Obama Quadruples Size of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Now Largest Marine Protected Area

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (photo by James Watt).

President Obama bestowed a gigantic gift on the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service: using his powers under the Antiquities Act, he quadrupled the size of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating the world’s largest marine protected area.

 

“Building on the United States’ global leadership in marine conservation, today’s designation will more than quadruple the size of the existing marine monument, permanently protecting pristine coral reefs, deep sea marine habitats, and important ecological resources in the waters of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands,” the White House stated.

 

Following this historic conservation action, the President planned to travel to Hawaii where, on August 31, he will address leaders from the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which is being hosted in the United States for the first time. On Thursday, he will travel to Midway Atoll, located within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, to mark the significance of this monument designation and highlight first-hand how the threat of climate change makes protecting our public lands and waters more important than ever. 

 

The monument was originally created in 2006 by President George W. Bush and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.  Since that time, new scientific exploration and research has revealed new species and deep sea habitats as well as important ecological connections between the existing monument and the adjacent waters. Obama’s designation will expand the existing Marine National Monument by 442,781 square miles, bringing the total protected area of the expanded monument to 582,578 square miles.

 

The expansion provides critical protections for more than 7,000 marine species, including whales and sea turtles listed under the Endangered Species Act and the longest-living marine species in the world — black coral, which have been found to live longer than 4,500 years. Additionally, as ocean acidification, warming, and other impacts of climate change threaten marine ecosystems, expanding the monument will improve ocean resilience, help the region’s distinct physical and biological resources adapt, and create a natural laboratory that will allow scientists to monitor and explore the impacts of climate change on these fragile ecosystems.

 

The expanded monument area also contains resources of great historical and cultural significance. The expanded area, including the archipelago and its adjacent waters, is considered a sacred place for the Native Hawaiian community. It plays a significant role in Native Hawaiian creation and settlement stories, and is used to practice important activities like traditional long-distance voyaging and wayfinding. Additionally, within the monument expansion area, there are shipwrecks and downed aircraft from the Battle of Midway in World War II, a battle that marked a major shift in the progress of the war in favor of the Allies.

 

All commercial resource extraction activities, including commercial fishing and any future mineral extraction, are prohibited in the expansion area, as they are within the boundaries of the existing monument. Noncommercial fishing, such as recreational fishing and the removal of fish and other resources for Native Hawaiian cultural practices, is allowed in the expansion area by permit, as is scientific research.

 

In recognition of the value of Papahānaumokuākea to Native Hawaiians, and in keeping with President Obama’s commitment to elevating the voices of Native peoples in management of our resources, Secretary of the Interior Jewell and Secretary of Commerce Pritzker also announced that the Departments will soon sign an agreement with Hawaii’s Department of Natural Resources and Office of Hawaiian Affairs providing for a greater management role as a trustee in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.  This arrangement has been previously requested by Senator Brian Schatz and Governor Ige.

 

President Obama’s action responds to a proposal put forward by Senator Schatz and prominent Native Hawaiian leaders, in addition to significant input and local support from Hawaii elected officials, cultural groups, conservation organizations, scientists and fishermen.  This step also builds on a rich tradition of marine protection in Hawaiian waters and world-class, well managed fisheries, including a longline fishing fleet that is a global leader in sustainable practices. 

 

Among the underlying rationales for his action, Obama, in his proclamation, stated, “The ocean will always be seen as an integral part of cultural identity for the Native Hawaiian community. The deep sea, the ocean surface, the sky, and all the living things in the area adjacent to the Monument are important to this culture and are deeply rooted in creation and settlement stories. Native Hawaiian culture considers the Monument and the adjacent area a sacred place. This place contains the boundary between Ao, the world of light and the living, and Pō, the world of the gods and spirits from which all life is born and to which ancestors return after death. Long-distance voyaging and wayfinding is one of the most unique and valuable traditional practices that the Native Hawaiian community has developed and continues to advance. Once on the verge of cultural extinction, new double-hulled sailing canoes, beginning with the Hōkūle’a in the 1970s, are bringing voyaging and wayfinding to new generations. This traditional practice relies on celestial, biological, and natural signs, such as winds, waves, currents and the presence of birds and marine life. The open ocean ecosystem and its natural resources in the adjacent area play an important role within the cultural voyaging seascape within the Hawaiian Archipelago.”

