in the Girl With The Red Riding Hood, and San Francisco in the latest box office breadwinner, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

According to Croome, Vancouver’s big break came in 1971 when films McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Carnal Knowledge were attracted to Vancouver by the convenience of its breathtaking landscapes: they could take advantage of a beautiful urban centre and also drive to relatively rugged locations in West Vancouver in less than half an hour. The commitment by A-list directors Robert Altman and Mike Nichols, respectively, helped to establish Vancouver and B.C.’s reputation as a production destination.

U.S.-based television series soon followed suit, which provided the province and Vancouver with a more stable base of business that allowed it to build human and physical infrastructure. The presence of these productions sparked a thriving industry that, coupled with raw materials, actors and crew members, created a “world-class production centre,” according to Croome. In 2010 alone, $1,021,722,575 was spent in B.C. in total on film and television productions. Of that number, only $243,835,524 was from domestic productions, while foreign productions brought in $777,887,051.

To help filmmakers, scouts, location managers and other industry professionals to envision Vancouver and the province for their projects, the B.C. Film Commission provides a digital photo library consisting of more than 250,000 images and 14,000 locations. In addition, the BCFC is supported by a network of Regional Film Commissions, such as the Okanagan Film Commission and Vancouver Island North Film Commission.

John Smith, executive producer for many Stargate television series, has been working in the B.C. film industry for over 25 years. He first got his start as a technical adviser on The Beachcombers. Eventually, his career led him to become a producer for Stargate SG-1, and executive producer for Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe.

Today, he notes that urban development has erased some of the more coveted shooting locations he turned to in the past. However, he still maintains the area is a prime filming location.

“Around 25, 30 years ago, we had a lot more locations in Vancouver than we have now, because as the area grows there is more and more residential development,” says Smith. “In my 25 years producing in Vancouver, I saw a lot of our locations disappear that we used for years and years. Power lines were put up and houses were in the background where you wanted open fields.”

For Stargate, many of Smith’s shooting sites often had to resemble other planets. For example, he’s used the sand dunes in Richmond at the foot of #7 Road a number of times. The location allowed him to shoot 300 degrees without seeing any buildings.

“There were also some big pits out at Stokes Field in Surrey that we used to use all the time,” Smith adds. “Hundreds of acres of property with big gravel pits and stuff, a lot of it resembling the surface of the moon and places like that. If we went to beach locations we could simulate planets with no life but oceans and water in the background. Vancouver has all of that, whereas if you shoot in Los Angeles, you’re hard-pressed to go anywhere and point a camera without seeing a building.”

Looking back at the evolution and growth of Vancouver’s film industry, Smith can’t help but attribute its success to the land itself. He says the province would never have become a major film center if it wasn’t for the geographical diversity of Vancouver and its surrounding areas.

“It’s what got the people to come here originally, and because they came here, of course we developed this infrastructure,” explains Smith. “The locations started it. It is the locations that originally brought people here, and it will be the locations that keep people here as long as we have the good infrastructure that can support the films.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chandigarh (CM) seeks more funds for border areas

From Wikipedia:
Chandigarh is a union territory of India that serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana. The name Chandigarh translates as "The Fort of Chandi". The name is from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi, in the city. It is occasionally referred to as The City Beautiful.

As the first planned city of India, Chandigarh is known internationally for its architecture and urban planning. Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer. The city tops the list of Indian States and Union Territories with the highest per capita income in the country at Rs.99,262 at current prices and Rs.70,361 at constant prices (2006–2007).

As per a study conducted by Ministry of Urban Development, Chandigarh has emerged as the cleanest city in India, while also topping the List of Indian states and territories by Human Development Index

From the Times of India: CM seeks more funds for border areas
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today sought enhanced financial assistance from the Centre for the development of the border areas along the 201-km-long international border that the [Indian] state of Chandigarh shares with China.

He raised the issue while speaking at the National Integration Council meeting in New Delhi today.

“The budget of Rs 20 crore, allocated by the Centre for 2011-12 is insufficient, keeping in view the tough geographical and topographical conditions of the areas along the border, which remain snow covered throughout the year,” he said.

He also sought two additional police battalions for the border areas of the state.

Opposing the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparation) Bill, 2011, he termed it as interference in the domain of the states, which was against the federal structure of the country.

“The existing laws need to be effectively implemented to deal with communal violence,” he asserted.

The Chief Minister said at present there were 33,500 Tibetan refugees living in the state. He requested the Centre to fully reimburse the cost being incurred on the security of Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

He requested the Central government to provide a special package of Rs 5,214 crore for 2011-12, as compensation to the state due to under-assessment of the 13th Finance Commission, which resulted in lesser devolution of funds, thus causing loss to the state.

He also requested for a Special Assistance Plan of Rs 2,500 crore for 2012-13.

Dhumal also requested the Centre to extend the Special Industrial Package till 2020, as initially the package was sanctioned for the period of 10 years in 2003, which was curtailed by the UPA regime.

The Chief Minister requested the Centre to adopt a uniform funding pattern to the special category states and sought 90 per cent share for various centrally sponsored schemes being implemented in the state.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Iran to launch website similar to Google Earth

What is Quibla?
The Qiblah (Arabic: قبلة‎, "direction"), also transliterated as Qibla, Kiblah or Kibla, is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during salah (formal prayer). Most mosques contain a wall niche, known as mihrab, that indicates the Qiblah.

Muslims all praying towards the same point is traditionally considered to symbolize the unity of all Muslims worldwide under Law of God.

