DEFENDING CHAMP BELVOIR BAY & STABLEMATE PAINTING CORNERS LOOM LARGE IN SUNDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 MONROVIA STAKES

first_imgDEFENDING CHAMP BELVOIR BAY & STABLEMATE PAINTING CORNERS LOOM LARGE IN SUNDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 MONROVIA STAKES AT FIVE FURLONGS ON TURF D’AMATO’S S Y SKY, FRESH OFF FIVE FURLONG SCORE AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS, HAS BIG LOOK ARCADIA, Calif. (May 23, 2019)–English-bred Belvoir Bay and stablemate Painting Corners both figure prominently in one of the Memorial Day Weekend’s best betting races, Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes, at five furlongs over the Santa Anita turf. The Monrovia, carded as the seventh race on a nine-race program, has attracted a deep and competitive field of 10 fillies and mares three and up, with one horse on the also eligible list.Trainer Phil D’Amato’s California-bred S Y Sky, a Nick Alexander homebred, also rates a big look in the large field, as she comes off what might have been her biggest win in the five furlong turf Camilla Urso Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.BELVOIR BAYOwner:  Gary BarberTrainer:  Peter MillerSheer class at age six, Belvoir Bay is the defending champion in the Monrovia and is by far the leading money earner in the field with $1,085,787.  Most recently second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in a $2 million Group I sprint going six furlongs on turf in Dubai March 30, she was an emphatic 4 ¾ length winner of the ungraded Wishing Well Stakes going five furlongs on turf two starts back here on Feb. 16 and is 7-3-3-0 at five eighths of mile on grass. With an overall mark of 25-11-5-2 and Flavien Prat back aboard, Belvoir Bay rates top billing.PAINTING CORNERSOwner:  Altimira Racing Stable & Slam Dunk RacingTrainer:  Peter MillerMost recently a front-running 1 ½ length winner of the ungraded Mizdirection Stakes going five furlongs on turf April 13, this 5-year-old Florida-bred mare by the Smart Strike stallion Pleasant Strike, has three wins from seven tries at five furlongs on grass as she seeks her first graded stakes victory with leading man Joe Talamo back aboard. Based at San Luis Rey Downs with her far more accomplished stablemate, Painting Corners, who has an overall mark of 18-6-2-4, figures to blast off and hope to hold off all comers on Sunday.S Y SKYOwner:  Nick AlexanderTrainer:  Phil D’AmatoThe lone California-bred in the lineup, this 5-year-old Grazen mare was brilliant in her five furlong turf debut on April 27 at Golden Gate as she rallied to take the Camilla Urso by 3 ½ lengths at odds of 3-5. Sidelined due to a tendon issue mid-way through her 2-year-old campaign, S Y Sky, who is out of Alexander’s Sky Mesa mare Sky Marni, has a remarkable overall mark of 12-6-5-1 and earnings of $542,320. She’s no doubt stepping way up in class in what will be her first graded stakes assignment and with Prat sticking with Belvoir Bay, S Y Sky will be ridden for the first time by Drayden Van Dyke.THE GRADE II MONROVIA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 9  Approximate post time 4 p.m. PTPoster Girl–Evin Roman–121S Y Sky–Drayden Van Dyke–121Rocky Policy–Ruben Fuentes–121Painting Corners–Joe Talamo–121Ginger Nut–Rafael Bejarano–121A Little Bit Me–Geovanni Franco–121Flammetta–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–121Belvoir Bay–Flavien Prat–121Gliding By–Mario Gutierrez–121Lady Suebee–Victor Espinoza–121ALSO ELIGIBLESpectator–Martin Garcia–121First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday, that will also include the Grade II Summertime Oaks, is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more