 

In addition to protecting more land and water than any Administration in history, President Obama has sought to lead the world in marine conservation by combating illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, revitalizing the process for establishing new marine sanctuaries, establishing the National Ocean Policy, and promoting ocean stewardship through the use of science- based decision making.

Photo Exhibit Honoring Elie Wiesel Opens in Moscow

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Limmud FSU, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, in partnership with the Shem Olam Institute and the Nativ organization, has just opened a photographic survey of the life of Elie Wiesel, at the Israeli Cultural Center in Moscow. The exhibition will run until the end of September.

An array of VIPs participated in the opening August 25, including Russian Chief Rabbi Avraham Shayevich; Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kenner; Israel’s Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver; Conference of European Rabbis President Pinchas Goldschmidt; Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Secretary General Mikhail Chlenov; Israeli-Russian Business Council Chairman Dr. Temur Ben Yehuda; Prof. Ilya Altman, representing the Claims Conference in the FSU; American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s representative in Moscow, Alik Nadan; and the founder and chairman of Limmud FSU, Chaim Chesler.

Wiesel was a leading supporter of the movement to free Soviet Jewry and in 1966 wrote a highly influential book on the struggle. “It’s fitting that Elie Wiesel was honored in Moscow by the very people he helped free 50 years after writing ‘The Jews of Silence,'” said Chesler. “His memory will serve as an inspiration and a symbol of our triumph.”

Dr. Yoel Rappel, the founder and director of the Elie Wiesel Archive at Boston University, curated the exhibition, which showcases milestones in Wiesel’s life, from his youth before and during the Holocaust to his work as a novelist, journalist, Jewish leader and Nobel Prize winner.

“When I asked Wiesel how the struggle for Soviet Jewry is more important than the struggle for Holocaust awareness, he replied: ‘the Jews of Europe were exterminated physically by the Nazis; the Jews of the Soviet Union were being destroyed spiritually. The first we were unable to avoid, but we must prevent the second from succeeding,'” said Rappel.

Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, now in Romania. He was just 15 years old when the Nazis deported him and his family to Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister perished, yet his two older sisters survived. Elie and his father were later transported to the Buchenwald concentration camp, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945.

“Elie Wiesel, an Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was a source of inspiration for Jews around the world – and all free people. A philosopher, teacher, journalist and writer, he embodied the struggle against evil and for the right of Diaspora Jews to immigrate to Israel,” said Landver. “There is no one who will be better remembered as a fighter for humanity. Wiesel managed to break through the Iron Curtain and allow many Jews to return to the Jewish homeland.”

In 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter appointed Wiesel as chairman of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. In 1980, he became the founding chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Wiesel and his wife Marion established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice. He received 140 honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning all over the world.

Elie Wiesel died in New York in July.

The entire exhibition may be viewed or downloaded here.

Limmud FSU is a nonprofit founded 10 years ago by Chaim Chesler, former treasurer of the Jewish Agency, and Sandra Cahn, a philanthropist from New York. Since its inaugural conference in Moscow in 2006, Limmud FSU has created an independent educational and communal network of annual conferences and festivals, attracting more than 35,000 participants in Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Russian Far East and the Volga-Ural region), Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Israel, North America (Greater New York, the West Coast, and Canada), and Australia. Limmud FSU engages young Russian-Jewish adults, empowering them to take ownership of their identity and to connect with their communities through pluralistic, egalitarian volunteer-driven conferences of Jewish learning and culture. In this way, Limmud FSU strives to foster the next generation of young Russian-speaking Jewish leadership and so revitalize Jewish communities in the countries of the former Soviet Union, and in countries with Russian-Jewish communities, wherever they may be. Key partners include the Claims Conference, JDC, philanthropist Matthew Bronfman, Aaron Frenkel, Michal Grayevsky, Ronald Lauder, Diane Wohl, the Jewish National Fund (KKL), UJA-Federation of New York, Israel Bonds, the Jewish Agency, and others. For additional details: www.limmudfsu.org.
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American Indian Intertribal PowWow at Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, Oct 1-2

Kevin Locke performs Hoop Dance. Jamestown Settlement is hosting an American Indian Intertribal PowWow Oct. 1-2, 2016
Kevin Locke performs Hoop Dance. Jamestown Settlement is hosting an American Indian Intertribal PowWow Oct. 1-2, 2016

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.– Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia history and culture, will present an American Indian Intertribal Powwow on Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, featuring song and dance by members of American Indian tribes, storytelling and a film presentation.

