The University of Manchester plans to take on the big coffee chains by raising awareness of its cafés and eateries.The college has 30 outlets around the city, turning over £5m a year, but the cafés remain largely hidden to the casual passer-by. But now, the biggest university in the UK is making a push for the mainstream consumer, as it looks to capitalise on the proximity of some of its venues to the city centre.General manager of Food on Campus Alison Aucott said: “We are looking at the various options to rebrand some of our outlets at the moment and are consulting customers about what would most appeal.”There are five cafés within walking distance of Piccadilly Railway Station and five on Oxford Road, with the others dotted around different parts of the city.
The tragedy of 5 terrorist attacks in 2017 has sadly reinforced the threat we face from terrorism so it is right that we are increasing funding for counter-terrorism policing both this year and next. In September we announced £24 million of new money this year going to forces across the country to meet the costs relating to the tragic terror attacks. I am also pleased to confirm that the Government has agreed to provide a further £4 million this year to meet the costs arising from the attack at Parsons Green. This move comes in addition to the £24 million of new money for this financial year already announced for the forces across the country that responded to the other attacks in London and Manchester in 2017.The Minister for Policing, Nick Hurd announced the funding as the 2018/19 police funding settlement was debated in Parliament.He said: Separately, in recognition of the unprecedented terrorist threat we currently face, the government announced in December a £50 million increase to counter terrorism policing budget for next year. This brings the budget to £757 million and will help ensure counter-terrorism policing has the resources it needs to respond and keep people safe.The government has already committed to increase spending on counter-terrorism by 30% over five years from £11.7 billion to £15.1 billion and has also provided £144 million over the spending review period for a national uplift in armed policing capability and funding for an additional 1,900 officers at the security and intelligence agencies.It is also reviewing its counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST to ensure that the government is responding to the threat from terrorism both now and in the future.
Health experts have called for a more ambitious target on sugar reduction. A study in a BMC Public Health journal has suggested sugar should account for less than 3% of people’s energy intake.This is even more ambitious than the proposal from the World Health Organisation and government advisors, which advised it should account for 5%.The new study examined the relationship between sugar intake and tooth decay in both children and adults.It found that when sugar makes up 10% of energy intake, it induces more dental expenses in the health sector. Report co-author Prof Philip James, a nutrition expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and past president of the World Obesity Federation, has outlined the need for action.He suggested that vending machines should be removed in government controlled areas like schools and hospitals.The initial target of 5% of energy intake from free sugars amounts to five to six teaspoons for women, and seven to eight teaspoons for men, based on the average diet.Authors of the study are both part of the Action on Sugar group, which is campaigning for tougher restrictions on sugar consumption in order to tackle obesity.
Samworth Brothers has appointed Mark Simester as managing director of malt loaf brand Soreen.Simester is due to take up the role on 8 August, following four years as marketing director at Warburtons, where, among other work, he was involved in the company’s The Muppets crumpet ad campaign.Prior to Warburtons, Simester spent 18 years at Nestlé Confectionery, latterly as head of the chocolate business unit.Samworth Brothers group executive director Richard Marris said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Mark to the business with his outstanding consumer brand track record. In particular, his experience of taking already established, iconic consumer brands and achieving further successes is particularly relevant to Soreen. The brand has gone from strength to strength in recent years, but it still has much more potential.”Phil Marshall, who took on responsibilities as interim managing director for nine months, following the departure of Paul Tripp last year, will continue in his role as operations director, as well as taking on other projects for Samworth Brothers.The malt loaf firm recently expanded its range with the launch of Soreen Loaf Bars.
