Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Choir - Episode 2

Just watched this:

They've certainly got guts - it's as though the harder the task the higher the feeling of achievement.

We can do the same here in Ulverston.

Ulverston is Special - SLDC Car Parking Charges

I noticed this when in London on Thursday:

Greening's warning

Justine Greening, the new Transport Secretary, has been extraordinarily forthright in her views on Westminster council's plans for off-peak parking charges. Westminster is, she says, trying "to put some extra money in their coffers". Using parking charges to raise general revenue is against government guidelines and could be challenged in court. It would be astonishing for a Tory council to ignore the views of the Conservative cabinet member with major responsibilities in this area. The proposal is politically contentious as well as economically disastrous: the council should back down.

( See second item on the Evening Standard Editor's page )

We in Ulverston are fedup with the attitude of Kendal SLDC towards our use of our carparks.

Of particular interest is :

"Using parking charges to raise general revenue is against government guidelines and could be challenged in court"

On what grounds can this be challenged in Court? 

Can't we do it here? 

It is clear that other business leaders are also very unhappy with their council's kneejerk reaction to raising money:

Here in Wiltshire

Can we not pool information on how to fight for our car parks.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

How can you watch and listen to this -

.    .    .    .
And not cry ?

The power of singing together! 

People who live lives under real pressure with loved ones in Afghanistan  .  .  .

Sing .

I learnt a lot.

You've got until Monday to watch this episode and then a few more days to watch the rest.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Singing in the park

It was great joining in with these people who really impressed me with the sense of enjoying life to the full. People came along with the book of words - if you hadn't got one they would share.

A real feel good factor.

It all started here!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Is it time to get blogging again ?

What a great picture - who do I thank?

I must admit I'm enjoying a break!

Spending time with hands on activities like practicing the piano, relating to young children, house maintenance, digging the allotment (and cropping delicious vegetables) and talking to real people in the street - and even keeping up with friends on dare I say it the pervasive Facebook: all these are vastly superior to engaging with people on this blog.

The thing I enjoy about Facebook is that there you relate to real people who you know whereas here most people are so reluctant to share their real names so that relationships cannot grow; what a bore; what a load of cowards, I think to myself.

Are there any people out there that have something interest to say- my assumpition is that most readers work for the council and come here just to check what's being said about them. I'm amazed for instance how quickly David Parratt (our Town Clerk ) responds to something he doesn't like on this blog.

Do many of his ilk check this blog every morning as part of their dull and boring routine?

I wonder.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Protect the freedom of the Internet

AVAAZ explains that action in the USA can have a real effect on our freedom of communication because so much hardware actually sited in the USA. I suggest that it is very important to support them.

Furthermore the use of AVAAZ to register our beliefs is proving to be a very real power that we as individuals can have on world policies - you can watch the supporters signing up by their thousands:

*         *         *         *         *         *         *         *

Right now, the US Congress is debating a law that would give them the power to censor the world's Internet -- creating a blacklist that could target YouTube, WikiLeaks and even groups like Avaaz!

Under the new law, the US could force Internet providers to block any website on suspicion of violating copyright or trademark legislation, or even failing to sufficiently police their users' activities. And, because so much of the Internet's hosts and hardware are located in the US, their blacklist would clamp down on the free web for all of us.

The vote could happen any day now, but we can help stop this -- champions in Congress want to preserve free speech and tell us that an international outcry would strengthen their hand. Let’s urgently raise our voices from every corner of the world and build an unprecedented global petition calling on US decision makers to reject the bill and stop Internet censorship. Click below to sign and then forward as widely as possible -- our message will be delivered directly to key members of the US Congress ahead of the crucial vote:
For years, the US government has condemned countries like China and Iran for their clampdown on Internet use. But now, the impact of America's new censorship laws could be far worse -- effectively blocking sites to every Internet user across the globe.

Last year, a similar Internet censorship bill was killed before reaching the US Senate floor, but it's now back in a different form. Copyright laws already exist and are enforced by courts. But this new law goes much further -- granting the government and big corporations enormous powers to force service providers and search engines to block websites based just on allegations of violations -- without a trial or being found guilty of any crime!

US free speech advocates have already raised the alarm, and some key Senators are trying to gather enough support to stop this dangerous bill. We have no time to lose. Let's stand with them to ensure American lawmakers preserve the right to a free and open Internet as an essential way for people around the world to exchange ideas, share communication and work collectively to build the world we want. Sign below to stop US censorship, and save the Internet as we know it:

In the past months, from the Arab Spring to the global Occupy Movement, we've seen first hand how the Internet can galvanize, unify and change the world. Now, if we stand together, we can stop this new attack on Internet freedom. We've done it before -- in Brazil and Italy, Avaaz members have won major victories in the fight for a free Internet. Let's take the fight global, and mobilize to defeat the most powerful censorship threat that the Internet has ever seen.

With hope,

Luis, Dalia, Diego, Emma, Ricken, Aaron, Antonia, Benjamin and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

Op-Ed: Blacklist Bill allows Feds to remove websites from Internet (Digital Journal)

Disastrous IP Legislation Is Back – And It's Worse than Ever (EFF)

Silicon Valley legislators oppose online piracy act (SFGate)

House Hearing on Stop Online Piracy Act Scheduled (PC World)

Growing Chorus of Opposition to "Stop Online Piracy Act"

The stop online piracy act: summary, problems, and implications

Why Is Justin Bieber So Pissed Off? 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A wonderful event

We all enjoyed it immensely.

The sixteen keen workers, the three groups of musicians and most important the four hundred and fifty people who came.

The feedback has been tremendous.

To find out more visit the Ulverston Candlelit Walk Facebook page

I'm always amazed how you can revisit a place that had so much activity the night before and next morning there's not a trace of all that activity. All the candle jars and pottery lights have gone, The music and "grandstand" is as it was - a lot of choppy grass.

What happened the night before is totally in the memory of those that took part and even then every single person has a different memory of what happened. One of the things that impressed people is the kind of people who they came across. Everyone was so appreciative and enjoying the wonder of the event.

Sadly those that hear about it from others who were there will never have the chance of witnessing a similar event. Next year will be totally different even though someone may attempt to repeat the magic: it just can't be done. In fact next year may not happen unless new people get involved in the making and planning, prior to the event as I will only be present as a helper - if in fact help is needed.

If you want something to happen next year, now is the time to say so, so that those willing to get involved can make tentative plans.

What is tangible today is that  Gill Banks upper and lower paths are totally dog shit free. Much of the paths have been swept and the stretch by the first picnic table where the two paths join, have had mud and weeds removed with spades by some very hard and dedicated workers. One discovers that actually the path is now quite wide!

Enjoy Gill Banks if you're out for a stroll.