Wave–mean flow interactions associated with the Holton–Tan effect (HTE), whereby the tropical quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) modulates the Northern Hemisphere wintertime stratospheric polar vortex, are studied using the ERA-Interim dataset. Significant evidence of the HTE in isentropic coordinates is found, with a weaker and warmer polar vortex present when the lower-stratospheric QBO is in its easterly phase (QBOe). For the first time, the authors quantify the QBO modulation of wave propagation, wave–mean flow interaction, and wave decay/growth via a calculation of potential vorticity (PV)-based measures, the zonal-mean momentum budget, and up-/downgradient eddy PV fluxes. The effect of the tropospheric subtropical jet on QBO modulation of the wave activity is also investigated. In the subtropical-to-midlatitude lower stratosphere, QBOe is associated with an enhanced upward flux of wave activity, and corresponding wave convergence and wave growth, which leads to a stronger poleward zonal-mean meridional circulation and consequently a warmer polar region. In the middle stratosphere, QBOe is associated with increased poleward wave propagation, leading to enhanced wave convergence and in situ wave growth at high latitudes and contributing to the weaker polar vortex. In agreement with recent studies, the results suggest that the critical-line effect cannot fully account for these wave anomalies associated with the HTE. Instead, it is suggestive of a new, additional mechanism that hinges on the QBO-induced meridional circulation effect on the latitudinal positioning of the subtropical jet. Under QBOe, the QBO-induced meridional circulation causes a poleward shift of the subtropical jet, encouraging more waves to propagate into the stratosphere at midlatitudes.
Supplies of local and regional bread cannot keep pace with demand in London due to the lack of an effective distribution network, according to a new report, which recommends setting up a regional hub to tackle the problem.Outside caterers, gastropubs, work canteens and coffee shops ranked bread as the number one local product they most wanted to buy, but hurdles in the supply chain mean this demand is not being met, said the report from Bidwells Agribusiness, which was commissioned by the South East Food Group Partnership. In total, 53% of London’s foodservice and retail buyers would like to buy more local bread and two in three London consumers currently buy or would like to buy more local food. But there is not enough supply in the capital because producers are scared off by distribution challenges, such as the Congestion Charge, parking and heavy traffic. Buyers and producers also find it hard to connect with each other to do business, said the report.”Many of these are perceived barriers suppliers think that it is difficult to supply into the capital so look elsewhere, but there are solutions to distribution, which are available or could be introduced,” said Bidwells’ head of food marketing Richard Walters. A key recommendation of the report is to set up a regional distribution hub for local food, which would incorporate a virtual business-to-business e-marketplace to enable producers, suppliers, buyers and retailers to engage more directly. The report also recommends the development of 10 to 20 street markets as local food beacons across Greater London.”Our research shows the sheer scale of the opportunity for producers and suppliers in the south east and, by implication, across the UK,” said Walters. “Nearly all food buyers and retailers surveyed want greater links to producers, easier sourcing, less hassle, and a one-stop shop.”
