The top 16 teams in Britain and Ireland have qualified to compete in the cup, with Oxford being the only Quidditch Club to have 2 teams qualify: The Radcliffe Chimeras and the Oxford Quidlings. The top teams in the competition will qualify to compete in the European Regionals, with the chance to win a place in the world cup in April next year.The game, made famous by the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, has been especially adapted for ‘muggles’, who have to run around with a broom between their legs at all times. As Matthew Weston, of the Oxford University Quidditch Club explained, “It’s actually a very important handicap, comparable to only using your feet in football or having to dribble the ball in basketball. It means you can’t run as fast and have to throw and catch with one arm.”The quaffle is made by a slightly-deflated volleyball which allows it to be caught in one hand, and bludgers are dodgeballs thrown at players.The snitch, in contrast, is not a ball at all, but a person in a yellow jersey with a tennis ball in a sock down the back of their shorts, who has all of a predetermined area to run and hide in. The human snitch can have their own tactics when it comes to hiding from the Seekers, including what are known as ‘snitch spectacles’, which might even include the use of decoy snitches. Catching the snitch and retrieving the ball only gets thirty points rather than the 150 in the books.“It’s going to be a really big event, with scouts from QUK (Quidditch UK) and the IQA (International Quidditch Association) there to look for players to form part of the UK team to compete in the international cup early next year,” said Ashley Cooper from The Oxford Quidditch Team.There has also been suggestions that the Oxford University Sports Federation should award Quidditch players half-blues for playing for the university, particularly as the sport does have a governing body in the form of the International Quidditch Association.“I don’t think they should be awarded half-blues,” said one fresher from Exeter College. “You only get a half-blue for playing ice-hockey and it would devalue the whole thing. I don’t think that quidditch should be seen as more of a sport than ice-hockey”.However, in their defence Western said, “this isn’t just some kind of immersive Hogwarts reenactment, people are being drawn to the unique tactics and culture of the sport. Furthermore, not only is Quidditch a mixed-gender sport, but we judge gender in terms of identity rather than biology, making it probably the most progressive sport in the world in terms of welcoming gender identities.”At the tournament there will also be sessions for spectators to have a go at playing quidditch for themselves, for both adults and kids.
Gov. Wolf, Lt. Gov. Fetterman Hit PA Ice Cream Trail SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman dropped in at Urban Churn, Harrisburg, to celebrate Pennsylvania dairy and have their 2019 Pennsylvania “Pursue Your Scoops” Ice Cream Trail passports stamped.“The Pennsylvania Pursue Your Scoops Ice Cream Trail provides an opportunity for families to connect with the incredibly important family-owned farms and small creameries that make up Pennsylvania’s dairy industry,” said Gov. Wolf. “This trail is just one way I’m supporting Pennsylvania farmers. I’m committed to continuing to invest in our agriculture industry, especially as farmers explore new ways to add value to products, including processing milk into ice cream.”Gov. Wolf recently signed the PA Farm Bill, which, among other investments, allocates $5 million in the 2019-20 budget to Pennsylvania’s Dairy Investment Program to allow farmers to pursue new value-added processing projects.“The ‘Scoops’ trail is a delicious way to celebrate our dairy farmers and creameries,” said Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman. “I hope all Pennsylvanians will join us this summer in picking up a passport and enjoying a treat.”The Pennsylvania “Pursue Your Scoops” Ice Cream Trail was developed last year as a joint effort between the Pennsylvania Tourism Office and the Department of Agriculture to boost Pennsylvania’s dairy industry by capitalizing on agritourism. Visitors to the trail can download a passport or pick one up at any stop and have it stamped at a mix of participating on-farm creameries and ice cream shops that support Pennsylvania milk processors and local dairy farmers. The trail is divided into three regional segments per passport. Visitors with at least five stamps on one passport by Sept. 2, 2019, receive a “Pursue Your Scoops” t-shirt, while a fully stamped passport earns a “Pursue Your Scoops” ice cream bowl.Urban Churn is one of 32 creameries participating in this year’s trail, which has tripled in size since its creation. The business, which opened its storefront on Third Street in Harrisburg earlier this year, make small batches of ice cream with unique and classic flavors.“The ice cream trail has been a huge success for us. The program has introduced our new store to many folks from near and far,” said Adam Brackbill, Urban Churn owner. “It has helped us start off strong and develop new regulars. We’re very thankful to be a part of the trail, allowing us to serve homemade and unique ice cream made from local dairy.” July 18, 2019