‘Tigers’ on prowl for parking violators

first_imgThe city’s second “gridlock tiger team” was unleashed in the San Fernando Valley on Monday morning, ticketing and towing vehicles along an 8 1/2-mile stretch of Ventura Boulevard. Tiger Team II, composed of five Department of Transportation traffic control officers and three tow trucks, will prowl Ventura from the San Diego Freeway to Topanga Canyon Boulevard to enforce existing parking laws and keep traffic moving during early morning rush hour. “Every morning, commuters deal with the frustration of bottlenecked and gridlocked traffic,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “With this team in action, the commute along Ventura Boulevard will be a little easier for Valley residents.” In July, the City Council approved heftier fines for motorists who park in 23 so-called “anti-gridlock zones” during rush hour. The fine for parking in a red zone typically is $65, but the ordinance hiked the fine to $140 for motorists who illegally park in red zones during peak commuting times. A second offense costs violators $290. Jenny Dalir, who works at an investment firm in Tarzana, thinks rush-hour ticketing and towing might help alleviate drivers’ frustration on the busy boulevard. “That would be great because I think lots of people don’t like (that people park illegally),” Dalir said. Villaraigosa unleashed the first tiger team along a 14-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard in June, resulting in tickets for more than 17,000 drivers and about 5,100 towed vehicles, according to the Mayor’s Office. Not everybody is thrilled with the news, though. McKenzie Volpone admitted she has occasionally parked illegally in the early morning – but for good reason. “From 6 to 7, traffic hasn’t really started yet,” Volpone said. “Starbucks is just opening. You need that fix of coffee.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Forest Ministers Meet To Go Over Wildfire Strategy

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Canada’s forest ministers wrapped up two days of meetings in the Yukon this week, calling for more work on wildfire management.The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers has released a document including a ten year review of Canada’s wildland fire strategy.BC’s Forests Minister, Steve Thomson says, in the wake of what has occurred this spring in Fort McMurray, it’s become apparent a cohesive, national strategy is needed to prepare governments and communities for the risk of major wildfires.- Advertisement -The ministers also received an update on the talks with the Americans aimed at renewing or replacing the now expired Softwood Lumber Agreement.Earlier this year, the two sides agreed to work toward a new deal in a 100 day negotiating period, but it will end later this month, and so far there’s nothing to suggest a successful conclusion to the talks is near at hand.Again we note the 2006 agreement, which ended five years of court battles and returned four billion dollars in duties collected by the Americans on Canadian producers expired October 12th of last year.Advertisement However, it includes a standstill clause preventing the US from launching new trade action against Canadian producers for one year after the expiration date.Still the US Lumber Coalition, which represents American producers, has suggested in the absence of a new agreement the US could, “Eventually have no choice but to use our rights under US trade laws, to offset the unfair advantages provided to Canadian industry.”American industry groups have long claimed Canada subsidizes its lumber production and the 2006 agreement was reached to regulate Canadian softwood exports to the US the value of which, although down substantially from where it was that year, was still three billion dollars as late as 2014.last_img read more

Classic Transfer: Chelsea sign ex-Barcelona and Bayern striker from Man United

first_imgBack in 1995, Chelsea Football Club were not a member of the European elite.In fact, the west Londoners were an average Premier League side and the Stamford Bridge faithful could only dream of challenging the best.An 11th place finish in the 1994/95 season saw the Blues’ hierarchy decide that Glenn Hoddle’s squad was in need of fresh impetus.Adding experienced players to their squad, it was hoped, would lead to silverware, and Mark Hughes fitted the bill.The 32-year-old striker had won a host of trophies during his second stint at Manchester United, while his spells with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the 1980s were testament to his proven quality at the top level.After leaving Old Trafford for London for a £1 million fee, ‘Sparky’ found the net on eight occasions during his debut season in blue, but the club could only repeat their 11th place finish in England’s top flight.But times were changing at the Bridge, and Hughes had found himself lining up alonside Ruud Gullit, who had been one of the best players in world football over the previous decade.When Hoddle left to take the England job in the summer of 1996, Gullit was installed as player-manager, and used his influence across the continent to bring in several big names.Hughes worked brilliantly alongside Italian maestro Gianfranco Zola, and former Juventus captain Gianluca Vialli (fresh from lifting the Champions League trophy), as the club secured their first major silverware in 16 years, winning the FA Cup at the expense of Middlesbrough.More silverware was collected next season in the form of the League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup, with Hughes playing a key role in both successes.But the Welshman was by then entering the twilight of his playing days, and joined Southampton for £650,000 in 1998 after 95 appearances and 25 goals in the Premier League for Chelsea. 2 Classic Transfer: Chelsea sign Wales striker Mark Hughes from Manchester United in June 1995 center_img 2last_img read more