The Government has announced a review to deliver fair funding for farmers in all four parts of the UK when we leave the EU.The Secretary of State announced today that an independent advisory panel will look at what factors should determine the distribution of agriculture funding between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in this Parliament.This will consider each country’s individual circumstances, including environmental, agricultural and socio-economic factors. Farm numbers and farm sizes will also be taken into account to make sure all parts of the UK are treated fairly.The review, led by Lord Bew of Donegore, will provide recommendations for how the annual amount of convergence funding is fairly split between the four countries in the remainder of this Parliament once the UK has left the Common Agricultural Policy. It will be informed by previous allocations but will not revisit these decisions or redistribute money that has already been committed.Lord Bew was Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life for five years and has contributed to a number of Bills, reviews and reports since his appointment as a non-party-political peer by the independent House of Lords Appointments Commission in February 2007. He will be joined by an experienced panel made up of representatives from each part of the UK. Lord Curry of Kirkhale, Jim Walker, Rebecca Williams and Leo O’Reilly have been appointed to the panel to represent England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.The government is also committing that it will not simply apply the Barnett formula to changes in Defra funding beyond this Parliament. This means that farmers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will not just be allocated funding according to the population size of each nation, which are in each case significantly smaller than England.The Government has already confirmed that overall funding for UK farm support will be protected in cash terms to the end of the Parliament in 2022, providing more certainty than any other EU member state.Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “I’m very pleased to be chairing this review to explore an issue that is important to so many in the agriculture sector. I am anxious to consult widely and I look forward to getting started as soon as my fellow panel members have been appointed.”Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: The farming industry is one of Northern Ireland’s most significant employers, making a vital contribution to economic growth. We welcome this important review into ensuring a fair allocation of funding for farmers across Northern Ireland and the whole of the United Kingdom. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, said: The UK Government is committed to delivering fair funding for farmers and has already guaranteed the same cash total for farm support in all parts of the UK until 2022. This review is an opportunity to ensure the challenges Scotland’s unique landscape brings are fully recognised in future farm support allocations. Under the present arrangements, Scotland receives twice as much money for farming support than might be expected were the Barnett formula alone to be used. The commitment that future agriculture funding will not simply be Barnettised should be welcomed across the board. This reinforces our commitment to Scottish farmers and I urge the Scottish Government to stop keeping them in the dark about its plans for the future of agriculture in Scotland. This review will establish fair funding arrangements for our vital Welsh farming industry. With the UK Government committing to do away with a Barnett model for agricultural funding, farmers in every part of Wales can look forward to greater future financial protection. The review will conclude prior to the 2019 Spending Review with the aim of informing future funding decisions. The Terms of Reference can be read in full on gov.uk.The panel will be engaging with the devolved administrations and stakeholders across the UK throughout the course of the review. If you wish to get in touch with the review secretariat, you can do so at [email protected] This important review, led by Lord Bew, will explore how we can deliver funding for farmers that supports the individual needs of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We are committed to making sure that future funding is fairly allocated, and are also confirming that the Government won’t simply apply the Barnett formula to Defra’s funding beyond this parliament. Meanwhile our funding commitment up until the end of the Parliament gives more certainty for UK farmers than any other EU member state.Lord Bew said: Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:
West Cornwall Pasty Company has appointed BDO to conduct a strategic review of the company, it has confirmed to British Baker.The review, by the accountancy and business services firm, could lead to the sale of the business, for a sum in the region of £30m, according to The Sunday Times.A spokesperson for the West Cornwall Pasty Company told British Baker: “We have appointed BDO to advise the board on a refinancing of the business in order to support future growth. Our discussions with BDO are at an early stage and no decisions have been finalised at this time.”BDO has previously backed other food-related businesses, including Individual Restaurant Company, owner of the Piccolino brand.Earlier this year the company blamed the pasty tax for a fall in profit, revealed in its report for the 53-week period ended 1 March 2013. Turnover fell from £23.9m to £21.3m year-on-year, and EBITDA was reported as £1.65m, down from £2.26m in 2012. Gross profit was £15.3m, a decrease of just under £2m from £17.3m during the same period last year.According to the report, the reduction in turnover was due “principally to the imposition for a standard rate of VAT” from 1 October 2012 on hot takeaway products.Since 2007, the West Cornwall Pasty Company has been owned by Gresham Private Equity, and employs around 400 staff.