By Jeremy FoxOSKALOOSA, Iowa (July 2) – Cayden Carter raced to a $2,000 payday on night two of Southern Iowa Speedway’s Budweiser Great American Stock Car Shootout.The Shootout brought many of the top drivers in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car division to Oskaloosa and the 30-lap main event didn’t disappoint.Derrick Agee and Damon Murty ran 1-2 in the dash earlier in the evening and started on the front row. Murty took advantage and grabbed the early lead with Agee staying right behind while Mike Hughes, Nathan Wood and Carter battled for position.It looked as if Murty was going to take the big check home but after the halfway pit stop it was Carter taking the lead away on lap 19 and staying in front to the finish. He took the win over Murty, two-time defending race winner Zack VanderBeek, David Brandies and Agee.Curtis VanDerWal and Dustin Griffiths were $1,000 feature winners in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, respectively.VanDerWal won the pole dash and maintained an iron grip on the lead despite four cautions and the ensuing restarts. The victory was his sixth locally this season.Jason McDaniel, Tim Plummer, Brett Lowry and Cory Van Zante completed the top five.Craig Brown and Griffiths led the Hobby Stock field to green. Griffiths grabbed the top spot and held off numerous challenges from Brown in a contest that stopped only for the pit stop at midway.Danny Thrasher got by Craig Brown for second with two laps to go. Nick Ulin and Travis Bunnell rounded out the top five.Announced on Thursday Night were the three newest members of the Southern Iowa Speedway Hall of Fame, Dean Sylvester, Danny Wallace and Jim Brown. They will be inducted on Wednesday, July 15 during intermission of the Southern Iowa Fair Races featuring the rescheduled IMCA Hawkeye Dirt Tour event.July 2 ResultsStock Cars – 1. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa; 2. Damon Murty, Chelsea; 3. Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon; 4. David Brandies, Wilton; 5. Derrick Agee, Moberly, Mo.; 6. Mike Hughes, Oskaloosa; 7. Daniel Hilsabeck, Adel; 8. Brad Pinkerton, New Sharon; 9. Johnny Spaw, Cedar Rapids; 10. Shane Paris, Muscatine; 11. Todd Reitzler, Grinnell; 12. Cody Agee, Huntsville, Mo.; 13. Todd Phillips, Packwood; 14. Jason See, Albia; 15. Daniel Gordon, Oskaloosa; 16. Nathan Wood, Sigourney; 17. Michael Peterson, Montezuma; 18. Caleb Crenshaw, Fort Worth, Texas; 19. Jerry Pilcher, Bloomfield; 20. Les Blakley, Fairfield; 21. Michael Bilyeu, Indianola; 22. Doug Sylvester, Ottumwa; 23. Casey Greubel, Lacona; 24. Joe Zadina, Corning; 25. Brock Welch, Oskaloosa.Last-chance qualifier (top five advance) – 1. Pinkerton; 2. Zadina; 3. Peterson; 4. Phillips; 5. Blakley; 6. Bilyeu; 7. Ron Christopher, Forney, Texas; 8. Gordon; 9. Robbie Merkle, Des Moines; 10. Welch; 11. Bob Lynch, Ottumwa; 12. Duawyne Herb, Hiawatha; 13. Austin Evans, Independence); 14. Donnie Pearson, Oskaloosa.Dash – 1. Derrick Agee; 2. Murty; 3. Hughes; 4. Carter; 5. Wood; 6. Paris; 7. Cody Agee; 8. Hilsabeck.1st heat – 1. Reitzler; 2. Pilcher; 3. Spaw; 4. Zadina; 5. Blakley; 6. Bilyeu; 7. Herb; 8. Phillips. 2nd heat – 1. VanderBeek; 2. Sylvester; 3. Greubel; 4. Gordon; 5. Lynch; 6. Peterson; 7. Merkle; 8. Pearson. 3rd heat – 1. Brandies; 2. See; 3. Crenshaw; 4. Pinkerton; 5. Evans; 6. Welch; 7. Christopher.Northern SportMods – 1. Curtis VanDerWal, Oskaloosa; 2. Jason McDaniel, Eldon; 3. Tim Plummer, Norway; 4. Brett Lowry, Montezuma; 5. Cory Van Zante, Sully; 6. Brandon Dale, Memphis, Mo.; 7. Jared Van Deest, Holland; 8. Scott Vanbuskirk, Hedrick; 9. Charlie Weber, Sigourney; 10. Trent Brink, Bussey; 11. Greg Strohman, Webster; 12. Michael Guthrie, Ottumwa; 13. Scott Brau, Brooklyn; 14. Brayton Carter, Oskaloosa; 15. Logan Anderson, Oskaloosa; 16. Danny Brau, Brooklyn; 17. Colton Livezey, New Sharon; 18. Matthew VanGelder, Pella; 19. Kyle Hill, New London; 20. Leroy Groenendyk, Oskaloosa.Dash – 1. VanDerWal; 2. McDaniel; 3. Anderson; 4. Lowry; 5. Livezey; 6. Van Zante; 7. Hill; 8. Weber.1st heat – 1. Carter; 2. Dale; 3. Strohman; 4. Plummer; 5. Guthrie; 6. Scott Brau; 7. Groenendyk. 2nd heat – 1. Vanbuskirk; 2. Osweiler; 3. Van Deest; 4. Van Gelder; 5. Danny Brau; 6. Brink.Hobby Stocks – 1. Dustin Griffiths, Ottumwa; 2. Danny Thrasher, Agency; 3. Craig Brown, Eldon; 4. Nick Ulin, Agency; 5. Travis Bunnell, Hedrick; 6. Bobby Greene, Eddyville; 7. Dale Porter, Bloomfield; 8. Jamie Songer, Ankeny; 9. Adam Bonnett, Martensdale; 10. August Bach, Newton; 11. Brandon Potts, Eldon; 12. Aaron Martin, Ottumwa; 13. Steve Allen, Oskaloosa; 14. Clayton Webster, Ottumwa; 15. Christian Huffman, New Sharon; 16. Ron Downing Jr., Ottumwa; 17. Kevin Fee, Knoxville.Dash – 1. Brown; 2. Griffiths; 3. Thrasher; 4. Ulin; 5. Songer; 6. Porter; 7. Bill Bonnett; 8. Potts; 9. Adam Bonnett