An Evening Concert & Flute Workshops With Kevin Locke

A highlight of the weekend event will be a Saturday evening performance by folk artist Kevin Locke, a world-renowned Hoop Dancer, an indigenous Northern Plains flute player and storyteller. Locke, Native American Music Award winner for 2009 Record of the Year and National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, will perform traditional songs and original music from his 12 albums, most recently The First Flute, Open CircleKeepers of the Dream and Dream Catcher, combining songs on flute with American Indian stories touching on the Lakota culture and sign language. At the conclusion of the evening, accompanied by Powwow singers, Locke will perform a hoop dance, an athletic healing dance in which he uses 28 hoops to form various animals and shapes. Audience members will be selected to learn and take part in this traditional hoop dance. The evening concert begins at 6:30 p.m., and admission is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 6-12.

As a Lakota and Anishinabe, Locke works with young people on American Indian reservations to ensure the survival and growth of the indigenous culture and shares the culture’s legacies with others during his world travels.  Locke will offer flute workshops at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in which he will show children how to build and paint their own flute and teach them a song. Participants during the Saturday workshops will be invited to perform with Locke during the Saturday evening performance, and those participating in the Sunday workshops can take part in the Sunday daytime Powwow dancing event. Flute workshops require advance reservations and cost $40 per person on Saturday (includes museum admission to daytime event and evening concert) and $35 on Sunday (includes museum admission to daytime event). Each workshop, designed for ages 8 and older, is limited to 15 participants. 

American Indian Intertribal Powwow activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. include: 

Powwow Singing & Dancing

A Grand Entry with a parade of dancers will take place at 12:30 p.m. each day in a dance circle on the museum mall, followed by an afternoon of singing and dancing until 4:30 p.m.  Master of Ceremonies will be David White Buffalo, a member of the Sincagu band of the Lakota Nation, and Arena Director will be Clark Stewart of the Chickahominy Tribe. Among the featured singers will be Thunder Voices of the Lumbee, from Lumberton, N.C.; Zotigh Singers of the Kiowa, from Oklahoma; and The White Buffalo Singers of the Lakota, from Rosebud, S.D.

Film Presentation

Visitors can view the one-hour documentary film “Rising Voices” 10 a.m. and 12:30 and 3 p.m. each day to learn about the endangered indigenous language of the Lakota people at. The film is part of The Language Conservancy’s ongoing effort to preserve and revitalize languages in North America. Following the film, elders and first-language speakers from the Lakota in South Dakota and Crow in Montana will be on hand to discuss the film and facilitate children’s activities.  

Storytelling

Grace Ostrum of the Accohannock will present American Indian stories at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day.

Birds of Prey

A “Birds of Prey” program, featuring falcons and other raptors, will be presented on the museum mall by Eagle Pines Falconry at 11:45 a.m. each day of the event.

‘Bartering for a Continent’ Special Exhibition

Jamestown Settlement visitors also can enjoy the “Bartering for a Continent: How Anglo-Indian Trade Shaped America” special exhibition through December 10, exploring the importance of trade between American Indians and English colonists, from the founding of Jamestown through the American Revolution, and the role of Virginia in the development of a new world of exchange in goods and commodities across the North American continent.

Basket Workshops

Powhatan Indians in the 17th century made baskets of bark, grasses and vines to carry items harvested on land and from waterways. Visitors can pre-register for a two-hour workshop at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. October 1 and 2 to discover the process of making twined baskets and take it home. Workshops are $20 per person and limited to 15 participants.

Jamestown Settlement features an introductory film, expansive exhibition galleries that chronicle the nation’s 17th-century beginnings in Virginia in the context of its Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures, and historical interpretation at outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan village, the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607, and a colonial fort.

The Jamestown Settlement Special Exhibition, Bartering for a Continent: How Anglo-Indian Trade Shaped America, is on view June 4 – December 10, 2016.

The American Indian Intertribal Powwow daytime event is included with admission: $17.00 for adults, $8.00 for ages 6 through 12, and children under 6 are free. Separate admission is required for the Saturday evening concert with Kevin Locke and advance reservations required for flute and basket workshops. Tickets are available at https://jyfemail.jyf.virginia.gov/eStore/.

