Rising stars

first_imgWhile the nation’s appetite for fresh bread is as healthy as ever, a long-term career as a baker is not often considered by today’s younger generation, but that’s a trend Sainsbury’s is looking to reverse with its Bakery Apprenticeship scheme.So, what advantage does a major multiple like Sainsbury’s gain from a commitment to developing a highly skilled, highly motivated bakery team? Well, in today’s market, the bakery is symbolic of the fresh, healthy and safe food that the public now demands, Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King told British Baker in November 2006; he was also quick to acknowledge that fostering bakery skills is key to delivering within the in-store category.”Fresh produce and bakery are the two key areas of the store,” he said, stressing the importance of providing a continuous bakery service throughout the day. “Seeing people actually producing the bread has an impact on people’s view – not just of the bread sector but of the whole store. Also, the smell of bread drifting across the store is perceived as welcoming.”importance of apprenticeshipWhen you combine this growth in importance with the skills shortage currently being felt by the industry, the need for apprenticeship schemes and development programmes becomes increasingly apparent. Sainsbury’s scheme provides all the skills, training and support necessary to give someone the start they need in the baking industry – covering everything from producing bread, cakes and pastries to stock management and production planning. With these raw materials in place, the apprentice is provided with the support to develop, but is ultimately responsible for his or her own learning and progression.And if Chris Noble is anything to go by, it’s a format that is working well. Noble joined the scheme, aged 22, at the Sainsbury’s store in Washington, Tyne and Wear. “I first read about bakery apprenticeships on Sainsbury’s website. I’d been working in manufacturing but wasn’t really enjoying it and I’d always been interested in cooking and baking, so I thought I’d apply. I was lucky enough to be selected,” he says.Noble reached a level of ability higher and faster than anyone could have hoped for, as his bakery manager, Colin Hudson, attests. “The quality of products he’s produced has been consistently brilliant. I wanted Chris to be a real success and he’s exceeded all my expectations by showing such aptitude. It’s a feather in the cap for the department and the whole store,” he enthuses.Indeed, Noble’s rapid progression has earned him accolades beyond those of his manager. In March 2007, he was a finalist in the Learning and Skills Council National Awards in the Apprenticeships category – recognition he was quick to share with his peers. “I learned a lot from my manager, who supported me all the way through, and I was ’buddied up’ with various members of the team, so I could learn hands-on from their experience. I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned. The apprenticeship programme has been a great start to my career. I love it because I can now perform every job to a very high standard,” says Noble.As more bakery apprentices on the scheme develop, they are offered opportunities to progress to become bakery managers themselves. “Before you know it, I may actually reach a supervisory role,” he adds.ability and ambitionThis combination of ability and ambition is what Justin King is hoping will set an example for young people all over the country, as the bid to nurture a new generation of bakers gains momentum. The impact of the new apprentices can be felt beyond just the individual’s learning and development. The introduction of enthusiastic new bakers with a willingness to learn has also had a dramatic effect on existing bakery teams. Says Hudson: “The arrival of Chris Noble created a level of competitiveness that wasn’t there before, so everyone has raised their game.”In today’s baking industry, this is a breath of fresh air for managers, says Hudson. Not only does it provide them with a chance to share their passion, experience and knowledge, but it also helps create a stronger, multi-skilled workforce, allowing managers the freedom to concentrate on their broader bakery duties. “It has allowed me to take a step back and take an overall look at how my department is working,” he says. “Having spent time on Chris’ training and development programme, I’ve been able to apply those skills to other members of the team. That passion for learning has certainly rubbed off on other people.”With more grocery retailers around the country realising the importance of a visible, interactive bakery and training high on many an industry body’s agenda, a career in bakery may be on the way to regaining the consideration and attention it truly deserves. n—-=== The Sainsbury’s scheme: ===Name: Sainsbury’s Bakery Apprenticeship ProgrammeWhen did it launch? March 2006How many apprentices have enrolled so far? 30Where does training take place? In-store coaching and classroom sessionsWhat qualifications do apprentices achieve? NVQ Level 2How long does a typical apprenticeship last? 15-18 monthsWhat skills does the training teach? Producing a range of quality products; customer service; food safety; health & safetylast_img read more