Artisan café chain Creams British Luxury is to open two stores in Kent.A store in Canterbury is set to open this month, while one in the Bluewater shopping centre will open in February 2017.The stores will be the first in the county for the chain, which has outlets in Yorkshire cities Leeds and Huddersfield, as well as Manchester.A marble counter and crystal chandelier will display the Creams gift range, which will be on offer in both stores.The business said the counter will draw in shoppers to purchase colourful macarons, handmade chocolates, cupcakes, and cake pops.“Creams want to share passion for high quality and to make available luxurious yet affordable products,” the business says in a statement on its website.“Whatever the occasion, the giving and receiving of gifts is an exhilarating experience. We provide this service to all shoppers in shopping centres and high-footfall retail parks as we put theatre into our services and gift wrapping, providing shoppers with unique products and service.”
One woman. Ten characters. Kate Ferber will performs the songs of Laura Nyro at Oberon.Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Dec. 6-Jan. 3, 2016Natasha is young, Anatole is hot, and Andrey isn’t here … But what about Pierre? Based on a scandalous, 70-page slice of “War and Peace,” this electro-pop opera is Tolstoy like you’ve never experienced him before.The Christmas RevelsDec. 11-27Set in a village not too different from the one described in Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” this year’s Revels takes a leap into the past to access the world of Celtic legend and song.JANUARYNice FishJan. 17-Feb. 7, 2016On a lake in frozen Minnesota, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It’s the end of the fishing season, and two men are out on the ice one last time, angling for answers to life’s larger questions. A play woven together from the acclaimed prose poems of Louis Jenkins, “Nice Fish” reflects nature with wry surrealism. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecvklEBP0xU” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/ecvklEBP0xU/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGoDb8ln694″ rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/vGoDb8ln694/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> Poet Louis Jenkins discusses working with Mark Rylance in the theater, and reads a selection from his prose poems upon which “Nice Fish” is based. This is a curated roundup and all events are subject to change. Please visit the event website for most accurate information. For a complete events listing. NOVEMBERStratis Haviaras Reading: Ben Lerner and Geoffrey G. O’BrienNov. 5, 6 p.m.National Book Award-nominated poet and novelist Ben Lerner (author of the novels “Leaving the Atocha Station” and “10:04” and the poetry collection “Mean Free Path”) and poet and essayist Geoffrey G. O’Brien (author of “People on Sunday” and “Metropole”) will share new work and answer audience questions.My Elizabeths: A Biographer and Her SubjectsNov. 17, 4:15 p.m.In a talk that touches on issues of craft, narrative, and inspiration, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Megan Marshall ’77, RI ’07, will discuss her work on past and current subjects, including Elizabeth Peabody, Elizabeth Bishop, and Elizabeth Hawthorne.Rediscovering PlutoNov. 19, 7:30 p.m.Join Kelly Beatty from Sky & Telescope magazine for this talk on the mysterious stellar body, with telescopic observing from the observatory roof (weather permitting).Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian BladeNov. 20, 8 p.m.The jazz masters, under the leadership of tenor saxophone titan Wayne Shorter, have launched themselves skyward as an all-star trio. Special opener by 12-year-old Balinese pianist Joey Alexander.Billy Collins and Aimee MannNov. 21, 8 p.m.Former U.S. poet laureate and Guggenheim Fellow Billy Collins and Oscar- and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Aimee Mann come together for a rare evening of poetry, acoustic music, and conversation about their art forms and creative processes.DECEMBEROne Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro Dec. 2-4This acclaimed one-woman show, featuring Kate Ferber, celebrates the music and creative force of the late singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer whose pop masterpieces — including “Eli’s Comin’,” “And When I Die,” “Save the Country,” and “Stoney End” — topped the charts in the ’60s and ’70s. HUBweek is an invitation. An invitation to wander. To ask why and why not. To be a part of something bigger. And to celebrate the world-changing work, art and thinking being imagined and built in Greater Boston. Join robots, change-makers, leaders, and the curious Oct. 3-10, 2015 for a series of events, unexpected experiences, and celebrations taking place all across the city. HUBweek: ILLUMINUSOct. 