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englishmix 
Posted: 25-Aug-2010, 09:39 PM
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Very interesting post, MacDonnchaidh. Thanks!
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englishmix 
Posted: 25-Aug-2010, 09:48 PM
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Anyone ever been on this track of road? ....

Berriedale repairs are 'nothing short of a disgrace'
JOhn O'Groat Journal
By Jean Gunn
Published: 25 August, 2010


MOTORISTS face further delays at the notorious hairpin bend on the Berriedale Braes as replacement of the safety barrier - extensively damaged in a road accident over three months ago - finally gets under way.

However, concern has been expressed by local councillors as well as haulage contractors about the length of time taken for the work to be carried out. The barrier and wall on the north brae were damaged when a bus, carrying a group of young athletes from Orkney, crashed while trying to negotiate the tight bend on its descent of Berriedale. The members of Orkney Athletic Club, who were travelling to a competition in Inverness on the evening of Friday, May 7, narrowly escaped serious injury.

Following the accident a temporary barrier was put in place and traffic lights were established - causing delays for motorists and difficulties for heavy goods vehicles which have to stop and then restart on their way up the steep north brae. David Steven, the managing director of local haulage company D. Steven & Son, said: "It is just a disgrace, it should have been sorted the next day. It is causing a lot of inconvenience for lorries travelling north."

Commenting on the situation, Landward Caithness councillor Robert Coghill said: "The fact that it has taken from May to now to carry out repairs is nothing short of a disgrace. Having lorries stop on their way up Berriedale is ridiculous. It is unacceptable the way we are treated in the north by Scotland TranServ." The councillor said that he had received complaints about the traffic light system and felt more warnings should be displayed to alert HGV drivers about the dangers of the braes.

...

Chief Inspector Matthew Reiss, who will also be present at Friday's meeting, said: "The police have a statutory duty to protect life and therefore anything which improves road safety is actively encouraged by the force." He said police had been in close contact with those involved with the situation at Berriedale, adding there had been at least two lorries which had broken down at the bend since the lights were in operation. One lorry jackknifed as it attempted to negotiate the corner on its way north two weeks ago. The chief inspector added: "As soon as two-way traffic can be reinstated the better for everybody in the county. We hope that the work is completed before winter weather sets in."
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englishmix 
Posted: 27-Aug-2010, 11:36 AM
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Shetland six prosecuted
Skippers’ damage may not be finished
The Press and Journal
Published: 27/08/2010


THE significance of the successful prosecution of six Shetland fishing boat skippers for illegally landing £15million of fish cannot be underestimated. It is, first and foremost, a satisfying end to a classic example of teamwork involving the Northern Constabulary and Grampian police forces, the Crown Office and procurator fiscal service, and Marine Scotland in a lengthy and highly-complex investigation. Unfortunately, the actions of the six skippers are likely to have far-reaching repercussions for the rest of Scotland’s pelagic fleet as it seeks to prevent Faroese and Icelandic boats from plundering mackerel stocks after their decisions to award themselves huge increases in their annual catch quotas.

At the same time as the six skippers were admitting their guilt to a High Court judge in Glasgow, Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead was attempting to negotiate a compromise with the Faroe Islands and Iceland, after two weeks of squabbling which culminated in a blockade of Peterhead harbour. His task in seeking a diplomatic solution has been made infinitely more difficult by the actions of the Shetland Six, for they have given the Icelandic and Faroese the ammunition to discredit pleas for fair play. Rarely have the actions of so few jeopardised the future wellbeing of so many.

Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.a.../#ixzz0xpCz4Cxo


Readers' Comments
Sir. You are somewhat naive to think this is merely about the "actions of so few". This is just the begining of the court actions in this lengthy case. Eventually I think we will see approximately two thirds of all the Scottish pelagic vessels skippers charged with similar offences in the very near future.
Scomber Scomber


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englishmix 
Posted: 01-Sep-2010, 06:03 PM
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Jack McConnell to stand down as MSP
Wishaw Press
Aug 26 2010
By Richard Mooney


FORMER First Minister Jack McConnell will stand down as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Motherwell and Wishaw at the next Holyrood elections. The announcement comes after weeks of pressure urging Lord McConnell to stand down after he was made a life peer in The House of Lords.