News story: Civil news: notification letters for HPCDS tender bids

first_imgThis is earlier than we stated in the Information For Applicants. However, we did say that if we could conclude the assessment earlier then we would notify applicants as soon as possible. This was set out in our tender update of 28 February 2018.How will these notifications be made?We will use the e-Tendering system from 3 May 2018 to start notifying organisations shortlisted for the next stage of the tender process back in January.There are four scheme areas where the assessment process is ongoing and we will not be notifying the outcomes at this time. Applicants in the affected areas have been contacted to confirm this and will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible.With the exception of these scheme areas, we expect notification to have been completed by Tuesday 8 May 2018. Applicants who have bid for HPCDS contracts and have not been notified by Wednesday 9 May should contact us through the e-Tendering message board.When will services begin?Services under new HPCDS contracts will begin on 1 October 2018.How long will the contracts last?Each contract will initially run until 30 September 2021, with an option for the LAA to extend for up to a further 2 years.What will happen next?Following notifications, the LAA will work with successful organisations to complete the verification process described in the letter of notification through the Bravo system.However, organisations are reminded that contract awards are conditional on satisfactory bid verifications.Each applicant is responsible for providing all the necessary evidence they meet the verification requirements as out in the notification letter.Further informationCivil 2018 contracts tender – to find out more about the tender process We have started to notify organisations of the outcome of their tenders to deliver work under the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS).This follows: the passing of the deadline for tenders for HPCDS contracts on 11 December 2017center_img notifications sent to bidders in January 2018 telling them whether they had been shortlisted for HPCDS contractslast_img read more

Eating fish gives older adults an edge

first_imgOlder adults who have high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids — found almost exclusively in fatty seafood — may be able to lower their overall mortality risk by as much as 27 percent and their mortality risk from heart disease by about 35 percent, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Washington. Researchers found that older adults who had the highest blood levels of the fatty acids lived, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.“Although eating fish has long been considered part of a healthy diet, few studies have assessed blood omega-3 levels and total deaths in older adults,” said lead author Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH. “Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health, and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the years of remaining life.”The study — the first to look at how objectively measured blood biomarkers of fish consumption related to total mortality and specific causes of mortality in a general population — appeared online today in Annals of Internal Medicine.Previous studies have found that fish, which is rich in protein and heart-healthy fatty acids, reduces the risk of dying from heart disease. But the effect on other causes of death or on total mortality had been unclear. With this study, the researchers sought to paint a clearer picture by examining biomarkers in the blood of adults not taking fish oil supplements, to provide the best assessments of the potential effects of dietary consumption of fish on multiple causes of death.The researchers examined 16 years of data from about 2,700 Americans aged 65 or older who participated in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), a long-term study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Participants came from four communities in North Carolina, California, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and all were generally healthy at baseline. At baseline and regularly during follow-up, participants had blood drawn, underwent physical examinations and diagnostic testing, and were questioned about their health, medical history, and lifestyle.The researchers analyzed the total proportion of blood omega-3 fatty acids, including three specific ones, in participants’ blood samples at baseline. After adjusting for demographic, cardiovascular, lifestyle, and dietary factors, they found that the three fatty acids — both individually and combined — were associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality. One type in particular, docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, was most strongly related to lower risk of death from coronary heart disease (CHD) (40 percent lower risk), especially CHD death due to arrhythmia (an electrical disturbance of the heart rhythm) (45 percent lower risk). Of the other blood fatty acids measured, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), DPA was most strongly associated with a lower risk of stroke death, and EPA most strongly linked to a lower risk of nonfatal heart attack. None of these fatty acids were strongly related to other, non-cardiovascular causes of death.Overall, the study participants with the highest levels of all three types of fatty acids had a 27 percent lower risk of total mortality due to all causes.When the researchers looked at how dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids related to blood levels, the steepest rise in blood levels occurred when intake increased from very low to about 400 mg per day; blood levels rose much more gradually thereafter. “The findings suggest that the biggest bang for your buck is for going from no intake to modest intake, or about two servings of fatty fish per week,” said Mozaffarian.Support for the study came from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health.last_img read more