The Qiblah has importance beyond salaat and plays a part in various ceremonies. The head of an animal that is slaughtered using halal methods is aligned with the Qiblah. After death, Muslims are buried with their heads in the direction of the Qiblah. Thus, archaeology can indicate an Islamic necropolis if no other signs are present.

From the Tehran Times: Iran to launch website similar to Google Earth
TEHRAN - Iran plans to launch a new website which resembles the Google Earth, Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Nami has announced.

The website, called Basir, can be accessible from both inside and outside the country, Nami, director of the Geographical Organization of Iran’s Armed Forces, told the Mehr News Agency.

The new website will enable Muslims around the world to determine qibla direction as well, he added.

Asked why the U.S. has more military bases in the Persian Gulf littoral states compared to the countries to the north of Iran, he said Arab countries are inclined toward to the U.S. as opposed to northern countries.

The U.S. has established 30 military bases in Iran’s neighboring countries, including Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bahrain, he said, adding it also plans to establish one in Georgia.

However, Iran has complete control over the region and it monitors any suspicious move so that it can respond immediately, he noted.

Iran can monitor any action not only in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman but also in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How source of Nile was finally uncovered

From the Times of Oman: How source of Nile was finally uncovered
FOR centuries the River Nile has fascinated, even seduced, the questing mind. As far back as the second century BC, many had sought to solve the question of its source. But it was not until the middle of the 19th century that this geographical mystery was solved and revealed its secrets to a hugely courageous group of intrepid British adventurers who beat a remarkable path in Africa. Between 1856 and 1876 these men (and one woman) became national heroes as stirring accounts emerged of their journeys into the heart of the Dark Continent. These expeditions fired the Victorian imagination.

Now a book, Explorers Of The Nile, by historian Tim Jeal, gives a detailed account of these forays in search of the Nile’s source. The object of the quest had been the planet’s most elusive secret. Alexander The Great is said to have asked about the Nile and a proverb grew up over the centuries. Dreamers of the impossible were often told: “It would be easier to find the source of the Nile.”

The men were forced to endure malaria and flesh-eating ulcers as well as stab and spear wounds.

The huge challenge, however, fired the imagination of these individualistic and aggressive explorers — among them David Livingstone and Henry Stanley — and they set out to fill in one of the blanks on the world’s maps. It was a formidable challenge. The world’s longest river has two main branches — the White Nile, which flows 4,230 miles from its remotest central African sources to the Mediterranean, and the Blue Nile, which rises high up on the Ethiopian plateau and flows for 1,450 miles.

The two parts then join at Khartoum by which time the White Nile has flowed some 2,500 miles. To natives of this vast area the river possessed magical qualities. Some even feared its wrath.

But European explorers faced more gruelling horrors than mere native superstition. They were forced to persevere in the face of treacherous rainy season quagmires and deadly disease for which, in those pre-penicillin days, there was no cure.

One noted explorer, John Hanning Speke, gave a graphic account of being “invaded” in his tent by a host of small black beetles — one of which rushed into his ear. “One of the horrid little insects,” he wrote, “struggled up the narrow channel (of the ear) until he got arrested by want of passage room.

This impediment evidently enraged him for he began with exceeding vigour, like a rabbit at a hole, to dig violently away.” Speke was forced to gouge out the beetle using a knife which led to his face and shoulder swelling up. He also lost his hearing in that ear.

Hunger for fame
The men were also forced to endure malaria and flesh-eating ulcers as well as stab and spear wounds inflicted by natives in revolt. But what partly drew British explorers to central Africa was more their hunger for fame (and fortune) than any simple thirst for adventure.

Among the most charismatic was Sir Richard Burton, already well-known for his travels in Asia, Africa and the Americas. He had an extraordinary knowledge of languages (he spoke 29 European, African and Asian ones.)

In 1856 Speke and Burton joined forces and set off for East Africa to find the Great Lakes which were rumoured to exist in the centre of the continent. Both men hoped the expedition would eventually locate the source of the Nile. They became the first Europeans to discover Lake Tanganyika (although the hapless Speke had gone temporarily blind and could not see it).

They were told of a second lake in the area but Burton, himself now sick, was left behind and a shaky Speke had to go alone. He found the magnificent body of water and named it Lake Victoria. It was eventually named as the source of the Nile. But it was impossible to prove this at the time because much of the expedition’s survey equipment had been lost and vitally important technical questions about the height and extent of the lake could not be answered.

Speke returned to England without Burton and was quick to make a speech to the Royal Geographical Society in which he claimed to have discovered the source of the Nile. Burton, who later returned, was infuriated by Speke’s announcement. He accused his former friend of breaking to speak together. Speke returned to Lake Victoria in 1862 and found the Nile flowing out of it. He then sailed along the river until he met up with other explorers. Reaching Khartoum, he sent a telegram to London: “The Nile is settled.”

This enraged Burton who claimed Speke had not followed the Nile from the point it flowed from Lake Victoria. A debate on the matter was arranged by the British Association in Bath for September 18, 1864. But that morning Speke died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while out hunting at Neston Park, Wiltshire. An inquest concluded that it was accidental but some thought it was suicide. Despite evidence that it was clearly an accident, Burton soon declared that Speke had committed suicide to avoid “the exposure of his misstatements in regard to the Nile sources”.

Race to find source
Another extraordinary figure in this race to find the source of the Nile was Sir Samuel Baker, who was accompanied on his explorations by his wife Florence. They were by all accounts an unconventional couple who, despite flouting some Victorian rules, were popular within society.

