City of Edinburgh Council seek to improve local music scene

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 

Yesterday evening saw the Usher Hall in Edinburgh host a meeting between representatives of the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) and the local rock and pop music scene. The meeting was dominated with local musicians’ complaints over the “zero tolerance” policy Edinburgh is viewed as having adopted towards amplified music. The meeting began with the leading panel — Norma Austin Hart, vice-convener for Culture and Sport; John Stout, promoter from Regular Music; Kevin Buckle, of local store Avalanche Records; and Karl Chapman, manager of the Usher Hall — introducing themselves and outlining the purpose of the meeting. This being best-summarised as a desire to emulate the vibrant music scene of places as far-flung as Austin, Texas and Sydney, Australia.

Councillor Hart indicated officials from Austin had already offered to get involved in improving the live music scene in the city; although none were present from Austin, US-born local musician Pat Dennis provided his frank opinion on where Edinburgh fails to nurture the local music scene: that failure to support a grass-roots, small venue, music scene prevents the city being capable of organising events similar to Austin’s South by Southwest festival outwith August, when Edinburgh hosts the Festival and Fringe.

Coming in for the lion’s share of criticism, staff from CEC’s Licensing Board were visibly uncomfortable when the topic of the “single complainant” was brought up time and time again. Unlike any other business within the city, or residential properties, noise pollution within premises permitted to sell alcohol is not managed by environmental health staff. That responsibility is bundled with the alcohol license, which leaves publicans fearful that their premises will be forced to close if they do not comply with demands to cease use of any amplification, or hosting live music. This was characterised as a ‘tyranny of the minority’, a most-undemocratic approach where one person — for example, recently moved into a property adjacent to a long-established premises hosting live music — could force the closure of a business which has hosted local talent for 30+ years.

Taking heed of the strength of feeling from the majority present, Councillor Hart made a number of personal commitments towards the end of the meeting. Those included setting up a working group, Music is Audible, to look at how the council could better work with venues, and to have a follow-up meeting in March next year.

Kennedy Center names 2007 honors recipients

Friday, September 14, 2007 

The Kennedy Center announced that its 30th presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors would go to pianist Leon Fleisher, comedian Steve Martin, singer Diana Ross, director Martin Scorsese and musician Brian Wilson. The Center was opened to the public in 1971 and was envisioned as part of the National Cultural Center Act, which mandated that the independent, privately-funded institution would present a wide variety of both classical and contemporary performances, commission the creation of new artistic works, and undertake a variety of educational missions to increase awareness of the arts.

In a statement, Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said that “with their extraordinary talent, creativity and perseverance, the five 2007 honorees have transformed the way we, as Americans, see, hear and feel the performing arts.”

Fleisher, 79, a member of the Peabody Institute’s music faculty, is a pianist who lost use of his right hand in 1965 due to a neurological condition. He became an accomplished musician and conductor through the use of his left hand. At 67, he regained the use of his right hand. With the advent of Botox therapy, he was once more able to undertake two-hand performances in 2004, his first in four decades. “I’m very gratified by the fact that it’s an apolitical honor,” Fleisher said. “It is given by colleagues and professional people who are aware of what [an artist] has done, so it really is apolitical — and that much more of an honor.”

Martin, 62, a comedian who has written books and essays in addition to his acting and stand-up comedy career, rose to fame during his work on the American television program Saturday Night Live in the 1970’s. Schwarzman praised his work as that of a “renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines.” Martin responded to the honor saying, “I am grateful to the Kennedy Center for finally alleviating in me years of covetousness and trophy envy.”

Ross, 63, was a product of Detroit’s Brewster-Douglass Projects when as a teeager she and friends Mary Wilson and Florence Ballardis formed The Supremes, a ground-breaking Motown act. She portrayed singer Billie Holiday in the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues, which earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award. “Diana Ross’ singular, instantly recognizable voice has spread romance and joy throughout the world,” said Schwarzman. Ross said she was “taken aback. It is a huge, huge honor and I am excited to be in this class of people.”