Exhibit explores early American Catholicism

first_imgThe new Catholic American exhibit in the Rare Books and Special Collections section of Hesburgh Library tells the story of early American Catholics trying to find a place in both the American and global communities. The exhibit, titled “Preserving the Steadfastness of Your Faith: Catholics in the Early American Republic,” was curated by Rachel Bohlmann, American history librarian, and Jean McManus, associate librarian, who began the project in the fall of 2015.“We started this project with a question about what kinds of materials we had in the collection about Catholics in the early period of the United States’ history,” Bohlmann said.The final result is an exploration of the connections between Catholics and other Americans, and American-Catholics and Europeans. “It’s a really interesting sense of how ideas are circulating around the transatlantic community,” Bohlmann said.While some parts of the exhibit — such as the maps of Catholic and Protestant paper distributions — show the spread of Catholicism in the U.S., other parts — such as the “Flying Pamphlets” section — highlight the transatlantic communication between Catholics in America and Europe, which brought new ideas to both sides. “The Catholic world is bigger than the boundaries of the United States because of this influx of ideas,” McManus said.Pieces in the exhibit include some of the first Catholic Bibles printed in the U.S. by Mathew Carey; Elizabeth Ann Seton’s copy of “The Imitation of Christ;” and materials from John Carroll, the first bishop of the U.S., and Simon Brute, the first bishop of Indiana.The exhibit takes the viewer from the 1780s to the early 1840s. The end of the exhibit coincides with the founding of Notre Dame, 175 years ago, in 1842. The exhibit will remain open until August, when members of the Notre Dame community will recreate Fr. Sorin’s walk from Vincennes to South Bend. Providing background to Father Sorin’s story, the pieces shown highlight Catholic relations and ideas in America during a period of history that Bohlmann called “complicated” and “interesting.”“On the one hand, people like John Carroll are trying to say there’s something particularly American about Catholicism here,” Bohlmann said. “At the same time, there’s all these transatlantic ties with books, with literature.”  Tags: Catholicism, Hesburgh Library, Rare Books and Special Collectionslast_img read more

