Monthly Archives: May 2013

Centrepunch will offer a range of programmes

A majority of organised jewellery traders in India are keen on adopting modern practices in manufacturing as it would bring down the wastage involved during the making process, said an official from the industry.

Industry sources say their margins stand in the range of 2-10 per cent and is directly proportional to in-house modern technology. Modern practices would help in improving both retail sales and margins.

In line with these issues, the city is hosting a three-day business to business Jewellery & Gem Fair (HJF) 2013 from June 7. The event, which is being organised by UBM India, would witness 125 major jewellers from across the country.

Kranti Nagvekar, group director, UBM India, said: “The platform will help both jewellers and traders to know the latest trends in styles, industry practices and exporters demand. The major attraction during the current edition would be light-weight jewellery and we’re expecting big order placements both from local and overseas traders. Customers here in India prefer Jaipur-studded and Hyderabad precious stone jewellery.”

She said the recent fall in gold prices would help exporters improve their revenues and remain competitive in the overseas markets. India exports jewellery to Singapore, West Asia, Istanbul, Russia, Germany, China and Taiwan.

Brooks said of the launch: “We are providing an affordable platform from which young designer-makers can fulfil their aspirations, work on commissions and develop collections without the burden of huge start-up costs. Studio rent and the purchase of equipment can be a real stumbling block to gaining a foothold in the industry, so our facility with its a range of essential equipment offers a solution to these problems faced by graduates and established professionals alike.”

The space will house 20 work benches initially, with plan to add 12 more in the near future.

Centrepunch will offer a range of programmes from entry level through to advanced, as well as drop-in mentoring sessions with well-known jewellers, practitioners and tutors to help assist graduates and new businesses. Advice sessions will also be given on topics such as how to run a successful studio-practice, how to work with clients and marketing strategies.

Brooks says the jewellery hub has already received a volume of enquiries via social media and has so far built a mailing list exceeding 300 names.

Brooks will act as a tutor alongside three other crafts persons: fine jeweller and stone setter Antonion De Geatani, master polisher Stephen Goldsmith and illustrator Mark Lewis.

Tajudeen “Squilla” Durosinimi-Etti, of Cambria Avenue, was accused of burgling a house in Shipwrights Avenue, Chatham, with others on February 1, as well as kidnapping Sandip Madan on the same date.

The 28-year-old was due to stand trial at Maidstone Crown Court on August 5, but the Crown Prosecution Service said there was not a realistic likelihood of conviction and offered no evidence to both charges.

Prosecutor Martin Yale told the court the only evidence of identification came from the alleged victim, but he had provided two “very different” statements to police during the course of the investigation.

Mr Yale said he later admitted lying in his first statement because he feared reprisals to both him and his family.

The prosecutor added that accounts given by others also “directly undermine” the most recent statement given by the complainant.

Formal not guilty verdicts were entered by Judge Charles Macdonald QC and Durosinimi-Etti, who has been in custody on remand, was expected to be released from the court cells.

I see the police working hard to mitigate crime

My wish is for the new Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zaid Hamidi to head a Crime Watch Society established by the Government for both urban and rural communities as well as each state to mitigate crime.

Existing crime watch groups can be partners here.

It is time crime gets the highest attention and urgent action.

Policing reduces crime, so does neighbours on guard.

Remember peace and security is the civic duty of all citizens.

The police cannot be at every nook and corner. We must be there to assist them and be their eyes and ears.

So, prevent crime by putting safety first and by making the local police your partners.

You just need to start with simple things like locking up your house before you go to bed. Lack of safety induces criminals to strike.

Reduce the opportunities for criminals to target us.

I feel snatch thieves should just be jailed. Fines will not do anymore.

I see the police working hard to mitigate crime, but we have to help them. Remember a caring community makes the neighbourhood safe. And safety begins with you.

I say, be the mata-mata in your community.

Watch, observe and phone the police if you see anything suspicious. After all, they are on duty 24 hours a day.

We have also started patrolling our neighbourhoods.

Today, I see the public being more aware of the need to take an active role in keeping crime at bay. This is good. And this is how it should be.

While they do that, their efforts must be supplemented and complemented by the police.

Police presence is most assuring in that it keeps crime at bay.

I see the residents association and RT bases not only nurture unity. They also create a better understanding among the community. And neighbours can help prevent crime as they look out for each other.

