Central Government should intervene to mediate – Hinds

first_imgParking meter project…BY ALEXIS RODNEYWith no clear solution seemingly on the horizon for the predicament the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has found itself in regarding the controversial parking meter project, political commentator, Dr David Hinds has suggested that it could be a wise move if Central Government steps in but only to mediate.Since the announcement of its plans to introduce parking meters in the city, there has been widespread division within the new Council, which was elected just about three months ago. Councillors stand divided, many branding the project as one blanketed in secrecy.While there has been some intervention by Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, and more recently a call for greater transparency by President David Granger, there is nothing much central government can do since the Council is led by the local government system.Hinds, speaking to Guyana Times recently said, while he agrees that central government should not be involved in local government decision, he believes in the instance of the parking meter fiasco, central government should intervene to mediate the situation.“Clearly there are two views on the Council; one led by Sherod Duncan and then the Mayor and others. The parking meter issue is of national importance and central government should intervene, not to direct, but to mediate”, the political commentator told this publication.Political commentator, Dr David HindsHe continued “I do believe that Government should keep out, but there are times when you have crises like this, central government should use its influence to try to mediate the situation. I think it is of national importance”.Meanwhile, Hinds said the controversy raises two fundamental concerns. One has to do with transparency, which he said resounds as a problem in Guyana’s politics for a very long time, while the other speaks to consultancy.“If you have had Local Government Elections and you are talking about turning a new page, then you have to operate in a way that is different from the past and one of the problems we have had with local government on the past is the lack of transparency. So I think on the issue of transparency, the City Council, the mayor and those who support her, need to be more cognisant of that need”, he said.According to Hinds, there is also need for consultancy. “If you are building parking meters, it’s the first time you are going to do that in this country. It is a fundamental issue. I think the first thing you should have done was have consultation with the people. That’s the first thing. Then having had consultation, at the level of the Council, arrive at consensus”.He said important matters like these should be left to the majority. Hinds remarked that “there must be consensus, so that you consult with the people, let them know the upsides and down sides, hear from them what they feel and then you sit down as a caucus of the Council and decide on some form of consensus.” He also noted that the lack of consultation has obviously led to the lack of transparency; an issue inimical to democracy.Meanwhile, the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) in a statement on the issue said it notes with much concern the ongoing controversy surrounding the contract for the proposed parking meters in Georgetown. The entire issue reflects negatively on the newly elected City Council which had promised a clean break with the old ways of operation.“There seems to have been very little if any meaningful consultation which then leads to a lack of transparency. [The] WPA is alarmed that a project of such magnitude was not first discussed with the citizens of the city who would, in the long-run, be affected by its implementation. The habit of making decisions above the heads of citizens have become so endemic that even a change of guard at City Hall has not made a difference,” the party said in a statement.It said the questions over the suitability and integrity of the proposed contractors and the apparent secrecy in which the matter was handled raise serious questions of transparency. “Transparency is a central tenet of democratic governance and in light of the revelations of the forensic audits, [the] WPA is shocked that the Mayor and her team seem so dismissive of charges in this regard.”The party said it feels that the initiative should be reviewed. There is no credible reason being advanced for the haste to install the parking meters. The proposed fee of $500 per hour, for example, is exorbitant. In this regard, he said the party has agreed with the intervention of Central Government.“While we are against the intrusion of the Central Government in the affairs of Local Government, WPA feels that in light of all the question being raised along with the seeming arrogance of the supporters of the project such intervention is justified. We, however, hope that it is one of mediation and aimed at reinforcing accountability rather than seeking to override the will of the Council”.The party said it salutes those Councillors who have stood up against the majority to bring the matter into the open – this is a refreshing sign. We however urge that, in the spirit of cooperation, the two factions seek consensus going forward.last_img read more

Foster’s film takes top spot at box office

first_imgThe David Cronenberg crime thriller “Eastern Promises,” had an impressive per-screen average of $36,845. The movie, about Russian mobsters in London, stars Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts. Also opening well was “Across the Universe,” the Julie Taymor film inspired by The Beatles’ music. The film, starring Evan Rachel Wood, earned $685,000 for a per-screen average of $29,783. The Iraq war film “In the Valley of Elah,” with Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron, opened with $138,000 on nine screens. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters. Final figures will be released today. 1. “The Brave One,” $14 million 2. “3:10 to Yuma,” $9.2 million 3. “Mr. Woodcock,” $9.1 million 4. “Dragon Wars,” $5.4 million 5. “Superbad,” $5.2 million 6. “Halloween,” $5 million 7. “The Bourne Ultimatum,” $4.2 million 8. “Balls of Fury,” $3.3 million 9. “Rush Hour 3,” $3.3 million 10. “Mr. Bean’s Holiday,” $2.7 million160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Gary Gentile THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The Jodie Foster vigilante film “The Brave One” earned $14 million at the box office to become the weekend’s top film. The Warner Bros. tale of revenge appealed to older women as well as men who might naturally be expected to enjoy the violent, R-rated film. “Revenge movies often appeal to men, but the fact that Jodie Foster was in it brought in the women,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. The Warner Bros. film displaced last week’s number one film, “3:10 to Yuma,” which placed second. “After the summer, your midweek business drops substantially and you become a weekend business,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. head of distribution. Fellman said the film should stand up well against youth-oriented films that will fight it out next weekend – “Good Luck Chuck” and “Resident Evil.” Three smaller films hoping to build Oscar buzz finished out of the top ten, but did well. last_img read more

