Posts Tagged ‘Otago Daily Times’

Sound Canons Used Against New Zealand Citizenry

02/07/2022

By Randall Richards, Mountain Spirit Media
In a recent piece by Oscar Francis of the Otago Daily Times he reports that,
“Police have confirmed sound cannons were deployed against protesters at the Parliament occupation in Wellington earlier this year. A document released under the Official Information Act (OIA) revealed two long-range acoustic devices (LRADs) were deployed on the last day of the protest, March 2″…. (read the rest of the article here)
The article has a few “inaccuracies”. The first statement that contradicts what eyewitnesses experienced is in the second sentence of the piece where LRADs were only deployed on the last day of the protest. One facilitator/administrator at the protest stated seeing the devices starting around mid-way through the protest. Two teachers from Geraldine also reported seeing the devices well before the March 2 date stated above. Additionally, nurses and a doctor at the protest’s medical tent reported people presenting with burns and hearing issues. These signs and symptoms were also reported at similar protests in Australia.
The second misrepresentation presented in Francis’ article states, Police “clashed with crowds of protesters who lit fires and threw cobblestones.” Two independent eyewitnesses who I interviewed, who were immediately next to the tents said that the people lighting the tent/s on fire and adding fuel to the fire/s “were definitely new to the protest grounds, and wore black masks, similar to what Antifa protestors wear.”

Dan Murphy of Queenstown, NZ, supplied these stills from his video of the devices being used on protestors in Wellington during the protest against mandates.

long-range acoustic device set up at the nation’s capital in New Zealand. Image Credit: Dan Murphy
Detailed image of police using a long-range acoustic device on protestors in Wellington New Zealand. Image Credit: Dan Murphy

This last image, from Tactical Solutions’ webpage shows their LRAD product, which presumably supplies the New Zealand Police Force. The page’s opening statement reads “used by police forces for non-lethal and non-kinetic crowd control, as a defensive deterrent and for protestor management.”

Tactical Solutions’ webpage, somewhat hidden on their website, on the LRAD

I’ve also interviewed a number of people in my local community who were adversely affected by these devices. After having returned home after the protest, there were reports of tinnitus, headaches, exhaustion and disorientation. This author certainly has tinnitus as well, which could be attributable to these acoustic devices.

New Zealand Singer Loving Life on the Road in N. America

08/09/2013

By Lucy Ibbotson
Otago Daily Times

Van Riel On Tour in Bodie California

Van Riel in Bodie California

Lake Hawea, New Zealand singer-songwriter Anna van Riel, between gigs on her sustainable house concert tour across North America, plays with daughter Matilda (2) in Bodie, a ghost town in California.

Two-thirds of the way through her sustainable musical road-trip across Canada and the United States, Lake Hawea, NZ singer-songwriter Anna van Riel says the 15 months spent planning and fundraising for the experience has all been worth it.

”I’m still pinching myself,” Ms van Riel told the Otago Daily Times in an email from Colorado.
”I can’t believe we did it. That we’re here. It’s been so much cooler than I anticipated.”

Accompanied by husband Locky Urquhart and their daughter Matilda (2), Ms van Riel has spent the past two months travelling from British Columbia, through Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado, performing quirky concerts in private homes, farmers markets, trailer parks and other venues.

This week, the trio have been camping at Read the rest of this story at Otago Daily Times…
lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz

Life & Death in the Mountains

16/08/2013

At What Cost?
By R. Richards

Vinton-Boot in Chamonix

Vinton-Boot in Chamonix

If you live in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, and have anything to do with climbing, the name Jamie Vinton-Boot pops up all the time. New hard routes, and lots of them. The other day, the news that he had been killed in an avalanche sent shock waves through the climbing community, right after the sad news that NZ climbers Marty Schmidt and his son Denali had been swept away by an avalanche at a high camp on K2 in the Himalaya. 

