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Seamus McDonagh cultivates a new career with Donegal ETB

first_imgSeamus McDonagh is really reaping the benefits of a horticulture course he recently completed with Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service. The green-fingered Dungloe man is the proud owner of his own business – McDonagh Home and Garden Care – and loving every day of his work.Things were a lot different just over a year ago, when Seamus had a busy job as a bar manager. He decided to make a change, so he left and decided to train up on something he truly enjoyed – gardening.Seamus enrolled in a Level 5 Horticulture course with Donegal ETB in January 2018. He dug into the world of gardening over the next 11 months for full-time training at the ETB’s Letterkenny Training Centre. “It was excellent, we started in January so you begin in the polytunnel with seedlings and see them right through the growing season. We grew everything – flowers, vegetables, trees and hedges,” Seamus said.“You weren’t just growing. In the classroom we learned about soil technology and all the things that you never knew would come in handy when you’re growing. “Once you get started into it you want to keep learning more.”Former Donegal ETB learner Seamus McDonagh trained in Level 5 Horticulture from 2017-2018Seamus enjoyed how varied the course was, as they branched out into sowing, caring for plants raising beds, cuttings, grafting, soil technology, propagation, cross-breeding, and plant history. Another aspect of the programme which was a great advantage to Seamus was the business training. He learned how to create a business plan and run his own enterprise, which was his ultimate goal from returning to education.Well-known Donegal gardener Gareth Austin was the course tutor, who Seamus said is full of expert knowledge and infectious enthusiasm.Seamus enjoyed the emphasis placed on organic and natural gardening methods, while the work placement he completed at Glenveagh National Park opened his eyes to an exciting plethora of new species.“The work experience was very hands-on. There’s so much going on in Glenveagh and I got to work with so many different plans and unusual plants,” he said.Once he completed the course and gained his Level 5 QQI award, Seamus worked on setting up his own business, which was launched in January 2019. Now, he combines his horticulture qualification with his previous experience in the building trade to work on a variety of home and garden projects. McDonagh Home and Garden Care“I take care of everything around the home and garden. I do lawn care and lawn maintenance, so I won’t just cut the grass but I’ll show people how to look after it afterwards. I design and plant gardens and I’m growing some unusual plants myself that you wouldn’t find in a garden centre. If anyone needs a greenhouse built, I can do that or any odd jobs around the house.”Seamus loves the new career path that has grown from his new green-fingered skills. “It’s a pleasure, you enjoy what you are doing and you’re seeing the results of your work,” he said.He added that he would 100% recommend the course to others. “If you have an interest in gardening it will help you learn so much more. It’s not just for business people either. If you like working in your own garden or want to get into vegetable growing it’s very worthwhile. I would tell people to just go for it.” You can contact Seamus through his Facebook page McDonagh Home and Garden Care or call him on 087 267 2762.If you would like more information on the Further Educational and Training (FET) courses provided by Donegal ETB, check out their course finder on their website https://www.donegaletb.ie/further-education-training/course-finder/The Specific Skills Training course that Seamus completed is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.Seamus McDonagh cultivates a new career with Donegal ETB was last modified: April 1st, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Africa takes charge of its heritage