This XI to ‘prove’ themselves for Sunday? Liverpool line up v Augsburg predicted

first_img 14. Jordan Henderson (central midfield) 17. Mamadou Sakho (centre back) 4. Kolo Toure (centre back) 18. Alberto Moreno (left back) 2. Nathaniel Clyne (right back) – click the arrow above, right, to see the predicted Liverpool line up against Augsburg 22. Simon Mignolet (goalkeeper) 11 11 10. Philippe Coutinho (attacking midfield wide) 11 11. Roberto Firmino (attacking midfield centre) 7. James Milner (attacking midfield wide) Three days after the second leg of Liverpool’s Europa League game against Augsburg, Jurgen Klopp is looking to collect his first trophy as manager.The Reds take on Man City at Wembley on Sunday, but the German insists he will not rest his big stars in Europe.“It is an opportunity to prove [yourself] for Sunday. That is how it should be,” he said.However, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Joe Allen are out of the Augsburg game.Some fans have suggested Steven Caulker may get a look in with Kolo Toure’s legs being kept fresh for Wembley, but that would mean changing a back line that has kept successive clean sheets.Who do you think will play? Let us know if you agree with this XI. 11 15. Daniel Sturridge (striker) 11 11 11 11 11 23. Emre Can (central midfield) 11 11last_img read more


first_imgThe Donegal Ladies U16 squad in Termon today. Pic Donal SharkeyU-16 LADIESDONEGAL 7-09 Armagh 3-05 at Termon.DONEGAL’S U-16s had a great win over Armagh in Termon today. Big games from Mairead Coll of Fanad and Zoe McGlynn of Convoy plus the introduction of Erica Wilson at half time and Cathy Ward to the forwards added the bite to get the girls over the line.It was a nervous first half from the home side, with the teams level after 15 minutes at 1-02 apiece.Donegal edged a point in front just before the break but with changes in second half the girls worked well and deserved their victory. Team. Aoife McColgan, Maeve McDaid. Aishling Howe. Aishling McHugh. Lara Sweeney. Michelle Logue. Mary Ward. Mairead Coll Capt. Laurem McElwaine. Grace Nolan. Niamh McLaughlin. Zoe McGlynn. Caraigh McGuinness. Lianne Boyce. Subs used. Erica Wilson. Cathy Ward. Megan McGee. Ellen Campbell.  LGFA NEWS: DONEGAL U-16s IN CONVINCING WIN OVER ARMAGH was last modified: March 30th, 2014 by John2Share 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:Armagh LadiesDonegal Ladies U16sTermonlast_img read more


first_imgDonegal’s two Sinn Féin TDs Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Pearse Doherty have described any closure of the Gynae Ward  at Letterkenny Hospital as “an attack on the dignity of the women of Donegal”.A facebook page entitled “Save the Gynae Ward at LGH” has already mobilised hundreds of women across the county to contact their public representatives and speak out.Deputies Mac Lochlainn and Doherty said the plans are unacceptable. “The reported closure of this ward is totally unacceptable and has been understandably met with outrage and despair by women across the county. This ward has rightly been described as a safe haven for women who have suffered the pain of miscarriage as well as providing a female only environment of support for women undergoing surgeries such as hysterectomies, bladder repairs and all the female cancers.“We have already been contacted by women telling their own personal stories of how much this service means to them”.The Sinn Fein TDs say they fully endorse the emerging campaign against this closure.“We stand with the women of this county against what is an attack on their dignity at a time of distress. We would encourage women across the county to back the campaign and let their local Fine Gael and Labour elected representatives know that they must demand that their Government colleague, Minister of Health, James Reilly intervene. “The Minister has issued directives to senior HSE officials and hospital managers to implement severe cutbacks with no guidance as to what services are untouchable. This reported closure has moved beyond the threshold of decency and must be reversed immediately” PLANNED CLOSURE OF GYNAE WARD IS AN ATTACK ON DIGNITY OF WOMEN – SINN FEIN was last modified: August 20th, 2012 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:GYnae WardLetterkenny General HospitalPADRAIG MACLOCHLAINNPearse Dohertylast_img read more