FARMINGTON – Regional School Unit 9 board members met Tuesday night to hear and discuss a presentation in regards to bringing more students back to the district for in person learning.Laura Columbia presented to the board, detailing three different options for bringing students back as well as survey results from teachers.“The purpose of this is to review and research adjustments and improvements to our current model to allow for more students to be on site,” said Columbia.Model A would work to maximize the effectiveness of the current model, by trying to bring in at-risk students (students who are struggling most with the hybrid model) following the approved guidelines.Model B would be a full return of hybrid students Monday through Thursday with Friday being a work day for teachers.Model C would be an 80 percent return with students being grouped together in cohorts. This model would also be Monday through Thursday.63 percent of teachers voted for option A, 29.5 percent for model B and 7.4 percent for model C. On this particular survey there was no option to vote for no change.Board member Scott Erb expressed concerns on changing the schedule this late into the year.“I’m really skeptical about making a change at the end of the year. It would be a lot of work for a very short period of time and everything would be different again in the fall,” said Erb.Board member Wayne Kinney along with several other board members want to hear what the parents think.“I too want to hear from parents, but in general I should say I’m quite leery of ripping this stuff up in March, I think we should stick to our path,” said Kinney.Board member Doug Dunlap voiced his opinion that health and safety should be the number one priority.“Health and safety are the number one priority…whatever we decide to do…must meet health and safety protocols,” said Dunlap.Board member Kirk Doyle responded to Dunlap’s call for prioritizing safety believing that safety isn’t the primary concern.“I agree there is a certain degree of safeness we have to keep to but that isn’t what our primary goal is…our primary goal is to educate our kids,” he said.No decision has been made, but the conversation will continue this Friday during a teacher workshop day. The remote model will still be active until the end of the year no matter what model is chosen, if any.The board also heard a presentation on the ESSER 2 grant by COVID-19 grant coordinator Sue Pratt.Sue Pratt presented some items that were being considered for the $2.4 million grant money, prioritizing items that would be only a one time cost.“We tried to balance out what items are more appropriate for the ESSER 2 funds and what items would be most appropriate for the local budget,” said Pratt.Some of the proposed options for funding include a social worker, additional nurses, laptop parts, as well as some roofed outdoor buildings that could be used for extra space during lunch times and other activities. Rented storage space is also being considered.“We’ve been planning [the ESSER 2 and school budget] in tandem with each other,” said Interim Superintendent Monique Poulin.Pratt and Poulin are working to make sure anything that goes into the grant with the intention of being sustained over time is being carefully looked as to decide whether or not it may be better funded by the local budget so that when the grant runs out taxpayers are not faced with a surprising increase in the budget.There also may be an ESSER 3 grant in the works, but details about that have yet to be outlined.
The 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensityphysical activity, which can be achieved by 30 minutes a day, five days a week,and which is recommended by the federal government, while clearlysufficient based on data from many studies to lower the risk of developingchronic diseases, is insufficient for weight-gain prevention, withoutrestricting caloric intake. Among women who are already overweight or obese,physical activity — at least, at levels carried out by participants inthis study — is not related to weight change, emphasizing the importanceof controlling caloric intake for weight maintenance in this group.“These findings shouldn’t obscure the fact that forhealth, any physical activity is good, and more is better,” Lee emphasizes. “Itis important to remember that weight is only one aspect of health. Many studieshave shown that being physically active for even 30 minutes a day, five days aweek, significantly reduces the risk of developing many chronic diseases, suchas cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes.”This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. If a middle-aged or olderwoman with a normal body mass index wants to maintain her weight over anextended period, she must engage in the equivalent of 60 minutes per day ofphysical activity at a moderate intensity, according to new findings by Harvard researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).