I say help yourself to mitigate crime.

Stop jaywalking and be alert to your surroundings.

Be careful as criminals can strike anytime. Be alert and act rationally.

Do not be foolhardy as snatch thieves can be dangerous.

I think one should not put up a fight with such thieves.

There have been many lives lost and it isn’t worth fighting with them.

Your life is more important than saving things like your jewellery, documents or money.

Maybe it is time that religious organisations be included in our agenda.

We should also include representatives of non-governmental organisations, bloggers and other stakeholders who have an interest in the matter.

Also as was recently suggested, ex-convicts should be given the opportunity to get involved based on their experiences.

Ex-convicts usually know more about crime.

It’s better to give them an opportunity, compared to those who know nothing about crime.

As they say, it takes a thief to catch a thief!

The crime rate can be dented somewhat, but the fight against crime should continue with greater effort.

In addition to a lack of financial resources, poverty manifests itself in poor parental supervision, lack of educational opportunities, lack of meaningful employment options, poor housing as well as lack of hope and prejudice against persons living in poverty.

We often continue to see the symptoms of crime, whereas we tend to overlook prevention and the root causes.

We should adopt preventive programmes and policies to eradicate crime. Crime prevention is the best strategy to fight crime and what better way than to inculcate safety awareness among school children to better safeguard and prevent them from becoming victims of crime.

And I stress that education must today focus on fighting crime.

They say, “Prevention is better than cure” to reflect the importance of proactively taking steps to keep crime at bay.

Last but not least, always remain vigilant and never take safety for granted.

Other artwork from previous Second Saturday events

Some of the art that has been featured during Second Saturday on May 11 this year include the Sacramento Rock and Radio Museum and paintings by Abigail VanCannon and Mark Fox. Abigail recently moved to Sacramento from the Bay Area and displays her paintings based on photography at the Sacramento Art Complex. She likes learning about a city’s nostalgia when she visits new places, which is why one of her paintings depicts the sign of the original Tower Records at the Tower Theatre on 16th and Broadway. Mark Fox, whose painting is shown at the top of this article, has lived in Sacramento all his life and is heavily influenced by Appalachian folk art and tribal scenery that expresses community harmony.

Different types of art are included in this archive, such as woodwork by Ted “The Turner” Young, who makes attractive gifts out of recycled wood from the region. Another theme that this gallery section highlights is community spirit, which includes Midtown shops that help raise awareness or funds for the community. PeraDice Cards and Gifts, for example, raised money through a raffle this past Second Saturday for Mustard Seed School, while provides shelter for homeless children. Co-owners Steven Pera and Jim Wagner were interviewed by SacTV explaining that homelessness is not a crime and kids should be given the help they need.

Other artwork from previous Second Saturday events include the vibrant soul healing paintings of John Huerta, the communal farmers market paintings by Robert LaNeau, the car theme paintings by Pete Conine, the happy animal paintings by Karen Dukes, various art at Little Relics and the portraits of legendary African Americans including President Obama by Lawrence Sullivan. The art of photography is showcased in this second with the natural colorful scenery of Yosemite, shot by Jason Branz.

The May 11 Second Saturday was quiet in the early evening but festive later in the evening possibly because of earlier hot temperatures, a contrast with Second Saturday on April 13, which was somewhat quiet due to cold temperatures. Many of these artists, curators and owners display art every Second Saturday with different art each time. According to Mark Fox, he has created over one thousand paintings and has sold about 500 over the past decade at various exhibits throughout the state. Little Relics owner Susan Rabinovitz says she sold some art in April to a visitor who found her video interview on SacTV.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports joined the “Glenn Younes Show” on Monday night to give an update on the owners meetings in Boston. First up was RG3 and fans purchasing wedding gifts for him. “If people want to do that for him god speed, if people want to buy him a set of salt and pepper shakers to make him happy, god speed brother. Nobody is hurt they are all happy, nobody has an issue with it.”

Next up was the possibility of the league shifting the league year and moving the draft and combine back. Jason states that the NFL can do whatever they like with the draft and combine. He believes that the draft will be moved to May 15th.  “The reality is it will probably stay there for a couple of years after that”. Jason even suggests that the NFL can move on to regional combines and make it sort of a reality show.

The famous jewelry brand has worked on a new project

The luxury jeweller Chopard has teamed up with Livia Firth, creative director of EcoAge and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, to create some environmentally friendly pieces for the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.

