Shoestring budget on luxury trips

first_imgDear Editor,If the city were indeed running on a shoestring budget, why did they take a large entourage on a junket to the town of Linden recently to celebrate the official launch of the Linden Town Week 2018, costing the city a substantial sum? Would it not have been enough for this ‘poor’ city to have been represented by the Mayor alone? But no, the bigwigs at City Hall never miss an opportunity to fete.Why would a city on a shoestring budget embark on luxury retreats at expensive resorts around the country? This money could have offset the wages of scores of sanitation workers.Then in describing the City’s purported financial woes, it was suggested that they should look at new revenue earning avenues, since they are unable to undertake revaluation of properties in the city. Are these people for real? How could they have given away hundreds of millions of dollars in interest waivers and write offs, unlawfully I might add, as proper legal authority was never sought nor granted in many instances for this, and then turn around and place more financial burden on law-abiding tax paying citizens by increasing their property values?But how did the Council’s administration which employed close to 200 new persons, many who are the kith and kin of senior officials at City Hall in the last two and a half years, not know that this would have been unsustainable? One can only hope that as they retrench, they do it in a last in first out basis rather than targeting the loyal hard-working staffers that have been committed to the municipality for decades.But instead of just cutting costs by laying off workers, why is there no suggestion to lay off the contractors that are costing the city tens of millions per month, but which was not alluded to. And I am not referring to the garbage contractors that are providing a critical service, but those whom have obtained weeding and cleaning contracts without adherence to tender procedures.But if the Mayor and Town Clerk are serious about cost cutting, why don’t they stop jaunting around the world on those frequent useless, unnecessary luxury overseas trips and why don’t they shed themselves of all of the superfluity such as sports utility vehicles, bodyguards, chauffeurs, static security at their residences, assistants, messengers, and other large amounts of office and support staff.Sincerely,Melissa Chiulast_img read more

Aquaculture Seminar to Boost Jobs, Business for Youth

first_imgThe Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Liberia (GOL) will today begin a ten-day aquaculture training seminar in Compound #2, Grand Bassa County, on economic development through youth employment, entrepreneurship, and improved nutrition and poverty reduction.The ten-day seminar is organized by FAO in partnership with the government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) and the Bureau of National Fisheries (BNF) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). The training is expected to bring together 40 participants, mainly youths from Grand Bassa and Margibi counties. Others will include officials from the MYS, aquaculture experts from FAO, the BNF, young Liberian entrepreneurs and other key stakeholders.The participants of the seminar are expected to also acquire fish farming and hatchery management techniques, better business development strategy as well as develop a training guide that will be used as a reference tool for youth aquaculture.FAO provided up to US$492,000 under its Technical Cooperation with the GOL. The project is entitled “Creating Aquaculture Enterprise for Youth Employment, Poverty Reduction and Food Security.” The training is in line with FAO Strategic Objectives 2, 3, and 4 focusing mainly on rural sustainable development agriculture and rural poverty reduction. It is aligned with the United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) Pillar II (Sustainable Economic Transformation), and is also contributing to the FAO Country Programming Framework (CPF) for sustainable agriculture development. The FAO-funded initiative is geared toward building the capacity of 600 vulnerable youth in aquaculture development in four regions in Liberia comprising Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties.According to a release, youth unemployment has been a major challenge to the government; with the 2010 Labor Force Survey conducted by the government and its partners showing high rates of vulnerable youth unemployment in the country, especially in rural areas, with an overall rate of 86 percent.The objective of the training, the release said, is to develop small business management skills, gender wealth creation opportunities, and develop the potentials of young people for a sustainable aquaculture entrepreneurship. Phase two of the training seminar will be conducted in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County, from June 27 to July 7 for an additional 40 youth participants. The two seminars are expected to bring the number of youths trained in both Grand Bassa and Grand Cape Mount counties to 80.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Hate vandal targets Weiss

