Bridges, potholes in Region 2 roads not yet fixed

first_img– drivers complaining bitterlyBy Indrawattie NatramDrivers traversing various roads and bridges along the Essequibo Coast are complaining bitterly of the huge potholes and gaps in them that are causing damage to their vehicles and despite numerous complaints made to regional officials, no repairs have been done. Approximately one month ago, Guyana Times had reported on the huge potholes in several streets leading to medical institutions and schools, and to date no maintenance crew or anyone has visited those areas.The potholes have since deteriorated further and this is creating an extra burden on vehicle owners. At Golden Fleece, the bridge leading to the community with a population of over 800 and some of the streets have eroded and drivers have been complaining of damage caused to their tyres. The rice harvest is approaching and many rice farmers have to use the said bridge to get to a miller.In various communities, such as Suddie, Zorg, Anna Regina, Dartmouth, Charity, Supenaam, Reliance and Cotton Field, there is evidence of road erosion. Most of the residents living in these communities said reports were made to the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Rupert Hopkinson and the engineer and to date, nothing has been done.Persons are of the view if the roads are not properly maintained, more money will have to be expended from the region’s capital programme to re-do most of them.At the recent statutory meeting of the Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) Regional Democratic Council (RDC), coalition Councillor Naitram also reported same. As such, he called on the REO to form a maintenance crew to repair and maintain the roads. He said that reports were made several months ago in relation to the condition of the roads, but to date nothing has been done.Region Two Chairman Devanand Ramdatt had also reported that several bridges and streets were in deplorable condition and, in some instances, were sinking. This, he said, had engaged the attention of the REO several months ago and nothing has been done. Ramdatt said residents have been complaining to him about the issue on numerous occasions and he has informed the relevant authorities of same.last_img read more

Ending NIMBYism

first_imgSHE’S only been on the job for seven weeks, but new city Planning Director Gail Goldberg is already saying all the right things. “If you have a vibrant city with a good economy, you can expect your city to grow,” Goldberg told the City Council last week. She’s right. Rather than trying to stamp out development, the city should welcome it. But – and this is key – it also must plan for growth intelligently. As Goldberg noted, development must include ample transportation options, adequate schools, parks and green space. And it’s the city’s neighborhoods that know best how to plan intelligently. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“We have to have a dialogue with neighborhoods like we’ve never had before. Nobody knows a neighborhood better than the people who live in a neighborhood,” Goldberg said. She can say that again. For too long, city development policies have been determined by the downtown fat cats and their developer buddies, with no attention paid to the needs of the city’s communities. The result has been decades of bad policy that fuels NIMBYism. So credit Goldberg for having the good sense to recognize – and say – that things need to start being done differently in this city. Going against the entrenched ways at City Hall won’t be easy, but for the good of L.A.’s future, Goldberg’s idealism must win out. 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

South Africa hands over climate baton

first_img27 November 2012 South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane officially handed over the UN climate change presidency as this year’s UN climate summit (COP 18) got under way in Doha, Qatar on Monday. Thousands of government representatives, international organizations and civil society members gathered in the Qatari capital as the United Nations Climate Change Conference kicked off with a call to build on and implement previously agreed decisions to curb global carbon emissions by the year 2020.The Durban Platform During last year’s COP 17 gathering in Durban, South Africa, 194 countries agreed on a package of decisions – known as the Durban Platform – which include the launch of a protocol or legal instrument that would apply to all members, a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, and the launch of the Green Climate Fund, which was created to help developing nations protect themselves from climate impacts and build their own sustainable futures. The Doha gathering, which brings together the 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, will seek to meet the objectives set forth in another climate change meeting, held in Bali, and plan the work of the Durban Platform. The incoming president of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18), Qatar’s Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, told the gathering that their work over the next 10 days would “draw on past success … We have to reach an agreement on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, build on progress in Bali, and make progress on our agreement in Durban.” Under the Kyoto Protocol, 37 states – consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy – have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. Government delegates at the conference will try to extend the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012.‘The door is closing fast’ Addressing the conference, UNFCCC secretary Christiana Figueres highlighted recent UN-led reports pointing to the urgency of keeping global average temperatures from rising beyond an internationally agreed level of two degrees Celsius, beyond which climate change could have serious impacts. Analysis published by the World Bank last week shows the world remains at risk of seeing a four degree Celsius rise in temperatures by the end of the century. In its recently-released 2011 Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN World Meteorological Organization said greenhouse gas concentration reached a record high last year, while the Emissions Gap Report by the UN Environment Programme warns that the gap between what is needed in terms of emission reductions to stay below two degrees Celsius and what has so far been promised by countries is widening, not decreasing. Figueres said countries could still reverse these trends if they decided to act, since the knowledge, technology and policy options needed to curb emissions were already available to them. However, she stressed that time was running out. “Expert analysis consistently says that we do have the possibility to keep on track and that to act now is safer and much less costly than to delay,” she said. “In the last three years, policy and action towards a sustainable, clean energy future has been growing faster than ever. But the door is closing fast because the pace and scale of action is simply not yet enough. So Doha must deliver its part in the longer-term solution.”Durban decisions ‘must be honoured’ South Africa’s ambassador at large for climate change, Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, said ministers had to instruct their negotiators to honour the Durban package of decisions to ensure that it was not reopened and unravelled. “It’s on the basis of the Durban outcome that we need to move forward in COP 18. Doha must be all about the implementation of the already agreed decisions.” Mxakato-Diseko said that although there were some outstanding issues, ministers would need to work together to decide how to deal with these outstanding issues. “We have, for example, created a number of key institutions to enhance provision of the means of implementation. We need to effectively operationalize these institutions and ensure that they can deliver on their mandates.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

