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Clannad star Moya to sell her Dublin mansion to return to Donegal

first_imgClannad singer Moya Brennan is to sell her Dublin home to spend more time in her beloved Donegal.The singer has opened her house doors to the world as she put her home up on the market for a whopping €1.25 million. Although she and her husband Tim Jarvis initially moved into the house because of its seafront, Moya has decided it is time to return to her roots.With a recording studio in the house, the singer fine-tuned many of her tracks for her best selling 25 albums right in her own home.Moya told the Irish Times that initial renovation of the property took over a year when they purchased it back in 1994.‘I grew up beside the ocean in Donegal, and once we walked in I just knew it felt right,’ she said.Moya Brennan‘We would start at night when the kids were in bed, and we were fortunate that it is big enough, so we could do one room at a time,’ she said on working on the house. It initially took singer Moya and her husband a year to renovate the property.However, the couple husband have recommended that the new owners put some work into updating the bathrooms and kitchen.Moya was a founding member of family band Clannad back in the ’70s. They have sold over 20 million copies worldwide.Moya’s husband Tim manages the band’s business affairs and they first met whilst he was touring Donegal as a photographer for NME magazine.Clannad star Moya to sell her Dublin mansion to return to Donegal was last modified: October 11th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ClannaddonegaldublinMoya Brennanlast_img read more

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Freedom Park to tell SA’s story

first_img23 September 2004Human evolution dating back 3.6 billion years, and the struggle of humanity for freedom in South Africa, are among the stories that will be told at Freedom Park, a one-stop heritage precinct that will tell South Africa’s tale in a visual and interactive way, portraying a vision for the future embedded in the African Renaissance.Under construction on a 52-hectare site at Salvokop on the outskirts of Pretoria – with the first phase now complete – Freedom Park will be a dedicated precinct celebrating South Africa’s heritage, a centre of knowledge aimed at creating a deeper understanding of the country and its people.Comprising a memorial, interactive museum and garden of remembrance, the park will strive to accommodate all of the country’s unfolding experiences and symbols to tell one coherent story of the struggle of humanity for freedom in South Africa – the struggle for survival, land and resources and how they shaped the social, economic, political, cultural and historical landscape of the country.The park will address gaps, distortions and biases to provide new perspectives on South Africa’s heritage, challenging traditional narratives through a re-interpretation of the country’s existing heritage sites.Freedom Park will also highlight South Africa’s role in the genesis of early life forms and later hominids, some of which evolved into modern homo sapiens, tracing evidence of humanity’s evolution found in South Africa – including life forms and geological formations dating back 3.6 billion years found in Barberton, regarded as one of the most ancient places on earth.The government has put aside about R350-million towards building the Park over the next three years, according to park chief executive officer Lindiwe Gadd.First phase completeConstruction of the first phase of Freedom Park, a 25 000 square metre garden of remembrance, began in July 2003 and was completed by March 2004, in time for Freedom Day – and the tenth anniversary of democracy in South Africa – on 27 April.The garden of remembrance, a landscaped garden forming the external environment of Freedom Park – and soon to be interspersed with monuments, statues and sculptures – symbolises the final resting place of the fallen heroes and heroines of the conflicts which shaped the history of South Africa.In 2003, a series of cleansing, healing and symbolic reparation ceremonies took place in each province across the country, acknowledging the seven main conflicts in South Africa’s past – genocide, slavery, the wars of resistance, the Anglo-Boer wars, the first and second world wars, and the struggle for liberation from apartheid.Some soil from the site of each ceremony, along with a plant unique to each province, was collected and sent to form part of the garden of remembrance, in honour of those affected by each of the seven conflicts. A roll of people who died during the seven conflicts will also form part of the garden.At the official handover of the garden on 8 March 2004, President Thabo Mbeki said that it would be a place for all to meditate on what had been achieved in South Africa.Freedom Park, Mbeki said, would not be a place of grief and mourning but of celebration, a