Cayman Islands Tests US Meal-Kit Service to Boost Its Food Tourism Marketing – Skift

When many U.S. travelers think of the Cayman Islands, they likely think of wealthy offshore bank accounts, beaches, and luxurious resorts.

But the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism says the destination also has some of the Caribbeans best restaurants and most delicious recipes something its capitalizing on in a new marketing campaign thats sending meal kits to U.S. travelers.

Last week, the destination launched a partnership with Los Angeles-based meal kit delivery company Chefdthat lets U.S. travelers order meal kits containing ingredients of Cayman Island recipes.

This is one of the first examples of a tourism board working with a meal delivery service as part of a marketing campaign. Unless you try something, you dont know how successful itll be, said Rosa Harris, director of tourism for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. We were more specifically concentrated on a luxury, millennial, young professional clientele who is cooking at home and open to different kinds of cuisines.

Chefd said its customer base skews slightly female but ranges from ages 18 to 65 and older. Consumers dont need a subscription or membership to order from Chefd and can place a one-time order for a meal kit, for example.

The meal kits are available through September 15. The Cayman Islands is trying to leverage Chefdswest coast footholds to help it reach more travelers from large markets such as California.

Texas and northeast U.S. markets such as New York, which are already large source markets for the Cayman Islands, are also targets for the campaign.

The tourism board worked with four Cayman Islands-based chefs to develop the five meal-kit recipes for selections such as pina colada chicken or chocolate bread pudding. Chefd sources all ingredients in the promotion in the United States and will ship the kits from either its headquarters in Los Angeles or from a shipping facility in Brooklyn, New York, depending on a consumers location.

The Cayman Islands food scene also attracts plenty of star power that many travelers probably werent aware of. World-renowned chefs and food personalities such as Eric Ripert, Daniel Humm, Anthony Bourdain and Emeril Lagrasse descend on the Cayman Islands regularly for the Cayman Cookout.

For a small island country in the western Caribbean, Cayman Islands boasts more than 230 restaurants such as Riperts Blue, the Caribbeans only AAA Five Diamond restaurant.

Weve been promoting ourselves as a culinary capital of the Caribbean for quite some time, said Harris. Outside of other Caribbean destinations where you have a property thats all-inclusive, our country offers the option of dining out and having a different kind of experience.

But while the islands have earned awards and distinctions for its dining scene, its a challenge to translate that to meal kits thousands of miles away through packaging and shipping facilities before they reach consumers kitchens.There are concerns therefore about quality and freshness with the meal kits.

The meal kits range from $13 to $16 each and take between 40 to 90 minutes to prepare and cook.

Since the Cayman Islands hopes to reach many consumers who have never visited the destination, first impressions will come through the meal kits and destination-infused recipes.

Chefd will handle the logistics while the Cayman Islands provides the inspiration for the recipes, said Harris. We liked Chefds approach to screening our recipes and they tested well in their kitchens, she said. We felt the authenticity of our recipes would be upheld through ingredientsourcing, delivery method and portioning.

Harris said the tourism board doesnt have any preconceived expectations for how the campaign will perform. The recipes were testing well in the kitchen but how they perform for the consumer is yet to be determined, she said. Only then will we learn, should we have added more dessert options, for example?

With Chefd leading the end-user experience, well be able to get the feedback, she said.

The Cayman Islands is trying to break away from traditional kinds of marketing campaigns that do more telling than showing. With the meal kits, consumers can directly engage with island recipes albeit, possibly from thousands of miles away and out of the context of island life.

Many destinations are marketing their food and beverage offerings but are also struggling with how best to do it. A recent United Nations World Tourism Organization survey found that more than 65 percent of tourism boards feel their food tourism marketing efforts have been insufficient, for example.

Wed definitely like to have another food type festival or event, said Harris. We also know that our product has to grow and we just welcomed the Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa and Margaritaville Resort this past year. As we get more rooms online, well strategically choose how much additional food marketing well have.

The question remains whether consumers will be inspired to actually book travel after enjoying a meal kit recipe. Still, tapping into food delivery gives the Cayman Islands a leg up in its U.S. marketing efforts in a region as intensely competitive as the Caribbean.

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Photo Credit: The Cayman Islands has partnered with meal delivery service Chef’d to promote its food and beverage offerings to U.S. travelers. Pictured is the curried chicken recipe from a prepared meal kit. Chef’d

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Cayman Islands Tests US Meal-Kit Service to Boost Its Food Tourism Marketing – Skift

Plague, leprosy and ‘toxic’ rabbits: the unforgettable stories of the world’s abandoned islands – Wired.co.uk

Some stories can be buried for centuries; history we would rather forget, but the marks of human progress are hard to wear away.

The Abandoned Islands project aims to throw some light on these forgotten histories through an interactive map which shows 12 land masses that have been depopulated – whether by environmental disaster, violence, or scientific breakthrough. Economies crumble, technology comes into being and while people move, they leave behind unmistakable traces of life. From animal reclamation to islands ravaged by illness, the Abandoned Islands map allows you to travel across the world in search of these forgotten stories, complete with lesser-known facts and satellite images. Explore the map by clicking the image at the top of this article. Below, we have selected six of the fascinating stories from this project. Each location has a brief description of its history alongside satellite images of how they look today.

Abandoned Islands

Poveglia lies off the coast of the idyll of Venetian waterways, a divided island haunted by a long legacy of death and suffering. A canal runs through its heart, splitting the land into two parts, each used throughout the Middle Ages as lazaretto, quarantine stations for carriers of the black plague. The sick were taken by gondola across the water to Poveglia’s shores, not to be treated, but to be contained. Nearing the end of the plague years, their numbers swelled to 160,000.

In the 1800s the island took on another grisly purpose; with the epidemic of the plague gone, those who were declared mentally ill would be sent to the island. By the 1970’s, Poveglia had been abandoned and remains one of the most mysterious and disturbing sites in Italy.

Abandoned Islands

Today, plague pits litter the island; mass graves where bodies were discarded. Dig your hands into the topsoil, and you are likely to come away with remnants of human ash. While most avoid the island, some travellers who have visited the island in recent years have claimed Poveglia is home to sinister spirits and paranormal events.

Another site of illness is the island of Spinalonga in Greece. From 1903 to 1957, it served as one of the last leper colonies in Europe. Having been separated from their families and the outside world, its inhabitants would commit suicide by leaping from the forts high walls onto the rocks below. However, unlike Poveglia, this illness was soon eradicated with the discovery of a cure for leprosy in the mid-20th Century. While the island is deserted, it is due to the fact the residents were no longer forced to shut themselves away – the last resident left the island in 1962.

