The Shetland Times » The Shetland Times Shetland News, Sport, Jobs, Properties, Shop Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:27:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Silke honoured with teaching award Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:27:25 +0000 Silke Reeploeg outside Shetland College.

Silke Reeploeg outside Shetland College.

A lecturer at Shetland College has been awarded “Most Engaging Video Conference Tutor” in the sixth annual University of the Highlands and Islands Teaching Awards.

Silke Reeploeg delivers lectures for the Centre for Nordic Studies, which are shared with students across Scotland and beyond.

Ms Reeploeg was praised for her highly interactive video conference sessions, which provide a platform for discussion and encourage students to engage with the course topics.

When one student was diagnosed with a hearing impairment, she tried to make the sessions as accessible as possible so this student could continue with their degree.

The student also praised the flexible scheduling of the video conferences and Ms Reeploeg’s overall teaching style.

She said: “I don’t think the video conferences could have been handled any better. Even though I am in Germany and Ms Reeploeg is in Shetland, it felt like a proper one-on-one live tutorial.

“Through her work in the video conferences she made me look at the subject in-depth and I discovered an entirely new research area, which I might now even use as a dissertation topic.”

Ms Reeploeg said she was delighted and proud to accept the award, but above all so pleased that international students had had such a good experience with the university’s virtual learning environment.

She said: “A huge thank you to the student panel at the University of the Highlands and Islands for their work in judging this year’s nominations. It’s great to receive acknowledgement from those who matter most.”

The University of the Highlands and Islands was one of the first institutions to introduce student-led teaching awards, which have now been adopted throughout most of the UK. The teaching awards recognise excellence in seven categories, with other winners spread throughout the region.

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Big day sees Aithsvoe Marina building officially opened Sun, 05 Jul 2015 12:11:42 +0000 The Aithsvoe Marina at Cunningsburgh. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The Aithsvoe Marina at Cunningsburgh. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The impressive new caravan park and building at the Aithsvoe Marina in Cunningsburgh were officially opened by isles MP Alistair Carmichael yesterday.

The site, adjacent to the marina itself which can hold up to 43 boats, is the culmination of years of effort from the Aithsvoe Marina Association.

This part of Cunningsburgh has a long history with marine activities, evident from the winch displayed next to the building.

The Duncan family from Greenmow, who for many years operated a boat building and repair business, used the winch to haul herring boats ashore each year in autumn and relaunch them in the spring, from 1896 to 1936.

Also on display is a steam capstan from the Levenwick herring boat Flowing Stream, which was eventually broken up and the wood used for fencing in the 1940s.

Jeemie Smith of Blosta, treasurer of the marina association, explained some of the history surrounding the latest project.

In 1984, along with the then chairman of the pier trust Hughie Adamson, they began “digging around for money” to do improvements.

They initially did a lot of work to the pier and car park, and put down moorings for the bigger boats which were arriving in the early 1990s.

There were about 36 moorings in the voe which was very overcrowded, Mr Smith said, and they began to see that they would need a marina.

The committee members outside the new marina building. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The committee members outside the new marina building. Photo: Dave Donaldson

“We started fund-raising and by 2004 it was up to 40 berths but we ended up with 43.

“We hadn’t put in facilities ashore so we started on about that and building a toilet.

“Everything to do with finance is pitched towards tourism nowadays and we have ended up with an excellent building which has toilets, showers, a fully-fitted kitchen and eating area, and a large tarmac area.”

Association chairman Andrew Stout described the event as a “culmination of five years of effort” to create something which would be of benefit to the entire community.

Well over a quarter of a million had been invested in the overall project and hopefully it would come to provide a steady income for years to come.

“The process has not always been easy,” Mr Stout said. “We had different battles along the way and hurdles to overcome. There always seemed to be another hoop to go through but somehow we got there in the end.”

He paid tribute to the help they received from the MP who had become a valuable member of their team.

“Alistair Carmichael came aboard and he wholeheartedly joined us over a long period of time.

“We had a mediation meeting recently and it’s all turned out good, with a happy ending, and that’s why we are here today. There are no problems and it’s all up and running. It is against that backdrop that we are inviting Alistair to open this marina.”

Mr Carmichael, concerned that the break in the weather was about to be interrupted once more, kept his speech fairly brief.

“I’m very pleased to be here for the opening,” he said. “It’s a moment to mark a fantastic community effort, the kind of effort that Shetland people seem to be particularly good at. I’m delighted to have played a part.”