DONEGAL COMPUTER EXPERT WARNS GOVERNMENT ABOUT DANGERS OF SCHOOL COMPUTERS

first_imgA Donegal computer store owner has demanded the Government must look at the impact which iPads and tablet computers are having on Irish schoolchildren.Secondary schools across the country are already using tablet devices in the classroom instead of textbooks with many more schools installing them for the new school year in September.Mark Bundschu, a parent and technology expert, has challenged the Departments of Health and Education, and Boards of Management to recognize the potential risks to our children and the need for an open debate on the issue. Mark Bundschu, a father of five and owner of Click.ie Computer Store in Letterkenny, said the effects of the new iPad generation must be investigated in schools.“Has anyone considered the effect on the eyes of children of this amount of computer use? They will be sitting in front of a computer screen for up to 6 hours during school, another 2-3 hours doing their homework and, many of them will then watch television, catch up on social media, or play a computer game’.A website has been set up as a forum to debate the issue and garner opinions via a survey.The website www.ipadoreyesore.com has been set up by parents in the hope of getting the Departments of Education and Health to carry out a thorough assessment on the possible health risks, before any more schools go ahead and introduce the measure and school books are gone forever. Martin O’Brien, Past President of the Association of Optometrists Ireland said it is the lack if knowledge on use of the new computer tablets which is the real danger.“From a health point of view, the tablet devices themselves are not the problem, they are ergonomically user-friendly. It’s the lack of education in how to use them correctly that can lead to problems.“Staring at the computer too closely, not taking regular breaks, sitting in poor lighting, not getting enough sunlight because of being inside on computers, and sitting with poor posture; it is these bad habits that cause health problems. We need to educate parents, teachers and children in how to avoid these habits.“As well as that they need to be able to recognize symptoms should they arise. Early detection of the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome and a visit to your optometrist can make all the difference in avoiding long-term damage and maintaining healthy eyesight’ said Martin.Computer expert Mark Bundschu adds that someone in Government has to show leadership on the matter. “Is the Department of Education asleep at the wheel while the health of 12 year old children is put at risk with tablet devices? Firstly, Myopia and Computer Vision Syndrome have been completely ignored; secondly, there’s the potential for children to download adult content and games accessing them during class; thirdly there are major issues around sustained concentration, whereby children will intersperse their homework or classwork with regular visits to Facebook or e-mail.“Finally, there’s the loss of creative thinking skills where everything in an E-book is dumbed down by spoon-feeding animations and explanations throughout the text,” says Mark.EndsDONEGAL COMPUTER EXPERT WARNS GOVERNMENT ABOUT DANGERS OF SCHOOL COMPUTERS was last modified: August 6th, 2012 by StephenShare 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)Tags:IPADSMARK BUNDSHUlast_img read more

Russell lights up field for Los Molinos homecoming win

first_imgLos Molinos >> It didn’t take long for Friday night’s homecoming game between the visiting Westwood Lumberjacks and host Los Molinos Bulldogs to turn into the Alex Russell show.Coming into the game, the Los Molinos quarterback was ranked No. 3 in the nation for total yards and No. 10 for touchdowns among 8-man players. Russell added 8 touchdowns in a 78-20 romp over Westwood and the shortest was for 40 yards. Russell rushed for scores of 99, 40, 55, 60, 58 and 55, threw for a 57-yard …last_img read more

Magdaleno commits to Napa Valley

first_imgGio Magdaleno, a two-year varsity player and team captain last season for the Ferndale High boys’ basketball team, inked his name on a letter of intent to join the Napa Valley College Storm, Thursday afternoon at Ferndale High.“We are bringing Gio in because he is a good fit for our program. He’s a gym rat and he’s very passionate about the game,” Napa’s head coach Steve Ball said, a former South Fork player himself. “He’s the first Humboldt guy we’ve brought in since I’ve been here and we are …last_img read more

Nat Nakasa Award: entries open

first_imgThe Print Media South Africa Awards Committee, South African National Editors’ Forum and Nieman Society of Southern Africa are now accepting nominations for the 2010 Nat Nakasa Award for Media Integrity.Named for Nat Nakasa, a prominent and respected South African journalist and writer who died in exile, this annual award recognises any media practitioner – journalist, editor, manager or owner – who has: shown integrity and reported fearlessly displayed a commitment to serve the people of South Africa strived tenaciously to maintain a publication or other medium despite insurmountable obstacles resisted any censorship shown courage in making information available to the South African public and/or any combination of the above.The award is open to all journalists from all media platforms: community, regional and national newspapers, magazines and online. Nominations close on 28 May 2010.Previous winners of the award are, however, not eligible for entry. The winner will receive R20 000 in prize money and a certificate.Past winners of the Nat Nakasa Award 1998 – Jon Qwelane 1999 – Mzilikazi wa Africa 2000 – Joint winners: Mathatha Tsedu and Wolfram Zwecker; special mention: Baldwin Ndaba 2001 – Mzilikazi wa Africa (Sunday Times investigations team), Andre Jurgens and Jessica Bezuidenhout 2002 – Justin Arenstein (African Eye News Service); special mention: Elise Tempelhoff (Beeld) and Martin Welz (Noseweek) 2003 – Debbie Yazbek (The Star); special mention: David Macfarlane (Mail & Guardian) 2004 – Buks Viljoen (The Lowvelder) 2005 – Alf Kumalo 2006 – Guy Berger 2007 – Jacques Pauw 2008 – Max du Preez 2009 – Greg MarinovichThe winner will be announced at the Nat Nakasa Award ceremony in Johannesburg on 24 July 2010.Prize Money: R20 000 Deadline: 28 May 2010If you know anybody who fits the definition above, please submit your nomination before 28 May 2010, accompanied by a motivation of 300 words, to:malesedid@printmedia.org.zaor to:Second Floor, 7 St Davids St Davids Office Park Parktown Tel: +27 11 484 3624 Fax: +27 11 551 9650For attention: Malesedi Dlaminilast_img read more