Last week the Wishaw Press reported of constituents' concerns that he could not be fully committed to his role as an MSP, whilst also working in the House of Lords. In a statement he said:

"I have tonight told the members of Motherwell and Wishaw CLP that I will not be putting myself forward for election at the May 2011 Scottish Parliament elections. My successor in the constituency, and the Scottish Labour Party campaign, will have my full support in those elections. I will be forever grateful to the many people locally and nationally who have helped me in the causes I have promoted, and the decisions I have made.

Together we have made Scotland, and the constituency, better than they were on my election in 1999. I have been an elected representative for most of the last 30 years and it is time to move on. I have been involved in national Scottish politics, including the creation of the Scottish Parliament and serving in Government, for most of those thirty years, and it is time for others to take Scotland forward now.

In my application to become a Labour candidate for the first Scottish Parliament elections I wrote that devolution would be judged not simply by the creation of the parliament, but by the ambitions we set out for Scotland and what the Parliament delivered for the people of Scotland. It is that focus on ambition for Scotland, and on making a real difference, that has driven me over the last 30 years and will continue to drive me as I seek new challenges beyond the Scottish Parliament.

...

"As Scotland’s longest serving First Minister I focused my efforts on creating the right conditions so that the people of Scotland could flourish.

"Growing the economy was my priority – moving Scotland on from the devastation of the 1980s to prosperity.

"I knew we had to tackle Scotland’s terrible health record – and that banning smoking in public was the right thing to do.

"I challenged outdated prejudices – such as sectarianism, and stood up against anti social behaviour.

....

"And I wanted Scotland to look outwards, away from the introspection of the past, to find our place in the world as a modern entrepreneurial and multicultural nation.

"When we left office in 2007, Scotland had more jobs, more people, and more confidence than could have been imagined a decade before. Services were better, economic investment was increasing, health was improving, our reforms were reducing crime and Scottish education was competing with the best in the world again.

"Older Scots were warmer, more mobile and better cared for. Younger Scots had more choices and more chances. And in building a modern multicultural nation, we had refreshed our international image, and our population was increasing not declining.

"As I enter the next decade – my 50’s - I look forward to new challenges.

"I will continue my work on peacebuilding – across the world post conflict reconstruction is the single biggest development challenge of our time.

"The partnership between Scotland and Malawi will remain at the heart of my work – the link between our two countries is precious and shows that people united under a common moral purpose really can change the world.

"I will continue to campaign to improve the life chances of vulnerable young people, whether here in Scotland or elsewhere.

"And I will promote the vision of a modern multinational and multicultural United Kingdom, and speak up for devolution and diversity in the House of Lords....

"I have made mistakes – we all do – but I believe I have served my country well and will continue to do my best in this new phase of my life. It has been the greatest privilege. Thank you."

Central Scotland MSP Alex Neil backed Lord McConnell's decision to stand down at the next election.

He said: "I wish Jack McConnell well ... His experience as Scotland's First Minister should help him persuade the powers that be in the House of Lords of the need to stop the savage cuts being imposed on Scotland and for the Scottish Parliament to be given complete control over our own resources.

Currently Lord McConnell pockets a £57,000 salary as the Labour MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw, in addition to a £39,000 a year pension for the period he served as First Minister between 2001 and 2007.

In his new role as Lord McConnell it is estimated that he will claim up to £30,000 each year in expenses. This means his total payment from the public purse would have been around £125,000 per annum if he continued to work in a dual role.
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englishmix 
Posted: 01-Sep-2010, 06:09 PM
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Dalziel Rugby Club eke out opening day win
Wishaw Press
Sep 1 2010
by Andrew Weston



Dalziel Rugby Club

LAST-GASP Dalziel got their Premier Three league campaign off to an encouraging start on Saturday with a hard fought 11-10 away victory at Dumfries Saints. James Baxendale’s late try gave the visitors a narrow win in a match played in perfect underfoot conditions which was affected by a stiff breeze.