3-4ILLUMINUS, Boston’s nighttime contemporary art festival, presents innovative and imaginative art interventions that are site-specific and multisensory. Established in the SoWa Arts District, the festival takes over Lansdowne Street to kickoff HUBweek.HUBweek: Fenway Forum: What’s the Right Thing to Do?Oct. 4, 4 p.m.HUBweek invites the public to this unprecedented civic event, led by one of the world’s leading political philosophers, in an iconic Boston setting: Fenway Park. Harvard Professor Michael Sandel will lead an all-star panel of authors, artists, entertainers, and other public figures in a lively discussion — with audience participation — about some hard ethical questions and the meaning of citizenship today.How Does the Environment Affect Our Health? Oct. 5, 6 p.m.A panel discussion with Julia Africa, Joseph Allen, and John D. Spengler, who will share current research about environmental impacts on health and discuss new technologies, initiatives, and policies designed to promote human well-being.Morris Gray ReadingOct. 7, 5 p.m.Acclaimed poet Laura Kasischke reads from her award-winning work, including her latest, “The Infinitesimals.”HUBweek: Your Brain on Art: How Does Light Influence Our Creation and Perception of Images?Oct. 7, 6 p.m.How does light inspire and help artists create visual stories about places, moments, or experiences? What happens inside a person’s brain when he or she admires art? Do all people perceive the same thing when looking at a painting or photograph? Margaret Livingstone, professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, and photographer Sharon Harper, professor of visual art at Harvard, will explore these questions and illuminate the science and art behind seeing, perceiving, and creating images.Damon Krukowski: Not to Be PlayedOct. 8-25This exhibit and performance airs the materials and sounds of an audio recording Ezra Pound made at Harvard just before World War II, in 1939, of a “bloody sestina” that the poet believed could (and perhaps did) incite violence.Pop Poetry WalkOct. 11, 1 p.m.In conjunction with the Harvard Art Museums’ exhibition “Corita Kent and the Language of Pop,” poet Eileen Myles will lead a group through a walking tour and writing a collective poem, which will be read at the entrance to the museums. The reading will be open to the public.teamLab at Radcliffe: What a Loving and Beautiful WorldOct. 16-Nov. 14Based in Japan, teamLab is a consortium of artists, engineers, and computer scientists specializing in ultra-technological installations. In this exhibit, Chinese and Japanese characters appear on the gallery walls. When the characters are touched, an image of the meaning emerges and interacts with images generated from other characters. The result is a colorful, multisensory space that continuously evolves as the images are released and influence one another. “Kansas City Choir Boy” will be at Oberon Oct. 1-10. HUBweekOct. 3-10This weeklong series of events is a joint venture between The Boston Globe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard University. The confluence of art, science, and technology that is the hallmark of this region has created a culture of meaningful innovation and problem-solving. HUBweek is a celebration of the big ideas and bold solutions that emerge from the spirit, intellectual energy, and creativity of this community, and will showcase the world-changing work, art, and thinking coming out of Greater Boston. See all of Harvard’s HUBweek events.HUBweek 2015 <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkNxfOjL7eE” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/fkNxfOjL7eE/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> SEPTEMBERWaitressThrough Sept. 27This world-premiere musical transforms the beloved film to a stage production with music and lyrics by Grammy-nominated Sara Bareilles.Diane Paulus on the A.R.T.’s 2015-16 seasonDiane Paulus, the A.R.T.’s Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director, discusses the upcoming season and the importance of theater in telling stories. Black Chronicles IIThrough Dec. 11, 2015The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art presents the U.S. premiere of this exhibition curated by London-based arts agency Autograph ABP. The show explores the presence of black subjects in 19th- and early 20th-century British photography.Corita Kent and the Language of PopThrough Jan. 3, 2016An exhibition examining the work of Corita Kent — a Roman Catholic nun, an artist, and educator — featuring her screen prints, films, installations, and the 1971 mural painted on the Boston Gas (now National Grid) tank.Nepal – In Memoriam: Exhibit and Fundraiser for Nepal Through Oct. 29, 2015This exhibit will raise funds for Harvard’s South Asia Institute Nepal Research and Reconstruction Fund, providing support for projects in Nepal developed in partnership with local organizations, with a focus on the country’s long-term reconstruction.Islam & the Future of ToleranceSept. 14, 6 p.m.This John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum brings together Sam Harris, author of “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason,” and Maajid Nawaz, author of “Radical: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism.”Bob Schieffer ― The 2016 Presidential ElectionSept. 