Donegal County Council seeks views on future priorities

first_imgHomepage BannerNews HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers Facebook Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Pinterest Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Donegal County Council is in the process of finalising its Corporate Plan for the current council term, with a public consultation process set to end next week.The council’s Communications Officer is urging community groups, organisations, businesses and members of the public to say what they believe the council’s priorities should be.Anne Marie Conlon says it’s an important document, and the input of the public now will ensure that the council makes the right decisions regarding its priorities…………Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Google+ Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Google+center_img Previous articleDerry TV company announces 9 job losses as commissions fallNext articleCo Tyrone wind turbine collapse cause identified News Highland PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released By News Highland – February 13, 2015 Facebook Pinterest Donegal County Council seeks views on future prioritieslast_img read more

Restrictions mismatch North & South an “unacceptable risk”

first_img Twitter DL Debate – 24/05/21 By News Highland – October 20, 2020 Previous articlePeople urged to continue to shop local during lockdownNext articleAttempts ongoing to trace missing person Cian Langelaan News Highland News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterest Google+ One of the big concerns for Donegal and other border counties is that restrictions in the north do not match those in the Republic.Retail remains open in Northern Ireland and their current restrictions are due to expire in mid-November while the lockdown here is due to last until December 1st.It has led to major fears that the lesser measures in the north will tempt some people across the border.Speaking on today’s Nine Til Noon Show, Sinn Fein Leader Mary Lou McDonald described it as an unacceptable risk:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. WhatsApp AudioHomepage BannerNews Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic center_img Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Facebook Google+ Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Restrictions mismatch North & South an “unacceptable risk” Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programmelast_img read more