The game was a typical early-season clash with both sides struggling to break down some solid defences at Park Farm. However, what will encourage new coach David Wilson is the dominance of the forward pack if not his side’s composure from an attacking sense.

In a scrappy first half Robert Simpson’s solitary penalty strike on 20 minutes was enough to give Dalziel a 3-0 half-time lead. Dumfries suffered a first half blow when their new fly-half Bosman Du Plessis left the field with a broken arm.

The second half produced better viewing and on 50 minutes Dumfries forced a Dalziel defensive scrum backwards and Rory Steele pressurised the clearance before chasing the ball down and going over for the first try of the afternoon.

The conversion by Tom Hiddleston gave Dumfries a 7-3 lead.

Dalziel again were in the ascendancy but had to be satisfied with Simpson's second penalty of the day that narrowed the deficit to just one point.

Two minutes later Dalziel infringed and Hiddleston knocked over a difficult penalty from the touch line to take the home side’s lead to 10-6. Again Dalziel responded moving up a gear and eventually they had the composure to maximise their possession in the closing minutes.

Several forward rumblings towards the line allowed the ball to be eventually shipped to James Baxendale who went over for the decisive try out wide. In the windy conditions the conversion was missed but Dumfries were unable to regain possession and Dalziel held on for a priceless win.

This Saturday Wilson’s side take on Morgan at Dalziel Park where they will be hoping to make it two league wins from two in their first season of Premier rugby.

Meanwhile Dalziel’s second XV were beaten 19 points to 13 by Kirkcaldy at Dalziel Park.

Dalziel squad:
Barry Turnbull, Robert Simpson, Lee McWhinnie, Ross McAulay, John Harris, Ross Donnachie, James Baxendale, Kris Watters, Euan Stewart, George Sloan, Craig Simmonds, Crawford Reid, Fraser McKenzie, Jamie McAulay, Craig Lewis, Steven Findlay, Stephen Baird, Ian Adams.

Scorers: tries, James Baxendale; penalties, Robert Simpson (2)

Man of the Match: Crawford Reid
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flora 
Posted: 18-Sep-2010, 09:03 AM
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I hope you don't mind this article Englishmix. I was doing research on Alladale Reserve and thought it was an interesting insight on the Highlands. With land such a precious commodity and the "right to roam" debate in Scotland, we tend to be spoiled here in America with the great expanses available to us.