15, noonIn his first event as the new Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow, Bob Schieffer, one of America’s most honored and respected journalists, gives his expert analysis of the current status of the 2016 presidential election campaign.Black Liveness Matters: Tracing the Sounding SubjectSept. 17-18, 4 p.m.George E. Lewis, the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, delivers the two-part George and Joyce Wein Lecture Series in African and African-American Music, which will consist of one lecture and one master class or performance.Women in BiotechSept. 18, 1 p.m.This symposium will explore the divide between the large number of women who pursue advanced degrees in related scientific fields and their representation in leadership positions in biotech firms.Summit on the Future of EuropeSept. 22, 4 p.m.The summit will convene scholars and public leaders at Harvard in order to deepen the debate on critical challenges facing Europe and generate ideas that support effective policy responses.The Sharp Amnesias of Guy MaddinSept. 25-Nov. 14Phantasmagoric Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, who will be a visiting lecturer at Harvard this year, pays a visit to the Harvard Film Archive during a retrospective of his unique independent cinema, including his latest anachronistically surreal effort, “The Forbidden Room.”12th Annual Brian J. Honan Run/WalkSept. 27, noonThe Brian J. Honan Charitable Fund was established to carry on Honan’s commitment to the causes he championed throughout the course of his life. Funds from the race have assisted and fostered local and national programs that support education, recreation, housing, and healthcare.An Evening with Rebecca SklootSept. 29, 5 p.m.Rebecca Skloot, author of the award-winning “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” presents a lecture and discussion about the book and her path to writing it.OCTOBERKansas City Choir BoyOct. 1-10A mystery told in flashbacks, this show is the story of two lovers in small-town America who separate when one goes in search of destiny and then disappears. Co-starring Courtney Love and Todd Almond. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OrCEY1Z38g” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/0OrCEY1Z38g/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>
With their works “Making Democracy Work” and “Democracy in America,” political scientists Robert Putnam and Alexis de Tocqueville respectively laid out theories on the positive relationship between civil society and more efficient, democratic governance within developed nations. In her lecture Tuesday titled “NGOs, Civil Society and Democratic Participation in Kenya,” Indiana University professor Jennifer Brass argued these theories from Putnam and Tocqueville are equally applicable to the world’s less-established nations. Brass said the increase of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Kenya has resulted in a bolstering of civil society and a rise in democratic participation in the areas in which these organizations are concentrated. She used the Kenyan definition of an NGO as a “private voluntary grouping of individuals or associations not operated for profit or for other commercial purposes but which have organized themselves nationally or internationally for the benefit of the public at large.” Brass backed up her positive findings with the results of a survey she administered to 501 adults across three districts in Kenya, asking questions about their interactions with NGOs as well as about their recent political behavior. The survey revealed respondents in areas where NGOs visited two or more times were 27 percent more likely to participate in a political protest or demonstration than those without NGO exposure. Brass said this significant effect of NGOs on the likelihood of protesting in Kenya shows established theories about the relationship between NGOs, civil society and democratic participation are valid in the case of developing nations. “It shows NGOs can be considered to be civil society actors … that participatory development does have spillover effects into the political realm,” Brass said. Despite the correlation between NGOs and greater political and democratic participation, Brass said NGOs are mainly concerned with issues of general development and of improving standards of living. “Looking at Kenya, what’s interesting is most NGOs are not doing explicitly political work,” Brass said. Brass said NGOs are steadily gaining more control over areas in Kenya traditionally thought to be the responsibilities of local and national governments. “Looking at core policy services that we think states provide, we have NGOs either by themselves or jointly providing about 10 percent of services in education, 12 percent in healthcare and about 20 percent in security,” Brass said. Brass concluded the lecture by saying that the nearly exponential increase in Kenyan NGOs reflects the broader trend of donors favoring these organizations over governments when it comes to aid provision. Brass said donors view NGOs as more accountable, cost-effective, participatory and in touch with grassroots communities.
