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Traders vent anger at city’s decline

first_imgFacebook Print AMID threats to withdraw payment of rates and make city council bankrupt, traders did not mince their words of condemnation when they demanded immediate action from City Hall in order to save what remains of Limerick’s city centre’s retail business.They pointed to, and requested:Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up * Poor garda presence on the streets* expensive parking* dirty streets* magnificent wide paths but no footfall* beggars and heroin addicts causing intimidation* incentive for shoppers to “come into town”* first hour of on-street parking free* paint the frontages of the premises in the Opera Centre or demolish it entirely* more ground floor parkingSpeaking at a meeting with Mayor Kevin Kiely and Fine Gael councillors, they said that compared to Dublin, Cork and Galway, Limerick city is not on the map.Chief executive of Limerick Chamber, Maria Kelly, was acutely critical of the lack of co-operation and goodwill between the Limerick City and County Councils.“There is no messing in Cork’s city centre because there are gardai all over, and in terms of image, Limerick’s is the worst in the country. We have no visitors at the weekends unless there’s a big match – we need to make this a destination city. In Cork, everyone is involved – we need to do the same as what we have now is a crisis situation – people held at knifepoint in their premises is terrible”. Over 100 traders told the FG councillors that they are now literally on their knees. The mayor, on behalf of the nine FG councillors had invited them to voice their concerns which they, as the “pro business party” on the council, would take to the city manager.“We are pro-business and have to decide how best to promote you the traders and stabilise jobs,” Cllr Ger Fahy told one trader, who wanted to know what City Hall is going to do to maintain business in Cruises Street, William Street and throughout the city.Calls were made for free parking days from 11am. It was said that landlords need to be penalised for leaving their premises to run down, “when as it is, we are being served fines for €300 for putting out signage to promote our businesses”.Ger Clancy of Clancy Electrical, said his family had been trading on O’Connell since 1936. They moved to the Parkway Roundabout last autumn, asserting that they had no option as City Hall had ignored their calls for essential parking.“I now have a pup’s chance of letting this main street premises in this ghost town. We must bring in a cardboard clock system of parking which would give people a chance to set the clock for one hour free parking – this would bring people in to do three or four messages at a time”.There was enthusiastic support for another trader’s call to demolish the empty premises in the Opera Centre area.“The few businesses that are still there are isolated and vulnerable, it’s not safe to walk there and in the summer months there is a revolting smell coming from some of these buildings”,The general manager of Brown Thomas said it is essential that a major anchor sets up in the city. The meeting heard from a female retailer how she has been held at knifepoint in her shop on three occasions. Twitter WhatsApp Advertisementcenter_img Linkedin Email NewsLocal NewsTraders vent anger at city’s declineBy admin – February 18, 2010 604 Previous articleMinimum 12 hour wait for 46% of A&E patientsNext articleWorrying ‘remedy’ to drugs debt adminlast_img read more

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Soldiers influx could put strain on barracks

first_imgWhatsApp Twitter Advertisement CONCERNS have been raised among Defence Forces representatives about an expected influx of new and transferred personnel without a corresponding spend on facilities at Sarsfield Barracks in the city. Under the new organisational proposals, the Defence Forces are reducing the number of brigades which they have, and will be moving hundreds of personnel from some areas of the country to others. No personnel are expected to be moved from Limerick but it is anticipated that several hundred soldiers from Cork may be transferred to Sarsfield Barracks.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up In addition to this, the force is currently recruiting to expand its ranks by 600 in various disciplinesBut the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA,) says there is confusion about the move and has warned that infrastructure and facilities could come under pressure with the influx to Limerick city.“We would expect that this will not all happen at once, it will be over a period of time so, initially, the barracks and existing personnel in Limerick should be able to cope,” Gerry Rooney, General Secretary of PDFORRA, told the Limerick Post.But he added that further down the line, there may be serious pressure on the facilities an space at the barracks unless the department spends money on upgrading and facilitating in some areas.PDFORRA says it is “unclear” at this point whether defence personnel are going to be told where to go or if they will have choices.“We want to see our members having choice because there are many who might want to relocate to Limerick.“We don’t want to see people forced into anything. We also want to see them being given a choice of upskilling or retraining. There are some areas where we don’t have enough qualified personnel and others where we have too man. It’s a matter of matching one to the other,” Mr Rooney said.Reducing the number of personnel engaged in headquarters, admin and allied support tasks is a central element to the reorganisation process, according to PDFORRA Linkedin Facebookcenter_img NewsLocal NewsSoldiers influx could put strain on barracksBy admin – August 22, 2012 818 Print Email Previous articleLimerick to Galway train not on right trackNext articleDeirdre Lawlor has… The X Factor adminlast_img read more

