Lest we forget…

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Coronavirus: SRA won’t allow exams to go online

first_img*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.Find advice and updates here. Law schools may not move assessments online because of coronavirus, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has said, despite the risk of delays to qualification.The SRA has told training providers that supervised assessments must be maintained. ‘It’s important that supervision is in place to ensure integrity and security and we recognise this might mean some assessments could be delayed,’ a spokesperson said.As a result, students on the Legal Practice Course will not be able to sit examinations online at home. The University of Law, Britain’s biggest law school, previously said it hoped to convert some assessments to online methods.The SRA added that it does not specify the form that law conversion course assessments take. ‘It’s a matter for the providers to consider what arrangements are best in the current circumstances,’ it said. Given current government guidelines, it is expected that law schools will be forced to postpone examinations. However, the SRA said potential trainees can be taken on for a period of recognised training before they have completed the LPC. The regulator added that there is ‘no indication’ that the coronavirus outbreak will disrupt the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, which is due to be introduced in autumn 2021. ‘Transitional arrangements are in place for 11 years, so any delays for current students should not cause difficulties,’ it said. This morning, the Bar Standards Board announced that centralised bar exams due to take place in April have been delayed until August at the earliest. The regulator said this is consistent with the advice about travel and social distancing.’The next scheduled opportunity to take the centralised exams will be August 2020 but we will need to keep this under review as the situation develops.’last_img read more

€1·7bn Rhein-Ruhr-Express order awarded

first_imgRRX routes to be worked with Desiro HC EMUsRE1Hamm – Essen – Köln – AachenJune 2020RE4Aachen – Düsseldorf – Wuppertal – DortmundDecember 2020RE5(Emmerich) – Wesel – Düsseldorf – Köln – Remagen – Koblenz June 2019RE6Minden – Dortmund – Düsseldorf – Neuss – Köln-Bonn AirportDecember 2019RE11Düsseldorf – Essen – Hamm – Paderborn – Kassel December 2018 GERMANY: A ‘record-breaking’ order for Siemens to supply and maintain a fleet of 82 electric multiple-units for the Rhein-Ruhr-Express network was officially awarded on March 26 by a group of local transport authorities in the Rhein-Ruhr region.The company had been selected in February as preferred bidder for the contract, which covers the supply of 82 Desiro HC double-deck EMUs and their maintenance for 32 years. With a total value of more than €1·7bn, Siemens says this is the largest order that it has ever won in the German regional transport market.‘This is a huge success for Siemens’ rail business, which will secure existing jobs in Nordrhein-Westfalen and create new ones’, said Siemens Mobility CEO Jochen Eickholt. ‘A service order of this scale is a first for the German rail industry.’Siemens is to build a maintenance facility at Dortmund-Eving, where a team of around 100 people will be able to service up to four trains at a time. As well as the maintenance building and workshops, the depot will have an external washing plant and stabling tracks for up to 10 trains.Combining two single-deck driving cars and two double-deck intermediate vehicles, the 160 km/h Desiro HC units will be 105 m long, offering seats for around 400 passengers, although most RRX routes will be operated by two sets in multiple. Delivery of the trains is scheduled to start in 2018, with the first entering service in December of that year. RRX services are expected to operate at 15 min intervals once the necessary infrastructure upgrading works have been completed.According to Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr, five companies submitted bids by March 20 for the contracts to operate RRX services totalling around 14·6 million train-km per year. To encourage the participation of smaller operators, the tenders had been split into three lots, covering routes RE1 and 11, RE5 and 6, and RE4. Further clarification of financial aspects of the bids will be needed before the future operators can be announced.Although the Desiro HC EMUs will not enter traffic until 2018, VRR says regional services on the emerging RRX network will be enhanced from December 2015, with the introduction of an additional route RE6a between Düsseldorf and Köln. The following December will see Route RE6 extended from Düsseldorf to Köln Hbf and Köln-Bonn Airport. At that stage Route RE11 will also be modified to provide a third service between Hamm and Düsseldorf, being replaced between Duisburg and Mönchengladbach by an expanded RE42. From December 2018 RE11 will run hourly to Paderborn and two-hourly to Kassel, enhancing connections to and from Thüringen.last_img read more