Jamestown Settlement, located at State Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway (2110 Jamestown Road), is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information about the American Indian Intertribal Powwow, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit http://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/powwow/

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New Sculpture Commemorates Tennessee’s Role in Ratifying Women’s Right to Vote

Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument (Dean Dixon photo; PRNewsFoto/Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monume)
Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument (Dean Dixon photo; PRNewsFoto/Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monume)

NASHVILLE, Tenn.– A monument celebrating Tennessee’s pivotal role in securing victory for woman suffrage was unveiled on Women’s Equality Day, Aug. 26, 2016, in Nashville’s Centennial Park.

Tennessee was the last state of the then 48 states that could possibly ratify the 19th Amendment which granted all American women the right to vote in 1920. Editorial cartoonists called the state “The Perfect 36” since three-quarters of the states were necessary for ratification.

This privately funded $900,000 monument is sculpted by renowned Nashville artist Alan LeQuire, who created the 19th Amendment bas relief sculpture that hangs inside the Tennessee State Capitol and Athena Parthenos inside The Parthenon at Centennial Park.

A photo hung at The Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville immortalizes the fact that the hotel was headquarters for both the Suffragettes and the anti-Suffragette movements lobbying the Tennessee Legislature, which ultimately became the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
A photo hung at The Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville immortalizes the fact that the hotel was headquarters for both the Suffragettes and the anti-Suffragette movements lobbying the Tennessee Legislature, which ultimately became the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

It features five women who were actually in Nashville during the final ratification effort – Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville; Frankie Pierce of Nashville; Sue Shelton White of Jackson; Abby Crawford Milton of Chattanooga; and Carrie Chapman Catt, the national suffrage leader who came to Nashville during the summer of 1920 to direct the pro-suffrage forces and stayed at the Hermitage Hotel.

“There is nothing outside the state capitol building that depicts this historic event. By having this monument in Centennial Park, which has a historic connection to the suffrage movement, it will be seen by thousands of visitors,” said Paula F. Casey of Memphis, who is Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument, Inc., board president.

Casey, who helped publish The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage(www.theperfect36.com), said the statewide volunteer board has worked for nearly six years to get the monument completed.

“We’ve overcome a lot of obstacles to make this happen. What we had to go through pales in comparison to the struggle the suffragists went through to win the right to vote for us,” she said. “This monument is for the ages. A hundred years from now, people will be reading about these remarkable women. Public art is forever.”

For more information, go to www.tnsuffragemonument.org. 

 

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The Nation Magazine Hosts Trip to Iran in December

The Nation Magazine’s December tour to Iran will be the second one this year.
The Nation Magazine’s December tour to Iran will be the second one this year.

The Nation Magazine is mounting a 10-night educational excursion to Iran, specially curated for a limited group of Nation readers and supporters. The trip will offer a rare opportunity to experience the people, politics, culture, and history of a country that has been at the very center of geopolitics for decades—yet that so few Americans have ever had an opportunity to visit.

The group of about 30 will fly together the evening of December 9 from New York City, and arrive at Tehran’s international airport late the following day. After settling into one of Tehran’s premier hotels, the first two days will be spent visiting the city’s preeminent museums, experiencing important historical and cultural sites, and savoring traditional Iranian food in the city’s finest restaurants and food markets.

Next, the group will fly to Shiraz, one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia, known as the “city of poets, literature, wine, and gardens.” The itinerary also visits the historic cities of Persepolis, Naqsh-e Rustam, Pasargadae, Nain, Isfahan, Kashan, and Qom. After returning to Tehran on December 17, there will be more touring of the capital city—including its famous Grand Bazaar—as well as opportunities to meet with academics and other prominent Iranians. The group returns to New York on December 20.

The trip is hosted in Iran by Charles Bittner, The Nation’s long-serving academic liaison. Bittner currently directs The Nation’s cultural- and educational-exchange program in Cuba and Iran, and also teaches in the sociology department at St. John’s University in New York City. Additionally, the group will accompanied throughout the tour by Afshin Kepasa, one of Iran’s most experienced tour guides, who has graduate degrees in modern languages and politics from the University of Tehran.

This will be The Nation’s second tour of Iran this year. Previous participants have found Iran to be a phenomenal place to visit, that its people are exceptionally hospitable and generous, and that the delegation was treated with the utmost respect and benevolence.

