Dam Breaks Open


Momentous:' US advances largest dam demolition in history


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. regulators approved a plan Thursday to demolish four dams on a California river and open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat that would be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the world when it goes forward.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's unanimous vote on the lower Klamath River dams is the last major regulatory hurdle and the biggest milestone for a $500 million demolition proposal championed by Native American tribes and environmentalists for years. The project would return the lower half of California’s second-largest river to a free-flowing state for the first time in more than a century.

Native tribes that rely on the Klamath River and its salmon for their way of life have been a driving force behind bringing the dams down in a wild and remote area that spans the California and Oregon border. Barring any unforeseen complications, Oregon, California and the entity formed to oversee the project will accept the license transfer and could begin dam removal as early as this summer, proponents said.

“The Klamath salmon are coming home,” Yurok Chairman Joseph James said after the vote. “The people have earned this victory and with it, we carry on our sacred duty to the fish that have sustained our people since the beginning of time.”

The dams produce less than 2% of PacifiCorp’s power generation — enough to power about 70,000 homes — when they are running at full capacity, said Bob Gravely, spokesperson for the utility. But they often run at a far lower capacity because of low water in the river and other issues, and the agreement that paved the way for Thursday’s vote was ultimately a business decision, he said.

PacifiCorp would have had to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in fish ladders, fish screens and other conservation upgrades under environmental regulations that were not in place when the aging dams were first built. But with the deal approved Thursday, the utility’s cost is capped at $200 million, with another $250 million from a California voter-approved water bond.

“We’re closing coal plants and building wind farms and it all just has to add up in the end. It’s not a one-to-one,” he said of the coming dam demolition. “You can make up that power by the way you operate the rest of your facilities or having energy efficiency savings so your customers are using less.”

Approval of the order to surrender the dams’ operating license is the bedrock of the most ambitious salmon restoration plan in history and the project's scope — measured by the number of dams and the amount of river habitat that would reopen to salmon — makes it the largest of its kind in the world, said Amy Souers Kober, spokesperson for American Rivers, which monitors dam removals and advocates for river restoration.

More than 300 miles (483 kilometers) of salmon habitat in the Klamath River and its tributaries would benefit, she said.

The decision is in line with a trend toward removing aging and outdated dams across the U.S. as they come up for license renewal and confront the same government-mandated upgrade costs as the Klamath River dams would have had.

Across the U.S., 1,951 dams have been demolished as of February, including 57 in 2021, American Rivers said. Most of those have come down in the past 25 years as facilities age and come up for relicensing.

Commissioners on Thursday called the decision “momentous” and “historic” and spoke of the importance of taking the action during National Native American Heritage Month because of its importance to restoring salmon and reviving the river that is at the heart of the culture of several tribes in the region.

“Some people might ask in this time of great need for zero emissions, ‘Why are we removing the dams?’ First, we have to understand this doesn’t happen every day … a lot of these projects were licensed a number of years back when there wasn’t as much focus on environmental issues,” said FERC Chairman Richard Glick. “Some of these projects have a significant impact on the environment and a significant impact on fish."

Glick added that, in the past, the commission did not consider the effect of energy projects on tribes but said that was a “very important element” of Thursday's decision.

Members of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley tribes and other supporters lit a bonfire and watched the vote on a remote Klamath River sandbar via a satellite uplink to symbolize their hopes for the river’s renewal.

“I understand that some of those tribes are watching this meeting today on the (river) bar and I raise a toast to you,” Commissioner Willie Phillips said.

The vote comes at a critical moment when human-caused climate change is hammering the Western United States with prolonged drought, said Tom Kiernan, president of American Rivers. He said allowing California’s second-largest river to flow naturally, and its flood plains and wetlands to function normally, would mitigate those impacts.

“The best way of managing increasing floods and droughts is to allow the river system to be healthy and do its thing,” he said.

The Klamath Basin watershed covers more than 14,500 square miles (37,500 square kilometers) and the Klamath itself was once the third-largest salmon producing river on the West Coast. But the dams, constructed between 1918 and 1962, essentially cut the river in half and prevent salmon from reaching spawning grounds upstream. Consequently, salmon runs have been dwindling for years.