“There is plenty of research on treating overweight and obesity — that is,looking at strategies for weight loss among overweight or obese persons, butvery little research on preventing weight gain in the first place. Mostoverweight and obese persons who lose weight do not successfully maintain theirweight loss over time, and so, from a public health perspective, preventingthat initial weight gain is important,” said I-Min Lee, an associateprofessor of epidemiologyat Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), epidemiologist in the Division of Preventive Medicine at BWH, and associate professorof medicine at Harvard Medical School. The findings are published inthe latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Lee and colleagues analyzed data reported from more than 34,000 healthy U.S.women in the Women’s Health Study over 13 years to examine the relationshipbetween the level of daily physical activity and weight change over time. Womenin the study reported their leisure-time physical activities every two to threeyears. Each time that physical activity was assessed, women were divided intothree groups, according to the amount of time they spent engaged in physicalactivity.The most active group of women spent the equivalent of 420 minutes a week(60 minutes a day) or more engaged in moderate-intensity physical activity.The second group engaged in the equivalent of at least 150 but less than420 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, and the leastactive group engaged in the equivalent of less than 150 minutes a week ofmoderate-intensity physical activity. An example of a moderate-intensityphysical activity is brisk walking.These three levels of physical activity were chosen based on the 2008 federalguidelines for physical activity, which recommended at least 150 minutes a weekof moderate-intensity physical activity for health, and a 2002 Institute ofMedicine report on recommended dietary intakes, which suggested that 60 minutesa day of moderate-intensity physical activity was needed to prevent beingoverweight, although the scientific basis for this level of activity has beenquestioned.Over the duration of the 13-year study, the average weight of participantsincreased by 6 pounds, which is a rate of weight gain similar to that ofcomparably aged women in the general population. Compared with the most activewomen, both the group physically active for 150 to less than 420 minutes a week,and the group physically active for less than 150 minutes a week gainedsignificantly more weight than the most active group. The two less-activegroups also were significantly more likely to gain at least 5 pounds, comparedwith the most-active group.Researchers discovered that the findings differed significantly, according towomen’s body mass index (BMI). Physical activity was associated with lessweight gain only among women with anormal BMI, which is less than 25. An average U.S. woman who is 5 feet, 5inches tall must weigh less than 150 pounds to have a normal BMI. Among heavierwomen, physical activity — at least, within the levels that study participantsundertook — was not related to less weight gain.In this study, researchers were able to identify a group of “successful weightmaintainers.” These were women who started with a normal BMI and managed tomaintain their weight, gaining less than 5 pounds at each weight assessment,throughout the study. These women, 13 percent of participants, consistentlyengaged in physical activity that was the equivalent of 60 minutes a day ofmoderate-intensity physical activity.Researchers concluded that:Among middle-aged and older women consuming ausual diet with no calorie restriction, moderate-intensity physicalactivity for 60 minutes a day is needed to maintain normal BMI and preventweight gain over time.
Three Harvard research teams have been recognized by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) with funding to support their open source software projects, considered to be “essential to biomedical research.” These grants will support software maintenance, growth, development, and community engagement.Open source software is publicly accessible so that anyone can modify or share it. This approach to building tools for data analysis is widely acknowledged to be crucial to modern scientific research, as it allows scientists worldwide to advance biology and medicine swiftly while providing reproducibility and transparency.Harvard-led projects include DeepLabCut: An Open Source Toolbox for Robust Animal Pose Estimation, led by Mackenzie Mathis.“DeepLabCut is an open-source software package that efficiently performs 3D pose estimation on animals from fruit flies to primates,” said Mathis, a Rowland Fellow and a principal investigator at the Harvard Brain Initiative. “We are delighted to receive a grant from CZI to support this software, which is used by hundreds of labs across the world. We are very excited to continue to build new tools, run user training workshops and hackathons, and interface with other open-source modules to aid in developing pipelines for behavior-focused neuroscience and medical research.”Rory Kirchner, a research scientist in the Department of Biostatistics of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, received an award for the bcbio-next project and its work on “Maintenance and Improvement of Validated, Community Developed Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Analyses.”