Series tied after Mono Game 2 win

first_imgRay Parks. Photo from ASEAN Basketball LeagueBobby Ray Parks Jr. feels he has figured out San Miguel Beer-Alab Pilipinas’ problems that led to a Game 2 loss to Mono Vampire in the Asean Basketball League Finals.“We weren’t playing our style of play in the first half,” Parks said, after the Thai ball club escaped with a 103-100 win late Wednesday night in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, that tied the series at 1-1.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “In the second half, we did a better job, but with a team like that, they’ll take advantage of everything that you do wrong. One turnover, one backdoor play, one missed defensive play, they’ll take advantage of it,” added Parks, who had 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the loss.San Miguel-Alab hopes to correct those mistakes in time for Game 3, when the series shifts to Bangkok.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I’m definitely excited about that,” Parks said. “All we got to do is rest first and make adjustments. We need to figure out better defensive assignments and really bring it. We’re deep with our bench and everybody plays a part on our team.” Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Zark’s-Lyceum trips Che’Lu-SSC, forces D-League Finals decidercenter_img P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames MOST READ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Continue Reading →

Sarr comes through in clutch for Adamson

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew And Sarr knows he couldn’t have thrived in the clutch shot if not for his coaches who continued to push him no mater what.“You did a great job coach,” Sarr said, addressing Falcons head coach Franz Pumaren. “He’s pushing me so hard in this game.” LATEST STORIES Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READ UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims PLAY LIST 01:32UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “I missed some shots, but I thought to myself that if I get this rebound I won’t miss this chance so I went straight to the basket,” said Sarr, who finished with eight points on 4-of-13 shooting and nine rebounds, five of which were off the offensive glass.Sarr’s clutch follow-up came off Sean Manganti’s missed 3-pointer in transition that gave his team a 72-70 edge with 39.4 ticks to go.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“If I missed that chance that might’ve been a problem for the team but I knew I will go for the rebound and go straight for the basket.”Sarr’s box out, though, almost looked like a foul after he appeared to have pulled down Go. But with the game in such a crucial situation, the referees seemed to have just decided to let the players play with no whistle blown. Adamson’s Papi Sarr posts up Ateneo’s Isaac Go. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonNothing was going to stop Papi Sarr from delivering in the clutch for Adamson University against defending champion Ateneo in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.Sarr just hit one of the biggest shots of the year this early in the season as his putback helped the Falcons stun the Blue Eagles, 74-70, Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Sans Mbala, Santillan embracing bigger role for La Sallecenter_img Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal View comments Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlelast_img read more