Scorsese, 64, is one of the most accomplished directors the United States ever produced, whose work includes Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, Cape Fear, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Departed, for which he won a 2006 Academy Award for Best Director after being nominated eight times. Scorsese said, “I’m very honored to be receiving this recognition from the Kennedy Center and proud to be joining the company of the very distinguished individuals who have received this honor in years past.”

Wilson, 65, along with his brothers Dennis and Carl, formed the Beach Boys in 1961. They had a series of hits that included “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Their 1966 album Pet Sounds is considered one of the most influential recordings in American music. “This is something so unexpected and I feel extremely fortunate to be in the company of such great artists,” said Wilson, who is currently on tour.

The Kennedy Center’s board of trustees is responsible for selecting honorees for “lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.” Previous honorees, including Elton John and Steven Spielberg, also submitted recommendations. A wide variety of people were under consideration, including Emanuel Ax, Evgeny Kissin, Renee Fleming, Laurence Fishburne, Francis Ford Coppola, Melissa Etheridge and Kenny Chesney.

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend the center’s presentation at its opera house on December 2, 2007, which will broadcast on December 26 on CBS.

Looking For Reliable Flower Delivery Services

By Adriana Noton

There are times when sending a floral arrangement is the best way to extend your message to someone. When searching for flower delivery services, you should focus on some other things that just the accessibility of the shop. It’s important that the florist and customer service is top-quality just like the blossoms or arrangements being offered.

More often than not, individuals make their pick based on proximity. It can be the shop is easily accessible from the home or office. But there may be other establishments near you that you haven’t spotted yet. You may get the recommendations of people you trust that have required such service previously, or log on the internet to get a listing of nearby shops.

Speaking of which, a lot of them already got their own websites. Access them and go through the information posted there. You’re likely to see photos of sample products and their respective descriptions. Browse through the categories to find exactly what you’re looking for. Depending on the website, offerings can be arranged by occasion, price range or sales.

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If no shop is located near you, your best bet is to place your order online. Just see to it that you go through the terms and conditions posted on the website, particularly matters about the delivery. To be sure, go to forum sites and see what information you can uncover about the particular online seller you’re considering to order from.

Personally visiting a shop located near you is a great way to ensure you’re sending only a quality floral arrangement. When you step foot inside it, the florist’s artistic capabilities should be evident right away on the sample displays. Check the blooms present and see how varied the selections are. Their freshness should be revealed by their vibrant colors.

Talk with the florist so you can discuss what exactly you need. He or she should devote time listening to you or answering your questions. The professional should also find out a little information about the recipient of your order to be able to make suggestions. Visit another shop if the one you’re talking to doesn’t seem to care at all. No matter how talented the florist is, it accounts to nothing if he or she doesn’t show any concern towards customers.

Find out if the florist is affiliated with a trade organization. Being a member of such shows how the professional strives to be good at what he or she does. It also adds credibility as certain standards have to be met to be granted membership. Affiliation with a wire service, locally or internationally, also enables the shop to send arrangements just about anywhere. Ask questions to ensure that the product will be delivered right on time.

Shopping around town allows you to find the best flower delivery services available near you. It’s important for the recipient to get an arrangement that’s not only striking but is also composed of fresh blooms. After all, the gift you’re sending is not just a floral arrangement, but a heartfelt message. With the right florist, you can be sure your gift will be appreciated.

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Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan engaged

Monday, January 15, 2007 

Legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has confirmed that his son Abhishek and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai were engaged last evening at a private ceremony at the Bachchans’ residence in Mumbai.

It is believed that the younger Bachchan proposed to his bride-to-be in New York, soon after the Toronto premiere of his new movie Guru. The media had been following the romance between the two closely for some time past, but this is the first time they have come out in the open about their relationship. Rumours that the couple were planning to spread the know began to spread in November last year, when they visited the Sankat Mochan Temple together, with some even saying that they had already been married even earlier at the Meenakshi temple in Madurai

According to one daily, the wedding will take place either on February 19 or March 7 at the Hyatt Mumbai. “The children have decided. We are very happy and thought we should go ahead with the ‘roka’ ceremony. It was held in the evening.”, Amitabh Bachchan said of the ceremony, which was attended by the family’s close friends, including Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, Aishwarya’s parents, and industrialist Anil Ambani and the latter’s wife Tina Ambani. The couple have now flown to Ujjain to take a holy dip in the Ganga.