first_img“These messages are clearly hateful, but make no mistake about it, they are messages of intimidation,” Weiss said during an afternoon news conference outside his Ventura Boulevard office. “Well, please make no mistake, I will not be intimidated. My office and my staff will not be intimidated.” Weiss, who is Jewish, said he was at a meeting at the Israeli Consulate when he got a call from Police Chief William Bratton about the incident. The Anti-Defamation League and Rabbi Abraham Cooper with the Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the vandalism. “It’s an attack not only on the councilman but also something that hits survivors here in the Valley and the Jewish community as a whole,” Cooper said. SHERMAN OAKS – In an incident being investigated as a hate crime, the local office of Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss was plastered early Thursday with images of swastikas and anti-Semitic rantings. LAPD Capt. Jim Miller said the office was vacant at the time of the incident and police were searching for a suspect who had contacted Weiss’ office in recent days. Miller said a witness reported seeing someone pasting three letter-size sheets of paper emblazoned with swastikas to the glass door of Weiss’ office about 6 a.m. Two other computer printouts contained anti-Semitic statements, including references to “mein fuhrer” and “die office official of Natziesque Extraordinaire.” Police said the perpetrator could be prosecuted for felony vandalism with an enhancement for a hate crime. Weiss said his office has not been targeted like this before. “In this line of work, you do encounter irate people every once in a while, but nothing that looks like this,” he said. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was in Mexico on a trade mission, also issued a statement. “The signs found at council member Jack Weiss’ office should serve as a tragic reminder that racism, prejudice and intolerance still exist in our city,” he said. “These deplorable acts threaten the values of liberty, justice and equality that define our society.” (213) 978-0390160Want 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

Calabasas tweaks smoking ordinance

first_imgLast year, the city was the first to ban smoking in public places where anyone would be exposed to secondhand smoke. “This is an extension of protection,” said Councilwoman Mary Sue Maurer, who wrote the amendment along with Councilman Barry Groveman to include apartment complexes. “We’re going to look further in separating buildings, having a percentage of buildings for smokers.” Under the revised proposal, apartment tenants would be prohibited from puffing on patios and balconies. But the council tossed out a recommendation that would have completely snuffed out smoking in local apartment complexes by designating units as nonsmoking once smokers leave. Council members will revisit the issue in November when a revision is expected. They hope to have some form of anti-smoking policy pertaining to apartment complexes by the end of the year. (818) 713-3699160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CALABASAS – City officials have backed off on a plan to completely ban smokers from local apartments, instead reserving a small percentage of units for those who light up. The City Council on Wednesday night reviewed an amendment to its secondhand-smoke ordinance, which as originally drafted eventually would have barred all tenants from smoking inside their own apartments. “In weighing the different rights, I feel that an individual has the right to engage in smoking inside their own residence,” Mayor James Bozajian said. “I am not a smoker. I don’t allow smoke in my home. “As long as tobacco products are legal, it’s something we shouldn’t outlaw.” last_img read more

No chance! Chelsea won’t sell Petr Cech to Arsenal

first_imgRay Wilkins insists Chelsea will NOT allow Petr Cech to join Premier League rivals Arsenal in the summer.The Czech goalkeeper is expected to leave Stamford Bridge in the close season, after losing his first-team place to Thibaut Courtois.The Gunners have targeted the 32-year-old and are expected to make a bid at the end of the season.But Wilkins claims there’s no chance Jose Mourinho will allow the former Rennes man to move across London.“If you look at Chelsea’s actions over the last few years, with the likes of Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou, they were all sold outside the country so they couldn’t do any damage to the club in the Premier League.“Jose Mourinho will do the same with Petr Cech,” the former assistant manager told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show.And Wilkins added French super club Paris Saint-Germain should make a move for Cech.“I don’t know why Paris Saint-Germain have not tabled a bid already because Salvatore Sirigu, the Italian goalkeeper, isn’t good enough.”last_img read more

