Vendors call for Town Clerk, Mayor’s removal

first_imgStabroek Market vendors along with the Guyana Vendors Market Union staged a protest in front of City HallProtestors assembled outside City Hall on Fridayon Friday, calling for the removal of the Mayor, Town Clerk and Chief Constable.Scores of vendors picketed City Hall, calling for the removal of Town Clerk, Royston King, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and Chief Constable Andrew Foo from their posts.They expressed frustration at the recent decision to have them removed from the Stabroek Market Canopy area, claiming that they were not consulted – a frequent habit.One vendor vented her frustration to Guyana Times, stating that they need urgent discussions with King: “We want talks with City Council, with Royston King because they are hiding and they are denying the union; we need to have talks, they need to have on the table discussions with the vendors.”President of the Guyana Vendors Market Union, Eon Andrews, told this publication that the protest was prompted due to the many empty promises made by the Mayor and Town Clerk.He further questioned the authenticity of the promises to build a more modernised market to facilitate vending: “There was a structure that was presented to this council and to the city to be built behind of Stabroek where that wharf is deteriorated and now we are not hearing anything about it, so I think that it is a lot of talks. Unless the leaders at City Hall aren’t removed, then there will be nothing that will change because they have no vision,” he said.President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, Russell Gonsalves also joined the protest in support of the vendors and questioned the Town Clerk’s refusal to engage in discussions with the Market Union. Gonsalves declared: “My question is why is it that the town clerk don’t want to meet with the head of the union for discussions as it relates to going forward; because you can’t just move people out of the roadway where they are accustomed to plying their trade.”Other vendors told this publication that they feel victimised by the Chief Constable, Andrew Foo, especially after a rifle was found under the Stabroek Market Canopy some days ago.last_img read more

Guyana, India Foreign Ministers meet on the way forward

first_imgSpecialty Hospital ProjectForeign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge recently had a meeting with his Indian counterpart regarding the future of the Specialty Hospital Project. The meeting comes at a time when the Guyana Government is unsure it will move ahead with the project.The meeting was held on the sidelines of the recently concluded 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York. This was confirmed by Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingham.An artist’s impression of the Specialty Hospital“I understand that the Foreign Minister of Guyana spoke to our Minister of State, that is Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in New York but we don’t know what the further developments (are)… but they talked about what is to be done,” the High Commissioner told Guyana Times on Sunday.Back in June, Minister of State Joseph Harmon had disclosed that the Government of India, which is funding the Project via an US$18 million Line of Credit, had indicated that it was ceasing worldwide business with Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited, which was handpicked by the coalition Administration, after the company was blacklisted by the World Bank until 2020 over fraud and corruption practices.The donor country had also expressed preference for a fresh tendering process to be conducted to select a new Indian-base contractor to execute the project.At the time, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government said that it wanted to make certain enquiries of the Indian Government before a definitive course of action was adopted on the Specialty Hospital Project, located at Lilendaal, Greater Georgetown.However, Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton told this newspaper last month that the project has been “shelved” and contact has not been made with the Indian Government.On Sunday, Norton confirmed that the project remains “shelved”.He had previously explained that Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge was supposed to take the lead in that process since making contact with another country falls under his purview.Meanwhile, in a previous interview the Public Health Minister had pointed out that the impending discussions with the Indian Government will determine whether Guyana will go ahead with the project using a new contractor or have it scrapped entirely, given all the troubles the project has faced.“There is a chance it might come off the table because that Hospital Project is not doing well with how it started and what’s supposed to be… The next step will now be for us to have direct contact with the Indian Government and decide whether it will continue with the loan or not,” Dr Norton had stated.Moreover, the Public Health Minister had said too on a different occasion that because of the overcrowding situation at the Georgetown Public Hospital, government is exploring ways of address the problems. One such solution that came up was the expansion of the city hospital and Dr Norton disclosed that they were looking at potential sites including the land of the Specialty Hospital.“I am personally thinking about a maternal child hospital or an enhancement or annex to the Georgetown Hospital… (but) we have to look for another area, and we’re contemplating using the foundation of the Specialty Hospital that was supposed to be built,” he told this publication back in July.On the other hand, last month the Minister was quoted in the State’s newspaper as saying that there are talks of constructing a Paediatric Hospital at the Specialty Hospital site and that the proposal was before Cabinet for consideration.While in opposition, both the APNU and AFC had strongly opposed the US$18 million Specialty Hospital Project and upon its assumption to office last year, decided to scrap the project, which had already expended some US$4 million on sme preliminary works.Government had said that the remaining $13.8 million would be better served if it is used to improve the country’s primary healthcare service by upgrading three hospitals across the country.However, the Indian Government subsequently indicated that Guyana should go ahead with the Specialty Hospital and it will provide a separate loan for the primary healthcare project. The process is currently ongoing for government to acquire the second loan.The three hospitals considered for upgrade are the Bartica Hospital, the West Demerara Regional Hospital and the Suddie Public Hospital. The project will see modernisation and rehabilitation at three major hospitals.In 2012, the contract for the Specialty Hospital Project was awarded to India-based Company, Surendra Engineering Corporation Limited, which was tasked with designing and building the state-of-the-art facility.However, citing instances of alleged fraud and delays, the Donald Ramotar Administration in 2014 announced that it had terminated the contract of the India-based Company and subsequently filed a lawsuit against it for failing to honour its obligations. Guyana is yet to recover close to $1 billion from the company.last_img read more

