Category: sygmlvwnhhlu

Getting value for money

first_imgDear Editor,Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has made a valid and timely assessment when he stated that the people should hold all contractors responsible for shoddy and substandard work done and he hit the bull’s eye when he further contended that each citizen has a right to demand value for money.The Minister’s statement came at an opportune time when there is massive corruption going on in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and I am profoundly gratified when I read Dr Ramayya’s exposé on the corrupt practices in this region. The substandard work done at Barakara is just the tip of the iceberg; more than 90 per cent of the capital works done are of a substandard nature or the costs are highly inflated so that again there is no value for money. In fact, with the capital works proposed in the 2017 Budget, it is my estimation that if proper budgetary planning was done then the people of Region Six would be accessing more value for money in 2017. This is where the Minister’s input is vitally necessary.Moreover, the Minister should investigate the high volume of ‘emergency works’ done in the region. Here again, value for money is lost since these costs of these works are highly inflated and skewed in favour of the contractor and those receiving the ‘kickbacks’. For instance, during the El Nino period in March-April 2016, the Government awarded millions of dollars to do excavation works from Whim to Number 74 Village but nearly 60 per cent on these projects were already done by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) machines and these contracts were awarded to a close associate of a Region Six official.I suggest that the Minister carry out an investigation since the records must indicate that these drainage canals were already done by NDIA machines deployed in the region.In a letter to the press, I highlighted the substandard work done at Number 52 Middle Walk Access Road which began disintegrating just after three weeks of being constructed. I wish the Minister could investigate this but I want to implore him not to send the same team which went to Barakara.Another issue affecting cost and standard of work is the fact that some of the contractors who were awarded works do not have the necessary machinery and equipment to do the work and have to sub-contract some aspects of the job. Why should these people be given contracts when they do not have the necessary machinery to successfully carry execute them?Lastly, I wish to congratulate the Communities Minister and the Regional Chairman since there is now a new round of consultations with the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) and the works prioritised by them are now being fairly assessed and which hopefully will find its way into the Regional Estimate 2017. Never again should consultation be sacrificed so that corrupt practices can reign. However, I do hope also that NDCs are given a copy of the regional estimates so that they can make a proper assessment in the future.Yours sincerely,Lakram SinghVice Chairman WorksCommitteeNumber 52-74 NDClast_img read more

Suspect arrested, Police hunting accomplice

first_imgChinese restaurant robberyPolice in ‘D’ Division (West Demerara) have arrested a 23-year-old suspect following an armed robbery of a Chinese restaurant in Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara (WBD).The robbery occurred sometime around 23:30h on Saturday. According to reports, two customers, ages 48 and 46, were at the Jods Chinese Restaurant, Parfaite Harmonie, Canal No 1 Polder, WBD, on Saturday night when two unmasked suspects pounced on them.The robbers, one of whom was armed with a handgun, pounced and relieved the customers of their valuables including a wallet and an undisclosed sum of cash. The bandits fired a shot however neither of the customers were injured.It was reported that after the shot was fired, a scuffle ensued during which the magazine fell out from the firearm and was retrieved by one of the victims.At that stage, the suspect with the gun threw the weapon to his accomplice, who caught it and escaped. The other suspect was not as lucky as he was apprehended and handed over to the Police, who arrived promptly at the scene.The customer’s wallet was found in the possession of the 23-year-old bandit, who hails from Middle Street, La Penitence, Georgetown.“A display of courage and bravery by two victims of an armed robbery at a Chinese Restaurant led to the apprehension of one of the suspects along with a component of their firearm and one of the victim’s wallet and cash,” the Police said in a statement on Sunday.Meanwhile, efforts are being made to have the other suspect arrested as investigations continue.last_img read more