The smallest dam, Copco 2, could come down as early as this summer. The remaining dams — one in southern Oregon and two in California — will be drained down very slowly starting in early 2024 with the goal of returning the river to its natural state by the end of that year.

Plans to remove the dams have not been without controversy.

Homeowners on Copco Lake, a large reservoir, vigorously oppose the demolition plan and rate payers in the rural counties around the dams worry about taxpayers shouldering the cost of any overruns or liability problems. Critics also believe dam removal won't be enough to save the salmon because of changing ocean conditions the fish encounter before the return to their natal river.

“The whole question is, will this add to the increased production of salmon? It has everything to do with what’s going on in the ocean (and) we think this will turn out to be a futile effort,” said Richard Marshall, head of the Siskiyou County Water Users Association. “Nobody’s ever tried to take care of the problem by taking care of the existing situation without just removing the dams.”

U.S. regulators raised flags about the potential for cost overruns and liability issues in 2020, nearly killing the proposal, but Oregon, California and PacifiCorp, which operates the hydroelectric dams and is owned by billionaire Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway, teamed up to add another $50 million in contingency funds.

PacifiCorp will continue to operate the dams until the demolition begins.

The largest U.S. dam demolition to date is the removal of two dams on the Elwha River on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in 2012.




Rahmo Sasson and Isaac Alfred Ailion@Kobe


Exploring Japan’s Jewish history

Finding threads of Jewish history can sometimes feel like a treasure hunt. Wars, natural disasters and fading memories can destroy physical records and the ability to reconstruct history. However, the dedication of a few willing to preserve the past can make it possible to piece together a handful of history chapters.

On a recent trip to Kobe, Japan, my husband and I were fortunate to accompany Prof. Takayoshi Iwata as he pointed out bits and pieces of Jewish history. Iwata, a retired school principal, was the former director of the Kazamidori House, a popular tourist spot. He simultaneously taught college-level classes focusing on Kobe’s history. A visit to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles ignited his interest in the Holocaust, and thereafter, he researched the Jews of Kobe. Acknowledged as an expert, he authored Japanese books about the Jews who lived in Kobe as well as the history of Kobe.

In pre-Second World War Europe, Jews who heeded the warnings searched for avenues of escape. A few thousand were able to connect with Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania. He issued transit visas to Polish Jews who sought his assistance. Many of these refugees, along with other Jews, sailed in boats headed to Tsuruga, Japan.

After arriving in Japan, an unknown number were transported by train to Kobe and Yokohama. In Kobe, the small Jewish community welcomed these immigrants who had limited resources and few offers for safe havens. The Jews who made up the existing Jewish community had found their way to Kobe after the major Japanese ports were open to foreign traders in the mid-19th century.

Iwata’s research has revealed that Kobe’s German population in the 1930s and 1940s was small, and there was no evidence of anti-Semitism in the town. The local authorities allowed the Jewish refugees to remain in Kobe under special conditions even though their short-term visas had expired and they were legally subject to deportation.

By taxi, we accompanied Iwata up the hilly roads of Kobe. He wanted to show us some locations where the pre-war Jews resided in cramped quarters. While the living conditions were far from ideal, these Jews were far better off than their relatives and friends who were left behind in Europe.

Our first stop was in a remote area of Kobe called Umadome. Standing outside a western-style brown and white multi-story home set upon a rocky platform, Iwata mentioned that recent research indicates that 39 refugees had resided in the house.

We hopped back into the taxi and headed up a narrow, steep hill to an area called Kitano-cho. As we walked through this quiet residential neighbourhood, Iwata shared snippets from oral testimonies about the people who sought refuge here. He pointed out the former residences of Rahmo Sasson and Isaac Alfred Ailion. Far removed from their home countries, European Jewish refugees had no idea what was happening during the Nazi reign.

Iwata treated us to a panoramic view of the city at the Shinto shrine Tenman Zinzya. We accessed this vantage point by climbing up stone steps with high risers.