The couple had met in unusual circumstances. Baker discovered his future wife, then aged 14, about to be sold in an Ottoman slave auction. She had been orphaned in a Hungarian uprising, brought up in a harem and given the name Florenz (which she later changed to Florence). He smuggled her away and they would eventually appear in Africa approaching the Nile from the Egyptian end.

Florence cut a colourful figure in Africa where the natives were fascinated by her blonde hair (which none had even seen before). She had made herself a female version of her husband’s military uniform.

But what shocked other Europeans they met was her insistence on refusing to ride side-saddle — the normal practice for women in that era. The couple also fell victim to malaria and on one occasion recovered, quite amazingly, after an old chief sprayed them with spittle. However their travels were not without moments of unintentional humour.

The same chief spotted Baker’s chamber pot in the corner of their hut and decided that it would make a perfect serving bowl for important occasions. He was deeply disappointed when he was informed that it was a “sacred vessel” which had to accompany Baker everywhere he went.

Back in Europe during the decades that men such as Speke, Burton and Baker were venturing into the heart of Africa there were more political considerations developing.

After the creation of a unified Germany and Italy, the other European powers (specifically France and Britain) became involved in an intricate political dance to maintain dominance. All looked to Africa for what was called “a place in the sun”. Britain in particular focused on Egypt and the control of the Suez Canal. The Nile area would equally become a part of such a scramble for power.

The explorers of this era were a rare breed whose courage and curiosity were matched by their tenacity and physical endurance. Although many suffered at the hands of Africans who saw them as a threat, they mostly strived to make the lives of those they met better.

Speke had been deeply shocked by the poverty of the local people and he realised, like many of the other adventurers, that the establishment of colonies was the best way to clear the path for enlightenment. For the men who found the source of the mighty Nile also knew that the river would prove to be one of Africa’s blessings.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Banarasi saree glitters in new found demand

From Wikipedia
Banarasi saris are saris made in Varanasi, a city which is also called "Benares." These saris are historically considered to be among the finest saris in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade, fine silk and opulent embroidery, and being highly sought after. These saris are made of finely woven silk and are decorated with intricate design, and because of these engravings, these saris are relatively heavy. Their special characteristics are Mughal inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel, a string of upright leaves called jhallar at the outer, edge of border is a characteristic of these sarees. Other distinctive features are Heavy gold work, Compact weaving, figures with small details, metallic visual effects, pallus, jal (a net like pattern), and mina work. These saris are an inevitable part of any Indian bride's trousseau .

Depending upon the intricacy of designs and patterns, a sari can take anywhere from 15 days to a one month and sometimes up to six months to complete. Banarasi saris are mostly worn by Indian women on important occasions such as when attending a wedding and are expected to be complemented by the woman's best jewelry.

From the Times of India: Banarasi saree glitters in new found demand
VARANASI: It seems that the glitter of handloom woven Banarasi sarees and brocades is returning. There is an increased demand for pure silk products woven exclusively on handloom. The benefits of Geographical Indication (GI) certification have thus started showing for the handloom industry of this region. However, a shortage of skilled weavers is desisting the industry from reaping the harvest to the maximum.

"We are getting orders in bulk. In fact, we are finding it hard to fulfil the orders in time due to shortage of skilled and efficient weavers and artisans," said Jagannath, a handloom owner of Ramnagar. According to him, presently the handloom industry is facing acute shortage of skilled weavers due to the slump in the industry in the past. "The young generation is not showing an interest in weaving," he told TOI.

After getting the GI tag in September 2009, an increase of about 28% was estimated in the business of pure handloom materials, said Rajni Kant, president of Human Welfare Association (HWA), one of the registered proprietors of GI for Banaras Brocades and Sarees. According to him, a sample survey was conducted recently to know the status of GI tagged product. "It is an encouraging indication despite the fact that adequate measures as post-GI activities are yet to be taken by the government machinery for the publicity and creating awareness," he said. According to him, around 12 lakh people are associated directly or indirectly in the handloom silk industry of the region.

Assistant director (handloom) KP Verma is also hopeful that golden era of Banarasi handloom products will return. "Today the handloom industry is finding it difficult to fulfil the demands," he told TOI. According to him, the Banarasi handloom industry has an annual turn over of about Rs 400 crore. He said the registration for the logo had been applied and efforts were being made to popularise the GI benefits. Presently there are 18 authorised users of Banarasi brocade and sarees. He said efforts were also being made to bring back those weavers, who had given up the weaving trade during the crisis period. Presently, there are 55,000 handlooms in the district while 45,000 handloom were operational few years back.

Where is Benares/Verinasi?

Varanasi, also commonly known as Benares or Banaras, is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (199 mi) southeast of state capital Lucknow. It is regarded as a holy city by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest in India.

The Kashi Naresh (Maharaja of Kashi) is the chief cultural patron of Varanasi and an essential part of all religious celebrations. The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganges and the river's religious importance. The city has been a cultural and religious centre in North India for several thousand years. The Benares Gharana form of the Indian classical music developed in Varanasi, and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians resided or reside in Varanasi, including Kabir, Satguru Ravidass, Trailanga Swami, Munshi Premchand, Devkinandan Khatri, Bhartendu Harishchandra, Jaishankar Prasad, Acharya Shukla, Ravi Shankar, Girija Devi,Sitara Devi,Gudai Maharaj, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Bismillah Khan. Tulsidas wrote Ramacharitamanas here, and Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath located near Varanasi (Kashi).

Varanasi is home to four universities:
Banaras Hindu University,
Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth,
Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies and
Sampurnanand Sanskrit University.