MP Alistair Carmichael officially opens the new facilities. Photo: Dave Donaldson

MP Alistair Carmichael officially opens the new facilities. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Mr Carmichael then cut a string to reveal a plaque on the side of the new building. “We only have one chance at this Dave,” he told the photographer. “So it’s three, two, one, go!”

Mr Stout thanked many of the people whose sterling efforts helped the project, including Sally Spence for her help with grants, designer John Manson, builders Frank Sinclair and David Williamson, Shetland Charitable Trust, Visit Shetland, and Pat Christie whose assistance with the paperwork had proved invaluable.

He also praised his fellow committee members. “We didn’t always agree but we always ended up in agreement,” he added.

Then another familiar figure stepped forward. “You didn’t think you would get away without Jeemie Blub saying something”, said former Sandwick councillor Jeemie Smith, before warmly thanking Mr Stout for his assistance and his faith in the project.

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HIAL urges mediation over Sumburgh runway dispute Sat, 04 Jul 2015 11:55:00 +0000 The operator of Sumburgh Airport has called for mediation to take place on its continuting dispute with Shetland Islands Council over runway repair costs.

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) was recently granted a full hearing on its claim for damages against the SIC, following a decision by the Inner House of the Court of Session.

However, HIAL is now urging the local authority to enter into mediation in a bid to resolve the ongoing dispute, brought about costs involved in solving the airport’s problematic east-west runway.

Work to repair the runway, which has suffered problems at both ends which were lengthened on land reclaimed from the sea, has cost £14 million and is due to be completed this month.

HIAL said it had sought to recover the cost of repairs from the council, which it originally contracted to provide engineering works and services for a runway extension project in 2005.

The company now wants to enter into a process of independent mediation in order to bring the matter to a close and avoid further lengthy and costly litigation.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said he was still waiting for a reply after writing to SIC chief executive Mark Boden over the issue.

Mr Lyon said: “Some weeks ago I wrote to the chief executive of Shetland Islands Council to invite the local authority to enter into mediation with HIAL in order to resolve this matter once and for all.

“I have not yet received a response from the chief executive but I would again reiterate my willingness to engage in an independent mediation process. I believe this can realistically be concluded before the end of this year.

“I would urge Shetland Islands Council to consider this approach in the interests of local taxpayers. The alternative is the continuation of a lengthy and costly litigation process which serves the interests of neither party.”

• More in next Friday’s Shetland Times.

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Blinkered nationalism (Andy Holt) Sat, 04 Jul 2015 11:33:11 +0000 Listening with half my usual attentiveness to Farming Today this morning at a quarter to six I nearly missed a fascinating item from our very own John Johnston.

I had thought we had plumbed the depths of the nationalists’ political control freakery with their Named Persons legislation, granting themselves power over every child in Scotland and relegating every parent to inferior status in relation to the state.

But no. They now propose under the direction of the EU that Scottish and Shetland fishermen shall not only be required to land any fish caught over and above their quota but that they (the fishermen) shall be financially responsible for the destruction of perfectly good, edible food. Thus adding insult to injury.

This, to my mind is not only insane but criminally so.The SNP constantly accuses the Westminster village of being out of touch. I submit that the Edinburgh village is guilty of the same, but with less justification.

In his item John pointed out that Shetland lands more fish than the whole of the rest of the UK put together.

This success story is set to be destroyed by the nationalists in their indecent haste to ingratiate themselves with the corrupt and profligate wastes of space who inhabit the Brussels village and whose unaccountable commissioners will actually rule Scotland and Shetland when she becomes “independent”.

Andy Holt
North House,
Papa Stour.

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Emotional last day as Team Shetland ends games with 23 medals Fri, 03 Jul 2015 21:28:24 +0000 Jersey 2015 has come to a dramatic and emotional close for Team Shetland, with three more medals taking the haul to 23.

Katie Bristow returned to the track for the 5,000 metres after disappointment in the 10,000 metres earlier in the week.

Despite leading from the front in a tough field she had to pull out of the race and was unable to finish.

But today she showed great determination and led from the front again.

Guernsey took the lead with five laps to go but Bristow retained a silver medal place and finished in 17.17.

A relieved Katie Bristow crosses the line. Photo: Kevin Jones.

A relieved Katie Bristow crosses the line. Photo: Kevin Jones.

Shetland’s Michelle Sandison also ran strongly and came in fourth with 18.01.

Bristow was crying with happiness after she crossed the finish line.

“Even this morning still if someone comes and asks me how I am, I still start tearing up.