MAN UNITED STARS SET FOR DONEGAL CHARITY CYCLE

first_imgA host of former Reds, including Clayton Blackmore and Denis Irwin (pictured), will be in Co Donegal in June – to raise money for charity.Blackmore, Irwin, David May and ex-Celt Brian McClair will all jump in the saddle at various points over the eight-day challenge to ride the 592 miles from Mizen Head in Cork to Malin Head.Funds raised by participants in the Big Red Bike Ride will help assist Manchester United Foundation, Irish Autism Action and Hearts & Minds Challenge continue to deliver life-changing services. Although Irwin told ManUtd.com he’s “not a cyclist at all”, the Reds legend, now 46, is looking forward to the challenge.“It’s a great opportunity to see the best parts of Ireland and raise some money,” he said. “I’ve seen quite a bit of Ireland before but never on a bike! I go to the gym quite a bit and I run, but I’m not a cyclist at all.“I’ll have to do a little bit of training. You always get a few who think it’s the Tour de France, but it’s just to raise money so I’ll be back in the pack and enjoying it. I hope lots of supporters join us because it should be an inspiring experience in aid of charities that do so much work to support children and families.”For more information, or to get involved in the Big Red Bike Ride, visit www.heartsandmindschallenge.org   MAN UNITED STARS SET FOR DONEGAL CHARITY CYCLE was last modified: January 25th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:CHARITY CYCLEMalin HeadManchester Unitedlast_img read more

Letterkenny 24/7 members participate in gruelling event at Croagh Patrick – Pic Special