Continue Reading →

GVL_Observer Interview

first_imgToday, and for more than 20 years, Liberia is being deforested by slash-and-burn agriculture, driven by rural poverty. By offering employment, affective smallholder programs and making degraded land productive, Golden Veroleum hopes to slow down and even stop Liberian deforestation. We sat down with Virgil Magee, Golden Veroleum’s Communications Head, to discuss what is next for the company, its people, the local communities surrounding its rural operations and the current Ebola outbreak.DAILY OBSERVER:  Thanks for doing this interview?MAGEE: Thank you, it’s a pleasure to speak with you and to talk about the company and our activities in the community.DAILY OBSERVER: Where is GVL right now with regard to the current situation in the country?MAGEE: We are in a strong position, and getting stronger day-by-day. We had some issues a couple of years ago, of which I think most people would be aware. However, since we have reorganized internally to adapt to several things. First, we needed to work on our internal communication and ensure that all of us were on the same page. This was paramount for us and directly related to the second issue of external communication. One things we failed to accomplish in coming to Liberia was the fact that our external Liberian stakeholders were not properly informed of what we wanted top accomplish. For the past year or so, this has consumed most of our external effort. We stood up a Community Affairs and Social Sustainability department to focus only on this issue, and I am pleased to say that it seem to be paying off for not only us, but also for the people who will directly benefit from the employment and development in the areas where local communities decide to invite us in.DAILY OBSERVER: With regard to the Ebola crisis, what has the company done to aid Liberia?MAGEE: Very good question, and I can tell you that back in the early part of the year (2014), we took a long hard look at the potential devastation this virus may have on our operation and from the very start prepared to prepare. Our biggest stakeholders are the people who work in the company, their families and the communities near of around our areas of development. In getting out the message to people we had to target the various stakeholder groups differently. First, internally we have been updating of staff with our internal alert system, we have ensured that those traveling receive an informational handout on Ebola prevention if they are flying in or out of the country.In Sinoe and Grand Kru, we have distributed buckets with faucets, chlorine, hand sanitizers, water, rice and other items as needed and requested by the regional controllers in those areas, and in some cases by the communities. Additionally, we have shown films on the dangers of the disease, in the local dialects, installed thousands of posters in various locations around our operations, work with the local community radio stations to get our message out and have even gone door-to-door preaching Ebola awareness and prevention. I was in Sinoe a few weeks ago and had meetings at all of our farms there with the Liberian workers and staff, I wanted to speak with them directly and answer any and all questions they may have had on Ebola or other issues.DAILY OBSERVER: Do you think the right things have been done to curb Ebola in this country and the region?MAGEE: I won’t comment on what has been going on in other countries, as neither GVL nor myself are involved there. I also won’t comment on the efforts of others because I may not have all the information needed to give an informed answer. But I will say that everything is seen clearly in hindsight. So looking back on anything it is easy to point out mistakes, but I can tell you it is always harder to implement something than to just say something is wrong. I do think the frontline healthcare workers deserve special recognition for their efforts, they have been the ones protecting us and they deserve that recognition.DAILY OBSERVER: Do you think the country’s Ebola message is right?MAGEE: I think it is adequate and I think it is good. I think people believe the virus is real; people are not shaking hands, avoiding bodily contact and washing hands before entering just about every place. All of those are goods things. But now we are in the stage where complacency is creeping in and that could be dangerous. I would add also that the current messaging of “Ebola Must Go,” is a true and powerful statement and that some of the international partners have really helped Liberia. But the fight is not quite over yet.DAILY OBSERVER: Why did you only speak with the Liberians?MAGEE: Another good question, the reason I decided to do that was, not so much because of Ebola, but there were some other things I wanted to discuss with them. I wanted to get a feel for what they felt about the company, the community and just general things on their minds. To that end, I asked that only our Liberian associates be present. I asked all non-Liberians to leave, because I wanted them to feel free to open up to me. And I promised them that whatever was discussed was purely between them and myself, and that I would get with other managers and help to resolve whatever issues they brought up if possible. I wanted to guarantee them the utmost sense of confidentiality.DAILY OBSERVER: Have you been working with other in your anti-Ebola coordination efforts?MAGEE: Yes, we most certainly have. This is a deadly disease and one that has without a doubt affected every county in the country and every person in the country and beyond. This is something that we certainly cannot do alone and have top work with others. Our director, David Rothschild has been basically leading the effort for the company and others have been supporting with equally important roles. GVL, with other companies, formed the Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group, to coordinate efforts that have not been coordinated before. In the group there are dozens, who have already given so much individually to the effort. But by working together we hope to amplify the affect. ArcelorMittal has been chairing the group, and they have done a wonderful job of getting us together.DAILY OBSERVER: And what is the goal of such a group?MAGEE: We have an eight-pronged platform, which include; Remaining in the region and taking part in the long-term economic and social recovery. Second, ensuring employees, families and communities are aware of the disease and are taking the best precautions to avoid infection and stigma. Third, sharing experiences and resources, including trained personnel and practices, to assist governments and partners to mobilize quickly to control the spread of the disease. Forth, offering loan or gift-appropriate assets and resources essential to the deployment of an integrated response by donors, militaries, host governments, NGOs and community-based organizations. Fifth, making available information about needs of various organizations and first responders, so that they may be connected with corporate giving. Sixth, learning from the outbreak and working together to support a strong healthcare system in affected areas. Seventh, raising international awareness and advocating for a larger global coordinated response. And finally, advocating for open trade and humanitarian corridors by air, land and sea, because we need to ensure that people and supplies can flow freely into and out of Liberia.DAILY OBSERVER: Have you been working with county medical authorities?MAGEE: We have been working with them in both Sinoe and Grand Kru through the various task forces, and by sharing information. We have made certain donations to their cause, which go fully toward the Ebola fight.DAILY OBSERVER: There have been some rumors that Golden Veroleum will shut down its operations in Liberia because of the spread of Ebola. Is there any truth to this?MAGEE: Nothing can be further form the truth. We are committed to a very long-term relationship with Liberia and see ourselves as part of the greater Liberian community. We have right now approximately 3,500 Liberian who work for the company and over time that number will grow to many times that. That is not to say that Ebola has not affected our operations, it has. We have had to incorporate Ebola education into our normal operations, make hand washing mandatory, along with temperature checks. But it is all for the greater good and for the protection of our people and for our partner communities.Since the outbreak we have committed to several things, 1) not to layoff our employees, 2) do what we can to protect them, 3) partner with public and private institutions, 4) coordinate and push information (to all those fighting to eradicate the disease). It’s also important for me to note that when we suspect our any of our workers have been exposed to the virus that they isolate themselves at home and we will pay them their normal salaries for a period of 21 days. So all of this in short; No, GVL will not and is not planning to close its operation in Liberia and second, our employees have job security because we are committed to ensuring a successful investment, and a successful investment means economic stability for our people and our communities.At some point we will be shifting to a post-Ebola strategy and continue our growth, but first things first. Ebola will not be here forever, this we know.  