By Dialogo August 31, 2012 Peru’s National Police will be reinforced with new weapons and equipment in order to carry out the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism, as part of a larger investment in security that the government is implementing, said the Peruvian Interior Minister on August 29. The government is committed to equip the police to improve the fight against drugs and crime; to that end we have a fairly significant investment for the infrastructure and equipment in the order of 640 million soles (about U.S. $ 240 million), said Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza. Weapons have not been purchased (for the police) in 25 years. We are in the process of defining what type of weapons will be acquired, but they will be similar to those of the Armed Forces, the official pointed out. In addition to weapons, the plan includes new equipment and communications systems to improve the way problems of public safety and police intervention in social conflicts are addressed. The police will also have new deterrent weapons to try to avoid fatalities that are produced in social conflicts, Pedraza added. Peru’s national police did not have the proper equipment to address the country’s current challenges of security and narco-terrorism. Now it will rely on equipment that it never had before, said National Police Director Raúl Salazar. The police chief indicated that there will be lightweight assault rifles like the ones used by the Armed Forces, although the caliber has not yet been defined. “In the moment of a confrontation, drug dealers do not discriminate between military or police” he emphasized.
By Patrícia Comunello/Diálogo March 09, 2018 Between 2010 and 2017, the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) destroyed more than one million weapons held by the Brazilian Justice Department. The weapons were seized during criminal activity primarily linked to violent crimes and narcotrafficking. According to the Oversight Department for Controlled Products (DFPC, in Portuguese) 2017 logged the greatest volume with 282,721 weapons destroyed. The amount seized in 2017 marked a record year since the implementation of the 2003 Disarmament Statute that defined the EB as the entity responsible for destroying those weapons. The second largest amount of weapons destroyed was 2012, with 273,122 units. Operation Volcano (Operação Vulcão) kicked off the initiative to destroy weapons. Volcano was the first operation carried out after Minister Cármen Lúcia Antunes Rocha, chair of the National Justice Council (CNJ, in Portuguese) and the Federal Supreme Court, and General Eduardo Dias Villas Bôas, commander of EB, signed the Technical Cooperation Agreement on November 21, 2017. Volcano accounted for 112,768 of the total number of weapons destroyed in 2017. The operation, conducted all over Brazil, included judiciary districts and sites used as deposits for weapons no longer needed for forensic analysis or legal custody. “These sites are not secure to store such arsenals,” said EB Colonel Walter Augusto Teixeira, head of the Center for Controlled Products Operations for the DFPC, based in Brasília. “The weapons include very modern assault rifles and machine guns, as well as other types of armaments and munitions. Burglaries were reported at some of these deposits.” Col. Walter highlighted the speed with which the agreement was implemented. “In addition to Volcano, new operations are planned up to November 2018, when the current term, which is set to be renewed, expires,” he added. Tatiane da Costa Almeida, director of the CNJ Department of Institutional Security for the Judiciary Branch, said the operation was the “first concerted effort by the council and EB to destroy weapons not required for criminal convictions.” Almeida said the Inspection System for Controlled Products already included this procedure. “Once a weapon has been forensically analyzed, it should not remain on the Justice Department premises.” New procedures “After the agreement between the CNJ and EB commands, it was necessary to adopt a series of measures to organize the flow, with procedures for the completion of forms and logistics to ship to the relevant EB units,” explained Almeida. The 12 military regions (RMs, in Portuguese) thoroughly surveyed sites that held the material to schedule deliveries and other initiatives until destruction. The initial forecast was for 100,000 units, but the number rose to 112,768. Almeida said the intention is to institute a routine to send material to military organizations (OMs, in Portuguese), units under the RMs, to avoid continued accumulation of weapons and munitions at courthouses. “Each