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ON WEDNESDAY 16 FEBUARY1983, high temperatures and strong winds, following 10 months of severe drought, sparked bushfires that claimed 75 lives and razed an area twice the size of metropolitan Melbourne.

These remained the worst bushfires in terms of fatalities for more than a quarter of a century, until Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires in 2009took 173 lives.

Fortunately, moves to prevent long term trauma after big bushfires haveimprovedsince the 1980s, says Professor Sandy McFarlane, at the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Traumatic Stress. Nonetheless, Sandyemphasises that there’s no great differences between a warzone and a bushfire setting.

The psychological impact of bushfires

As a young psychiatrist, Sandy worked with communities impacted by the Ash Wednesday bushfires after they swept through southern Victoria and south east South Australia.

Over 16,000 firefighters, including park and forest fire fighters and CFA volunteers, 1000 police, 500 defence force personnel and many local residents were involved in the ’83 fires.

Sandy recalls working with a former airman whohad beenthrough both the ’83 fires and wartime. “He just was persecuted by his memories of having to deal with flight crew who had been burned when shells had gone into the planes.” Over the three decades since the fires, Sandy has been trying to gauge the level of long term psychological impact in communities affected,
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looking closely at the condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The notion of PTSD was first introduced to psychological practice following the Vietnam War. The disorder is characterised by a high level of fear and distress after a traumatic event, such as combat, or in this case, bushfire

Preparing for future fires

On Ash Wednesday, Peter Schmidt was a volunteer fire fighter in Upper Beaconsfield, 45km south east of Melbourne, where 21 people died, including 12 fellow volunteers. “We actually heard their mayday call. They were only 400m from us.”

Peter, now a Regional Director for the CFA, says support for people affected by bushfires has come a long way, since 1983 when limited counselling services were available.

However,the impact of bushfires can be affected by a number of factors,andsome of this happens before and after an event. Although for many Ash Wednesday is still “a ghost that was haunting them,” Sandy and his colleagues have found that it is difficult to say whether the fires are directly to blame for cases of PTSD in affected communities given the number of other traumatic events, such as car accidents,
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that most people go through at some time as a part of life.

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that scientists fear some species of ash may be wiped out. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has said the toll may eventually reach eight billion trees.

of our North American ash species are vulnerable, Ryall said.

The problem surfaced in Winnipeg this fall, when a city forester responded to a complaint that a tree in the St. Boniface neighbourhood didn look good.

was a lot of woodpecker activity woodpeckers feeding all along the main stem of the tree, said city forester Martha Barwinsky.

Workers pulled out some of the larvae the birds were feasting on and had them tested by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. They were ash borers.

found numerous D shaped exit holes in that tree, so certainly there were quite a number of insects in that tree which have already exited and found their way to adjacent ash trees in the area, Barwinsky said.

Winnipeg has 350,000 ash trees shading its boulevards and neighbourhoods. Now, their future is shaded.

what we seeing is within six to eight years, most if not all of the ash trees are killed by this beetle, Ryall said. call it the death curve. cold climate may delay that prognosis a few years. But Barwinsky said little can be done to stop the infestation.

Studies suggest the bugs are perfectly capable of surviving a Winnipeg winter and they have few natural predators in Canada. Ash borers can infest a tree for a couple seasons before the impact is noticeable,
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giving it time to multiply and making it hard to spot.

nothing you can see. The tree looks perfectly healthy, then end of season or next year, it looks suddenly dead, said Ryall. it been infested for several years. officials will conduct a visual survey for more infected trees in the neighbourhood. A closer survey that involves pruning branches and looking under the bark will follow.