Abandoned Islands

On the other side of the world, Bikini Atoll should stand as a contrast to Poveglia’s dark history. With a name so cheerful, how could it possibly be anything less? But this South Pacific Island was home to some of the first nuclear tests carried out by the US government from 1946 to 1958. These nuclear tests were so toxic that the island’s original inhabitants were forced to permanently relocate to the island of Kili. When they tried to return in the 1970’s, many residents quickly became sick, forcing them to flee the island for the foreseeable future. Now uninhabited, it remains a stark reminder of the devastation caused by nuclear weapons.

Abandoned Islands

Another abandoned island left desolate not by the destruction of nature, but by its resurgence, is Ilha da Queimada Grande in Brasil. More than 90 miles from Sao Paolo, Ilha da Queimada Grande is a literal den of snakes.

Thousands of years ago, when the island became separated from the mainland by rising sea levels, it left animals trapped. Now, it is home to between 2,000 to 4,000 golden lancehead pit vipers all poisonous. While they typically feast on birds and lizards, they have reportedly developed cannibalistic tendencies. People have tried to live here amongst the vipers, but they didn’t succeed. The last known inhabitants of the island operated its lone lighthouse until the 1920s when their bodies were discovered riddled with snakebites. Since then, nobody has dared venture back.

With no natural predators left to compete with, this island of snakes looks set to continue to grow as the years pass.

Abandoned Islands

While snakes flourish in Brasil, Okunoshima, Japan is home to an unlikely swarm of rabbits. During the Second World War, Okunoshima was transformed into a secret research facility for the development of toxic gas since this was forbidden by international law, the Imperial Japanese Army attempted to hide its existence by omitting it from any maps.

After the war, when Allied forces arrived at Okunoshima, they discovered hundreds of unsupervised rabbits, all of which had been used for testing. These rabbits were released to run free on the island, and their population rapidly grew. Today, they are so revered that it is illegal for tourists to hunt them, or even for them to bring animals to the island that could risk their safety.

Abandoned Islands

Clipperton Island, under French dominion, is an island without a dominant animal but acts as a horrific reminder of the brutality of humans. In 1897, Mexico deployed a warship to annexe the island and establish a colony, and by 1914, at least 100 inhabitants lived on the island. But this habitation was soon thrown into discord when the Mexican Revolution erupted a few years later with regular food shipments halted, leading to starvation and scurvy to run rampant. It also led to the tyrannical rule of Victoriano Alvarez, the island’s reclusive lighthouse keeper.

Alvarez soon revealed his violence reportedly crowning himself king of the island and enslaving, abusing, and executing the remaining colonists over a period of two years. The survivors whittled down to less than ten eventually overpowering and killing Alvarez. After they were rescued, none attempted to return.

With such lurid and unnerving histories, after travelling across the world’s abandoned islands you may be left with a choice. Continue further into their mysteries, or allow them to be forgotten?

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Plague, leprosy and ‘toxic’ rabbits: the unforgettable stories of the world’s abandoned islands – Wired.co.uk

‘Women’s Uber’ CEO Arrested As Fugitive From Virgin Islands – Patch.com

'Women's Uber' CEO Arrested As Fugitive From Virgin Islands
BOSTON, MA The Women only ride hailing service (think Uber or Lift for just the ladies) hit a roadblock today when news broke that its CEO was arrested last week for defrauding the Virgin Islands government out of more than $2 million. The Boston
Ride-Hailing Service CEO Faces Virgin Islands Fraud Charges …U.S. News & World Report
Ride-hailing service CEO faces Virgin Islands fraud chargesWashington Post

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‘Women’s Uber’ CEO Arrested As Fugitive From Virgin Islands – Patch.com

Secaucus – Holiday Inn Secaucus Meadowlands, New Jersey

Voc est deixando nosso website da IHG em Portugus para o Brasil e entrando na verso em Ingls do nosso website para as marcas:

InterContinental, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express Hotels, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, HUALUXE Hotels e Resorts, EVEN Hotels, Candlewood Suites,Staybridge Suites e IHG Rewards Club.

Voc gostaria de visita a IHG.com Brasil para continuar em Portugus?

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Secaucus – Holiday Inn Secaucus Meadowlands, New Jersey

Hundreds of whales slaughtered in horrifying gruesome photos of … – The Sun

The shocking ritual turned the sea completely red off the Danish islands’ shores

THE sea was turned red with the blood of whales during a gruesome ritual whale massacre on the Faroe Islands.

Hundreds of animals were slaughtered with lances by locals for the shameful Grindadrap festival after being forced towards the shore.

Rex Features

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Pilot whales swimming close to the islands during migration each year are herded towards the coast by fisherman where locals wade into shallow water and hack them to death.

The cruel practice dates back to 1584, with whales pelted by stones to terrify them into beaching themselves.

Grindadrap is the Faroese term for whale killing, and the ritual can happen several times a year depending on how close whales get to the islands.

Slaughtering the animals is banned in Denmark, and across the EU, as they are a protected species.

But despite being a protectorate of Denmark, the Faroes are not a member of the EU creating a legal grey area, according to the charity Sea Shepherd.

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Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us attips@the-sun.co.ukor call 0207 782 4368

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Hundreds of whales slaughtered in horrifying gruesome photos of … – The Sun

Ride-hailing service CEO faces Virgin Islands fraud charges – Seattle Times

BOSTON (AP) The CEO of a Boston ride-hailing company geared toward women is facing charges he defrauded the U.S. Virgin Islands government out of more than $2 million.

The Boston Globe reports Syed Zain Gilani was arrested last week at Safrs Boston headquarters and will face charges July 7 in the Virgin Islands.

Law enforcement officials say Gilani and two top staffers at the USVI Bureau of Motor Vehicles arranged to take federal grant money but never completed required upgrades to the bureaus drivers license program. Gilani and the staffers face fraud-related charges.

Gilanis attorney told the Globe Gilani denies any wrongdoing. He says the charges stem from a 2011 contract dispute with one of Gilanis other companies and has nothing to do with Safr, which remains in operation.


Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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Ride-hailing service CEO faces Virgin Islands fraud charges – Seattle Times

Tropical Storm Bret forms by Leeward Islands – WPEC

by Jeffrey Beradelli and Gary Detman

Tracking the Tropics. WPEC.