“Please note that the purpose of this trip is not at all political,” Bittner writes. “Rather, our objective is to experience firsthand the culture and history of this strategically important yet largely unfamiliar country.”

The all-inclusive cost of this tour is $7,265/$7,795 per person(double/single occupancy) and includes round-trip airfare from New York to Tehran; 10 nights at four-star hotels throughout Iran; a one-way flight from Tehran to Shiraz; all travel authorizations and Iranian visas; ground transportation; airport transfers; lectures; guided visits to Iran’s renowned museums and historical sites; most meals; and many other captivating activities and events.

Space is limited. For additional information or to register, contact Charles Bittner at charles@thenation.com. 

 

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Poseidon Expeditions Offers Incentives for Booking Suites for 2 Antarctica Cruises in December 2016

Poseidon Expeditions is offering booking incentives on two December sailings to Antarctica.
Poseidon Expeditions is offering booking incentives on two December sailings to Antarctica.

PROVIDENCE, RI– Antarctica’s ice-bound landscape is rife with activity in the ample sunlight of long austral summer days. Penguins, for example, are in a flurry of courting, nest building and egg incubation.

To witness this fascinating activity, Poseidon Expeditions, a leading provider of polar adventures in the expedition cruise industry, offers complimentary overnight camping to guests who book Deluxe, Premium and Owners suites on either of two late Fall departures. This means guests may literally awaken with the birds and watch their antics close at hand. This complimentary camping offer is a $250 per person value on top of the specially priced suites.

The balcony suites with bird’s eye view privileges also offer on new bookings only a 15 percent per person reduction off of regular rates on November 24-December 5, 2016 and December 4-16, 2016 departures of Classic Antarctic Peninsula voyages. After the discount, per person double rates start at $10,196 (Deluxe), $11,301 (Premium), and $13,936 (Owners). The suites feature private balconies and large, sliding glass doors out to the balcony. Sea Spirit’s suites are large by expedition ship standards and can easily accommodate a third person for $5,995 (on November 24) and $6,295 (on December 4). The rate includes:

One pre-voyage hotel night at the Arakur Hotel & Spa in Ushuaia;

Pre-cruise group transfers from the airport to the hotel in Ushuaia

Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation;

Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia;

Shipboard accommodations;

All scheduled landings/excursions;

Complimentary camping

Leadership throughout by experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team;

All meals on board throughout the voyage;

Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily;

Welcome and Farewell cocktails;

Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise;

Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka;

All port fees;

Pre-departure materials;

Digital Voyage Log.

Poseidon Expeditions’ 114-passenger, deluxe expedition M/V Sea Spirit, while small and nimble enough to visit a multitude of landing sites, embraces guests with space (all-suite accommodations range from 215 to 463 square feet), two multi-purpose lounges, a well-stocked library and a restaurant serving gourmet-quality meals. Ample deck space facilitates viewing passing icescapes and wildlife. The vessel has an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiacs and a set of retractable fin stabilizers for smoother sailing. Activities include Zodiac excursions, hiking, optional kayaking and camping, and informative presentations aboard. The ship’s expedition staff-to-passenger ratio of 1:9 is one of the best in the industry.

Typical cruises from Ushuaia, Argentina, to the Antarctic Peninsula are from 10 to 12 nights. This allows for a reasonable amount of time for daily landings, which are always subject to ice and weather conditions. Travelers often opt for extensions before or after the Antarctic cruise, or they choose a departure that includes other destinations. For example, many travelers want to include a few days in Buenos Aires where they connect with the local flights to Ushuaia, the country’s southernmost town and point of embarkation. In Ushuaia guests can visit Tierra del Fuego either pre- or post-cruise. Some itineraries include the Falkland Islands and South Georgia where they can visit the terrain made famous by explorer Ernest Shackleton, whose gravesite is in Grytviken. Guests on these itineraries can witness King Penguins, the second-largest penguin species, and nesting Wandering Albatross.

The complete 2017-18 Arctic and Antarctic schedules, rates and special offers can be found at https://poseidonexpeditions.com/. A new 80-page catalog detailing the company’s ships and activities is also available and can be requested online or through any of the Poseidon Expeditions offices.

For inquires and reservations in North America, or to request a catalog, contact the company’s Providence, RI, sales and reservation office at SalesUSA@poseidonexpeditions.com or by telephone at 347-801-2610.