first_imgMinister of arts and culture in South Africa, Paul Mashatile, bids delegates farewell at the closing ceremony of the four-day conference. Alaphia Wright, director of Unesco’s Southern African regional office in Windhoek, Namibia reflects on the event. Ministers and representatives of African governments pose for a group photograph to mark the end of the event.(Images: Valencia Talane) The Maropeng visitors centre at the Cradle of Humankind, which is one of South Africa’s eight world heritage sites(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com)MEDIA CONTACTS•Mack Lewele Director of communications: arts and culture+27 12 441 3083•Reuben LefokoSA Naitonal Commission for Unesco+27 12 312 5154RELATED ARTICLES• World heritage in South Africa • Can heritage, development coexist? • New deal to protect Mapungubwe site • Maropeng sets green standardValencia TalaneParticipants at Africa’s first-ever international world heritage conference, held under the auspices of the Unesco World Heritage Centre, have declared the event to be a success.Under the theme Living with world heritage in Africa, the event was co-organised by the African World Heritage Fund and formed part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Unesco’s World Heritage Convention.South Africa’s Department of Arts and Culture, with the support of the Department of Environmental Affairs, was the official host for the event, which ran from 26-29 September at the Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre in Benoni, east of Johannesburg.Government ministers and policy makers engaged community leaders from all over the continent, as well as academics and civil society, to discuss the most amicable ways to manage and protect existing and new world heritage sites on the continent.A joint statement released by the ministers present helped set the tone for the conference. In it they condemned the destruction of world-famous and irreplaceable heritage sites and objects by Islamic insurgents in Mali.A call was also made to the international community to support a cause to curb the trafficking of cultural objects and manuscripts from the historic town of Timbuktu in the same country.“We call upon all parties to the conflict to desist from destroying cultural heritage,” read the statement.Opening the conference, South Africa’s minister of arts and culture Paul Mashatile said: “The recent events in Mali are of concern not only to the people of Mali, but the entire continent and the world.”The Malian history, he added, opened a new chapter in the understanding of African civilisation, instilling significant pride in all Africans.“This conference has reminded us of the importance of ongoing dialogue in finding lasting solutions to challenges facing the continent and the world,” said Mashatile.The way forwardWith that said, participants in the conference’s various themed discussions deliberated on ideas to help protect Africa’s heritage sites and secure their preservation in future years by drawing up recommendations on the way forward.One of the statements of principle that delegates arrived at was the recognition of world heritage properties as unique and irreplaceable resources, meaning that states parties have a responsibility to ensure their long-term development and management.The term ‘states parties’ refers to countries which adhere to the World Heritage Convention and have agreed to identify and nominate properties on their national territory to be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.Sustainable development and world heritage, according to another principle statement, should coexist, with neither being sacrificed for the benefit or survival of the other. The management of the sites should be central to development agendas and be integrated into larger plans by authorities.Delegates also called for communities living around heritage sites to be incorporated into management plans, as the role of the communities is central to the survival of the sites.Educational, social and financial support for the proper management of the properties has to be given in good faith because it is these communities that have historical and cultural knowledge of the sites.“This conference reaffirmed that all our world heritage properties belong to, and must be accessible, to all,” said Mashatile in his closing speech on 29 September. “They must first and foremost be managed in a manner that benefits communities living in and around those properties.”Private industries and heritage sitesOne of the recommendations made for the sustainable management of world heritage sites was that the private sector – particularly industries whose work can have a direct impact on the preservation of the sites – should connect with communities and implement best practices for doing business in those regions.The mining industry, represented by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), acknowledged that stronger working relations between the sector and governments would benefit the sites.In addition, states parties needed to respect and recognise the ICMM’s principles for non-members and therefore not grant licenses at world heritage properties to non-ICMM companies. Going this route, went the argument, would ensure that governance of the properties would remain within the standards set by the ICMM and states parties.Responsible communitiesOnce the concept of a local community has been defined within the context of listed world heritage sites and those that are yet to be listed, its dynamics – which would include cultural awareness of the site in question – should be taken into consideration in the planned listing.This will ensure that when the government steps in to empower such a community, the strategy will be built on already existing knowledge and will endeavour to equip future generations with that knowledge.Another recommendation was that the responsibility of strengthening organisational capacities of local communities, so that they can effectively participate in the management of sites in their areas, should lie with governments.For this to be possible, sustainable funding for conservation of the sites is also necessary, and would boost the development of the communities.Measures should always be in place to protect heritage properties from unlawful acts or decisions, through protective legislation that keeps up with changes within the communities.Delegates also concurred that there is no reason why world heritage sites should not drive the sustainable development of the communities around them. The 2006 Charter of the African Cultural Renaissance was cited as a benchmark that could help guide communities’ understanding of this role of a heritage site.Tourists bring valueHeritage sites can be developed as eco and cultural tourism destinations, which will then bring more benefits to surrounding communities. For this move to be feasible, however, the community should be educated about successful tourism ventures, and using their surroundings to improve their livelihood.Another recommendation was that proper monitoring processes be put in place to ensure that the community has the proper tools to keep up with changes in the socioeconomic environment of their bigger surroundings, such as their country and the world at large.Taking stock of issuesOnce the deliberations were over and recommendations noted down, it was the turn of the collective political leadership of the continent to declare the way forward on the issue of protecting heritage sites.Cirino Hiten Ofuho, the minister of culture in Africa’s youngest country, South Sudan, expressed his gratitude at having been included in the process of drawing up solid resolutions for the protection of the continent’s heritage.“We have a privileged position as South Sudan, because we can learn from mistakes made by other countries in the past,” he joked, adding that his country could also be viewed as a clean canvas on which to focus efforts to save the country’s heritage.In a gesture that received booming applause from delegates at the closing ceremony, the Nigerian representative government made an announcement, on behalf of that country’s minister of culture Edem Duke, of a pledge from his government of US$1-million towards the Africa World Heritage Fund.Mashatile said Africans must work to develop long-term plans on the sustainability of the continent’s heritage properties.“We emerge from this conference more convinced that we must protect our heritage sites and ensure that they also contribute towards the socioeconomic development of our societies,” he said.The resolutions and declaration of the conference will be tabled during the final occasion celebrating the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, scheduled for Japan in November 2012.last_img read more