The CBS12 Weather Team is tracking 2 areas in the tropics.

At 5pm today the National Hurricane Center named the 2nd tropical storm of the season nearing the Leeward Islands. This storm is named Bret. (The first storm of the year was Alex and that was way back in January.) Bret has winds of 40 mph located south of Barbados, near Brazil, and is moving WNW at 30 mph. This storm is forecast to maintain its tropical storm status through midweek but then run into some high wind shear across the central Caribbean. At that point it is forecast to weaken and potentially dissipate.

The other system we are watching is much closer to home. A large but disorganized area of convection is located in the Southern Gulf near Cancun. This system may gradually get better formed and become a subtropical or tropical storm over the next 1-2 days. The system is forecast to move NW towards the Louisiana coast. As it moves away from South Florida it will steal our moisture and give us more sun and a lot less rain over the next few days. But for the northern Gulf coast from eastern Texas to the western FL Panhandle they will see increasing heavy rain. Some isolated areas may see a foot or more of flooding rain through the end of the week.

Neither system is a threat for South Florida.

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Tropical Storm Bret has formed near the Leeward Islands.

Bret is moving WNW at 30 miles per hour.

There are tropical storm warnings up for Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and a portion of Venezuela. Tropical storm watches are in place for Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.

Bret is one of two systems being tracked in the tropics right now.

There is another system moving in the Gulf that has triggered tropical storm warnings for a portion of the Louisiana coast.

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Tropical Storm Bret forms by Leeward Islands – WPEC

On Greek islands, refugees and migrants find themselves stuck – Washington Post

By Associated Press By Associated Press June 20 at 11:51 AM

In either direction, the waiting line is stuck.

On World Refugee Day, more than 60,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece. Theyre eventually supposed to go forward to other countries in Europe or be sent back to Turkey, but the process is barely moving.

On the mainland, children take after-hours classes at Greek schools, while their families are moving out of tent camps and into trailers and apartments. Most will eventually be relocated to European Union (E.U.) countries, but the process is slow. Out of the total 63,000 places promised, just over 14,000 refugees have been moved out of Greece to 23 countries.

On the islands, where migrants are sent to wait for possible expulsion to Turkey, conditions for many have worsened as daily arrivals continue, though in smaller numbers than before. Another 14,000 people are waiting there.

Its all part of a refugee deal launched 15 months ago after more than a million people, most fleeing war and poverty in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, crossed into Europe in 2015 and 2016. Greece was a key transit point on that route, as refugees traveled from Turkey to nearby Greek islands, often using unsafe boats.

At first they were able to travel freely on to wealthier countries in northern and western Europe, but tens of thousands were stranded last year when the European Union began reintroducing border controls. Those who arrived before March 20, 2016, were allowed to move on to mainland Greece to seek relocation in an E.U. country. Those who arrived after are stuck on the islands. They can apply for asylum, or protection from being sent back but many are supposed to be sent back to Turkey. In practice, thats not really happening.

Shelters on Khos, a Greek island about five miles from the coast of Turkey, are filled beyond capacity. Many new arrivals, including infants, now sleep in tents on the beach.

Jill Biden, wife of former U.S. vice president Joe Biden, visited refugees in Khos earlier this month as part of work by the aid organization Save the Children. She traveled with Nitzia Logothetis, a therapist and aid organizer, who said she was horrified by the conditions she saw.

There were over 100 unaccompanied minors on the island, between the ages of 8 and 17, and over 1,300 refugees in total, Logothetis told a conference in Athens, the Greek capital, after returning from the visit.

I saw parents, children, and people who looked so hopeless, she said. Some of the children are so stressed out. … The longer they stay, the more severe their symptoms.

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On Greek islands, refugees and migrants find themselves stuck – Washington Post

In the Footsteps of Charles Darwin – New York Times

I had booked at the Floreana Lava Lodge beforehand ($138 per night), as it was the only lodging on the island for which I could find contact information. The lodge consists of luxury cabins complete with air conditioning (however the electricity is unreliable it is run on local pine nut oil). I was the only one staying there, mimicking my protagonist Frances isolation in a way I wasnt altogether comfortable with, but the next morning Claudio Cruz, who manages the property, sat down with me to a wonderful breakfast of fresh fruit grown on the island and local yogurt and cheese, to talk about his life.

Mr. Cruz is a native of Floreana, the son of 1940s settlers. He and his wife also own a guesthouse, the Casa Santa Maria. Besides Mr. Cruzs properties there are five other lodging establishments; the most famous is the Hotel Wittmer, right on Black Beach (named for its black volcanic sand), which heats up to infernal temperatures and is overrun twice a day with groups of tourists who come and snorkel and then go back to their boats. Each room at the Wittmer has a balcony with a hammock. The other guesthouses are clean and comfortable, with bathrooms en suite. Some have air conditioning and include breakfast, at $30 to $40 a night. There is usually a vacancy, unless there is a school group or a large scientific research community. Each guesthouse consists of two or three rooms atop the proprietors house.

Floreana, with a small population of about 200, is not for the easily lonely. There are no stores and no real restaurants, and you are not allowed to bring any produce to the island (though granola bars, instant oatmeal and other packaged foods are fine), for fear of contamination. Erika Wittmer and her mother Floreanita will make dinner for $10 and, if you sweet talk them into it, lunch ($6). Oddly, if only because the Fruleins Wittmer have never lived there, it is German food: pork, spaetzle, overcooked vegetables, a bit heavy for a tropical island. Claudio Cruzs sister, Aura, cooks tastier food out of her home and restaurant youll see the sign marking La Canchalagua. She will serve you at one of the two tables on her front porch if arrangements are made with her in advance. Meals are local fish and simple grilled meats, rice and vegetables (lunch $6, dinner $10 to $12). Nowhere on Floreana do you get to choose your meal (though accommodations may be possible for vegetarians and others with dietary restrictions).

The main attraction is Asilo de la Paz (Haven of Peace), site of the first human settlements on Floreana, in a cave near the only source of fresh water on the island. Its about five miles up the only road. You can take the workers bus, which leaves at 7 a.m., and ask to be dropped off ($2). Technically its national parkland, so youre not allowed there without a guide, but I went several times and was questioned only once. The cave is empty now, and just big enough for five people to stand its hard to believe an entire family once lived there. Also at the summit is an abandoned resort that the Wittmers built but never actually used, as well as the Floreana tortoise breeding corral, where you can commune with (and get close enough to touch) giant tortoises, cousins of the originals.