Residents mainly speak the Hindi and Kashika Bhojpuri, which is closely related to the Hindi language. People often refer to Varanasi as "the city of temples", "the holy city of India", "the religious capital of India", "the city of lights", and "the city of learning."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Antakya Chorus of Civilizations to spread message of peace

From Today's Zaman: Antakya Chorus of Civilizations to spread message of peace
The Antakya Chorus of Civilizations, a choir formed in 2007 with the aim of spreading a message of peace in a demonstration of unity between the Abrahamic faiths, is set to perform a series of concerts in seven cities across Turkey’s seven geographical regions.

Speaking in an interview with the Anatolia news agency, choir director Yılmaz Özfırat said the concert series would be taking place in the cities of İstanbul, Erzincan, Diyarbakır, Trabzon, İzmir, Antalya and Konya.

Özfırat also stated that the musical ensemble, which currently has 120 members who perform in costumes of flowing white silk designed by prominent fashion designer Bahar Korçan, is looking to expand its ranks. “Currently our choir totals 120 members, but we have decided to increase our numbers and have thus called for applications, which must be submitted Sept. 24. Applicants do not need to worry about expertise; we still see ourselves as very much an amateur outfit and our primary aim is to keep increasing our numbers and bring together people of different religions and ethnic backgrounds in a fun musical family that can make a genuine difference and impact people with our message of peace. Our current members range from teachers to students and from nuns to imams,” he said.

“In the past we have performed in cities across Turkey as well as in New York and various European cities. We sing in Turkish, Armenian, Arabic, Hebrew, Latin and Italian and always sing a song or hymn in the language of the country we are playing in. Essentially we want people to see that this is a diverse and mixed group that has come together and united in peace and harmony. Our concerts are always free,” he added.

Özfırat also said that having been nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, the group is hopeful that they stand a good chance of winning the prestigious award. “What we really want to do if we win the prize,” he explained, “is to merge a church, synagogue and mosque under the one roof in Antakya. That way we can show the world how people of different beliefs can really unite.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Geography News: Kenya: How the Coastal Strip Was 'Saved'

Kenya, officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa lying on the equator with the Indian Ocean to its south-east. It is bordered by Somalia to the north-east, Ethiopia to the north, South Sudan to the north-west, Uganda to the west and Tanzania to the south.

From Kenya: How the Coastal Strip Was 'Saved'
Imagine Kenya paying tidy sums to the Sultan of Zanzibar for the use of the Port of Mombasa. Picture up-country folks having to produce entry visas just so that they can sample the pearly beaches. Well, as inconceivable as it might sound, this was the reality until 1962.

But, a report by a British colonial officer dismissing the idea of an independent Coastal Strip as completely inviable and impractical is what ensured that present day Mombasa County became a part of Kenya

The detailed recommendations in the report compiled by Commissioner James W Robertson in 1962, pushed the British Government, the Sultan of Zanzibar and pre-independent Kenya's Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta into intense negotiations and concessions that saved Mombasa and several other coastal regions from being yanked away from mainland Kenya as autonomous territories to be administered by the Sultan of Zanzibar.

The Coastal Strip stretched from Vanga near the Kenya-Tanzania border to Kipini in Lamu and was 10 nautical miles inland from the shoreline. Mombasa County sits in the middle of this geographical entity, which also encompasses the present day Kilifi, Kwale and Lamu counties, all of which was under the Sultan of Zanzibar but which had been placed under British rule following a 1895 agreement with the British government.

Mr Robertson had been expressly and jointly mandated by the Sultan of Zanzibar Abdulla bin Khalifa and British Secretary of State for the Colonies Iain Macleod "to report to the Sultan of Zanzibar and the British Government on the changes which are considered to be advisable in the 1895 Agreement relating to the Coastal Strip of Kenya, as a result of the course of constitutional development in East Africa..."

In particular, Mr Robertson was asked to explore the viability of the Coastal Strip -- then known as Kenya Protectorate -- as an autonomous entity from the rest of Kenya and later on, possibly becoming an independent nation of its own.

After his countless trips across the larger East African region and Zanzibar, during which he interviewed hundreds of residents, groups and organisations, he captured his far reaching findings and recommendations in his report, which later became a sessional paper titled: Sessional Paper No. 9 of 1961: The Kenya Coastal Strip Report of the Commissioner.

"From all the information available to me, it is clear that the Coastal Strip is neither economically, nor ethnically, nor politically, nor administratively viable; and that it cannot hope to be viable in any or all of these terms within the immediately foreseeable future. To add to the present lack of viability, the creation of a new State implies the creation of many new services and institutions which would be expensive: a new government with ministries and an assembly; a separate civil service with a central secretariat, treasury and departmental headquarters offices; a large police force with police headquarters, and so on," read one of his key recommendations.

On the economic aspect, Mr Robertson observed that the Coastal Strip's real strength at the time lay in the position of Mombasa as a port with minor industries backed by a nascent commercial agriculture and a tourism industry that was just beginning to expand.

However, these could not make the Coastal Strip, as then administered, be regarded as economically self-supporting. This was reinforced by the glaring shortfall between revenue and expenditure, which the colonial treasury put at around £1 million.

"Even if, with confidence and stability, the necessary capital became available for the development of the Strip, it would take many years for it to become economically self-supporting," the report concluded.

The only practical alternative was for the 1895 Agreement to be abrogated and the Coastal Strip fully integrated with the rest of Kenya, Mr Robertson concluded. This, he argued, met the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants in the Strip "who being Africans, regard Kenya as one State from the Coast to Lake Victoria".