The huge salary Juve want to offer Aaron Ramsey

first_img Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won RANKED Ramsey is interesting a host of big clubs, with Juventus said to be willing to offer him around £10m-a-year to join them Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card no dice MONEY Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ shining Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade REVEALED 1 huge blow If Aaron Ramsey joins Juventus, he will pick up  £10.4million-a-year.The outgoing Arsenal midfielder is likely to leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires and he has already been the subject of interest from high profile clubs.Bayern Munich and Roma are said to be keeping an eye on the 27-year-old and The Sun say Italian champions Juve are now putting together a proposal. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? As he will be a free agent, he can command a higher wage and it is being reported Juventus’ deal will be worth the equivalent of £200,000 a week.Ramsey cannot sign a pre-contract agreement with a European club until January – when he enters the final six months of his deal – and he revealed last month he planned to remain at Arsenal until his contract expires next summer, with the club having withdrawn their offer of a new contract.Ramsey joined the Gunners from Cardiff in 2008 and since then he has played 246 Premier League games, scoring 37 goals. ADVICE Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Popular Football News Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury REPLY REVEALED BEST OF Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester starslast_img read more


first_imgThe family of a Co Donegal man who was butchered to death have demanded a fresh probe into his death on the eve of the 10th anniversary.Shaun Duffy: His sister wants cold-case detectives to investigate his murder.‘Gentle giant’ Shun Duffy, 36, suffered a horrific death at his home at Meenacross, near Dungloe, in January 2005.He had been beaten and had an arrow sticking out of his arm when found by Gardai. Gardai have interviewed more than 1,000 people in relation to their murder enquiry but nobody has ever been charged with the brutal death.Now the family of the 6’4” part-time bouncer are demanding a fresh investigation as it nears the anniversary of his death on January 29th.His sister Karena, 43 told the Irish Star “Donegal Gardai can do no more. New guards must come in to solve Shaun’s murder. Nothing has happened in the case for ages. The gardai have told us nothing new at all. It’s the same old story.“They should pass it on toe expert cold-case gardai who can find who killed him. There has been nothing but excuses.” Karena added that gardai said it was Shaun’s own privacy which had hindered their investigation.They said the crossbow which helped to killed him actually belonged to Shaun.“They said he kept it on the mantelpiece, but I knew my brother Shaun and he did not have a crossbow on his fireplace. He was vain and only had a mirror on it.“All we really know is that Shaun died in the early hours of January 29th, 2005,” added his heartbroken sister. HEARTBROKEN SISTER WANTS COLD-CASE COPS TO INVESTIGATE HER BROTHER’S BRUTAL MURDER was last modified: January 22nd, 2015 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:cold-case copscrossbowdonegaldungloeShaun Duffylast_img read more

QPR table £7m bid – report

first_imgThe Daily Mail say QPR have made a £7m bid for Glasgow Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic.R’s boss Neil Warnock has also apparently added Aston Villa centre-back James Collins to his list of defensive targets.Related story: QPR boss shrugs off link with Jelavic (19 December)Meanwhile, ex-Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti could try to sign Didier Drogba, Alex and Florent Malouda from his former club after he takes over at Paris St-Germain, the Daily Telegraph reports.The paper also say Chelsea hope to announce the £7m capture of England defender Gary Cahill from Bolton on Sunday and are considering signing Juventus winger Milos Krasic and Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho.And The Mirror suggest Chelsea will target a midfielder, a right-back and a striker after sealing Cahill’s signing.This page is updated throughout the day. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

