Essential guide to scuba diving in South Africa

first_imgIf it’s variety you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. South Africa has an enormously long coastline ranging from about 35°S to 27°S, which isn’t quite within the usual range for tropical diving.(Image: Pixabay)Brand South Africa reporterBut the Mozambique Current flows down our east coast, bringing warm tropical water with it, and at Sodwana Bay we have the most southerly coral reefs in the world.As you head down the coast the underwater environment changes gradually until, once you reach Cape Town, you’re diving in chilly but beautiful kelp forests. There are three major types of kelp, and a short portion of the Western Cape coast is the only place in the world that they all grow together.Click for: Scuba diving operators by provinceIf you’ve always shunned cold water diving, consider it. Sure, you have to don a thick wetsuit with constraining hoodie and gloves, but it’s worth it. Diving in kelp is like walking in a forest – you float beneath the canopy and admire the surprisingly colourful reef life.Off Cape Town, divers regularly see anemones in colours ranging from electric blue or deep red to pale pink, nudibranchs of almost every colour you can imagine, and a range of small creatures in and around the bright orange and sulphur yellow sponges.There are dive schools in almost every centre, with a surprising number in landlocked Johannesburg, where people do their training before heading down to Sodwana Bay for their qualifying dives.There is even an inland dive resort near Johannesburg, where students can do their first dive or two in a disused quarry. Komati Springs is a much deeper disused quarry in Mpumalanga province, where rebreather, mixed gas and deep diving courses are run.Take careful note of your no-fly limits, however. A flight from sea level to Johannesburg can take only an hour, but you gain about 2 000 metres (7 000 feet) in altitude – that’s without even considering the flight.This represents a major risk, so adjust your itinerary to include a day of sightseeing, shopping or beach lounging between diving and travelling to Johannesburg.Source: Dive Style websiteWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Read More →

Family battle over preserved farmland testing easement legalities

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s a story as old as farm families. Two siblings inherit a farm of 77 acres as tenants in common. That means each has an undivided half interest in the entire property. At some point, the sister wants to sell her interest, but the brother does not wish to buy her out or they cannot agree on a price. (It’s always about the money.) At this point, the sister gets a lawyer busy, invoking a partition action with the local court, to separate out her half of the property, 38.5 acres, so she can sell it. It is unclear what happens during the next Thanksgiving dinner.Last year, a case out of Butler County, Janis Taylor, Trustee v James W. Taylor, Jr., et. al., CV 2015 07 1709, didn’t work that way. In fact, that case is now before the Twelfth District Court of Appeals, who heard oral arguments in the matter on Jan. 8, 2018. The Ohio Supreme Court may be involved before there is a final resolution.Let’s start at the beginning. Janis Taylor and her brother, James W. Taylor were tenants in common with their mother, Susan Taylor, of 77 acres (50 tillable acres) of land in Butler County. The Taylors all agreed to a conservation easement on July 31, 2003, with Three Valley Conservation Trust holding the easement. The trust paid the Taylors $30,000 for the conservation easement.A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust, in which the landowner places restrictions on the use of the property, in order to protect the natural values of the land. Conservation easements, like the Taylors’, are frequently used to prohibit development of farmland. The landowner retains ownership of the property and all rights and privileges for its use, except for the uses prohibited by the easement. The conservation easement may be donated by the landowner or purchased by the land trust.The Taylors’ conservation easement stipulated that the property could not be divided. When the mother died in 2006, the two siblings remained tenants in common; each with an undivided half interest in the 77 acres. Neither owner farms the land or lives there.In April of 2015, Janis decided to sell her interest and offered it to James. They were unable to agree on a price, so in November of 2015, Janis got the local court involved, requesting the entire parcel be sold, with the profits split between the siblings.Judge Greg Stephens of Butler County Common Pleas Court decided much differently on April 19, 2017. He held that the prohibition on division of the land was unenforceable because the restriction did not contain a “reasonable temporal limitation.” He also found that the Court “cannot find any reason that a prohibition on restriction is necessary to protect the conservation purpose of the easement.” Simply stated, the conservation easement itself is valid and may continue in perpetuity because of enabling Ohio law; the restriction on division is void. The Court found that the property can be partitioned, but whether is should be physically partitioned (as opposed to judicial sale) has yet to be determined.Three Valley Conservation Trust is opposed to the partition of the property. In fact, trusts from throughout the country are watching this litigation because they believe that allowing division of the property weakens the value of the prohibition on development. Trusts also assert that divided properties make more oversight work for the trusts.I do not have a dog in this hunt. While I have no direct knowledge of this case, I was able to pull down filings from the Butler County Clerk of Courts. Both sides should be applauded for good lawyering. If you think this article is boring, you should have waded through the motions and memoranda in this matter.Conservation easements are a good thing. Farmland preservation is important and should have begun much, much earlier in this country. There is no new land to discover, so we must cherish and protect the farmland we have. I just wish we were as concerned with farmer preservation.I am not a fan, however, of ownership by tenants in common. Lawyers love to leave property to family members this way. It just looks so nice and equitable when sitting in a conference room full of mahogany furniture. Why do we think people that cannot peaceably eat an Easter dinner together will be able to successfully own land together? It is even more unrealistic when we create tenancies in common between farmers and non-farmers. Even if there is a strong family bond, the goals and realities of land ownership are just too different between farmers and those not reliant on the soil for their continued survival.We have to wait for a decision by the Twelfth District Court of Appeals. In the meantime, let’s continue to preserve farmland with workable documents. A legal agreement is only as good as the parties involved. And no one controls from the grave.last_img read more