We also know that Liberia has survived worse and it will survive this and we are looking forward to a strong, healthy and Ebola-free Liberia.DAILY OBSERVER: How soon do you plan on employing the 40,000 people you mentioned in the past?MAGEE:  For us right now that depends on how soon this Ebola issue is resolved, while our operations go on as normal we are affected in the sense that we are dedicating a great deal of time and resources to help the counties were we operate get beyond it. Normally, we have a process which we follow in which we consult with local communities on where and when to develop, how many people will be employed from the local communities and what type of development will be undertaken. For us, everything depends on the communities, as our negotiations and consultations with them take time, sometimes a large amount of time. So this is not a quick and fast process, one community negotiation can take years. But the thing to remember is that the communities have to want our type of development, only then can we move forward.DAILY OBSERVER: What do you mean when you say the communities have to want your type of development?MAGEE: We have to be invited by the communities who want development and only by communities within our concession areas that are outlined in our concession agreement with the Liberian government. So, the first step, communities send us an invitation in writing. Second step, our community affairs teams sit and discuss all the relevant information with that community. And to overly simplify, then community decides yes or no to our development, which is outlined on a time schedule within a draft memorandum of understanding with the community. The community at any point has the right to say yes or no.DAILY OBSERVER: When will you have your smallholder program up and running?MAGEE: The smallholder oil palm as a concept is new to Liberia.  GVL, together with other stakeholders, is developing a framework for this. Meanwhile, gross areas have been set aside for community oil palm as well as farmlands and other enclaves as reported to RSPO. We carried out community oil palm model studies during 2014, and have presented a proposed model adapted to Liberian conditions based on the largely successful Indonesian model. The model has been developed with focus communities in Butaw, in Sinoe County, and presented in the Smallholder Acceleration and REDD+ Program conference in Monrovia in June 2014 to stakeholders and to interested civil society for feedback. Details of the model are expected to be further developed and piloted starting from early 2015. We welcome and expect close participation by the Government and NGO’s.DAILY OBSERVER: In the past you have had allegations of land grabbing, these allegations seemed to have disappeared.  Why is that?MAGEE: Much of that was before I came to the company, so I believe it was based on mistakes that were made. The biggest of those mistakes was not professionally communicating with those who needed information. At the time there was no communication department in the company and this perhaps lead to rumors and innuendo and this was my number one task upon arrival. If you think back to last year when I arrived I invited as many journalists in town as possible for an informal press conference and a meet and greet session with me where I introduced myself and gave my version of how I saw our communications flow would or should be. I don’t believe this was done before, but then again, I was not so much concerned about what happened before me. I was more concerned about the way forward. Since then we have sent out infinitely more information to the press, we have increased our community briefings, we have installed community bulletin boards in the local communities, we have had major upgrades to our website twice, we have increased our meetings with the Liberian diaspora here in Monrovia, we have increased our communication with the diaspora abroad as far away as Europe and the United States, we have put in place a suggestion program for our employees, and have initiated an internal newsletter to keep them informed.We strongly respond to things that we see are false and try to be as transparent as we can. On the latest version of our website anyone can view or download our full concession agreement, some policies, memorandums of understanding, external reports, and even our latest welcome guide for those who have been recently hired by the company. In addition to all of these, we have created a large footprint in social media. I remember when I came some people told me that Liberians did not use social media much, since then I have found that not to be the case, as our presence on Facebook alone has exceeded 14,000 followers, most of whom are from Liberia. So in the social media space we have an opportunity to tell our story direct to the people who are interested in what we are doing. We know that this will not be enough alone, but with all the items I mentioned previously along with social and a few other ideas we are working on, we are hoping to increase the level of knowledge and awareness in how we are helping and developing.DAILY OBSERVER: What have you done in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility?MAGEE:  We are working on a great new website, which will outline our CSR scope and some of the things we have done.  It’s right now in development and I hope it will be launched very soon. But to more directly answer your question, we have reconditioned several hundred miles of roads in the counties were our farms are. Of course, this was not only done as part of a CSR effort, but also because we need the roads in order to operate. But this is just one item that is mutually beneficial for both us the communities. We have refurbished or constructed hand pumps in the communities, built a school in Butaw district in Sinoe County, built several medical clinics and have supported government run clinics in certain areas as well. This past summer for the Independence Day celebration we provided football uniforms for the teams from Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties, we have also ensured that our workers get 50 kg rice per month in addition to their salaries. This past summer we donated money for two surgical campaigns in Sinoe and Grand Kru, for those who could not afford medical care. Things like that mean a lot to us.DAILY OBSERVER: Most people don’t know that you operate a school, what can you tell us about this?MAGEE: Yes, our school opened last year and currently has about 600 students. Unfortunately right now because of the Ebola outbreak we have had to stop having classes. But that won’t be forever; when the outbreak has been curtailed classes will resume. Our plan is to have a school at our major sites in the country. What this means is that there will be a GVL School System, operating under the laws of Liberia. In some cases where a school is not feasible we will support the local government-run schools. This past autumn we actually had our first graduating class. As we grow, we will grow the school system as well. We are looking at the inclusion of high schools in our educational system in the future. Also, some people may not know that we have offered scholarships over the past several years as well. Every year we donate up to 100,000 U.S. dollars to our scholarship fund, which is administered by the Ministry of Agriculture. So far, there have been more