Alumni bring Philly Pretzel Factory to South Bend

first_imgThe first time 1996 Notre Dame graduate Mark Naman tasted a real Philadelphia pretzel, he was living in New Jersey with his wife, Maryse, a member of the Saint Mary’s class of 1996. It was, in a word, “phantastic.” That’s the experience they’re aiming to bring to the South Bend community with the Philly Pretzel Factory, Mark Naman said.“You get the pretzel hot out of the oven, and it’s a different experience,” he said. “It’s the first time people have access to a pretzel right out of the oven. … It’s really phenomenal.”This June, the Namans opened the first Indiana location of the Philly Pretzel Factory on South Bend Avenue, across from The Linebacker. They view this exciting opportunity as a chance to share a product that they are passionate about with the South Bend community.To celebrate the recent opening, the Namans are holding a grand opening celebration, which includes a ribbon cutting ceremony and a raffle for two Notre Dame football tickets Friday, as well as free pretzel giveaways for all customers Friday and Saturday, Mark Naman said.“It’s a great opportunity to come try the product,” he said. “We mix the dough fresh every morning, put it in this machine that strings it out for us and then we twist them ourselves.”Students who hail from the east coast might recognize the Philly Pretzel Factory, Tom Monaghan, chief development officer of Philly Pretzel Factory, said. He said he hopes the pretzels can bring a little taste of home to students while remaining well within their budgets.“It’s bringing a little bit of comfort food from home that many are familiar with — not only pretzels, but also Philly cheesesteaks,” Monaghan said.Maryse Naman agreed and said she wishes a store of this kind was open when she was attending Saint Mary’s.The low prices of the hand-made and hand-twisted pretzels — which can be paid for using Domer Dollars — make them a perfect snack for a college student on the go, Mark Naman said. An employee on a lunch break or a student on his or her way to class, he said, can be in and out of the store with a freshly-made lunch in five minutes.Beside the classic pretzels — which are made fresh daily with high-protein malted-barley flour — the franchise offers specialty items such as cinnamon pretzel twists, mini pretzels, pretzel dogs, cheesesteak pretzels and a variety of mustards, most of which are available in party trays. They recently launched a new party tray of “mini dogs” — pigs in a blanket — which the Namans hope will be a big hit during tailgate season.During football season, the store plans to open early on home game days and close well after the games end.“We also felt that we might get some of the student body involved — whether it’s working here or in terms of fundraising,” Maryse Naman said.The fundraising program will give clubs, teams or dorms the chance to buy a large quantity of pretzels at an extremely low cost for resale, Mark Naman said. Additionally, the store will provide the first 100 pretzels free of charge.“We are going to look to start engaging with clubs and student activities,” Mark Naman said.  “I remember from my time at Notre Dame, I was in a few different clubs and we were all trying to find ways to raise money.”To the Namans, Philly Pretzel Factory serves as more than just a food service. They plan to be engaged in the community through charitable organizations, local businesses, schools and universities, Mark Naman said.“What we liked about the business — and why we decided to stay here after leaving Notre Dame — was that we like the community,” he said. “The student community and the local community makes it a fantastic place just to live, and we want to stay engaged with that. … We won’t just be staying in [the store], we’ll get to go out and be a part of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s and the local Michiana community — the churches, the businesses and the schools.”Monaghan and the Namans are all looking forward to giving South Bend the real Philly pretzel experience, Monaghan said.“We couldn’t be more proud to have a franchise with an ND alum,” he said.Tags: Alumni, Philly Pretzel Factory, South Bend communitylast_img read more

Road Warriors

first_imgPlan your next big adventure and travel in style with these road trip essentials.1. Carhartt Acadia JacketFor every road trip adventure, one thing is certain: you’re gonna get rained on. When the skies open up in the middle of your hike, make sure you’re wearing the waterproof Acadia. The ripstop nylon is durable but lightweight; it can compress into a fist-sized ball that’s barely noticeable in your pack. Though it’s waterproof, it still breathes, keeping water out while allowing body heat to escape. $84. carhartt.com2. Revo WindspeedThe lightweight, scratch- and impact-resistant polarized lenses on these titanium-framed shades, make them not only the most stylish glasses for travel but also up to the rugged task of hitting the road. $209; revo.com3. PrincetonTec ByteThe best travel headlamp is one you pack down at the bottom of your bag until you need it. Meet the Byte. It’s just 5 ouncesand rings in cheap. $16; princetontec.com4. Tern Eclipse S11itIt’s a bike in a box. But not some chintzy little toy bike. This aluminum framed cycle moves into James Bond (or at least Portland hipster) territory with 24-inch wheels, disc brakes, and an internal 11-speed Shimano Alfine hub. All that weighs in at 32 pounds and packs down small enough to cart around the world. $2,300; ternbicycles.com 5. Gregory Savant 58The ultimate travel backpack needs to serve double duty as both pack and suitcase. The Savant does just that thanks to easy-to-access compartments for travel, and an advanced suspension system ideal for true backpacking when you reach your destination. $199; gregorypacks.com 6. Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure KitElectronic devices die at the worst possible time. But simply stuff this palm-sized pack in your pocket and you can either use the four AA batteries directly or charge up through a USB plug on the pack. Then charge the batteries back up with the solar panel. $160; goalzero.com 7. Redington Crystal Waters SkirtThe skort is the apparel of choice for active women these days, and this one gives all the benefits of both skirts and shorts underneath without looking like it belongs on a road bike racer. $70; redington.com 8. Boardworks Badfish Stand-Up Paddleboard The good news when it comes to inflatable SUPs is that it’s easy to take them anywhere. The bad is they usually lack guts. Not so in the latest from Boardworks. This inflatable uses a new multi-chamber inflatable technology (MCIT) to create a board that’s more rigid and features tapered rails for better handling. That’s something you won’t find in those other blow-up dolls. $1,500; boardworkssurf.comlast_img read more