first_imgLetterkenny Triathlon Club NotesDonegal Senior Cross Country The club had seven members running in the Donegal Senior cross country held at a wet and mucky Finn Valley on Sunday.  In the men’s senior race, Shane McNulty was part of the winning Finn Valley team while there was also solid performances from Danny Mooney and Sean McFadden.In the ladies race Natasha Kelly was first club woman home finishing in 7th position overall, just one week after her Ulster success. There was also impressive performances from Siobhan Gallagher, Fionnuala Larkin and Niamh McDaid.Tollymore Ultra Marathon/MarathonThree Club members took the trip to County Down for the Tollymore Ultra marathon and marathon. The event was based within the Tollymore Forest park and the route followed a series of forest trails. Club chairman Nick Fowell took on the grueling 40mile Ultra event finishing in 10th position in a time of 06:14:27.Colin Dean and Patrick McNulty took on the 26.2mile marathon event, finishing in 03:46:29 and 04:32:12 respectively.Sea 2 SummitTwelve 24/7 members travelled to Westport over the weekend for the Sea 2 Summit adventure race. Over 2,500 competitors took part in Irelands largest adventure race involving cycling, running and hiking.Five members took part in the Supreme 56k event which included a grueling climb to the summit of Croagh Patrick. Paddy McGee was first club member home in a time of 03:15:03, giving him a fantastic 18th position overall, a good start to his Race 2017 preparations. Jason Black, Paul Lynch and Philip Robinson also completed the supreme course while Sharon Black was the only woman to tackle the longer distance.Anthony Sweeney was first 24/7 member home in the 30k Spirit race crossing the line in a very impressive 01:57:37 finishing 40th overall in a field of over 1400 competitors. Anne Robinson was first club woman home in the 30k Spirit race finishing in 02:27:43, improving her time by 14minutes on last year’s result. Martina McDaid was next over the line followed by the clubs newest member, Karol Harvey, Fiona McDaid Stephanie Dunleavy and Cathy Harvey.Club Christmas Party The club Christmas party has been scheduled for Friday 2nd December in Arena 7 at 8pm. Tickets will be available at club swim sessions or from committee members.Full Results:Donegal Senior Cross CountryShane McNulty                 36:16 Danny Mooney                 36:44Sean McFadden                               37:49Natasha Kelly                     20:12Siobhan Gallagher           20:55Fionnuala Larkin               21:40Niamh McDaid                  23:27Tollymore Ultra Marathon/MarathonNick Fowell                         06:14:27Colin Dean                          03:46:29Patrick McNulty                                04:32:12Sea to SummitSupreme Results:Paddy McGee                   03:15:03Jason Black                         03:38:04Paul Lynch                           03:47:54Sharon Black                      04:09:32Philip Robinson                 04:27:11Spirit Results:Anthony Sweeney          01:57:37Anne Robinson                 02:27:43Martina McDaid                02:38:18Karol Harvey                      02:42:44Fiona McDaid                     02:43:28Stephanie Dunleavy       02:46:27Cathy Harvey                     02:57:57Letterkenny 24/7 members participate in gruelling event at Croagh Patrick – Pic Special was last modified: November 16th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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

Boss: I’ll stay even if R’s go down

first_imgMark Hughes says he will stay on as manager even if QPR are relegated.Rangers are heading for a return to the Championship after a miserable run of results and there is sure to be speculation about the Welshman’s future should they go down.But Hughes insists he intends to remain at Loftus Road regardless of which division Rangers are in next season.He said: “I’m here to do a job and build a club, and to make sure that in the long term Queens Park Rangers is a healthier club both on the field and off it.“That’s still my aim and I fully expect – irrespective of what happens – to be here. That’s my intention.”Click here for the QPR v Arsenal quizFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Steven Duggar begins spring as favorite to secure key job with Giants

first_imgSCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–Giants outfielder Steven Duggar has fewer than two months of major league experience and just 141 at-bats to his credit.He’s dealt with brutal injuries in each of the last two seasons and his playing time has been cut short due to stints on the injured list.But as position players begin trickling into Giants camp in Scottsdale, Duggar finds himself with a rare opportunity. His manager, Bruce Bochy, thinks he could be the Opening Day leadoff hitter.“I think you look at the …last_img

