3 ministerial advisers paid $530,000 each monthly

first_img…Govt justifies D’Urban Park ProjectThe allocations advanced from the Contingencies Fund on the D’Urban Park Project generated a lively back and forth in the National Assembly on Monday when Opposition members of Parliament questioned the almost half a billion dollars used on the facility.Aerial view of the D’Urban Park ProjectIt was recalled that back in April, when the project was handed over to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, there was a public pronouncement that it would have only required an additional $150 million to be completed.Substantive Minister David Patterson told the House that while this is true, when the Ministry assumed responsibility of the project, the scope of works was widened.He said the $150 million is included in the $406 million that was advanced for the completion of the D’Urban Park Project.Patterson told the House that the ministry had in fact prequalified 16 contractors to finish the project—all of whom have since been paid in full.He said the D’Urban Park project will shortly be handed over to the Ministry of Communities which will also assume responsibility for the annual maintenance of the facility, along with utilities and security.Countering the arguments that the activity could not have been urgent and unforeseen, Minister Patterson reminded that it was only in April that the project was transferred to his ministry and as such there was no allocation made in the original Budget for 2016.Farcical proceedingsThroughout the course of the consideration of the $931 million advanced from the Contingency Fund, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo could be repeatedly overheard calling the proceedings ‘a farce.’The constitutionality of the expenditures was also routinely questioned by former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, and other PPP/C MPs who were of the view that government’s resort to the Contingency Fund to make the advances is in fact unlawful.The advances were nonetheless approved by Government using its majority vote in House.The House also considered and approved $2 billion to be used from the Consolidated Fund, in order to meet varying expenditures related to Parliament Office, the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, the newly Gazetted Ministry of Public Telecommunications, the Public Health Ministry, the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Guyana Defence Force and the Ministry of Public Security, among others.Among the allocations for which clarity was sought was $69 million sought for the National Assembly, inclusive of which is a $20 millon allotment for overseas conferences and seminars for MPs and staff as well as monies to pay for telephone and internet charges for MPs.The amounts sought on the Financial Paper 2/2016 according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan, is for monies not yet spent.He was at the time responding to former Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai, who queried additional funds being sought for the hosting of Heritage Month activities, slated to commence in a matter of days.InternetSukhai observed that the money was being sought just days before the month of activities and suggested bad planning on the part of the Minister and Indigenous Affairs Sidney Allicock.He told the House that there has been an increased level of request for Indigenous Peoples wanting to take part in the 2016 activities.Public Telecommunications Minister Catherine Hughes was also questioned on an $88.7 million allocation for the provision of Internet and services, and she explained that this was undertaken since the failed fibre optic cable could not be used.She told the House that the expenditure is considered as sustainable since all government agencies will be urged to utilise the service. She said too that $18 million of that allocation will be used to set up a pilot programme for the provision of internet services to hinterland communities—traditionally unserved by Internet Service Providers (ISP).Ministerial advisersOther allocations approved for that ministry included monies for the security of a number of LTE Sites which forms part of the infrastructure for the administration’s eGovernance project.Rental of buildings and DHL charges were also catered for under the supplementary being requested in addition to amounts for equipment maintenance, utility charges and salaries for ministerial advisors and a consultant.The Ministerial Advisors were identified as Journalist, ICT Enrico Woolford, Lance Hinds and Attorney Geeta Raghubir, each at a salary of $530,000 per month in addition to other benefits including vacation time.The minister told the House that the consultant is yet to be hired and that this person would be employed to conduct negotiations with the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) since the full liberalisation of the sector, essentially breaking the longstanding monopoly is yet to obtain.$500MThe settlement with BK International and Puran Brothers jointly over the management of the Haags Bosh Landfill, also attracted the attention of MPs.Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan informed the House that the total settlement $1.7 billion—is to be paid to the entities as a joint venture and as such there was no breakdown of how the money would be divided between the two.The initial claim made by the Joint Venture, according to Bulkan, was for almost double the amount agreed on as a settlement.Attorney General Basil Williams told the House that the issue was one inherited from the previous administration. His predecessor, Anil Nandlall, was adamant that the payments should not have been made since the matter has since been appealed in court.Nandlall asked: “why did they proceed to settle the matter without the hearing and determination of their own appeal.”Williams replied it “is because of the mess that was left by the last government.”Communities Minister Bulkan, in an effort to provide clarity, said the administration felt that to wait, the sum that would have had to be paid would have been more than the settlement agreed to by the government.last_img read more