Mother sentenced for role in shooting

first_imgNo one was hurt in the June 26 incident in the 5600 block of Sandpiper Place, although one shot was fired into a bedroom occupied by a 17-year-old girl and two children, 11 and 9, Gillis said. Wright’s 15-year-old son was not at the shooting as far as investigators know but was arrested later that day for possession of a sawed-off shotgun, the weapon used in the shooting. Wright’s other children are with family members, Gillis said. A neighbor’s video camera captured the entire incident on tape and showed a vehicle that matched one being driven by Wright. “When we were doing a follow-up investigation, she drove to the location where we had kids detained, and we recognized the vehicle,” Gillis said. “She admitted her involvement.” Wright drove two of her son’s friends to the house, where one of the boys got out and fired into the house, and then she drove off, Gillis said. Wright’s son and the two other boys, both 17, are facing charges in Juvenile Court. Gillis said the two small children in the bedroom were asleep in a bed. The 17-year-old girl was standing at the window, waiting for family to come home, Gillis said. “She had to dive down,” Gillis said. A restitution hearing has been scheduled for August. The shooting resulted in about $2,000 damage to the house, prosecutors said. karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – A Palmdale mother of eight was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for driving two of her son’s gang friends to shoot up a rival gang member’s house. Michelle Wright, 37, told investigators that she took matters into her own hands because she felt law enforcement was not doing enough to help her family. “She said she was fed up with the Sheriff’s Department not doing anything to help her family. She alleged these rival gang members were messing with her kids and her kids’ friends. She had to handle it herself because we weren’t handling it,” sheriff’s Detective Robert Gillis said. “I think it’s actually a shame and it sends a bad message out to the other people of her son’s group.” Wright, who authorities said has a minimal prior record, pleaded no contest to shooting at an inhabited dwelling as an aider or abettor and was sentenced to the three-year term. last_img read more

Army drops standards to attract recruits

first_imgUnder the plan, men and women who enlist could pick from a “buffet” of incentives, including up to $45,000 tax-free that they accrue during their career to help buy a home or build a business. Other options would include money for college and to pay off student loans. An Associated Press review of the increasingly aggressive recruiting offerings found the Army is not only dangling more sign-up rewards – it’s loosening rules on age and weight limits, education, and drug and criminal records. It’s all part of an Army effort to fill its ranks even as the percentage of young people who say they plan to join the military has hit a historic low – 16 percent, by the Pentagon’s own survey – in the fifth year of the Iraq war. In June, the Army failed to meet its recruitment target for the second month in a row, although it apparently met its goal to recruit 9,750 troops in July and is on target for 80,000 for the year that ends Sept. 30. The service spent nearly $1 billion last year on recruiting bonuses and ads. As part of a push to make its 2007 goals, the Army is boosting the size of its 8,000-member recruiting force with 1,000 to 2,000 assistants – including some former recruiters. WASHINGTON – Tyka Pettey wanted to go to a university. And she needed a car. The Army is making both possible for the 21-year-old. She joined the Army Reserve in late July and leaves in about a week for boot camp to start her new life as a soldier. She’s getting a $20,000 signing bonus and is eligible for college money. “You’re really taking a major step from your civilian life … but I just decided to go for it,” said Pettey of Philadelphia. The incentives could get even better for recruits under an Army proposal that military leaders say is needed to fill wartime ranks. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to increase the size of the active-duty Army by 65,000 to a total of 547,000 within five years. In part, that’s to ease the wartime strain on the Army, which is the largest branch of the military. “Recruiting next year and beyond will remain challenging and will … require additional innovative approaches,” said Lt. Col. Michael Rochelle, the Pentagon’s deputy chief of staff for personnel. He asked lawmakers last week on Capitol Hill for money to pay for the new program. Rochelle described the latest offering as an updated version of the Army’s college fund, a popular program started in 1982 to help soldiers pay for college. Beyond the Iraq war, the military says other factors have affected its ability to recruit. More high school graduates are going to college, and the economy is strong, providing lots of civilian jobs. At the same time, only three of 10 people between 17 and 24 fully meet the military’s standards. Less obvious factors have also decreased the recruitment pool. They include higher obesity rates, more people diagnosed with mental health conditions such as attention-deficit disorder and more criminal citations due to the increase of the drinking age from 18 to 21. Among the changes that have helped attract more recruits: Increasing to $20,000 the bonus for troops who join by Sept. 30 and leave for boot camp within a month. Raising the enlistment age to 42. Allowing recruits to come in with nonoffensive tattoos on their hands and neck. Offering a $2,000 bonus to Army soldiers who refer a new recruit. Enlisting recruits who don’t meet weight standards and must trim down their first year. Advertising that targets potential recruits’ parents. Increasing the number of recruits with general education diplomas rather than regular high school diplomas. Creating a more pleasant boot camp environment.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