than 1,500 scholarships awarded for students studying agriculture and agricultural-related fields. Priority for these scholarships is given to local students hailing from the counties in which we operate. We also offer vocational training, for example: certificates in heavy equipment operation and transferable skills in mechanical and construction trades and adult literacy.DAILY OBSERVER: As a company, what is your highest priority?MAGEE: Right now our highest priority is the health, safety and welfare of our people and partner communities; we are committed to them for the near and long-term. And we will not rule out anything when it comes to ensuring their safety and health. So in short, we want to rid our development areas of Ebola. Of course this is also to say that we wish to have a successful investment by working with communities to develop land, and of course, build all the things that go along with that. Things such as building schools and clinics and roads.DAILY OBSERVER: Do you think this plan will work for Liberia?MAGEE: Let’s look at what we know. Liberia is one of the world’s poorest countries with an average per capita income of around one U.S. dollar a day. New industry can and will make it prosperous again. Now there is a strong movement from community groups keen to develop their land and develop it with oil palm. However, any development must be sustainable. The biggest issue thrown up by large-scale oil palm cultivation is associated with the loss of virgin forest. Industry efforts to bring deforestation under control have come through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which was set up in 2001 to establish clear ethical and ecological standards for producing palm oil. However, this does not go far enough for us [GVL], we have a far tougher Forest Conservation Policy, which was developed in collaboration with international NGOs, including Greenpeace. What we also know is that in order for countries to become prosperous large-scale employment has to take place. In the U.S. this happened with mining and the construction of the railroads, which employed thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people. In Liberia we don’t need to think about railroads, because that was a time long ago in U.S history. But, think for a moment if in a short period of time, say five to ten years, 40,000 people in a certain geographic area, are earning a pay check more than five times the national average wage. Couple that with the associated taxes that a company has to pay on those wages, the cost of goods and services, because now people will want to improve their lives and they would be willing to pay for it. All of that is pretty powerful, and that kind of economic power can and will push Liberia forward.DAILY OBSERVER: In brief, what are the basics of your concession agreement?MAGEE: The concession agreement is for 65 years, in which approximately 500,000 acres have been identified as an area of interest. What does this mean? It means that within the 500,000 acres we will have to discuss and negotiate with local communities to develop specific areas, which they identify to us. It also means that ultimately we will not develop anywhere near the 500,000 acres number. It certainly will be much less than that. So 500,000 acres equals the total area where we can talk to the people, the final number will be based on what the people want but will certainly be smaller than the areas of interest. In addition to this, approximately 100,000 acres will be developed for smallholder programs, but again everything depends on the communities.DAILY OBSERVER: You just used the term acres, but in the past you have used hectares. Most Liberians don’t know what a hectare is. Can you please simplify this for us?MAGEE: Of course, simply put a hectare is a unit of measurement, much the same way an acre is. One hectare equals roughly two and a half acres, which is roughly the size of a football field.DAILY OBSERVER: There is a lot of talk of deforestation and its affect on the climate, what do you think this means for Liberia?MAGEE: This is a little more complicated, as it may sound strange to hear that a palm oil company is interested in non-deforestation measures. We realize and recognize that the rain forest is an important national treasure for Liberia, as well as any place, which possesses such forest. We have committed to working on what we call degraded forest. Areas primary forest, that which man has not touched, we don’t look at it and we don’t touch it.  In other word, we don’t want to be there and we don’t want to disturb the natural habitat as much as possible. Preservation is the key issue for us. We have been offered land from communities in the past, which had very high conservation value or was primary forest and we have flatly turned it down. We have been very pleased that the Liberian government recently signed a pact with Norway to work toward a complete stoppage of deforestation by the year 2020. To my knowledge Liberia is the first country in Africa to make such a commitment. That commitment is perfectly aligned with our own non-deforestation policies on avoidance of primary forest in favor of degraded areas. We look at the new Liberian initiative as supporting companies dedicated to stopping deforestation, while creating jobs and economic opportunities for local citizens by creating rural income generating streams not dependent on forest depletion, thus providing both rural and government incomes. This type of model has the potential to amplify Liberia’s non-deforestation commitment, with sustainable forest based on replanting or natural replenishment.DAILY OBSERVER: Does oil palm contribute to eradication of the rain forest?MAGEE: Oil palm actually uses a minimal amount of land compared to other oilseed crops, and of all oilseed crops has the most efficient use of land. For example on a single acre of land used for oil palm 635 gallons of oil can be produced compared to only 18 gallons of cottonseed oil and about 48 gallons of soybean oil. What this means in terms of land usage is that of the major oilseed products oil palm is the most efficient in terms of land usage and it is the most productive. Another way of looking at it is for every one acre of oil palm; 13 acres of soybeans and 35 acres of corn are needed to produce the same amount oil palm produces on a single acre.  Additionally for other oilseed crops the land is stripped of vegetation and plowed yearly, while oil palm is a perennial, meaning it does not have to be replanted year-after-year and allows for a balanced ecosystem by allowing woodland creatures, insects and other animals to inhabit the area. DAILY OBSERVER: Greenpeace recently did a report on GVL, what were your thoughts on the report?It was a good report, but it was not exclusively on GVL, although it did mention GVL. We like the report; we welcome and appreciate it. Our views are consistent in many areas with what is in the report particularly on community rights and aspirations. In the report it mentions our relationship with government and local communities, which again we really appreciate and we look to further those relationships and look forward to working with agencies such as the Liberian FDA as well as key other national stakeholders especially the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Lands Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Land Commission.  We further plan to support the Norwegian-Liberian engagement, where the key challenge will be to ensure that such foreign funding actually reaches the communities in the poor Liberian countryside and provide sustainable and productive means for communities to subscribe to the commitments. But community participation is key, as the forested lands are their lands, and the communities have justified aspirations of lifting themselves out of poverty. We will continue to engage relevant stakeholders on this. We see the creation of an economically viable smallholder and community oil palm sector as a promising avenue where, available funding, for instance the Norwegian contribution, should be targeted, along with productive food farming and sustainable community managed forestry.DAILY OBSERVER: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.MAGEE: The thanks belong to you, so thank you for taking the time to speak with me.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Rehabilitation works on WCD road completed