East Africa faces new locust threat

first_imgTalk Africa: East Africa Ebola alert Countries in East Africa are racing against time to stop new swarms of locusts from wreaking havoc with crops and livelihoods after the worst infestation in generations.Locusts are seen as they copulate in the region of Kyuso, Kenya, February 18, 2020. The swarms, first sighted in December, have already destroyed tens of thousands of acres of farmland in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia./REUTERSA lack of expertise in controlling the pests is not the only problem. Kenya temporarily ran out of pesticides, Ethiopia needs more planes and Somalia and Yemen, torn by civil war, can’t guarantee exterminators’ safety.Locust swarms have been recorded in the region since biblical times, but unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change have created ideal conditions for insect numbers to surge, scientists say.Warmer seas are creating more rain, wakening dormant eggs, and cyclones that disperse the swarms are getting stronger and more frequent.In Ethiopia, the locusts have reached the fertile Rift Valley farmland and stripped grazing grounds in Kenya and Somalia. Swarms can travel up to 150 km (93 miles) a day and contain between 40-80 million locusts per square kilometer.If left unchecked, the number of locusts in East Africa could explode 400-fold by June. That would devastate harvests in a region with more than 19 million hungry people, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned.Uganda has deployed the military. Kenya has trained hundreds of youth cadets to spray. Lacking pesticides, some security forces in Somalia have shot anti-aircraft guns at swarms darkening the skies.Everyone is racing the rains expected in March: the next generation of larvae is already wriggling from the ground, just as farmers plant their seeds.“The second wave is coming,” said Cyril Ferrand, FAO’s head of resilience for Eastern Africa. “As crops are planted, locusts will eat everything.”The impact so far on agriculture, which generates about a third of East Africa’s economic output, is unknown, but FAO is using satellite images to assess the damage, he said.PESTICIDE SHORTAGESIn Kenya, the region’s wealthiest and most stable country, the locusts are mostly in the semi-arid north, although some crops have been affected, said Stanley Kipkoech, a senior official at the Ministry of Agriculture.This month, Kenya ran out of pesticide for about a week and a half, he said. Farmers watched helplessly as their families’ crops were devoured.In Ethiopia, the government can only afford to rent four planes for aerial spraying, but it needs at least twice that number to contain the outbreak before harvesting begins in March, Zebdewos Salato, director of plant protection at the Ministry of Agriculture, told Reuters.“We are running out of time,” he said.Ethiopia’s single pesticide factory is working flat out.The country needs 500,000 liters for the upcoming harvest and planting season but is struggling to produce its maximum 200,000 liters after foreign exchange shortages delayed the purchase of chemicals, the factory’s chief executive Simeneh Altaye said.FAO is helping the government to procure planes, vehicles and sprayers, said Fatouma Seid, the agency’s representative in Ethiopia. It is also urgently trying to buy pesticides from Europe. Related Huge locust outbreak in East Africa reaches South Sudan FAO warns of desert locust outbreak in east Africalast_img read more