During the Second World War, the Jewish community’s centre was located near another shrine, the Ichinomiya Shinto Shrine. During the bombings, just about everything was destroyed except for a few shrines. We could only imagine the place where thousands of Jewish refugees were supported by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). As I have seen in other locations, the JDC provided food, shelter and resources for war refugees. We stood next to a dull, worn-out sign stating, “Center Jewish Community of Kansai.” Iwata referred to this site as JEWCOM.

On April 20, 2020, a commemorative signboard will be installed on the site of JEWCOM. The city of Kobe will be covering part of the cost. Iwata has been asked to write the wording for this signboard. Honoured guests at the celebration ceremony will include Kobe’s mayor, a representative of the Foreign Ministry, a diplomat from the Polish Embassy and a survivor saved by Sugihara.

At the nearby shrine, we met with the Shinto priest Oomi Yamamoir. He was born in 1937 and raised at the small Ichinomiya Shinto Shrine, which dates back to approximately 300 CE. He studied the history of Jews before the Second World War and started collecting photos of the Jewish community, including a few provided by the Hyogo Prefectural Museum. Yamamoir shared a notebook filled with black and white images depicting Jewish life in the 1940s.

As the war progressed, the safety of the Jews was not guaranteed in Kobe. The Jews who were unable to obtain visas for another country were deported to Japanese occupied Shanghai, where they remained far removed from the Holocaust.

Two tangible aspects of Jewish life remain visible in Kobe today. The Ohel Shelomo Synagogue currently serves the small Jewish community. Even though we had an appointment with, American born, Rabbi Shmuel Vishedsky, he was unfortunately detained due to a congregant’s emergency. He relocated to Kobe six years ago because the congregation needed a leader. It was a good fit because his brother-in-law, Rabbi Mendi Sudakevich is the Chabad director in Tokyo.

Without a guided tour, we merely strolled around inside. I eventually connected with Rabbi Vishedsky by e-mail. He encourages visitors to consider attending services and to join with the local community at synagogue meals. However, it is always recommended to contact international synagogues before arrival.

In order to reach the Foreigners’ Cemetery before it closed, it was not possible to wait for the rabbi. Iwata had arranged special access with the city to enter, so we could not be late. The taxi wound its way through forested terrain filled with switchbacks and deep ravines. It was a bit odd to drive through a nature preserve to reach the Shiogahara Foreign Cemetery which is the final resting place for approximately 2,100 people, including 127 Jewish graves. Records indicate that the first Jew, Alfred Singleton, was buried there on Oct. 27, 1869.

Drops of rain started splashing on the ground as we entered a metal gate decorated with Magen Davids. The rolling landscape was conducive to a tiered burial arrangement. Older gravestones tended to be engraved in Hebrew, while the more recent graves were in English or a combination of English and Hebrew. Adjacent plots of land partitioned by fences contained Muslim and Christian gravestones.

Like many good mysteries, we returned to our cruise ship with more questions than answers. If we could read Japanese, the missing facts might fall into place after reading the two books that Iwata handed to us at the port. Perhaps, one day, more points will be revealed to an English-speaking audience.



The Vaccines and Mumford and Sons

 Sir Paul Roderick Clucas Marshall (born 2 August 1959) is a British investor.

According to The Sunday Times Rich List in 2020, Marshall is worth £630 million.[2]

Paul Roderick Clucas Marshall was born on 2 August 1959 in Ealing, London, England, the son of Alan Marshall, managing director, Philippine Refining Company (later Unilever Philippines), and Mary Sylvia Clucas, daughter of Dr T. S. Hanlin.[3][4] His sister is the journalist Penny Marshall.[5]

When his parents moved to the Philippines and then South Africa for his father’s job with Unilever, Marshall boarded at Merchant Taylors' School, in England. He boarded in the Manor of the Rose while at the school. [6]

From there he went to St John's College, Oxford, to read History and Modern Languages, and subsequently took an MBA from the INSEAD (Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires) business school in Fontainebleau, France.[7]

He is the co-founder and chairman of Marshall Wace LLP, one of Europe's largest hedge fund groups.[8] Marshall Wace[9] was founded in 1997 by Marshall and Ian Wace.[10] At the time, Marshall Wace was one of the first hedge funds in London.[6] The company started with $50 million, half of which was from George Soros.[6]

Funds managed by Marshall Wace have won multiple investment awards[11] and the company has become one of the world's leading managers of equity long/short strategies. Marshall Wace manages $50 billion and has recently[when?] opened an office in China.[12] Prior to founding Marshall Wace, Marshall worked for Mercury Asset Management, the fund management arm of S. G. Warburg & Co.