Indian banks propose to use gold deposits as CRR/SLR

Monday, June 30, 2014 

State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda (BoB), two of the largest public sector banks of India, proposed on Saturday their gold deposits should be allowed to count toward their state-mandated cash reserve ratio (CRR) or statutory liquidity ratio (SLR).

Arundhati Bhattacharya, the chairperson of SBI, made the proposal at a Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council event held in Mumbai on Saturday. She said the need for gold deposits to become more liquid has increased because gold import is putting a strain on the country’s current account deficit. S. S. Mundra, Chairperson and managing director of BoB, agreed and said it would help bringing gold into the more productive sectors of the economy.

Bhattacharya added SBI has no longer any incentive to run its gold deposit scheme as it cannot fully deploy the assets, noting SBI is the party most involved with gold deposits in India. G. S. Sandhu, Union financial services secretary, also at the event, responded that the government is looking for ways to monetize the gold held by the public, as import of gold can strain the current account deficit and foreign exchange reserves.

Currently, the Reserve Bank of India has set the CRR at 4% and the SLR at 22.5%. SLR is the portion of deposits that must be invested in recognized safe securities and assets.

Get Well Soon Basket Ideas 5 Ideas To Make Or Buy

By Susan Willis

If you know someone who is in the hospital or at home recovering from an illness, accident or surgery, you have the opportunity to brighten up their day with the right gift.

Of course, probably the best gift you can give this person is that of your time. A phone call, letter or an in-person visit will surely cheer them up and show them that you are thinking about them.

Another way to show you care is by giving a nice gift. These days, most budgets are tight, so you probably want to find a gift that balances value with cost. One excellent choice is a get-well-soon gift basket.

Gift baskets are a great choice for cheering someone up and helping them get through a hard time in their life. The great thing about this type of present is that you can fill it with just about anything your heart (or their heart) desires. And, you can decorate the basket in just about any style you like – with hundreds of possible decoration variations. Baskets are universally well-received as gifts, given their versatile nature.

If you are looking for get-well-soon basket ideas for someone you know and care about, here are 5 ideas you can make yourself or buy:

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1. Comfortable Recovery Basket:

Help the person recovery from their illness, accident or surgery in as comfortable a way as possible with a comfortable recover basket. Of course, what you put into it will depend in part upon the type of situation they are in. But, for example, you could fill your basket with creature comforts such as a head-and-neck support pillow, a heating pad, a self-massager for the back, chewing gum, a robe & slippers, fruit, candy, magazines, and a deck of playing cards. Get creative and let your imagination run free!

2. Soothing Relaxation Basket:

Being in recovery can be a very stressful experience. Not only is there the physical pain and discomfort to deal with, but there is also the emotional stress of being off of one’s regular routine. This person can use all of the opportunities for rest and relaxation they can get! Consider a soothing relaxation basket. You can fill it with, for example: a soothing music or meditation CD, a set of DVDs with some of their favorite old movies, a massage tool, aromatic candles and bath oils.

3. Gourmet Food Basket:

Nothing raises the spirits like good food. Consider giving the person you care about a gourmet food basket, including such yummy items as chai teas, gourmet cookies, butter toffee popcorn, and chocolate dipped truffle cookies. They will surely remember your gift for a long time to come.

4. Family Fun Basket:

If the person in recovery is the family type, how about giving them a family fun basket? Fill it with classic games they will surely love to play as they spend time with family and friends. Add to your basket a few snacks and beverages to really make it special.

5. Snacks and Treats Basket:

For a more informal, but still delectable treat, consider a snacks and treats basket filled with popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, gourmet jelly beans, Cracker Jacks, fortune cookies, and more. Add in a few paperback books and magazines to round out your special basket creation.

Consider these 5 ideas for get-well-soon baskets for the person you know who is undergoing recovery.

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200 candles: Chileans celebrate country’s Bicentennial

Saturday, September 18, 2010 

Chile is celebrating its Bicentennial, with several events that have been organized by the government for almost a decade. It commemorates two hundred years since the First Government Junta of 1810 was formed, starting the Independence process, that ended in 1818 after Bernardo O’Higgins proclaimed it.