courthouse is different; many try to maintain secure deposits. But the best solution is for judges to order weapons destroyed or donated to other security agencies, after forensic analysis of the weapons,” said Almeida. “The volume sent to the Army between 2010 and 2017 is an indication of the escalating level of violence in the country. The quantity of weapons seized daily is impressive. As such, we need to manage this volume. We can also prevent weapons from going back onto the streets and reduce violence,” Almeida said. Col. Walter said weapons’ firepower was surprising. “Many of the weapons are exclusive to the Armed Forces in combat situations. That’s why criminal elements are very interested in the deposits.” The cooperation, Col. Walter said, is a milestone for aligned procedures, such as training court employees to complete technical forms and expedite delivery to EB. The activities will be managed digitally. “We have prepared teaching material to provide guidelines on how to identify model and serial numbers of weapons,” said Col. Walter. The weapons undergo several procedures rendering them useless before being melted down at iron works. Minas Gerais led the destruction of weapons Of the 12 RMs in Brazil, the 4th RM that covers the state of Minas Gerais sent the largest volume of weapons for destruction in 2017. It amounted to 45,444 units. In second place was the 5th RM, covering Paraná and Santa Catarina, accounting for 22,778 weapons. Rio de Janeiro, which is part of the 1st RM, and currently the focus of intense action by the Armed Forces following federal intervention to reduce violence, emptied its weapons stocks held in courthouses. “About 95 percent of the material comes from criminal activity,” said EB Lieutenant Colonel Alexandre de Almeida, head of the Inspection Department for Controlled Products of the 1st RM, during a destruction ceremony for more than 2,000 weapons in December 2017. “We managed to destroy 100 percent of the armament available for destruction in Rio de Janeiro. This partnership could contribute to public security by taking these weapons out of circulation,” Lt. Col. Almeida added. Thiago Colnago Cabral, assistant judge for the head of the Justice Department of Minas Gerais, explained that the existence of almost 290 judicial districts in the state led to accumulation of the material. Only three OMs receive the weapons. “The notary offices of judicial districts undertake management of weapons, which created a lot of bureaucracy and little security,” said Cabral. Numbers are estimated at 750 weapons per week for each OM. According to Cabral, conversations with EB and the Civil and State Police branches throughout 2017 indicated solutions that reinforced cooperation between CNJ and EB. Now, seized weapons are sent to the Judiciary Police soon after forensic analysis. Only weapons used as evidence in murder and attempted murder cases remain at the notary offices. “We are doing with weapons what we already do with narcotics. The report is drafted within 48 hours and we send them to be destroyed,” said Cabral. “Weapons and narcotics do not go back out onto the streets,” he concluded.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Beachgoers have begun swarming to the shores of Long Island to cool off now that school is out and summer is in, but the region’s favorite pastime isn’t all fun and games.To keep a day at the beach from turning into a trip to the emergency room, swimmers—and in some cases, even sun worshipers who stay on the sand—should be careful of common local hazards ranging from pollution to rip currents.“As we enjoy the start of summer at our beautiful beaches, it’s important for neighbors to recognize the joy of playing in the ocean is accompanied by the potential for danger,” warned Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray.LI’s shores are not alone in giving bathers something to worry about. Florida leads the nation in shark attacks with the Carolinas close behind given the upswing in recent incidents, some California beaches have been cleaning up oil inexplicably washing ashore and the Gulf Coast is still recovering from the BP oil spill five years ago.Although the issues on the Island aren’t as dangerous as shark bites and oil spills, there are still some risks that can roll ashore worth keeping in mind. Here are six:Swimming was prohibited at Lake Ronkonkoma beach due to increased bacteria levels and a blue-green algae bloom advisory on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Lake Ronkonkoma reopened to swimming on Thursday, July 2, 2015. (Long Island Press photo)A Day At The Petri DishRain doesn’t only keep sunbathers away