A ‘disruptive’ technology: Sandile Ngcobo’s world-first digital laser

first_imgSandile Ngcobo at work testing the digital laser at the CSIR laboratory in Pretoria. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)Breakthrough experimental work by University of KwaZulu-Natal scientist Sandile Ngcobo as part of his PhD research has led to the development of a world-first digital laser set to open up revolutionary new technologies for medicine, communications, manufacturing, product development and more.Ngcobo was a key part of the team at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Laser Centre that demonstrated that, instead of resorting to expensive optics or other special mediating devices to control the shape of the light coming out of a laser, laser beams can be digitally controlled from inside the laser device itself.Watch an eNCA documentary on Ngcobo’s research: Watch Ngcobo explaining his technology at TEDxSoweto 2013: First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for freelast_img read more

Congress Passes Bipartisan Cures Bill Allowing Certain Small Business Sponsored HRAs

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportThe Senate on December 6 passed the 21st Century Cures Bill (HR 34) by a 94-to-5 vote. The bill passed in the House on November 30 by a 392-to-26 vote (TAXDAY, 2016/12/01, C.1). President Obama is expected to sign the bill.Among other things, the bill would allow certain small businesses to use qualified Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) without Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (P.L. 111-148)-related penalties. Certain limits to the accounts would apply, however, such as an annual cap of $4,950 per year ($10,000 for families). Further, the employee must provide proof of minimum essential coverage. And the employer must not be an applicable large employer as defined under the PPACA, nor offer a group health plan to any of its employees.Traditionally, many small businesses provided a health benefit to their employees through an HRA. In Rev. Rul. 61-146, 1961-2 CB 25, the IRS determined that if an employer reimburses an employee’s substantiated premiums for non-employer sponsored hospital and medical insurance, the payments are excluded from the employee’s gross income. The exclusion also applies if the employer pays the premiums directly to the insurer.After Congress passed the PPACA, the IRS released Notice 2013-54, I.R.B. 2013-40, 287, which described these arrangements as employer payment plans. Therefore, they are considered to be group health plans subject to the PPACA’s market reforms, including the prohibition on annual limits for essential health benefits and the requirement to provide certain preventive care without cost sharing. Failure to comply with the PPACA’s market reforms triggers excise taxes under Code Sec. 4980D. The excise tax reaches $100 per affected individual per day. In Notice 2015-17, I.R.B. 2015-14, 845, the IRS provided transition relief from the penalties but the relief expired after June 30, 2015.The HRA requirements for qualified small businesses within the bill would apply to years beginning after December 31, 2016. Further, transition relief provides that the relief under Notice 2015-17 will be treated as applying to any plan year beginning on or before December 31, 2016. President Obama has said that he intends to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk (TAXDAY, 2016/12/06, C.1).By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Stafflast_img read more