How and Why Whiskers Whisk

first_imgScientists at Weizmann Institute found some interesting things about whiskers, reports EurekAlert.  While working with rats, they noticed that the whiskers are always in motion, twitching and sensing objects around them.  They discovered that two kinds of neurons are involved in sending whisker signals to the brain.  The “whisking” neurons are active all the time, whether or not the whiskers feel any objects.  When an object is touched, “touch” neurons come into play.  Some detect the first touch, some send a signal when touch is lost, and others relay information during the duration of contact.  The report says this indicates that “perception is a dynamic dance in which hands, eyes and whiskers move towards the world to actively seek out sensation.”It wouldn’t be surprising if this neurological response is active all over the body, even in human skin.  Skin has tiny vellum hairs all over, even on the palms of the hands.  Consider how your skin is sensitive to the slightest brush, even without touch if static electricity is about.  Probably similar neurons are involved.  All these sensations require specialized neurons and a brain that can process them.    Wonder how touch sensation differs between women and hairier men.  Wonder what beards are for.  Are they just for looks, or do they have functions related to typical male roles?  They do seem to amplify the touch response.  Do they provide sensory data when crawling through dark caves?  Protection from the cold while hunting mammoths?  Are they wind indicators?  Love handles?  Maybe this will stimulate some experiments to prove they are not just vestigial leftovers of ape ancestry but have a function.  If it’s there, there’s probably a reason for it.  Maybe you shavers should stop depriving yourself of vital sensory information.    Kids might want to experiment on the pet cat (gently).  Watch how much the cat whiskers twitch in wake and sleep.  Observe different reactions to touch, temperature, prolonged touch, stroking, and release.  Tell the kid that pulling is not allowed, on the cat or Dad.(Visited 84 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Desire, Satisfaction, Food, and Homes

first_imgDr. David Kessler, former head of the FDA, has written a book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, in which he identifies some of the reasons why we crave food that unhealthy and are practically helpless to resist.In a recent New York Times articleand on TV talk show appearances, Kessler points out that purveyors have been carefully engineering the eating “experience” to provide us with food that stimulates multiple senses simultaneously. This in turn stimulates our brains and brings our eating experiences to what he calls the “bliss point,” where the perfect combination of fat, sugar, and salt provides total satisfaction. He says chain restaurants such as Chilis create “hyperpalatable food that requires little chewing and goes down easily.”In one interview, he discusses other experiential products such as cigarettes which have been engineered to deliver nicotine in conjunction with other stimuli, including the ritual of opening a cigarette pack, lighting it, and using smoke and heat to deliver this potent drug, creating another “bliss point” for the user.So what does this have to do with green building?We all have our weaknesses. Personally, mine is food. I eat reasonably well, but there are some things that I know are bad that I just can’t resist. (Go ahead, try driving past Dunkin’ Donuts and not thinking about them!) Smoking, drinking, and some other bad habits I can easily resist.But when it comes to unhealthy, and inefficient homes, we have a much larger problem. Most of us are aware of how unhealthy some of our personal habits are, but the general public still does not understand the problems with our housing industry and what it means for a house to be healthy and efficient, or, for the sake of this discussion, green. On top of that, the housing industry— builders, remodelers, designers, magazines, and manufacturers—have helped to create buildings that satisfy our cravings but are not healthy for us in the long term. High-end appliances, granite counters, high ceilings, and oversized “starter castles”—the list goes on—fill our primal needs and bring us to our “bliss point” while being inefficient, unhealthy, and not durable. We are satisfied in the short term, but just as bad eating habits through life lead to poor health in our later years, deficient buildings are helping lead us to a damaged ecosystem, exhausted resources, higher living costs, and, in many cases, occupant health problems due to unhealthy building practices.So what do we do?Kessler argues that we have and must continue to go through “perceptual shifts” to change our behavior. Through a combination of regulations and antismoking marketing, many people now find cigarettes distasteful and smoking has declined among much of the population. If the American Clean Energy and Security Act is passed, the required high-performance buildings will be the first step.Our industry is working hard to create demand in the marketplace for green homes. e need to continue this effort, working against the individual’s personal “bliss points,” making people want and appreciate more efficient, more durable homes that are good for them in the long term rather than only satisfying personal, and unhealthy, cravings.last_img read more