Excerpts from issue 43/18 25 June 2016

the oa road
Disgraceful, damaging and dangerous

Chris Abell and Sandy Taylor have written an article in this week's issue regarding the state of the road leading to the RSPB Reserve on the Oa. Judging by the photo, they have a point.

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Wi-fi on the water
calmac wi-fi

By the time you read this, passengers to and from Kennacraig and either of the Islay ports ought to be enjoying free wi-fi during their journeys as well as a similar service at the ferry ports.
CalMac has spent a number of years overcoming land and planning obstacles to provide broadband on all its ferries and not only for the benefit of its passengers.
Up till now, those paying for onboard services by credit or debit card would have witnessed use of the age-old card machines to gain an imprint of the card details. Now, however, it will be possible to use the more common 'chip & pin' method or contactless.
CalMac's wi-fi rollout project manager, Jim McKillop said "Already we have had some great feedback from the communities involved and we are committed to rollout completion by early July.
"I'd like to thank everyone for their patience throughout this project. We're under no illusion about the frustration with some of the delays which have occurred. But we are confident that the service which is being put in place is something which will be of significant benefit to communities and visitors alike."

Though there are still one or two boats and ports still to be enabled (mostly those on the Lochmaddy Triangle) there are some routes that will experience periods of interruption over protracted stretches of open water due to the distance from the mainland-based masts. Now it ought to be possible to keep the kids happy for the whole journey with an entire  series of 'Peppa Pig' on YouTube.

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Islay Community Council form sub committee to explore camper van issue

ICC held a meeting on 9 June at Port Ellen Primary School at which the issue of camper vans on Islay was discussed. The two areas of contention are the disposal of grey water and chemical waste and the numbers of camper vans visiting the island this year, a number which has increased dramatically from 2015.
Concerns about the disposal of waste have been brought to the attention of Argyll and Bute Council (Pippa Milne and Jim Smith have been contacted and a response is awaited)
The only facility where disposal of this waste can legally happen is at Port Mor.
It must be recognised that these camper vans do park widely across the island and there is no instruction available to the owners as to where disposal should take place.
Additionally, Brendan O'Hara MP and Mike Russell MSP have been apprised of this situation and again, a response from them is eagerly awaited.
The Islay and Jura Ferry Users Group is looking at the effect of the increased numbers of visitors in these vehicles to Islay and Jura and is in discussion with CalMac.
On Facebook there are 32 postings on the Islay Community Facebook page which voice disquiet about the current situation and ICC has received three emails on its webmail.
ICC has responded to the communications received and has formed a sub-committee to look specifically at this issue, engaging with the wider community to include many partners (distilleries, the relevant tourist organisations and SEPA).
  Action can only be taken on the basis of complaints received and therefore ICC would urge the community to voice their worries via the ICC Secretary kirkc3@aol.com as the present website is being reconstructed.

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Rare Bowmore whisky auctioned for MS Society

The MS Society is auctioning a rare bottle of 1980 Bowmore Single Malt Whisky from the Queen's Cask to raise money for multiple sclerosis research.This is only the sixth bottle to ever be released from the cask; the five previous have all raised substantial sums for charities.
A cask of whisky was given to Her Majesty the Queen when she visited Bowmore Distillery on the Isle of Islay in 1980. In 2002, the cask was bottled to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee - the bottles were specially designed and placed in commemorative boxes with individually numbered labels.
629 bottles were delivered to various Royal Palaces - but only six bottles have ever been released, with the permission of the Queen, to be auctioned to raise money for charities. One of those bottles made more than £60,000.
Michelle Mitchell is chief executive of the MS Society: "We're incredibly grateful to have been given this bottle of whisky from the Queen's Cask. We want to use this amazing opportunity to raise as much as we can to fund multiple sclerosis research.
"More than 100,000 people are living with MS in the UK and it's an unpredictable and debilitating condition. We've already made important breakthroughs and we're now at the start of a generation of MS research that holds incredible promise. The money raised from this auction could make a huge difference."

The silent auction ends on 30 June at midday and there's a reserve of £10,000. Anyone who wants to make a bid should email Fiona Foulkes, Special Events Manager at the MS Society on fiona.foulkes@mssociety.org.uk

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to subscribe or advertise, contact ileach@ileach.co.uk

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 9 July 2016

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2016

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