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Minister Brown: we are not close to a blackout

first_imgAt a press briefing held on 15 April, 2015, Public Enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, has assured South Africans that despite the implementation of stage three of load shedding, the country is not close to a power blackout.Public Enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, says load shedding is expected to continue through winter, a time when there is usually more pressure placed on the national grid. (Image: Brand South Africa)Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne BrownOn Monday, Eskom implemented stage 2 load shedding and load curtailment from 16h00 until 22h00, due to a shortage of generation capacity brought on by the fact that several units were out of service due to planned and unplanned outages.Yesterday , Eskom at first implemented stage 2 load shedding, but at around 18h00 moved from stage 2 to stage 3 load shedding due to further shortage of generation capacity as additional units have had to be taken out of service for unplanned maintenance caused by technical faults.At around 21h00 last night, load shedding changed back from stage 3 to stage 2 and stage 2 load shedding was stopped at 22h00 .Load shedding at stage 3 shows the seriousness of the constraints that we face but it is in no way an indication that we are close to a black-out.Today, for the entire day, from 06h00 until 22h00, stage 2 load shedding will be in place.The acting chairperson of the Eskom Board, Dr Ben Ngubane, has provided me with a detailed report on what happened during the last week.The loss of a number of generating units early in the week reduced the available capacity to meet the demand on Monday.It is expected that the situation would continue throughout winter when consumption is higher as the constraints on the grid means that planned, controlled, and rotational load shedding and load curtailment, are introduced to protect the power system.I have also asked Dr. Ngubane to ensure that Eskom improves communication with stakeholders and consumers and to ensure alignment of load shedding schedules.Government wants to ensure improvement in the communication and compliance to load shedding schedules and therefore have collaborated with Naspers, Primedia and eNews Channel Africa. This is for South Africans to access the latest information on load shedding schedules for their area by clicking onto the website of these three partners.Government extends its appreciation to the media houses for coming on board. The quick and accurate dissemination of information has a direct impact on the daily lives of South Africans.We understand the consequences of load shedding on business activity, employment and productivity and wish to assure the public, consumers and all players in our economy that we are working tirelessly to ensure that we have adequate electricity supply.The role of the War Room is in essence is to play a coordinating role and to ensure integration to address the challenges we are facing with electricity.We are committed to ensure a reliable power supply and our response to this resulted in the following successes:The Medupi Power Station in Limpopo recently reached a key milestone by delivering power to the grid for the first time on 2 March 2015 from its Unit 6 generator. Once on stream, Unit 6 will bring much needed extra 800 MW capacity to the grid;Restoring the Majuba Power Station is underway and 1200MW has been recovered as part of an interim solution. The Majuba Power Station provides full power at the morning and evening peaks and an average of 85% power during the day.Eskom’s maintenance strategy and its execution is receiving focused attention from the War Room to ensure that it delivers the improvements required in plant availability and plant performance. Eskom has deployed 30 experienced senior managers from head office to power stations to ensure that maintenance is done correctly.The procurement process is underway to replace the boiler at the Duvha Power Station which failed last year and a supplier will be appointed by the first quarter of the new financial year.A R4 billion loan was recently secured to scale up Eskom’s renewable energy generation capacity. Eskom will build the Kiwano solar thermal power station in the Northern Cape and the lngula Pumped Storage Scheme in KwaZulu-Natal which will add 1OOMW and 1332MW respectively to the national grid.The completion of the Sere Wind Farm, in Vredendal in the Western Cape, and KaXu Solar One Power Plant, in Pofadder in the Northern  Cape, have together added 200 MW to the national grid.The co-generation contracts were successfully renewed at the end of March ensuring 800MW to the grid. This year, Eskom has been following its preventative maintenance schedules to the aging plants so that the recovery to sustainable and reliable power generation is expedited.This will understandably place strain on the system over the short term as changes to demand or additional plant failures, as experienced over the past few days that took us into Stage 2 and Stage 3 load shedding, might occur.I wish to, on behalf of government, apologise for the inconvenience anyone has suffered due to load shedding and would also like to thank all citizens and consumers for their patience and understanding but also for assisting us in the many creative ways to lift pressure off the grid.I once again appeal to all citizens to help us reduce demand by making electricity reductions in households and businesses part of their lifestyles.We need to work together to ensure that we have a reliable power supply.Government remains committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure this and calls on all citizens to join our national effort to safe electricity.For media enquiries contact Minister Brown’s spokesman, Lionel Adendorf, on +27 61 4941105 and [email protected]last_img read more