“If you want to be on the cutting edge of genomics, you need to be involved with open source software,” said Kirchner. “Commercial, closed-source solutions exist for many analyses but they are often far behind state of the art, at times lagging by years from what is known to be best. Our goal is to help researchers spend more time thinking about and working on the biology of their experiments and less time struggling with the unimportant and scientifically boring computational processing of their data.”At the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Bhanu Gandham, senior computational associate, was awarded by CZI for the project GATK (Genome Analysis Toolkit), to further develop GATK Methods for Bacterial Variant Discovery and Evaluation.“The world’s most pressing needs should be addressed by humanity’s collective scientific talent,” said Gandham. “By providing a platform that improves data sharing and collaboration, we hope to empower researchers with computationally reproducible and interoperable bacterial variant analysis methods.”In this round of funding, CZI granted $5 million over 32 projects in total. In addition to supporting the improvement of software tools, the organization will offer the awardees opportunities to connect with other open source software developers, technical experts, and members of the broader scientific community.In an announcement, CZI Head of Science Cori Bargmann said, “Open source software accelerates the work scientists carry out each day, whether it’s searching a genome sequence for a disease gene, tracking a disease outbreak, or counting cells in a microscope image. Scientists are only as good as their tools, and we’re thrilled to support open source projects that will benefit the entire scientific community and help every scientist be a better scientist.” Read Full Story
Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 14, 2018 They’ve got the golden ticket! Tony winner John Rubinstein, Emily Padgett and more will complete the cast of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Headlined by the previously announced two-time Tony winner Christian Borle, the musical is set to begin performances on March 28, 2017 and officially open on April 23 at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.Along with Borle as Willy Wonka, Rubinstein (Children of a Lesser God) as Grandpa Joe and Emily Padgett (Side Show) as Mrs. Bucket, the cast of 35 will include Kathy Fitzgerald (9 to 5) as Mrs. Gloop, F. Michael Haynie (Wicked) as Augustus Gloop, Ben Crawford (Shrek) as Mr. Salt, Emma Pfaeffle (Finding Neverland) as Veruca Salt, Alan H. Green (School of Rock) as Mr. Beauregard, Trista Dollison (A Bronx Tale) as Violet Beauregard, Jackie Hoffman (On The Town) as Mrs. Teavee, Michael Wartella (Tuck Everlasting) as Mike Teavee and introducing Jake Ryan Flynn, Ryan Foust and Ryan Sell making their Broadway debuts as Charlie Bucket. So yes, the kids, apart from Charlie, will be played by adults.Directed by Jack O’Brien, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will feature music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman, a book by David Greig and choreography by Joshua Bergasse. The production includes additional songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley from the 1971 film.Willy Wonka, world famous inventor of the Everlasting Gobstopper, has just made an astonishing announcement. His marvelous—and mysterious—factory is opening its gates…to a lucky few. That includes young Charlie Bucket, whose life definitely needs sweetening. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing, life-changing journey through Wonka’s world of pure imagination. Get ready for chocolate waterfalls, exquisitely nutty squirrels and the great glass elevator, all to be revealed by Wonka’s army of curious Oompa-Loompas.Rounding out the company will be Yesenia Ayala (Broadway Debut), Darius Barnes (Cinderella), Colin Bradbury (Come Fly Away), Jared Bradshaw (Jersey Boys), Ryan Breslin (Newsies), Kristy Cates (Finding Neverland), Madeleine Doherty (The Producers), Paloma Garcia- Lee (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Stephanie Gibson (Cinderella), Talya Groves (Motown), Cory Lingner (On The Town), Elliott Mattox (Broadway Debut), Monette McKay (Memphis), Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky Boots), Paul Slade Smith (Finding Neverland), Stephen Carrasco (Fiddler on the Roof), Kristin Piro (An American In Paris), Amy Quanbeck (Broadway Debut), Michael Williams (On The Town) and Mikey Winslow (On The Town).The production will feature scenic and costume design by Mark Thompson, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Andrew Keister, puppet design by Basil Twist, projection design by Jeff Sugg, orchestrations by Doug Besterman and music direction and supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck.Dahl’s book was first adapted to the big screen in 1971 under the title Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. In 2005, Tim Burton directed a remake using the novel’s original title, with Johnny Depp playing Wonka.The West End staging officially opened at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane on July 25, 2013, starring Tony and Olivier winner Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka and helmed by Sam Mendes. It will play its final performance on January 7, 2017. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory John Rubinstein & Emily Padgett(Photos: Bruce Glikas & Emilio Madrid-Kuser) View Comments Related Shows