Better still: Attach yourself to a group. One day I caught a ride with a class of Ecuadorean fifth graders and listened as their guide explained the site while we shared lollipops. Another day I was invited to join a German group, and we stopped at a farm to examine the plants that provide the food to islanders. A third day, I asked Mr. Cruz to show me his farm, and the site of some of the human settlements that provide Floreanas historical lore (I paid him $20 for his time).

Floreana has some of the most interesting human history in the Galpagos, and was the site of the possible murder of three flamboyant characters, entertainingly chronicled in the 2013 documentary The Galpagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden. (I fictionalized them in my novel.) Originally occupied mostly by marauding pirates and buccaneers (who are said to have eaten all the tortoises, and released goats and rats), consistent human settlement on Floreana only dates back to 1929, when a German doctor, Friedrich Ritter, and his companion, Dore Strauch, decided to follow his nativist philosophy by leaving their respective spouses (who conveniently moved in together), pulling out all their teeth to seal their commitment to vegetarianism, and moving there. Their solitude was disturbed by the arrival of the Wittmer family in 1932. Relations between the two German families were tense, and the discord was further fueled when Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosquet, an Austrian baroness, arrived to stake her claim to the island. Competing narratives can be compared in Margaret Wittmers memoir, Floreana, and Strauchs memoir, Satan Came to Eden.

Arriving with two German lovers, the self-proclaimed baroness antagonized both families by stealing provisions and otherwise attracting attention. After a split in the mnage trois, the baroness and one of her partners vanished. Everyone on the island would seem to have had motive and opportunity for their disappearance, but accidents can also happen on volcanic islands. In the wake of her disappearance the spurned lover caught the next boat. His desiccated body was found on a deserted island nearby, six months later. Not long afterward, Dr. Ritter died from eating spoiled potted meat (despite his professed vegetarianism). Amid rumors that she had poisoned him, Dore Strauch returned to Germany, leaving the Wittmers briefly alone on the island. The Floreanita mentioned earlier is Margarets daughter.

If the murder stories dont scare you off, the snorkeling is terrific around Floreana. Its best to bring your own equipment, though there is usually some knocking about that you can borrow at hotels. There were five foreigners staying on the island the week I was there, and two Argentine girls negotiated a snorkeling trip with a local resident. The American couple who joined us were avid snorkelers, and they pointed out manta and eagle rays, small sharks and different kinds of colorful fish as well as spectacular underwater volcanic rocks.

In addition to the road that goes to the top of the island, there is a second one that runs parallel to the shore and ends in La Loberia, a sea lion nursery. I had been warned that the 800-pound bull that lives there is territorial, and when he barked at me angrily I knew Id gotten too close.

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In the Footsteps of Charles Darwin – New York Times

DEC would change islands camping – The Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing numerous changes to the Saranac Lake Islands Campground, located just outside of Saranac Lake. In one form or another, the state has regulated camping on Middle and Lower Saranac lakes, as well as on Weller Pond and First and Second ponds, for just over a century. (Enterprise photo Justin A. Levine)

SARANAC LAKE Little more than a century after camping first opened on Lower and Middle Saranac lakes, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing changes to both the regulations governing the campground and the locations of some of its sites.

Officially sanctioned state camping began on the lakes in 1916 and eventually expanded to include 300 wooden tent platforms scattered around the lakes, islands and connected ponds. The popularity of the platforms led to unsustainable use, and the state removed the platforms and created the Saranac Lake Administrative Camping Area, which opened in 1977.

The camping area, now known as the Saranac Lake Islands Campground, initially opened with 62 sites, all located on Lower Saranac Lake. In 1992, the DEC reorganized the campground, adding another 25 sites on Middle Saranac Lake and Weller Pond to bring the campground to its current total of 87 sites.

However, the DEC failed to change its rules and regulations to reflect the expansion of the campground, and is now proposing to do so through the recently released Saranac Lakes Wild Forest Unit Management Plan.

The Saranac Lake Islands Campground is operated by the DEC, one of more than a dozen such campgrounds throughout the Adirondacks. From the middle of May to the middle of October each year, sites in the campground are available to rent, and can be reserved up to nine months in advance.

However, while the state-owned shoreline of Lower Saranac Lake is administered under the campground rules, Middle Saranac Lake and Weller Pond shorelines are considered wild forest. This means that while there is no camping on Lower Saranac Lake except at the campground sites, there could be camping along the shoreline of Weller Pond and Middle Saranac Lake in places that are not official campground sites.

The DEC is proposing to expand the campground regulations to the shoreline of Weller Pond and Middle Saranac Lake so that no camping within 1,000 feet of shore would be allowed, except at the existing campground sites.

In addition to the regulations change, the DEC is also proposing to relocate 14 of the campground sites over three years to meet separation guidelines. Many DEC campgrounds are classified as intensive use areas, which means that campsites can be close together. But due to the administrative classification of the islands campground, sites need to be about 500 feet apart. Therefore, DEC plans to close some current sites and move them to other locations where the separation requirements will be met. Twelve of these sites are on Lower Saranac Lake, while the other two are on Middle Saranac Lake.

The DEC is also proposing to build four new sites and says it will work with the state Adirondack Park Agency to develop several new group camping sites, which allow more than six people. DEC campgrounds limit most sites to a maximum of six.

The DEC has put presentations and fact sheets about various aspects of the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest UMP on its website and will take public comments on the proposals until Aug. 11. For the fact sheets, presentations and the full UMP, along with public meeting dates and information on how to submit comments, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/22593.html.

SUGAR BUSH A mother and her young daughter were involved in a one-car crash on state Route 3 on …

BLOOMINGALE A New Hampshire man was taken to the hospital Saturday after he crashed while riding on River Road …

SARANAC LAKE A judge has blocked Lake Side Motel owner David Manning from selling his property while a lawsuit …

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DEC would change islands camping – The Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Paradise saved: some of world’s rarest birds rebound on Pacific islands cleared of invasive predators – BirdLife International

Just two years after ambitious efforts by a team of international conservation organisations to rid French Polynesias Acteon & Gambier island groups of invasive mammals began, five of six targeted islands are now confirmed as predator-freea ground-breaking one thousand hectares in total. Early signs already indicate that rare birds found nowhere else in the world (endemic) and other native plants and animals are recovering as the remote islands return to their former glory.