first_imgAlmost eight weeks after the West Coast Demerara (WCD) access road was discovered to be deteriorating mere months after its official commissioning, the two contractors responsible for the works have completed rehabilitation works.Residents in the Vreed-en-Hoop area, where construction, was ongoing explained that the works were officially completed on Saturday by BK International and Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company Limited.Coordinator/Chief of Works attached to the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Geoffrey Vaughn noted that the Ministry would be looking closely at quality control to ensure that the road met the required standard.Asked if he is concerned about the quality of work done by the contractors,The rehabilitated section of the Vreed-en-Hoop roadVaughn said he was quite satisfied as residents hardly complained of the road not being up to standard. He added that the Ministry will, however, continue to monitor the West Coast roads, and will check with residents to ensure no other section is deteriorating.Guyana Times reported early last month that the companies began drilling holes to surround the sunken area while conducting tests to find out what was the cause.Residents started worrying as the road works began with hardly any reflectors being used in the construction area.In fact, the Police in D Division (West Demerara-East Bank Essequibo) even confirmed the death of a pedestrian in the area.Guyana Times was told that the pedestrian, Rafeek Khan, 46, also known as “Buck Man”, of Plantain Walk, West Bank Demerara succumbed to his injuries on November 15, after he was struck by a motor car while attempting to cross the road from south to north.This newspaper understands that that section of the road began deteriorating as a result of faulty foundation works previously conducted on the newly-commissioned road.A senior Ministry official had made it clear that the contractors were standing the expenses to conduct repairs to the road, under the defect liability clause in the contract.He explained during a telephone interview that the contract has a defect liability period, which means any defects, which develop – in this case over a year’s time – would have to be repaired by the contractors and not the Ministry.The project, which was undertaken to the tune of some $9.7 billion, was only completed this year.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Countrywide offers $16 billion bailout