He is a member of the Hedge Fund Standards Board

Marshall had a longstanding involvement with Britain's Liberal Democrats party.[13] He was research assistant to Charles Kennedy, MP, former leader of the Liberal Democrats in 1985 and stood for Parliament for the SDP/Liberal Alliance in Fulham in 1987. He has made appearances on current affairs programmes such as BBC Radio 4's Any Questions.[14][15]

In 2004, Marshall co-edited The Orange Book with David Laws MP. Chapters were written by various upcoming Liberal Democrat politicians including Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, Vince Cable MP, Ed Davey MP and Susan Kramer (Neither Clegg, Huhne nor Kramer were MPs at the time.) Laws, describing the pair's ambition in publishing The Orange Book, wrote "We were proud of the liberal philosophical heritage of our party. But we both felt that this philosophical grounding was in danger of being neglected in favour of no more than ‘a philosophy of good intentions, bobbing about unanchored in the muddled middle of British politics’"[16] The book attracted initial controversy when launched[17][18] but both it and the term 'Orange Bookers' to describe those sympathetic to its outlook continue to be frequently referenced to describe a strand of thought within the Liberal Democrats.[19][20]

Between 2002 and 2015, Marshall donated £200,000 to the Liberal Democrats.[6] Marshall left the party in 2015 over its policies on the EU and its support of continuing British membership.[6]

In July 2016, Marshall donated £3,250 to Michael Gove's Conservative leadership campaign.[21]

In 2017, Marshall gave funding to a new political news website called UnHerd.[6]

In 2020/1 Marshall invested, in a personal capacity, £10 million into the political news and opinion channel GB News.[22][23]

Marshall was a public supporter of Brexit during the European Union membership referendum in 2016.[24] He gave a donation of £100,000 to the Leave campaign.[6]

Writing for Brexit Central in April 2017 on the UK exiting the European Union, Marshall wrote: "This is a huge opportunity for the UK. Our ambition is that the UK should be a champion of free trade, open and outward looking to the world and built on strong institutions."[25]

In an interview with the Financial Times in 2017, Marshall said: "Most people in Britain do not want to become part of a very large country called Europe. They want to be part of a country called Britain." 

He is married to Sabina. His wife is French and owns an antique shop on the King’s Road in Chelsea.[6] Marshall is father of former Mumford & Sons band member Winston Marshall and musician Giovanna Marshall.[39]


Jesuit's Bark

Jesuit's Bark, also known as cinchona bark,[1] as Peruvian Bark, and as China Bark, is a former name of the most celebrated specific remedy for all forms of malaria, as it contains quinine. It is so named because it was obtained from the bark of several species of the genus Cinchona, of the family Rubiaceae, that have been discovered at different times and are indigenous in the Western Andes of South America and were first described and introduced by Jesuit priests who did missionary work in Peru. Other terms referring to this preparation and its source were "Jesuit's Tree", "Jesuit's Powder" and "Pulvis Patrum". 



A corona (meaning 'crown' in Latin derived from Ancient Greek 'κορώνη' (korōnè, “garland, wreath”)) is an aura of plasma that surrounds the Sun and other stars. The Sun's corona extends millions of kilometres into outer space and is most easily seen during a total solar eclipse, but it is also observable with a coronagraph


ISIS@Fishmongers' Hall

Inside Fishmongers' Hall where London Bridge attacker ...
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London Bridge attack victim named as Jack Merritt - BBC News
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Inside Fishmongers' Hall where terrorist Usman Khan began ...
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2 days ago - The historic Fishmongers' Hall building in London Bridge was filled with ... Inside Fishmongers' Hall where terrorist Usman Khan began London Bridge attack .... Academics at the University of Cambridge were hosting the day, ...