The Polynesian Ground-dove Alopecoenas erythropterus (locally known as Tutururu) is one of the rarest birds on the planet with fewer than 200 individuals left. Predation and competition by destructive, non-native (invasive) mammals in French Polynesia have driven this and other rare, endemic bird species to the brink of extinction. The species is listed by BirdLife International as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red Lista category that signals an extremely high risk of extinction within our lifetimes.

The Acteon Gambier island group is home to the last viable population of Polynesian Ground-dove, a species once much more widespread in the Pacific, said Steve Cranwell, BirdLife Internationals Invasive Species Manager. This birds remaining predator-free habitat was so small that without this intervention, a cyclone, prolonged drought, or accidental rat or avian disease introduction could trigger extinction.

Introduced mammalian species alone are believed to be responsible for 90% of all bird extinctions since 1500. Early human explorers introduced invasive species such as rats to the remote Acteon & Gambier islands (and thousands more around the world), upsetting the natural balances of the islands and threatening the native plants and wildlife that evolved without defences against land predators.

Operation Restoration

Combining resources, expertise, equipment, and logistical skills, a coalition of NGOs, BirdLife International, SOP Manu (BirdLife Partner, French Polynesia) and Island Conservationtogether with the support of the government of French Polynesia, landowners, other partners and local volunteersvoyaged over 1,500 km to six of French Polynesias remote islandsVahanga , Tenarunga, Temoe, Kamaka, Makaroa and Manui to complete the challenging project in 2015.

The project required years of planning and fundraising (including a cooperation with Rovio, the maker ofAngry Birds), involved nine permits, 165 helicopter flight hours, three ships transporting hundreds of tonnes of equipment and donated bait from key partners Bell Laboratories and Tomcat, as well as 31 personnel from six countries (from three continents) who endured extraordinary weather and sea conditions during 12-day journeys to and from the islands. The prospect of a brighter future for the Tutururu and other native island species made the operations well-worth the effort.

After extensive monitoring, a survey in April has confirmed great success on five of the six islands, reported Dr David Beaune, Director SOP Manu. This is a tremendous achievement that will provide a permanent solution to the alarming declines of native species on these islands due to predation and competition from invasive species.

Double benefits: safe habitat and local coconut production

The project has more than doubled the secure habitat for both the Polynesian Ground-dove and the Tuamotu Sandpiper Prosobonia parvirostris (locally: Titi), a globally Endangered landbird, said Cranwell. The islands look vibrant with new native vegetation, and both bird species have now established and are increasing on the island of Tenarungasomething that has not been possible for decades.

The benefits extend beyond nature alone. Without rats, local land managers reported a doubling of their copra (coconut kernel) production in 2016a major source of income for these isolated communities, said Pere Joel Aumeran Vicar General for the Catholic Church. Safeguarding our islands natural value is a foundation of Polynesian culture and important to the Catholic Church. This tremendous contribution to the lives of local people ensures these islands fully recover and remain predator-free; a legacy the Puamotu people leave for generations to come.

While the success of this project is vital to securing the future for these globally threatened birds, it also provides important safe habitat for other endemic species in a region where there is very little invasive-predator-free habitat, explained Richard Griffiths, Island Conservations Project Director. The success also serves as an indicator that invasive-species-driven extinctions on other remote islands can be avoided if this operation is replicated at scale.

Next steps

We now need to increase the habitat range of these species by translocating small populations to islands where they were previously founda conservation technique proven highly effective in Polynesia, said Dr. Beaune. Plans are underway to re-introduce the Tutururu and Titi to Temoe, and to attract other Endangered seabirds such as the Polynesian Storm-petrel Nesofregetta fuliginosa to these predator-free islands.

To inform future restoration efforts for complex islands with challenging terrain, the team is conducting an analysis of the Kamaka effort, which did not succeed. With invasive mammals now eradicated from the five islands, the coalitions attention is shifting to biosecuritypreventing re-invasion through monitoring, education (brochures and signs for tourists), and stringent inspections of incoming vessels.

French Polynesia can be immensely proud of completing this project, which, for its scale and complexity, is a first for the region, Griffiths said. The government of French Polynesia is well positioned to capitalize on this success and become a leader within the Pacific to rid Oceanias islands of damaging invasive species.

Polynesian Ground-dove album Tuamotu Sandpiper album Operation & landscapes album

2015 Press Release Coverage on BBC Earth Angry Birds video Island Conservation Blog coverage BirdLife Operation Restoration project updates

Species benefiting:

BirdLife International, withSOP Manu(BirdLife Partner in French Polynesia) andIsland Conservation lead an extensive island restoration operation in a remote area of French Polynesia to save Critically Endangered bird species and restore the delicate ecological balance. The ambitious project is restoring the Acteon & Gambier archipelagos to their former glory, making them once again safe and ready for the reintroduction of the Tuamotu Sandpiper and Polynesian Ground-dove, andbenefitingmany other wildlife.

By sharing transport, equipment and expertise, weve significantly reduced the cost of restoring several islands that are threatened, but the project is nonetheless our biggest of the decade. Additional technical assistance has come from the Pacific Invasives Initiative and the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

This project has received support from many international and national organisations with significant funding from the European Union, the British Birdwatching Fair, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and National Geographic Society; sponsorships from Bell Laboratories and T-Gear Trust Canada; and assistance from the Government of French Polynesia and many individual people around the world.

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Paradise saved: some of world’s rarest birds rebound on Pacific islands cleared of invasive predators – BirdLife International

Tropical Storm Bret Spreading Heavy Rain, Gusty Winds Across Windward Islands, Northeastern Venezuela – The Weather Channel

Story Highlights

Tropical Storm Bret formed Monday afternoon in the open Atlantic Ocean.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for portions of the southern Windward Islands and northeastern Venezuela.

Heavy rain and gusty winds are expected in these areas into Tuesday.

Tropical Storm Bret will spread heavy rain and gusty winds across the southern Windward Islands and northeastern Venezuela into Tuesday.

(MORE: 5 Changes to Hurricane Season Forecasts)

Here’s the latest from the National Hurricane Center:

Little change in strength is expected during the next 12 to 24 hours.

After passing through the Windward Islands, the forecast calls for this systemto weaken into a tropical depression on Wednesday, due to increasing southerly wind shear and land interaction with Venezuela.