After five months of above-normal temperatures and dry conditions, almost 75 percent of Georgia is now experiencing some level of drought or abnormally dry conditions. Because of the hot, dry conditions, the drought expanded and strengthened west of a line running from Screven County, Georgia, in the north to Ware County, Georgia in the south. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Drought Monitor shows an expanded area affected by extreme drought – the fourth drought level on the monitor’s five-level scale – grew from 11 percent to 40 percent of the state. Areas affected by exceptional drought – the most severe drought designation – expanded to cover 14 percent of the state.Hurricane Matthew, which struck the Georgia coast the weekend of Oct. 8, provided rainfall along coastal Georgia, but the rest of the state saw extremely warm and dry conditions, with only one or two days of measurable rain.Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta, reached its lowest point in the last four years last month. Twenty-two public boat ramps were closed due to low water. In Haralson County, Georgia, west of Atlanta, the Tallapoosa River dropped below the intake level for the water plant there. Water was imported for schools and other drastic water conservation measures were undertaken by residents.Numerous forest fires occurred across the driest areas of the state and residents were encouraged not to start fires, especially at the end of the month. Some of the fires were spread by strong winds around Hurricane Matthew.Winds from Hurricane Matthew also blew many green pecans off the trees in the southeast corner of the state. In Tattnall County, Georgia, alone about one-third of the pecan trees were toppled by the winds and will take years to replace. Cotton was blown off of plants to the ground and yield will be significantly reduced. In addition to agricultural damage, three people were killed in Georgia due to the hurricane, millions lost power and many people evacuated inland ahead of the storm.Despite the hurricane-fueled rain in part of the state, rain reports from many National Weather Service reporting stations tied records for being the driest October on record. Athens, Georgia, saw the second-driest October in 114 years of record following 1963, which had no rain. Savannah, Georgia, saw the third-wettest October in 143 years, after 19.84 inches in 1994 and 12.50 inches in 1990.Daily rainfall records were set in Alma, Georgia on Oct. 7 with 2.83 inches, surpassing the old record of 1.84 inches set in 1996, and in Savannah on Oct. 8 with 2.57 inches, breaking the old record of 2.10 inches set in 1952.After five months of above-normal temperatures and dry conditions, almost 75 percent of Georgia is now experiencing some level of drought.The highest monthly total precipitation according to National Weather Service reporting stations was 11.60 inches in Savannah, 7.91 inches above normal. The lowest monthly total precipitation was recorded in Albany, Georgia, with just a trace of rain, 2.59 inches below normal.Atlanta received 0.16 inches of rain, 3.25 inches below normal.Athens received 0.03 inches of rain, 3.52 inches below normal.Columbus, Georgia, received 0.92 inches of rain, 1.66 inches below normal.Macon, Georgia, received 0.2 inches of rain, 2.59 inches below normal.Augusta, Georgia, received 2.09 inches of rain, 1.18 inches below normal.Alma received 3.23 inches of rain, 0.20 inches above normal.Brunswick, Georgia, received 11.19 inches of rain, 6.73 inches above normal.Valdosta, Georgia, received 0.46 inches of rain, 2.74 inches below normal.Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network volunteers along the coast reported daily rainfall amounts of 10 inches or more on the morning of Oct. 8 after the passage of Hurricane Matthew. A Garden City, Georgia, observer in Chatham County reported 13.86 inches that morning, after taking three separate readings of the gauge to keep it from overflowing. The highest monthly rainfall of 14.58 inches was measured south of Savannah in Chatham County, followed by 14.12 inches reported by the Garden City observer.A number of daily high temperature records were set or tied on Oct. 29, 30 and 31 in Atlanta, Athens, Macon, Savannah and Augusta, and records were tied in Brunswick and Columbus on Halloween.Atlanta’s monthly average temperature was 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 6.3 degrees above normal.Athens’ monthly average temperature was 67.8 F, 4.8 degrees above normal.Columbus’ monthly average temperature was 70.8 F, 4.3 degrees above normal.Macon’s monthly average temperature was 68.7 F, 3.8 degrees above normal.Savannah’s monthly average temperature was 70.8 F, 2.9 degrees above normal.Brunswick’s monthly average temperature was 71.9 F, 1.7 degrees above normal.Alma’s monthly average temperature was 69.7 F, 1.3 degrees above normal.Augusta’s monthly average temperature was 68.2 F, 3.8 degrees above normal.Albany’s monthly average temperature was 72.4 F, 4.3 degrees above normal.Rome, Georgia’s monthly average temperature was 67.2 F, six degrees above normal.Valdosta’s monthly average temperature was 71.3 F, 2.6 degrees above normal.For more information, see the Climate and Agriculture in the South East blog at blog.extension.uga.edu/climate/ or visit gaclimate.org. Please feel free to email your weather and climate impacts on agriculture to share on the blog to [email protected]