No action till budget is passed

first_imgSACRAMENTO – This was to be the year of big ambitions in California politics. In January, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, ever eager to put his stamp on outsized ideas, proposed a $12 billion overhaul of the state’s health care system. It would provide universal coverage and give relief to the state’s 6.5 million uninsured, a bold plan he hoped would become a national template. At the same time, he wanted a $5.9 billion makeover of California’s complex network of reservoirs, pumps and canals to help the state weather future droughts and accommodate an ever-expanding population. And to increase competition for legislative seats, the moderate governor also sought to reform the way legislative districts are drawn. The greatest concern is time. When the Legislature returns Aug. 20 from its summer recess, just four weeks will remain until the end of the session, unless Schwarzenegger calls lawmakers back for a special session. By this time, the governor and the top Democrats had hoped to have the budget well behind them and be deep into negotiations over a health care reform plan, a water bond for next year’s ballot and a redistricting proposal. Those issues are on hold while the budget deadlock drags on, a process that threatens to overwhelm the Legislature’s remaining time. The environment throughout the Capitol also has become increasingly toxic as Senate Republicans have refused to budge, with name-calling on both sides. At one point, Democrats referred to Republicans as “terrorists” for what they described as holding the state budget hostage over peripheral issues. “After this, getting all the sides singing `Kumbaya’ together is certainly questionable. It doesn’t bode well,” said Fiona Hutton, spokeswoman for State Water Contractors, an organization representing more than two dozen agencies that buy water from the state. The group seeks changes to water policy affecting the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, an ecologically fragile ecosystem but one that acts as a natural funnel for drinking water serving two-thirds of the state’s population. “These are extremely important issues we’re talking about,” Hutton said. “It’s not like we can put these off for another year when we all like each other.” The Republican holdout has soured the mood of the Legislature’s two Democratic leaders, who determine the fate of legislation. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles, said he will not consider more water projects regardless of whether the state has a budget. He objects to more borrowing while the state is cutting programs for the poor, he said. “The Assembly’s not going to engage this year on water policy whether we are holding hands or not,” Nu ez said in an interview. Similar concerns apply to health care reform, Schwarzenegger’s signature issue this year. Making changes that will result in greater health coverage resonates with Democrats, who have signaled their willingness to work with the governor this year. But the two sides remain far apart on a number of key issues, such as whether health insurance for individuals would be mandatory. Nu ez and Perata have a joint proposal moving through the Legislature that requires employers to spend at least 7.5 percent of their payroll costs on health care. That’s nearly double what Schwarzenegger proposed in January, but the governor and Democratic leaders had hoped to spend the summer working out their differences. Instead, those talks have been sidetracked by the impasse over the state’s $145 billion spending plan. Peter Harbage, a health care consultant who worked on the governor’s plan, said he fears the budget problems could stall reforms this year. Others believe Schwarzenegger and the Democratic leaders have made health care too large a priority to drop. “I think the political will will be there regardless of when the budget gets done,” said Tom Epstein, a vice president at Blue Shield of California. Somewhat ironically, health care reform, however difficult to negotiate, may be easier to pass out of the Legislature. A health care bill would require a simple majority vote to pass, whereas the budget requires a two-thirds vote. “(Health care) doesn’t require one single Republican vote to pass,” Nu ez said. “It’s between the Democrats and the governor.” Republican legislators disagree. They say any fee charged to businesses actually would constitute a massive tax increase, which would require a two-thirds vote. If they press that issue, it could lead to a struggle even more bitter than the one over the budget. The disagreement over health care reform underscores one reason Republicans are reluctant to move on: They have little to gain in most of the proposed policy negotiations that are being delayed. “The last time I checked, the agendas coming out of this Legislature were far more Democratic priorities than they were Republican priorities,” said state Sen. George Runner of Lancaster, the Senate’s Republican Caucus chairman. “I get the picture of a guy holding a gun to his (own) head, saying, `One more step closer and I’ll shoot.’ And I’m thinking if you want to give us more incentive, I guess that would be the way to do it.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It now appears the year may be more a bust than a breakout. The prospects for striking deals on Schwarzenegger’s priorities and other major policies are dimming, growing fainter each day the state’s budget impasse drags on. The Legislature appears no closer to reaching a budget deal than it was on July 1, the start of the fiscal year. The holdup is with Republicans in the Senate, who say they will not vote for it without more spending cuts and concessions on other issues. That has led the Democratic leaders of the Assembly and Senate to say that other topics won’t be considered until a budget deal is finished – if at all. “The Senate will take up no legislation – none,” Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, said this past week. “They’re really not only holding the budget hostage, but a lot of other things that need to get done in California.” last_img