Poseidon Expeditions, 2ith offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia and China, is a leading provider of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. In addition to the Sea Spirit, the company provides guests with the opportunity to travel to the geographic North Pole aboard the 50 Years of Victory, the largest and most modern nuclear-powered icebreaker in the world. Fourteen-day, top-of-the-world programs are scheduled for both the 2017 and 2018 summer seasons. The company is committed to safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. It is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). 

Follow Poseidon Expeditions on Social Media:
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/poseidonexpeditions
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/poseidonexp
YouTube:       https://www.youtube.com/user/pxpeditions
Instagram:     https://www.instagram.com/poseidonexpeditions/
Website          http://poseidonexpeditions.com/
 

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Guernsey International Food Festival Set for Sept 23-Oct 2 Celebrates Island’s Gastronomic Heritage

Guernsey_food_festival

Following the success of 2015’s inaugural Guernsey International Food Festival, the foodie’s paradise is back this September with more exciting culinary indulgences. This festival, taking place from Sept. 23 – Oct. 2, 2016, is a celebration of the island’s rich local produce and gastronomic heritage while paying homage to influences from the international stage.

Jean-Christophe Novelli is the celebrity ambassador, leading events across the island from farmers’ markets to cook-offs, culinary master classes, chef residencies and wine tastings. Two of Guernsey’s finest hotels, The Duke of Richmond Hotel and The Old Government House Hotel & Spa, Guernsey’s only five-star property, will be participating by showcasing the island’s bounty of gourmet food and varied hospitality.

Here are a few highlights of what visitors and guests can expect:

Curry Leaf Café Masterclass Lunch 

Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Venue: The Old Government House Hotel & Spa

Tickets: $53 including welcome drink and glass of wine with lunch

Head Chef Kanthi Kiran Thamma of Brighton’s Curry Leaf Café hosts a master class lunch in The Old Government House’s Curry Room featuring classic dishes from Kerala and Southern India. While preparing the dishes, Chef Kanthi will answer general questions about Indian cuisine and describe how to re-create similar entrées at home. A three-course lunch serves as the finale, complete with a carefully selected wine pairing.

British Game Gala Dinner featuring Ridgeview Wine Estate and Blackdown Artisan Spirits

Saturday, September  24 at 7:00 p.m.

Venue: The Old Government House Hotel & Spa

Tickets: $92 including dinner and matched wines

Channel Islands Chef of the Year 2016, Simon McKenzie of The Old Government House Hotel & Spa, prepares a gala dinner featuring the best of seasonal game meats. Each dish is perfectly paired with an award-winning sparkling English wine from the Ridgeview Estate, craft spirits from Blackdown Artisan Spirits (both hailing from Sussex), and fine wine from local wine merchant Bucktrouts.

Food Lab Dinner

Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Venue: The Duke of Richmond Hotel

Tickets: $53 for five courses ($79 including matched wines)

Five producers, five chefs, five dishes. The festival’s most creative dining experience, randomly matching kitchen and production talent for a never-to-be-repeated gourmet meal at The Duke of Richmond.

International Chef Exchange: St. Lucia comes to Guernsey

Thursday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m.

Venue: The Old Government House Hotel & Spa

Tickets: $73 for three courses including matched wines in advance from The Old Government House Hotel

The Cliff at Cap Restaurant is one of the most highly sought-after restaurants in St. Lucia, recently hailed by the New York Times as one of the best restaurants on the island. In one of the Caribbean’s most dramatic settings overlooking the surging Caribbean Sea, the restaurant is under the direction of Executive Chef Craig Jones. His nouveau French West Indian menu elegantly presents the bounty of St. Lucia’s fresh local produce and seafood readily sourced on this tropical island. Chef Craig takes over the kitchens of Chef Simon at The Old Government House Hotel for one night only, treating guests to a mouth-watering three-course dinner with accompanying wine, including some of his Caribbean favorites such as poached lobster ravioli, pan-fried kobe with caramelized plantain and an island-spiced doughnut.

This Chef Exchange is part of a reciprocal agreement where UK chefs swapping kitchens with international chefs across the globe. Old Government House’s Chef Simon will be flying over to St. Lucia for a Taste of Guernsey weekend, taking place on the Caribbean Island in February 2017.

The Guernsey International Food Festival is preceded by Guernsey Cocktail Week from September 16 – 24, 2016. Various venues across the island, including The Old Government House Hotel and The Duke of Richmond, will produce special signature cocktails based entirely on local produce.