first_imgBart Narter, senior analyst with Celent, a Boston-based financial research and consulting firm, said in an e-mail that the plan means Countrywide’s options went from bad to worse. “The bad consists of renegotiating loans, and perhaps losing some potential profit, but not flooding the market with even more homes,” he said. “What’s worse is that Countrywide is foreclosing on homes in a declining market and going through the legal, administrative and financial pain involved in this process.” But he said that the action by Countrywide, the nations’ largest mortgage provider, hopefully will set an example in the industry. And Bailey acknowledged that sinking home values is one reason the company is taking this action. The program has a refinance and a workout component. Here’s how it works: Countrywide set up a special refinance unit for about 52,000 borrowers with a subprime loan and a strong payment history. This pool has about $10billion in mortgages and the company will try to arrange a refinance into prime or FHA loans. For those with credit issues, Countrywide will offer Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac’s expanded criteria programs. Countrywide will also contact prime and subprime borrowers who are current but unable to qualify for a refinance and are likely to have difficulty affording an upcoming payment reset. The company will supplement its early notification letter to borrowers by calling no later than three months prior to the reset to determine their financial circumstances and develop affordable solutions. Countrywide hopes to modify $4 billion in loans for about 20,000 borrowers in an existing adjustable rate mortgage through the end of 2008. So far this year, the company said that its home preservation efforts have helped more than 40,000 borrowers stay in their homes and include the completion of 20,000 loan modifications. Jack Kyser, vice president and chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said that the company is doing the right thing. “It’s very unprecedented, and it’s probably a very savvy move on the part of Countrywide given all the criticism that Angelo Mozilo (the company’s chairman and chief executive officer) is getting,” Kyser said. “For a lot of people this is just going to be wonderful news.” greg.wilcox@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.A top company executive promised generous flexibility for borrowers whose hybrid adjustable loans are now or may soon be unaffordable. “In some cases we won’t even invoke the payment reset,” Steve Bailey, Countrywide’s senior managing director of loan administration, said in a conference call. “The payment reset is not going to be the reason why people suffer foreclosure.” Countrywide said that its plan will “proactively address the rising foreclosure rate” through 2008. The program includes $2.2 billion this year to help about 10,000 subprime loan holders who are delinquent and experiencing financial difficulties because of a recent reset. But it did not win universal approval. HOUSING: Company will modify mortgages for delinquent and struggling subprime loan holders. By Gregory J. Wilcox STAFF WRITER CALABASAS – With foreclosures mounting, Countrywide Financial Corp. announced a bailout plan on Tuesday to modify $16 billion in mortgages for customers who cannot afford the monthly payment because of interest rate resets. last_img read more

