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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 18th March 2000
Issue No171

Scottish Names Buy Up 'Boob'.

The English businesswoman who bought up the Internet names of score of historic Scottish villages hoping to make may have blundered, a web expert warned.

Angela Barrow's company has just spent 75,000 buying up 1,500 titles for 5 each, including some of Scotland's most famous and historic place names. Among them are Bannockburn - site of Robert the Bruce's 1314 victory over the English - and Balfron. But leading Internet strategist Nigel Roberts said: "This woman has probably wasted her time and money. After devolution and the setting up of Scotland's own parliament, there are now moves to establish a separate domain name for Scotland. "A consortium of Internet service providers in Scotland has been working for some time and they hope to create domain names ending in .sco. And there are also plans to set up a special Scottish domain name within .uk. "This would mean that Mrs Barrow has spent an awful lot of money on names that, in Scotland at least, people would rather see registered as .sco. Mr Roberts, an Internet advisor added: "She may have to do it all again but next time I am sure that she would find herself up against some serious competition from the communities themselves." Meanwhile Mrs Barrow, a computer programmer from the village of Bedingfield, near Eye in Suffolk, said: "I care passionately about the UK and this is my way of doing something for it. My vision is of a network of sites spanning the UK containing information about each town and village. "Businesses will be able to advertise on the sites but non-profit making organisations will be able to use links to their own sires free of charge." Mrs Barrow is offering the sites for ale at 500 each. She said: "We confess we have registered places like Bannockburn and Balfron, but we feel no pangs of guilt. We see ourselves as pilots, not pirates." But George Reid, Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament said: "This is simply piracy - it is sharp practice and stealing. While the Internet is unregulated, it is absurd that this lady-of-the-manor from Suffolk can scoop up Scotland."

Award Winning Salmon

Flaky smoked salmon which has scooped awards and featured at top banquets at home and abroad was featured at Scotland's International Trade Fair Recently. It was originally produced by Eric and Jane Twelves in the kitchen of their South Uist home next to their fish farm in Loch Carnan. Encouraged to make their flaky smoked salmon commercially, Mr Twelves designed his own smoker and a friend made it to his specifications. Now, the company employs 12 staff and operates out of a custom built unit on the island. The products launch at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham in 1997 was followed almost immediately by netting three top food awards. Mrs Twelves said: "It won so many orders on our first visit to Scotland's International Trade Fair, in Glasgow last year, we decided to make a return visit this year."

Gaelic Centre for Island.

The creation of a new education language and heritage centre in Islay has taken a big step forward with the establishment of a company to complete the project. Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile, the Islay Columba Centre, will be created on the site of a 100 year old cottage hospital at Gartnatra, east of Bowmore. It will provide a range of course in the Gaelic language, arts and history, and its development is to be overseen by Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic college in Skye. That means the Islay development will be directly linked to the University of the Highlands and Islands. Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant welcomed the move. She said: "This is a welcome development in this exciting project, which will be of great benefit, not just to the economy of Islay, but to the development of Gaelic culture in Scotland which the Scottish Executive and the Labour Party have pledged to assist. "This project is a true partnership with support from the Government, public sector and educational bodies, businesses and the community of Islay, but still has some way to go before completion. The establishment of a company is a positive move and I am pleased to offer my continued support." Director of development at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Donnie Munro, said he was unable to say yet when the centre would open. He said: "The time scale is dependant on funding packages. That becomes a priority now for the new entity that will be formed to take it forward. Already there have been indications of interest from the private sector. "The indications are that a project of this type would be considered favourably by the European Regional Development Fund, for example. "There are other areas of both public and private sector monies that this is likely to attract support from." Norman Gillies, director of Sabhal Mor Ostaig, said: "A key strength of Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile will be found in the range of community groups, learning institutions and local industry, all collaborating to make the venture a success."

Whisky on the Menu

A round of whisky related recipes is being ordered by organisers of a major Highland festival. Cooks from the North are being urged to come forward with whisky dishes to promote the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, being held from April 28 to May 8. The recipes will be used to encourage local hotels, pubs and clubs to include the "water of life" on their menus during the event. Festival spokeswoman Julie Elrick said: "We hope to compile a list of menu suggestions that will inspire hotels and bars to get into the spirit of the whisky festival. "The whisky recipes we receive may even be used in forthcoming years as the basis for a Spirit of Speyside Cook Book." Organisers have said the favourite whisky recipes must include a Speyside malt as an ingredient.

