Fire in the Senate: Where is Liberian Maintenance?

first_imgPerhaps one of the first things the new Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration should have done, coming into office for the first time was to do a thorough assessment—architectural, electrical, plumbing, structural and environmental—of the Executive Mansion into which it (the new administration) was moving for the first time.Alas! In the euphoria of taking and setting up office, that was not done. Barely five months later there was a fire that resulted in the forced transfer of the President and her entire Executive Mansion staff to the Foreign Ministry Building, where they have been ever since. The fire incident also led to the resignation of Ellen’s Minister of State, Morris Dukuly. (He is back in the Cabinet as Internal Affairs Minister).Last Friday, in our editorial on China’s friendship, we recalled the renovation work it and the United States had done on some of Liberia’s public facilities. Among them was the renovation by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on the Capitol Building as well as on the Public Works Ministry. Not long thereafter, we further remembered, the same Capitol Building was forced to close all bathrooms due to water problems, and we wondered what condition that building and that of Public Works were in.Little did we know that before that editorial was even published—as it was written in advance—a serious fire would strike the Capitol, causing Senators to abruptly suspend their debates. This means that the 53rd Legislature, before it entered the Capitol, also failed to have it thoroughly checked out. And now the fire, which last Tuesday, of course, took them by complete surprise! This immediately leads us to the more general and most probably urgent question—what is the condition of all the other buildings, those owned by the GOL and those being leased? The two closely related issues here are the safety of GOL’s assets and records in these facilities and the cost of renovation. The Senate and the House of Representatives must now hang heads and decide what to do. But surely they need to make an immediate assessment of what might have been lost and then see how they can muster the resources for immediate renovations to allow then to continue their work. This we believe they must do while they await the coming of the Chinese technicians to undertake the promised renovations.It seems to us that GOL may now need to undertake an immediate assessment of all its facilities. But where will the money come from in this post-Ebola era with all the demands for the reconstruction of the country’s entire healthcare delivery system? For months we have been urging the government to create a comprehensive strategy or roadmap for thorough and complete over haul of the healthcare delivery system, which several of our development partners, especially China, the United States,European Union and some other nations have pledged. So in this sense, if the GOL can act quickly and decisively in the presentation of such a road map, the partners may come forth with funding for that. GOL may then determine where the resources will come from for a thorough rehabilitation of all its facilities, beginning with the current seat of the presidency, the Foreign Ministry Building.What immediately comes to mind here is the Executive Mansion itself. It has been nearly 10 years since that fire and attempts have been made to renovate the building. But until now the public is in the dark as to what is going on. People are asking whether renovations will be complete in time for the President to spend at least her last two years there. That would be a good thing, for many, we are sure, including the Chiefs and other traditional leaders and people from all the counties, are longing to come see their Mansion again in exquisite form. We pray that something will be done by Christmas. After all, Ebola is gone, and that would be one more time for Liberians to celebrate. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Citizens’ Bank opens $2.6B headquarters

first_imgCitizens Bank on Friday commissioned a spanking new structure at the corners of Camp Street and South Road, Georgetown, to the tune of .6 billion. According to President David Granger, it is indicative of how stable the economy is.The $2.6B structureHowever, the Head of State also reminded indigenous banks of the importance of ensuring that their policies are designed with Guyana’s economy and small enterprises in mind.“Indigenous banks have a vital role to play to ensure that financial services become more inclusive. Banks have an obligation to be responsive to the needs of all sectors of society and they have a duty to micro and small-scale enterprises.”He stated that these groups have traditionally felt excluded and marginalised by banking systems. He stated that when these groups are excluded financially, this creates social exclusion and increases poverty.”He commended Citizens’ Bank for being different; noting that when it started it extended its services to geographic areas that previously had no access to financial services.“Today, Guyana’s indigenous banks ought not to try to become clones of foreign banks. They should seek to transform the character of their operations by aligning their services to meet the needs of local businesses.”The building, which sits at the corner of Camp Street and South road, was reportedly constructed with a 90 per cent local work force. It will serve as the bank’s new headquarters.Some of the bank’s features include state of the art alarm systems, sprinklers and elevators. It has a drive through Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) and features LED lights throughout the building.Some of the local companies who were contracted to assist were Cummings Electrical (electrical installation) and MMC Security Services (alarm systems). Industrial Fabrication supplied the steel used to construct the bank.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson was also commended for his input as a Quantity Surveyor. In addition, Sheldon Williams was cited as the Chief Architect.With concrete piles in its foundation and a 60 per cent composition of reinforced glass and concrete, this imposing structure will serve as the new headquarters for Citizens Bank.Guyana Times understands that the structure took three years to design and construct. The branch reportedly has an employee base of 75, though Citizens’ Bank collectively employs 147 persons.last_img read more