In a New Year’s Eve Special, Liberia’s ‘Dynamic Duo:’ the amazing bassist, Ernie Bruce,…

first_img(Part 1)The “tango,” (a ballroom dance of Latin American origin) has always been performed by couples. That no more and no number less than a duo (two) could effectively showcase the intricacies (sophistication, difficulty) of the dance, leaves those of us who will never master the dance with the strong belief that the tango might not be an undertaking for the weak and feebleminded. The well-known saying: “it takes two to tango” could have gotten started as nothing less than a suggestion – that anyone attempting to tango alone on the dance-floor had allowed himself to be fooled into thinking that the hard-work that the tango demands of two people, working vigorously together, could be done as easily and as successfully, by one person. And that might be why that simple but straightforward statement to the foolish – “not to tangle with the tango all by oneself,” has taken on a life of its own. It would go on to become a household word, meddling in the affairs of millions who find nothing better to do than to go about believing that they are bigger than what they really are. “It takes two to tango” did not stop at that point: It took on a life of its own, smashing its way into other cultures, focusing the attention of people all over the world, on the unexpected things that other people did – or didn’t do – in matters that involved almost everything other than dance!Soon, film, television, poetry and drama, began idealizing (celebrating, making special) that simple, short and snappy maxim or saying: “it takes two….” In the process, the media often targeted and exposed the ubiquitous (found everywhere) “I am the man” braggart, telling himself and others that he was stronger or more important than his partner, and was able to carry his share of the work as well as his partner’s. Today, through song, the soundness and power of that expression has been put to music. People the world over now share that almost unrivaled ditty, (a short, simple song): “No Man Walks Alone.” Take a look:No man is an island,No man walks alone.Each man’s joy is joy to me,Each man grief is my own.We need one another:So I will defendEach man as my brother—Each man as my friend!Before moving on let’s step back a little and revisit the title-fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire in the early to mid-1970s. It might teach a few lessons about how to avoid jumping into things with one’s mind made up ahead of things. George Foreman entered the ring that fateful day, full with all of the answers: Answers to questions he clearly had failed to ask himself; or answers to question that he had failed to ask someone else. Muhammad Ali was the underdog, and George Foreman was going to beat him to death. Forman did a good beating: But, it was himself he had beaten up. It was he who almost died – from the shame of unimaginable defeat. Foreman is a changed man today; thank God! But the question: “What if?” still remains.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

20 admin employees dismissed – source

first_imgWales Estate closure…as only 2 office staff remain on the jobBy Shemuel FanfairWhile many in the sugar belt continue to cry out about the reduced finances owing to the December 2016 closure of the Wales Sugar Estate, many more workers and their families are dealing with a similar plight following the entity shedding even more staff. Guyana Times was told on Tuesday that in the past few months, an additional 20 Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) office staff attached to Wales Estate were terminated.The Wales Sugar EstateA source revealed to this publication that apart from nine sluice attendants functioning in the West Demerara area, only two office staff were retained. According to information disclosed, one of the staff members is working in welfare to mainly look after pensioners while another is stationed in the Finance Department. In addition, it was revealed that there are a few guards employed and about six persons attached to ensure the estate’s turbine continues to function for electricity purposes.Guyana Times reported earlier this year that operators within the Mechanical Tillage Department are currently being phased out. A GuySuCo source revealed in February that some eight members of staff attached to the Wales office department, who were mainly women, were set to be retrenched.The skeletal numbers seen today are a steep reduction from the 1000-plus workers that toiled when Wales was in its heyday. However, with the end of preferential deals in the European market and rising production costs, sugar has been seen as unprofitable. This was enshrined in Government’s rationale when it highlighted that Wales would be closed. However, many in the business sector, political Opposition and other stakeholders including those directly affected by the State’s downsizing of the industry had called for Government to first consider how the loss of jobs would impact on workers, residents and the wider village economies.This newspaper visited the once famous Wales ‘Friday Market’ where vendors were seen packing up their stocks before 13:00h for the day. They indicated that this has been the case for the last several months, but they are still hoping that Wales could be saved.Additionally, former Wales cane harvesters have been waiting since late 2016 to receive their termination benefits after they refused to take up employment at the Uitvlugt Estate. This refusal was formed on the basis that they cannot be compelled under the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act (TESPA) to travel beyond 10 miles from their original place of work. Uitvlugt is some 22 miles away from Wales.Meanwhile, over 4000 workers attached to Enmore, Skeldon, Rose Hall were given dismissal letters by December 2017.However, some of the former Enmore and Skeldon workers were temporarily re-hired under plans by Special Purposes Unit (SPU) to re-open the two estates as the State-owned body eyes private investors. This revelation has prompted stakeholders to push Government to rehire all of the dismissed sugar workers on the contention that the sugar industry remains a viable one.last_img read more