The Bicentennial takes place on a holiday from September 17th until 21st. Sebastián Piñera inaugurated the official fondas (places where typical food and drinks of Chile are sold; similar to a tavern) earlier on Friday. Piñera also danced a “pie” of Cueca, Chile’s national dance, with Government Spokeswoman Ena Von Baer.

More than 60 thousand people gathered on Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Citizen’s Square) in Santiago to celebrate the Bicentennial. There was a projection of historical images that also contained a message from the trapped miners in Copiapó. A giant flag of Chile (18 meters of height, 27 of width; weighing 200 kilograms) was raised on the square on Friday morning.

Celebrations of the Bicentennial in Pichilemu started earlier this month. On September 2, two thousand people lined up in a formation to create the message “Viva Chile Bicentenario Cardenal Caro” on Pichilemu beach “Las Terrazas”. The message was used to create a postal stamp to be released worldwide. The event was promoted by the Government of Cardenal Caro Province.

Private schools in the city, such as Colegio Preciosa Sangre, prepared events specially for their students. On Thursday, “Fonda Don Vicente Nario” was opened on Preciosa Sangre. Several games were performed there on that morning, including “el emboque”, “ponerle la cola al burro” (to put the tail to the donkey), and others.

Another event on Preciosa Sangre took place on Thursday night, when students recreated scenes of the History of Chile, including: a tertulia featuring Manuel Montt (starred by Luis Rojas); a chingana (a popular tavern); and selected colonial professions, such as the “motero” (person who sold motemei and chestnuts).

The official fonda of Pichilemu, La Bombonera, was inaugurated on Thursday night by Mayor Roberto Córdova, who danced cueca with people who attended the event. According to Córdova, at least 30,000 people have arrived at Pichilemu as of Friday, and it is estimated that another 30,000 will arrive during the next three days.

A great event took place on Pichilemu beach on Friday afternoon. Chilean typical games highlighted the event. People danced reggaeton, Américo’s cumbias and cuecas, while others were swimming. The National Shoe Fair (Feria Nacional del Calzado) was established on Agustín Ross Hotel on Thursday, and will stay in the town until September 23rd. Alicia Grez, who works on a kiosk in the Pichileminian Craft Fair located in front of One Discotheque, said that “sales have been excellent,” and that “[they] won’t miss the possibility to experience such an event like this.”

Official plans for the Centennial of Chile, in 1910. Pedro Montt is pictured at the top, and Bernardo O’Higgins at the bottom.
Image: Memoria Chilena.

200 candles: Chileans celebrate country’s Bicentennial

Saturday, September 18, 2010 

Chile is celebrating its Bicentennial, with several events that have been organized by the government for almost a decade. It commemorates two hundred years since the First Government Junta of 1810 was formed, starting the Independence process, that ended in 1818 after Bernardo O’Higgins proclaimed it.

The Bicentennial takes place on a holiday from September 17th until 21st. Sebastián Piñera inaugurated the official fondas (places where typical food and drinks of Chile are sold; similar to a tavern) earlier on Friday. Piñera also danced a “pie” of Cueca, Chile’s national dance, with Government Spokeswoman Ena Von Baer.

More than 60 thousand people gathered on Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Citizen’s Square) in Santiago to celebrate the Bicentennial. There was a projection of historical images that also contained a message from the trapped miners in Copiapó. A giant flag of Chile (18 meters of height, 27 of width; weighing 200 kilograms) was raised on the square on Friday morning.

Celebrations of the Bicentennial in Pichilemu started earlier this month. On September 2, two thousand people lined up in a formation to create the message “Viva Chile Bicentenario Cardenal Caro” on Pichilemu beach “Las Terrazas”. The message was used to create a postal stamp to be released worldwide. The event was promoted by the Government of Cardenal Caro Province.

Private schools in the city, such as Colegio Preciosa Sangre, prepared events specially for their students. On Thursday, “Fonda Don Vicente Nario” was opened on Preciosa Sangre. Several games were performed there on that morning, including “el emboque”, “ponerle la cola al burro” (to put the tail to the donkey), and others.