(MORE: Hurricane Season Outlook |Hurricane Central)

Tropical storm conditions, including gusty winds and heavy rain,have likely begun in portions of the southern Windward Islands and the northeastern coast of Venezuela, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are currently expected over the Windward Islands and the eastern coast of Venezuela into Tuesday.

Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for Trinidad, Tobago,Grenada and Venezuela (Pedernales to Cumana, including Isla de Margarita). A tropical storm watch is in effect for Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

This portion of the Atlantic Basin is an unusual spot for tropical development this early in the season.

Tropical Storm Bret isan outlier that is only joined by a few tropical systems that have formed in June in the open Atlantic. The system is also somewhat odd because it formed farther south than most tropical cyclones around the globe.

The western Caribbean andGulf of Mexicoare two of the areas we typically look for the development of tropical storms in June.

Any storms that do form typically track north or northeastward, which brings the Gulf Coast and the Southeast coast in play for potential impacts.

On average, there’s onenamed storm in June in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico every one to twoyears.

Tropical development in the open Atlantic only happens about once per decade.

Last Junewas an outlier, when Bonnie, Colin and Danielle all spun through the Atlantic Basin as tropical storms.

MORE ON WEATHER.COM:Life and Landfall of Hurricane Hermine: Africa to North Atlantic

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Tropical Storm Bret Spreading Heavy Rain, Gusty Winds Across Windward Islands, Northeastern Venezuela – The Weather Channel

The Aran Islands – TheaterMania.com

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The Aran Islands – TheaterMania.com

Egypt islands deal with Saudis pits government against courts – The Times of Israel

CAIRO (AP) The past weeks tempestuous parliament approval of a deal transferring two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia is putting Egypts government at odds with the judiciary and providing the countrys battered opposition with a nationalist cause to whip up at a time of growing economic distress.

The surprise 2016 deal to hand over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir aimed to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia, which has provided distressed Egypt with billions of dollars in grants and soft loans over the past four years. It comes amid fitful efforts to establish an axis of cooperation between two powers vying for leadership of the self-styled moderate Sunni Arab camp countries which oppose Shiite Iran and are willing to weigh closer ties to Israel.

But the opposition has proven a headache for President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, whose popularity seems to be slipping in the wake of economic liberalization reforms that deeply hurt Egyptians living standards, even while winning global praise. Sissis government has been gaining greater acceptance by other governments internationally, even while facing criticism over its authoritarian policies defended on security grounds that include jailing opponents and crushing rights groups.

With parliaments approval of the handover, the dispute over the islands now pits the legislative and executive branches of government against the judiciary. Courts issued two rulings over the past year that clearly stated the islands belong to Egypt.

In Egypts sometimes murky power structure, it is not clear where such a battle of wills could go.

The issue takes on added significance and sensitivity because Tiran controls the only shipping lane leading to the ports of Eilat and Aqaba, in Israel and Jordan respectively. The closure of the so called Tiran Strait was a main trigger of the 1967 Middle East war.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, talks with Saudi King Salman after the king arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, March 28, 2015. (Provided by Egypts state news agency, MENA via AP,)

Saudi Arabias request for the islands and the absence of any official explanation from Cairo or Riyadh has prompted widespread speculation. One scenario says the islands afford the Saudis a say of some sort in renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations along with formal contacts with Israel. Another line of speculation says these contacts would contribute toward formulating a joint strategy against Shiite Iran, a nemesis to the Saudis and Israelis alike.

Heres a look at some of the issues related to the islands and how they are likely to evolve:

The maritime border demarcation agreement under which Egypt would transfer control of the islands to Saudi Arabia was signed and announced when Saudi King Salman was visiting Egypt in April 2016. The announcement came as the Saudis unveiled a multibillion-dollar package of soft loans and investments to Egypt, prompting charges the government was handing over the islands in return for Saudi money.

A court in June 2016 ruled to annul the transfer of the islands. When the government appealed, a higher court upheld the verdict in January and asserted that the islands were Egyptian. The higher court alluded to official documents, some dating back to Ottoman and British colonial times, showing Cairos exercise of full sovereignty over the islands over the years and offered a legal opinion that dismissed the agreement as unconstitutional.

The government, meanwhile, filed a case with the Supreme Constitutional Court, seeking a ruling on whether the two courts had jurisdiction over the case. That court starts hearings next month, but a panel of constitutional experts already filed a report saying the courts did indeed have jurisdiction. If thats the case, serious doubts would be cast on the legality of parliaments ratification of the deal.

That, in turn, would usher in a potentially damaging battle between the legislature and the judiciary. In any case, Sissi has to sign off on parliaments ratification before the agreement can go into effect. He has yet to do so, and there has been no word on whether he will await the Supreme Constitutional Courts ruling. He will have to tread carefully given the courts weight and the erosion of parliaments credibility over its handling of the agreement.

Dozens of lawyers shout slogans during a protest against the accord to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia in front of the lawyers syndicate in Cairo, June 13, 2017. (AP/Amr Nabil)

The 596-seat legislature ratified the deal on June 14 after four days of at times vicious arguments. Lawmakers on each side threw around accusations of treason, payments by foreign powers and illegal amassing of wealth.

The disorder reinforced critics charges that parliament is just a tool for the government to carry out its agenda and that many of its members lack the political skills to effectively carry out their duties. The government denies parliament is a rubber stamp, pointing to the rare cases where it has blocked proposals.

Perhaps most egregiously, Speaker Ali Abdel-Al asserted that judicial rulings on the agreement amounted to nil, a position seen as contemptuous of the judiciary. But only a mass resignation by the around 100 lawmakers who oppose the agreement might embarrass the chamber enough to trigger calls for its dissolution. In the meantime, more than 100 lawmakers have urged Sissi not to sign off on parliaments ratification before the Supreme Constitutional Courts verdict, according to local media.

Activists raged over the issue on social media. But online calls for street protests achieved a meager response, likely a sign of how Egyptians have become fatigued by recent years instability, cowed by security crackdowns and consumed with economic privations.

Police arrested more than 100 activists and demonstrators over the weekend, of whom about half remain in custody, according to rights lawyers. There were a handful of small protests in Cairo on Friday, quickly broken up by security forces.

But future street action is possible.

If the government went ahead and handed over the islands to Saudi Arabia, we will consider them occupied and will work toward liberating them by all means available, said one opposition leader, Farid Zahran.

An opinion poll conducted by an Egypt-based pollster, Baseera, found that 47 percent of those questioned believed the islands were Egyptian, with only 11% saying they were Saudi. The poll, conducted June 11-12, asked 1,164 people. The margin of error was below 3%.

