Restoring our national pride a matter of national importance

first_imgDear Editor,Regarded by many as one of the finest buildings in the Caribbean, and claimed to be the most beautiful example of Gothic architecture in the capital city of Georgetown, Guyana, City Hall is in dire need of extensive repairs and restoration. That is a fact no one can deny.After years of neglect and lack of maintenance, this 128-year-old magnificent structure, built in the 19th century between 1887 and 1889, has been allowed to ‘fall apart’ before our very eyes. Claimed to be the most beautiful example of Gothic architecture, it has become a landmark for tourists visiting Guyana.How could this have happened?Unable to prevent the further deterioration and possible collapse of this historical heritage site, allegedly due to resource constraints coupled with the lack of maintenance over the years, there can be no excuse for further delay. After restoring local democracy in 1994 following its electoral victory in 1992, the PPP/C restored local democracy to its rightful place. Those who try to deceive portray a different story.This is a matter of national importance, and must be given the priority it deserves. The City Hall is not only a National Treasure, but is also regarded as a World Heritage Site.Mr. Francis Maude, a specialist Conservation Architect, conducted a public session at the Regency Hotel last year, where plans for the new design were outlined at a session organised by the National Trust of Guyana.Mr. Raghunandan Krishnanand, a Guyanese anthropologist by profession, and I participated in the discussions, which included Ms. Nirvana Persaud, the CEO of the National Trust; the Head of the Guyana Heritage Society; a representative of the National Archives; students of architecture from the University of Guyana, and their lecturer Mr. Hernandez.Representatives of the University of Florida explored using the latest 3-Dimensional laser technique to investigate how to proceed as accurately as possible with the preservation of this deteriorating structure.A meeting was later held this year at Moray House, located at the corner of Quamina and Camp Street, where they presented and discussed their findings.The final two-day workshop held in May 2018 was aimed at saving the historic but decrepit City Hall, as the final plans were presented to participants.The Guyana National Trust, in collaboration with a team headed by Mr. Francis Maude, and Mr. Ed Morton whose specialty is structural engineering, and including Ambassador of the European Union Delegation, Jernej Videtic, were participants; as were the Mayor, Town Clerk and City Engineer, among others.According to the Head of the National Trust, Nirvana Persaud, who launched the session, the aim of this workshop was to focus on preparing a comprehensive restoration and sustainable conservation management plan for the restoration of City Hall.This Plan, funded by the European Union (EU), was intended to guide City’s Hall refurbishment, and its sustained preservation is now ready for implementation. Town Clerk Royston King had reportedly stated this of workshop on Wednesday: “An estimate that was done years ago had put the repair works at more than $400 million, which would have increased significantly over time.” The city, it was reportedly said, will be exploring a public-private partnership to fund the works, and is expected to consult with various stakeholders soon.It is now in the national interest to implement this plan as a matter of national importance.So, where we do go from here needs serious consideration if we are to succeed in a project of this magnitude.The recommendation on the way forward in the form of a motion presented at the statutory meeting of the Council held on Monday 23rd July 2018 was jettisoned by the Mayor, who had chaired a special meeting earlier.The Mayor insisted that the motion was not necessary, as a decision to form a broad-based committee with her as the head had already been made.Issued with the threat of forcible eviction, I decided to leave in protest. Not to be undone, the Mayor, apparently in a fit of anger, ordered the City Police to escort me from the Chambers out of the duly constituted statutory meeting, and also to escort me out of the compound in what I consider unwarranted and highly unprecedented action.This is certainly not the way to achieve unity at the level of the Municipality.It is recommended in the aborted motion that it is essential that this structure be restored and maintained in its original vintage state as far as possible. Steps to be taken to achieve success in the actual rehabilitation of this project should include:1. Establishing a broad-based action committee to plan implementation;2. Efforts to garner needed resources;3. Transparent and accountable mechanisms to ensure efficient and effective monitoring and implementation.It is further proposed that the above process must involve consultation with important stakeholders at all levels and stages of this operation, emphasising integrity and checks and balances be put in place to ensure integrity and proven track records of contractors be first established.It is further recommended that this broad-based action committee be composed of nominees from the Georgetown Municipality; Central Planning and Housing Authority (CHPA); Central Government, including the Parliamentary Opposition, the Guyana National Trust, The European Union, Civil Society, Private Sector, the Guyana Heritage Society, and the Diaspora.This is the Georgetown Municipal Council’s dilemma. Things are falling apart both ‘literally and figuratively’ as it prepares for the upcoming Local Government Elections scheduled for the 12th November 2018. This is not an issue of garnering funds alone, or even votes; much more is involved. As the saying goes, ‘there is more in the mortar than the pestle can pound.’The Kitty Market renovation, which is still incomplete after nearly three years of slothful activity, with little or no accountability of money spent, scope of work undertaken, or a comprehensive work report or plan seen or examined by full Council, is still not available to Councillors, much less citizens.The citizens of the Municipality of Georgetown are anxious for change and development. We can truly make Local Government Reform the catalyst for change and development it is intended to become, once local representative democracy is given a chance to evolve and grow rather than being stymied on almost a daily basis.The Restoration of City Hall is a project of national and international Importance, providing an opportunity for all of us to work together to make this a dream we can realise.The refusal to accept the re-submitted Motion on the Restoration of City Hall, and the futile attempt to silence me as a duly elected Councillor at the last Statutory Meeting from presenting views on how we should proceed with the restoration project is not new.The real issue of why I left the meeting in protest is the view that there should be a decision for a broad-based committee to be established and headed by the Mayor, Her Worship Patricia Chase Green. This does not stand, since the Special Meeting from where this recommendation was made was non quorate.In other words, this decision is not valid, since there was no quorum when it was made (see minutes of Special Meeting held on Thursday July 12th in the Council Chambers. After being silenced again, I left, saying clearly to all present, ‘I am leaving this meeting in protest.’ As a result, the meeting lacked the required quorum. This is the issue being contended. It makes me wonder where we are heading.Yours sincerely,Khame Sharmalast_img read more