Published Sep 16 2010 by Yale Environment 360, Archived Sep 16 2010

In Scotland’s search for roots, A push to restore wild land by Caroline Fraser


As Scotland asserts its identity and its autonomy, environmentalists are working to restore its denuded landscape – planting native forests, creating wildlife corridors, and reintroducing species that were wiped out centuries ago.
Ecologically, there is little left of Scotland. Lanced of danger, fully domesticated, the countryside has been kitted out as an English larder, a table laid with lamb and strawberries and clotted cream. Sheep and dairy cows crop the grass north of Hadrian’s Wall. Polytunnels full of “soft fruit”—raspberries and strawberries—gleam under the occasional sun. North of Flodden—where James IV and his Scottish troops were cut down by the English in 1513—fields of potatoes stand ready to be turned into chips, and waves of barley bow to the inevitable meat pie.
The last wolf in the British Isles was said to have been killed in Scotland in 1743. Auroch, the enormous wild bovine that once roamed the Isle, is extinct. The European elk—known in North America as the moose—was wiped out several thousand years before the Romans arrived; lynx and brown bear were gone by 500 AD; wild boar by the end of the 13th century. Beaver went missing 400 years ago. No one alive has seen the habitat where these creatures held sway: the great Caledonian forest of Scots pine, aspen, oak, and juniper that stretched across 3.7 million acres of the Scottish Highlands since the last Ice Age, whittled away to 35 isolated remnants. One percent of the original woodland survives.
The quintessential Scottish countryside has few trees and bare, short-grass hills.
But while no one has yet seen it, the vision of clawing back a bit of that Caledonian splendor is very much alive. Biologists, activists, and hill walkers dismayed at the monotony of the landscape, tantalized by tales of budding ecological restoration projects around the world, have seen it in their minds’ eye and are plotting its return. Plotting and planting: Unlikely as it may seem, sheep-loving Scotland has become a hive of restorationist fervor.
There are a few ruminants in the way. The coming of livestock created the landscape we picture as quintessentially Scottish—rugged, denuded hillsides covered in short grass. In the larger sense, hoofstock also wrought the country’s capitulation to its southern neighbor. In 1707, when the Scottish Parliament dissolved itself, voting for the Treaty of Union with England, it did so to preserve the market for hides, beef, and mutton. At the end of that century, the same class of landowners let loose their “factors,” property managers who drove smallholders off the land during the infamous Highland Clearances, burning their thatched huts, starving them out to create a sheep walk. Ecologically, the whole country is a kind of Culloden—the moor where British troops slaughtered Highland clansmen in a brutal 1746 rout—laid waste in an act of enforced national unity.
Thus, beneath the superficially peaceful surface of Scotland simmers a longstanding discontent. Politically, the country is roiled by nationalism, fully engaged in “devolution,” the process of hedged independence set in motion a decade ago, when citizens voted in 1997 to reawake their slumbering Parliament. On the ground, Scots are as restive with an Anglicized landscape as they are with Anglo rule. “Who owns Scotland?” cries Rob McMorran, coordinator of a group of activists known as the Scottish Wild Land Group. “Up until a few years ago, God owned Scotland. It was a feudal system of ownership.” It many ways—despite passage of land reform in 2003—it still is. McMorran is echoing the title of a popular book and website, Who Owns Scotland? which reports that a mere 343 private individuals own half the country’s 19 million acres. Scotland’s two national parks, also created in 2003, are not nationalized: The majority of land within them is owned and managed privately, with continued sheep grazing and commercial forestry.
As they struggle to break free of the past, Scots find themselves immersed in pitched battles of a modern kind: debating the wisdom of wind farms or massive hydro schemes on their lochs, grappling with a ballooning population of deer that routinely bolt in front of trains and cars, causing accidents and delays. They are resentful of disfiguring conifer plantations grown and cut by the UK Forestry Commission, symbolic of outdated policies favoring cheap paper and pulp. As for the Highland Clearances, they might have happened yesterday, so raw is the memory. Another act of the reconvened parliament was the restoration of the “right-to-roam,” allowing every citizen to walk freely across the country, unchecked by fences or gates. The land has been taken back, at least symbolically, by the Scottish people. But the question arises: What will they do with it?