Vinton-Boot was a new father who leaves his new baby and wife behind. And the loss of Schmidt and his son are a one-two punch which seems hard to fathom. I was chatting with a checkout person in the grocery store about these losses, and part of her summation was, “At least he was doing something he loved to do.”  Being a new father myself, I’m trying to balance my adventure goals, (not that I’m a cutting edge climber by any means) with the risk involved. My risk, (subject hazards) seems worlds apart from the climbers’ mentioned here. Vinton-Boot had decided to do easier routes since becoming a dad, so states the article below.  Easy terrain for him might be my upper limit, so it all depends on what you’re comfortable with.  It’s the objective hazards that give you the chop, no matter how easy the terrain.  Whether it’s a ski descent or a mixed route, easy or hard, there are those hazards, and if it’s your time to go,  you get the chop.

As the list of friends, mentors, and famous climbers who’ve gotten the chop grows, the whole thing, for me, comes down to making damn sure I’m stacking the deck in favor of being around for my son. There’s simply no reason not to be. Sure, I could get hit by a car, (as the checkout girl added in her summation), but looking for trouble is a different matter. 

Vinton-Boot in Queenstown's Remarkables Range, NZ

Vinton-Boot in Queenstown’s Remarkables Range, NZ

When it comes right down to it, we have to really evaluate what roles and games we’re playing in the world of mountaineering. Are internal peaks and challenges of the family journey not enough? Or what about being very present in the mountains without having to be on the edge (See Mindfulness in the Mountains). What is the measure of a man, a climber, a father?  I’m just saying…it’s time for me to continue to re-evaluate my everyday decisions as if I were on the end of a lead rope. I have people I’m belaying in life: my wife, my son. And that’s a handful in itself, I don’t want to drop that belay, at any cost.  As my mentor and former boss, Willie Prittie said to me in Peru when we were guiding there, “It’s just as important to get down the mountain, (with all your limbs and digits intact), as it is to make the summit. On second thought, it’s more important.”

The following is from an op-ed ..More food for thought:
Climber not at fault: friend
By Paul Hersey, Climber and friend of Jamie Vinton-Boot
Otago Daily Times
Warrington mountaineer Paul Hersey has attended the funerals of many of his mountaineering mates but he will continue to climb.

Mr Hersey (45) said Christchurch climber Jamie Vinton-Boot (30) was a close friend and the pair had climbed together extensively in New Zealand. Mr Vinton-Boot was swept off his feet by snow on Monday when traversing and fell 500m to his death into a Remarkables ravine. Mr Hersey and Mr Vinton-Boot created the climbing documentary One Fine Day on a Mountain, which won a special jury award at the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival this year.

Mr Hersey said the risks to which Mr Vinton-Boot had exposed himself had been exaggerated and conditions at the Remarkables were reasonable for climbing. The avalanche risk was standard for winter mountaineering and not at high or extreme levels, and the ”snow release” was a ”small, isolated pocket”. ”It’s not an avalanche; more a snow sluff, a small release of snow. It can happen a lot when climbing.”

Mr Vinton-Boot was not anchored up because he was traversing to the route, he said. The more difficult a climb, the safer the climb usually was, because more safety gear was used. ”But on a more moderate climb, or approach, you can’t rope up for those situations because it would take forever and you wouldn’t actually get to the climb. In this case, it was walking across a snow slope.”

Mr Vinton-Boot was a safe climber and the wrong message had been attached to his death. ”He’s a really close mate, one of my best mates, and you stick up for your mates and in this instance, he was taking all the reasonable safety steps … Jamie wasn’t doing anything wrong. It just happened.” Mountaineers seek a challenge, not risk, he said. ”But that’s a consequence of the environment sometimes.”

Christchurch mountaineers Marty and Denali Schmidt, who were killed while climbing K2 in Pakistan last month, were also read the rest of this story..

“This Just In” Department

01/12/2011

Keith Richards, Breathing: The drug of choice

Quotes:
“The best drug is breathing. I mean, heroin is fantastic, until you’ve had too much of it and then you’re likely to be dead.”
Keith Richards,
The Rolling Stones interview, The Guardian, through the Otago Daily Times, New Zealand

Another study proves it, breathing ranks right up there with the best of drugs. According to Eckhart Tolle, the breath is one of the doorways to the present moment, the now. And being fully present means being conscious. Sounds like a great alternative to the heroin route.