Culloden Experiment

Hundreds of metres of new erected fences criss crossing historic Culloden battlefield herald a novel bid to restore the moor as closely as possible to what it looked like on the fateful day on which Jacobite hopes were dashed in 1746. The battlefield's custodian, the National Trust for Scotland, has recruited a flock of hardy Hebridean sheep as a cost effective means of helping it solve the constant problem of clearing the site of encroaching birch and rowan scrub. The fences have been erected to prevent the rare breed - now more common in Yorkshire than in the Hebrides - from straying on to the busy road adjoining the battlefield as they quietly munch their way through unwanted foliage. Trust conservation manager Alexander Bennett said that the experiment was expected to take at least six years, but emphasised that if and when it ended successfully, the unsightly fences would be removed. Mr Bennett said the sheep will graze on the battlefield between April and August, because they particularly enjoy young birch and rowan shoots.

Healthy Eating

The benefits of the most Scottish of breakfast foods, porridge, was praised recently by Ross Finnie, the Scottish Executive's rural affairs minister. He said waking up to a slice of Scotland on a plate was one of the best ways to start the day. He was supporting the Farmhouse Breakfast 2000 initiative, held in Glasgow recently to raise awareness of Scotland's breakfast products and their healthy benefits. Mr Finnie praised the event, saying: "It is particularly pleasing that Farmhouse Breakfast 2000 is determined to build links through the entire food chain, involving cereal farmers, pig producers, bakers, butchers, breakfast-cereal manufacturers, caterers, hotels and supermarkets. "I believe this would boost awareness of our heritage in producing breakfast products, as well as their health benefits. This is particularly vital in Scotland, which has one of the unhealthiest diets in the world. "Not only is a breakfast of traditional Scottish produce like porridge delicious, it is also an extremely healthy way to start the day."

Dogs in the Wilderness Race

The biggest sled dog rally in Europe raced around Aviemore's rugged terrain for a gruelling test of endurance recently. The Beta Sled Dog Rally 2000, involving 230 people and more than 1,000 dogs was the 18th event in the competitions history, which has always been held in woodland trails around the village. Spokeswoman Liz Wyatt said: "We had snow which was great - it was scenic, but it didn't lie. It was bitterly cold but the dogs, by nature of what they do, loved it. The going was extremely good. "It was a phenomenal success. This is the first year that we can confidently say this is the largest sled dog rally in Europe. "We have created an event that has attracted an extraordinary amount of people." The sport demands that both mushers - handlers - and their teams of dogs be incredibly fit as they push themselves to the limit in up to seven miles of trails. Among the success stories was Dougie MacPherson, of Aberfoyle, who led a team of dogs around just over seven miles of course in just over an hour. Seven classes were competed which were drawn up depending on the handler's team and type of sled dog breed. Junior classes were also competing against the clock.

Charity Event

Members of an opera group in Inverness hit the right note with Highland Hospice recently when they handed over cash raised at a street singing session. Inverness Opera Company chairman Trevor Nicol handed over a cheque for 225 to hospice fundraiser Andrew Leaver.

Political Roundup

Fair Share of the Jobs

MSP for the Highlands and Islands Winnie Ewing MSP, has written to the Deputy Minister asking what steps he is taking to ensure more civil service jobs are dispersed to the Highlands and Islands. Her actions come after the Executive was accused of backtracking on a pledge to transfer Civil Service jobs to the Highlands and Islands.

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Some rain in the West a.m. Bright in the East. Locally heavy rain later. Wind light to moderate South Easterly. Temperature 12c to 16c.
Saturday Night
Locally heavy rain. Misty. Winds moderate to strong Easterly. Temperature 8c to 12c.
Bands of showers across the region. Bright with sunny spells. Moderate North Westerly winds. Fairly mild.
Mainly dry. Fairly cloudy with limited sunshine. Light Southerly breeze. Mild temperatures.

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This is Caledonia ( Caley for short ) A Ness-Scape family member and mascot. She is a White German Shepherd. Caley has decided to take over the editing of Nessie's Loch Ness Times, and she's sure she'll make a good job of it. What do you think?

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