Issue 65: News Reel

New sculpture takes flight

By HAYLEY GALE – The Nelson Mail
Last updated 13:56 18/03/2009

A new publicly funded sculpture that represents the coming together of the diverse community of Golden Bay has been installed outside the Takaka Memorial Library.

Entitled Nga Hou E Wha (The Four Winds), the metal sculpture depicting four kites was designed by members of the Onetahua Marae weaving group Te Awhi Rito. A blessing ceremony for the installation was held on Saturday.

Each kite is mounted on a pole embedded in a different stone, each one significant to Golden Bay, says weaving group member and sculptor Jocelynne Bacci, who explained the meaning of the design.

“The inspiration was drawn from the people from all four corners of the world who are part of our unique community in Golden Bay,” Ms Bacci said.

She said a flying kite was “an inspiration to the spirit” and kites had great significance and uses in many different cultures.

Each kite represents one of the four winds. The diamond-shaped European kite represents north and a Maori kite, (a manu tuku) is the south wind. A bird-shaped kite representing nature and the welcoming of the dawn is the east wind while a jump-kite represents the future, the west wind, she said.

The stones white marble, black marble, serpentine and Tarakohe limestone were chosen for their significance to Golden Bay.

© 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited


Orange County Review
By Gracie Hart
Review Staff Writer
Published: March 19, 2009

Despite morning snow and intermittent rain throughout the day, 11 children made and flew kites Friday as part of the local 4-H Fly-a-Kite program.

The Fly-a-Kite program is in its second year of operation, according to 4-H extension agent Ashley Elgin. The program is a one-day event where participants learn about the history of kites before making their own and flying it.

“We did it last year around the same time,“ Elgin said. “We had lots of interest so I thought I’d try it again. We go over the history of kites and how they are made, along with some safety stuff.“

The kites, ordered online, come in a roll with everything necessary for assembly. They are then decorated by the participants and assembled for flying. This year, participants in the group made two types of kites: the Malay bird and the Delta.

The Malay bird kite is a simple one-piece kite with a long tail. The Delta kite is a little more complicated with two pieces attached together to form a triangular design with flaps at the ends.

After choosing their kite type, participants let their creative energies flow, decorating their kites with unique designs. Tess Reeves, who chose the Delta kite, decorated hers with flowers and butterflies while Baylee Rollins decorated her Delta kite with zebra-esque stripes in various colors. Jacob Barragan chose the Malay kite and decorated it with the names of sports teams while Brandi Rollins decorated her Malay with different designs.

Once they were finished decorating and everything was assembled, participants brushed up on their kite flying safety, learning to not fly their kites in bad weather, near power lines or in crowded areas.

The kites were flown on the hill at the Holiday Inn Express in Orange.

“They’re nice enough to let us use their hill,“ said Elgin.

Despite the cold, wet weather, it didn’t take long before the kites were soaring through the air. However, the Malays seemed to weather the elements better than the Deltas.

“The Malays seem to work better,“ Elgin said. “Last year, it was probably the windiest day of the year, it almost blew us off the hill, and they lasted.“

The Orange County 4-H regularly offers programs and events for interested youth-age participants including clubs, day programs and camps. For more information, contact the extension office at 672-1361.

Orange County Virginia
(click here for original posting)


Listed below are two excellent, fact filled, and well researched articles proving that Benjamin Franklin did indeed execute his famous electric kite experiment. The articles document how, when, and where Benjamin Franklin, as well as other scientist of the day, performed numerous electrical experiments using kites.

Tom Tucker wrote Bolt of Fate: Benjamin Franklin and his Electric Kite Hoax, Parsecs, 2003 in which he declared Benjamin Franklin a fraud and his kite flying experiment a hoax! It was discouraging to see how many people jumped on the band wagon to condemn our most revered statesmen.

These articles put an end to the speculation once and for all, and restore Benjamin Franklin’s reputation and good name.

Franklin Lab Part VIII


The kite world may come out of the recession better then it went in…if proper steps are taken.

People are scaling way back on their spending, long gone are cross country family summer drives, ‘OUT’ are the massive Disney Vacations, Grand Canyon Expeditions, and European Vacations this summer, and ‘IN’ are ‘Daycations’

Kites are the perfect ‘save the day’ item. Families will be looking for fun, back to basics, activities that they can do together. There will be more day-trips closer to home, more backyard adventures.

Kites provide the purchaser and flyer with carbon credits for those concerned about the environment.

This week’s UK’s Telegraph (see below) listed a kite in the ‘Outdoor Equipment’ section with a caption reminding the reader that flying a kite shows us that all’s right with the world. – United Kingdom
Wednesday 17 March 2009

Whether you are launching a basic single-line kite with the kids or speeding through sand dunes on a kite buggy, there has never been a better time to look skywards. Piloting a kite is affordable, fun for all the family and, on bright sunny days at least, reminds you that all’s right with the world.