The Old Government House Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of St. Peter Port and offers the finest in five-star luxury. Five minutes’ walk from the picturesque quayside, this hotel is perfectly placed to explore the island and provides guests with a ‘home away from home’ boasting fine dining facilities, the stylish Crown Club , an outdoor heated swimming pool and luxurious Spa and fitness center.

Just up the road is The Duke of Richmond Hotel which offers unparalleled service in peaceful surroundings. Overlooking a quiet park, this elegant property is home to the relaxing Leopard Bar and Restaurant where guests can sit back and enjoy a range of cocktails and expertly prepared dishes, a chic monochrome Residents’ Lounge and an outdoor heated swimming pool complete with sun loungers perfect for glorious Guernsey summer days.

Room rates at The Old Government House Hotel & Spa during the festival start at $260 per room, per night, including full English breakfast, based on two people sharing. Room rates at The Duke of Richmond Hotel during the festival start at $199 per room, per night, including full English breakfast, based on two people sharing.

For details and reservations, contact:

The Old Government House Hotel & Spa at +44 1481 724921 or email reservations@theoghhotel.com.  Visit online at www.theoghhotel.com.

The Duke of Richmond Hotel at +44 1481 726221 or email reservations@dukeofrichmond.com.  Visit online at dukeofrichmond.com.

 

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Pure Adventures Brings Self-Guided Bike Vacations To New World Province of Quebec

Pure Adventures has introduces self-guided bike vacations in Quebec, Canada
Pure Adventures has introduces self-guided bike vacations in Quebec, Canada

SCOTTSDALE, AZ–Pure Adventures announces that its self-guided bike vacations are now being offered in the Province of Quebec. Plus with a favorable exchange rate, a vacation in Canada is more affordable than ever for Americans.

While in the early 1600s the French created the fur trade on Canada’s east coast, subsequent decades of war brought the Brits to power. But Francophiles today appreciate that the Province of Quebec retains a French imprimatur as regards language, food and hospitality. Plus the province offers one of the best organized networks of bicycle pathways and trails anywhere in North America.

Pure Adventures (http://pure-adventures.com/) has a special affinity for all things French and for bicycles. In fact the company pioneered self-guided bicycle tours in France before expanding across the globe. Now an itinerary on this side of the Pond recognizes this province’s privileged French heritage as it allows guests to embrace the hospitality of Quebec at a personal pace, on two wheels.

“The good news for Americans is that the exchange rate for US dollars over Canadian dollars makes it more inexpensive than ever to visit our neighbors across the border,” said Loren Siekman, founder and director of Pure Adventures. “This spring and summer the predicted exchange rate should hover at around $1 US dollar to $1.3 Canadian.”

Explored over seven leisurely days and six nights is a swath of countryside called Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean. This region is accessed by riding east out of Montreal to Quebec City along the St. Lawrence River and then north to Lac St-Jean, Quebec’s third largest lake that creates the Saquenay Fjord, one of the world’s longest, that eventually flows into what becomes the Gulf of St Lawrence.

The rides average 50km daily through this historic playground that includes world-class bike trails that are among Quebec’s most popular cycling routes: Route Verte (Green Route) is a network of dedicated bicycle trails on both sides of the Saint Lawrence River leading to Quebec, and the Véloroute des Bleuets (Blueberry) is another dedicated cycling route around Lac Saint-Jean. Guests also cycle along Chemin du Roy (King’s Highway) enroute to Old Quebec City. (Pure Adventures suggests that guests arrive in Montreal a day before the tour begins so they can walk the cobblestones of Old Montreal.)

The well organized and marked network of 350 km of bike trails allows cyclists to admire the beauty of countless beaches, lakes, rivers and traditional Quebecois villages as they ride. Stops along the way are a must for tastings at microbreweries (Microbrasserie du Lac, La Chouape, Le Coureur des Bois), for samples at cheese-makers (fromagerie Perron and fromagerie Médard) and for smatterings of culture at historic sites. This self-guided tour is a road cycling trip that can also be accomplished by hybrid bike; the entire ride is on paved roads.

Guests enjoy a variety of accommodations ranging from white-washed cottages reminiscent of Brittany or Normandy to dwellings that might once have housed aristocrats. Sometimes guest rooms enjoy views of the lake and at one lodging breakfast is taken in an art gallery. All accommodations have been curated to provide comfort and off-bike access to shops and restaurants along the bicycle route.