tribute to African and human dignity, and a place for the renewal of the human spirit.Still to comeThe completed Freedom Park will feature a memorial, an interactive museum, an open space capable of accommodating at least 5000 people, a conference centre and commercial precinct, and a library and audio-visual library. Construction is expected to be completed by 2007.The Freedom Park memorial will seek to facilitate a communal process of commemorating the pain and celebrating the victories of the past, by preserving the memory of victims of conflicts and human rights abuses caused by slavery, colonialism and racism, and by honouring the victims, heroes and heroines of the struggle against apartheid.The museum, through interactive, state-of-the-art exhibitions, will serve to present and preserve South Africa’s pre-colonial, colonial, apartheid and post-apartheid history and heritage.The museum will not function as an “elite” space for the collection and study of cultural and natural artefacts only, but will also assimilate a “people element”, making it an accessible public place.When the last brick is laid, Freedom Park will be an inclusive memorial site enabling South Africans from all corners of society to commemorate the pain of the past, and celebrate their victory.According to executive chairman of the Freedom Park Trust, Dr Mongane Wally Serote, Freedom Park will become “a permanent reminder for us, now and for future generations, that South Africans did take a step forward to put closure to the past while not forgetting it.“By doing so we give ourselves a chance to address issues of the present and future, and commit ourselves as a generation to handing over an intact, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, prosperous and powerful nation to our children.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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We’re Pouring Millions of Tons of Salt on Our Roads

first_imgBy GREG BREININGEnsiaIf you live — and drive — in a northern or mountainous climate, you’ve seen highway trucks spreading loads of rock salt on snowy highways to melt the ice. But where does the salt go?A lot of it ends up in our lakes and streams. A recent study of 371 lakes in North America — most in the northern states and southern Canada — showed chloride concentrations rising in more than a third. More than two dozen were nudging toward levels harmful to aquatic life. Extrapolated to all lakes in the U.S. northern Great Lakes and Northeast regions, about “7,770 lakes may be experiencing elevated chloride concentrations, likely due to road salt runoff,” the study concludes.U.S. road maintenance departments have been spreading salt on streets and highways to melt snow and ice since the 1940s, but the use of salt skyrocketed over time — from 0.15 metric tons (0.16 tons) per year during the 1940s to about 18 million metric tons (19.8 million tons) per year today. Road salt use is common and growing throughout Canada, Europe, Japan, China, and even South America. As much as 60 million metric tons (66 million tons) may be applied worldwide each year. Unlike chemicals that break down into less harmful compounds, road salt persists and may remain in water and soil for years, until it eventually is diluted and carried away by moving water. Low-salt solutionsResearchers have experimented with salt substitutes such as beet juice, which lowers freezing temperature and melts ice as the sugar it contains dissolves on the road. But the sugar is a fertilizer that feeds algae growth.“In most lakes, we already have enough nutrients going in, particularly in clear, infertile lakes. They’ll be more green and less transparent and less aesthetically pleasing to most people,” says Relyea. “The less transparent the water becomes, the less valuable the attraction to tourists and the less income that comes into communities.”Many states regulate road salt storage. But many do not. And none specifically regulates the application of road salt, says Asleson. Instead, road maintenance departments are encouraged to use best management practices. New Hampshire offers a voluntary certification and training program for private applicators maintaining large surfaces such as parking lots. Likewise, Canada has developed a “code of practice” for road salt use.The MPCA has created a web-based tool for public works departments and other winter maintenance pros to help evaluate their own programs, from small details (Do they overfill their salt and sand trucks?) to big issues (Do they stockpile road salt outside?). “We’ve looked at every aspect that we could with this core group of winter maintenance experts to find every opportunity possible to reduce salt use,” Asleson says.Asleson thinks the biggest single change to use less salt is switching to liquid solutions. The brine spreads more evenly, stays put and begins working immediately because the salt is already in solution. As a result, spraying liquid brine is more effective while using less salt. Asleson says cities that have switched to tanker trucks have reduced salt use by up to 70% and paid back their equipment investment in a year or two.In northern New York, Relyea says, local governments have been adopting so-called live-edge plows. The plow blade, rather than being solid, is divided into short independently moving sections that follow the contours of the road and better remove snow and ice. That leaves less ice to be removed by chemicals, reducing salt usage. “You still salt, but you don’t salt as much,” he says.