The city will likely rely on removing infected trees and injecting high value trees with an insecticide to mitigate the damage, Barwinsky said. In the long term, Winnipeg will consider biological controls such as importing a parasitic wasp that feeds on the beetles.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg will go on planting trees. Ash borers eat only ash trees and urban foresters have other choices, including elm, oak, linden and maple trees. The city stopped planting ash last summer,
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Get daily updates directly to your inbox+ SubscribeThank you for subscribing!The rumbles will only get worse as the boozy Christmas parties begin, so Asda has launched a pineapple plant that is supposed to keep you from snoring.According to NASA research, pineapple plants produce oxygen and boost air quality at night, which could improve sleep quality and cut out those snores that affect 45 per cent of Brits.The secret to a snore free night is available in stores across the nation, including the Asda in the Beehive Centre found on Coldhams Lane, Cambridge CB1 3ER.The plant could be a lifesaver for many couples as almost a quarter of Brits regularly sleep in different rooms to escape their partner’s snores.The pineapple, which is grown in Holland, takes between 21 and 24 months to produce the inedible, miniature fruit that crowns the top of the plant.Watch all of the Christmas 2017 adverts herePhil Smith, Asda plant buyer, said: “Snorts, snuffles and splutters affect a quarter of Brits, so for those 16 million snorers, Asda’s pineapple plant could be a dream come true even more so for sleep deprived partners.”For those lucky enough to sleep through the night without the disturbance of snoring, the plant is a chic addition to the home which is easy to care for and adds a little touch of the tropics to any room.”Asda is selling the plants for but you’ll have to snag them quickly because they are only available until January.You can keep up to date with all the latest news in and around Cambridge by downloading our free app. It is available for the iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store , or the Android version can be downloaded from Google Play .Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterDaily NewsletterChristmasCambridgeshire Christmas Markets 2017 dates, times, locations and everything else you need to knowWhen do Cambridgeshire Christmas Markets start and where are they?Food Drink50 great Cambridge restaurants you really have to tryWhere to go for dinner tonight, tomorrow and for the rest of the year!Cambridge12 things to do in Cambridge for touristsHere’s a list of must do things if you’re visiting the beautiful city of CambridgeFamily KidsSanta’s Grottos 2017: The best places to see Father Christmas in CambridgeshireLocations, dates, and times for Santa’s grottos in CambrridgeshireA14Dangerous A14 markings to be changed two days after the News reported on themHighways England will be closing the eastbound carriageway between junction 26 and junction 31 tonightChristmasCambridge and South Cambridgeshire Christmas and New Year bin collection dates 2017Changes to the usual bin collection dates over Christmas and New YearTraffic TravelTraffic and travel live: A14 delays after emergency repairsTraffic and travel live reporting on major roads, including the A14, M11 and A1, that might affect your routeCambridge United FCCambridge United coach departs for Coventry CityThe first team coach only arrived at The Abbey in JanuaryChristmasCambridgeshire Christmas Markets 2017 dates, times, locations and everything else you need to knowWhen do Cambridgeshire Christmas Markets start and where are they?Food Drink50 great Cambridge restaurants you really have to tryWhere to go for dinner tonight, tomorrow and for the rest of the year!Cambridge12 things to do in Cambridge for touristsHere’s a list of must do things if you’re visiting the beautiful city of Cambridge
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Mark Welch tackles the Tour de France’s most torturous climb on a rented bike and lives, but only just, to write about it.

There’s a common belief that hell lies a distance far below where we are standing, but I believe it is a place that reaches for the sky in south eastern France.

Hell is a torturous climb of almost 14 kilometres up to Alpe d’Huez, a climb that starts at Bourg d’Oisans, south east of Grenoble, and it has become one of the ultimate prizes for riders in the Tour de France.

Its difficulty, with some sections of the climb at 14 per cent gradient (incredibly steep in laymen’s terms), has lured numerous cyclists of all abilities willing to test their limits of endurance. At times, there appears to be more bikes than cars on the path to the summit, a generation of cyclists slowly turning their pedals, their faces in pain. Surely I could cycle up this beast faster than the grandfatherly figures I drove past. I opted for a racing bike to assist with my challenge because I believed a mountain bike would only slow my ascent.

For the record, the fastest time recorded up to Alpe d’Huez was 37 minutes 35 seconds in 1997 by the late Marco Pantani, whose career was blighted by doping allegations. Lance Armstrong won on the climb to Alpe d’Huez in 2001 in 38 minutes. Given these guys had cycled about 200 kilometres before the climb, I was ready to give the record a nudge.

The first warning signs about the mountain, after hiring the bike near its summit,
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were on the descent, which seemed to last an eternity. The mild panic of descending at speed on such a steep mountain was matched only by the fear of having to retrace my path. The descent took about 20 minutes. Pantani’s record was already looking safe.

I turned around at Bourg d’Oisans and decided to take a flying start to my climb. I believed if I could get some early momentum on the flat, it would just be a matter of keeping a smooth rhythm to the top. By the time I had reached the second of 21 hairpin turns, I felt as if Saverio Rocca was sitting on my chest and Anthony Rocca was on the handle bars coming along for the ride.