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Village Bakery & Café of Athens recognized with national award

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Village Bakery & Café of Athens was one of three small businesses nationwide recently recognized with the Green America’s quarterly People & Planet Award. The award highlights innovative U.S. small businesses that integrate organics and environmental considerations into their strategies and operations.The winners receive $5,000 prizes and were selected by the public during a month-long online voting period.“We are so thrilled to accept this award, as it will shine a light on the organic producers we depend on, in our local community and beyond. They are the foundation of our green economy,” said Christine Hughes, co-owner of the Village Café & Bakery. “We will use our winnings immediately to bring in our next pallet of organic olive oil, which we use for all our cooking and baking needs, and sell in our market for our customers to use at home. This windfall will put us in a good financial position to take the next step in our long-term renewable energy plans. We may use solar to take our Della Zona wood-fired bake house off the grid!”Village Bakery & Cafe supports farms in the foothills of Appalachian Ohio. For more visit http://www.greenamerica.org/green-business-people-and-planet-award/Spring2016/Village.cfm.last_img read more

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Þingvellir – The Mid-Atlantic Ridge — Geocache of the Week

first_imgI feel the earth move under my feet                                                                                           I feel the sky tumbling downThough the sky tumbling down almost certainly spells impending doom, if you feel the earth move under your feet while geocaching, it might simply be a sign that you’re at ground zero for Þingvellir – The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, an EarthCache in Iceland, and our Geocache of the Week. If you paid attention in geology, you may remember that the earth’s crust consists of several tectonic plates—outer pieces of rigid, shell-like land. The plates sit on and glide over the mantle underneath, an altogether more solid and massive part of the earth’s structure. Question: What did the North American plate say as it bumped into the Eurasian plate? Answer: Not my fault!These tectonic plates shift and grate against each other, forming and tearing apart entire continents. One aptly named plate boundary is located in Iceland, where the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate are slowly separating. The gap between the plates. Image by flatfootdocCache owner MaMiFKa placed this cache in 2009 and it is a classic example of an exemplary EarthCache that incorporates both fun and education. Tectonic plates work best for eating continental breakfasts. Image by VeerlesLogging requirements for this cache are answers to very specific questions about the geology behind tectonic plates, these two plates in particular, as well as the history of the area. Until continental drift do us part. Image by uconnhuskyThough there are four geological questions to answer, the educational aspect definitely doesn’t undermine the unique fun offered. Cachers wanting to earn this smiley can hike around and descend into the growing gap between the plates. The most adventurous cachers can even bridge the gap, with one foot on the North American Plate and one on the Eurasian!Don’t fall in! image by MirekaOneSince the plates are drifting at a rate of about 2.5 cm (1 in) every year, Iceland currently experiences around 500 earthquakes a week, so you’d better visit this cache soon! Though it is possible to scuba dive at other places along the two tectonic plates, this cache doesn’t yet have the Scuba Gear Required attribute. However once the island grows too large, the whole thing will sink and submerge into the sea, taking this rocking cache with it.Scuba gear not required…yet! Image by supidupi2001Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More Location:IcelandN 64° 15.325′ W 021° 07.718′ EarthCacheGC1Z45Xby MaMiFKa Difficulty:2Terrain:2 SharePrint RelatedPão de Açúcar — Geocache of the WeekApril 12, 2017In “Geocache of the Week”Råbjerg Mile – GC21787 – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – October 25, 2012October 25, 2012In “Community”Your Next Souvenir Reveals Mysteries of the EarthSeptember 8, 2014In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”last_img read more