Read More →

New Zealand Preview – Trans Tasman 2010

first_imgThe series opened last night with a Pre-Match dinner at which Steve Price presented on what it takes to be represent your country, be the best you can be and have self confidence to win.  He then interviewed all the captains and it was obvious the desire and focus each team has to win this.  Both teams stated how important this series is going into the World Cup in Scotland 2011. To see the full story, please visit the New Zealand Trans Tasman website:http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?client=1-6976-0-0-0&news_task=DETAIL&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=11112994&sectionID=125624last_img read more

Read More →

Susan Lucci To Be Honored By Arthur Ashe Institute For Urban Health

first_imgThe Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health will host Sports Ball 2015, their 21st annual black tie & sneakers gala, on Wednesday, October 21st at Guastavino’s, 409 East 59th Street in New York City.Susan Lucci, star of “Devious Maids,” Emmy award-winner for “All My Children,” New York Times best-selling author and entrepreneur; Tim Morehouse, Olympic Medalist, Fencing, & Founder, Fencing in the Schools; Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Minority Quality Forum; Ivan D. Smith, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP; and Dr. John F. Williams, President, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, will each be honored at Sports Ball with the Leadership Award. Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is also being honored for their global commitment to health and well-being.Budd Mishkin, NY1 News Host and Cheryl Wills, award winning NY1 News Anchor and author, will host the gala.“Our 21th annual gala is a milestone occasion and we are honored to celebrate it by honoring the legacy of our founder Arthur Ashe – the late tennis champion and humanitarian,” says Ruth C. Browne, CEO of The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. “Like Arthur, each of our honorees is a trailblazer and they exemplify their commitment to making the world a healthier and more equitable place.” 
The funds raised at Sports Ball support the Institute’s innovative community health education programs and research initiatives. Arthur Ashe founded the Institute in 1992, in partnership with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, just two months before his death from AIDS and in response to the disproportionate amount of illness and death in urban communities from preventable causes. Arthur knew that many diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, are the result of inadequate health care delivery, late detection and insufficient health education.Leading sponsors for Sports Ball 2015 (list in formation) include American Express, AstraZeneca, BNY Mellon, Healthfirst, Korn Ferry, MetLife and SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Each guest will receive a pair of Reebok sneakers compliments of the Institute. The evening includes interactive games, dinner, dancing, entertainment, an awards ceremony, and a silent auction.Individual Sports Ball tickets are $1000 per person and tables are available for $10,000-$50,000. For additional information about Sports Ball and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, call 718-222-5953 or visit www.arthurasheinstitute.org.last_img read more

Read More →

Liberal MPs vote down motion to hear from Ethics Commissioner on Trudeaus

first_img“It was unfortunate because normally, our Committee hears from the Commissioners of Parliament; we hear from the Lobbying Commissioner, we hear from the Ethics Commissioner, and we also hear from the Privacy Commissioner. So, to not be able to hear from one of the Commissioners about their report is unusual and it’s unfortunate.”The report, released last week, concluded that Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to end criminal proceedings on corruption charges against the Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.Since the motion to go further into the report was voted down, Zimmer says he invites all Canadians to read the report and make an informed decision before heading to the polls for the Federal Election on October 21. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – An emergency meeting of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee was held on Wednesday to exam Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin affair.According to Ethics Committee Chair, Local MP Bob Zimmer, the motion to hear from the Ethics Commissioner, Mario Dion, about his report on the affair was voted down by the Liberals. The only exception was Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who voted in favour of inviting Dion to appear but his vote was not enough to push the motion through.Zimmer says this decision to not hear from the Commissioner on his report was unusual and unfortunate.last_img read more