It would prevent the disintegration of Kenya and "balkanisation" of East Africa as a whole; allow Kenya's port to remain within Kenya; prevent creation of a new boundaries problem and satisfy arguments based on geographical, economic, ethnic, political and administrative grounds.

"In all these circumstances, it is my recommendation that the Coastal Strip should be administratively integrated with Kenya just before Kenya becomes self-governing and that the 1895 Agreement entered into by Her Majesty's Government and His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar should be abrogated."

Robertson also suggested that the British Government gives up the right of administering the Coastal Strip to pave way for the Sultan and the new Kenya Government to enter in a deal on terms similar to those it had with the Sultan.

"Should it prove impossible to negotiate such a new agreement, then the Sultan of Zanzibar should be invited to renounce his sovereignty and the Strip should be annexed to Kenya. In such circumstances, I recommend that the Sultan should receive suitable compensation for the loss of his sovereignty, and I have suggested the sum of 100,000 sterling pounds, which I recommend that Her Majesty's Government should pay."

In the event that this position was adopted and the Coastal Strip was incorporated administratively or completely with Kenya, necessary safeguards were to be included in the new Kenyan Constitution to preserve the rights of the Coastal people.

In recognition of the regional significance of the Port of Mombasa, the report recommended that the self-governing and independent constitution of Kenya have provisions securing the rights of the Uganda and Tanganyika governments to the facility. It further recommend that if any system of regional or country administration is set up, in Kenya, the Coast province of Kenya, including the Coastal Strip, should form one of those counties.

Similarly, the report recommended, should East African territories decide to enter into a federation later, "careful consideration should be given to the suggestion that Mombasa -- and perhaps the Coastal Strip itself -- be declared Federal territory and be administered by the Federal Government.

The contents of the report were the subject of discussions in London during the first quarter of 1962 at which key resolutions were made and which shaped the destiny of East Africa, and Kenya in particular.

Among forums at which these findings were discussed was the Lancaster House Conference convened between March 12 and 18, 1962 by the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Those who attended the conference were six representatives of the Coastal Strip, eight elected members of the Kenyan and Zanzibari legislatures, the Governor of Kenya, and the Sultan of Zanzibar who was represented by a legal adviser.

In the delegation from the Coastal Strip and Bajuni Lands were Sheikh M A Alamoody, S J Anjarwalla, O S Basaddiq, T M Chokwe, R P Cleasby, A M Jeneby, Sheikh A Nassir and A J Pandya. The Kenyan delagation, on the other hand, included in the talks included Ronald Ngala, Robert Matano, Daniel arap Moi, Masinde Muliro, Jomo Kenyatta, Tom Mboya, Dawson Mwanyumba and L R Welwood.

During the talks, the Sultan acknowledged the economic and political developments that had taken place in the region under the 67-year British rule but pointed out that with colonial rule fast drawing to an end across Africa, his concerns were mainly about how the Coastal Strip was to be governed in future and how his subjects would be taken care of.

"His Highness' sole concern is for the welfare of his people. Before he could agree to any arrangement for their future government, he would wish to be satisfied that their institutions and way of life would be fully safeguarded," the Sultan's legal adviser said. Among these safeguards were a declaration of human rights including security of religious worship; safeguards of the maintenance of Shariah law for Muslims and retention of the Kadhi's Courts; arrangements for the future appointment of Muslim administrative officers; and the establishment of the Coast's lands and education boards.

The issue of safeguards for the human and religious rights of the Sultans' subjects was a thorny one, forcing the conference to convene another round of talks later to break the impasse.

This took place on April 7, 1962, during which delegates agreed to await the outcome of an ongoing Kenya Constitution Conference which, it was told, could effectively capture the Sultan's concerns.

Negotiations intensified between Kenya's Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta, his counterpart in Zanzibar and the British Government. Ultimately, the Kenyatta government agreed to uphold Robertson's recommendations on this issue of the rights of the Muslims in the Coastal Strip and which the Sultan had given as a condition to his relinquishing hold of the Coastal Strip.

In a letter to the Zanzibari Prime Minister Mohammed Shamte dated October 5, 1963, Mr Kenyatta accepted the Sultan's conditions and undertook to guarantee the Muslims their freedom of worship; preserve the jurisdiction of the Chief Kadhi and other Kadhis on determination of Muslim Law relating to issues such as marriage, divorce and inheritance where all parties are Muslims; provide aid to Muslim educational institutions and recognition of freehold titles already issued in the Coast Region.

A final agreement was signed on October 8, 1963 replacing the 1895 deal that placed the Kenya Protectorate -- the Coastal Strip and the mainland and other adjacent islands with the exception of Pemba and Zanzibar -- under British rule.

"It is hereby agreed that and declared that on the date when Kenya becomes independent, the territories comprised in the Kenya Protectorate shall cease to form part of Her Highness' dominions and shall thereupon form part of Kenya... " the new agreement read in part. And so it was that the coastal area became a part of Kenya.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Georgraphy News: GCC discusses economic plan for Jordan, Morocco

From Google News: GCC discusses economic plan for Jordan, Morocco
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — The Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday discussed a five-year economic development plan for Jordan and Morocco, which both hope to join the alliance of oil-rich monarchies, officials said.

The six GCC foreign ministers met their counterparts from Jordan and Morocco to consider "a five-year economic development plan to support Jordan," said Amman's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

"This plan also applies to Morocco," GCC chief Abdulatif al-Zayani told reporters after the meeting, the first to include the Jordanian and Moroccan ministers since a GCC decision in May to consider accepting the two countries into the regional alliance.