Q&A: Get To Know The Kansas Jayhawks

first_imgThe Cowboys head back out on the road after the bye week and face a reeling KU Jayhawk football team. While the Big 12’s perennial cellar dweller, KU has an improved defense and some playmakers on defense that could pose a serious challenge if the Cowboys hit the snooze button on Saturday morning before the 11 a.m. kickoff.We get caught up with Topeka Capital Journal writer Matt Galloway who had some great insights on the Jayhawk football team he covers.1. The Jayhawks have been playing well at home, coming close to some signature wins that would really kick-start the rebuild. What are your thoughts midway through year two of the David Beaty era?Obviously, the 1-5 record — with the sole victory coming against Rhode Island, maybe the worst FCS-level team in the country — is nothing to be proud of. But Beaty inherited a mess from Charlie Weis.Recruiting has been on an uptick, particularly in areas like Texas and Louisiana. The team’s defense and special teams are respectable after a disastrous 2015 for both units. They’re really going to regret not ending up on the winning side of that one-point game against TCU two weeks ago, but I still think the program is at a place where wins and losses don’t really matter … yet.Once Beaty’s foundation has been set and the Jayhawks start playing more competitive games, then his coaching decisions can be more properly analyzed. That is, assuming those two things ever happen.2. At the quarterback position, Ryan Willis looks to still have the job while Coach Beaty says that competition is “always open.” Can you talk a little about his progression at quarterback and the differences in the offense when he or Montell Cozart are under center?Truthfully, I’m not sure who will play quarterback for KU against the Cowboys. Willis has committed seven turnovers in his last seven quarters of play. Montell Cozart, who started the team’s first four games, was inaccurate and really unraveled under pass rush.Carter Stanley has played well in mop-up duty but is a redshirt freshman and far from a finished product. Beaty admitted Tuesday that none of the quarterbacks are where he would like them to be six games into his second season.3. While he’s struggled some the last couple of games, Ryan Willis has made some really nice throws this season and the trio of backs in Kinner, Martin and Herbert have shown some promise. What are the keys for the Jayhawk offense to really get going?The biggest key for the KU offense is to just stop shooting itself in the foot. The offense has committed an FBS-worst 22 turnovers, which has put its improved defense in a bind. The running game has been a low-key disappointment, averaging 94.8 yards per game (123rd in the nation) and 2.83 yards per carry.If the running game can do anything and the team can stop turning it over at a breakneck pace, the Jayhawks might have a shot Saturday as they did against TCU.4. The KU defense has been playing aggressively a lot this year, being almost top five in the country in tackles for loss. Would you say the Dorance Armstrong-led front seven and stopping the run is the strength of the defense?Stopping the run is a strength … at times. Tackling has been an issue for the Jayhawks at other points, as seen in Seth Russell’s fourth-down touchdown run early in KU’s 49-7 loss last week at Baylor. That was a poor game for the Jayhawks in terms of tackles-for-loss, too.I’d say just getting penetration, putting pressure on the quarterback and playing fundamentally sound under defensive coordinator and former interim coach Clint Bowen are the unit’s biggest strengths so far. It’s amazing how far the defense has come after being far and away one of the worst in the country last year.5. LaQuvionte Gonzalez and Steven Sims, Jr. seem like a really talented pair of receivers that can be dangerous if given space and Dorance Armstrong and Cameron Rosser are producing a lot on the defensive side. Who on this Jayhawk team do you see having NFL-type potential?Armstrong is probably the team’s best NFL prospect. He showed flashes last season, but he really worked on his conditioning in the offseason and looks the part already as a sophomore.Sims is a legit talent. Interestingly, offensive lineman and Alabama transfer Charles Baldwin is a load the coaching staff raves about, but he is sitting this season out. He’s a former five-star prospect at Rivals.com and could make a big impact next year.6. Fish Smithson is one of the best safeties in the conference and Steven Sims has been on a tear this season out wide. Who are some players on this KU team that will impact the game that Cowboy fans might not have heard of but need to keep an eye out for on Saturday?The Jayhawk defensive line has been one of the sharpest units this season after a disappointing 2015. ProFootballFocus.com has actually graded defensive tackle Daniel Wise and defensive end Armstrong among the best in the nation at those positions at various points this year.Linebacker might be KU’s deepest positions, as the unit hasn’t really missed a beat since the Week 3 injury of junior captain Joe Dineen (who Beaty said likely won’t play against the Cowboys).Freshman safety Mike Lee should be a senior in high school right now but instead lead KU in tackles last week.While KU is 110th in total points allowed per game (35.7), that’s mostly been due to the turnovers. The Jayhawk defense is legit.7. While expansion appears to be on hold for the time being, what seems to be the general consensus for the Jayhawk nation as far as preference to expand/who they would add?I can’t claim to speak for KU fans, but my unscientific browsing of social media and message boards seemed to put Houston, Cincinnati and BYU at the top of the list. Houston and Cincinnati would add large markets, while BYU is a national brand. All three pose problems though, which is ultimately why I think we saw the conference shelve the whole debate.As an aside, if KU fans could pick any two programs to join the Big 12 — and were being truthful about it — I think old rivals Missouri and Nebraska would top the list. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Can Mason Rudolph Make Bedlam History With His Second Win In Norman?