Museum as study subject

first_imgA century ago this July, construction began on a new building for Harvard’s Germanic Museum. It was to be housed in Adolphus Busch Hall, named after the main donor, a St. Louis beer baron.In one way, the museum’s venue on Kirkland Street arrived at a good time. Since 1903, its collection of monumental plaster casts — then America’s most impressive representations of medieval sculpture from northern and central Europe — had languished in cramped Rogers Hall, a former gymnasium.In another way, it came at a very bad time. Less than a month after construction started, so did World War I, sending a tsunami of anti-German sentiment across America. Busch Hall was finished in 1917, and the casts were moved in. But the Germanic Museum’s new venue did not officially open until 1921, purportedly delayed by a lack of coal. (“The odium that attaches to it will, of course, wear off in time,” the Crimson wrote of the new museum.) For the next decade, it remained a sleepy destination compared with the ascendant Fogg Museum, which in 1927 moved to grand new space on Quincy Street.The Germanic — closed again during World War II and renamed the Busch-Reisinger in 1950 — was the subject of a recent daylong discussion of the museum’s identity by way of its history. This “study day,” the third in three years, was intended to mine the past now that the future is so close. By the end of this year, all three of Harvard’s art museums (the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Arthur M. Sackler) will share space at 32 Quincy St., dramatically renovated under the direction of the celebrated Italian architect Renzo Piano.“We are at a tremendous moment” as the museums get ready to occupy a common space for the first time, said study-day speaker Joseph Koerner, the author of several books on German art and the Victor S. Thomas Professor of the History of Art and Architecture. He foresaw the sky-lit museum, more accessible than ever, as “a thoroughfare, a piazza, an agora. … It will be possible to see the history of art as not a series of enclaves but as a river.”“This study day comes at an appropriate moment,” said Thomas W. Lentz, A.M. ’81, Ph.D. ’85, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. He introduced the official program, which will include seven lectures followed by discussions, on Feb. 28.“We actively embrace our three separate identities,” Lentz said. “Like a kind of multi-armed Hindu goddess, these three museums … actually give us special abilities and capacities.”The refurbished museums will invite creative dialogue and provide greater access to Harvard collections, he said, as well as encourage continual examination of important issues, including the “evolving nature of the museum identity, the renegotiation with the past, [and] the fundamental nature of the art museum, whether it’s civic, academic, or private.”Discussions also will center on “possible futures for the Busch-Reisinger,” said Lentz, “an institution with an unusually complex history.”That complexity was evident to the study-day audience in Busch Hall. All around was monumental statuary. Behind each speaker loomed the hall’s dramatic replica of the 13th-century Golden Portal from the Church of Our Lady in Freiberg, Germany. The reproduction of the gorgeous medieval art carried a hint of the fateful grandiosity that underlay some 20th-century misinterpretations of the Germanic spirit. Jeffrey F. Hamburger, a study-day lecturer, called such invocations of the medieval past “ideological fantasies.”Hamburger is Harvard’s Kuno Francke Professor of German Art and Culture. His title honors the man credited with conceiving, founding, and directing the Germanic Museum in its earliest years, as a means of introducing America to German culture. After all, said the famed philosopher William James at the 1903 dedication, Harvard, “like most American universities, is Teutomaniac,” owing its ideals of scholarship to German rather than “French or English models.”As for any “ideological fantasies” such as those promoted by Nazi Germany, to the close observer the hall itself offers a sly counterpoint. In the foyer are frescos painted by Lewis W. Rubenstein between 1935 and 1937. They depict scenes from old legends, including the “Song of the Nibelungs” from medieval Germania. The intent was to parody Nazi Germany, as the artist admitted decades later (and as was seen, but ignored, by Harvard in the 1930s). In one panel, a horn-helmeted dwarf, a stand-in for Hitler, lashes a whip at cowering slaves.The Rubenstein murals were among the first modern artworks acquired by the Germanic Museum, a swing away from a focus on the medieval, said study-day organizer Lynette Roth, the Daimler-Benz Associate Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum. Today, she added, the virtual public face of the museum is Max Beckmann’s “Self Portrait in Tuxedo” (1927), which in 1937 was removed from Germany’s Berlin National Gallery by the Nazis as “degenerate art” and sold abroad. (It was purchased by Harvard in 1941, the Germanic’s last acquisition before the World War II.)Behind much of this pivot toward modern art was then-Germanic Museum curator Charles L. Kuhn, according to his daughter, Sally J. Kuhn, Radcliffe ’59. (The elder Kuhn was at the helm from 1930 to 1968; during World War II was part of the “Monuments Men” unit that rescued art stolen by the Nazis; and after the war initiated the museum’s name change.) During the 1930s, he enlisted Rubenstein to do the murals and negotiated the purchase of Beckmann’s iconic self-portrait, along with other works deaccessioned by the Nazis. “Curators can make things happen,” wrote Sally Kuhn in an email, “and students should know this.”By the 1930s, the museum had become “a place of exile from Germany,” said Koerner, “a cosmopolitan Germany [instead of] a Germany of nativism, blood, and soil.”Roth said that Beckmann’s austere painting illustrates the museum’s tortuous history, as well as its struggles with identity over time. She pointed out an earlier work that represented the more imperial sense the museum once had: a 1908 portrait of a sneering, militant Kaiser Wilhelm II by Arthur Kampf, who later became a Nazi functionary. This donation from Hugo Reisinger was the first painting acquired by the Germanic. The museum still retained its teaching role, but the new portrait also explicitly invited Americans to understand German art and its imperial underpinnings.Another study-day speaker was Megan McCarthy, an art history graduate student at Columbia University who is writing a dissertation titled “The Empire on Display: Exhibitions of Germanic Art and Design in America, 1890-1914.” The Germanic is one of her case studies, she said, and its changing identity shows that art museums are “barometers of larger cultural shifts.”Museums are also “a means of cultural diplomacy,” said McCarthy. Study-day speaker Heidi Gearhart, the Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow at the Busch-Reisinger and an assistant professor of art history at Assumption College, agreed, calling the pre-war Germanic an example of how  museums provide “space of discourse” on a world stage. “From its earliest days,” she said, “Busch-Reisinger was a site for international exchange.”Franke used the museum’s plaster casts as “a visual medium to supplement his classes,” according to a scholar in a 2005 study. But out of the eight German art historians who took part in academic exchanges with Harvard before World War I, said McCarthy, only one of them used the casts for teaching.Still, Busch Hall and its remnant of the old Germanic Museum has pedagogic utility, said Hamburger. He and his classes regularly visit the hall’s plaster-cast portals, sculptures, and other artifacts. (This semester he is offering “Casts, Construction, and Commemoration: German Gothic in America and Abroad.”) “Teaching this collection opens a world of possibilities,” said Hamburger. “They have the power to make the dead come alive.”The plaster casts, although reproductions, awaken students to the now largely mysterious “basic tenets of Christianity” required to understand art from the European Middle Ages, said Hamburger. The casts are also “a very valuable record of what these original sculptures looked like,” he added. (Many of the real ones have been blurred by a century of air pollution.) The casts also show the modern era’s “newfound interest in materiality,” said Hamburger, and provide a 3-D counterpoint to computer learning. “A collection of reproductions,” he said, “can help students understand what it means to escape the flatness of the screen.”Hamburger is plainly enamored of cavernous and solemn Adolphus Busch Hall and its medieval resonance. Before his lecture there, he looked over the audience and said, “It’s always wonderful to see this space populated as it deserves to be.”The venerable hall is valued for its interpretive materials, agreed Roth, and will again have public hours in the fall, once the renovated main museum is open. The Busch-Reisinger program — “completely new,” she said — will rely on both old Adolphus Busch Hall and on new 32 Quincy St. One will house those plaster casts. The other will display Harvard’s impressive collection of expressionist, Bauhaus, and contemporary art, as well as a range of work dating back to medieval times. Combined, said Roth, the result will be “enlivening and enlightening.”last_img read more