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Sign of the times

first_imgFront-of-pack nutritional labelling is one of the few catering legislations that bakery retailers usually don’t have to worry about. And with food hygiene, staffing, taxes and other legal paperwork to deal with, it’s an issue few would voluntarily add to their tasks.Legally, any pre-packed food product comes under the Food Labelling Regulations 1996, which denote that “all food which is ready for delivery to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment, [should] be marked or labelled.” The requirements stipulate foods must contain a list of ingredients with a quantity indication for certain items, alongside information on storage and a best-before date.But bakery retailers are often exempt from this rule, because they frequently make a good proportion of their stock on-site, to be sold fresh on the day it was made. This means many products are also exempt, as the regulations “do not apply to foods which are not pre-packed when sold to the ultimate consumer; foods pre-packed at the request of the purchaser; or foods pre-packed for sale to the end-consumer.”Labelling benefitsThis being the case, it’s tempting to allow your unlabelled foods to enjoy a reprieve from bureaucracy, but before you dismiss labelling as unnecessary, consider also its benefits.”I believe strongly about food labelling on packaging – perhaps controversially, I believe everybody should be made to label their products responsibly,” says marketing manager Alistair Toal, of Northern Irish bakery Grahams. The family-run outlet has recently taken the move to label its products using the traffic-light system – despite the fact that many are in the red and amber range. This was part of a top-to-bottom corporate social responsibility programme. “We looked at everything from sustainability to our responsibility to the consumer,” he says. “I believe the FSA’s traffic-light system is the clearest and easiest way for the consumer to ascertain the levels of salt and fat and that’s why we chose this format.” Since labels were added to a new line, the effect on sales was difficult to quantify, but PR was positive. “Bakery items have always been seen as a treat, so we don’t think it will stop anyone buying our products,” he reasons.Grahams is urging others to follow its lead and, across the country, a number of weight-loss groups and nutritional information resources are also pressing for information on baked goods to become more widely available.Availability of dataPat Wilson, communications director of online service Weightlossresource.com (WLR) says, “It’s quite frustrating for WLR and its members to be continually told, ’Data is not available for products bought from bakeries’, while most manufacturers and brands are leading the way, giving complete information for their products.”We receive about 50 queries weekly from members asking for the calorie count of bakery products from individual bakeries and supermarket bakeries,” he adds. “We have to find the most similar item we have data for, yet we are in a position where certain outlets and products do not give basic information.”It mystifies us how supermarkets can provide very comprehensive information on their own-brand products, but not their bakery products. People do want to know the nutritional data of foods they eat.”In fact, researchers at Wilson’s have cited bakery pro-ducts as a constant bugbear to maintaining the comprehensive nature of its service, with chains such as Greggs not bothering to reply to requests, and others simply stating “no data available”.With feelings running high, it is little wonder that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has stepped in and is currently looking at how to approach the issue with bakery retailers. But for the time being, it seems bakery retailers may be caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to labelling products.”At the moment I wouldn’t advise bakeries to label nutritional values until we have more information from the FSA,” advises Jim Winship of the British Sandwich Association (BSA). “Labelling products correctly is actually quite complicated, and bakeries who put information on labels which is incorrect risk falling foul of Trading Standards.”Unfortunately, it seems that while accurate pack labelling might be easy enough for large supermarkets or sandwich packers, smaller outlets are likely to have a much harder time ensuring consistency – particularly as even a few grams’ discrepancy on an ingredient like salt could turn a well-intentioned practice into a legal risk.”Smaller outlets don’t usually have the facility to monitor what goes into their products as closely as is necessary,” says Winship. “From a large facility, such as a factory, it’s not as difficult to regulate what happens in your products. You’re also more able to offset the costs. At the moment it’s quite expensive to make the kind of nutritional analysis needed for accurate food labels.”So while consumers might be in favour of labelling nutritional content, the industry advice is to hold fire for now. The good news is that the BSA is in liaison with the FSA to introduce new regulations that will afford more leeway to bakery retailers, enabling them to list amounts as more of a guideline, rather than set quantities. Talks are also under way to formulate a ’nutrition calculator’ to calculate what to put on their labels, without having to resort to expensive ingredient analysis.All this might be a few years off, but meanwhile, the BSA is petitioning for guideline nutritional contents in poster form, which can be displayed by retailers. While these won’t list the nutritional quantities of products for specific retailers, they will provide a guide to the type of nutrients consumers might find.It seems likely that if bakery retailers are allowed to label products on nutritional content, how they are labelled will be the next topic. Subway grasped the bull by the horns this month by introducing nutrition guides at counters (see opposite). With supermarkets and the FSA battling over whether the traffic-light system or Guideline Daily Amounts are best, perhaps it’s time bakery retailers involved themselves in the debate, before the choice is made for them.—-=== Food Labelling Regulations 1996 ===Do you know how the labelling law affects you? The current regulations require that: all food which is ready for delivery to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment, subject to certain exceptions, [should] be marked or labelled with:l the name of the foodl a list of ingredientsl the appropriate durability indicationl any special storage conditions or conditions of usel the name and address of the manufacturer or packer or of a seller.Exceptions are defined as anything which doesn’t come under the class of pre-packed. So if you bake your own bread on the premises, it need not be labelled. But shipping in packed sandwiches from an external kitchen might subject you to these requirements.last_img read more