Read More →

Dhawan should play natural attacking game says Ganguly

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi Capitals (DC) opener Shikhar Dhawan batted at the nets, took some throwdowns from head coach Ricky Ponting and finally had a long chat with advisor Sourav Ganguly before heading to the dressing room at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Friday. Dhawan’s role will be crucial in Saturday’s Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Kolkata Knight Riders as DC look to get back to winning ways after losing their last game against Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday. Ganguly said it was a simple chat and he just asked the India opener to stick to the basics and not over experiment. “It wasn’t a struggle in the last few games. He just played differently and will play differently against Kolkata. I had a chat with him after the nets and just asked him to take it like a normal T20 game and play attacking cricket,” Ganguly said. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhInterestingly, the emotions in Kolkata will be divided on Saturday as their favourite son is now a part of the Delhi outfit. Asked if such thoughts crossed his mind when he was playing for Pune Warriors India, Ganguly didn’t wish to go back in time. “That is way too far. My focus is on the job at hand and I am hoping that we go out tomorrow and play good cricket,” the former India captain said. An important factor in Saturday’s game will be the way the DC boys take on KKR’s in-form all-rounder Andre Russell. The West Indian has single-handedly won Kolkata both their games in the IPL so far. While Russell hit a swashbuckling unbeaten 49 off 19 balls in the first game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he cracked another match-winning 48 off 17 balls against Kings XI Punjab. But Ganguly has a small warning for the superstar.last_img read more

Read More →

Funding from ISA no longer required to be routed under FCRA says

first_imgNew Delhi: The International Solar Alliance (ISA), a world body aimed at providing a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich countries, will no longer be treated as a “foreign source” of funding for Indian NGOs and other entities under the FCRA. The Union Home Ministry officials said the decision has been taken as part of India’s dedicated efforts to assist and help achieve the goal of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The ISA was jointly launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then France President Fran ois Hollande in Paris in 2015. “In exercise of the power conferred by sub-clause (ii) of clause (j) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Foreign Contribution [Regulation] Act (FCRA), 2010 [42 of 2010], the central government hereby specifies that the international organisation, namely, the ‘International Solar Alliance’ shall not be treated as ‘foreign source’ for the purposes of the said Act,” a Home Ministry notification said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday This means funds coming to NGOs and other entities from the ISA will not be governed by the FCRA. The ISA is the first full-fledged treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation headquartered in India (Gurgaon). It is an alliance of 121 solar resource-rich countries, lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. So far, 74 countries have signed it and 52 of them have ratified it to formally join the organisation. According to the ISA website, the vision and mission of the organisation is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich countries where the global community, including bilateral and multilateral organisations, corporates, industry and other stakeholders, can make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner. Addressing the first assembly of the ISA in New Delhi last year, Prime Minister Modi said that in the last 150 to 200 years, mankind has depended on fossil fuels for energy needs but nature is now indicating that options such as solar, wind and water offer more sustainable energy solutions. In this context, Modi expressed confidence that in the future, when people talk of organisations for the welfare of mankind established in the 21st century, the International Solar Alliance will be at the top of the list. He said it was a great forum to work towards ensuring climate justice and the ISA could replace the OPEC as the key global energy supplier in the future.last_img read more