Caroline Scheufele, the artistic director and co-president of Chopard, was in Cannes with Livia and Colin Firth and actress and activist Jane Fonda for a glamorous eco-friendly jewelry launch.

The famous jewelry brand has worked on a new project titled ‘The Journey’ with ARM to create a handcrafted diamond bracelet and earrings.

The gold comes from South American mines with ‘Fairmined’ certification — this includes strict requirements for “labor conditions, social development and environmental protection in mining communities and is developed in close collaboration with miners, local partners and actors of the supply chain.” The diamonds were sourced by IGC Group and meet the high standards of the Responsible Jewellery Council.

As part of ‘The Journey’ Chopard will also guide and support two mining communities in Colombia and Ecuador as they are helped to achieve Fairmined certification. A lot of things can happen in 12 months. In the world of Andrew Jamieson, it can mean leaving a stable role as General Manager Asia-Pacific for a listed American company to start a new business and tackle the highs and lows of the first year in a new industry.

Together with his wife Kelly, who is the founder of award winning online gift business Edible Blooms, last year Jamieson launched plant gift business Green Thumb Gifts from their farm in country South Australia.

The new business provides a more sustainable alternative to cut flower delivery, offering potted trees, herbs, succulents, flowers and various other growing plant gifts. All items, in addition to making striking indoor plants, can be planted in the garden to provide lasting memories of the gifting occasion.

Green Thumb Gifts launched ahead of Mother’s Day 2012 – one of the biggest annual gifting periods in the flower delivery industry – with key marketing partnerships playing a large role in getting the new brand in front of their target audience to ace their first peak sales event.

But as soon as the unique plant gifts started moving out the door, their biggest driver became word of mouth, with returning customers and referrals making up the largest portion of their customer base.

“We get lots of customers contacting us after delivery, just to let us know how much of a hit their gift was and to say thank you” says Jamieson.

One such customer was Sondra Parish, who emailed Jamieson to thank him for the variety of “very unique and very beautiful” products he offers, admitting to now actively looking for occasions to send Green Thumb Gifts as they are “much more practical than bunches of flowers!”

After just 12 months in business, Jamieson and his team were overwhelmed by the response this month to their second Mother’s Day. With sales up over 500% on last year and the team working around the clock to meet demand, he chalks the increase up to their customer advocates and the fact that they have more than doubled their range of plants and flowers online since launch.

who had completed the race stopped to take photos

Tens of thousands of runners and revelers took part in the 102nd Bay to Breakers race Sunday, under clear skies and the watchful eyes of an expanded police presence.

From elite Ethiopian distance runners to people dressed as hot dogs, nearly 30,000 registered participants and many other unofficial entrants took off from Howard and Main streets, heading 7.46 miles to a fog-free Ocean Beach.

The first competitor to cross the finish line was 23-year-old Tolossa Gedefa Fufi of Ethiopia, with a time of 35:01 – the slowest winning time since 2003, and only the second time since 1984 that a winner took longer than 35 minutes to finish. Ryan Hall, 30, who was trying to be the first American to win the race since 1986, finished second in 35:40.

The winner of the women’s race was Diane Nukuri-Johnson, 28, of Burundi. She crossed the line in 40:12, a scant two seconds in front of 27-year-old Adrienne Herzog of the Netherlands.

Some elite runners blamed this year’s slower pace on a change in the course, which required more turns in Golden Gate Park toward the end. But Nukuri-Johnson, running the race for the second time, said the alteration didn’t lessen her enjoyment.

“I love it. I’m definitely more relaxed when I come here,” she said of the wacky race. “It’s fun to meet the (non-elites), too – all the people in costumes. But at the same time, we’re here to compete.”

As always, though, the Breakers was less about the race than the party.

Alcohol was officially banned, but that didn’t stop Sean Afshar, 21, of Berkeley, who paused at the corner of Howard and New Montgomery Street with three friends to mix Smirnoff vodka with orange juice.

“You know, they say that every year,” Afshar said. “But you can say that Sean Afshar says go for it!”

On the dreaded Hayes Street Hill, Jimi Paschal, 50, and her friends eased the pain of aching calves by blasting DJ music, flipping burgers and handing out free Jell-O shots to passersby. A crowd of at least 100 swirled around the house.