Students tackle ag’s soil erosion problem

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It won’t be long until farmers across Ohio will be out in force planting corn and soybeans. As these men and women prepared for the planting season, Columbus-area 6th and 7th graders and Ohio State University students and professors tackled one of agriculture’s top issues: soil erosion.Last week, several students from Central Ohio began testing soil samples to determine the overall soil health as part of the 2017 4-H Ag Innovators Experience (AIE). They used tiny robots to design, build and test no-till planting systems designed to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint.The program, developed by Ohio State University and sponsored by Monsanto Company, focuses on engaging youth to learn about soil health, sustainable environmental practices and the need to be good stewards of the land. The challenge is expected to reach 5,000 youth across five states, including Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois and Michigan.Andrew Armstrong, who, along with his family, farms 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans in Clark County, was part of the recent event held at the Ohio 4-H Center in Columbus.“I wanted to give these students an idea of some of the practical applications that we use on our farm for no-till,” Armstrong said. “I showed them what our planters look like and talked about how we go about managing our fields. We also went over exactly why we practice no-till, giving examples of runoff and soil erosion and even its advantages from an economical standpoint.”The students were given the task to design a no-till planter for the future that would better serve a farmers needs, as well as the ecosystems needs.“It was kind of interesting to see the students thinking about weight distribution and thinking about ways to fix where the planter might have had some issues getting across the field,” Armstrong said. “Their conclusions were that the no-till soils were a lot healthier of a soil than where the soil was conventionally tilled.”Armstrong said being a part of this learning session was important to him because students of this age group are beginning to understand what is going on in the world and with the task their generation faces of feeding more people with fewer acres, he hopes some of them will find a passion in some realm of agriculture to help in that effort.The 4-H AIE seeks to help youth develop workforce skills and drive innovation using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In three years, the program has already engaged nearly 25,000 youth and succeeded in making STEM concepts relevant and fun with activities across select states in the Midwest.last_img read more