Volunteers began planting seedlings at Carrifran in Scotland's southern Borders region in 2000.
In this intoxicating atmosphere, environmentalists are determined to see how far they can go. Environmental groups are buying hunting estates to reforest; private landowners are experimenting with native planting; beaver have been reintroduced after decades of debate. Many such projects fall under the rubric of “rewilding”—the conservation method of restoring core wilderness areas, maintaining corridors between them for wildlife to migrate and disperse, and reintroducing top predators. But not everyone agrees on how to accomplish these goals, especially when it comes to carnivores.
“Wolves and bears are not going to be on the agenda in our lifetime,” Philip Ashmole says calmly. That kind of practicality has characterized everything about the project he helped organize, Carrifran Wildwood, from fund-raising to restoration. A biologist and expert in oceanic island ecosystems, Ashmole taught at Yale for some years, exploring the American park system during vacations. When he and his wife Myrtle, also a specialist, returned to the U.K., they were dismayed at the comparative dearth of wild lands. By the mid-1990s, joined by friends who volunteered legal, real estate, and business expertise, they began searching for a valley in the southern Borders region that could be restored to its original suite of habitats, from native forest along the lower slopes to scrub and heath near the craggy summits. They wanted a complete catchment, and found it—along with some of the highest peaks in southern Scotland—in a narrow glen named Carrifran, “seat of ravens” in the ancient local language.
They helped to set up a dedicated group, the Borders Forest Trust, building relationships with established environmental groups and soliciting donations from committed supporters, including David Stevenson, past owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, who put up the money for half a million tree seedlings. Eventually the Trust raised 335,000 pounds to buy the land, and on January 1, 2000, Millennium Day, a hundred volunteers began planting the first trees. At 1,640 acres, Carrifran is one of the largest ecological restoration projects in Scotland, fully planted with 450,000 birch, yew, aspen, juniper, oak, pine, and hazel seedlings—many grown from seed collected locally in patches of surviving native woods. It is estimated to offset nearly 30,000 tons of CO2 over the next century. Patrolled by Wildwood’s “dirty hands” volunteers—its boundary inspected over a hundred times in the past decade by hill walkers—the Carrifran project has been hailed as a monument to community-based conservation.
Trees are taking hold beneath the grazed hillsides of Carrifran.
The saviors arrived in the nick of time: Slopes stripped by sheep and goats, Carrifran’s few ancient trees clung gamely to rocky promontories perched over the stream, or “burn,” that bifurcates the valley. The stump of one of the last hollies in the glen collapsed after a storm, but cuttings sent out suckers and roots, contributing to the resurrection. While no one alive will see Carrifran in its reforested glory, a process that may take several centuries, the valley is already a stunning sight, covered in a thick pelt of vegetation.
As Philip Ashmole and I crossed the glen this past July, we were up to our knees in new growth: dog rose, bird cherry, downy birch, alder, juniper, and holly, which were flourishing and producing seed. Bare grass had been replaced by stands of willow and groves of hawthorn and hazel. Rare species of fern and anemone have been found. Black grouse, declining elsewhere, have been heard drumming in two leks high on the slopes. Once scarce woodland birds such as willow warbler, chaffinch, blackcap, siskin, and grasshopper warbler have been flocking back. Badger, fox, stoat, otter, weasel, mountain hare, and field voles are now common, and peregrine falcons are on the prowl.
The project has faced daunting challenges. An outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001 required that tens of thousands of seedlings be quarantined for months before planting; many were lost. A 2003 fire burnt 10,000 newly-planted trees. The group had underestimated how bracken—ferns that colonize pastureland—suppresses regeneration, shading and crushing new growth; hand-cutting and spot-spraying of herbicides are dealing with that. Perhaps the most unexpected development occurred when residents of a nearby village protested the removal of feral goats. “They thought them part of their heritage,” Philip Ashmole said dryly. But Wildwood stood its ground, removing most goats alive, although three stragglers had to be shot. A deer “stalker” patrols once a week to ensure that no grazers penetrate fenced areas; sales of venison support the project.