The crew spent almost $1,000 this year on their party – including $400 on food and nearly as much on Mardi Gras beads to toss on runners. Their bash is now a 12-year tradition.

“When we first started this we had to beg people to come. Now we’re turning them away,” said Renee James, another organizer.

David Minor stood outside his house on the hill, spraying water over the heads of the revelers. He’s done it for the last nine races.

“I don’t do it for the serious runners since I don’t want to distract them, but I turn it on right after they go by,” Minor said. “It cools everyone down as they’re climbing this big hill.”

Even authorities got in on the fun.

One American Medical Response paramedic broke company rules and rigged his ambulance to blast Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” from the vehicle’s PA system.

“You know, sometimes you just gotta keep the people happy,” the paramedic said as revelers whooped, hollered and danced around him.

A larger-than-usual police force also stood guard throughout the route, extra-vigilant after the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 260.

Large backpacks were banned for the first time this year. Police were taking no chances – even the elite runners had their belongings checked, and officers on the police scanner were heard looking for “someone in a gorilla suit” who had abandoned a pack near the start of the race.

The race announcer asked runners at the starting line to be just as vigilant: “Remember: If you see something, say something. And please, use the 1,000 Porta Potties along the route.”

Meanwhile, a seemingly endless flow of racers continued to pour through city streets, though the number of registered runners was down slightly from last year.

Michael Costa, 53, sipped his Starbucks coffee downtown and watched the costumed runners trot by.

Peter Weir came from even farther away. The 50-year-old Australian marveled at the diversity of San Francisco as he leaned on a railing near Moscone Center, where his wife was participating in the American Psychiatric Association conference.

Miles to the west, runners who had completed the race stopped to take photos. Some made a right turn into Golden Gate Park, while others brought the party to the beach.

Down at the breakers, where temperatures were in the 60s, the beach was packed. More than one naked runner further communed with nature by dipping their feet in the surf.

Along the Great Highway were lines for bathrooms and T-shirts. By far the longest was the ID check for a 21-and-over wrist band.

You cross the finish line, get your free coconut water, and walk a few more steps and voila – you’re drinking beer in the middle of the Great Highway beside decorative shrubs and potted palms.

The place was packed by midmorning – but quickly thinned out as the party moved to Golden Gate Park, or back home for a hot bath.

The most actively traded gold contract

Fueling the latest leg of gold’s selloff — which has sent prices down 7.4 per cent, or more than $US100 — were US indicators that pointed to an improving economy.

Investors increasingly are lured by rising stocks and other assets that usually get a lift from growth. Bulls who swore by the metal amid the turmoil of the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) and the subsequent euro-zone debt crisis are now beating a retreat.

Gold for May delivery, the front-month futures contract, on Friday slid $US22.20, or 1.6 per cent, to $US1,364.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

That closing price is just shy of the $US1,360.60 an ounce hit on April 15, the second day of a record two-day route that shaved $US200 off gold prices.

The most actively traded gold contract, for June delivery, ended at $US1,364.70, also declining by $US22.20.

Gold skidded lower Friday as recent US consumer confidence readings bolstered expectations among some investors that the Federal Reserve will taper its easy-money policies this year.

Stocks rallied on the data and many low- or zero-yielding investments, such as Treasurys and gold, fell.

“As equities continue to rally and inflation data fails to show inflation, I don’t see any reason to own gold, unless you like how it looks on the shelf,” said Adam Klopfenstein, senior market strategist in Chicago with Archer Financial Services, a brokerage.

Investors had rushed to buy gold following the GFC, as many feared the Fed’s bond-buying programs meant to stimulate the economy would stoke inflation and weaken the US dollar.

Gold is widely considered a store of value, and its price rallied as money managers seeking a safe haven piled in.

But such worries have receded in recent months as the US economy expanded while inflation has remained tame and the US dollar has strengthened against its counterparts.

The current losing streak in gold is the longest since an eight-session selloff that ended in March 2009.

As US economic growth has held steady with unemployment rates falling, Fed officials have started to debate the pros and cons of continuing the central bank’s asset-purchase program.

That rhetoric has gotten investors buzzing about the possibility of a rise in interest rates, which would dim gold’s allure even more.

“You have the general recognition that the US is likely to come out of the doldrums and resume sustainable growth earlier than anywhere else,” said Frances Hudson, Global Thematic Strategist for Standard Life Investments, an international asset manager with over $US270 billion ($A276.29 billion) under management.