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. When we look back at the Oklahoma State quarterbacks who have beaten the Sooners, the list is predictably short. One name that does appear on that list is current Cowboy, Mason Rudolph.But if Rudolph leads the Cowboys to a victory on Saturday, he won’t be the first OSU quarterback with multiple Bedlam wins (although he would be the first to do it twice in Norman).Let’s look at the Oklahoma State quarterbacks that have been able to get multiple wins against the Sooners, in the modern era. (Bob Fenimore played halfback but led the team in passing both years as the Cowboys won Bedlam in 1944 and 1945.)Tony Lindsay1997: That last time Oklahoma State was favored in Norman was back in 1997. The Cowboys were led by the eventual Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Tony Lindsay. Lindsay went 9 for 16 for 129 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to R.W. McQuarters.Cowboys won in Norman 30-7.1998: As a redshirt-sophomore, Lindsay had an impressive four-touchdown outing at home.Going 16 of 24 for 138 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, Lindsay also had a huge game on the ground. He rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns, just shy of this fourth career 100-yard rushing game.Cowboys win at home 41-26, completing the first pair of back-to-back Bedlam wins in 30-plus years.Lindsay’s Bedlam record as a starter: 2-1Josh Fields2001: In one of the most dramatic games in OSU history, the heavy 27-point underdog Cowboys were led by true freshman Josh Fields.Okay, so technically Fields didn’t start this game. He came in after early after Aso Pogi went 2 for 9 with two interceptions and was “the guy” from there on out.Fields went 19 for 38 for 231 yards with one touchdown and one interception. But that one touchdown was a memorable one. “The catch” in the back of the end zone solidified Fields and all-time leading receiver Rashaun Woods in OSU lore.OSU won 16-13 in Norman.2002: Fields had one of the best games of his career going a super efficient 18 of 27 for 357 yards and four touchdowns. Rashaun Woods had 134 yards and two touchdowns and Tatum Bell added 106 on the ground.Cowboys win in Stillwater 38-28.Fields’ Bedlam record as a starter: 1-1 (but we’re counting him as 2-1)Mason RudolphSo were does that leave Rudolph?2014: The record-setting junior first endeared himself to Cowboy fans when he led his 21-point underdog team to a 38-35 nail-biting win in Norman.Rudolph went 19 of 35 for 273 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, looking stellar for a true freshman in just his second start.Oklahoma had pushed the lead back to 14 when, late in the fourth quarter, Rudolph hit Brandon Sheperd on back-to-back plays. A 14-yard pass followed by a 43-yard touchdown pass not only brought the Cowboys within a score with less than five minutes remaining, but made me believe Sheperd would go All-Big 12 his senior season.You probably know the rest of that story. Bob Stoops decided to re-punt and Tyreek Hill went house setting up the game-winning field goal in overtime by Ben Grogan.Not only did Rudolph beat Oklahoma, he reignited an offense that had been mostly inept the first ten games of the season.2015: Rudolph didn’t start the game due to an injury he sustained the week before against Baylor. He was unceremoniously trotted out for one series in lieu of J.W. Walsh with little chance of success. OSU’s coaching staff basically told Mike Stoops, “We’re going deep here.”. The result was an interception and some head scratching by all who watched.But this year Rudolph is healthy and for once in his career appears to have the running game needed to help his prolific passing attack flourish.If the Cowboys can pull it off this weekend, Rudolph will be the second OSU quarterback to win multiple starts and the first to win twice in Norman.Rudolph’s Bedlam record as a starter: 1-0 (and counting)last_img read more