New Lens

first_imgFirst, clean your lenses. Start by rinsing off debris and grit in the sink. Then use a toothbrush and toothpaste to gently scrub away facial oils, fingerprints, and grime. Pat dry and buff with a soft towel. Store masks in individual plastic containers or bags to keep them clean and prevent scratches.  Riverside, spray a few pumps of Quick-Spit onto your mask’s interior lenses. Tilt it from side to side, coating the glass totally. Then dip it into the water, washing away the solution completely. Repeat for the external lenses. TIP: If your face or fingers touch the glass, the point of contact will fog. So, bring along a cleaning kit just in case.  GET EQUIPPED Then it hit me: Could we make it work in nearby rivers? I quickly added quality masks and snorkels to our tubing rigs and we hit the water. The response was an enthusiasm that—to my astonishment—dethroned skiing and snowboarding as my kids’ favorite outdoor to-do.  Antifog SprayWithout it, lenses fog within seconds. Jaws brand Quick-Spit spray costs about $6 a bottle and should be applied on-site, each time you go out. Here’s how to do it right.   Proper equipment is the foundation of great river snorkeling experiences. Luckily, quality gear is remarkably affordable. Here’s a list of essentials, with tips for choosing. Neoprene diving gloves protect water-softened fingers and hands from sharp rocks and debris. They’re great for grabbing boulders, pushing off rocks while swimming downstream, and more. Webbed gloves are like fins for your hands. Both options run around $30.  FINDING SPOTS Use a similar approach for downstream trips. Begin with short journeys (.5 miles or so) in gentle currents with manageable depths and build from there.       SnorkelsBuying a quality snorkel brings confidence that helps kids and adults adjust to the peculiarities of breathing while swimming underwater. Matching with mask brands ensures compatible connection systems and minimal obtrusiveness.  Fins increase mobility and swimming efficiency, helping you dive deeper, slice through currents, and better follow fish. They also protect your feet. Look for a pair with short fins, closed pockets, and rugged grippy soles. Head Volo Ones do the trick for about $30. Pair them with neoprene water socks to avoid blisters (under $20). When my two kids were small, family canoe trips were easy. Then they got older and things like who sits in front, where to stop and swim, accidental paddle-splashes, or simply passing a bag of chips, led to near-constant bickering. Next came gripes about sitting still. My spouse soon refused to participate.  • Be careful when rivers are high. Luckily, post-storm turbidity makes for bad snorkeling. Still, there are occasions when receding waters turn clear, but leave dangerously powerful currents. Check river gauges ahead of visits for depths and never swim in conditions that exceed any member of your party’s abilities.   Another important factor: Light. Dense, bank-hugging forests bring excess shade and occluded viewing opportunities. Other considerations include skirts and buckles. The former should be high-grade silicone. For the latter, a frame-anchored quick-release system is best. Though slightly more expensive, they simplify adjustments considerably.   But we learned quickly. And my kids have since become zealous advocates—urging friends and pretty much anyone we meet on the river to give the activity a try. I too wanna spread the message. Below is a guide to help you and your family get started.   Innertube and Cooler RigLonger downstream swims bring considerations like portable hydration, snacks, and possible kiddie fatigue. Waterproof coolers and hydration packs can be lashed to sturdy innertubes with bottom-liners. The latter offer relief if someone needs a momentary break.  Another option is to call outfitters. They know the local rivers well and are typically happy to make suggestions. They also offer cheap shuttles for point-to-point trips. Some, like North Carolina’s Oxbow River Snorkeling & Backcountry Adventures, do guided experiences.  What to do? Tubing trips brought their own problems. Kayaks required buying a tow vehicle and trailer. I started longing for the simple, infectious Zen of family snorkeling trips in Hawaii and the Caribbean. The activity bundled exercise, summer swimming, quiet, and immersive nature experiences like no other.   • Pollution. Sections of waterways near former or current industrial sites, power plants, cities, and so on, can sometimes be unsafe to swim in. When visiting new areas, first check for closures with your state’s department of game and inland fisheries (or equivalent agency).   • Floating Downstream. Navigating riffles and small rapids while snorkeling takes some getting used to. Start by assessing areas and picking lines ahead of time. Deeper spots are easy enough to swim. Tackle shallower areas by crawling along head first (in a superman position), picking your way from rock to rock. Drag your feet and grab boulders to control speed. Wearing gloves will boost confidence and protect your hands and fingers.  