On Friday, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan early May consumer sentiment index jumped to 83.7 in May from 76.4 at the end of April. The consumer confidence reading was at its highest since 2007. Separately, the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6 per cent in April, more than economists had expected.

US dollar-denominated gold futures have also been under assault from a rapidly strengthening greenback.

The ICE Dollar Index has rallied more than three per cent so far this month in a sign that many investors have abandoned inflation concerns, especially as some Fed officials have become more vocal about scaling back stimulus measures.

The US dollar hit a new four-year high against the yen on Friday and was stronger against the euro and other currencies.

In the past, physical buyers of gold bullion and jewellery have acted as a support to prices, but this time around, selling by mainstream investors who had exposure to gold through exchange-traded funds is overwhelming that demand.

“What we see is a battle between institutional investors liquidating and retail investors bottom-fishing, and it comes as no surprise that the institutions are winning out because they have a lot more firepower,” said Michael Shaoul, chief executive at Marketfield Asset Management, with $US9 billion under management.

As of Tuesday, large money managers and hedge funds held a record number of bets on lower gold prices, according to weekly data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday. While speculative investors still hold more bets on higher gold prices than lower ones, that gap has narrowed to its lowest level since 2007.

Quarterly financial filings released Wednesday showed that large hedge funds have again cut back their holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds, which buy and store gold on investors’ behalf. Institutional investors like hedge funds accounted for about 75 per cent of total outflows from SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold ETF, according to Commerzbank.

The American Institute of Gemology has handed the Harry

Prestigious jeweller Harry Winston, which was acquired earlier this year by Swatch Group, bought a new colourless, flawless 101.73-carat diamond for a record US$26.7 million at an auction in Geneva on Wednesday, auction house Christie’s said.

Christie’s representative Raul Kadakia told reporters after the sale that Harry Winston was the buyer of the diamond that Wednesday evening smashed the previous auction-price record for a diamond in its category by more than US$10 million.

“Twenty-three million (Swiss) francs! Your last chance! Twenty-three million, sold!” shouted Francois Curiel, the head of Christie’s jewellery division shouted, referring to the US$23.5 million price before tax and commission, and clinching the deal in front of some 150 people gathered for the auction at a luxury Geneva hotel.

As the first ever buyer of the new diamond, Harry Winston had the privilege of naming it and had decided to call it “Harry Legacy,” Kadakia said, pointing out that this was the diamond dealer’s first major purchase since it was snapped up by the world’s leading watchmaker for US$1.0 billion in March.

Switzerland’s Swatch Group, most known for its brightly coloured plastic watches, has been eagerly expanding its luxury offerings, and Wednesday’s sparkling purchase should perhaps especially tickle the group’s chairwoman Nayla Hayek, who was named chief executive of Harry Winston earlier this month.

“Diamonds are still a girl’s best friend,” she said following the January announcement that Swatch would buy the company, referring to the famous Marilyn Monroe song that mentions Harry Winston, from the 1953 musical film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”.

The American Institute of Gemology has handed the Harry Legacy the top colourless grade “D” and the best clarity grade, “flawless”, which is characterised by its “absolute symmetry”, according to Christies.

The diamond, sold at the auction by a diamond merchant, was 236 carats in the rough when it was extracted from the Jwaneng mine in Botswana, before it was meticulously sculpted for 21 months, Christie’s said.

Wednesday’s sale marked the highest price ever paid for a flawless colourless diamond at auction, although Christie’s had hoped the new diamond — the largest of its kind to ever go under the hammer — would rake in US$30 million.

The previous auction-price record-holder in the category was the 84.37-carat Chloe round diamond, snapped up at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2007 by Guess Jeans founder Georges Marciano for US$16.2 million.

In the “colourless, flawless” category, the reigning world champion in terms of size is meanwhile the Cullinan Diamond, a gem weighing 530.2 carats that is part of the British crown jewels.

Last November, Christie’s sold the 76-carat Archduke Joseph Diamond, in the initially flawless category a notch below flawless, on auction in Geneva for US$21.5 million.

And in May 2011, a heart-shaped 56-carat diamond was auctioned off for US$10.9 million.

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, which is in the same D-colour category but weighs in at only 33.19 carats, was meanwhile sold for US$8.8 million on auction in New York in December 2011.