Dear Editor,There has been a lot of language of defiance following the CCJ’s ruling of June 18. Losing a no-confidence vote is not the end of political life. As the CCJ said, a no-confidence vote is an aspect of democratic governance in parliamentary democracies. It is used to hold governments accountable to Parliament and to the voters by way of their representatives. So many regimes (governments) and political leaders lost a no-confidence vote in recent times (including in the UK, Australia, Austria, Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc). Political life goes on. Some make a comeback; others quit. Democracy is strengthened and corruption is lessened. This is how countries get better governance. Rulers become fearful they could lose power if they don’t govern in the best interests of the nation. No one is cheated. All benefit from a no-confidence vote; a country learns from it. So why the defiance?A ruler must not take measures to evade the consequences of a successful no-confidence vote by taking instruction from the elections commission to set a date for elections. The law states that the President has to dissolve Parliament and hold elections within ninety days. Guyana is perhaps the worst case of a government seeking to avoid elections after a no-confidence vote by invoking the name of the elections commission as an excuse. The law does not state that the President must consult with GECOM on its preparedness for elections. The elections commission is supposed to be permanently prepared for elections because a government can fall anytime. In fact, the law states that that the voters’ list must be continuously updated in preparation for elections. There is continuous identity registration of fourteen-year-olds so that eligible voters (attaining 18) would be on the voters’ list. Saying the list is not ready is a lame excuse. Saying that the list has names of the dead and migrants is also a lame excuse; those dead and migrants were also on every voters’ list including the one used last November for the local elections and last May 2015 elections that catapulted the coalition to office.No ruler should be fearful of facing the electorate – the true bosses of the politicians. A ruler can very well win re-election after losing a no-confidence vote or when counted out of the voting ring. Just last month, the Australian PM won re-election when he was all but counted out. The rulers of Austria, Greece, Israel, and several other countries have decided to face the electorate after the Parliament lost confidence in them (even though a formal vote was not taken). The ruler of the United Kingdom decided to step down after failing to get a majority of MPs to back her. We should not forget that former President Donald Ramotar “fired himself” rather than face a no-confidence vote – that is an option of a country and is also an aspect of democracy. Basdeo Panday of Trinidad also fired himself in December 2001 and called elections that he lost rather than face a no-confidence vote.President David Granger is a military man and I am sure he will do the right and honourable thing; he knows what are orders and will subject himself to the orders of the court (CCJ). I am confident the President will dissolve Parliament very soon and begin consultation with the Opposition Leader on the replacement of his unilateral appointee of GECOM Chair.The court was very clear that the appointment of James Patterson violated the Constitution. The President was misadvised that he could act unilaterally in appointing the Chair of GECOM. The court has so informed him that the process he used to appoint Patterson was flawed and a violation of the Constitution. There must be consultation with the Opposition Leader, who will provide six names and the President will choose one as GECOM Chair; there is no way around that process. I think President Granger will act accordingly.Separately, I am disappointed with the incendiary language used by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Finance Minister Winston Jordan – “there is going to be war” if there is no house-to-house registration. Both know that the law does not call for house-to-house registration, in fact, the CCJ also made reference to this point. That kind of militant language of violence belongs to a bygone era. As the CCJ judges said, the country can’t go back to the period of Burnhamism or authoritarian rule. The law is very clear that once a government loses a no-confidence vote, it must resign, serve as a caretaker, and hold elections within ninety days. The CCJ will not allow a violation of the Constitution, having drawn heavily from the language in the Constitution in rendering the unanimous judgment in favour of the no-confidence vote.Even the court noted that there is no need for house-to-house registration of voters; names not on the list can be added. Those who migrated or the dead, the latter in particular, can’t turn up to vote or can the latter vote as happened in 1968, 1973, 1978, 1980, and 1985.Nagamootoo has had a reputation of championing democracy since his high school days in the 1960s. It would be disingenuous of him to evade democratic practices by threatening violence if Government does not get its way. That is not the result of a no-confidence vote and how the system works. The no-confidence vote allows the polity to cleanse or revitalise itself.All sides must pull back on this talk of violence, desist from advocating delayed elections, and respect the rule of law as clarified by the learned judges of the CCJ – new elections within ninety days from June 24.Yours truly,Dr Vishnu Bisram