Since the 1970s, when Dutch riders dominated on the climb to Alpe d’Huez, the mountain has become a favourite for Dutch fans. Hairpin 15, among the steepest on the climb, has the words “Dutch zone” branded across the road. I tried to imagine a sea of orange shirts and banners, but all I see are the pink elephants Australian Michael Rogers saw as he tried to help teammate Richard Virenque retain the yellow jersey in last year’s tour.

Leading to the next hairpin turn appears to be a German sector, with “Jan” written across the road. I imagined such messages must be a huge encouragement for riders, although Ullrich would probably travel too quick to read his name. At this point, I am travelling so slowly, I could read the first chapter of a novel scrawled across the road.

In my haste to begin the climb, I have forgotten to take water and I am starting to feel dizzy. It is believed alcohol and amphetamines contributed to the death of British cyclist Tommy Simpson on Mont Ventoux in 1967. I was taking Sudafed for a cold and had shared a bottle of wine the previous night. I was either going to be catapulted to the summit or die, and I no longer cared which happened.

There is about a kilometre to go and somebody by the side of the road offers me water. I put good manners aside and drink most of the bottle. The kindly man I had left without water was among many who were gathering beside the road. There are caravans already starting to stake their claim on the mountain, and most are disappointed to be watching my third rate effort and not the real thing.
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ENVIRONMENTAL health officers have called for more information about how residents would be protected from pollution and noise amid concerns about plans for an asbestos transfer station in Cleckheaton.

Established firm Check Environmental has submitted a change of use application for premises at Brookside Works, Brick Street, that were previously used by a stone cutting firm.

The proposed facility would house up to ten containers and is for individuals to take small amounts of asbestos to the site that is properly wrapped, or double bagged and sealed.

Now Kirklees Council environmental health officer Matt Roberts has been consulted over the scheme. His report states that he is concerned about the lack of information provided with the application and is seeking information on pollution and noise concerns. asbestos). asbestos) from the proposed development.”

He added that he was also concerned about the “potential disturbance to occupants of nearby dwellings from the proposed development”.

He called for a report assessing the noise emissions from the proposed development and that if the predicted levels were unacceptable, it may be necessary to refuse the application.

Steve Dawson,
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managing director of Check Environmental, which already runs two similar sites, told the Telegraph Argus that there was a lot of misunderstanding about asbestos and the associated risks.

“The risks are controllable with the correct procedures. Asbestos can be deadly and there are diseases associated with it, but we have standard operating procedures in place to mitigate this.

“We also operate within an Environment Agency permit which has strict rules and regular assessments.

“We have never had any safety issues at our other sites.”

Mr Dawson said the firm had been running HGV operations from a site on Brick Street for the last six to eight months, and the change of use application was the next step in bringing its asbestos operations to the site.
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Sophomore sprinter Asani Hampton on the track at Yucaipa High School in Yucaipa, CA on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Hampton is advancing to this weekend state championships after finishing fifth in the 100 meters at the CIF SS Masters Meet. He hasn ruled out playing some football as, possibly a kick return specialist but he plans to major in mechanical engineering so his plate might already be full.

now it just for track, he said. really have to see once I get there but it might be tough to try and do all that, especially as a freshman. visited Michigan as well as Iowa but liked what he saw in Ann Arbor.

just really liked the environment and the whole feel of everything there, he said.

A lot of track athletes in Southern California stay close to home and got to UCLA or USC or head a bit up the coast to Oregon. Hampton said he wanted to consider UCLA but the school recently had a coaching change and some athletes left. He didn want to declare for a school going through a transition.

USC? Well that really wasn an option.

mom went to UCLA and that (USC) is the rival school so we weren even considering that one, he laughed. Although we do not pre screen comments, we reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.
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Wildlife officials have not decided whether any citations or warnings will be issued after a 14 year old mistakenly shot a protect elk.

Abby Wilson, 14, shot the elk on Saturday in Boone County, thinking it was a large white tailed buck. Her father, Donald White, immediately called the Conservation Department upon realizing his daughter’s mistake.

“There is no elk season in Missouri, so free ranging elk are protected,” said Tom Strother, an MDC Protection Regional Supervisor. “It is a Wildlife Code violation to shoot a free ranging elk as there are no provisions that outline a hunting season like there is for white tailed deer.”

As of Tuesday, conservation officials had not finished their investigation into the unusual case or decided whether warnings will be issued.

Abby’s story went viral Monday, with hundreds of people posting comments about her mistaking an elk for a white tailed deer. White said he was upset by some of the comments that he felt amounted to bullying his young daughter over her mistake.