With Carrifran maturing, the Trust has set its sights on the historic Ettrick Forest, where William Wallace rallied Scots to attack the British in 1297 and where the infamous Border Reivers—cattle rustlers—hid stolen herds in a glen known as the Devil’s Beef Tub. Grazed centuries ago, the Ettrick Forest is no more, but the BFT plans to do something about that, raising 700,000 pounds to buy a farm that includes the Tub. The property will forge a near-connection to Carrifran, less than two miles away, restoring three valleys and another major catchment.
In stark contrast to this carefully considered, incremental project is another approach, one that has been wildly controversial. In 2003, Paul Lister—English heir to a multi-million dollar furniture fortune—bought Alladale, a 23,000 acre Highlands estate. Scottish hunting properties have become a trophy acquisition for the super-rich. But Lister was different. Inspired by South Africa’s private game reserves, he brashly announced plans to turn Alladale into Great Britain’s first wilderness reserve, replanting native forest and reintroducing native predators, including the wolf. In 2006, he suggested the wolf reintroduction might be accomplished by 2009.
It hasn’t happened yet. Lister learned he would have to apply for a zoo license under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, which he did late last year. But the plans remain mired in contradictory requirements: While EU regulations encourage reintroductions, the zoo licensure makes it illegal to keep predators and prey in the same area. Meanwhile, ramblers object to electrical fencing required to contain the animals, a violation of the roaming act. The British press has made a meal of it, gleefully reporting that locals call the place “McSerengeti.”
But Lister has remained unfazed, consulting with biologists at Oxford WildCRU (Wildlife Conservation Research Unit) and wolf specialists in Romania, creating 18 jobs at Alladale, said to be the most on this land since the Clearances, where workers have built an unobtrusive hydroelectric plant to power the fully-restored lodge. A herd of Highland cattle have stepped in for the extinct auroch, and an 800-acre enclosure houses an experimental group of boar. The boars’ rooting destroys bracken, improving soil quality, so WildCRU undertook a study to establish the size of their territories. Two bemused-looking moose, Hercules and Hulda—immigrants from Sweden—have settled into another enclosure. While a previous owner began small-scale reforestation, Lister has planted 150,000 native trees—Caledonian pine, rowan, birch, oak, willow, and aspen—with an additional 250,000 planned. There are restoration plans for capercaillie, Britain’s largest game bird, and red squirrel.
Alladale may seem the opposite of community-based, but the land—vast stark valleys cut by torrents of peat-black water rushing over stone—has already claimed the dedication of the rangers who work it. They tackle everything from tree-planting to deer stalking (halving the number on the estate), guiding groups of local children who have never had a chance to fish or hike on the property’s rugged expanse.
Innes MacNeill, Alladale’s lanky reserve manager, has spent 19 years working at Alladale, where his father and uncle worked before him. He passionately defended the restoration efforts. “The land’s been raped and that’s a fact,” he said fiercely, as we stood in the open door of the garage, watching rain pour from the sky. “I don’t want to wait for things to grow. The scientists, the boffins, they say it will regenerate naturally. But that’s bullshit. For me, it can’t happen quick enough. That’s why I’m big into tree planting.” While granting that true wolf reintroduction into the wild would not happen in our lifetimes, he praised “the boss” for challenging the status quo. “Wolves,” he said, staring across the property. “Put them out there tomorrow.”
Ronnie MacLeod, a soft-spoken ranger with thirty years on the estate, was no less invested. After a visit to nearby Croik Church—famous for the messages scratched into its windows by homeless crofters who sheltered there during the Clearances—he described tree planting as a kind of solace. Sitting in a wooden badger hide set into the bank above a stream—an area where he himself had planted thousands of trees—he said, “It’s very personal. On hard heathery hills you plant Scots pine. Aspen like to grow by the river. You’re creating a forest as you go along. It’s very, very satisfying.”
This is happening across Scotland. Trees for Life has bought 10,000 acres west of Loch Ness, where more boar are hard at work, rooting and repairing soil. At Glenfeshie, 45,000 acres within the new Cairngorms National Park, deer are being culled and restoration is under way. In the end, it may take every kind of approach—from Carrifran’s deliberate march to the radical challenge of Alladale—to achieve “Caledonia! stern and wild,” a place that was a fantasy even when Sir Walter Scott wrote it, in 1805.