In naval construction, also with the COTECMAR shipyard, we are foreseeing the construction of coastline patrol units to operate up to mile 24, and the renowned Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), the second of which is already under construction, with the goal of building six of these units. The first OPV, “ARC 20 de julio,” is already in operation since 2012. We are now aiming at launching the second OPV, the “ARC 6 de agosto” by the end of this year. Rear Admiral Leonardo Santamaría: In the Caribbean Naval Force, our role is constitutional, and our focus is to conduct naval operations that will allow us to guarantee territorial security and sovereignty; something we develop with the components we have at the Caribbean Naval Force. The maritime jurisdiction of the force encompasses about 600,000 square kilometers; we have 1,600 km of Caribbean coastline. We are also responsible for more than 14,000 km of land jurisdiction, as well as 2,300 km in rivers, including Colombia’s main tributary, the Magdalena River, which flows into the Caribbean waters, and the Atrato River, which flows into the Gulf of Urabá, on the border with Panamá. Taking advantage of the visit of nearly 160 participants from 19 countries to the Unites States Southern Command for the annual exercise Panamax from August 11 to 16, Diálogo interviewed Rear Admiral Leonardo Santamaría, Commander of Colombia’s Caribbean Naval Force, which led the maritime component of this year’s exercise. The project we have for 2030 is aimed at renewing our main units in our own shipyard, COTECMAR, based in Cartagena. Diálogo: The Naval Force is strengthening its capabilities with the 2030 Plan. Could you tell us about the sort of vessels that are being included in this process, their missions and the nautical coverage that they provide on the borders? The seizures conducted by the Navy are very important … Generally, maritime seizures are an important contribution by the National Navy for several years; it represents half of all national seizures. Likewise, landing units used both for civil actions and for naval operations are also under construction as part of this equipment renewal process. Rear Adm. Santamaría: The mission is essential; the fight against drug trafficking on sea is a priority. The concept of interdiction is a primary and continuous operational effort by the Caribbean Naval Force’s units, focused mainly on neutralizing the enemy’s entire logistical component, preventing drugs from leaving and neutralizing resources that result in the financing of terrorism and illegal organizations. It is our main effort. Rear Adm. Santamaría: The concepto f the exercise per se has always been very interesting for Colombia; we have been attending a variety of exercises, including academic, simulated and real ones. The difference between our previous participation, where Colombia led the land effort, is that our Navy is now responsible for managing the maritime component programmed in the exercise. In regards to the river component, the intention is to renew the material we have, based on the lessons learned of how to achieve this with our own naval construction in our shipyard. They include units for riverine combat, riverine support patrol boats, and riverine combat elements, among others. This generates the need to have surface components, ships to conduct operations on open waters, a submarine component, a coast guard component, a river component, an air component, and a marine component for land jurisdiction. Diálogo: What is the role of the Caribbean Naval Force and how is it structured? We’re in the process of acquiring new surveillance tools and resources to address any activity. This is aimed towards the construction of quick units, glass and aluminum fiber boats that may be used between mile 12 and mile 24 (the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone). Panamax 2013 was designed to provide military training to the U.S. and partner nations to conduct stabilization missions in accordance with the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions; to offer interoperability training for multinational teams and to build planning and execution capabilities for complex multinational operations between partner nations. In the air component there is also an interesting effort focused on renewing the capabilities we currently have. Basically, it is an effort to guarantee and maintain surveillance or air-maritime exploration capacity. Currently, the Caribbean Naval Force is at about 25 … 24.8 seized tons this year. This is a very important number, very interesting, and in relation to the national average seized in the jurisdiction. Diálogo: What is the importance of Colombia’s participation and, specifically, the Caribbean Naval Force’s role in Panamax 2013? What is the difference between this year’s role and that of 2012, when