“I didn’t really know how today was going to go, I really wanted to hold it together and I’m so proud I managed to do that because I wanted to show everyone how I can run and how hard I’ve worked for it, not even the past few months but the 11 or so years I’ve been running now.

“For me I always want to keep progressing and it’s more of a long-term goal for me.

“To be only 21 and to be up at the top end of the field is quite an achievement because you tend to peak a little bit older as a distance runner so I know there’s a lot more to come from me.”

Katie’s brother Bobby was also running today. He and Leon Johnson won a silver team medal in the half marathon on Sunday, and both were taking part in the men’s 10,000 metres.

Sadly Bobby had to step off the track with four laps to go but it was a strong race for Johnson.

He finished seventh with 33.25, running a PB and knocking 16 seconds off his previous record.

In the 4×100 metres Shetland took gold with an explosive performance from the lasses and another Shetland record.

Faye Cox, Tamar Moncrieff, Sophie Moar and Kristi Grant ran the fastest time in the heats with 49.60.

In the final they went one better running 49.05.

Cox is the most senior member of the team at 25, with Grant aged 18, Sophie, 17 and Tamar, 16.

For Cox it was her third medal of the games following a bronze in the 100 metres and a bronze in the 200.

Meanwhile it was a second medal for Moar who yesterday won her first medal with a bronze in the long jump.

Cox said: “We can all ourselves the golden girls finally. Our coach Martin told us to watch a DVD called The Fast Girls – that’s about the British relay team so we all watched that the other night so it must’ve inspired us to go for it.”

The relay girls with their gold medals and guerillas. Photo: Kevin Jones.

The relay girls with their gold medals and gorillas. Photo: Kevin Jones.

For the other three runners it was their island games debut and Cox said there was a lot more to come from the trio.

Grant said they were “over the moon”.

She said they felt confident prior to the race but didn’t want to be overconfident of a result.

“The changeovers were a lot better than what they were in the heats,” she said.

Moncrieff added it had definitely given her a taste for the games.

“I definitely want to go to the next games, it has been brilliant.”

Moar’s mum was so nervous she didn’t even watch the race. She watched it back on a mobile phone afterwards.

“I think coming into the home straight we were second to Jersey,” Moar said.

But she powered through buoyed by their success in the heats where they qualified as the fastest team.

Moar made it through to the final of the 100 metres too this week. A fantastic introduction to the games.

For the athletics team it has been their best ever medal total in the games, with ten overall.

Sadly Emma Leask was unable to run in the 800 metres final and the 4×400 relay due to illness.

Elsewhere in the football the blues lost 1-0 to Minorca, missing out on a bronze medal.

But Bristow’s men have put in some superb performances this week and given the supporters, and folk back home plenty to shout about.

The end of the games finished with another medal this afternoon – a silver in the mixed doubles for father-daughter badminton pair Gordon Keith and Shona Mackay.

In a difficult final against Gotland the duo performed admirably losing narrowly in both sets 21-17 and 21-19.

And they were holding back the tears as they took to the podium.

“They were the strongest pair we’ve had over yesterday and today by far, they just didn’t give us the chance to get on the attack and play what we played yesterday at all,” said Mackay.

She added: “Three sets would’ve been nice but with two silly mistakes it was just two.”

Tonight the athletes have been enjoying the closing ceremony and chatting with friends from the other islands.

For throws coach Elaine Park it has been a very special games.

She first competed for Team Shetland in 1997 in Jersey and won her first medal with a silver in the hammer throw this week.

After nine games she had the honour of carrying the Shetland flag into the closing ceremony.

A fitting reward for the dedication she has shown to the team over years.

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In this week’s Shetland Times Fri, 03 Jul 2015 06:00:58 +0000 ST1527_030715_001

A whole host of stories and pictures all the way from Jersey capturing a flavour of the NatWest Island Games are featured this week. Meanwhile, closer to home …

A new commission has met for the first time to consider ways of identifying inequalities.

The council is to spend an estimated £1.7 million in town hall repairs.

A quartet of teachers are retiring from the Anderson High School in Lerwick.

In entertainments, Lau prove to be on top form at Mareel.

And in sport, Shetland Rugby Club held its annual Midsummer Seven’s tournament at the weekend. See our report and photos, plus much, much more.

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Team Shetland hits 20 with more to come Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:33:03 +0000 It’s up to 20 medals now for team Shetland with another for star swimmers Andrea Strachan and Felix Gifford.

On day five Strachan won gold in the 100 metres medley with 1.03. It was her third gold in the games and her fifth overall.