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Recap: The Philly 360° Annual Creative Ambassador Event

first_img Last week, Philly’s leading trendsetters and tastemakers came out to Northern Liberties for the 2012 Philly 360⁰ Creative Ambassadors announcement. The ultra chic, new spot Tendenza was filled with a who’s who in Philly, including Mayor Michael Nutter, Charlie Mack, Cathy Hughes of Radio One, Ukee Washington of CBS 3 and The CW Philly, Rich Medina, Rakia Reynolds, MoShay LaRen, the legendary Dexter Wansel, Carvin & Ivan, MPrynt, Laiya St. Clair and many others who came out to show their love for Philly 360⁰ and the new 2012 Creative Ambassadors (see listing below). DJ AfroDJiak  mixed it up on the ones and twos, and a few of our new ambassadors performed. Up and comer Cody Wise took the stage with special guest Dexter Wansel to break down the Philly sound with a mash up of hits that have come out of here. Then, Curt Chambers previewed songs from his new album “One Way Ticket” and had the entire room on lock with his voice and guitar skills. Shout out to our partners and sponsors: CBS 3, The CW Philly, KYW Newsradio, Crown Royal Black and Cescaphe Event Group! Check out the video below and the photo slide show! The 2012 Creative Ambassadors: Nnamdi Asomugha of the Philadelphia Eagles, Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Andre Harris, Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Vidal Davis, Grammy-nominated songwriter, artist and musician Curt Chambers, Power99’s DJ Diamond Kuts, DJ and judge on BET’s Master of the Mix Vikter Duplaix, Interscope recording artist Cody Wise, on-air personality for WRNB and celebrity media coach Dyana Williams, producer Andrew “Pop” Wansel, Project Runway designer Kristin Haskins Simms, music business entrepreneurs Mike McArthur and Jerome Hipps, music business entrepreneur Aisha Winfield, media entrepreneur and Billboard’s 2011 30 Under 30 honoree Brandon Pankey, business entrepreneur and owner of Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge Keven Parker, photographer Whitney Thomas, artist and fashion designer Serena Saunders and classical singer Veronica Chapman-Smith. And, check out the video below that played at the event with past ambassadors and friends of Philly 360 (like DJ Jazzy Jeff) introducing the 2012 Creative Ambassadors. Philly 360° Annual Event: Ambassador Nnadmi Asomugha of the Philadelphia Eagles(D. McDowell for GPTMC) Additional Press: Philadelphia Eagles Nnamdi Asomugha on Talk Philly Phillymag.com’s The Philly Post The Philadelphia Tribune two.one.five magazine Philly Chit Chat 100.3 WRNBlast_img read more

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12 days agoMan Utd, Liverpool target Kai Havertz admits Low transfer influence

first_imgMan Utd, Liverpool target Kai Havertz admits Low transfer influenceby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz says he’ll speak to Germany coach Joachim Low for advice on his transfer.Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been attributed with interest in the 20-year-old, who starred for Germany in their recent draw with Argentina.The attacking midfielder netted 20 goals across all competitions for Bayer last season and is seen as one of the next big things on the continent, leading to rising interest in his signature.“I listen to many people but in the end it will be my decision. “I will embrace any advice Low will give me because he has a lot experience – it wouldn’t be smart to not listen to him,” he said. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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After Missouri President Resigns, Ben Shapiro Says It’s Time To End All College Football