Read More →

53 polling in UP till 5 pm

first_imgLucknow: Over 53 per cent polling was recorded till 5 pm in 13 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, officials said. In Varanasi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a second term, the voter turnout was 52.9 per cent. “Till 5 pm, the turnout (across 13 seats) was 53.19 per cent,” a state election office spokesperson said. According to the data given by the state election office till 5 pm, the highest turnout was 57.80 per cent in Maharajganj, while Ballia reported the lowest turnout of 48.80 per cent. In Gorakhpur, the turnout was 54.80 per cent. Violence erupted in Chandauli Lok Sabha constituency, from where state Bharatiya Janata Party chief Mahendra Nath Pandey is seeking re-election, when supporters of the saffron party and the Samajwadi Party clashed. “The incident was reported from Parahupur Sikatiya village in Chandauli. A police team rushed to the spot and the situation was brought under control,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer B D R Tiwari said. Two election officials deputed at different polling booths in Gorakhpur and Bansgaon constituencies died of sudden illness, officials said. Rajaram, 56, was a polling officer of booth number 381 at Prathmik Vidhyalay Madhopur in Pipraich area in Gorakhpur seat, Assistant Election Officer J N Maurya said. He was rushed to a community health centre where he was declared dead. In the Bansgaon, Vinod Srivastav, 50, deputed at polling booth number 219, died around midnight due to cardiac arrest. He was an employee with the sugarcane department. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was among the early voters in Gorakhpur. “People are fighting this election for nation’s interest and if someone cannot understand this thing, his IQ is questionable. The entire election revolved around Modi ji. With big achievements of his government during the last five years, the BJP will win the election.”Adityanath said after casting his ballot. Union minister Shiv Pratap Shukla, who also exercised his franchise in Gorakhpur, said BJP candidate Ravi Kishan would win by a margin of over three lakh votes and the party would form the government. A report from Chandauli said the fingers of Dalits had been inked before they could actually cast their vote in Tara Jivanpur village under Alinagar police station. Asked to comment on the report, the additional chief electoral officer said: “We have taken cognizance of the entire incident and an FIR has been registered. Prima facie, names of workers of a political party have come to the fore. The administration has assured the people that they do not need to fear.” On death of an election official in Gorakhpur, Tiwari said: “The matter is being probed. If someone is seriously ill, then he is not deployed on poll duty. People submit their requests (for exemption from election duty) and the district administration considers such requests with sensitivity. However, if any untoward incident is to take place, no one can forecast it.” When asked whether there were lack of medical facilities for the election officials, the additional CEO said, “There is proper medical arrangement and first -aid kits have been given to all the poll staff.” The additional CEO also said reports of EVM malfunctioning were reported from some places but polling was not hampered. “We also got reports of poll boycott from certain places in Gorakhpur, Mirzapur, Varanasi and Mau. Officials rushed to those places to pacify the voters,” he said. Polling is underway in Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon (SC), Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj (SC). Union minister Manoj Sinha is seeking re-election from Ghazipur. The BJP is contesting 11 Lok Sabha seats in this phase, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) is contesting from Mirzapur, currently held by Union minister Anupriya Patel, and Robertsganj. The saffron party has pitted Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur against Congress’ Madhusudan Tripathi and Rambhual Nishad of the Samajwadi Party. Gorakhpur MP Pravin Nishad, who had won the seat on a SP ticket in bypolls last year, has joined the BJP. The party has fielded him from Sant Kabir Nagar seat. Gorakhpur was represented by Yogi Adityanath in the Lok Sabha from 1998 to 2017, before he became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The final phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state will decide the fate of eight SP and five BSP candidates. In all, there are 167 candidates in the fray for 13 seats. The highest number of 26 candidates in the fray are from Varanasi, while Bansgaon has the least number of four candidates fighting the polls. The total number of voters who are eligible to cast their votes in this phase is over 2.32 crore. As many as 25,874 polling booths have been set up in 13,979 polling centres, the Election Commission added.last_img read more

Read More →

I Unleashed A Super Bowl Troll And Im Sorry

Mea culpa!The assassin’s murder weapon was Twitter, that scourge on the ignorant masses. By creating an account with the Twitter name “[team name redacted] Won SB 50,” the assassin was able to force what Last Manners call “The Knowledge” (aka who won) upon unsuspecting players through favorites and replies. He took out as many people in eight hours as had been eliminated in the entire second week of the competition.The Last Man Twitter account, which had announced on Sunday that active coverage of the survivors would be winding down, sent out a warning to “go dark like it’s post-SB week again.”I had to know what would lead someone to become a Last Man assassin (and see if I could assuage my own guilt), so I used his medium of choice to get in touch. Over Twitter DM, the assassin declined to offer his full name but confirmed that he was a man who had seen my article, wanted to see how many players he could take out and made the Twitter account as “a spur of the moment thing.” He said that spoiling the result seemed like fair game, as he felt the players should have expected that this could happen. (Someone pulled a similar stunt last year.1Without my involvement!)But the reactions of eliminated players on Twitter, some more profane than others, have given the anonymous assassin pause. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel bad,” he told me. There hasn’t been a death recorded in the Last Man database since 9:43 p.m. on Tuesday, and the assassin’s Twitter account doesn’t appear to have taken any additional action since earlier that afternoon. On Wednesday, he told me that he won’t be collecting scalps next year. Nor will he be competing himself: He’s a fan of football and acquired The Knowledge the conventional way, by watching the game. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. — Oscar Wilde, “The Importance of Being Earnest”There are some people out there who can’t leave an iced-over puddle unstomped, a freshly poured slab of concrete unmarked, or innocence unspoiled.On Tuesday, we published a story about a competition called Last Man, a challenge to see who can be the “last” American to still not know who won the Super Bowl. More than two weeks after the football game, 29 of the initial 199 Last Man players remained, and the competition had largely gone stagnant.But then a reader of my piece started targeting the remaining players. By the end of Tuesday night, 28 percent of the remaining competitors had been taken out, leaving only 21 players. UPDATE (Feb. 25, 4:58 p.m.): Since publication of this post, the Last Man organizers have acknowledged that their database did not include one contestant who was still viable in the competition. She has since been eliminated, but the numbers in this post would be slightly different if the database had been correct at the time of publication. read more

Read More →