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Books for Homeowners Interested in Saving Energy

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Two books that do a good job of explaining residential energy use issues to homeowners are Consumer Guide To Home Energy Savings and No-Regrets Remodeling. Both books have been around for years. Recently the publishers of these two books issued new editions, so I decided to give them a careful read.Since 1990, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has published the Consumer Guide To Home Energy Savings. The current version is the tenth edition; its authors — Jennifer Thorne Amann, Alex Wilson, and Katie Ackerly — are the same as those of the ninth edition.This book is an excellent homeowner’s guide to reducing home energy use. The authors make a stab at addressing basic building science concepts — for example, by explaining what a thermal envelope is, and by discussing the importance of air barriers. Most of the book’s information is accurate and helpful.Yet the book is occasionally troubling and ultimately unsatisfying — both for its many errors and its fundamental failure to help homeowners focus on what matters most. The authors seem to lurch from topic to topic, in an apparent attempt to be comprehensive, without providing enough context to help homeowners distinguish between trivial and crucial issues.Examples of misplaced emphasis abound: Is adding insulation to your attic a simple job? The authors advise, “Adding insulation to an unheated attic is usually a lot easier [than adding insulation to walls]. If there is no floor in the attic, simply add more insulation.” The adverb “simply” is irksome.Unfortunately, this section of the book forgot an important sentence: “Before adding more attic insulation, make sure that you have sealed all of the air leaks in the ceiling below.” While the book mentions air sealing elsewhere, readers need… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log incenter_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

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How to Use Your Limited Bandwidth to Get Results

first_imgYou’ll never have the time or the energy to do everything you need to do (If by chance this isn’t true for you, you aren’t working hard enough). The truth is that you have limited bandwidth. As tireless as you may be, there is only so much you can get done in a day.There is limited time, and you have limited energy. Because this is true, it’s important that you have a plan to employ your limited bandwidth getting the right outcomes.Ranking OutcomesIt’s too easy to fall into that reactive mode where you sit waiting for the world to act on you. And it doesn’t take long for the world to show up and drop something in your lap. Someone needs a meeting. Client has a problem. An RFP shows up and gives you something to read and think about. It’s all work; but it isn’t the right work, is it?To effectively use your time and energy, you have to be proactive. You have to take control of the decision as to what work you give yourself over to. You do this by ranking the outcomes you need to achieve each week. Then you start each day by ranking the most important outcomes you need to achieve that day.List them out. What’s the most important outcome you need to achieve? What’s the second most important? Keep going. List them out. I’ll wait right here.Start Early on What’s Most ImportantGreat! You’re back with your list in hand.The most effective way to ensure that you achieve the outcomes you need each day is to front load your day with what’s most important. You start by working on your most important outcome first. Then you can move on to your second most important outcome. And down the list you go.One of the reasons starting with the most important outcome is so difficult for many of us is that it often requires our doing the most difficult work. But that’s why it’s best to do it early in the morning; that’s when you have the bandwidth. Once you’re wiped out for the day, the most important—and difficult—tasks aren’t too appealing.Do you need to call that client with the systemic and persistent problem your team is having trouble getting their arms around? Or is your pipeline weak? Do you really need to prospect? These tasks will get you the outcomes you need, but the tough clients conversations may go wrong, and who wants to prospect if there’s easier work available?The reasons we avoid this work is because of fear. We avoid things that seem to us to be unpleasant (or that even have the potential of being unpleasant). Doing the work that produces the important outcomes we need may not be as pleasant as other work. That’s why it’s critical that you do this work when you have the maximum bandwidth.By ranking your most important outcomes and completing the most important first, you ensure that you produce the results that you need to. Later, if the world starts making demands of you and wipes out your bandwidth, you still leave work with a sense of accomplishment, having knocked off the two or three most important outcomes early in the day.QuestionsWhen do you have the most bandwidth available for your most important work?How do you ensure your energy is spent on your most important work?What work is more difficult to achieve later in the day? How can you move it up? Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more