Wander the Kitchens and Fields of Barbara Kingsolver

first_imgPhotos by Annie Laura / 621 StudiosOn the outskirts of Abingdon, Va., lies the most dedicated farm-to-table restaurant in the South.Founded by Barbara Kingsolver and her husband Steven Hopp, Harvest Table sources its food less than two miles from its sister farm—yes, that farm — the one featured in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Harvest Table also works with over 50 local farmers to meet additional needs and demands, and in so doing, slashes its carbon footprint while securing the freshest, most delectable produce available.All of that produce ends up in the hands of culinary wizard Phillip Newton. In a 2011 New York Times review, Newton’s menu of year-round seasonal, regional cuisine was described as being so good it would “make Harvest Table an instant hit in a progressive, urban enclave like Brooklyn or Berkeley, California.”But the restaurant itself is uniquely Appalachian. The gorgeously renovated dining room features wide-plank, locally salvaged hardwood floors, street fronting plate-glass windows, custom-carpentered tables and bar, and an open kitchen featuring a pizza oven crafted of bricks repurposed from a century-old chimney.“Harvest Table is, at heart, the outgrowth of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” says Hopp, professor of environmental studies at Emory & Henry College.  “It’s sold over a million copies and more-or-less subsidizes the restaurant.”In 2005, Hopp, Kingsolver, and their family (daughters Camille and Lily) engaged in a somewhat radical experiment. Sick of the artificial and unsustainable lifestyle inherent to living in that manmade, oasis-in-the-heart-of-the-desert behemoth, Tucson, Arizona, and wooed by the promise of a wholesome, country life, the family cut out for Hopp’s Blue Ridge Mountain homestead. Nestled in the backwoods of rural southwestern Virginia, the property would provide the family with a means of getting back into the flow of seasons and reconnecting with that great and often overlooked sustainer of life, the land.harvest-table-kingsolverOver the course of the ensuing year, Hopp and Kingsolver vowed to grow as much of their own food as possible. Could they live completely from what they could grow or buy locally at the farmer’s market? Each family member was granted a free-pass, non-local selection for the year. Steven, for instance, opted for fair-trade, organic coffee. But for everything else, the family would eat locally and seasonally. The resulting experience was so fundamentally game-changing that Kingsolver and Hopp were compelled to craft a book: 2007’s wildly successful New York Times bestseller, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a nonfiction mash-up consisting of memoir, food writing, science-backed environmental and agricultural poliitics.Buoyed by the success of the book, Hopp decided to up the ante. Why not carry the dine-locally-by-the-seasons experiment a giant’s step further? Thus, Harvest Table was born.“We’re looking to find a way to bolster the local economy and, in so doing, foster community,” says Hopp. “This is traditionally a farming region, but, in order to make a substantive living, these small, family farmers require a new model. That’s what we’re hoping this restaurant can help provide.”Much of the restaurant’s produce is grown at the Kingsolver-Hopp family farm, a 4.5-acre homestead positioned on a mildly sloping hillside. Sam Eubanks, an App State graduate in agro ecology and sustainable development, manages the farm’s operations.“Here we utilize every square inch of what is, acreage wise, a fairly small tract of land,” says Eubanks. Freshly returned from the town-over farmers’ market, she was wearing a pair of colorful, patchwork overalls and handmade, locally crafted earrings. She pointed out rows of vegetation contoured across the hillside to check erosion and maximize planting space. Hoop houses were chock full of staked, vertically grown heirloom tomatoes. Equipment barns doubled as curing facilities for garlic, onions, and potatoes.While the farm is gunning for ultra-premium efficiency, it is also seeking to create an ecosystem. Take, for example, the beneficial insects garden, marked by a hand-painted sign flanking an array of brightly flowering, dazzlingly colored shrubs and bushes. “Aren’t you supposed to be growing food?” I asked.“That garden helps the food grow,” said Eubanks. “Not only do those flowers bring in bees and other insects to pollinate the crops, they also attract insects that eat pests instead of the produce.”That same symbiosis is at work in the restaurant, where Eubanks and 50 other local farmers work closely with chef Phillip Newton. A big man with broad shoulders, dark eyes, and a salt-and-pepper streaked goatee, Newton explains that Eubanks is “constantly updating me on what’s happening on the front lines—who’s got what coming in, when it’ll be available, what to expect next week.”Prior to each season’s planting, Newton and Eubanks plan what and how much of each particular crop they’ll be growing at the farm. Then Eubanks begins contacting other local farmers to determine who can fill the gaps.“We want to serve as an example for the present, but also create a model for the future, when the system of transporting vast quantities of produce thousands and thousands of miles isn’t possible anymore,” says Eubanks.last_img read more