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Egypt islands deal with Saudis pits government against courts – The Times of Israel

Portland passes stricter rules for golf carts on Casco Bay islands – Press Herald

The Portland City Council on Monday passed more stringent rules for golf cart operators on Casco Bay Islands and opened additional mainland parking spaces for islanders two measures that generally received support from the handful of Peaks Island residents in attendance.

As Peaks has become more popular for tourists, islanders have raised safety concerns about golf cart traffic on their streets. They shared stories of drunken wedding guests speeding around the island and parents driving with children on their laps. Golf carts have been permitted on the islands for decades, but residents say accidents have resulted in property damage and even injury.

The new rules require all golf cart operators to have drivers licenses and prohibit anyone from standing in a moving golf cart or riding in the lap of a golf cart driver or passenger. While the changes were generally well received and passed unanimously, there was some concern they would be difficult to enforce. One resident suggested a moratorium on golf carts to phase them out of the islands, and another asked the police department to be more proactive in penalizing rule breakers.

With these changes I think comes a responsibility of the police department that they are able to make sure that we are as much as possible in compliance, Peaks Island resident Timmi Sellers said. If these new rules go on the book, take steps to enforce it.

Under the previous ordinance, golf cart operators are required to be over age 21 or have a valid license. The new version does not include an age restriction, but all operators must be licensed. It also stipulates that headlights must shine 200 feet ahead of golf carts in order to operate at night, and the carts must have added reflectors.

All golf carts on Peaks, Cliff and Great Diamond islands are already required to be registered with the city and display a sticker, and records show 255 registered golf carts on all three islands. However, residents say many carts are unregistered. Golf carts also are already required to have horns, safety flags and slow vehicle markings, but many do not.

Two companies now lease golf carts for hourly or long-term rentals on Peaks, and representatives from both businesses spoke at Mondays City Council meeting. Both noted their businesses generally follow the requirements of the updated ordinance already, and they said carts from private properties are more often the sources of the islands problems.

When we rent a golf cart, we spend anywhere from five to 10 minutes explaining how the golf cart works, going through all the safety and making folks understand that they have legal requirements, said Mike Sylvester, owner of Mikes Carts. We chase a lot of folks who arent in our carts off the road because it gives a bad name to all of us.

The speed limit for golf carts will increase from 10 mph to 20 mph to conform with the posted speed limit on island roads. The speed limit near the island school would be 15 mph. Few golf carts have speedometers, however, so it is unclear how operators could follow the speed limit.

Robert OBrien, manager of Peaks Island Golf Carts, said golf carts typically cant drive as fast as 20 mph, and he worried the increase might encourage others on the road to speed.

Everyone out there is thinking, we can go faster now, OBrien said.

Lisa Penalver, chairwoman of the Peaks Island Council, credited the golf cart rental companies for educating their customers on safe practices, but said an update was still needed for all operators.

We need to have guidelines, even if we cant always enforce them, Penalver said.

The City Council also asked the Sustainability and Transportation Committee to study the issue of parking for islanders on the mainland near the ferry. In the meantime, the City Council on Monday opened 30 spots on Fore Street as a short-term solution.

Island residents have said competition is fierce for only 55 designated spaces on the mainland near the Ocean Gateway terminal, and they want more spots to be designated for their use.

We have to be mindful of this need of islanders to get to and from their residences and their appointments and their workplaces, City Councilor Belinda Ray said.

Megan Doyle can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:


Twitter: megan_e_doyle

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Portland passes stricter rules for golf carts on Casco Bay islands – Press Herald

Merkel: Brexit-Bound Britain Might Copy EU’s Low Tax Islands – New York Times

HAMBURG, Germany German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Britain might end up following the example of other islands in the European Union with low tax rates when it quits the bloc.

Merkel, who said it was already hard to organise fair tax competition in Europe, also announced plans for a Franco-German corporation tax reform.

Speaking to non-governmental organisations in Hamburg before she hosts a G20 summit there next month, Merkel said: “I don’t want to pillory anyone but the island states of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus say: we have a bad geographical location, we’re at such a disadvantage, we can only attract companies by having very low taxes.”

She added: “And when, within the context of Brexit, Britain one day decides to step into this tax competition too, then of course that would be a huge challenge for countries.”

Germany and France will therefore attempt a joint corporation tax reform via a common tax assessment framework “so that at least two countries can be a role model”, she said, adding that this could also be a blueprint for a global tax system.

The G20 summit is due to take place in Hamburg in early July. On July 13 the governments of Germany and France will meet in Paris for the Franco-German Council of Ministers, where they want to make proposals for closer cooperation in areas such as tax.

In a manifesto document ahead of a June 8 election, Britain’s Conservatives – who emerged as the largest party but lost their parliamentary majority – said corporation tax would be cut to 17 percent by 2020.

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Merkel: Brexit-Bound Britain Might Copy EU’s Low Tax Islands – New York Times

Japanese Visitors’ Flight To Disputed Russian-Held Islands … – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

A flight scheduled to take former Japanese residents to two Russian-held islands in the Pacific Ocean has been canceled because of heavy fog conditions on one of the islands, Japanese Foreign Ministry officials say.

The ministry press service on June 19 said, “The flight has been canceled due to bad weather. We are now considering the possibility to arrange a new flight.”

The visit was set to begin on June 18 to the disputed islands, which Tokyo calls the Northern Territories and Moscow calls the Southern Kuriles.

It would have marked the first time Japanese citizens were allowed to travel by air to the island chain. Previous Japanese visitors were forced to travel by ship under a complicated procedure.

The flight with 70 people aboard by Russian airline Aurora was delayed on June 18 and June 19 because of heavy fog at the Mendeleyevo airport on Kunashir Island in the chain.

The visitors were going to “pay respects” to the graves of family members, officials said.

Although Russian-held, Japan still claims the islands, which the Soviet Union seized in the closing days of World War II.

Lingering tensions over the islands have prevented Japan and Russia from signing a peace treaty to formally end the war.

In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had agreed with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to start flights for former Japanese residents to “visit graves of ancestors” on the islands.

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Japanese Visitors’ Flight To Disputed Russian-Held Islands … – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

New ferry Salish Eagle starts service Wednesday in Gulf Islands – Times Colonist

The Salish Eagle, the second of three new vessels joining the B.C. Ferries fleet this year, begins service Wednesday with a 9:10 a.m. sailing on the Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route.