from the shore when the skies open up, but also can force health officials to temporarily close beaches on sunny days that follow storms.That’s because stormwater runoff washes pathogens—disease-causing bacteria or viruses—into local waterways, which often prompts health officials responsible for testing the water quality to temporarily close affected bathing beaches the day after heavy rains. Bathing in bacteria-contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness, as well as infections of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, officials say.Studies have shown that such pollution is the result of stormwater runoff washing domestic and wild animal waste as well as partly treated human waste from septic tanks and sewage treatment plants into LI’s bays, rivers and streams.The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) ranked New York 20th in beach water quality out of 30 states, according to last year’s annual report that examines beach closure data. The ranking by the nonprofit environmental group was the result of 13 percent of samples taken in 2013 exceeding the national Beach Action Value, a system developed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to test safe levels of bacteria in the water.Also contributing human waste to bathing beaches are some boaters who flush untreated sewage into local bays even though the EPA made doing that illegal when the South Shore Estuary, Peconic Bay Estuary and the Long Island Sound were all deemed a “no discharge zone” five years ago.The public can help keep beaches open and prevent pathogens from entering waterways by disposing of animal waste properly, maintaining septic systems and reminding boaters to use a pump-out station. Before swimming, check local beaches for any posted warnings by calling Nassau County’s beach hotline at 516-227-9700 and/or Suffolk County’s beach hotline at 631-852-5822.Toxic TidesAside from swimmers avoiding pathogens, those who go fishing or clamming in the waters off LI’s shores have another kind of pollution to worry about.Years after industrial sources polluted the waters with heavy metals such as mercury and carcinogens such as PCBs, those and other toxins have been found in fish and shellfish caught off both the north and south shores of LI, studies have shown.“The primary chemicals of concern in New York City waters and Long Island marine waters are PCBs, dioxin and cadmium,” the New York State Department of Health wrote in its pamphlet on eating locally caught fish. “In Long Island freshwaters the primary chemical is chlordane. These chemicals build up in your body over time.”In its advisory, the health department suggests that fishermen and women limit eating fish caught in certain waterways, with extra precautions urged for children and women under 50. Fish caught in water farther offshore is less contaminated, the agency said.Aside from issuing warnings for certain fish caught in Block Island Sound, Gardiners Bay, Jamaica Bay, the South Shore and Peconic Bay, there are also guidelines for freshwater fishing in lakes, ponds and streams around LI, including Freeport Reservoir, Lake Capri, Loft’s Pond, Smith Pond and Fresh Pond.As for clams oysters and other shellfish, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued an emergency closure in May for shellfisheries in Shinnecock Bay after marine biotoxin contamination was found. For the latest advisories, call the DEC’s local shellfish office at 631-444-0480.About 40 volunteers picked up trash on the Montauk beaches collecting everything from shoes and straws to mylar balloons and fishing trash as part of the Surfrider Foundation Clean up on Wednesday, June 17. (Photo credit: Dain Ning)Watch Your StepEven those only going for a long walk on the beach should be careful of debris, as anyone who’s ever stepped on trash buried in the sand at Jones Beach State Park knows too well.Broken glass, rusted metal and fishing line are just some of the garbage that can occasionally be found littering local shores. Not only is it unpleasant for humans to step on such trash, animals are often entangled in discarded ropes and fishing line.