"A working group was formed to study the procedures for accession of Jordan to the GCC," said Judeh, who added "there is no timetable" for accession. "Discussions will continue," he said.

His Moroccan counterpart Taeib Fassi Fihri said his country was "anxious to have good relations and strong cooperation with the GCC."

Jordan is an immediate neighbour of GCC heavyweight Saudi Arabia and a major trading partner of alliance countries, but Morocco is geographically distant from the Gulf.

"The geographical distance is no obstacle to a strong relationship," said Fihri.

The GCC, which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has remained an exclusive club since its inception in 1981.

Jordan and Morocco are the only Arab kingdoms not in the GCC.

The oil-rich Arab states of the Gulf, which have seen entrenched regimes in Egypt and Tunisia fall, are seeking reliable allies in the region, singling out fellow monarchies.

Zayani said the GCC ministers also discussed Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh has so far refused to sign a plan by the alliance following months of protests calling for his ouster.

He said the plan, which calls for Saleh to transfer power to his deputy, was "still on the table," and that the GCC hoped for "an agreement."

Zayani also welcomed the new authorities who took power in Libya after ousting strongman Moamer Kadhafi.

"We call for the restoration of security and stability, as well as for tolerance and the opening of a new page" in Libya, he said.

A GCC closing statement also mentioned Iran and Syria.

It called for "an immediate end to the killing machine" in Syria, and urged "the immediate implementation of serious reforms that meet the aspirations of the Syrian" people.

Last month, GCC states Saudi Arabia Kuwait and Bahrain recalled their envoys from Damascus to protest against President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on anti-regime protests that began in March.

The United Nations says more than 2,200 people have been killed since then.

The GCC statement also accused Iran of issuing provocative statements about its members.

It deplored Iranian statements "to challenge some GCC countries, in disregard of the rules of good neighbourliness," saying "these statements do not help improve relations between both sides."

Iran's relations with the Gulf monarchies have been strained in the wake of repeated criticism of Saudi intervention in Bahrain in mid-March to help Manama quell a popular uprising led by the Shiite majority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

The tensions appeared to have calmed in recent weeks, however, with a dampening of criticism from both sides.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Buffalo Soldiers join 750 others marking Honor Flight route to DIA

Although the Buffalo Soldiers are part of history rather than geography, I thought I'd share a bit of info about them here, before continuing on to the history of Loveland.

From Wikipedia
Buffalo Soldiers originally were members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on September 21, 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The nickname was given to the "Negro Cavalry" by the Native American tribes they fought; the term eventually became synonymous with all of the African-American regiments formed in 1866:

9th Cavalry Regiment
10th Cavalry Regiment
24th Infantry Regiment
25th Infantry Regiment
Although several African-American regiments were raised during the Civil War to fight alongside the Union Army (including the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the many United States Colored Troops Regiments), the "Buffalo Soldiers" were established by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army.

On September 6, 2005, Mark Matthews, who was the oldest living of the original Buffalo Soldiers, died at the age of 111. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

ServiceDuring the American Civil War, the U.S. government formed regiments known as the United States Colored Troops, composed of black soldiers. After the war, Congress reorganized the Army and authorized the formation of two regiments of black cavalry with the designations 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, and four regiments of black infantry, designated the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry Regiments (Colored). The 38th and 41st were reorganized as the 25th Infantry Regiment, with headquarters in Jackson Barracks in New Orleans, Louisiana, in November 1869. The 39th and 40th were reorganized as the 24th Infantry Regiment, with headquarters at Fort Clark, Texas, in April 1869. All of these units were composed of black enlisted men commanded by both white and black officers. These included the first commander of the 10th Cavalry Benjamin Grierson, the first commander of the 9th Cavalry Edward Hatch, Medal of Honor recipient Louis H. Carpenter, the unforgettable Nicholas M. Nolan, and the first black graduate of West Point, Henry O. Flipper.

Indian Wars
From 1866 to the early 1890s, these regiments served at a variety of posts in the Southwestern United States (Apache Wars) and Great Plains regions. They participated in most of the military campaigns in these areas and earned a distinguished record. Thirteen enlisted men and six officers from these four regiments earned the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars. In addition to the military campaigns, the "Buffalo Soldiers" served a variety of roles along the frontier from building roads to escorting the U.S. mail. On 17 April 1875, regimental headquarters for the 9th and 10th Cavalries were transferred to Fort Concho, Texas. Companies actually arrived at Fort Concho in May 1873. At various times from 1873 through 1885, Fort Concho housed 9th Cavalry companies A–F, K, and M, 10th Cavalry companies A, D–G, I, L, and M, 24th Infantry companies D–G, and K, and 25th Infantry companies G and K.

A lesser known action was the 9th Cavalry's participation in the fabled Johnson County War, an 1892 land war in Johnson County, Wyoming between small farmers and large, wealthy ranchers. It culminated in a lengthy shootout between local farmers, a band of hired killers, and a sheriff's posse. The 6th Cavalry was ordered in by President Benjamin Harrison to quell the violence and capture the band of hired killers. Soon afterward, however, the 9th Cavalry was specifically called on to replace the 6th. The 6th Cavalry was swaying under the local political and social pressures and was unable to keep the peace in the tense environment.