“Sonia” Found Guilty of Trafficking Drugs to United States

first_imgBy Dialogo March 12, 2012 On March 6, Anayibe Rojas Valderrama, known as “Sonia,” a member of the FARC guerrilla group, and two other Colombian citizens were found guilty of trafficking drugs to the United States, sources at a Washington, D.C., district court informed AFP. This is the first time that a defendant suspected of FARC membership has been found guilty in a U.S. court. The 12 jurors who heard the case at a court in the District of Colombia, the U.S. capital, unanimously found Sonia, Jose Antonio Celis (alias “Calvo” [Bald]), and Juan Diego Giraldo (alias “Flaco” [Thin]) guilty of conspiracy to import and sell cocaine in the United States, by way of what the prosecutor’s office described as a “Panamanian connection.” According to judicial sources, sentencing is expected to be on May 4. Sources close to the case indicated that the penalty “Sonia” could receive for the charges against her ranges between 10 and 30 years in prison. The case also included a fourth defendant, José Benito Cabrera Cuevas (alias “Fabián Ramírez”), the only one of the defendants not in the power of the U.S. authorities. Celis, who is not suspected of being a member of the FARC, was described by prosecutors as responsible for trafficking the drugs by way of Panama, and Giraldo, also not a member of the rebel group, was described as an intermediary between the drug traffickers and the cocaine producers. The prosecutor’s office characterized “Sonia” as one of the leaders of Front 14 of the Southern Bloc of the FARC, which it described as Colombia’s leading guerrilla group, and stated that the proceeds from the drug trafficking of which she was accused were used to buy merchandise for the guerrilla group. Prosecutors in a Washington, D.C. district court also described “Sonia” as the “administrator” of the drug-shipment operations of Front 14 of the Southern Bloc of the FARC.last_img read more

Prosecutors: Feces-Covered Dog Neglected by Owner

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Syosset man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly neglecting his Shih Tzu dog. Found covered in feces and smelling of urine, the friendly canine was picked up outside the owner’s house and impounded as a stray, Nassau County prosecutors said.Patrick Benjamin, 30, was arraigned Wednesday on a single charge of failure to provide proper sustenance. Benjamin was conditionally released on probation. He faces a maximum one-year sentence, the Nassau County District Attorney’s office said.The dog had been seen hanging around outside Benjamin’s home on May 27, prompting calls to local animal control officials. Veterinarians who had treated the Shih Tzu discovered several signs of severe neglect: a lack of nutrition and hydration, poor hygiene and virtually no dental and veterinary care for at least six months, causing the dog to develop rotted teeth, which had begun to fall out, prosecutors said.The 10-year-old dog’s nails had grown so long that they had curled back and cut into the dog’s paws, the DA’s office said.“Animals have no means to defend or provide for themselves in the face of severe criminal neglect like that in this case, which is why tips from the community and the cooperation of local officials are so important,” acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.Benjamin visited the local shelter where the dog was taken and identified himself as the owner, prosecutors said. He surrendered to the Animal Crimes Unit on Wednesday.last_img read more