Dairy Economic Update: Milk skims little profit

first_imgFarmers Union: Dairy farm profits about 3 cents per gallonBased on August 2016 price estimates from USDA, U.S. farmers and ranchers again received about 17.4 cents for every $1 spent by consumers for food at the retail level. More than 80 cents per $1 went for marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing, according to the National Farmers Union.advertisementadvertisementA producer’s share of a gallon of fat-free milk, selling for $3.99 at retail, was $1.47, or about 37 percent.The Wisconsin Farmers Union also said dairy farmer profit from a gallon of milk sold at retail averaged 3 cents for the period of 2009 to 2014. Based on monthly price data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, consumers paid an average of $3.43 per gallon, with the processor, distributor and retailer share taking $1.41 per gallon, and the farmer cost of production averaging $1.99 per gallon.View the National Farmers Union latest Farmer’s Share infographic here.August fluid milk sales improveWith schools back in session, fluid milk sales improved in August.advertisementAugust 2016 packaged fluid milk sales totaled 4.13 billion pounds, up 2.1 percent from August 2015, according to USDA’s Dairy Market News. Sales of conventional products totaled 3.91 billion pounds, up 1.6 percent, while sales of organic products, at 218 million pounds, were up 13.6 percent. Organic represented nearly 5.3 percent of total sales for the month.In the conventional aisle, whole and flavored whole milk sales outpaced last year’s sales. August sales of conventional whole milk were up 7.5 percent compared to the previous year, with flavored whole milk sales up 12.8 percent. Sales of organic whole milk were up 28.7 percent compared to a year earlier.Conventional and organic fat-free milk varieties had the largest sales declines compared to a year earlier.Year-to-date, total packaged fluid sales totaled 32.35 billion pounds, down 0.6 percent from a year earlier.Conventional fluid milk sales totaled 30.65 billion pounds, down 0.9 percent from a year earlier. January-August organic milk sales total 1.70 billion pounds, up 5.5 percent. Organic sales represented about 5.3 percent of total fluid sales for the period.The figures represent consumption of fluid milk products in federal milk order marketing areas and California, which account for approximately 92% of total fluid milk sales in the U.S.advertisementClass I base down for NovemberThe November federal milk marketing order (FMMO) Class I base price fell sharply, dropping $1.82 per hundredweight (cwt) from October. At $14.78 per cwt., it’s the lowest since July, and down $1.70 from a year ago.FMMO Class I base ($ per cwt)November 2016 – $14.78October 2016 – $16.60November 2015 – $16.48January-November 2016 – $14.61January-November 2015 – $16.30Global Dairy Trade index slightly higherThe Global Dairy Trade (GDT) overall dairy product price index rose 1.4 percent during the latest auction, held Oct. 18.Compared to the previous auction, prices were higher for anhydrous milk fat [+1.1 percent to $5,007 per metric ton (MT)]; butter (+2.6 percent to $3,984 per MT); buttermilk powder (+0.2 percent to $2,583 per MT); lactose (+5.6 percent to $780 per MT); and whole milk powder (+2.9 percent to $2,760 per MT).Declining prices were seen for cheddar cheese (-3.7 percent, to $3,290 per MT) and skim milk powder (-0.3 percent, to $2,204 per MT).The next GDT auction is Nov. 1.Dairy Margin Watch: October starts flatDairy margins were flat to slightly weaker over the first two weeks of October, according to the latest CIH Margin Watch report from Commodity & Ingredient Hedging LLC. Feed costs rose slightly during the period, with nearby milk prices remaining depressed under the pressure of large stocks of dairy products.Milk prices began to recover in deferred months. While spot fourth-quarter 2016 margins are now only average from a historical perspective, deferred margins through 2017 still hover between the 75th and 85th percentiles of the past 10 years.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) October World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates report raised milk production forecasts for both 2016 and 2017 because cow inventories are growing more rapidly than previously expected. However, export forecasts were also raised, as increases in dairy prices from Oceania are expected to make U.S. products more competitive in world markets.On the feed side, USDA forecast slightly lower corn yields, while raising that of soybeans. The corn changes were considered neutral to the market.Visit the Margin Manager website.Iowa-Nebraska dairy budgets improved in SeptemberIowa-Nebraska dairy margins improved slightly in September, according to a monthly summary from Robert Tigner, University of Nebraska Extension agriculture educator.Compared to August, the total increase in gross income was 43 cents per cwt. Although milk component prices dropped in September, gross revenue increased because of the higher total pounds of protein and an improved producer price differential (PPD). While still negative, the PPD improved 75 cents than August. Butterfat revenue declined as well as income from cull cows.Feed costs increased by 35 cents per hundredweight (cwt) of milk compared to August, with a 1-cent per bushel increase in corn and a $15-per-ton jump for alfalfa hay.Tigner calculates dairy budgets for two production levels (20,000 and 24,000 pounds of milk per cow per year) and two management systems (freestall and tiestall barns).The Iowa-Nebraska September average milk price was $17.32 per cwt.• The breakeven price for a freestall herd with a 20,000-pound production average was $16.32 per cwt.• The breakeven price was $14.58 per cwt for the freestall herd with a 24,000-pound average.• The breakeven price for a tiestall herd with a 20,000-pound production average was $17.83 per cwt, the only system with costs higher than the actual milk price.