Day Three at the Women’s Amateur

first_imgDays One and Two leader Nicole Forshner of Banff shot a 76 on Thursday, to fall to one over par, and a share of fourth place.Three golfers are tied for the lead heading into the final day, they are: Alejandra Llaneza of Mexico City, Stacey Keating of Victoria, Australia, and Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ontario. Those three all sit at one under par.Fort St. John’s Kirby Dreher had a good day that included an eagle on the 8th. She ended with a one over 73, to leave her at 9 over for the tournament, and tied for 19th spot.- Advertisement -Kirby is also one of four players on team B.C. at the event. Heading into the final day of the team competition, it’s Ontario in front at a combined 6 over par, and B.C. 5 strokes back at 11 over. Quebec is in third at 19 over par.last_img

Alaska Highway closed at Kilometre 433

first_imgNo further details are currently available. An update is expected within the next hour.- Advertisement –last_img

NFL NOTEBOOK Culpepper to get shot at Dolphins

first_imgHe played in only four games with Miami before being shut down by injuries last season, his only one with the team. But his mere presence adds considerable intrigue to a game between teams off to struggle-filled starts. “I know he would love to get a shot to play in this game,” Oakland coach Lane Kiffin said. “Not because it’s Miami, but just because he’d love to get a shot to start and he has great confidence that he would play extremely well.” Culpepper was released by the Dolphins this past offseason after Miami acquired Trent Green from Kansas City and landed another quarterback, John Beck, in the second round of the draft. The breakup was bitter, as breakups tend to be. Oakland wound up signing Culpepper for depth, as talks between the Raiders and No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell were stalled for weeks. Culpepper has already come through once for Oakland, taking over in the second half last week when Josh McCown got hurt and helping the Raiders beat Cleveland. From news services By halftime of his first home game last season with the Miami Dolphins, Daunte Culpepper was already hearing catcalls from the stands. He’ll surely hear them again today. Culpepper makes what’s sure to be a contentious return to South Florida this weekend, and is the starter at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders (1-2) in their matchup against the winless Dolphins (0-3). McCown has been ruled out with a broken toe, so now Culpepper gets a chance at the ultimate comeuppance: winning in Miami. “I think it’s just important to try and start fast,” said Culpepper, who heard his first boos from Dolphins fans early in their home-opening loss to Buffalo last season. “Whenever you get a chance to go out and play you want to be productive, be efficient and always put your team in position to be successful. That’s my goal.” Culpepper has tried to downplay the Daunte versus Dolphins story line, yet deep down, this game certainly has at least a twinge of extra significance for him. It might also carry something extra for Green, who was asked this week if he’s better than Culpepper. “To answer that question in a confrontational, debate kind of way that will just stir the pot would be silly on my standpoint,” Green said. “To play the position, you have to have confidence in what you are doing, so that is probably the most politically correct way I can answer that without making headlines in some manner.” Green didn’t have to be brash. He’s got enough teammates taking care of that. Linebacker Joey Porter has guaranteed the Dolphins will win this game, and fellow linebacker Channing Crowder said the Culpepper he’s seeing on film still hasn’t fully recovered from the devastating right knee injury he suffered with the Minnesota Vikings in October 2005. “He’s still limping around. He’s not 100 percent. He’s not the Daunte Culpepper who was back in Minnesota,” Crowder said. “But he’s making plays and winning some games, so we’ll see what he can do.” San Francisco has point to prove Seattle has lost two straight to San Francisco after winning the clubs’ previous six meetings, and the 49ers (2-1) have targeted today’s game at home as a chance to show the Seahawks (2-1) they’re no longer in a subdivision of their own atop the NFC West. The 49ers already have division victories over Arizona and St.Louis this season, and a third would set a surprising new tone in a race that’s been dominated by the Seahawks clubs led by Shaun Alexander, Matt Hasselbeck and Darrell Jackson – who’s now catching passes for the 49ers after an offseason trade. Jackson still has ample affection for everyone in Seattle – well, except General Manager Tim Ruskell, who engineered his departure after a contract dispute. Broncos moves Denver offensive guard Ben Hamilton was placed on injured reserve with lingering post-concussion symptoms. The Broncos also released wide receiver Brian Clark. They filled the roster spots by promoting wide receiver Glenn Martinez and safety Steve Cargile from their practice squad. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Talk To Me with Terry Tibbs – Episode Two Part Two

first_imgTerry Tibbs joins talkSPORT again to host a no holds barred radio spectacular as the nation gets the chance to talk to Terry. Listen to part two of the show above.last_img