first_imgA general view of Missouri's football field.COLUMBIA, MO – OCTOBER 19: A general view of Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium during the game between the Florida Gators and the Missouri Tigers on October 19, 2013 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)Monday morning, University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned amid student protests – namely one by the football team – regarding inaction despite mounting racial tension on campus. Some have criticized the team. Others are focusing on how powerful football players, collectively, have become. One person – political commentator Ben Shapiro – has a completely different take.Shapiro, who is the editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire (among other responsibilities/titles) penned a piece Monday afternoon, calling for the end of college football. He believes that the loyalty to universities is now “centered” around loyalty to sports performance. Here’s more:College sports are a relic of a time when students actually engaged in being, you know, students. As in studying things. Studying, perhaps, to gain a skill set besides kicking a football or tackling another man or tossing a sphere through a hoop.It soon became clear, however, that loyalty to universities centered around loyalty to sports performance. Donors began giving cash to football programs in order to generate enthusiasm about the university more broadly. And in order to boost those football programs, universities began recruiting the best players without the best academics.Shapiro goes on to discuss his views on the financials of college athletics, recruiting practices, and academics. You can read the whole column here.Clearly, this isn’t going to happen anytime soon – college football is far too important to too many people. What do you think, college football fans? Are any of Shapiro’s points valid?last_img read more

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Polaris Shipping Orders Bulker Trio at HHI

first_imgzoom South Korean Polaris Shipping Co. has reportedly ordered three very large iron ore carriers at compatriot shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Yonhap news agency said citing an announcement from the shipping company.The order for 325,000-ton iron ore carriers comes as the shipping firm seeks to replace some of its aged ships, especially following the recent sinking of its converted VLOC-Stellar Daisy.Further details of the said deal were not revealed.The company could not be reached for comment on the order at the moment of publication of this article.World Maritime News reported earlier this week that Polaris Shipping has expanded its fleet with a newbuilding, the 2017-built 209,000 dwt Capesize vessel TRF Charleston.Under the deal signed on June 5 with US-based TRF Ship Management, Polaris Shipping paid for the newbuilding USD 46.2 million.Over the past several months, the company was embroiled in controversies regarding its converted fleet as hull cracks were found on several of its ships putting the respective conversion process under spotlight.Busan Coast Guard raided the company’s premises on May 25 in relation to the sinking of the ill-fated Stellar Daisy as part of the recently launched investigation into the incident.Initial findings indicated that the converted ship had split in half following a hull crack that caused shifting of cargo and subsequent sinking of the bulk carrier. However, an official cause of the incident has not been provided yet.Polaris Shipping’s fleet is comprised of 31 bulk carriers.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

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Womens Resource Society begins One Bag Challenge

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society has started their One Bag Challenge.The challenge sees residents donate single or multiple bags of groceries to the society and challenge another person or business to do the same. All contributions from the challenge will be given to needy people and families in the community.The society’s Outreach and Health Coordinator Jenn Brown explained that while food is important, cash donations and household goods like diapers are also welcome to the cause. “Everything we do we have to be accountable for,” said Brown. “We’re accountable for our community and our community relies on us as much as we rely on the community. It’s like helping hands.”Brown added that if residents are donating food that non-perishables are best due to their long shelf life.“There are all kinds of things we do to try and keep our community safer. if people have food they won’t be trying to rip off a store.”The one bag challenge runs until the end of August. Residents looking to get involved can bring groceries to the Women’s Resource Society at 10051 100 Avenue.last_img read more

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Council will decide Monday if Festival Plaza project moves forward in 2019

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council could decide to put the Festival Plaza project on hold until 2020 due to grant funding.A report being presented to Fort St. John City Council on Monday, is asking for direction from Council on whether to put the project on hold or proceed with construction in 2019.The City was going to apply to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to fund 75 percent of the construction costs.  Unfortunately, the City won’t know if they receive the grant until the fall of this year and construction can’t start before the grand it awarded. The grant could provide up to  $1,925,462 in funding for the project, but there is no guarantee that the grant will be approved.  The City has yet to announce what the total cost of the project would be.Council will decide on Monday if construction should start in 2019 or if the project should be pushed to next year.  The Festival Plaza will be located on the northwest corner of Centennial Park on the grounds next to 100th street and 96 Avenue. The Plaza will act as a visual entrance to the City of Fort St. John when travelling in from the south.last_img read more