• The breakeven price was $15.88 per cwt for the tiestall herd with a 24,000-pound average.Gap between U.S. and global dairy prices tightenedRelationships between U.S. domestic prices and international export prices have changed substantially in recent months, making U.S. products more competitive on the export market, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest dairy outlook report.In June, the U.S. average wholesale price for butter, as reported by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), was 89 cents per pound higher than the Oceania export price reported by AMS. By September, the gap had narrowed to 32 cents per pound.The U.S. domestic wholesale price for nonfat dry milk (NDM) averaged about 5 cents per pound higher than the Oceania export price for January through August. In September, the Oceania export price was 19 cents higher than the U.S. domestic price. However, the gap may soon narrow; the average price of skim milk powder (SMP) fell by about 4 percent on the Global Dairy Trade auctions (GDT) on Oct. 4 and 18. Changes in GDT prices sometimes lead price changes in the broader global market.One caveat: While rough comparisons of U.S. domestic prices and foreign export prices are useful, there are some issues in comparing these prices. Domestic prices are recorded when the product is shipped out and transfer of ownership has occurred; they do not include forward contracted prices. Foreign export prices are recorded when the prices are negotiated, with the product perhaps shipped in a later month. In addition, there are differences in U.S. NDM standards and SMP standards that may cause differences in price levels.Lawmakers seek dairy aid provisionsBipartisan U.S. House and Senate members are asking congressional and Obama Administration leaders to consider several measures to assist financially struggling dairy farmers.The requests include:• asking the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide assistance for dairy farmers in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 government funding legislation. Part of that request is seeking elimination of any provisions preventing USDA from purchasing surplus dairy products under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935 or the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.• calling for revisions to the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) prior to the next federal Farm Bill. In addition, lawmakers asked for $3 million of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) budget be designated for a survey of average feed costs by state. NASS estimates the survey will take 18-24 months, providing information on regional variation in feed costs. MPP-Dairy currently uses national average feed costs in calculating milk-feed cost margins.• asking the Senate Appropriations Committee to explore the feasibility of refunding some of the MPP-Dairy premiums paid by dairy farmers.Study highlights economic impact of Canadian dairy sectorDairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) released an update of a regular study highlighting the important economic impact of the country’s dairy sector.The study, conducted by EcoRessources and titled: “Update on the Economic Impacts of the Dairy Industry in 2015,” which is the fourth update since 2009, has been conducted every two years.Key findings of the study include:• In 2015, the Canadian dairy industry contributed $3.8 billion in local, provincial and federal taxes.• The sector’s contribution to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased from $15.2 billion in 2009 to $19.9 billion in 2015.• In 2015, the sector sustained approximately 221,000 full-time equivalent jobs – an increase of approximately 3 percent since 2009. The types of jobs have also changed, with the number of jobs at the farm level decreasing, and the number of jobs at the value-added processing level increasing.• Canada’s overall milk production increased 6.71 percent between 2009 and 2015.Ag Economy Barometer: Ag sentiment moderates in SeptemberThe Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer indicated farmer sentiment improved modestly during September as fall harvest got under way across most of the U.S.Based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers, the Ag Economy Barometer includes indices on both current conditions and future expectations. Overall, agricultural producers are pessimistic about current conditions in agriculture, but continue to express some optimism regarding future economic prospects.Survey respondents also continue to be more optimistic about future economic conditions in the livestock sector than in the crop economy, although most respondents don’t actually expect widespread good times in either sector.Although expectations for long-term profitability in livestock declined among producers surveyed in September, their perspective on two key short-run indicators for livestock profitability improved.Producers are surveyed quarterly regarding their expectations for beef cattle, farm-level milk and slaughter hog prices. Fewer survey respondents expect lower prices for beef cattle and milk than at any time in the last year. The September survey also revealed that fewer producers expect higher animal-feed ingredient prices.Finally, the September survey indicates producers have a larger portion of their 2016 crop production unpriced than what is typical at this time of year, suggesting an expectation for positive crop storage returns among producers.International dairy farm cost competitiveness shiftingGlobally, 2015 proved to be one of the worst dairy economic years in recent decades, according to a new International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) report. Although most dairy farmers around the world reduced production costs, a 33 percent decline in the global average milk price resulted in a serious drop in farm income.“We are now in the third milk price crisis since 2007,” said Dr. Torsten Hemme, IFCN managing director. “This crisis and other factors have created the biggest shifts in dairy competitiveness I have ever seen in my entire career as dairy economist.”Production cost reductions varied by country. While dairy farm economics are improving in Brazil and New Zealand with good or slightly increasing milk prices, things are getting more challenging in the U.S., European Union, China and India.“Worst-hit dairy farmers in terms of profitability in 2015 were in Western Europe, North America and Oceania, where over 75 percent did not cover their full economic costs,” said Dr. Amit Saha, IFCN farm analyst. “In other regions the situation was less dire, with roughly 30 percent of farms not covering their costs.” The Farmers Union says U.S. dairy farm profits averaged about 3 cents per gallon between 2009-14. October margins started flat, but August fluid sales improved. Find those articles and other dairy economic news updates here. Dave NatzkeEditorProgressive DairymanEmail Dave Natzkedave@progressivepublish.comlast_img read more