“The salt issue is biologically very complex, but I think it has motivated people to think about how we can simultaneously have safe roads and healthy ecosystems,” says Relyea. “If communities could have the ability through technology to purchase less salt, to salt fewer times, pay less truck driver time and help their lakes that are big tourist attractions, it really can be a win-win for everybody involved. It’s not really about posing the health of ecosystems against public safety.” Despite the ever-greater use, road salt’s effects on streams, lakes, and groundwater have been largely ignored until recently. As recently as 2014, when biologist Rick Relyea began studying the effects of salt-laden runoff at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, “the world of science didn’t pay very much attention to the impacts of road salt on water,” he says. “Now we’re paying much more attention.”Recent research is showing that in many waterways, chloride is on a persistent upward trend, with potential to harm aquatic communities and even impair drinking water.Neither Relyea nor other researchers suggest highway salting crews should sacrifice public safety for the sake of healthy streams and lakes, but they say there are ways to cut salt use without impairing winter road maintenance. RELATED ARTICLES Toll on waterwaysDugan’s paper tracks long-term chloride concentrations in North American lakes with detailed available records. Most were in what researchers called the “North American Lakes Region,” which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ontario, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.Mean chloride levels ranged from hardly any at all to 240 mg/liter, above both U.S. and Canadian standards. About 10 percent in the lakes region exceeded 100 mg/liter. And perhaps most concerning, slightly more than a third of the lakes overall showed persistent upward trends in chloride concentrations. Same old saltTo melt ice and prevent the accumulation of new ice on winter roads, highway crews apply salt. In the U.S., salt use is heaviest in the Midwest, Great Lakes region, New England, Alaska, and the northern Appalachians. Road salt is mostly sodium chloride, the same stuff you sprinkle on food, but in coarse granular form. When it dissolves in slush it lowers the freezing point, causing ice to melt. For the same reason, salt is spread on sidewalks and parking lots.More expensive alternatives, such as magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, work better at temperatures below 15°F (-9.4°C). “But they still have chloride, so they’re not any better for the environment,” says Brooke Asleson, metro area watershed project manager for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).Chloride is the component of salt of greatest concern for aquatic life. Chloride has been shown to be benign at low concentrations, but as concentrations increase salt can kill plankton, disrupt aquatic communities, increase algae blooms, and stunt fish. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set a long-term threshold for aquatic life of 230 milligrams per liter. Canada’s guideline for long-term exposure is 120 mg/liter. (For comparison, seawater has a chloride concentration of nearly 20,000 mg/liter.)“Just that contrast makes you realize we don’t have a good idea of what concentrations are really harming our environments,” says Hilary Dugan, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Center for Limnology and lead author of the North American lakes study, published this spring in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.In many cases, the U.S. and Canadian thresholds are already being exceeded. Keeping freshwater “fresh,” according to Dugan’s paper, “is critically important for protecting the ecosystem services freshwater lakes provide, such as drinking water, fisheries, recreation, irrigation, and aquatic habitat.”center_img Trophic cascadesWhile chloride is not yet poisoning our waterways, chloride does have the potential to change aquatic communities, stunt fish growth, aid exotic species, and even affect tourism.Rick Relyea is director of Rensselaer’s Jefferson Project at Lake George, a deep, clear 32-mile (51.5-kilometer)-long finger of water in northern New York. Relyea and colleagues monitor the lake and conduct experiments in artificial habitats to determine