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Decreasing amount of wells to be drilled in update from Petroleum Services

first_imgCALGARY, AB – The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), shared its third update to its 2019 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, announcing that it is decreasing its forecasted number of wells to be drilled (rig released) across Canada.2019 shows 5,300 wells (May 2019 revision) to 5,100 wells drilled. PSAC based its updated 2019 Forecast on average natural gas prices of $1.60 CDN/Mcf (AECO), crude oil prices of US$57.00/barrel (WTI) and the Canada-US exchange rate averaging $0.76.On a provincial basis for 2019, PSAC now projects 2,425 wells to be drilled in Alberta, down from 3,532 wells in the original Forecast. The revised forecast for Saskatchewan now sits at 2,035 wells compared to 2,422 wells in the original Forecast, and Manitoba is forecasted to see 230 wells or a decline of 25 in well count for 2019. Approximately three percent (3%) more wells are expected to be drilled in British Columbia, with PSAC’s revised Forecast now at 395 wells, up from 382 in the original Forecast. PSAC President and CEO Gary Mar said, “Compared to last year, the total number of wells expected to be drilled is lower by 31%. These are levels not seen since the lows of 2015 and 2016 at the onset of the downturn.“It is clear that our industry continues to face challenges for a healthy recovery.  News of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion being approved for a second time following its purchase by the Government of Canada has not restored investor confidence in Canada. Concerns remain that it will be built in a timely fashion to open market access beyond the US and with the passage of Bills C-69 and C-48 by the federal government, support for this industry at all in Canada is in question. For the first time in Canada, sovereign risk is an issue.”Mar continued, “On the provincial front in Alberta, while optimism is evident with a new government in office, curtailment of oil production remains in place and continues to be a factor against new investment. Across both Alberta and B.C., gas production is also hampered by low prices, again from lack of market access beyond the US until LNG Canada is in service.“The result of these challenges is that capital, companies, equipment and crews are leaving Canada for better opportunities, with the US an easy choice as it forges full-speed ahead with a supportive government and a welcoming and competitive business environment. Having only one customer for our oil and natural gas has not been a good strategy for Canada. Canadians are losing out on jobs and $15-25 billion per year in lost revenue that could be used for social programs such as health care, education and roads as well as for R&D and innovation.”last_img read more

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Govt appoints ViceAdmiral Karambir Singh Navy Chief

first_imgNew Delhi: Vice Admiral Karambir Singh was appointed as the next chief of naval staff, succeeding Admiral Sunil Lanba who retires on May 30, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday. Vice Admiral Singh, who is at present serving as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam, will be the first helicopter pilot to become Chief of Naval Staff.He will take charge as Navy Chief on May 31, the Defence Ministry said. Before taking over as FOC-in-C Eastern Naval Command in October 2017, Singh also served as Deputy Chief as well as Vice-Chief of Naval Staff. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe government made the selection following a merit-based approach and did not go with the tradition of appointing the seniormost eligible officer to the post, official sources said. Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command Vice Admiral Vimal Verma, who is senior to Singh, was among the contenders for the top post, they said. Besides Verma, the other contenders for the Navy Chief’s post included Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, FOC-in-C of Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar and FOC-in-C of Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, the sources said. While appointing the Army Chief too in 2016, the Government did not follow the long-held tradition of going by the seniority. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayBorn on November 3, 1959, Singh was commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 1, 1980. He earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1982 and has flown extensively on Chetak and Kamov helicopters. Singh, who is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, and College of Naval Warfare (CNW), Mumbai, hails from Jalandhar and is a recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM). In his career spanning over 37 years, the Admiral has commanded four ships — Indian Coast Guard ship Chandbibi, missile corvette INS Vijaydurg, guided missile destroyers INS Rana and INS Delhi. Singh has also served as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. His other important assignments include Chief of Staff of the Tri-Services Unified Command at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area (FOMAG).last_img read more

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NYAY funds will come from pockets of chor businessmen Rahul

first_imgBokakhat (Assam): Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday that funds for the ambitious ‘NYAY’ scheme will come from pockets of “chor” businessmen favoured by ‘Chowkidar’ Narendra Modi. Addressing a rally in the Upper Assam town of Bokakhat, Gandhi said the Congress, if voted to power, guarantees to deposit Rs 72,000 annually to 20 per cent poor Indian families under the NYAY scheme. “Modi had promised to deposit money in the accounts of people, but he has done it only in the case of some rich businessmen like the Ambanis. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “The money (for NYAY scheme) will come from the pockets of ‘chor’ (thieves) like Anil Ambani, to whom Chowkidar Narendra Modi has given money during the last four years… We will deposit it in the accounts of the poor, particularly women, irrespective of their caste, class or religion,” he said. The party has promised to roll out the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme, under which Rs 72,000 would be deposited in bank accounts of the women belonging to poor families, annually. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The Congress chief said the rich people employ ‘chowkidars’ (watchmen), which the prime minister has turned into for them. He said the country was witnessing the worst unemployment scenario and promised that his Congress party would ensure facilities for youths to start their own businesses. He also said the Congress, if voted to power, would not allow the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill. The Congress will restore special status of northeastern states and bring in an industrial policy to make the region a manufacturing hub, he said. Gandhi also said the Congress committed to ensuring minimum wages for tea garden workers that PM Modi had failed to fulfil. Polling for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam will be held in three phases, starting April 11.last_img read more

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