‘We must reject poisonous politics of the past’

first_img– President in New Year’s message to GuyanesePresident David Granger, in his New Year’s message to the nation, said “Guyana is changing for good”, and his Government is “promoting the good life for all”.“We are reducing divisions and maximising cohesion. We are protecting our patrimony, pursuing economic prosperity, promoting respect for national institutions, and providing better public services and improved human safety. We are building a country of which everyone can be proud,” the President said in his message.President David Granger“We shall continue to work with all sectors and strata of society to improve our political culture and promote inclusiveness. We must repudiate vulgarity. We must rebuke those who abuse our public institutions, and reject the poisonous politics of the past,” he posited.According to Mr Granger, Guyanese greet the dawn of 2018 feeling good about themselves, their children, their communities, and their country.“Guyanese have inherited and inhabit a beautiful, bountiful, and blissful country – a land that is celebrated in the words of our beloved National Anthem as the “Green Land’:…of rivers and plains; made rich by the sunshine, and lush by the rains; set gem-like and fair, between mountains and sea.”Guyana, indeed, is a gem-like, luxuriant land – of grasslands, highlands, islands, wetlands, lakes, mangroves, mudflats, rainforests, rivers and waterfalls. We are happy in our homeland.“We shall protect our heritage, which is every citizen’s birthright, and bequeath this endowment to future generations,” the President said.“We signified in the year 2016 that the year 2017 would be spent in setting the settlement of the unlawful and unreasonable claims to our country’s territory on a definite course. The United Nations Secretary General, in 2018, is expected to discharge his commitment to setting that course in a manner consistent with justice and international law. We shall continue to defend every ‘blade of grass’ of our homeland. We shall never cede a centimetre of territory, or compromise (our) sovereignty.”The President further stated: “We shall continue to work to eradicate the inequalities and disabilities which foster destitution and discrimination. We are creating a more equal society – one with greater opportunities and a higher quality of life for all. We extend open arms of friendship to all political parties, social organisations and religious groups to collaborate in order to contribute to creating a more cohesive society. We shall continue to work to provide greater social protection for everyone, particularly our women, children, the elderly, and persons in difficult circumstances.”The President also noted that his Administration increased the minimum wage for the lowest-paid State employees by nearly 50 percent.“…we increased old-age pensions by almost 50 per cent; we increased social assistance by 27 per cent, all in only thirty months. We will ensure that the disadvantaged are protected,” he said.“We shall continue to work to empower local government organs, so that they can bring improvements to communities. Local democracy will be renewed in local and municipal elections in 2018,” the President added.We declared three new ‘capital towns’ last year, to expedite enterprise and economic development in their respective regions by increasing investment and generating employment.The surge in agro-processing, artisanal manufacturing and cottage industries seen in the regional agricultural and commercial exhibitions is evidence of the green shoots of healthy grass-root economic growth.“We shall continue to work towards making the country safer for all by improving citizens’ security. Security sector reform, being undertaken with support from our international partners, aims at creating safer communities and protecting the people from transnational threats, such as illegal narcotics, firearms, and people-trafficking. We are building a country in which everyone can be safe,” he stated.“Life is getting better year by year. Guyanese have lots of reasons to feel good about their homeland in 2018! A happy New Year to all!” the President concluded in his New Year’s message.last_img read more