While Swatch’s low-end plastic watches are perhaps its most recognisable, the Swiss company operates in every price range, from the Flik Flak kid’s watches to prestigious timepieces under for instance the Breguet brand which can cost more than one million Swiss francs a piece.

Jamie took include a Cartier pendant

When people leave their things in their hotel room, they like to think that it is safe. However, football manager Jose Mourinho learned the hard way that this is not always the case. He recently became the victim of theft after a career criminal stole £100,000 worth of jewellery from his hotel room.

The police say that the criminal stole the jewellery from Jose Mourinho’s penthouse suite and then very casually asked the concierge if he could book a taxi for him. This taxi was used as his get-away car. This just proves that people never really know if their stuff is secure or not.

The criminal, Jamie Filan, is 32-years-old. He was able to break into Mourinho’s room at Chelsea’s Wyndham Grand Hotel. This hotel is a five-star hotel that prides itself on having great security. Mourinho was staying there with his wife and daughter, who is 16.

Jamie was smart enough to wait until Mourinho was out on business and the rest of his family was out shopping. He took this time to break into the suite and took precious gems from the room. Police say that Filan was able to get past security by using the service lift. Some of the items that Jamie took include a Cartier pendant and a ring and earrings set that is said to be worth £51,450.

Mr Filan may have gotten away with everything had he given up on stealing right then and there. However, he was eventually caught just a few weeks later after trying to steal from another hotel. He attempted to break into a suite at the Four Seasons in Hamilton Place, Park Lane. When he was unsuccessful, he returned the very next night. This time he was grabbed by hotel security.

The Southwark Crown Court later heard that Filan was actually a professional thief. In fact, he had already been in jail for breaking into a home a few months earlier. Not only that, but back in 2007 he was sent to jail for nearly five years after he ran over and killed Michelle Dever, who was a dental nurse. The court feels that this is a classic example of someone who refuses to change no matter how many chances they get. Filan was sentenced to another 31 months in prison.

The prosecutor, Peter Zinner, said that the whole Mourinho family was distressed after the break-in. Filan was able to make this family feel uncomfortable in a five-star hotel with security. He knew what he was doing because he had to plan in order to get past hotel security. In fact, security for the penthouse floor is pretty secure, as it requires people to have a card in order to even use the lift.

Mr Zinner added that Flian was able to access the penthouse level via the service lift. This is an area of the hotel that only the staff are supposed to know about. This was in no way a “lucky burglary.” In order to make this happen he would have to know what he was doing. He would have had to plan out the burglary; this was no random attack.

Free floating Carolina rigged baits behind a sliding sinker

Warmwater fish really respond to changes in water temperature. Lake Powell water temperatures are now ranging from 65-72F meaning that spring fishing responses are on the way out and summer personality traits are setting in.

The most noticeable sign of warming water is the appearance of phytoplankton which gives lake water a green hue. Formerly crystal clear water now has much less visibility. Normally we blame runoff for clouding the water but this year runoff has just barely started and clarity is lessened by plankton.

It is time to say good bye to spawning bass and crappie. There were still some active nests this past week but the bass spawn is concluding now. Bass fishing is not over; it just changes to summer mode. Nest builders are leaving the shallows to go deeper. Wise anglers will adjust and do the same following the bigger bass to 15-25 feet. Crappie will move to open water and suspend making them harder to find but susceptible to slow trolling with small plastic grubs.

Free floating Carolina rigged baits behind a sliding sinker are more effective in the summer. Use the same plastic grubs, tubes and senkos, just rig them differently for more consistent success. Follow the 25-foot depth contour for best success.

Smallmouth bass will be fun and easy to catch in the shallow rocks all along the shore. But if you prefer the bigger fish then the advice just given about fishing deeper should be heeded. Big smallmouth are moving deeper once they leave the nest and will be caught at 25 feet as the water temperature climbs into the upper 70s.

Stripers will continue to hang out on the canyon walls until shad spawn and fry grow large enough to become striper food. For the remainder of the month stripers will continue to be caught like crazy with bait in the southern lake. Right now each shallow ledge extending out to 20 feet then falling into deep water holds a striper school. Stripers are eating plankton in the surface layer and crayfish on the 20 foot ledge while waiting for shad to appear.

