Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Friday, January 19, 2007

New investors, old problems in water industry

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post

The polemic in the media over the sale of shares by two foreign-owned water companies in Jakarta ended after Governor Sutiyoso approved the proposal of RWE Thames Water to sell 100 percent of its shares in PT Thames PAM Jaya (TPJ), the water company that serves the eastern part of Jakarta.

The sale followed a similar move by France's Suez Environment, which has reportedly sold 49 percent of its shares in PT Pam Lyonaisse Jaya (Palyja), the water company operating in the western part of the capital.

Thames Water sold its shares to Singapore-based Aquatico Pte. Ltd., while Suez Environment sold its shares to PT Astratel Nusantara (Astratel) and Citigroup Financial Products Inc. Before these transactions, Thames Water and Suez Environment held 95 percent of the shares in TPJ and Palyja respectively.

The local government-owned Jakarta tap-water company, PD PAM Jaya, holds the remaining 5 percent of the shares in the two companies.

The Palyja divestation took place smoothly because under its agreement with PAM Jaya, a sale of less than 50 percent of its shares does not need the approval of the Jakarta administration. That was not the case with TPJ, where the departure of the Britain-based company followed a lengthy debate.

The deals, however, are unlikely to solve the long-standing water-supply problems plaguing the capital, which the former investors were unable to address since their arrival nearly a decade ago.

No significant improvements in services have been seen since the Jakarta water business was taken control of by the foreign investors, as evident from the thousands of complaints sent to the companies. There are now a number of unresolved problems that the new investors will have to tackle as a legacy.

First, the scarcity of raw water, particularly during the dry season, as the companies rely too much on water from the Jatiluhur reservoir in West Java. Meanwhile, the water from the 13 rivers in the capital is too dirty to be processed into potable water.

Second, many people are unhappy about a clause in the agreement that provides for automatic water-price increases every six months. There have been rumors circulating that the privatization of the tap-water business was made possible due to collusion involving the family of then president Soeharto. Both Palyja and TPJ have denied the accusation.

Third, water privatization remains a controversial issue in this country, despite the enactment of the 2004 Water Resources Law. Many insist that privatization will deny the poor access to water.

Fourth, and most problematic, many customers say they have not seen any significant improvement in services since the arrival of TPJ and Palyja, although the two companies say they have invested a lot on improving water-supply infrastructure, such as the construction of new mains and the repair of old ones.

Palyja says it had invested some Rp 893 billion by 2005, while TPJ says it had pumped in some Rp 604 billion by the same year. But the old mains, many of them built during the colonial era, remain in use, causing water loss, poor quality of water and high costs.

According to a report issued by Palyja in late 2005, the company lost 46 percent of its water due to mains leakage. When the Jakarta-owned water company ran the system, the leakage rate was even worse at 61 percent. Customers have to bear the cost of the leakage through steadily increasing water charges, which is unfair.

The poor condition of the mains also results in poor water quality. Both TPJ and Palyja say they produced potable water, but its quality deteriorated due to the poor state of the mains.

Thames' exit from the water business in Jakarta and Suez Environment's divestation have been on the cards since 2003. An executive of one of the companies said at that time his company would quit if the Jakarta administration refused to raise water charges.

The Jakarta administration delayed tariff increases for several years despite the agreement that the water charges would rise every six months. This delay was due to the fact that Indonesia was still feeling the pinch of the economic crisis of the late 1990s. The two foreign companies, perhaps, came to Indonesia at the wrong time.

As a result of the postponed tariff increases, the administration ended up owing the two companies some Rp 900 billion (US$100 million) in shortfall payments in 2005 alone.

With the Indonesian economy now holding out brighter prospects, the new water investors may be hoping for a more lucrative business. The replacement of the old mains is the most urgent measure that needs to be taken by the new investors, given that the poor infrastructure is the root cause of the high cost of tap water.

The expansion of the mains is of equal importance in view of the fact that only about 40 percent of Jakarta's population has access to tap water.

The writer is a journalist with The Jakarta Post. He can be reached at

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