Continue Reading →

GAA NEWS: KILLYBEGS CLUB NOTES

first_imgLadies Team Trainng starting Tuesday the 5th of February at 7.30pm in St Catherines Vocational Gym, new ladies/players always welcome (age 15 and older).Club Registration Day is on Saturday the 16th of February from 4.00pm to 6.30pm in the Niall Mor Centre, the Sam Mguire Cup will also be in attendance. Na Cealla Beaga versus Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon in White Collar Boxing Fight Night, Blue Haven on Saturday 23rd March, the Training has been hectic, Lets get ready to Rumble, more details to follow soon.Club Membership is now due, Rates are Family €70, Players €40, Adult Single €40, Under 21 & Minor €20, Children up to Under 16 €15, please contact Registrar Rita Nolan 087 2054772, any club officer or manager.Following the GAA’s Annual Congress in April 2012 a new rule was enacted that made it mandatory to use a Mouthguard in all Gaelic football matches and training sessions from January 1st 2013 (for all age grades up to and including minor) and at U21 and Adult level from January 1st 2014.The Club are collecting Clothes, Shoes, Handbags, Belts, Bed Linen, Towels, Curtains, Books, Mobile Phones, Ink Cartridges, Drop off at Eamonn Byrne Memorial Park on Saturdays for thr months of January & February, 4 to 6pm, we can also collect from your door. Call or text 086-3311733, 086-8509862 to arrange a pick up time from your house or for more info. The Killotto had no winner this week. The numbers were 12, 15, 18, 20. Next week’s Killotto jackpot is €5,900. The Jackpot is getting Big. You can now do the Killotto online. Visit www.locallotto.ie and go to the Killybegs page.There was no winner of the Bingo Jackpot. Next week’s Jackpot will be €1,200 on 45 calls.GAA NEWS: KILLYBEGS CLUB NOTES was last modified: February 4th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Killybegs GAA Club noteslast_img read more

Continue Reading →

Tircallan road open this weekend as closure plans are reversed

first_imgDonegal County Council has announced that the planned road closure at Tircallan, Stranorlar this weekend has been lifted. Traffic will be allowed to travel on the N13 road as normal from Kilross Junction to Stranorlar.The road was due to be temporarily closed for culvert replacement works to continue. The works have now been completed ahead of schedule. The council have thanked road users for their cooperation.Tircallan road open this weekend as closure plans are reversed was last modified: February 9th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Fans react to Warriors lineup with no stars

first_imgWhat a difference a year makes. A Golden State Warriors team that a year ago featured the likes of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green saw a lineup with no star power take the court against the Charlotte Hornets Saturday night.The Dubs, inevitably loss their third straight, 93-87, without Green or D’Angelo Russell either.Green had a finger injury and Russell tweaked his ankle. So the starting lineup was Ky Bowman, Jordan Poole, Glenn Robinson III, Eric Paschall and …last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Mandela, SA story for US classrooms

first_imgThe Weinstein Company (TWC), backers of the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation are to join forces to introduce Nelson Mandela and the story of South Africa’s transition to democracy to a millions of high school students across America. Announcing the partnership in October last year, TWC and the foundation said they would be working with the largest school districts and education organisations in the US, including Teach for America, New York City Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District and Miami Dade Public Schools, to enable US high school students study the life lessons inherent in Mandela’s story. The announcement came ahead of the release of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the long-awaited big-screen dramatisation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. “Nelson Mandela is not just a symbol of hope and peace the world over; his very success is emblematic of what can be achieved through education,” the film’s producer, Anant Singh, said in a statement. The US schools programme, the first of its kind, will be supplemented with clips from the film, exclusive primary source materials courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and an introduction by former US president George W Bush, the first president to invite Mandela to the White House. Share My Lesson, a free digital resource for teachers with over 347 000 subscribers, will also play a key role in the distribution of the Mandela curriculum, which is available for download at www.mandelafilm.com and www.sharemylesson.com/mandela. “There are no words to describe how meaningful it is to us to know that, thousands of miles away, schoolchildren are learning the history of our country and the father of our democracy,” said Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “It is an honour to be a part of this project and to provide US students with access to resources and materials from our archives and work that enable the continuation of a living legacy and learning. We are certain that this is exactly the kind of project Madiba had in mind when he said ‘the future belongs to our youth’.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Continue Reading →