--------------------
"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit." -
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
K. Gibran


In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
John Muir


"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
John Muir
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englishmix 
Posted: 19-Sep-2010, 02:04 PM
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Good post, Flora. This is the place to share such news. I have been distracted lately, so I am really glad for the new post here!
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englishmix 
Posted: 19-Sep-2010, 02:14 PM
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The Pope in Edinburgh: World was looking

Edinburgh Evening News
18 September 2010
By Ian Swanson


IT was the day Edinburgh was beamed around the world and city pupils found themselves pictured on the front pages of newspapers on the other side of the globe. The Pope's visit and his meeting with the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse gave the Capital unparalleled international exposure. The Foreign Office said it estimated that around a billion people across the world saw television coverage of Benedict XVI in Edinburgh.

Dozens of papers from Europe to South America put the visit on their front page. Pictures of pupils from St Mary's Primary RC School in East London Street, presenting flowers to the Pope and the Queen at the palace, made the front of the Washington Times, La Stampa in Italy, The Jurnal in Romania, Dubai's Khaleej Times, two Austrian papers and Germany's Passauer Neue Presse, as well as the Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in Wisconsin.

Professor Joe Goldblatt from Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University, who is conducting a study of media coverage and public reaction, said initial findings suggested it had been a big success. He said: "The city punched way above its weight - they had only five months to plan the kind of event which normally takes a year or 18 months - and anecdotally the response was very positive."

Councillor Steve Cardownie, the city's festivals and events champion, said: "If it helps to encourage even a small proportion of those watching to sample our great capital it will be a major boost for tourism." El Tiempo in Bogota, Colombia, carried a page-one picture of the Pope arriving at Edinburgh Airport. El Pais in Uruguay showed the Pope and the Queen in front of the palace.

An image of the Pope, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh coming out of the palace was the main image on the front of Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine. The BBC, ITN and Sky worked together to provide television coverage - including of the airport arrival, the drive to the palace, the meeting with the Queen and the cavalcade along Princes Street. Middle East news network Al Jazeera took the coverage live, as did 24-hour news programmes in a host of countries.

A Catholic church source said up to 2700 accredited media personnel from around the globe were in Edinburgh.
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Posted: 19-Sep-2010, 02:20 PM
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Abduction fears spark massive search operation

Edinburgh Evening News site.
31 August 2010
By RORY REYNOLDS


A MAJOR police operation was sparked by fears a young girl may had been abducted from a Lothian play park. A police helicopter was drafted in from Glasgow, and dozens of officers joined local residents in scouring the area around Newton Village, Midlothian, for four and a half hours.

It came after police received a call from someone who was concerned that the girl, aged around six, had been led away from the play park by two men. However, police later said there was no evidence of an abduction and there had been no reports of missing children.

Yesterday, officers were visiting local primary schools in an attempt to trace the girl and appealed for witnesses who can help clear up the mystery. One local pub manager said the streets of Newton Village and nearby Danderhall were flooded with officers and dog teams on Sunday evening. He said: "There were about 12 police cars and a helicopter. The police were swarming everywhere looking for someone. We've heard it's a hoax but we've not heard from the police yet."

Many local residents speculated as to what had happened on Danderhall's Facebook page. One member, Stacey Maxwell, said: "I heard that she was taken up towards Monktonhall Colliery by 2 boys, 16 and 17." Another member, Neil Muirhead, added: "Just a wee msg 2 say that i hope they find the wee girl that wos taking from danderhall lastnite by a 2 men.hope she is found safe and well :-(".

The case has echoes of a situation in July, when police were forced to reassure parents that there were not child snatchers lurking in their area after internet rumours. Panicked parents in Midlothian fuelled the flames by posting updates on social networking sites.

A spokesman for Midlothian Council confirmed that police officers visited Danderhall Primary School yesterday in relation to the inquiry. He said: "The local community officer visited Danderhall Primary yesterday morning to reassure parents and the school that no incident of concern involving a child had been reported in the local area."

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "Police were called to Newton Village at around 6.30pm on Sunday after concerns were raised over the welfare of a female child who was seen in the company of two males in a play park. A full police response was initiated involving search teams, supported by members of the local community. The Strathclyde Police helicopter was also deployed. In addition, door-to-door enquiries were carried out in the area, however, there was no sign of any of those involved, and no children have been reported missing. Enquiries are continuing in respect of the incident."
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Patch 
Posted: 19-Sep-2010, 02:21 PM
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Ok, I enjoy your posts. Also I read the Inverness Courier and the Edinburg Evening News occasionally and will look for interesting articles to post.