first_imgA female Garda received injuries to her face and neck during an assault in Drumkeen.The case was heard at Letterkenny District Court.A case of assault causing harm against the man allegedly responsible for the incident was mentioned at Letterkenny District Court today. John Breslin, 57, of Drimnacarron, Frosses is charged with the incident which took place on February 26th last.The court heard how Garda Michelle Kelly had to take six days off work after her ordeal.She had to be treated for soft tissue injury to the right side of her face.She also suffered form shoulder and neck pain and is still attending a physiotherapist.Judge Denis McLaughlin told the court that he was refusing jurisdiction in the case and adjourned the matter for a book of evidence until February 3rd next.FEMALE GARDA RECEIVES INJURIES TO HER FACE DURING ALLEGED ASSAULT was last modified: December 2nd, 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:ASSAULT CAUSING HARMEVIDENCEFROSSESGardaJOHN BRESLINJUDGE DENIS MCLAUGHLINlast_img read more

Emergency roof works announced for Downings school

first_imgScoil Naomh Bríd Na Dúnaibh is to get important repair works to the roof of the school, it was announced on Monday. Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh confirmed that the Department of Education Building Unit approved emergency works at Scoil Naomh Bríd in order for essential repairs to be carried out on the roof.”McHugh said he was happy he was able to deliver the announcement of the emergency works to the school. Dúirt an tAire: “Táim thar a bheith sásta a bheith i nDún na Gall inniu agus a bheith abálta an dea-scéal a thabhairt don fhoireann i Scoil Naomh Bríd, nó Scoil Ceann an Leargaid, mar atá aithne uirthi fos.“Labhair mé leis an príomhoide Terri Bn Uí Mhairtín inniu faoin obair.”The Donegal TD visited the school last December as staff and pupils looked forward to marking its 50th anniversary this year, 2019.He said: “I am very happy to be able to announce this work has been given the go-ahead. It was vitally important that the repairs were sanctioned as they were badly needed. “I saw first-hand how essential these works were. And the school are also preparing for new windows and doors to be fitted thanks to the excellent Summer Works scheme so, all in all, the improvements will make a huge difference.“It will ensure a better future for the school and the local community. Rural schools and small schools are at the very heart of communities up and down the country and support for them is support for the families living in the area.”Emergency roof works announced for Downings school was last modified: June 10th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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

Wits unit aims to demystify lightning

first_img9 January 2014About 500 people are killed by lightning strikes every year in South Africa – and scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg are determined to lower that number.The lightning research team, which the university formed in mid-1960s, are “really pushing the boundaries of what is known about lightning deaths and injuries”, National Geographic says on its website.“South Africa has known about the risks of lightning since 1973, when we introduced a ‘risk analysis process’ that stated exactly how dangerous lightning could be,” said engineer Andrew Dickson. “But we are still somehow accepting around 500 deaths a year.”The group of electrical engineers, anthropologists and biomedical experts are conducting experiments to understand how the human body reacts to a lightning strike, the website reports.Their findings could help doctors treat victims more effectively and improve education about lightning safety, helping to prevent casualties and even deaths.“This work has potential to give scientists a way to look at the complex human body in a very different way,” Patrick Randolph-Quinney, a forensic anthropologist at Wits, is quoted as saying. He hopes emerging research will help doctors better treat lightning injuries and assist forensics investigators in pinpointing the cause of death from a lightning strike.People in the rural areas of South Africa are particularly vulnerable as they work outdoors and the poor infrastructure provides minimal protection. There is also a lack of education about the dangers of lightning, the magazine says.Other work being done at the university highlighted by the magazine includes:Injuries: electrical engineering graduate student Harry Lee is comparing the electrical conductivity of 56 different human tissues to find out why some parts of the body are damaged more than others.Education: the group at Wits is compiling lightning safety rules to help educate the public. Two engineering students have created a computer game aimed at primary school pupils on how to be safe when there is a thunderstorm.“We don’t live in America,” Ken Nixon, a Wits university electrical engineer said. “[The popular rule] ‘when thunder roars, go indoors’ isn’t going to work because for many, indoors isn’t a sturdy building. So the way we approach these education tactics is going to be fundamentally different.”Read the full article on NationalGeographic.com: Unraveling the mysterious impacts of lightning on the human bodySAinfo reporter and National Geographiclast_img read more