Spring Preview: Defensive Line Brings Depth, Experience into Spring

first_img94Jordan BrailfordDE6-3250R-Jr.Tulsa, OK / Booker T. Washington 90Taaj BakariDT6-1305R-So.Mansfield, TX / Legacy NumberPlayerPosHt.Wt.YearHigh School 99Trey CarterDE6-3295R-Jr.Dallas, TX / Pinkston 62Tyler FergusonDT6-2260R-Jr.McKinney, Texas / Boyd 91DeQuinton OsborneDT6-0305R-Sr.Grand Prairie, TX / South Grand Prairie 89Tralund WebberDE6-5250Sr.Cameron, TX / Cameron Yoe 93Jarrell OwensDE6-3265R-Jr.Palestine, TX / Palestine 82Cole WalterscheidDE6-5260R-Jr.Muenster, TX / Muenstercenter_img The Cowboy defense took a hit upfront with Vincent Taylor’s decision to declare for the NFL Draft. He was its best player so he’ll be missed. But the defensive line is still as deep as it’s ever been during Mike Gundy’s tenure.Gundy is as excited about the strength he has in the trenches as he is their experience.“We have nine guys on the defensive line that power clean more than 315 pounds,” said Gundy. “We have nine guys that bench press more than 350 pounds, and five of them are over 400.“We have nine guys that all squat more than 450 pounds. That’s what I like about them. They’re all somewhat mature. Their strength levels are very high and they run well. Their attitudes are good.”As far as depth goes, the defensive line has plenty of it — and experience too.Of the thirteen defensive linemen on the spring roster, only three are underclassmen — Tristan Grant, a redshirt freshman end, Cameron Murray, a redshirt freshman tackle and Taaj Bakari, a redshirt sophomore tackle. But of the linemen who figure to see significant reps, only three are seniors. Vili Leveni, DeQuinton Osborne and Tralund Webber will need to be replaced after this season.So as spring practice rolls along, D-line coach Joe Bob Clements will be focused more on gaining continuity as a group and implementing some possible scheme changes that we’ll get to later.“I think we’re back into that role where we can play a solid two-deep and rotate those guys to keep them fresh,” Gundy said. “In this league, that’s really important to try and make it through the duration and make it all the way through to November. In this league, your defense gets beat up in November.”Speaking of beat up, the coaching staff will also be working to get Jordan Brailford — who was projected to start last season — back into the swing of things after missing 2016 due to injury.“Hopefully, (Jordan) Brailford, who has been turned loose, will be able to develop and sustain the pounding because we really liked him in the Sugar Bowl. We thought he played as well as any of our defensive lineman in the Sugar Bowl and then we lost him to that stress fracture last year. If he’s up and running, he should give us an added lift and he’s really matured as a player.”It appears we’ll continue to see some different looks from OSU upfront. Last season, the Cowboys went to a 3-3 stack (similiar to the style West Virginia plays) in several games down the stretch. The Cowboys recently hired Brian VanGorder as a defensive analyst and Mike Gundy talked about how he helps them from a scheme standpoint.“We wanted to bring in another guy on defense to somewhat equal the staff,” Gundy on VanGorder, “but also to bring in a coach that has experience in a three-down defense.“He has an extensive background in a three-man defense, and we’ve gotten a little bit more into that. Obviously we haven’t converted to that, and we won’t covert to it, but I thought it would be smart to bring in someone with experience in a three-down system.”Gundy equated Big 12 quarterbacks to coaches on the field in their intelligence and ability to read a defense that is too set in its ways.“If you don’t give them a different look sometimes and use some variation in your defense, they’re pretty good at picking you apart.”The state of OSU’s defensive line has been its deepest and most stable over the last two years and if Clements continues bring in his dudes, there’s no reason to expect a drop off anytime soon. 79Darrion DanielsDT6-3300Jr.Dallas, TX / Bishop Dunne While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 86Triston GrantDE6-4235R-Fr.Owasso, OK / Owasso 70Ben HughesDT6-1325R-Sr.Waco, TX / University 92Cameron MurrayDT6-2290R-Fr.Bryant, AR / Bryant 95Vili LeveniDE6-4280R-Sr.Hurst, TX / L.D. Belllast_img read more