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2009

Untouched World is a New Zealand company that manufactures high quality clothes, with incredible integrity, and uses the Maori kite as its symbol.

Since 1999 Untouched World has been pioneering a philosophy of uncompromised performance and undeniable style whilst minimizing impact on the environment.

Untouched World finds its whole philosophy summarized in a symbol representing the Maori Kite. According to many tribal legends, kites in the shape of birds were an intermediary between man and gods. Specially made kites were used to prophesy the future; omens were read from the kites movements in the air currents. The kite is an emblem of the ideal relationship between man and nature, the outcome of a craft involving natural materials and human skills, where man and nature have found perfect balance.

In November 2007, Untouched World™ became the first fashion company in the world to be given permission by UNESCO to carry the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UN DESD)logo on its labeling – one of a small number of organizations internationally accredited. This award recognizes the efforts of Untouched World™ and the Untouched World™ Charitable Trust in the area of education for sustainability.

“Untouched World™ is an outstanding example of a company that takes a holistic approach to business. They are implementing projects that are outstanding case studies for what is possible with sustainable business.”

–  Hayden Montgomerie, acting Secretary General
The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO


Fanoe is Mecca for Kitefliers. The most successful kite fliers meeting in the world celebrates its 25th anniversary 18th – 21st June 2009. Thousands of kites and kite fliers from around the globe will once again descend upon this Danish North Sea island.

In 1985 German kite maker Wolfgang Schimmelpfennig invited two of his friends to the Danish West Coast Island of Fanoe. He wanted to share with them the ideal place where he had been flying kites since he was a child. Instead of the three Germans kite fliers, over 30 kite fliers turned up. It immediately turned into a ‘happening’. In addition to the kites that were brought to fly, many new kites were developed, created, and completed during the intensive collaborations that spontaneously occurred during the evenings in various tents, cabins, and chalets.

In addition to the charged atmosphere that develops when passionate like minds gather, the 12 kilometer long and 300 meter wide beach provided steady, constant winds, making the kite flying an absolute delight.

On ‘German Unity Day’ 17 June 1985 the 1st kite fliers’ meeting was held. It was a successful event. The Kitefliers embraced the informal island setting and connected with the elements.
“We will be back next year!” they declared. And the ‘International Kite Fliers Meeting’ was born.

During the following years attendance grew significantly, through word of mouth alone, and Rainer Kregovski supplemented the organizing duties.  Starting in 1986 there has been kite making workshops, films shown, and photography exhibits.

In 1987 the idea of a kite auction was conceived in Fanoe. The kite fliers embraced the idea whole-heartedly and donated many kites and kite related items. The organizers felt strongly that the proceeds were to go to a good cause. The first couple of years the proceeds went to Greenpeace and ‘Terre des Homes’, then in 1989 Schimmelpfennig and Kregovski decided the money should go to a children’s support agency, with minimal administrative overhead. They chose “Kinderhilfe Kolumbien’ (Child Help Columbia). This choice continues till this day.

Over 200,000 Euros has been donated by the kite fliers through auction proceeds over the last 22 years. A complete school has been built, freshwater wells installed, orphan children sponsored, teachers and supplies provided, and various social initiatives were all possible as a result of the kite auction.

Wolfgang and Rainer believe their long term success has been possible as a result of keeping the festival free of any commercial interest. There are no sponsors. The only assistance they get is the Fanoe Tourist Office gets the cooperation from the Danish authorities.

For many, Fanoe is a kite paradise, some kite fliers have gotten married there, some have chosen to be buried there, and many strive to go there.

For more information about Fanoe the 25th international kite fliers meeting:

Web site:
Phone: (+49)-40 640 6664

Mar 15, 2009 11:59 PM

Pakistani protesters get 24 hours to fly their kites in Lahore

LAHORE, Pakistan–Amid all the turmoil of opposition politicians being arrested, activists roughed up and police blocking a protest, the ban on kite-flying has been lifted – for today only.

In recent years, sending bits of paper and wood skyward has been outlawed for what the government deems safety reasons. Several boys fell off roofs and motorcycle riders were killed or injured after getting tangled up in string strengthened with ground glass.
But critics say authorities have an ulterior motive for the sudden turnaround: They want residents of Lahore – Pakistan’s cultural capital and an opposition stronghold – to stop protesting and go fly kites.

Officials insist that they were lifting the ban for 24 hours not to distract the masses but rather to help the kite-making industry, which has been devastated by restrictions.
Kite-fighting has long been a cornerstone of Lahore’s spring Basant festival, when fun-loving residents clamber onto their roofs to relax, party and watch kite duels.
As depicted in the 2007 movie The Kite Runner, contestants try to cut another’s kite strings through skill and stealth.

Although most kite-makers welcomed the chance to do a little business again, the government gave them all of a day’s notice of its change of heart.
“How can we make kites with no warning?” said Syad Awais, 34, a shopkeeper who has been forced to diversify into candle sales, a steady business with all the power cuts.
“How can we make money this way?”