NPSS volleyball teams off to Prince George for weekend tournament

first_imgGirls Coach Elena Schmidt says the team has made big strides in their serves. She notes that having a strong service game is the biggest step when it comes to winning on the court.“The absolute biggest improvement was serving consistency and getting our serves in,” she says. “That in the end is what wins games. The games that we were ahead and winning, that’s what we were being strong at.”Schmidt credits practice, as well as the team being more experienced in playing together as the main reasons behind the improvement.- Advertisement -“We put a lot more focus in practice on it and put it into the girls’ heads how important that is,” she says. “I think the girls just stepped up and brought their game in that area.”Despite the improvements in the serving game, there are areas where the team would like to get things cleaned up when it comes to generating offence during games. “I want to get our offence running,” Schmidt states. “That means good passes so we can run our offence because we’re hitting really well and the setters and hitters are connecting. We just need that first pass to set it up.”Advertisement Be sure to keep tabs on the progress of both the senior boys and girls teams over the weekend on as scores will be posted from both teams.last_img read more


first_imgDUNGLOE caused the shock of the Championship by coming from behind and dumping holders Glenswilly out of the tournament in a topsy-turvy clash at O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny today.Dungloe’s Adrian Sweeney pointed three times in a row, to firstly level the game and then to put them two points ahead.And then a poor kick-out gifted Dungloe a goal as Conor Greene went through to make it 2-07 to 0-08. Glenswilly had stormed four points ahead at the start of the second half, with Donegal captain Michael Murphy – the victim of persistent fouling – converting a free after being fouled again.Darren McGinley and Oisin Crawford took points to make it 0-08 to 0-04 for the Glen men.But Dungloe, to their credit, began to play some good football and levelled with two quick scores.Noel McBride fisted the ball home for a goal before sub Adrian Sweeney pointed the first of three points to tie the match. Dungloe had to finish the game with 14 men after Martin Redmond was sent off, but their two goals was enough to see them through to the quarter-finals.Glenswilly had been a point ahead at O’Donnell Park at half-time, leading 0-05 to 0-04.Points from Glenswilly’s county stars had them ahead.Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher hit a point each – with Gary McFadden hitting three.Gerard Walsh, Sean Sharkey (2) and Adrian Sweeney responded for Dungloe. It had been a poor game with lots of off-the-ball incidents and several melees, with both Murphy and Gallagher given yellow cards –GAA: SHOCK AS DUNGLOE DUMP GLENSWILLY OUT OF CHAMPIONSHIP was last modified: October 14th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal gaa championshipdungloeglenswillysenior footballlast_img read more


first_imgThe snow is on the way!Ireland’s most famous amateur weatherman is to send RTE’s weather-watchers a copy of his book for Christmas after they dismissed his theories.TV forecaster Evelyn Cusack launched an on–air dismissal of claims that plants and animals can help predict the weather.Postman Michael Gallagher reckons we’re in for a White Christmas.Evelyn claimed on last Friday night’s 9 o’clock news “People have been asking if we will have a cold winter, and I’m afraid we can’t tell you that as forecasting only goes between five and ten days ahead,” she told viewers. “But some people ask why we don’t use signs from nature? For example can animals predict not only the weather but earthquakes.“Well I’m afraid not! There have been studies done,” she said.And she finished her report by quoting scientist Carl Saga saying “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion however satisfying and reassuring.”But postman Michael Gallagher, who predicted this week’s cold snap as well as a possible white Christmas, said RTE were wrong more often than not. “How did people tell the weather many years ago before we had satelites and all sorts of fancy gadgets – they turned to nature.“They cannot simply dismiss years of information gathering by generations of people in one news bulletin.“I am standing by my predictions and I’m going to even send them a copy of my book Traditional Weather Signs. They might even learn a thing or two,” he said.Last week Michael predicted a cold snap and today his predictions came through when Donegal and other counties in the North West woke to a dusting of snow.Michael said that is only the start of what will be a series of severe cold snaps which will bring snow throughout the winter. “We will also have snow in and around Christmas Day. I’m confident we will have a white Christmas in many places but you can never exactly pin-point it to a day,” he said.MICHAEL TAKES RTE FORECASTERS TO BOOK OVER PREDICTIONS! was last modified: November 19th, 2013 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:Evelyn CusackMichael GallagherRTElast_img read more

