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GA English on Sunday: News in Brief from Bonn and the region

GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

Concrete parts of the Bonn Opera façade fall into the street, three people were seriously injured on Saturday in an accident on the A59 near Sankt Augustin, Bonn University Hospital broadcasts heart surgery in a livestream, the rare kingfisher has been sighted in several places in Bonn, and there will be an Astronomy on Tap Bonn talk at the Fiddlers pub in Bonn-Endenich this coming Tuesday - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

Concrete fragments from the Bonn Opera façade fell into the street last week

Thumb-sized pieces of the crumbling façade at the back of the Opera House have fallen into the Rheingasse. The building management has protected access to the workshop stage with wooden planks and the press office reported on Friday afternoon that as a precautionary measure, “all areas of the concrete façade bordering on traffic areas would be wrapped in a net”.

The poor structural and technical condition of the opera house has been an issue for years. The city administration declared at the end of 2018 that only two scenarios were feasible: Restoration of the opera, the theatre and the theatre workshops in Beuel for a total of around 130 million euros, or demolition of the opera house and a new building as a single-purpose house at the previous location plus repair of the houses in Godesberg and Beuel, at a cost of about 161 million euros, together with an interim venue.

This is not the first time that material has broken off the opera house façade: A few months ago, a structural engineer checked the entire outer shell of the opera house, which opened in 1965, and removed loose parts.

The city has provided about seven million euros to remedy the most urgent technical defects in the opera house. Just under half of this money is being spent on modernising the stage machinery. The city has also invested in the measurement and control technology, renewed or upgraded the fire dampers and repaired defects in the lifts and the spray-flood system. The technical director of the theater, Jens Lorenzen, emphasizes that "the opera house is in a safe operating condition.”

(Original text; Andreas Baumann)

An accident on the A59 near Sankt Augustin seriously injured three people

There was an accident involving several vehicles on the A59 motorway near Sankt Augustin at about 11.30 a.m. on Saturday in which three people were seriously hurt and two were slightly injured. According to the police, the reason for the serious collision was a classic rear-end collision.

The emergency services had to completely close the road in the direction of Königswinter for a short time in order to provide medical care for the injured on site and to be able to recover the vehicles. After a short time, however, the traffic was able to pass the accident site in a single lane. Nevertheless, a traffic jam several kilometres long formed as a result, which quickly dissipated once the closed roadway was cleared.

(Original text; ga.de)

Bonn University Hospital broadcasts heart surgery in livestream

The operating theatres in the Heart Centre of the University Hospital in Bonn have temporarily become television studios to broadcast a complicated heart procedure to a medical congress in Milan. For several operations to be broadcast live to the congress. The rooms had to be converted into small television studios. “In the medical field, this is quite something,” says Philipp Schlegel, a trained media designer. What is most important is safety. “We must not stand in the way of the doctors and must be mindful of sterility.” This is not easy when additional spotlights are set up, the doctors are equipped with small radio microphones and a total of more than 700 metres of cable are laid.

The Heart Centre of the University Hospital in Bonn was chosen due to its expertise. Cardiologist Nickenig and his colleague Eberhard Grube, who is commenting on the operations for the audience, are pioneers of the so-called TAVI procedure. In this procedure, a biological heart valve prosthesis is placed at the end of a wire, which is first brought into the correct position and then unfolded. The advantage is a lower risk for the patient because there are no large wounds. However, the procedure is still so new that the new heart valve will last for ten to 15 years before a new operation becomes necessary.

After the one-hour operation Nickig's enters another room with monitors, sound equipment and mixing desks. The doctors have an earphone to talk to the presenters in Milan and the director. “The challenge is to explain everything to the congress participants during the operation in an understandable way,” says Nickenig. The technical language is English.

(Original text; Nicolas Ottersbach)

The rare kingfisher has been sighted in several places in Bonn

It is rare to discover a kingfisher in the city area, because the small, dazzlingly colourful bird with a long, narrow beak is shy. But with patience and a little luck it is possible to observe the bird even in the city, as Petra Schmidt did. She photographed the bird and shared the pictures on Facebook. Other users then wrote that they too have seen the kingfisher in Bonn.

According to the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), the total European population of the kingfisher is estimated to be about 120,000 breeding pairs, up to 7,000 of which breed in Germany. However, a significant population decline is evident, due to the channelling of watercourses and water pollution. In densely populated regions, the kingfisher is now a rarity, according to the NABU.

“The bird needs a species-appropriate environment in order to settle,” explains Peter Meyer from NABU Bonn. For example, it needs a stream or a pond in which smaller fish live, and an overhanging branch or a steep wall from where the bird can see its prey. With its characteristic nosedive, the kingfisher then chases the small fish. The kingfisher builds its nesting cave on the steep banks of waters.

Other places in Bonn where the birds have already been sighted include the Venusberg in Kessenich, the Rheinaue, the Katzenloch in Bonn-Ippendorf and the area around the gravel pits in Hersel.

(Original text; Nathalie Dreschke and Dierk Himstedt)

(Translations: John Chandler)

Astronomy on Tap Bonn talk at the Fiddlers pub in Bonn-Endenich

On Tuesday 18 February at 7 p.m., Dr. Rocco Lico and Dr. Claudia Dreyer, who work at the German Centre for Aviation and Space Travel (DLR) and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, will discuss “Radio astronomy and the hidden side of the universe” (in English) and “Exoplaneten – Auf der Suche nach Welten ausserhalb unsereres Sonnensystems” (in German) at the Fiddlers Pub (Frongasse 9, Bonn-Endenich). This event is part of the worldwide initiative called Astronomy on Tap, where professional astronomers explain diverse topics about the Universe in a friendly atmosphere. The event is free and open to all the public. Come and join local astronomers for talks, quizzes and prizes. For more information follow us on Facebook & Youtube (Astronomy on Tap Bonn).

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