Hot fishing spots are found all over Padre Bay. Good camping beaches often have a striper school nearby that can be caught from shore. Locate stripers by slow trolling lures in the upper 30 feet while graphing to find a school. When a striper is caught or a school seen on the graph, toss out a handful of chum and go to work. Stripers will rise to the chum but can be caught on an assortment of lures. Anchovies are a sure thing but everything from fly fishing to bottom bouncing works to catch these hungry fish. Please keep all the stripers you can use or give away to family and friends. It is population adjustment time and the southern lake will benefit from a smaller striper population.

Some stripers are still in the backs of canyons and easy to find and catch. Just work the mudline or color changes from brown to green water. Troll medium to deep divers at the color change where bottom depth is between 20 and 45 feet. Fishing is not as fast as that found on the canyon walls but stripers caught will generally be larger and fatter.

Walleye are enjoying the greener/murkier water and not very patiently waiting for shad to spawn. They are eating anything they can find all day long. Walleye fishing success will be at its peak for the next two weeks. The most effective technique this week was to put a night crawler on a quarter ounce jig head and slowly drag it along the bottom in 12-26 feet of colored water. The technique can be dressed up with worm harnesses, beads, spinners and bottom bouncers but the message here is that walleye are hungry and willing right now. There are more walleye north of Bullfrog than south but many are being caught all over the lake. That will continue for the rest of the month.

The muddy water near White and Farleys Canyon was great for walleye and fat stripers earlier in the month but runoff is now starting which will reduce visibility to zero, cool the water and reduce fishing success. The backs of canyons will provide better fishing than the main channel on the far north end of the lake.

Photo Caption: Triessa Hepworth and daughter Whitni celebrated Mothers Day with their family on Lake Powell catching stripers. Fishing is amazing now in the southern lake with all catching stripers at will. It’s a wonderful time to teach kids how to fish and enjoy that event as a family.

International Day for Biological Diversity to be a fun-filled day

The Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) has lined up a range of fun filled learning activities and public awareness talks to mark International Day for Biological Diversity.

According to a press statement from SBC, the event will be held at its premises at KM20, Jalan Borneo Heights at Semenggoh from May 18 to 19.

Colouring and pottery painting contests for primary school students are among the activities in store.

Representatives of indigenous communities from throughout the state who have been documenting their traditional knowledge will also feature their wares and traditional games.

Visitors will have the opportunity to mingle with these communities and learn about how they have sustainably utilised plants and biodiversity throughout the centuries. SBC will also feature R&D demonstration, face painting, eco-snakes and ladders, paper art and origami activities.

The organisers have even thrown in an element of ‘fear factor’ at one of the booths.

Those who want to try their hands at making scented beads and candles will have a chance to do so on May 18 at 10am and 2pm, while those who would like to have a go at making handmade soaps will have the opportunity to do so the following day at the same times.

A clown will also be making his rounds shaping animal balloons for children during the two days.

A free health screening will also be conducted by a team from the Sarawak Medical Department while officers from the Tarat Agriculture Research Station will feature a tankful of live local freshwater fish.

Meanwhile, a series of public awareness talks have been scheduled on the afternoon of both days with topic ranging from plants in the state to edible mushrooms, orchids, our rivers and biodiversity and wildlife conservation in the state.

Also on May 18, three known experts in their respective fields will be talking about flowering plant species, fungi and also orchids.

The talks will start at 1pm at SBC’s Lecture Theatre with Peter Boyce to speak about flowering plant species found in the state.

Boyce who arrived in the state in 2002 after spending 15 years working at Kew Gardens has been spending his last 12years in Malaysia and Thailand. Boyce’s talk will be followed by a talk entitled ‘Diversity of Macro-Fungi (mushrooms) in Sarawak’ by Prof Dr Sepiah Muid of Unimas whose areas of specialisation is plant pathology and mycology. The series of talks for the day will conclude with a presentation by Prof Dr Maziah Mahmood of University Putra Malaysia on orchids.

Prof Dr Maziah’s field of expertise encompasses plant biochemistry, plant biotechnology and plant tissue culture. She also loves orchids which she finds mesmerising.

After 10 years of research on the plants, she has made a career from learning about them and working on fragrant orchids. She is also a co-founder of Orchid Life, a BioNexus status company that produces horticultural products and services internationally.

On May 19, public talks will start at 2pm with a talk on Wildlife Conservation in Sarawak by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation deputy general manager Oswald Braken Tisen.