RW Q&A: Singapore’s CIO weighs in on IoT and smart cities

first_imgSingapore, the booming Asian city-state, is one of the world’s leading smart cities. With technology-driven government projects stretching back decades, it remains at the forefront of global smart city innovation.To further its ambitious Smart Nation 2025 plan, Singapore recently launched two new agencies focusing on innovation-related aspects of this complex smart city strategy, one of which is the GovTech agency.Chan Cheow Hoe is the new deputy chief executive of GovTech and, more sweepingly, is also Singapore’s Chief Information Officer.Chan Cheow Hoe, Singapore’s CIO and Deputy Chief Executive of GovTechChan spent more than 20 years in the financial services sector, running technology at such banks as Barclays and Citibank. However, two years ago he signed on as the Singapore government’s CIO, bringing with him a wealth of private sector knowledge.He sat down with ReadWrite to outline the approach he brings to Singapore’s Smart Nation strategy and to the new GovTech agency, which is a unique mix of governance, technology strategy and multi-agency implementation. His comments have been edited for length and clarity.ReadWrite: As Singapore rolls out its Smart Nation 2025 plan, what are some of smart city revelations you’ve had?Chan: In the past, we tried to build ourselves out of problems. But now many cities are realizing they can’t build any more roads, because there’s not enough space. There’s a limit to the number of train lines or hospital beds you can build. This is where the new technology comes into play. Smart Nation is about using technology and data effectively to optimize the use of the scarce resources and infrastructure that you have.See also: White House plans to help with smart city projectsRW: Can you give me an example of one of Singapore’s successful smart city initiatives?Chan: If you look at smart transportation, the question is how you make public transportation more efficient. So we took all the bus transportation data, and we used concentration analysis to develop the BeeLine Singapore app. We started mining the data and got these dynamic routes planned out, then brought it to the bus companies who needed to become comfortable with these routes. And then people could go online and suggest other routes we could begin drilling into, because it’s also about engaging the community to help you solve these problems. And it also uses Open API so entrepreneurs can develop apps.RW: Speaking of Open API, how can governments foster innovation using open data?Chan: Everyone talks about open data but it’s not free. Good quality, dynamic data costs money. Ultimately if data is so useful, and generates economic value and it costs the government a lot of money to provide, it creates big questions plaguing many countries. At what point do you start charging for data? And what kind of data should be charging for? Perhaps using a freemium model, where you consume free for seven days and beyond that it’s going to charge you. But those models aren’t available yet, and many countries are currently assessing it.RW: What are some obstacles that governments face when rolling out smart city programs?Chan: The biggest challenge most nations face about smart cities, and I’m going to be a bit controversial here, is everybody is doing POCs (Proof of Concept), but nobody is able to scale up. There are POCs everywhere. You go to one street there are 20 smart lampposts and 20 smart bins and it stops there. So what happened to the rest? Twenty smart dust bins isn’t going to improve the lives of citizens. So its more important to ask how do we make use of the data and the infrastructure to create impactful applications that improve the lives of citizens and businesses.RW: So how can programs like Smart Nation improve the lives of citizens, particularly the poor or vulnerable?Chan: We have to be realistic about things that this initiative isn’t going to solve all the problems in Singapore, it’s not going to cure cancer. So we are very selective about how we can use technology to solve certain problems. Like with Singapore’s rapidly aging population, how do you provide the right level of tertiary care using technology? An important part is about data again, how you transmit data from one point to the other. But one of the big realizations is that it’s just not about technology, it’s about acceptance. How do you get care personnel to convince old people that it’s ok to be wired up for two hours a day? There’s a lot of change management there. A lot of smart city initiatives focus on technology for the sake of technology but it has to be humanized.RW: As CIO to an increasingly wired country, how do you handle the ever-evolving security threat to Singapore’s vital systems?Chan: This is a game you can never win, because you’re always playing catch-up somewhere. It is a prioritization exercise, because it takes a lot of money to protect everything. That’s when you determine which are the critical and non-critical systems and you offer different levels of protection. Some systems go down for two days and life goes on, other systems go down for 2 hours and life is very painful. We isolate some systems, building resiliency into some systems becomes important. But it cannot be one-size-fits-all because it costs you too much money and there will never be enough resources to handle that.RW: As Singapore is becoming increasingly connected, how are you addressing threats from the Internet of Things?Chan: It’s a serious problem, because a lot of IoT devices have zero protection, it’s a simple pass-through. There is a mystification around Internet of Things but security for IoT is actually very simple. Is the data classified or is it non-classified? If it’s non-classified the data can go anywhere. It depends on what data you’re carrying and what level of data it is in terms of privacy and security. The question of when the data becomes sensitive is really where the challenge is. At some point when you process data it could become sensitive, either from a privacy point of view or a security point of view. The processing, that’s where the security comes in. But you can’t protect every single end point, because that is impossible.See also: Blockchain drives Wanxiang’s $30B smart city projectRW: As the country’s CIO how have you managed to tackle the perennial government challenge of getting multiple departments and agencies to collaborate effectively?Chan: For a lot of these whole-government projects that touch multiple agencies, normally we do it centrally, with the funding through the Ministry of Finance. Because if you expect every agency to fund it themselves, these projects will take five years to do. But how do we get agencies to conform, when they are always protective of their systems and their data? For many of these multi-agency problems we’ve given up on trying to integrate systems. So we changed the architectural approach so that instead of integrating systems, we integrate with data.RW: How did this data integration approach work for example with Singapore’s OneService app, which handles citizen-reported problems for 14 different government agencies?Chan: We built a centralized software that does the routing, we built a front end and then we plugged everything through using API calls. We didn’t touch any of their systems, because integrating 14 agency’s systems would be impossible. This is instead integrating systems with data. We built a system of engagement, and we left the system of records, with the legacy systems just becoming a database. This is a concept I brought from the banks. We built this in just 9 months and people were shocked because in the past this would have taken five years.RW: What practical smart city advice would you give to other governments?Chan: Our architectural concept really helps us because it takes away the splitting of hairs between “my system and your system”. That is why we are moving very aggressively towards an API economy. All I care about is if an API is there I can build an app. That’s why we have a government API gateway where we funnel all these APIs through. That allows us to build front-end, user-centric apps. As needs change, they are more agile this way. And over time these systems become quite easy to replace, because there are very few processing rules in there any more, so the migration process becomes easier too. Otherwise, if you keep building on these legacy systems one day it will just be a Frankenstein. Related Posts Tags:#cyber security#Internet of Things#IoT#open API#Singapore#Smart Cities For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Citiescenter_img How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Donal Powerlast_img read more