“There’s no sense in it, people doing that,” he said. “Don’t come at my daughter saying lock her away. Wow. If my daughter gets fined, I’ll pay it and move on. So be it. We’ll deal with it.”

White said he later spoke with conservation officials in hopes they would let his daughter keep the antlers, cape and meat, which he said would be shared with his family.

“I’d make sure everybody around my family would have some of that,” said White, who was nearby but not with Abby when she killed the bull elk with a single shot from her .243 caliber rifle.

“As I understand it, they (MDC) hold the rights to any game in Missouri,” White said. “We got a good relationship going with them, so we hope something positive comes out of it.”

MDC is refrigerating the elk carcass and may donate the meat to needy families if it passes its CWD test. Tom Strother, an MDC Protection Regional Supervisor, said staff talked to White on Monday “and informed him that no parts of the elk will be returned to him or the family.”

The healthy bull elk is being tested for Chronic Wasting Disease, and DNA samples were collected to try to determine where the elk came from. It had no ear tags, collar or other markings.

Missouri’s Wildlife Code sets out many aspects of how the state’s wildlife can be taken or managed. Strother laid out how Abby’s mistaken elk fit into the code.

The code is “permissive,” meaning it sets out actions and activities that are permitted in Missouri. If they aren’t specifically permitted, they are considered illegal, according to the code.

“Since there are no rules specifically permitting the shooting/hunting/killing of an elk it is prohibited to do so,” Strother wrote.

“You can also Google something like ‘Wildlife Code of Missouri rule 4.110 General Prohibitions’ and find the entire wording on the Secretary of State website.”.
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The “adult gaming centre” was approved by the council’s licensing department on Monday, but a number of responses were deemed invalid as the wrong consultation deadline was published.

They included the objection of Green party leader Martin Schmierer, for Mancroft ward, who said he was “furious” at the decision.

“The licensing committee has shown its disregard for the safety and wellbeing of residents by caving in to this irresponsible and dangerous industry,” he said.

MORE: Concerns over impact new adult gaming centre could have if approve

The new ‘adult gaming centre’ will be licensed to open all day and up until 1am, with machines with a maximum stake of 2.

“These machines are designed to be addictive, and they are part of a culture that normalises gambling,” added Mr Schmierer. “This is a deprived part of Norwich with high levels of poverty and addiction. I am appalled that the council sees no problem in allowing this despicable industry to get its claws into the neighbourhood.”

Mr Schmierer also said he had complained to the licensing department after his objection, which was received within the published consultation period, was ruled inadmissible. The council published a consultation deadline of October 2, but the applicant argued this was incorrect and should legally have been a day earlier. Objections received on 2nd October were therefore disallowed.

“It’s clearly not good enough when the council cannot even get its facts right, leaving others disadvantaged because of its incompetence,” he said.

“There was a similar fiasco with the recent applications for lap dancing licences, where the consultation was not advertised online and even councillors were not informed.”
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After a small victory for activists railing against upgrades to a natural gas compressor station in Ellis Hollow, it appears Dominion Energy the national energy company whose New Market Project runs through the Town of Dryden has found a way to continue building what activists now say is a pipeline to sell fracked gas from Pennsylvania to Canadian customers.

Though Dominion has already begun construction on the facility, the town as well as activists have been seeking a legal means to stop the project which, by some careful maneuvering by the company, has been allowed to continue through the state’s permitting process, rather than the town’s. According to activists and town officials, the company attempting to circumvent a public utility moratorium implemented by the town last summer applied for a building permit and stormwater pollution prevention plan, which are not subject to the conditions of Dryden’s zoning law. The building permit was received one day before the moratorium went into effect and because the SWPPP application sent to the state April 2016 was still being reviewed by the Department of Environmental Conservation was not granted until January 12. In a letter to Dominion’s State Policy Adviser, Don Houser last month, town officials told the company any changes to a project’s site plan would, under the conditions of the town’s moratorium, be subject to resubmission and site plan review despite the precedent of three “misapplied” special use permits approved for the substation in the early 1980s.

“There is a principle,” the letter reads, “that there is no estoppel against the government, which means that even if a municipality misapplied its zoning law in the past, it is not estopped from applying it correctly in the future.”

However, the letter fell on deaf ears: the following day, May 25, Houser emailed town officials to confirm a site visit to the facility and, despite the position of Dryden’s legal representation, Dominion has carried on and no stop work order has been issued.

