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In brief for 6 October 2011

German honorary consul Dieter Glaser (left) with Hanseatic Booth trustees John Jamieson, John L Simpson, and Andrew Williamson (with Ashley Mair) – Photo: Marie Mair

Bremen flag for booth

TRUSTEES of the Hanseatic booth in Symbister, Whalsay, have taken delivery of a brand new flag representing the city of Bremen.

For years the former trading post displayed the Hamburg flag, a historical inaccuracy since it was mainly Bremen traders who used the booth.

Trustees enlisted the help of German honorary consul Dieter Glaser, of Breiview Guesthouse, in Lerwick, to help source the correct flag.

Mr Glaser said: “They contacted me to help them get the correct flag for the Hanseatic booth. They were delighted when I was able to deliver the new flag which was donated from the city of Bremen.”

The Hanseatic booth at Symbister is part of a network of trading posts in Shetland used by German merchants from around 1450 until about 1707.

Xmas jazz feast

SHETLAND Jazz Club is laying on a “scrumptious jazz feast” at Lerwick Town Hall on 10 December, with food from former Olive Tree proprietor Bo Simmons and music from “the nearest thing to jazz royalty you can get in Scotland”.

Organiser Jeff Merrifield the legendary singer Fionna Duncan will be joined by other jazz legends pianist Brian Kellock and bass player Ronnie Rae.

Tickets for the complete package cost £36 from Shetland Box Office on 01595 745555.

Struan to redraw CFP

SCOTTISH Tory MEP Struan Stevenson has been appointed to help redraft the Common Fisheries Policy, which is due to be reformed.

The European Parliament’s fisheries committee has appointed Mr Stevenson as its rapporteur on one of the three main legislative reports of the CFP reform package, concerning the regulation of the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products.

Mr Stevenson said the system had been smothered by “layer upon layer of red tape and an overly complex framework”.  “I feel that this is a great opportunity for Scotland, where we saw £435 million worth of marine-caught fish landed last year, while at the same time we have the EU’s largest fish farming sector, employing over 6,000 people.

“I intend to ensure that my report steers the EU towards a more straightforward, simplified market organisation, which rewards sustainable fishing and ensures a level playing field between fish landed or produced inside the EU, as compared with fish imported from outside the EU.”

Fuel poverty fallback~

LABOUR highlands and islands list MSP Rhoda Grant has voiced concern the Scottish government has fallen back on its commitment to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016.

Mrs Grant said infrastructure secretary Alex Neil had added two caveats to its commitment, saying it would achieve what was “reasonably practicable…within the available public resources”.

She said: “I am really concerned that the SNP government are no longer committed to the target to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016, and are now looking at changing the definition to hide their failure. This is changing the goal posts and the people who will lose out are the most vulnerable in our society.”

New New Shetlander

Behind an eye-catching and intriguing cover – ‘Arctic Venture’ by Bert Simpson – the latest New Shetlander has a wide variety of content.

The editorial concerns council reorganisation, Glenn Bard writes about the supernatural on Fetlar, while Steffen Stummann Hansen and Brian Smith consider more conventional historical matters of 19th century Shetland, Faroe and Denmark.

Jim Taylor provides a perceptive short story through the eyes of a former soldier, while Shetland’s young writer of the year Peter Ratter delivers his tale ‘Shipwreck’ in dialect.

Laureen Johnson ponders mareel – the real mareel, not the building – and requests a photo, a Whalsay weather observer looks back at last winter while Da Wadder Eye looks at mainland riots, Lerwick pubs and the apparent demise of hitch hiking.

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