Cadiz fatal hacking due to ‘old grudge’

first_imgRicky Jude’s uncle Ruperto Britania, 65, and cousin Rodel Britania, 37, were tagged suspects. The 41-year-old Ricky Jude Britania sustained multiple hack wounds on the body. The Britanias initially figured in an altercation triggered by previous grudges on throwing stones at their houses. BACOLOD City – Old grudge was the motive in a fatal hacking in Barangay Sicaba, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, police said. The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. on Sept 17, a police report showed.center_img He was rushed to the Cadiz District Hospital where the attending physician pronounced him “dead on arrival.” Operatives of the Cadiz City police station conducted a man hunt operation against Rodel, who fled after the hacking./PN Ruperto bore hack wounds on the left arm and was also admitted to the same hospital.last_img read more

Listen to CavsLand, Ohio Podcast: “Bridge Over Troubled Cuyahoga?”

first_img Matt Medley Matt Medley is co-editor at NEO Sports Insiders, covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and high school sports in Northeast Ohio.Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter for live updates from games. Matt Medley and Brandon Larador discuss the latest Cavs news, rumors, and preview the upcoming games on Wednesday, March 9th’s edition of the CavsLand, Ohio Podcast.They discuss the merits of rumors involving LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, and their futures in Cleveland, along with the prospects of winning an NBA Championship in June.This week’s episode is titled “Bridge Over Troubled Cuyahoga?”https://soundcloud.com/matthew-medley-299166887/bridge-over-troubled-cuyahogacenter_img Related TopicsCavsCleveland CavaliersKevin LoveKyrie IrvingLebron JamesNBAlast_img read more

Telling Our Stories: Hurricane Buelah

first_img Share RelatedFormer Port Isabel Mayor Leo ‘Speck’ Sanders diesBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com Former Port Isabel Mayor Leo Floyd Sanders died Monday after battling a brief illness, his family said. Sanders was 90 years old. Known as “Speck” among family, friends and local residents, Sanders served two terms as mayor — 1966-1970 and 1972-1976 — as…June 22, 2018In “News”Candidates selected for Island oral history projectBy ABBEY KUNKLE Special to the PRESS At their June meeting, the South Padre Island Historic Preservation Committee began making plans to conduct an Oral History Program with video interviews of members of the community who were instrumental figures during the development of the City. The committee revisited the discussion…July 25, 2015In “News”Committee brings new ideas to Oral History ProgramBy ABBEY KUNKLE Special to the PRESS After nearly three months since their last meeting, the South Padre Island Historical Preservation Committee got back together for October’s regular meeting. The Historic Preservation Committee is designed to preserve, protect, and enhance the distinctive elements of South Padre Island’s historic, architectural, archaeological,…October 12, 2015In “News” Special to the PRESSThe Museums of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre Museum Foundation are proud to present its “Telling Our Stories” Series of 2018 on Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center, 309 E. Railroad Ave.Leo “Speck” Sanders married into the prominent shrimping family of his wife, Nancy Sanders. Together, the couple have a family of four children — three beautiful girls and one handsome son. Speck Sanders became a Port Isabel resident in 1950 and served as mayor in the mid-1960s. Sanders was also in the insurance and real estate business for many years.During the Hurricane Beulah, Sanders made sure to help residents rebuild Port Isabel again in every way he could. He would go out of his way to make sure that residents had what was needed.Please join the Museums of Port Isabel for an entertaining evening with Mr. Sanders, who will be giving a presentation on “Hurricane Beulah.” All locals and visitors are welcome to attend this free presentation. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.‘Telling Our Stories” is an educational program aimed at preserving the heritage of the City of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre area. Our goals are to preserve and educate the local and natural history through presentations and exhibits. The program is co-sponsored by the Museums of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre Museum Foundation.“Telling Our Stories” is presented on the fourth Thursday of each month from January through September at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum. Admission is free.This edition of Telling Our Stories is proudly sponsored by Ron and Cecilia Bliss, who own the Southwind Inn.For more information on Telling Our Stories or to help sponsor an event, contact Jeannie Marie A. Flores at (956) 943-7602 or visit www.portisabelmuseums.com. You may also email museumdirector@copitx.com.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.last_img read more