Colombia was leading the land component? Rear Adm. Santamaría: As such, the area of operations is a region where we generally operate; somehow, it is part of our contribution, the knowledge of the area in the maritime field of performance where we generally operate, the knowledge of what maritime interdiction is, the fight against drug trafficking… We have very interesting knowledge to provide, regarding how to execute this sort of operation, how the different events must be coordinated in order to neutralize this threat, which is also contemplated in this operation. That knowledge is one of the things we can contribute to this sort of operation. Knowledge, learning, working in multinational operations, the effort generated by that, the different coordination that must be made to guarantee success and how this can be applied to other sorts of operations that carry the need to work in a multinational environment jointly and among different agencies to defeat or neutralize common enemies, such as transnational piracy, drug trafficking or terrorism. Diálogo: President Santos just announced a radical change in the military leadership. Although it was reported as an unexpected and surprising change, is it so? How do you think the change in the military leadership will affect the development of your operations? Rear Adm. Santamaría: As in many other countries, changes in the military leadership are are part of terms that are finished and fulfilled. In many cases these last two years, three years; it depends on the president. We assume these as normal changes that must take effect, as the regular transition of forces. This year’s exercise allowed participating security forces to maintain and further develop their relations in order to better focus on their common goals while developing mutual cooperation and understanding. As head of the Colombian component and commander of the main operational unit of the Colombian Navy, Rear Admiral Santamaría spoke with Diálogo about the Caribbean Naval Force’s responsibilities, their ongoing renewal plan, and Colombia’s contribution and benefits during Panamax 2013, among other topics. We do not see any repercussions in the Navy; it’s actually a continuity of the work that is being done. There is a group of admirals that are in cohesion and clearly know where we are going; this is how we understand it with the support of the new officer that is taking command of the Navy, Admiral [Hernando] Wills, who used to perform as Chief of Operations. We see this as the continuity of planning, of knowing where the Navy is going, and being aware that we have all the guarantees to continue all the operations we are developing. To sum up, we are building coastline patrol boats; we are building the second OPV, we are starting the construction of amphibious landing ships, with the civil version to support the community in case of floods, etc., and we are working on the design of the main ship to satisfy our needs. Diálogo: The extent, the size of this year’s exercises hás been limited by U.S. government budgetary cuts. As participants, have you noted any difference or changes in this respect? Has this affected the development of the exercise? In regards to the rest of the components, the coast guard component is being reinforced, which is an interesting effort to guarantee surveillance coverage all along the coastline, with specific resources assigned to each coast guard control station along the coastline. Rear Adm. Santamaría: The mission is basically, the same under the concepto f the Force’s responsibility. The mission is maintained. This 2030 Plan is more focused towards the renewal of equipment; an improvement of capabilities for more efficient results because of the typical limitations that we have, as any other country. Diálogo: How is the Caribbean Naval Force contributing to Panamax 2013? Likewise, what are you expecting to gain from this exercise? During this year’s Panamax, Colombia is commanding the maritime environment, which entails an additional effort in the planning and working in unison with the participants from the other countries. Among all participants, Colombia is assuming the responsibility of coordinating the work done by the entire group to determine the Best course of action. That is the benefit: improving our knowledge, continue to improve our relationships with other participating nations in the event, and finally, to continue participating, being important players in this sort of operations and maneuvers that are beneficial to all of us. Rear Adm. Santamaría: In general, I don’t think so. I consider that this exercise, which entails careful planning, is a highly academic tabletop exercise aimed at obtaining a product that can be implemented. This impact is minor compared to the deployment of forces where further physical resources are needed for direct participation of elements; that would be different. Diálogo: What is the role of the Colombian Naval Force in the fight against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime? Interview with Rear Admiral Leonardo Santamaría, Commander of the Caribbean Naval Force of Colombia By Dialogo August 28, 2013 It is very interesting from the maritime control point of view, regarding illegal (acts).