Western Gaze: Country Of Contrast

first_imgIf there is one sight that sticks out for an American visiting India for the first time, it is the wild juxtaposition of cows and traffic on city streets. For those of us accustomed to a culture in which bovines are considered livestock rather than sacred creatures, the combination makes for a bizarre spectacle. We are ill equipped to make sense of the scene. The four cows roaming around outside our hotel were enough to attract the attention of everyone in my traveling group. We pointed, stared and took pictures. Though it lasted only a short while, the encounter reflected what is likely to be a defining characteristic of my India trip: a confrontation with contrast.The first thing an American notices upon stepping off the plane is the distinct nature of India’s roads. On any given highway, one sees a freestyle pattern of traffic that gives the impression of mass chaos. Cars, trucks, motorcycles and rickshaws crowd the streets, coming within inches of one another at every turn. Despite the presence of street signs and painted lines, the roads have a defacto absence of designated lanes and are filled instead with a mass of weaving traffic. Inside tiny rickshaws, six or seven people are squeezed in.  Add to the mix the astounding presence of car horns, used more for announcing location than expressing anger. All of this can be quite overwhelming for someone experiencing India for the first time. In America, the dominant culture emphasizes consistency and organization. Cars drive in lanes regardless of traffic. This orderly structure is something we accept as a given, so we tend to conclude that any divergent system is mayhem. The sight of clustering traffic and the sounds of relentless horns seems catastrophic. Not surprisingly, many Americans are appalled by the chaos they while riding a taxicab in India. For the drivers who must navigate the streets everyday, however, the frantically weaving traffic and people hanging out of trucks is normal. Could it be that our sense of order is designed to control us, while in India, everyone takes account of the other and traffic flows easily, even amidst chaos.Traveling in India means coming to grips with the chaos not just on the roads, but in the vast discrepancies in wealth and poverty. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the contrast between the slums of Dharavi and the surrounding city of Mumbai. Walking through Dharavi can be disturbing to an outsider. Many of the tiny shacks in which people live are little more than collections of scrap metal pieced together, and the unbearably narrow alleyways outside are lined with litter and goat droppings.  Even more striking than these conditions is the knowledge that, within blocks of the slums, there is a skyline filled with elegant skyscrapers and billboards advertising designer clothes. For an American, it is hard not to wonder whether there is any excuse for allowing the conditions of Dharavi to exist amidst the excess of Mumbai.The divisions of wealth and poverty in our economic system are evident even in the United States, but for the most part Americans are spared the sights of poverty, as the poor are segregated into separate and distant neighborhoods. To see the effects of a global capitalist market on the villages of Dharavi is to witness a contrast of rich and poor on an entirely different scale. Yet those who live in the slums, unarguably the greatest victims, seem to take the contradiction in stride. They go about their work, tend to their children and carry on much the way of people in any community. What’s more, the vast majority of them don’t even appear to be unhappy. Perhaps the contrasts around them are too overwhelming to do anything about or perhaps they simply accept lives.  Is it that only Americans are sensitive to contrasts and contradictions, or is it just the “foreigner” in us? Here, the sight of slums next door to expensive condominiums merely reflects a fact of life.A visit to Khajuraho challenges our concepts of divinity. While viewing the beautiful ancient temples on this site, visitors will undoubtedly come across naked and erotic images for which it is best known in the United States. Someone unprepared for these images is disoriented by sculptures of both gods and erotic scenes. Many may even find inappropriate as Americans are educated in a Western religious tradition that skirts sexuality, going to great lengths to hide the details of intercourse and the physical organs involved in the act.I found the contrasts I observed in India confusing, chaotic and contradictory. Over time, however, I began to recognize that these perceived contrasts existed only in my mind and those of my fellow travelers. While we marveled at the cows on the road, those who drove or dodged around them didn’t seem to even notice their presence. For an American visiting India for the first time, the reaction to the cows on the road might be a good metaphor for how well they have tuned in to the charms of the country.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Continue Reading →