Local fighters headline card at Wilmington hall

first_imgNow, Panda, consisting of Jose J. Vasquez, Victor Martinez, Juan Carlos Martinez and Danielle Martinez, is going solo to put on a second show tonight at the hall, dubbed “Battles at the Harbor.” The first of seven bouts on the card is scheduled to begin at 7. Local fighters top the bill. San Pedro’s Larry Olvera (8-10-2, 4 KOs) takes on Los Angeles’ Jorge Diaz (3-5-1, 1 KO) in the six-round super-bantamweight main event. Other scheduled bouts include Daniel Queveda (6-5-2, 4 KOs), also from San Pedro, against Cathedral City’s Adrian Aleman (5-2-3, 4 KOs) in a six-round super-flyweight bout. Former Brazilian Olympian Jose Albuquerque (7-2-2, 2 KOs) squares off against San Pedro’s Elton D’Harry (2-0-1, 1 KO) in a six-round flyweight fight, and Phoenix’s Saul Ochoa (5-2-1, 4 KOs) will fight Oxnard’s Barbaro Zepeda (8-16-2, 2 KOs) in a six-round super featherweight bout. Tickets are $25. For more information on “Battles at the Harbor”, call 310-864-9783 or 310-408-8250. BOXING: San Pedro combatants top bill for “Battles at the Harbor.” By Dave Thorpe STAFF WRITER Panda Promotions teamed with Two Feathers Promotions in June to put on the first professional boxing show at Longshoremen Memorial Hall in Wilmington in more than 20 years. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Watford 2-0 Middlesbrough: Hornets knock Boro off the top

first_img Troy Deeney fires Watford ahead against Middlesbrough 1 Watford knocked Middlesbrough off the top of the Championship with a 2-0 victory at Vicarage Road.Troy Deeney fired the hosts ahead shortly before the break with a composed finish from Adlene Guedioura’s cross.Strike partner Odion Ighalo then struck midway through the second half to secure the three points for the home side.The Hornets are now sitting top, a point ahead of second-placed Boro, although Bournemouth and Norwich could overtake them if they are victorious later in the day.After both sides had spent the opening exchanges sparring with each other, Watford had the first chance when Deeney headed an Ikechi Anya cross wide.Boro’s first effort on goal was an ambitious one as Grant Leadbitter tried to catch Heurelho Gomes out with a powerfully-struck free-kick from all of 40 yards, but the Hornets goalkeeper was able to get across to save.It was the home side who gradually began to look the more threatening as the first half progressed and they twice went close to taking the lead shortly after the 20-minute mark.Dimi Konstantopoulous was forced into a good save with his legs at the foot of his near post to keep out an Anya shot after the Scotland international had been played in by Ighalo.Soon after, Gabriele Angella got up well to connect with his side’s first corner of the match from the right but his downward header went down and narrowly wide of the far post.After Patrick Bamford had seen a shot deflected, Boro created their first clear opening when a George Friend cross picked out Lee Tomlin in space in the area but he sent a first-time effort straight at Gomes.But history was made in the 37th minute when Jonathan Woodgate was unable to rise high enough to cut out an Guedioura cross from the right and Deeney took one touch before sliding the ball beneath Konstantopoulos to net his 20th of the season for the third campaign running.An under-pressure Albert Adomah shot into the side netting as Boro looked to get back on terms after the restart, but it was their opponents that were soon beginning to ask the majority of the attacking questions.Ighalo fired at Konstantopoulos after turning his man on the edge of the penalty area before Daniel Tozser and Ben Watson both saw well-struck efforts deflected behind.But in the 65th minute Watford doubled their advantage with a stunning second goal.The ball was played into Ighalo on the edge of the 18-yard box from the left and the striker took a couple of touches to turn away from Woodgate and onto his left foot before unleashing a wonderful shot that flew past Konstantopoulos and into the far corner.Guedioura almost made it 3-0 in equally impressive fashion with a cushioned lob from the edge of the area that was dipping in until it was superbly tipped behind by the Boro keeper.last_img read more

TAKE YOUR PICK: DONEGAL HOTELS FOR SALE OR TO RENT

first_imgONE FAMOUS Donegal hotel has gone on the market at a knockdown price – and another is up for rent!The Fort Royal Hotel overlooking the beach at Rathmullan has an asking price of just €1.5M.The House was built in 1805 by Charles Rae. He retired here after being wounded while serving in the British Navy with Admiral Lord Duncan. It was during his time in the Navy that he visited the Caribbean Island of Martinique, and he named the house after the capital as it was then known, Fort Royal. Sitting on a six acre site, the hotel is being sold with fixtures and fittings as a going concern.If you have €1.5M to spare, give Dermot Rainey a bell on 074 912 2211!But if you fancy just running a hotel, then the Letterkenny Court Hotel on the town’s Main Street might be for you.The owner Sean Lyne lives in Co Clare and is looking for an experienced person to rent the premises – including 58 rooms and 26 apartments. Again Dermot Rainey from Sherry Fitzgerald Rainey is your man.He said: “The Letterkenny Court is not for sale. The current owner is simply considering renting the hotel to a suitable tenant as he lives down the country.“It is a perfectly good business and is being offered for rent as a going concern.”TAKE YOUR PICK: DONEGAL HOTELS FOR SALE OR TO RENT was last modified: March 3rd, 2011 by gregShare 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