the effects of chloride and other components of salts on aquatic life.High road salt concentrations induced a “trophic cascade,” reducing zooplankton and producing an upsurge in their food, phytoplankton, which seemed to thrive in the high salinity. “When some activity like road salt harms one species, it’s usually not the end of the story,” says Relyea. “It indirectly affects a lot of other species.”Relyea’s team also found that exposure to salt drove zooplankton evolution toward salt tolerance. “Those zooplankton populations that were knocked down by a lot of salt actually bounced back and started doing really well,” he says. That tolerance was passed on to subsequent generations. “That’s really the hopeful message,” he says. “It’s not that we should ignore the issue. It’s hopeful that we could buy some time until we solve the issue.”In another study, tadpoles raised in salty water became male rather than female frogs at a 10% greater rate than expected. The team doesn’t understand the underlying mechanism, says Relyea, but “the explanation is clearly that we have converted some of the females into anatomical males while they are tadpoles.”Relyea found that salt levels in Lake George are rising but are still far too low to impair aquatic life. Streams in the watershed are a different story. Chloride concentrations spike to levels 100 times greater that those found in lakes, and remain high through the year as chloride leaches from soils. “That’s probably true throughout the northern U.S. and Canada,” Relyea says.Other research has shown that salt can affect trout growth. Calcium chloride had the greatest effect of common road salts, at chloride concentrations of 860 to 3,000 mg/liter. The effect was greatest at the highest concentration, reducing weight of rainbow trout by more than 30%. “If you grow more slowly, you can be more susceptible to predators, it will take you longer to be reproductive, you will lay fewer eggs,” says Relyea. “Growth for a fish is everything.”Relyea says the sodium in salt can trigger the release of other metals from soil that run into waterways. Released calcium can favor some species over others. “Now you make it easier for some invasive species, like say Asian clams, zebra mussels, various snails — you make it easier for them to get a foothold if they ever arrived in your lake,” he says.Road salt also damages and kills vegetation, though the effects are concentrated within 200 feet of roadways.High salt use can cause problems for humans, too. Salt seeps into groundwater, raising the salinity of drinking water. In Madison, Wisconsin, where Dugan lives, “That’s a huge concern for municipalities and water treatment plants,” she says. And according to research by the EPA and U.S. Geological Survey, high chloride increases the corrosion of poisonous lead from old water pipes. Calcium chloride (center) and magnesium chloride (right) improve traction at lower temperatures than sodium chloride (left), but they are more expensive and still cause environmental harm.Dugan attributes the increased levels to factors such as more roads, bigger roads, more traffic, and more parking lots. The lakes with the greatest long-term concentration of chloride were those with the greatest proportion of impervious surfaces, such as roads and parking lots, in their watersheds. But it didn’t take a lot — as little as 1% road surface within a half-kilometer (third of a mile) of the water body. “It was a surprisingly small percentage of impervious surface that led to long-term increases in chloride,” says Dugan. “I’m not sure that anyone expected that percentage to be so low.” According to her study, 27% of large lakes in the United States have more than 1% impervious surfaces nearby.Much of the salt runs off these surfaces shortly after it’s applied or with spring melt. But some of it seeps into soil, creating a “reservoir for chloride,” Dugan says. “Even if we stopped applying road salt today, there’s a high likelihood that chloride levels [in lakes] would continue to increase for awhile as some of those chlorides flush out of soils.”Dugan’s big-picture look at North American lakes squares with Asleson’s finer-grained analysis of Minnesota’s Twin Cities, in which 19 lakes currently exceed the water-quality standard for chloride. And chloride concentrations were increasing in most Twin Cities lakes.“When you have a watershed area that has a road density of 18% or greater [in the entire watershed], that’s where you’re most likely to see water quality problems because of winter deicing salt,” says Asleson. Is Your Drinking Water Safe?Promoting Green InfrastructureSeattle’s Pioneering RainWise ProgramHelping the Environment, One Drop at a Time Greg Breining is a journalist and author who has written more than a dozen books. He is a principal of Breeze Communication Arts. This post originally appeared at the website Ensia.last_img read more

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