Ox Game debuts at Expo Center

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! INDUSTRY – Some say rodeo is a rough sport. Some argue rugby is even rougher. But when you combine the two, Sonny Amin says you have a sport that could become a new American phenomenon. Amin is the founder of Ox Game USA Inc. Similar to a high-speed horseback version of capture the flag, Ox Game will make its debut in the San Gabriel Valley at the Industry Hills Expo Center today. The rugby-rodeo is taking its Afghan roots and capturing the interest of Americans with the sport’s addictive nature, Amin said. Thousands are expected to attend today’s event, organizers said. “America loves horses and America loves action and this is a combination of the both,” Amin said. “It doesn’t get better than this.” The sport involves two teams – four riders on each – battling to snatch a 50-pound sandbag and toss it into a circular goal. When a team has possession of the bag, it must take it around a flag on the opposite end of the arena, charge back and drop it into 9-square-foot chalked circle on the ground. Crossing the flag scores one point. Getting the bag into the circle scores two points. But as one team goes for the score, it must fend off opponents throwing elbows, sideswiping and kicking horses and reaching in to steal the bag. “The other team, they’re going to block them, they’re going going to steal it,” Amin said. “Whatever it takes.” The game consists of four, 15-minute quarters. Traditionally known as Buzkashi, Ox Game is the national sport of Afghanistan. Athletes there are given the same celebrity status as football or basketball players in the United States. Since Amin moved to the United States in 1979, he has dreamed of establishing the sport on American soil. “I saw American football and I was thinking America loves action,” Amin said. “This is the dream I have for the future. This is the birth of the Ox Game.” With an American appeal and Middle Eastern traditions, Ox Game USA Inc. General Manager Diana Nelson said the sport is breaking cultural boundaries. “We’re bringing here something to America and blending two cultures together,” she said. “I got hooked into \ dream and it became my dream.” ben.kelly@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2236last_img read more

BREAKING THE PRECONCEPTIONS OF DISABLED SPORT IN DONEGAL

first_imgDonegal Sports Partnership hosted their Annual Sports Ability Day on Saturday 24th of September in Aura Leisure Complex, Letterkenny and it proved a huge success.The event which this year runs as part of Social Inclusion week and is also supported by Donegal County Council is a “Come and Try” event for people with disabilities and offers them the opportunity to try sports which they may not have previously tried.Donegal Sports Ability Day is part of the overall Sport Inclusion Disability Officer (SIDO) Programme which runs under the umbrella of Donegal Sports Partnership. The initiative which was launched in 2008 is supported by the Irish Sports Council has seen many positive developments to-date in Donegal with approximately 700 individuals with disabilities having participated in sports participation programmes or events with similar numbers having participated in education and training programmes. Speaking after the event SIDO with Donegal Sports Partnership Thérèse Laverty said people of all abilities came along to the Aura Leisure Complex and join in on the day. “The event is hosted on an annual basis and gives people the opportunity to try new sports. It was a very successful day for everyone involved and it broke down a number of barriers and preconceptions that people had about disabled people and sport,” she said.Among the bodies represented was the GAA, FAI, Badminton Ireland and Atheltics Ireland.Further information on the event can obtained from www.activedonegal.com or by contacting Donegal Sports Partnership on 074(91)16078/79 or by email on sidoactivedonegal@gmail.com. BREAKING THE PRECONCEPTIONS OF DISABLED SPORT IN DONEGAL was last modified: September 30th, 2011 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:DONEGAL SPORTS PARTNERSHIPlast_img read more

ROAD RE-OPENED AFTER CRASH

first_imgShaun and MatthewTHE road where two young Letterkenny men died in a car crash earlier today has re-opened.Garda forensic officers spent the day examining the scene of the incident in which 19-year-old Shaun Graham and Matthew Crawford, 21, died.They were rear seat passengers in the car when it collided with a tree and a wall. Two other men remain seriously ill at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.Gardaí have again appealed for witnesses or anyone who was on the Rathmullan to Portsalon Road between 2.30am and 3.30am to contact them at Milford Garda Station on 074 9153048. ROAD RE-OPENED AFTER CRASH was last modified: August 3rd, 2013 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:19-year-old Shaun Graham and Matthew Crawford21both from Letterkenny.car crashRathmullanlast_img read more