The Buffalo Soldiers responded within about two weeks from Nebraska, and moved the men to the rail town of Suggs, Wyoming, creating "Camp Bettens" despite a racist and hostile local population. One soldier was killed and two wounded in gun battles with locals. Nevertheless, the 9th Cavalry remained in Wyoming for nearly a year to quell tensions in the area.

After most of the Indian Wars ended in the 1890s, the regiments continued to serve and participated in the 1898 Spanish-American War (including the Battle of San Juan Hill) in Cuba, where five more Medals of Honor were earned.

The regiments took part in the Philippine-American War from 1899 to 1903 and the 1916 Mexican Expedition.

In 1918 the 10th Cavalry fought at the Battle of Ambos Nogales in the First World War, where they assisted in forcing the surrender of the federal Mexican and German forces.

Buffalo soldiers fought in the last engagement of the Indian Wars; the small Battle of Bear Valley in southern Arizona which occurred in 1918 between U.S. cavalry and Yaqui natives.

Park Rangers
Another little-known contribution of the Buffalo Soldiers involved eight troops of the 9th Cavalry Regiment and one company of the 24th Infantry Regiment who served in California's Sierra Nevada as some of the first national park rangers. In 1899, Buffalo Soldiers from Company H, 24th Infantry Regiment briefly served in Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park and General Grant (Kings Canyon) National Parks.

U.S. Army regiments had been serving in these national parks since 1891, but until 1899 the soldiers serving were white. Beginning in 1899, and continuing in 1903 and 1904, African-American regiments served during the summer months in the second and third oldest national parks in the United States (Sequoia and Yosemite). Because these soldiers served before the National Park Service was created (1916), they were "park rangers" before the term was coined.

A lasting legacy of the soldiers as park rangers is the Ranger Hat (popularly known as the Smokey Bear Hat). Although not officially adopted by the Army until 1911, the distinctive hat crease, called a Montana Peak, (or pinch) can be seen being worn by several of the Buffalo Soldiers in park photographs dating back to 1899. Soldiers serving in the Spanish American War began to recrease the Stetson hat with a Montana "pinch" to better shed water from the torrential tropical rains. Many retained that distinctive "pinch" upon their return to the U.S. The park photographs, in all likelihood, show Buffalo Soldiers who were veterans from that 1898 war.

One particular Buffalo Soldier stands out in history: Captain Charles Young who served with Troop "I", 9th Cavalry Regiment in Sequoia National Park during the summer of 1903. Charles Young was the third African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy. At the time of his death, he was the highest ranking African American in the U.S. military. He made history in Sequoia National Park in 1903 by becoming Acting Military Superintendent of Sequoia and General Grant National Parks. Charles Young was also the first African American superintendent of a national park. During Young's tenure in the park, he named a Giant Sequoia for Booker T. Washington. Recently, another Giant Sequoia in Giant Forest was named in Captain Young's honor. Some of Young's descendants were in attendance at the ceremony.

In 1903, 9th Cavalrymen in Sequoia built the first trail to the top of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. They also built the first wagon road into Sequoia's Giant Forest, the most famous grove of Giant Sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park.

In 1904, 9th Cavalrymen in Yosemite built an arboretum on the South Fork of the Merced River in the southern section of Yosemite National Park. This arboretum had pathways and benches, and some plants were identified in both English and Latin. Yosemite's arboretum is considered to be the first museum in the National Park System. The NPS cites a 1904 report, where Yosemite superintentent (Lt. Col.) John Bigelow, Jr. declared the arboretum "To provide a great museum of nature for the general public free of cost ..." Unfortunately, the forces of developers, miners and greed cut the boundaries of Yosemite in 1905 and the arboretum was nearly destroyed.

In the Sierra Nevada, the Buffalo Soldiers regularly endured long days in the saddle, slim rations, racism, and separation from family and friends. As military stewards, the African American cavalry and infantry regiments protected the national parks from illegal grazing, poaching, timber thieves, and forest fires. Yosemite Park Ranger Shelton Johnson researched and interpreted the history in an attempt to recover and celebrate the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers of the Sierra Nevada.

In total, 23 "Buffalo Soldiers" received the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars.

West Point
On March 23, 1907, the United States Military Academy Detachment of Cavalry was changed to a "colored" unit. This had been a long time coming. It had been proposed in 1897 at the "Cavalry and Light Artillery School" at Fort Riley, Kansas that West Point Cadets learn their riding skills from the black non-commissioned officers who were considered the best. The one hundred man detachment from the 9th Cavalry served to teach future officers at West Point riding instruction, mounted drill and tactics until 1947.

Systemic Discrimination
The "Buffalo Soldiers" were often confronted with racial prejudice from other members of the U.S. Army. Civilians in the areas where the soldiers were stationed occasionally reacted to them with violence. Buffalo Soldiers were attacked during racial disturbances in:

Rio Grande City, Texas in 1899
Brownsville, Texas in 1906
Houston, Texas in 1917

General of the Armies John J. Pershing is a controversial figure regarding the Buffalo Soldiers. He served with the 10th Cavalry from October 1895 to May 1897. He served again with them for less than six months in Cuba. Because he saw the "Buffalo Soldiers" as good soldiers, he was looked down upon and called "Nigger Jack" by white cadets and officers at West Point.

It was only later during the Spanish-American War that the press changed that insulting term to "Black Jack."

During World War I Pershing bowed to the racial policies of President of the United States Woodrow Wilson, Secretary of War Newton D. Baker and the southern Democratic Party with its "separate but equal" philosophy. For the first time in American history, Pershing allowed American soldiers (African-Americans) to be under the command of a foreign power.