South Africa’s expanding global influence

first_imgSouth Africa has gone from being an international pariah, shunned because of its apartheid policies, to being an influential player in world affairs.The country has served on the United Nations Security Council for a two-year non-permanent term, become a member of influential emerging economy blocs BRICS and Ibsa (the India, Brazil, South Africa Dialogue Forum), and is still the only African country on the G20. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)Brand South Africa Reporter In the space of just two decades, South Africa has gone from being a international pariah, shunned because of its apartheid policies, to being an influential player in world affairs and a powerful advocate for global political and economic reform.This is according to the government’s 20 Year Review, a report reflecting on South Africa’s progress in reconstruction and development since 1994, and on the challenges facing the country as it enters its third decade of democracy.The report, released by President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria on Tuesday, notes that South Africa has sought to improve north-south relations while pushing for reform of the global economy and global governance, better market access for developing countries, more favourable terms for debt relief, and new forms of partnership for development.Growth in missions at home, abroad“South Africa’s reintegration into the global community has seen its diplomatic, political and economic relations expand rapidly to include countries with which it previously had no relations,” the report states.By 2012, the number of foreign diplomatic missions and international organisations in South Africa had increased to 315 – the second-largest number of diplomatic offices accredited to any country after the US.Over the same period, South Africa’s missions abroad increased from 36 to 125, with the increasing importance of Africa in South Africa’s foreign policy reflected in the growth of South African diplomatic missions in Africa, from 17 in 1994 to the current 47.Pushing for peace, global reformThe country has served on the United Nations Security Council for a two-year non-permanent term, become a member of influential emerging economy blocs BRICS and Ibsa (the India, Brazil, South Africa Dialogue Forum), and is still the only African country on the G20.To promote the interests of developing countries, South Africa has pushed for a rules-bound international political and economic order, and sought to transform north-south relations through dialogue while consolidating south-south collaboration by participation in groupings like the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).South Africa also works with other African states and multilateral organisations like the UN, African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) to promote international respect for human rights, democracy and good governance.It has helped Madagascar, Zimbabwe and South Sudan resolve their problems and assisted with peacekeeping in Ethiopia/Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi, among others.The country has also hosted numberous major international conferences and events since 1994, including the Non-Aligned Movement Summit (1998), Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (1999), UN Aids Conference (2000), UN World Conference Against Racism (2001), World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP17) which delivered the landmark Durban Platform that rescued the Kyoto Protocol in November/December 2011.The democratic South Africa has prioritised the development of political and economic relations with African countries. Since 1994, it has signed 624 agreements and established 40 bilateral mechanisms with countries on the continent. The 20 Year Review does note, however, that there have been challenges with the implementation of some of these agreements.Expanding, shifting trade relationsSouth Africa’s export markets have changed considerably over the past 20 years, with new markets emerging at the same time as the country’s share of exports to some traditional markets, such as the United Kingdom, Japan and Europe, has declined.According to the report, China has emerged as South Africa’s most important export trading partner since 2009, with its share of non-gold merchandise exports measuring 12.9 percent in 2012 compared with 0.8 percent in 1994.India is now South Africa’s fifth-largest export destination, having overtaken both the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and African countries have also become increasingly important export markets, especially for manufactured goods.“Exports to the entire African continent increased from 10 percent in 1994 to 17.6 percent in 2012,” the Review states. “SADC countries claimed most of these exports, accounting for 12.9 percent of overall exports in 2012, up from 8.3 percent in 1994. Africa accounts for around a third of South Africa’s exports of more advanced manufactures.”South Africa has also benefited substantially from the United States’ African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000 (Agoa). Bilateral trade between South Africa and the US grew from R15.9-billion in 1994 to more than R129-billion in 2013, with the trade balance in South Africa’s favour.Between 1994 and 2013, South Africa’s fiscal and macro-economic policies helped to boost trade between South Africa and European countries, while stimulating foreign direct investment (FDI) and tourism.From 1994 inward, FDI stock increased significantly as South Africa experienced a continuous upward trajectory, from R44.7-billion to R1.38-trillion in 2012 in nominal terms. Over the same period, exports in goods and services increased from R106-billion to R892-billion (in nominal terms).Looking to the futureLooking forward, the report says South Africa’’s foreign policy should continue to be shaped by the interplay between prevailing diplomatic, political, security, environmental, economic and regional factors.“It should remain cognisant of global power shifts, the stratification of regional groupings, threats to human and state security, internal and external sovereignty and natural resources, and the need to promote South Africa’s national interests.”The report notes that regional and continental integration are important for both for Africa’s socio-economic development and political unity and for South Africa’s prosperity and security.“The country will strengthen its support for regional and continental institutions that work towards achieving peace and resolving security crises, and it will take further steps to strengthen regional integration, promote intra-African trade and champion sustainable development on the continent.”The review states that cooperation between state institutions that deal with international relations policy and cross-border issues should also be strengthened.“Closer collaboration and partnerships between government, business, civil society and labour must be pursued to ensure that the country operates holistically in the competitive and unpredictable international arena.”Source: SAnews.gov.zaWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Time-travelling SKA to look back at the birth of stars