Initiative of Pula citizens to cancel 20-year concession for ski lift in Valovine Bay

first_imgA society that steals public goods from the majority in order to give it away once cannot prosper, point out the Green Istria Association, which sent an open letter to the mayor of Pula and a request from the Pula citizens’ initiative to cancel the 20-year ski lift concession in Valovine Bay.Namely, as the Green Istria Association states in its announcement, during the preparation and beginning of the construction of the ski lift with the accompanying catering facility on the water, the investor made many omissions, which were not sanctioned by any relevant institution. From the illegal filling of maritime property, as well as the fact that the investor or the developer of the Environmental Protection Study did not state that a catering facility is planned on the platform on the sea, to the destruction of the habitat of strictly protected periscopes.Communication is transmitted in full:OPEN LETTER TO THE MAYOR – Request of the initiative of the citizens of Pula for the abolition of the 20-year concession for the ski lift in the Bay of ValovineDear Mayor,The issuance of a 20-year concession for the construction and economic use of a ski lift in Valovine Bay has caused great outrage among citizens for destroying the beauty of Pula’s only shallow sandy beach, so far fully preserved peaceful oasis, ideal for parents with young children and our senior citizens. bus station. The accelerated pace of construction and exploitation of the coast without awareness of the need to protect it calls into question what we love most about our city. Development does not necessarily mean the destruction of the environment and nature. With smarter planning we can develop while preserving natural beauty and values. A ski lift in another bay of already paved shores, with suitable parking, sewers and a road would not provoke opposition. Comments on Facebook due to the construction of a ski lift in Valovine Bay are proof of indignation, suspicions of corruption and dissatisfaction with favoring individual investors to the detriment of the entire community. In other words, citizens do not support such a policy of the City.On Saturday, June 30, citizens protested at the site of the construction of the ski lift, demanding an immediate suspension of works, the abolition of the 20-year concession and the return of the bay to its former state. With large buoys, we marked the area of ​​the ski lift structure, which shocked the protesters even more – most of them could not even imagine that the structure stretches almost the entire bay.As the mayor of Pula, you should know how to recognize the importance and support the citizens who are fighting for the public interest and preserving the exceptional beauty of the city for these and future generations.You have probably noticed for yourself that there is an increasing number of men and women from Pula who are interested in the environment in which they live and are ready to engage in its preservation and improvement. Unfortunately, this does not correspond to the engagement of relevant institutions, including city ones. All of them are “adorned” with slowness, inefficiency, looking through the fingers of great economic interests, neglect of the public interest, “turning their heads to the other side”, which calls into question honesty and legitimizes suspicion of corruption. At best, we can expect only formal work. A good portion of these bodies even violate their own regulations. Such a society cannot prosper. A society that steals the public good from the majority in order to give it away once cannot prosper.The investor demolished the coastal wall, filled the maritime property and the sea with construction stone at the place where the habitat of the strictly protected species is located. That we were right in pointing out the omissions of the authorities and actions for which there are no permits is also shown by the fact that on July 2, 2018, the investor hastily removed the filled gravel from the sea, a beautiful sight for local bathers and tourists. Many citizens sent us pictures of the bay soiled by these works. In the middle of the season. Where were your utility stewards, what did your Board of Directors do for the utility system and assets? Why didn’t you report the illegal dumping of maritime property to the Port Authority?The location and construction permit for the construction of the ski lift does not specify the catering facility on the platform. And here we come to an interesting detail of this case.The preliminary design from the Environmental Protection Study and the preliminary design attached to the Concession Agreement, which you signed, are seemingly the same. Except in essential detail. We attach both documents for easier tracking.Side dish: Idejno_rjesenje_elaborat_MANJI.jpg / Idejno_rjesenje_koncesija_MANJI.jpgIn the preliminary design for the ski lift no. 14-041 from December 2015, which is attached to the Environmental Protection Study, the following are listed as supporting facilities for the ski lift: 14,4 m2 closed + 48,4 m ski lift, 227 m2 access bridge (the accompanying facilities are listed in the text part : prefabricated terrace for preparing skiers, platform for getting out of the water, access bridges and engine room-prefabricated building of 14,4 m2).In the Concession Agreement, the conceptual design is seemingly the same. It has the same number 14-041 and date as the preliminary design from the Environmental Protection Study – December 2015. The difference is that in the annex to the Concession Agreement, the description of the accompanying facilities has been deleted.Please inform the public: How is it possible for conceptual designs to differ?On the basis of which a concession for a catering facility was issued when the Concession Agreement, as well as the preliminary design, does not show exactly where the catering facility is located or how big it is?How is it even possible for a catering facility to be in a concession if it was not provided for in the Environmental Protection Study, and thus neither in the location nor in the construction permit?There are reasons to cancel the 20-year concession for a ski lift, use themThe regulations allow you to terminate the concession. You know this because in 2016, at the request of the citizens, you abolished 9 concession committees for economic activities on Galeb’s Rocks, without much explanation. In accordance with the Concessions Act (Art. 71) and the Maritime Property Act (Art. 29), you can unilaterally terminate the concession agreement. The concessionaire may be deprived of the concession for several reasons, for example due to the protection of the public interest or if the concessionaire does not sufficiently protect the maritime domain and does not implement measures and actions for the protection of nature. Which we proved. When performing the works (so far initial), the investor did not take into account the habitat of the strictly protected periscope that stretches along the entire bay. Habitat destruction by embankment was documented by underwater images. The works should be urgently covered so that the damage would not be done to the entire habitat within the scope of the construction of 3 hectares.At the beginning of the permitting process, ie in the Environmental Protection Study, the investor in the assessment procedure on the need to assess the impact of the project on the environment “failed” to state several important facts about the project:- that the intervention of 3 hectares is planned on the habitat of strictly protected periscopes;. to plan a catering facility on the platform on the sea;- that the coast and the sea will be filled.This incomplete document was the basis for the County of Istria to unreasonably determine that it is not necessary to conduct an environmental impact assessment, which does not justify them because we pointed out all their shortcomings during the public debate. Therefore, environmental and nature protection measures are not prescribed for the project. If he had honestly described the habitat of the periscope, the investor might not have been allowed the intervention or he would have been prescribed appropriate environmental measures. It is quite clear that the investor has withheld many features of the project in order to more easily obtain the necessary permits.Therefore, we believe that the concession should be urgently terminated and the investor advised to make a new Environmental Study which will describe the true state of the seabed of the site, consider all possible negative impacts on the environment and nature and ALL parts of the proposed project, including offshore catering . Also advise him to suggest an alternative location for a ski lift with less negative impact on nature and the landscape.There are many other strange circumstances related to the works on the realization of this project, so please explain them to the public:- who allowed the investor to fill the shore and the sea with gravel from the quarry without the assessment procedure on the need for environmental impact assessment (mandatory according to Annex II of the Decree on Amendments to the Decree on Environmental Impact Assessment, point 9.12. – interventions for which implement OPUO: all interventions that include embankment of the sea shore, deepening and drying of the seabed and construction of buildings in and on the sea of ​​length 50 m and more) ?;Will it therefore bear the consequences?- who allowed the investor to work on the coast and the sea in the middle of the bathing season?- who allowed the investor to use the coastal road with heavy vehicles, when it is obvious in what condition it is and that such vehicles will further damage it, and maybe because of that it will collapse?- how is it possible that the construction site or the use of the road was not marked with appropriate traffic signs?The initiative of the citizens of Pula to cancel the concession for the ski lift and Green IstriaRelated news: The case of the ski lift in Valovine: the relevant institutions have either not done at all or have done their job poorly – we urge them to do so now – URGENTlast_img read more