Gifford won his second medal of the games with a bronze in the 400 metres freestyle. He clocked a time of 3.55.

It was also great news in the athletics. The squad is up to eight medals in the games after games debutant Sophie Moar won bronze in the long jump with 5.37 and Faye Cox took bronze in the 200 metres with 25.68.

It is the same medal tally as the games in 2005 which was Shetland’s best medal performance for the athletics.

If they add more today it will be their best games yet.

Young athlete Moar was shocked to get her first medal at the games.

“I never would’ve expected coming to my first island and medalling but I’m pretty chuffed.”

It was a second bronze for Cox after winning a medal in the 100 metres earlier this week.

“It was a good race,” she said.

“I enjoyed running the bend so it was a quick start and I did a really good bend run.

“From 80 metres I was leading and just towards the end of the race my groin and hip started to tighten up, so I couldn’t do a high knee lift and that’s when they caught up unfortunately.”

Sophie Moar with her bronze medal. Photo Kevin Jones.

Sophie Moar with her bronze medal. Photo Kevin Jones.

Cox said she will be ready to race in the 4×400 and 4×100 relay today. Moar is also part of the 4×100 team.

“A lot of our athletes here are really young,” she added.

“It’s their first games and they’ve all been getting personal bests and medals and it mean’s in two year’s time in Gotland when they are going to be two years older and stronger it’s going to be some force to be reckoned with.”

And she was hopeful of some more medals in the bag.

“It just shows with the commitment of the coaches and the time and effort they put in with the athletes, that even when when we’re not at home in Shetland it’s going to be our biggest medal haul yet.”

“We’ve got such a good basis with facilities from the SRT, as well as the coaches and the time and commitment they put in, both together it’s showing we’ve got a win win.”

Meanwhile, it was an emotional day at the badminton as father-daughter duo Gordon Keith and Shona Mackay secured a place in the final of the mixed doubles.

Keith, 54, has bagged plenty of medals for Team Shetland over the years and he and his daughter have a guaranteed silver after beating Greenland 2-0 in the semis.

The formidable pair beat top seeds Rannva Carlsson and Aksel Poulsen of Faroe in the quarter-finals, 2-1.

They face a Gotland pair today.

Keith and Mackay hailed the support from the balcony, with knitwear sporting Andrew Simpson and Andrew Hutton giving it plenty of gusto.

They have been tackling hot conditions all week and Wednesday the badminton players were playing in 40-degree heat.

“Coming from beating the first seeds in the quarter finals, we were just high, it was like we’d won,” said Mackay.

But they had to stay focused when taking on the unseeded pairing in the semis.

Mackay said it was “really,really special” to be competing with her dad.

“I can smell the gold,” said Keith.

“I’m not going to go down without a fight, that’s for sure.”

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Shetland knocked out in semi-final but bronze still to play for Thu, 02 Jul 2015 23:06:11 +0000 Blues boss Niall Bristow is very proud of his players after a tough test against a strong Isle of Man team who ran out 3-1 victors.

Within the opening minutes it was clear Shetland would face a much tougher opposition than their previous game against the Falkland Islands.

The men in yellow were working the ball down the left flank and their number 11 looked tricky in the early exchanges.

But Shetland pushed on down the right through James Aitken and Robert Smith.

The first corner of the game came on seven minutes for the Manx boys but the in-swinging set piece was met with a header that went  wide across the goal.

Another corner followed moments later after Shetland were caught in possession, but to no avail.

As the game neared the 15-minute mark James Johnston played a through ball to Connor Regan but the Isle of Man rearguard stood strong.

With the hot weather the game was paused for a quick water break.

Afterwards the Isle of Man continued to put on the pressure, with a fierce cross from the left, caught strongly by keeper Erik Peterson.

Shetland were getting some more joy down the right hand side and Peterson was called into action again following a scramble in the box.

The Isle of Man looked physical, quick and direct.

Just before another water break Smith burst down the right and cut back for Johnston but he could not get the shot away.

And the Isle of Man broke the deadlock shortly after the second interval.

Jamieson was left one on one with the Isle of Man forward who neatly cut inside and played it across the box for Lee Gayle to slot home.

Despite their best efforts Shetland were not getting time on the ball and the Isle of Man continued to chase a second.

Approaching half time Shetland were in with a penalty shout.

Johnston was fouled well into the opposition’s territory and Jordan Thomason whipped the ball into the penalty area.

A shout for handball came roaring from the terraces but the referee did not give it.

Johnston was taken off shortly after the challenge.