first_imgAn artist’s impression of the MeerKAT array telescope, the major part of the Square Kilometre Array to be built in South Africa’s Karoo desert. The MeerKAT is expected to be science-ready by the end of 2017. Click for a larger view. (Image: SKA South Africa)• SKA South Africa3rd Floor, The Park, Park Road, Pinelands, Cape Town+27 21 506 7300enquiries@ska.ac.za• Massive funding injection for Square Kilometre Array• SKA will change the way we listen to the universe • South African research funding fourth-highest in the world • Nelson Mandela science school – a promise fulfilled • Bloemfontein becomes city of stars • Cosmic proof of comet strike on EarthLorraine KearneyThe biggest science project in the world is happening right here – and all South Africans should be excited. The Square Kilometre Array is like Nasa for Africa. It’s the World Cup of science.A group of journalists from the US, UK and China are currently touring the country, on the invitation of Brand South Africa, to find about more about local innovation. On Wednesday 26 March they visited the Cape Town offices of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) South Africa, where technical development manager Francois Kapp explained the massive telescope project.The SKA is an international effort to build the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world. South Africa is one of its 10 member countries, charged with delivering two-thirds of the project, while Australia constructs a third. In partnership with various other African countries, SKA South Africa is currently designing and building the MeerKAT radio telescope in the desert of the Northern Cape. SKA International will remain in the design phase for the next three years, while SKA South Africa is already at work on construction.Set up deep in the Karoo desert, KAT 7, with its seven telescopes, is the prototype for MeerKAT, which will be South Africa’s contribution to the SKA. KAT 7 is up and running already, while MeerKAT is still being installed – the first telescope is to be unveiled by the ministers of the partner countries on 27 March. Engineering work on MeerKAT is likely to be done by the end of 2016, with the project science-ready by the end of 2017. Two telescopes will be completed by June as the pilots.Are we alone in the universe?Kapp, an engineer, told the visiting journalists what the massive project aimed to achieve. “The first goal is an attempt to picture the evolution of the universe,” he said. “SKA expects to be examining as far back as 400-million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars appeared. It will attempt to find out why the universe is expanding, and why that expansion is accelerating. Other questions are about dark energy – what is it and what is its role in the accelerating expansion.”Another goal was exploring gravity, Kapp explained, and “testing Einstein’s theories to the limit”. A third goal was to better understand cosmic magnetism. “SKA will be exploring the Dark Ages, or what is known as the Epoch of Re-ionisation in the history of the universe. But we will also be looking for life elsewhere, it whatever form that might take. Are we alone? I’d be surprised if we were.”Big, silent and remoteMeerKAT is being installed about 80 kilometres from Carnarvon in the sparsely populated Northern Cape. The site choice is critical – there must be as little noise interference as possible, meaning it has to be far from human settlements. With mountains between the site and big cities, it’s about as remote as you can get. Much of the supercomputer room for data gathering – the Karoo Array Processor – is underground and sheathed in metal plates to keep noise to a minimum.There are no mobile phones, laptops, televisions or radios there. Vehicles must run on diesel as the sparks of petrol engines interfere with the telescopes’ work. Everything is being assembled on site, with most components being built in South Africa – 75% are locally made, mainly the mechanical structures; the balance is imported, mostly in the electronic field. The engineering aspects are mainly South African.Once complete, it will have 64 telescopes with a dense core across a one-kilometre diameter. More telescopes will then be set up in a more sparse array spread out up to eight kilometres away. The global SKA will have a dense core across five kilometres, from which outer telescopes will be placed up to 3 000 kilometres away, as far as Mauritius and Ghana. The first phase of SKA will have 254 telescopes; the second phase 2 540.