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COLUMN: NHL, USA must find balance for Olympics

first_imgThe National Hockey League announced on Monday that it had not reached a settlement with the International Olympic Committee, meaning the league will not send its players to the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The NHL was seeking more concessions from the IOC after being forced to schedule an inconvenient multi-week break in the season to accommodate its Olympians every four years.But the two sides couldn’t compromise — neither ever really seemed to try — and the league followed through on its threat to skip the Games, declaring the matter “officially closed” in a press release. For the first time since the 1994, the best hockey players on the planet will not grace the Olympic ice, and their participation in Beijing 2022 appears to be in danger as well.This was an outcome many saw coming after months of utterly unproductive negotiations between the NHL and IOC, but that doesn’t make it any less baffling. Almost every player and coach asked about Olympic participation has strongly supported it, and some, such as Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin, said they would travel to Pyeongchang even without the league’s support. With so much passion surrounding the Olympics, how can you justify barring athletes from competing for one of the greatest honors in their sport?When the announcement was made, I had to be one of the most disappointed hockey fans on the planet. Ever since Pyeongchang won its bid for the Winter Games back in 2011, I had dreamed of watching NHL stars fly around the newly built Gangneung Hockey Centre a few hours east of my hometown of Seoul. I couldn’t wait to see some of my favorite Boston Bruins skate on Korean ice, and imagined that my brain would short-circuit if I ran into center Patrice Bergeron in the Olympic Village. Alas, it wasn’t to be, and now I would only think of Bergeron as selfish if he ditched the Bs to go play for Team Canada halfway through the 2017-2018 season.There’s a lot of confusion right now about what the next step is. Teams could call on players from other professional leagues around the world (as Russia regularly does, pulling from the domestic KHL), or they could ask NHL teams to release their minor leaguers, veterans and prospects alike. But I have a better solution — one that would be a silver lining to this disappointment: full-on amateur hockey’s return to the Olympics.I’m not sure if I would want it to stick around for good, but you can’t deny that it would be exciting to return to the format that led to the greatest sporting moment in American history, at least temporarily. I’ve watched the full replay of the Miracle on Ice on YouTube far too many times for someone who was 16 years from being born when it happened, but the magic bleeds through the screen every time.“Do you believe in miracles? YES!”Of course, it’s impossible to re-create either the circumstances or outcome of 1980 and that fateful day in Lake Placid, New York. That’s what made it a miracle. But a matchup between American and Russian amateurs would likely result in a rematch of the 2017 World Juniors semifinal in January, when the U.S. triumphed in a 4-3 nail-biter. Despite that tournament’s surprisingly sizable and passionate fanbase, however, the Olympics would take the rivalry to a new stage.And unlike in the 2014 Games, when NHL superstars such as T.J. Oshie and Pavel Datsyuk starred, the players would be relatively anonymous. For most viewers, it would simply be nation versus nation — with players without other priorities like earning a contract extension and staying healthy for the rest of the season.It’s an intriguing scenario, especially since U.S.-Russia tensions are probably at their highest now since 1980. President Donald Trump may be buddies with Russian president Vladimir Putin, but the allegations of election meddling have soured ties between the two countries. And they are guaranteed to meet in Pyeongchang, having been drawn in the same pool. If they both advance from Group B — which they are favorites to do — they could meet for a second time, possibly with a medal on the line.Sure, it would have been great to watch the cream of the crop, the likes of Patrick Kane and Auston Matthews, face off against Ovechkin. But there are also plenty of reasons to get excited to watch young Americans such as Charlie McAvoy and Troy Terry potentially spearhead Team U.S.A. Both wowed at the World Juniors, coming up huge in the gold medal game against Canada. McAvoy tallied 2 points — a goal and an assist — as the two teams went to a shootout, where Terry converted the States’ lone successful attempt to win the championship.Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee McAvoy or Terry would be allowed to go to Korea, either. McAvoy recently signed a tryout Amateur Try Out contract with the Bruins and could also miss the Olympics if he sticks at the NHL level. Terry remains on the University of Denver roster as the Pioneers play in the Frozen Four this weekend (McAvoy and Boston University were bounced in the quarterfinals), but the Anaheim Ducks own his rights after drafting him in 2015. If they opt to sign him early out of college, his availability for Pyeongchang would be in doubt. Considering he is just a sophomore, however, it seems like nothing would stop Terry from donning red, white and blue next February.And that goes for most of this year’s junior roster, most of whom are still competing at the collegiate level. With the teams’ already-established chemistry, amateur hockey at the 2018 Games would likely be a much more fluid and exciting affair than a tournament with random collections of minor-league veterans. And like the 1980 team, many of the American amateurs will go on to have fruitful professional careers. After that, who knows? Maybe we’ll see the team again as All-Stars when the NHL returns to the Games — hopefully in four years.Ollie Jung is a junior studying print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor for the Daily Trojan. His column, “Jung Money,” runs every Thursday.last_img read more