He was replaced by Greg Tulloch and the pacey forward made some darting runs behind the Isle of Man defence, with a shot going over the bar.

James Aitken runs at the opposition. Photo: Kevin Jones.

James Aitken runs at the opposition. Photo: Kevin Jones.

Just before the break Tulloch cut back to Aitken but he did not get enough purchase on the shot.

Shetland made a bright start to the second half.

Smith hit a cross into the danger area but the keeper dived low to gather.

Tulloch continued to run at the Isle of Man defence as he had done in the first half.

But the Isle of Man were strong on the ball and Shetland were dropping deeper.

Peterson made another great save eight minutes into the second half, saving low at his feet.

Moments later the Isle of Man shot over the bar.

Tulloch was then pushed out of it in the box but again the referee did not blow his whistle for a penalty.

Peterson then made another fine save to his right at close range.

A water break punctuated the second half and Calvin Leask came on as a fresh pair of legs for Regan.

Aitken was driving forward after the break and Shetland were looking to level.

They won a corner on about 75 minutes and Shane Jamieson leaped high to thunder a header into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

It was his fourth headed goal of the games. The large Shetland following erupted in delight.

But within minutes the Isle of Man took the lead again with a low drive from the edge of the box by Frank Jones it was a fine strike to Peterson’s bottom right.

A fourth water break brought another pause in play and then Aitken, with the ball behind him back-heeled an effort over the bar.

The Manx stuck to their direct play and a shot parried from Peterson near the byline fell kindly to the yellows to increase the margin. Frank Jones on the scoresheet again.

Peterson dived to his right in the dying embers to stop a shot from distance.

Aitken curled in a corner near the final whistle and there was a shout for a pull in the box but the referee did not award it.

Bristow’s men put in the graft against an strong and effective Isle of Man side but it was the Isle of Man who make it through to the final.

The blues are still in with a shout of a bronze playing Minoraca today.

Bristow said: “It was a really, really demanding game, but I thought on the whole we stood up to it pretty well, really pretty well.

“I suppose the scoreline…yeah they definitely had far more attempts, Erik had some excellent saves.

“We knew probably beforehand that our best bet was going to be from set pieces trying to work the game up, but we’re a small island with a small pool of players and we’d hoped that we would get into this game.

“But the way we’ve played tonight has surpassed my expectations.”


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Man fined for Thule assault Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:41:27 +0000 A visiting gas plant worker has been fined £800 after embarking on an “all too familiar” story of getting drunk and making a fool of himself.

Usually teetotal Caolan McFeely, 30, of Marlborough Road in Londonderry took to the drink to mark his imminent marriage in August.

But he assaulted a member of bar staff while drinking at the Thule early yesterday morning.

He also shouted and swore on the way to – and at – the police station following his arrest.
McFeely admitted two charges when he appeared from custody before honorary sheriff Eric Peterson yesterday.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said McFeely became aggressive when staff at the pub said they wanted him to leave.

He carried out the assault, but ran out of the pub after hearing approaching police sirens. Officers found him nearby, but he launched a tirade of abuse at them.

Mr MacKenzie said McFeely’s “obnoxious” behaviour continued into the early hours after he had sobered up.
He added McFeely had made “frankly disgusting” comments about two female police officers who were dealing with him.

Defence agent Richard Donaldson said McFeeley was apologetic for what he had done.
He said alcohol was “the root” of the problem, and McFeeley had little recollection of the initial assault.

“He had been at a barbecue and had simply too much to drink. He has been in Shetland working at the gas plant since October 2013 and has been more or less teetotal.”

He added the evening had been treated as a “Shetland stag”, as McFeeley plans to marry in August.

Mr Donaldson added McFeeley hoped he could keep his job, and was keen to remain in the isles.

Honorary sheriff Peterson said: “This sort of behaviour is obviously not going to be tolerated in this place, and for someone who is wanting to stay on in Shetland you have to be very careful indeed of how you behave yourself.”

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Widespread power cuts caused by lightning storm Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:30:18 +0000 Lightning storms caused a major power cut across hundreds of properties in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Damage was caused to electrical transformers that help provide supply to homes and businesses.
Much of the disruption was in the West Side. Scottish and Southern Energy said Walls was closest to the damage, where 269 properties lost power.

A similar number – 250 – lost power between Voe and Aith and 169 properties lost power in the North Mainland.

At lunchtime, SSE said most of the power had been restored, with only a handful of properties waiting to get their power back.

The company said it was in the process of replacing the damaged transformers and apologised for any inconvenience experienced by customers.

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