A place to call home

first_imgRepurposed shipping containers and green building methods have provided the space to set up a caring and nurturing environment for 80 orphaned and abandoned children. There is also opportunity for dignity through the home’s environmental concerns. (Image: Dennis Guichard)• Anna MojapeloFounderNew Jerusalem Children’s Home+27 10 224 0460pro@newjerusalemchildrenshome.orgMelissa Jane CookTwo sisters have created an orphanage that has changed the lives of children in ways that they could never have imagined. Because of their efforts, these youngsters, who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks, are housed in a caring, nurturing environment that ensures their positive growth and development. And it all takes place in repurposed shipping containers.A progressive architectural structure that is acting as a regenerative space, the facility has made a name for itself, particularly as it is made out of shipping containers. Containers were chosen as the main building material for the orphanage as they were 25% cheaper than using traditional brick and mortar.A shipping container for a homeNew Jerusalem Children’s Home is located on a 26 000m2 agricultural smallholding in Midrand halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria. It aims “to become one of the best children’s homes in Africa in the provision of holistic and integrated quality care to orphaned, abandoned, abused, traumatised, and vulnerable and HIV-positive children”.The orphanage was founded in 2000 by Anna Mojapelo, an advocate, businesswoman and community developer, and her sister Phina Mojapelo, a social worker with vast experience in working with children, youth and HIV/Aids. The sisters are actively involved in the home.Anna donated the property, which has been transferred into a trust for the benefit of the children. Facilities comprise nurseries for the babies, dormitories for the older children, communal kitchen and dining facilities, a crèche, a Montessori pre-school, play and sports facilities, and a substantial permaculture vegetable garden.Each unit is a vibrant, inspiring space, according to Anna. There is enough space for 12 children and a house mother, and two houses share a communal kitchen, dining and lounge area. “These are the homes of these children and they not only make the orphans feel loved and special, but also help to stimulate their stunted development.”Constructed out of 28 repurposed shipping containers and recycled materials, the houses use solar power for lighting and hot water, and grey water is recycled for irrigation. With the exception of drinking water, the house is off the water grid. Constructed out of 28 repurposed shipping containers and recycled materials, the houses use solar power for lighting and hot water, and grey water is recycled for irrigation. With the exception of drinking water, the house is off the water grid. (Image: Dennis Guichard)An architect’s visionNew Jerusalem commissioned 4D and A Architecture to expand the space and develop new housing and facilities. The container complex is environmentally friendly. Architect Sean Wall and his team solved problems of waterproofing and insulation, and installed a functional sanitation system.4D and A’s Mia Anfield wrote in Gizmag that there were already two shipping containers on the site being used for storage, prompting the idea to use more of them for the home. Gizmag is an online journal that covers the full spectrum of new and emerging technologies. “The company had already been interested in the work of Adam Kalkin, an American architect and prefabrication specialist who was among the first to put shipping containers to use as houses. The designers, it seems, simply put two and two together.”Completed in December 2011, construction took just six months, though Anfield pointed out that there were delays caused by the arrival of materials on site, many of which were donated. The project used containers arranged vertically and horizontally.Focusing on the thermal performance of shipping containers, particularly during cold weather or on hot, sunny days, Anfield said design measures included “orientation of the building, timber screens constructed of eco-friendly composite decking, use of a roof garden for thermal mass and the inside walls and ceilings of the containers were clad in dry wall plus 50mm Isotherm foam insulation”. The containers were raised on plinths to encourage the flow of air. The old brick and mortar sleeping accommodation was converted into a new kitchen and dining room. The orphanage has also been fitting with solar thermal and photovoltaic systems.The children who live here are mostly discarded at birth, and there was some resistance to the choice of shipping containers. Anna and Phina were uncomfortable about putting abused and orphaned children in containers. However, the new structure has inspired the children into participating in keeping their home clean and recycling, even going so far as to call it a “five-star hotel”.There is a colourful, lively aesthetic at New Jerusalem. Adrienne Feldner, of the organisational sponsor Orange Babies, said: “I think it’s awful for the children to always be the recipients, to always be on the receiving end of charity and never to be in a position to give.” Their involvement in the environmental concerns of the home had “given them a sense of dignity”.All developments at New Jerusalem are centred on the education of the children and the protection of their environment. Its mission is located within an environmental sustainability framework and the home has committed to use any means possible to reuse and recycle and to minimise its carbon footprint.New Jerusalem Children’s Home provides residential care to 80 orphaned and vulnerable children, many of whom are infected with or affected by HIV/Aids. For many of the children, this is their first real home and family they have ever had. Moving into the house has given the children a new-found sense of community, pride and dignity.“Saving children is a passion. It’s wonderful to see how children grow when you know how they were brought in,” says Anna.last_img read more