Another event on Preciosa Sangre took place on Thursday night, when students recreated scenes of the History of Chile, including: a tertulia featuring Manuel Montt (starred by Luis Rojas); a chingana (a popular tavern); and selected colonial professions, such as the “motero” (person who sold motemei and chestnuts).

The official fonda of Pichilemu, La Bombonera, was inaugurated on Thursday night by Mayor Roberto Córdova, who danced cueca with people who attended the event. According to Córdova, at least 30,000 people have arrived at Pichilemu as of Friday, and it is estimated that another 30,000 will arrive during the next three days.

A great event took place on Pichilemu beach on Friday afternoon. Chilean typical games highlighted the event. People danced reggaeton, Américo’s cumbias and cuecas, while others were swimming. The National Shoe Fair (Feria Nacional del Calzado) was established on Agustín Ross Hotel on Thursday, and will stay in the town until September 23rd. Alicia Grez, who works on a kiosk in the Pichileminian Craft Fair located in front of One Discotheque, said that “sales have been excellent,” and that “[they] won’t miss the possibility to experience such an event like this.”

Official plans for the Centennial of Chile, in 1910. Pedro Montt is pictured at the top, and Bernardo O’Higgins at the bottom.
Image: Memoria Chilena.

200 candles: Chileans celebrate country’s Bicentennial

Saturday, September 18, 2010 

Chile is celebrating its Bicentennial, with several events that have been organized by the government for almost a decade. It commemorates two hundred years since the First Government Junta of 1810 was formed, starting the Independence process, that ended in 1818 after Bernardo O’Higgins proclaimed it.

The Bicentennial takes place on a holiday from September 17th until 21st. Sebastián Piñera inaugurated the official fondas (places where typical food and drinks of Chile are sold; similar to a tavern) earlier on Friday. Piñera also danced a “pie” of Cueca, Chile’s national dance, with Government Spokeswoman Ena Von Baer.

More than 60 thousand people gathered on Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Citizen’s Square) in Santiago to celebrate the Bicentennial. There was a projection of historical images that also contained a message from the trapped miners in Copiapó. A giant flag of Chile (18 meters of height, 27 of width; weighing 200 kilograms) was raised on the square on Friday morning.

Celebrations of the Bicentennial in Pichilemu started earlier this month. On September 2, two thousand people lined up in a formation to create the message “Viva Chile Bicentenario Cardenal Caro” on Pichilemu beach “Las Terrazas”. The message was used to create a postal stamp to be released worldwide. The event was promoted by the Government of Cardenal Caro Province.

Private schools in the city, such as Colegio Preciosa Sangre, prepared events specially for their students. On Thursday, “Fonda Don Vicente Nario” was opened on Preciosa Sangre. Several games were performed there on that morning, including “el emboque”, “ponerle la cola al burro” (to put the tail to the donkey), and others.

Another event on Preciosa Sangre took place on Thursday night, when students recreated scenes of the History of Chile, including: a tertulia featuring Manuel Montt (starred by Luis Rojas); a chingana (a popular tavern); and selected colonial professions, such as the “motero” (person who sold motemei and chestnuts).

The official fonda of Pichilemu, La Bombonera, was inaugurated on Thursday night by Mayor Roberto Córdova, who danced cueca with people who attended the event. According to Córdova, at least 30,000 people have arrived at Pichilemu as of Friday, and it is estimated that another 30,000 will arrive during the next three days.

A great event took place on Pichilemu beach on Friday afternoon. Chilean typical games highlighted the event. People danced reggaeton, Américo’s cumbias and cuecas, while others were swimming. The National Shoe Fair (Feria Nacional del Calzado) was established on Agustín Ross Hotel on Thursday, and will stay in the town until September 23rd. Alicia Grez, who works on a kiosk in the Pichileminian Craft Fair located in front of One Discotheque, said that “sales have been excellent,” and that “[they] won’t miss the possibility to experience such an event like this.”

Official plans for the Centennial of Chile, in 1910. Pedro Montt is pictured at the top, and Bernardo O’Higgins at the bottom.
Image: Memoria Chilena.