World War I
The Buffalo Soldiers did not participate with the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) during World War I, but experienced non-commissioned officers were provided to other segregated black units for combat service—such as the 317th Engineer Battalion. The Soldiers of the 92nd Infantry Division (United States) and the 93rd Infantry Division (United States) were the first Black Americans to fight in France. The four regiments of 93rd fought under French command for the duration of the war.

In August 1918, the 10th Cavalry supported the 35th Infantry Regiment in a border skirmish, the Battle of Ambos Nogales, in which German military advisors fought along with Mexican soldiers. This was the only battle during World War I where Germans engaged and died in combat against United States soldiers in North America.

Battle of Ambos Nogales
The 35th Infantry Regiment was stationed at Nogales, Arizona on August 27, 1918, when at about 4:10 PM, a gun battle erupted unintentionally when a Mexican civilian attempted to pass through the border, back to Mexico, without being interrogated at the U.S. Customs house. After the initial shooting, reinforcements from both sides rushed to the border. For the Americans, the reinforcements were the 10th Cavalry, off duty 35th Regimental soldiers and milita. Hostilities quickly escalated and several soldiers were killed and others wounded on both sides. A cease fire was arranged later after the US forces took the heights south of Nogales.

World War II
With colors flying and guidons down, the lead troops of the famous 9th Cavalry pass in review at the regiment's new home in rebuilt Camp Funston. Ft. Riley, Kansas, May 1941.Early in the 20th century, the Buffalo Soldiers found themselves being used more as laborers and service troops rather than as active combat units.

During World War II the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were disbanded, and the soldiers were moved into service-oriented units, along with the entire 2nd Cavalry Division. One of the infantry regiments, the 24th Infantry Regiment, served in combat in the Pacific theater. Another was the 92nd Infantry Division, AKA the "Buffalo Division", which served in combat during the Italian Campaign in the Mediterranean theater. Another was the 93rd Infantry Division—including the 25th Infantry Regiment—which served in the Pacific theater.

Despite some official resistance and administrative barriers, black airmen were trained and played a part in the air war in Europe, gaining a reputation for skill and bravery (see Tuskegee Airmen). In early 1945, after the Battle of the Bulge, American forces in Europe experienced a shortage of combat troops. The embargo on using black soldiers in combat units was relaxed. The American Military History says:

Faced with a shortage of infantry replacements during the enemy's counteroffensive, General Eisenhower offered Negro soldiers in service units an opportunity to volunteer for duty with the infantry. More than 4,500 responded, many taking reductions in grade in order to meet specified requirements. The 6th Army Group formed these men into provisional companies, while the 12th Army Group employed them as an additional platoon in existing rifle companies.

The excellent record established by these volunteers, particularly those serving as platoons, presaged major postwar changes in the traditional approach to employing Negro troops.

Korean War and integration
Buffalo Soldier Monument on Fort Leavenworth, KansasThe 24th Infantry Regiment saw combat during the Korean War and was the last segregated regiment to engage in combat. The 24th was deactivated in 1951, and its soldiers were integrated into other units in Korea. On December 12, 1951, the last Buffalo Soldier units, the 27th Cavalry and the 28th (Horse) Cavalry, were disbanded. The 28th Cavalry was inactivated at Assi-Okba, Algeria in April 1944 in North Africa, and marked the end of the regiment.

There are monuments to the Buffalo Soldiers in Kansas at Fort Leavenworth and Junction City. Then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, who initiated the project to get a statue to honor the Buffalo Soldiers when he was posted as a brigadier general to Fort Leavenworth, was guest speaker for the unveiling of the Fort Leavenworth monument in July 192.

From the Denver Post: Buffalo Soldiers join 750 others marking Honor Flight route to DIA
FIRESTONE — More than 750 people filled a mile-long stretch of the frontage road west of Interstate 25 this morning to mark the route taken by bus loads of World War II and Korean war veterans from Loveland to DIA (Denver International Airport).

From the airport the veterans were flown to Washington D.C. to be honored for their service to the country.

Paying respects to those on the Honor Flight coincided with a rememberance of the first responders to the Twin Towers on Sept 11, 2001 and to the police, firefighters and emergency workers in the Tri-Town area of southwest Weld County, said organizers of today's Patriot's Day Remembrance.

"We wanted to do something for 9/11 and to show appreciation of what the emergency folks do for us here," said Barb Goettsch of the Carbon Valley Rotary Club. Her group, along with almost 50 or so other civic organizations in the Firestone, Frederick and Dacono area, helped plan and carry out the Patriot's Day ceremonies.

It all started with a dawn pancake breakfast hosted by the Sons of the American Legion, which attracted as many as 200 people.

Shortly after 8 a.m., people then lined the frontage road with flags and cameras. A 30-foot-by-50-foot flag donated by the Frederick Travel Center rippled overhead.

Boy Scouts and Young Marines along with old war veterans and families just starting out lined the nearly mile-long route.

Amanda and Matt Garza pushed their 7-month-old twins - Addison and Sebastian - in a stroller while working to get a better view.

"We just heard about this last night and decided we needed to come out here and pay our respects," Amanda said.

Also there were the mounted members of The Buffalo Soldiers of the American West, a non-profit group that travels the country educating people on the role of African-American soldiers in settling the Old West.

The group was dressed in circa-1870 U.S. Army uniforms and they were the first group the veterans saw as their buses flew past.

"We wanted to be part of this and we were so happy when they asked us to be here," said John Bell, president and CEO of the Buffalo Soldiers. "I thought it was important for soldiers to greet other soldiers."