“We are already getting time booked on MeerKAT from scientists around the world,” Kapp said. “More than 500 scientists are involved, of whom 50 are from South Africa.” And South Africa is definitely holding its own: it went from mere participant to leader in the Collaboration for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research group at University of California Berkeley in a short space of time, and is custom designing the software and hardware for MeerKAT.Intellectual property for South AfricaCarla Sharpe, the business development manager at SKA South Africa, spoke of the benefits South Africa would get from hosting the SKA. “We are developing this technology that is our intellectual property,” she said, “and we are working with private companies to commercialise it. The idea is that the benefits will expand so that the whole country will benefit.”But it is bigger than that: SKA South Africa is a member of SKA Africa as well. “We are establishing the Africa VLBI [Very Long Baseline Interferometry] network,” Sharpe said. “There are many satellite segment dishes spread out across Africa that are no longer required – as telecommunications moves to fibre optics – or that have fallen into disrepair. We are paying to refurbish these and train scientists in these countries to run and maintain them, so that they can be used for SKA as well.”Where countries do not have existing antennae suitable for conversion, converted dishes from other parts of Africa could be “transplanted”. In some cases, new dishes will be built, SKA South Africa says.The African European Radio Astronomy Platform explains that the idea is to link all these telescopes together, and to radio telescopes in South Africa. “This, in turn, would be connected to radio telescopes and arrays in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The longer the baselines – the greater the array of linked telescopes – the greater is the astronomical detail that can be discerned. The project will also stimulate astronomy in the participating countries and help to develop skills in electronics and information and communications technology.”Ghana, Kenya and Madagascar have already joined this project.Business development from SKA technologyOther schemes are the R50-million Financial Assistance Programme “to help small companies participate in the SKA South Africa setup. There are already 11 small companies partnering in this”; and the Human Capital Development Programme, which has established research chairs at universities.Other business development projects linked to SKA South Africa, all technical solutions, are BabyKAT, a small telescope used for training purposes, as well as Ratty, Roach 3, and PCB Manufacturing.Big Data Africa and WC DEDAT Big Data Programme have “major implications in terms of data becoming easily available across Africa”. A sort of supercomputer clustering, it will use SKA South Africa technology. Ratty (Real Time Transient Analyser) will help as a fast, cheap way to make mandatory tests on electronic equipment. Roach (Reconfigurable Open Architecture Computing Hardware) is being designed and developed in South Africa. Roach is the building block of the SKA hardware, as it forms the heart of the signal processing. It will help bring know-how to the masses, such as in the Egg Box PC Programme, which is looking to build computers for about R500 for rural and underprivileged areas.Two other business development projects, Sharpe said, were renewables, whereby SKA South Africa was sourcing funding to help develop renewable technology to help local communities, as well as in superconductors. In this field, it was working on ground-breaking technology with experts in Stellenbosch for cooling.SKA South Africa is administered by the National Research Foundation and is funded by the National Treasury through the Department of Science and Technology. In the three-year budget tabled by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on 26 February, the project was given R2.1-billion. This sum is for the telescope project itself, with off-set benefits of money spent in the local economy in designing the project, such as on staff salaries and rent, as well as cash for bursaries. Other offset projects will be funded by grants and sponsors. “It gives a multiplier effect to the SKA South Africa government investment.”The fracking impactThe government has given the go-ahead for fracking explorations in the Karoo, but Kapp is optimistic it will not affect the SKA. “Fracking itself does not affect radio telescopes,” he said. “A micro earthquake would affect an optical telescope first. But the infrastructure that goes with fracking may affect the radio telescopes – the people, vehicles, mobile phones, technology needed. However, the Astronomy Geographical Advantage Act protects the site, and covers optical and radio astronomy.”last_img read more