Slàinte,    

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Posted: 24-Sep-2010, 10:37 AM
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http://www.inverness-courier.co.uk/


THE INVERNESS COURIER

MSPs sign up to save Inverness to London rail link
Published: 21 September, 2010

PRESSURE is growing on the UK government to retain direct rail links between Inverness and London, with two more Highland and Islands MSPs adding their voices to The Inverness Courier's campaign to save the Highland Chieftain.
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Labour's Peter Peacock and the SNP's Dave Thompson maintain the Chieftain, which provides a daily service between the Highland Capital and London, is vital to the region's economy. There are fears it could be axed, however, following a review of plans to replace Britain's ageing high-speed train fleet. It suggests a potential way to make savings is for long-distance routes to Inverness to be served by high-quality connecting trains from Edinburgh rather than through services.

With a decision on the review due to be announced next month as part of the government's comprehensive spending review, hundreds have signed the Courier's petition calling for direct links to be retained.

Mr Peacock said it would be a disaster, not only for Inverness but also the region, if the Chieftain was stopped.

"The key thing is that the spending review in October will be a significant moment as whether this train can be saved," he said.

"There is still a long way to go. We have to persuade the government this is vital."

Mr Thompson had been able to work while travelling on the Chieftain each Tuesday morning to Edinburgh until becoming the parliamentary liaison officer on the justice committee. However, due to a new working timetable, he now uses a Monday evening ScotRail Sprinter service which does not have the same space and facilities to work.

"I don't want others to be in the same position of having to think back to the good old days of the Highland Chieftain," he said.

"The situation is even more urgent for people who have to travel to and from London and I fear some might just not bother if this wonderful service is cut or reduced and that would have a damaging impact on the economy of Inverness and the wider Highlands."
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Posted: 27-Sep-2010, 11:41 AM
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Thanks Patch for your post.

Owner of Segway Company Dies in Segway Accident
By Brian X. Chen
September 27, 2010


The owner of Segway died on Sunday riding one of his company’s electric scooters off a cliff and into a river. The 62-year-old millionaire Jimi Heselden crashed into the River Wharfe in Northern England while inspecting his North Yorkshire estate, according to multiple reports. Heselden was riding a rugged-country version of the Segway, which was also recovered at the scene, according to the Telegraph.

Unveiled in 2001, the Segway was invented by Dean Kamen, who dreamed of launching a transportation revolution. The scooter contains five gyroscopes linked to a set of computers to monitor a rider’s center of gravity. Heselden, chairman of Hesco Bastian and a former miner who earned millions from defense contracts, purchased the Segway company in early 2010.

Hesco Bastian this morning posted a memorial message and a photo of Heselden, below the jump:

Read More http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/09/seg.../#ixzz10kUYNuIb
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Posted: 27-Sep-2010, 11:47 AM
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Explore the webcams of Scotland!


See Glencoe, Ben Nevis, Loch Alsh, Skye Bridge, etc...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/highlandsandis...000/8701533.stm

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Posted: 28-Sep-2010, 06:43 PM
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Thanks, I also sent the link to my sister and she thanks you too!

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Posted: 03-Oct-2010, 01:39 PM
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MARINES TRAVEL 140 MILES TO RAISE FUNDS
The Arbroath Herald
03 October 2010


SIX MEMBERS of Arbroath-based 45 Commando Royal Marines successfully completed a 137-mile charity run from RM Condor to Edinburgh Castle last Tuesday, raising £750 for the Woodlands Garden Trust in the process. The event had been organised by Marine Mario Gagliardini and the run took a total of 30 hours to complete. It was so gruelling that some of the marines lost over half a stone of their body weight.

The Woodlands Garden project is an ambitious under taking that seeks to convert part of RM Condor into a memorial garden for marines, families and wider friends of the Commando to contemplate, celebrate and remember the wounded and the fallen.

A number of the Commando's seriously wounded are heavily involved in the project. So far, over £30,000 of the £150,000 total needed to create the garden has been raised.

Donations are greatly appreciated and can be made using the following website:
www.bmycharity.com/wgt.
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