The Salish Orca was the first of the trio in service, starting in May on the Powell River-Comox route. The Salish Raven arrived in Victoria on June 7 and is due to start service in the fall, also in the Southern Gulf Islands.

All three ferries are 107 metres long and can carry 145 vehicles and 600 passengers. They were built in Poland at an overall cost of $200 million and are all duel-fuel able to run on natural gas or ultra-low sulphur marine diesel.

B.C. Ferries plans to run all three on natural gas, which it says means a reduction of 9,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, compared with running the vessels on marine diesel the same as taking 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road per year.

The new ferries were named to honour the Coast Salish people and each has been adorned with First Nations art.

The arrival of the Salish-class vessels means the Queen of Burnaby and Queen of Nanaimo are being retired, while the Bowen Queen will be taken out of regular service and used as a utility vessel.

Times Colonist

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New ferry Salish Eagle starts service Wednesday in Gulf Islands – Times Colonist

Climate change in the islands – Marianas Variety

19 Jun 2017

OVER the last two centuries, experts say human activities have resulted in more greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to steadily increase.

Although Micronesians and other Pacific islanders are among the lesser contributors to global warming, we are at the greatest risk from its negative impacts which include rising sea levels.

A number of islands in Micronesia and the Pacific are small island states/territories, low-lying atolls, volcanic or mountainous islands such as Guam, Palau, Nauru, Pohnpei and the NMI where majority of the population lives in the coastal areas which makes us particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels.

In addition, islanders depend on natural resources from land and sea which include fisheries, tourism, and agriculture which will be directly affected by the changing climate.

Researchers from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland found that while many plant species are able to persist in less favorable climate conditions, those same species often do so by adopting last-stand strategies such as shrinking in size and temporarily suspending reproductive and growth effort. This merely helps them to survive instead of thrive in these less favorable environments.

Plants provide us with food, pastures for livestock and places for recreation and well-being, the researchers say. They also directly and indirectly provide numerous invaluable ecosystem services such as water regulation, carbon sequestration and flood prevention. As a result, it is imperative that we understand how plant populations are responding to climate constraints now, and use that information to predict how they are likely to respond to climatic changes in the future.

A professor of zoology at Trinity College, Yvonne Buckley, said: Not all plants have the life strategies to persist for extended periods of time in less favorable climates, but our research is already helping to pinpoint those that do. One of the next steps is to design management strategies to help support these species and to safeguard the ecosystem services that they provide us.

Many islanders believe that human activities should support species and safeguard the ecosystem.

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Climate change in the islands – Marianas Variety

Airbnb usage showing steep climbs on Cape and Islands – Cape Cod Times (subscription)

Sean F. Driscoll @SeanFDriscoll

Memorial Day was just shy of a $1 million weekend for homeowners on the Cape and Islands who use the vacation booking site Airbnb to rent their homes, an eightfold increase in the site’s traffic in just three years a sign that the company is making deep inroads in the local market.

Guest arrivals at Airbnb properties over Memorial Day weekend rose from 553 in 2014 to 4,573 this year, according to data the San Francisco-based company released last week. In the same time frame, host income rose from $135,000 in 2014 to $967,000 this year, a jump of more than 700 percent.

But company data shows that most of the local hosts on the site don’t rent their homes full time, said company spokeswoman Crystal Davis. Instead, the majority of hosts on the Cape and Islands rent their properties only a few days a year and use the site to bring in extra cash to defray living expenses.

“Many of them are retired and dont have the same stream of income where they were younger, so using an extra space in home to make their money to pay for their mortgage and bills,” she said.

The meteoric rise in Airbnb’s popularity locally comes as a statewide debate continues over taxing short-term rentals to match the taxes assessed on hotel stays. Hotels collect a 5.7 percent lodging tax on all stays, and municipalities can levy an additional 4 to 6 percent on top of that. All the towns on the Cape and Islands save for West Tisbury and Gosnold have opted to collect a local lodging tax, according to state records.

The tax would affect people who rent homes, apartments or rooms through online services such as Airbnb, HomeAway or Vacation Rental by Owner for less than 30 consecutive days. The state tax would be levied at 5.7 percent with a local option to add up to an additional 6 percent, a policy on par with the current Massachusetts state hotels tax.

Airbnb estimates that, if its transactions were taxed, Massachusetts would have received $15 million in revenue based on sales between Nov. 1, 2015, and Oct. 31, 2016.

In comparison, the state collected about $22 million in room occupancy taxes in May, according to the Department of Revenue; the revenue from the Cape and Islands Airbnb transactions over Memorial Day would have brought the state about $57,000 in tax collections, and a similar total that would be split between the 19 towns with a local lodging tax.

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross said she isn’t surprised Airbnb is picking up market share locally, and said that businesses particularly real estate agents, who have often served as the middleman between vacation renters and homeowners began to feel the company’s presence more acutely last year. But whether it’s $1 or $1 million in revenue, she said the home rentals should be taxed the same as hotel stays.

“If that transaction is taxable for some, it should be taxable for all,” she said.

Jeff Talmadge, owner of booking site WeNeedaVacation.com, said Airbnb’s advance isn’t reflective of an explosion in the local lodging market but more on the company’s own push into new territory.

“They’ve pretty clearly made inroads,” he said. “Our market has been pretty steady.”

Shortly before Memorial Day, Talmadge said in a news release that bookings were running slightly below 2016 for the summer. However, June has brought a surge that has put the summer on par with last year’s benchmark, he said.

Although it’s hard to ascribe a reason for the surge, he believes at least part of it is the large increase in the site’s inventory of properties a result, he said, of froth in the vacation booking industry that has sent host property owners to their site.HomeAway/VRBO, an Airbnb competitor, decided last year to join other vacation rental websites and require vacationers to pay them a fee when booking online in addition to the advertising fee they charge homeowners.

Talmadge said his site charges a flat fee to list a property and allows property owners to communicate directly with renters, giving the owners more control over who, ultimately, rents their home.

“It’s irritated a lot of vacationers and a lot of the homeowners are feeling priced out,” he said. “We’ve seen an unusual surge back to us. It’s heartening, after 20 years in the business, that we’ve racked up a lot of good will.”

Follow Sean F. Driscoll on Twitter: @seanfdriscoll.


Airbnb usage showing steep climbs on Cape and Islands – Cape Cod Times (subscription)