Four hours before the start of the festival yesterday, there wasn’t a kite in sight for sale at Inner Mochi Bazaar, the traditional heart of the kite-making industry in Pakistan.
Faraz Ali Sayad, 9, wended his way through its narrow lanes to a stall where kites had been sold in the past, only to be disappointed.

“I’m a good kite-fighter,” he said. “I’m very happy they’re letting us do it. I hope I can find one soon.”

Religious conservatives have supported the ban on kite-flying, which they see as an excuse for immoral behaviour. But enthusiasts don’t see it that way.
Said Khawaja Basharat Hussain: “I’m very fond of kite flying, which I learned from my brother and father. My thinking is, when man looked at the birds and first dreamed of flying, he sent up a kite.”

Monday, March 16, 2009

Five-year-old girl dies, over 80 injured

LAHORE: A minor girl was killed and 80 people – including 12 children – were injured in different areas of the provincial capital during Basant on Sunday. Ten people received bullet injuries due to aerial firing, 13 fell down from rooftops when flying kites and nine others were injured due to sharp twines.

According to sources, Safdar Ali of Ichhra, was riding a motorcycle with his five-year-old daughter Maria, when a kite string cut Maria’s throat. Her father immediately took her to the Services Hospital but she lost her life there. When her body was brought home, the local residents protested against the government for allowing basant to be celebrated.

In the New Airport area, an eight-year-old girl Hajra was injured due to kite string while in Ichhra, five-year-Zakria and 12-year-Nauman in Shalimar were injured by kite string. Seven-year-old Ali from Baghbanpura and six-year-old Muhammad Sayan in Mian Mir colony were injured after falling from the roof. In Samanabad, 11-year-old Raheem was injured by a bullet from aerial firing by some neighbours. Raheem was admitted to a local hospital where he was discharged after an operation.

According to data collected by different hospitals, around 80 people were injured in the city. 18 injured people were treated at Mayo Hospital, 20 at Ganga Ram Hospital, 12 at General Hospital and 22 were brought to the Services Hospital. Those, who were hit by stray bullets included Akbar, a nine-year-old from Samanabad, Zafar a 20-year-old and Zahid a 29-year-old from Ichhra, Naveed Sahir a 21-year-old from Shalimar Link Road, Nawab Khan a 30-year-old of Mori Gate, Wajid a 26-year-old of Baghbanpura, Umar Farooq an 18-year-old of Begumpura, Tariq Pervaiz a 42-year-old from Dharampura and Muhammad Ilyas, a 32-year-old from Bhaati Chowk.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

150 instances of power-tripping over two days

* LESCO blames kite flyers for occurrence
* Citizens say company’s old system and transmission lines caused problem

By Hasan Ali

LAHORE: Electricity tripped for more than 150 times in the city during the last two days allegedly due to kite flying, while citizens have blamed the Lahore Electric Supply Company’s (LESCO) old system and transmission lines for the problem.

Sources in LESCO told Daily Times on Monday that the company had made all necessary arrangements to counter such incidents on the eve of Basant, but even then the city faced tripping more than 150 times from Saturday night until Monday evening.

“The kite flyers use chemical and metal twine to fly kites. When these twines touch electricity wires, they cause tripping,” said a LESCO official, adding that the company had faced a huge financial loss during the event, as the metallic twine also damaged the main electric wires and other equipment.

However, a senior LESCO official said the company had an old transmission system and other equipment, adding that electricity tripping had been since the last couple of weeks.

“Basant has also increased electricity tripping, but the gradually increasing load on the system was the main reason behind the issue,” he said, adding that before Basant, LESCO high-ups had directed all the relevant staff of grid stations to remain on alert and switch off the grid in case of any problem to save the system. “LESCO has enough equipment and facilities to meet the issue of tripping. The company was tripping electricity deliberately to break the tempo of the people who were watching the lawyers’ long march, protests and current affairs programmes on various television channels,” said Sajjad Abbass of Gulberg.

He said Basant was another factor, but the company had started switching power off and on long before Basant and the residents of Gulberg had been facing tripping more than 10 times a day since the last couple of weeks. However, LESCO spokesman Javed Khan said the tripping was due to Basant, adding that no more tripping would take place as the event was over.

News researched and compiled by Meg Albers




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Author:Meg Robinson-Albers

Meg Robinson-Albers is the Executive Director of Aeolus Curricula, a Non-Profit organization dedicated to making the world better through kites. Aeolus Curricula uses kites as a hands-on, inter-active educational tool, as well as advocating for Cultural Diversity, Team Building, and using kites to combat obesity. A sampling of Meg's articles can be seen at and some of Meg's educational programs, designed in conjunction with New York State Curriculum Standards can be seen at In 2011, Meg was also voted "Steve Edeiken Kiteflier of the Year" by her peers, the AKA's highest award for lifetime contribution and spirit of kiting.

View Meg Robinson-Albers' Profile →

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