This tour can be arranged for a minimum of two people from now through Oct. 15, 2016. The per person rate, double, is from US$1040 for seven days and six nights of immersion in French culture a la historic villages where the French language is pervasive. For more information please see http://pure-adventures.com/show-tour/181/Canada+Quebec+Bike+Tour

The trip rate includes personal orientations to review the route book and trip details; six nights lodging with breakfasts; luggage transfers; detailed road book with maps, cue sheets and suggestions for visitation and site information as well as restaurant suggestions; pre-travel documentation and information; pre and post travel assistance and travel planning; vehicle transfers to Saguenay and return to Quebec; emergency telephone support to local support staff during daytime office hours; Canadian taxes; bike rental with associated gear (hybrid bikes are included and there’s an option to change to cross/road bikes at no added cost). Custom tours for groups can also be arranged.

For more information on all of Pure Adventures guided, self-guided and supported, self-directed tours, call: 800-960-2221 or 480-905-1235, Email: info@pure-adventures.com, or visit online: http://pure-adventures.com.

Pure Adventures was created to meet North America’s growing demand for high-quality, self-guided cycling tours. Pure Adventures leverages and utilizes local expertise for route development, sites to see, people to meet, where to eat, and shop and experience life as a local would. Pure Adventures award-winning tours are competitively priced and meticulously planned with substantial behind-the-scene support creating a unique combination that makes a bicycle adventure more easily accessible to today’s active traveler.

This company pioneered self-guided tours in Europe in 1994. Tours span Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland. Twenty programs are available in the American West. Pure Adventures was recently recognized with a Best of Travel 2015 award by OUTSIDE Magazine for their California tours that elevated that state to the top destination in the category of Best Road Biking.

 

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New UNESCO World Heritage Sites Designated for Germany

Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
Museum, Stuttgart, Germany

On July 17, 2016, the two Le Corbusier houses at the Weissenhof Estate in the Southern German city of Stuttgart were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it the first World Heritage Site for Stuttgart and the 41st for Germany.

As part of a transnational joint application, Stuttgart and destinations in seven other countries applied to have 17 of Le Corbusier’s buildings listed due to the architect’s outstanding contribution to Modernism. The two Stuttgart houses are the architect’s only buildings in Germany and include the Weissenhof Museum, which illustrates the radical change in architecture around the time of the Second World War as well as Le Corbusier’s visionary thinking.

Germany’s other 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the majestic Cologne Cathedral, the expansive Wadden Sea habitat, Classical Weimar and Regensburg’s charming Old Town. They can be explored on eight different themed routes, from natural wonders to architecture to palaces and parks.

For more information about Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, visit www.germany.travel/unesco.
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New ‘Quills and Magic Wands’ Walking Tour for Families Brings Edinburgh’s Literary Legacy to Life

Context Travel, organizer of critically acclaimed walking tours, unveils its new Quills and Magic Wands: Literary Edinburgh for Families tour.

The child-oriented introduction to the literary heritage of the city is led by historian and literary historians specially-trained in working with children. Following a thematic and chronological trail through the city, participants go through a journey that goes from Walter Scott to J.K. Rowling, using age-appropriate, interactive activities to encourage deep engagement with the literary works. Children on the walk are encouraged to read and compose literary works, explore language and delve into carefully selected poems and other texts.

“We are very excited to add this experience to our Edinburgh program,” says Petulia Melideo, Context’s UK and Ireland Program Manager. “Edinburgh is the first UNESCO city of Literature and a great city to visit with children. Our hope is that our young writers will come away with a new love for literature and poetry after having engaged with our experts and having had a go at writing in such an inspiring context.”

The Quills and Magic Wands: Literary Edinburgh for Families tour lasts two hours and is available Mondays through Saturdays. Private tours cost GBP 300 per party. Groups are limited to (6) six participants and are led by a credentialed expert.

Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead walking seminars in  thirty-seven (37) world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Milan, Paris, London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Cartagena, Istanbul, Athens, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Amsterdam, Milan, Dublin, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Montreal, Melbourne, and Sydney. A certified B Corporation, Context Travel was named one of the fastest-growing American companies in 2011 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit the website at: www.contexttravel.com.

 

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