“Last year, 56,891 volunteers cleaned and documented 92,677 pounds of debris along 245.52 miles of New York State’s shoreline,” The American Littoral Society said on its website. That total is about the weight of a fully grown sperm whale, which can reach a length of 59 feet.The public can help by disposing of trash properly and volunteering for beach cleanups through the society, The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation and other environmentally oriented groups.Tens of thousands of dead bunker fish have been washing up along the Peconic River and Flanders Bay due to low dissolved oxygen levels caused by overabundant nitrogen, which fuel brown and red tides. (Photo: Long Island Coastal Conservation Research Alliance Facebook Page)Red Tide is HighLook no further than the mass turtle die-off and back-to-back fish kills that flooded East End waterways with tens of thousands of dead bunker fish last month for proof that red tide is a problem on LI.Officials and experts credited all three events in Flanders Bay to red tide—an overabundance of algae that contributes to the depletion of oxygen in the water and causes a host of other problems. The blooms are caused by nitrogen pollution.“No question the biggest problem is nitrogen in our waters,” said Jim Gilmore, head of the state DEC’s Bureau of Marine Resources. “We have had several occurrences of fish kills but never of this magnitude. And nitrogen exacerbates the problem. We want the fish in the water, not dying on the beaches. Algal blooms fueled by nitrogen are making it worse.”The toxic condition first emerged in LI waters three decades ago and is widely believed to have contributed to—along with overfishing—the collapse of the local shellfishing industry, which is now a shell of its former self.Excess nitrogen leaches into local bays from a combination of sewage treatment plant outflow pipes, stormwater runoff and antiquated septic tanks. The problem is exacerbated in Suffolk County, where 74 percent of homes and businesses still use septic tanks since most of eastern LI isn’t hooked up to the public sewer system.After the recent fish kills, local health officials warned the public not to touch the dead fish. But people should avoid contact with some of the algae blooms as well—notably the blue-green algae and red tide, which contains neurotoxins that can cause paralysis.Pets are also at risk if they drink from water where blue-green algae is present. In 2013, a dog died after drinking water from an East Hampton pond that was contaminated with blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria. Similar fatal incidents have been reported nationwide.Swimming in brown tide, which has been spotted in the South Shore bays this summer, is not known to be harmful. But ingesting water with high amounts of algae can be risky. An NRDC study found that those exposed to certain types of algae might suffer from a variety of symptoms such as neurological complaints, diarrhea, vomiting, respiratory issues as well as skin and eye irritation.To help prevent algae blooms, choose organic compost instead of fertilizer for yard work and gardening.Lion’s Mane jellyfishThe Lion’s DenFew things ruin a day at the beach like a jellyfish sting—especially if the culprit is the Lion’s Mane jellyfish, which is believed to be the world’s largest.These big, bad jellies are native to the North Atlantic and are no strangers to LI waters. This species of jellyfish can grow to as large as 6-feet wide and 49-feet long. Although the lion’s mane jellyfish has a beautiful crimson-colored, bell-shaped head, be warned that these creatures’ tentacles can leave a very painful sting.Take it from this reporter, who’s personally been stung by the lion’s mane: This jellyfish’s sting can lead to hives and blisters. Don’t ignore signs posted on the beach that warn about jellyfish in the waters, and always use caution when swimming. Beware ‘Grip of The Rip’In addition to all of the above-listed hazards, top among them are rip currents.Rip currents are channels of water that are caused by water pressure building up along the shoreline, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).While standing at the water’s edge, swimmers may feel a tugging at their ankles as the water pulls away from shore; this is the undertow. If the pull is strong enough, it can lead to drowning. While an undertow and riptides are dangerous, the number one danger is rip currents, mostly because people have an instinct to swim against it and exhaust themselves to the point of drowning.“When we say beware of the ‘grip of the rip,’ we mean it,” said Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony Santino. “Even the most experienced swimmers can be endangered by rip currents, so it’s imperative to be prepared if a situation arises in the water.”To escape out of a rip current, swimmers should remain calm, swim parallel to the shore and allow the oncoming waves to assist them back to shore. If a swimmer has enough energy, it is strongly advised to signal for help. Always remember to stay within areas that have lifeguards, and don’t swim too far away from shore.Otherwise, have a blast at the beach but don’t forget your sun block.