Court rejects plea to withdraw Banjara settlement case

first_imgA Sessions Court at Shahpura in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan has rejected the State government’s plea to withdraw the criminal case registered in 2014 for a violent attack by a mob on the houses of 42 Banjara families at Dhikola village. The houses were vandalised and burnt and property worth lakhs of rupees was destroyed in the attack.The nomadic Banjara community has welcomed the court’s order and criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party government for siding with the perpetrators of violence.Houses torchedThe high-profile case made headlines in August 2014 when a mob armed with sharp-edged weapons poured kerosene on the houses and properties of Banjara community and indulged in violence. The houses, motorcycles and tractors of 42 families were burnt in the incident.Of the 141 accused booked in the case, 46 were arrested and they remained in jail for over four months. The trial against them has been continuing in the court of Shahpura’s Addtional Sessions Judge since 2014.However, the Principal Home Secretary passed an order on November 23, 2016 in favour of withdrawal of the case from the court “in public interest”. Peeved by the decision, activists questioned the State government’s intentions and registered a protest.A delegation of Banjaras met Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria and senior officers with the demand to not withdraw the case, saying it would amount to injustice to the victims of violence. However, the State government went ahead and filed the application in the court.‘Charges grave’Lawyer Suresh Srimali, appearing in the court on behalf of victims, argued against the withdrawal of case and contended that the charges were grave.last_img read more

Anti-naxal expert K. Vijay Kumar, B.B. Vyas named advisers to Governor

first_imgChhattisgarh-cadre IAS officer B.V.R. Subrahmanyam was on Wednesday appointed as the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir in place of B.B. Vyas, who along with super cop and anti-Naxal expert K. Vijay Kumar were named advisers to Governor N.N. Vohra, according to an official communique. The names of advisers were cleared by the Union Home Ministry after the state was put under the Governor’s rule on Wednesday, following withdrawal of support by the BJP to the PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti’s three-year old-coalition government on Tuesday. The state Assembly has been put under suspended animation. The 60-year-old Mr. Vyas, who is considered as a trusted lieutenant of the Governor, was last month given a one-year extension in service, beyond May 31, 2018, as the chief secretary of the state. The Personnel Ministry has also amended the service rules to provide extension to Mr. Vyas beyond 60 years of age of superannuation. Till the new rule came into force, the state chief secretary retired on attaining the age of 60 years.Mr. Vyas, who was due to superannuate in November last year, was given two extensions of three months each till May-end, to remain the chief secretary.Another adviser appointed was K. Vijay Kumar, a 1975-batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre. He had earlier served in the Kashmir Valley as Inspector General of BSF 1998-2001 when the border guarding force was actively involved in the counter-militancy operations.Sixty-five-year-old Mr. Vijay Kumar had shot to fame when he headed the Special Task Force (STF) for a long time and strategised operations that culminated in the elimination of the dreaded sandalwood smuggler Veerappan in October 2004. He was appointed as Director General of the world’s largest paramilitary force – CRPF – after naxals killed 75 personnel in Dantewada in 2010. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last night approved that the services of Mr. Subrahmanyam, a 1987-batch IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre, are placed at the disposal of the Jammu and Kashmir government, an order issued by Union Personnel Ministry has said.Mr. Subrahmanyam is at present the additional chief secretary (Home) in Chhattisgarh.Mr. Subrahmanyam, considered an expert in internal security matters, has served as private secretary to former prime minister Manmohan Singh during 2004-2008.He worked with the World Bank during June 2008 and September 2011 before joining again the Manmohan Singh-led PMO in March 2012. Mr. Subrahmanyam was in the PMO after Narendra Modi became the prime minister in May 2014. He stayed in the PMO till March 2015 and then moved to his cadre state Chhattisgarh.last_img read more