In a statement, Dominon said it had a “very productive meeting in late May with Town of Dryden officials,” during which, the company reaffirmed it will not making any changes to the work area as it moves forward with its plans.

“We are continuing construction of the project as originally designed and as currently permitted,” the company said in a statement. “We are moving forward and expect to be in service later this year to help meet the growing need for natural gas for National Grid customers in both upstate and downstate New York.”

The town has not issued a stop work order, to the dismay of local activists. Mothers Out Front has deferred to appealing to the company to improve the project on its own volition while environmentalist Walter Hang, president of local research group Toxics Targeting, has relied on a consistent email campaign calling on his subscribers to stop the project’s construction, citing the legal language of the town’s own moratorium and code.

However, there is no legal precedent for Dryden to rely on and, theoretically, enforcement of the town’s utilities moratorium would be entry into uncharted waters: the closest legal example, which is still unresolved, involves the Town of Pendleton invoking its home rule status to challenge the provisions of the Natural Gas Act and the Northern Access Pipeline by denying National Fuel the developer its building permit. The town is now being sued by the company.

“I go to all these town board meetings and I listen to somebody who wants to build, say, 26 new apartments in Varna or something, and they have to jump through all these hoops to get through the special use permit process,” said Katie Quinn Jacobs, team coordinator for local activists Mothers Out Front,
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who with the town have been leading the brunt of the opposition efforts. “Meanwhile this giant industrial plant isn’t doing that at all. We want the same protections the zoning and the comprehensive plan offered. We want that applied here.”

Borger Station: A Small Part Of A Bigger PictureThough the Borger Station in Ellis Hollow is just one small component of the pipeline’s more than 200 miles, the fight at Borger like the activist efforts to prevent expansion of similar stations in Brookman Corners and Utica has been one of a greater effort: to stall the expansion of natural gas consumption in New York State in a region where nuclear power from the troubled Indian Point power plant once was its lifeblood.

But that expansion, now, may be much larger than activists initially thought.

At a meeting last month in Hartford, Connecticut, Iroquois Gas a company of which Dominion holds controlling interest revealed plans for a second New Market Project connecting its downstate markets to Canada. markets to increase production at a time when American oil is selling at record lows.

Though this does not necessarily mean there will be a new pipeline constructed, if demand rises for natural gas, then so will the potential for a new project.

“In assessing potential future supply, we look at current projects that have the potential to be expanded,” Ruth Parkins, Public Affairs Manager for Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company said in an email. “While Dominion’s New Market Project is under construction and will be in service later this year, Iroquois’ presentation was not meant to infer that there is a New Market II project proposed, but rather to speak conceptually about addressing future market needs.”

Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

The task, Mothers Out Front leadership says, is simply stated, but not so simply executed: in their best case scenario, the group aims to convince Dominion to spend money on creating a cleaner compressor station in Ellis Hollow which currently contributes an excess of 12,000 tons of pollutants per year, according to 2015 emissions data from the DEC all without allowing the company to make money through the expansion of natural gas supply to the eastern end of the state. Because of their higher levels of pollution (and difficulties of maintenance, activists requested that Dominion replace its old Dresser Clark turbines at Borger with modern equipment like at Horseheads, Sheds, and Brookman Corners not only because modern equipment would be cleaner, but ultimately save Dominion time and money in their upkeep.

But, despite the optimism, Dominion has no plans to change the project.

“Dominion Energy Transmission received, after 24 months of public review and comments, an Order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct the New Market Project with the equipment that is now being installed,” the company said in a statement. “As Dominion Energy publicly stated at the May 1 public forum held in the Town of Dryden, we are willing to discuss future needs at Borger Station after completing the current project.”

In the immediate future, that plan does not include green compressors. So Mothers Out Front say they have a different idea: the group is working to implement an environmental health project to monitor the population within a two kilometer radius in order to compare their current health to whatever their health may be after several years of direct exposure to the emissions released by the compressor station.

This is not a new idea, as some counties on the pipeline’s route, like in Madison County, have their health departments assisting to conduct these studies. Tompkins County though for lack of resources to cover the estimated $18,000 cost declined to participate, leaving the local activists to go it alone. Working on locking in grant funding, Mothers Out Front are trying to raise the funding themselves but, sadly, may have to wait to see if things go wrong.

“One of the things that is probably bound to happen if it turns out we do have some serious problems here is that they’ll [the health department] suddenly get interested in this,” said Elisa Evett,
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an activist. “They’ll have to.”