Slaven Bilic reveals huge double boost for West Ham

first_img Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio are set to return to action for West Ham West Ham’s bid to move out of the bottom three has been given a huge boost with the return of Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini.Antonio looked set for another spell on the sidelines when he pulled up with a groin injury against Tottenham last weekend.But the speedy winger has made a speedy recovery and is in line to face Swansea on Saturday, along with Argentinian playmaker Lanzini, who has been out for a month with a knee injury.“Lanzini is back in the squad,” said manager Slaven Bilic.“And Michail Antonio’s injury wasn’t that bad. There was always a chance he would be available for Swansea and it was like that.“He trained with us Thursday, so he’ll also be in the squad.”The Hammers lost their first three matches, but bounced back with a win over Huddersfield and a draw at West Brom before the 3-2 defeat by Spurs.Bilic sees the visit of the Swans as a “crucial” chance to get more points on the board ahead of the international break.“It’s very important to get a win,” he added“Three points would lift us a few places up the table, give us confidence, stability and good motivation. I would call it crucial.”Bilic also confirmed West Ham have accepted an FA misconduct charge following the melee at the end of the Spurs match.“It was a derby game, the players were in a special state of mind,” he said.“It wasn’t anything nasty or deliberate, with someone with a cause to hurt the opponent. it was all part of the game.“But on the other hand the FA has to draw the line and not have too much of a grey zone when it comes to that.“We will accept the charge because you can’t deny there was a bit of pushing.” 1last_img read more

Vodacom Bulls raise funds for education

first_img18 January 2012The 2012 Vodacom Super Rugby season is fast approaching, and the Vodacom Bulls are preparing for the kick-off on the weekend of 24-25 February by using a pre-season match to raise money for matriculants to pursue tertiary education.On Monday, the Blue Bulls Company announced a three-year partnership with the Polokwane Municipality aimed at generating funds for first-year students from disadvantaged backgrounds.The charity drive will begin at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on 11 February, when the Bulls take on the Toyota Cheetahs in a pre-season fixture.The venue hosted four matches in the 2010 Fifa World Cup. That same year, the 41 733-seater stadium played host to a highly successful warm-up clash between the Bulls and Lions. Now the organisers are hoping for another big turnout from rugby fans for the clash against the Cheetahs.‘Inspire youngsters’Blue Bulls Rugby Union Louis president Louis Nel said: “I think that the success of the Vodacom Bulls in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition, as well as the popularity of our players and franchise, will boost the Polokwane Municipality and inspire the youngsters to follow their dreams.“We are proud to work in conjunction with Polokwane on an initiative that is dear to our hearts and we are confident that we will make a significant impact on the lives of our future leaders.”Polokwane Mayor Freddy Greaver said the Bulls set a trend of high standards and expectation when they played the Lions in the city, which has resulted in a demand for more by the rugby public in his municipality.“The Vodacom Bulls have started a culture here in Polokwane, which continues to grow,” reckoned Greaver.‘Loved and admired’“The players are loved and admired by our rugby-starved residents, and after having experienced such a memorable game last year, they want more.“I have no doubt this warm-up game will be a success and I’m grateful to the Blue Bulls Company for paving the way to a bright future for our young learners, most of whom are unable to afford tertiary education. I’m confident that this initiative will change the lives of many of our matriculants and result in success stories in the years to come.”Both the Bulls and Cheetahs are expected to field their strongest teams for the match on 11 February as both sets of players fine-tune their performances for the start of the Super Rugby season.Not only will students benefit from the contest, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union amateur club in Limpopo will also be a beneficiary.Golf DayIn addition, the Blue Bulls players have committed themselves to a Golf Day in conjunction with the Polokwane Municipality later in the year to raise additional bursary funds for learners.Tickets for the game range from R80 behind the poles, to R100 for open stand tickets, to R120 for grandstand seats. They will be available at the stadium and through Computicket. Various hospitality opportunities will also be available in the impressive Skyboxes/suites.Parking tickets will be on sale at Computicket for R20, while hospitality tickets will be sold from the stadium.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more