Writer’s Block: Real Life Magic

first_img RelatedWriter’s Block: In the Glare of the SpotlightBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com On more than one occasion throughout 2018, the Rio Grande Valley was under the scrutiny of the national media, political and social spotlight. For various reasons last year, our collective home became a bright pinpoint of focus on a national scale several times…January 11, 2019In “Editor’s Column”Kayaking 101: Paddle, and where to place itBy TONY CROUCH Special to the Parade As you may have seen, we are starting to see a lot more Winter Texans, and I have been answering the same question over and over again, why won’t my kayak go straight? We offered some Free Kayak Classes this week and I…December 29, 2011In “Opinion & Advice”Letter to the Editor for 11-3-2016Special to the PRESS Dear Editor, Rio Grande Valley needs LNG jobs. We’re a family of engineers who work in the energy industry. I’m a petroleum engineer who works in the oil and gas business. My husband is an offshore deep water drilling consultant, and our son and daughter are…November 4, 2016In “News” Share By DINA ARÉVALOPort Isabel-South Padre Presseditor@portisabelsouthpadre.comI know a place that has magic. A place that is magic.A place filled with wonder and excitement. With fierce battles on fields stained brightest scarlet. With quiet meadows where dragonflies float clumsily through the air on summer afternoons.It’s a place where dragons sleep, and where strange aliens stare up at even stranger skies on distant planets in distant galaxies.I know a place where the dead speak. Where they impart their wisdom — and their follies — to we, their grandchildren and great grandchildren.I know a place where art shines beneath brightest spotlights, and where it exists in the daubs of tempera paint on the fingertips of children dabbing at colorful bits of construction paper.I know a place where the theory of gravity and the laws of thermodynamics find themselves perfectly at home with the fantastic of fairy magic, and alchemy and the metaphysical.I know a place that keeps the most frightening, peek-through-your-fingers horrors contained, but also unleashes the most amazing and miraculous of marvels.I know a place where the rich are humbled, and the poor are enriched by the vastness of knowledge they both can obtain — equally — in this place. This magical place.So, what is this place that contains all these things and so many more, these things that are seemingly at odds with each other and everything else? Why, a public library, of course!What incredible treasures our public libraries are! They entertain us. And they educate us.You can learn a new language at a public library. Or participate in an art class. You can find a quiet room to study, or catch up on the latest news. You can watch a movie, or listen to a symphony. You can get help with your taxes. You can get help with applying for citizenship.You can admire art from local artists. You can listen to distinguished guests deliver educational lectures or seminars.You can learn about your own culture, or a culture halfway around the world. You can lose yourself in a science-fiction novel, or immerse yourself in some of the most important days in history reading the very words of the greats who spoke them.And to do all this, you don’t need a single dime.You can come as you are. Rich, poor, employed, unemployed, adult, child, able-bodied or not. You can come and be welcomed — warmly.Indeed, libraries contain magic. And they make a little magic, too.That’s why I was so happy last weekend as I headed down a familiar street in McAllen on my way to what used to be a Walmart Supercenter. Now, there lies one of the best library treasures around — the main branch of the McAllen Public Library system.And, as anyone who has ever been to a Walmart knows, those parking lots are huge. They’re capable of accommodating hundreds of cars. But, as I turned the corner, I found myself faced with the most enjoyable of dilemmas — difficulty finding a place to park. At first, I was annoyed that I’d have to park so far from the entrance, but the annoyance soon faded as I realized what all the cars meant: this jewel is well-loved by its community.These people know of the magic this place holds. And with that, I smiled, eager to walk inside.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.last_img read more

UWF women’s tennis preseason video

first_imgUWF women’s tennis preseason video Head coach Derrick Racine gives you a preview of the 2015 tennis season for UWF UWF Athletic Communications PENSACOLA, Fla. – University of West Florida women’s tennis head coach Derrick Racine sits down to preview the 2015 season. Racine talks about the team’s goals and expectations for the upcoming season and introduces newcomers to the UWF tennis program. West Florida will begin their season on the road on Feb. 6 as they face NAIA opponent Auburn Montgomery at 1 p.m. CT. For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com. #ARGOS#  Print Friendly Version Sharelast_img