What Makes a Good Location?Freshwater snorkeling comes in three main forms: Exploring swimming holes and still-water areas, skulking upstream, and floating for longer distances downstream. So, deciding where to go depends on what you want to do. Good news aside, there was a substantial learning curve. We wasted outings on botched antifog treatments. Our first long trip nearly got us stranded by nightfall. Outings centered around isolated, densely forested sections brought near-zero visibility. The list goes on.  Start SlowBegin with a trial run in an area with clear water and easy conditions. A swimming hole with negligible current, rocky bottoms, and walkable shallow areas that give way to depths of about eight feet is ideal.  Fins & Gloves Gloves and fins are nice, but nonessential. (Ditto for wetsuits in summer conditions.) That said, they do enhance experiences. So, a word.  Like mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding, river snorkeling brings inherent dangers. Taking a few easy precautions minimizes risks.  Masks While bargain packages may work passably in swimming pools, they will leak and fail in rivers. Instead, invest in upper-midrange or high-end offerings from professional brands like Cressi or TUSA. A premium mask will slash learning curves and maximize good times. Initially, it’s best to start with shorter distances—say, a mile or less. Pick spots where, should you finish too quickly, it’s easy to shuttle up for a repeat. Because, if the spot is good, second runs are desirable. River snorkeling is a great way for families to get outside, stay active, and explore nature.   Small kids can wear life vests and catch interesting sights from the surface while learning to stay partially submerged and breathe through their snorkel. Older children can get familiarized with diving by belly-crawling in chest-deep water. That way, if they panic or get scared, they can simply stand up. Once they’re confident, they can move on to progressively deeper waters.  Planning Calculating timing and mileages for downstream river snorkeling trips can be tricky. Some areas inspire lingering. Others, window-gazing as the current does its thing.  There are a few requisites for choosing. First is a reliable dry guard that bars water from entering the tube when you dive. Second is flexible construction—allowing for mobility that won’t compromise your mask’s seal. Next is a comfortable, properly sized, high-grade silicone mouthpiece. Lastly, a purge valve for blowing out saliva and water. The Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry is great and costs about $40.  The key to great family river snorkeling trips lies in finding good spots. That said, criteria for assessment will vary from group to group—depending on geography, kiddo swimming abilities, and so on. These tips and tricks will help attune your thinking and point you in the right direction.    Next comes lenses. Tempered glass is a necessity. For younger kids, consider a dual-lens setup: Frames make them sturdier, less likely to fog, and easier to adjust. Adults and conscientious teens will enjoy frameless, single lens models—which offer a wider field of sight and better peripheral vision. The award-winning Cressi F1 sells for around $35.  They delighted in exploring segments of rivers they’d complained relentlessly about having to paddle. Looking for fish and wildlife in underwater boulder fields, rocky crags, and gentle rapids brought endless amusement. They begged to stay despite fading sunlight and the need for dinner. At home, they consulted online freshwater guidebooks to discover what they’d seen. • Swim with buddies and stay close. Pay particular attention in areas with stronger currents and deeper waters. SAFETY & GETTING STARTED • Protective footwear. Unfortunately, irresponsible fishermen, litterers, and floods create dangerous hazards in rivers. Stepping on a fishing hook, shard of broken glass, or jagged rocks can ruin a trip and spell a visit to the emergency room.   Best Practices  But picking takes consideration. First and foremost is fit—a hair too big and you’ll get constant leakage. Visiting dive shops makes fittings easy. When buying online, take facial measurements and use sizing charts.  Locate New AreasUnfamiliar with regional waterways? Try checking the website of your state’s department of game and inland fisheries (or equivalent agency). Virginia, for instance, lists rivers by region and offers canoeing and kayaking info for many sections—including fishing hotspots, which are often great for snorkeling. But there are common ingredients. Above all, fun snorkeling experiences hinge on underwater eye-candy, so clear water, rocky bottoms, and interesting ecosystems are the ticket. Mountain rivers that feed major tributaries are typically a good place to start. Features like long, relatively slow-moving sections filled with big boulders are havens for fish. Riffles also offer interesting pockets of rocks and wildlife. In Virginia, for instance, the headwaters of the Maury River at Goshen Pass are exemplary.  Cover photo courtesy of Oxbow River Snorkeling & Backcountry Adventures, an outfitter offering guided trips in North Carolina.last_img read more