Warriors waste chance against lowly Hawks, plus more takeaways from 104-79 loss

first_imgATLANTA — The Warriors entered Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks with an ideal opportunity to earn a much-needed win. Instead, they didn’t give themselves a chance.The Warriors (4-18) lost to the Hawks, 104-79, Monday at State Farm Arena. Coming off a tightly contested game against the Orlando Magic that came down to the final shot, the Warriors also welcomed back center Kevon Looney against a Hawks (5-16) team that had previously lost 10 straight games. They believed they were showing …last_img read more

Indian Navy, Army and Air Force join rescue operations in Mumbai

first_imgThe Indian Navy, Army and Air Force on Sunday participated in rescue operations to assist Thane, Palghar and Kalyan district administration as Bhatsa and Barvi dams overflowed leading to Bhatsa and Ulhas rivers breaching their banks and stranding people in their homes. Waters rose up to a height of 8 to 10 feet requiring specialist assistance in evacuation.Within 40 minutes of receiving a request from the Disaster Management Unit of the State government, the Indian Navy deployed three fully equipped flood rescue teams to assist the district administration. The Indian Air Force too deployed its Mi17 helicopter to airlift stranded villagers.“Two teams operated in the vicinity of Khadawali village and have successfully evacuated 27 people to safety. One flood rescue team was active in Shahad region under Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) till late on Sunday evening. All three teams are being positioned with district authorities overnight to be able to respond quickly to any new emergencies that might arise overnight,” Commander Mehul Karnik, chief public relations officer (CPRO), Indian Navy said.Naval teams from INS Tanaji, Mankhurd, INS Vajrabahu, Colaba and Material Organisation assisted 27 to safety in Kadawali and Shahad in KDMC limits as Ulhas and Bhatsa rivers overflowed. Officials said the Indian Air Force team made two sorties between 12.40 p.m. and 2.45 p.m. and air-lifted a total of 58 people. In the first sortie, 34 including 20 adults (mostly women) and 14 children were rescued. In the second sortie, 24 persons, including 22 adults and 2 children weer rescused. All those rescused due to floods in the Bhatsa river were brought to the Air Force Station at Thane.The village near Titwala had turned in to an island, after river water surrounded it, cutting off all access roads. Thane district Guardian Minister, Eknath Shinde communicated with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, following which a request to air-lift the trapped villagers was made to the air force. “The chopper initially faced difficulty locating the exact location due to bad weather and incessant rains. All villagers were rescued by around 3 p.m,” an official from the Chief Minister’s office said.The air force received another request from the state administration for helicopter assistance to rescue 15 people stranded at Burunda village in Palghar district. The IAF’s Mi17 helicopter launched however returned as no one was found at the co-ordinates given and the weather was not condusive.last_img read more

London Olympics: Bigger test ahead for Men’s hockey team

first_imgIndia coach Michael Nobbs piloted the hockey team’s return to Olympics in February this year and he now embarks upon another challenge to gauge the level of preparation of his wards for the London Games.The Indian men’s team leaves for London on Friday to participate in the four-nation Olympic test event which has three of the world’s top outfits, including Australia.With Australia, Great Britain and Germany in the fray, India’s chances do look bleak but the eight- time Olympic champions could not have asked for a better opportunity to test their strength ahead of the Olympics.The matches will be played on bluecoloured pitches at the Riverbank Arena in London from May 2 to 6 and although India would have done better to get accustomed to the nature of the new turfs, Nobbs believes there’s still time for the team to make adjustments.”Preparations have been as expected and as planned. The Olympic test event will be an opportunity for us to play on the blue pitches although the other participating teams have been practising on them for the last six months,” Nobbs told Mail Today on Thursday.The Indian team was to practice on the blue- coloured pitches in Jalandhar but the Sports Authority of India (SAI) couldn’t get it ready in time.However, playing against some of the best teams in the world and in the same venue which will host the hockey matches in Olympics would serve as an ideal opportunity.”David John (team physio) and I have been planning everything for the last eight months and the results have been very positive. The fitness of the players has been improving. Now the question is how good we are and the test event will tell us that,” said Nobbs.advertisement”We have got nothing to lose as compared to the other teams who would be expected to do better. But of course, that doesn’t mean we will take it easy and allow us to be driven by those teams.”The level of competition would be high with Australia, which probably will win the gold at the Olympics, and then the other two teams will fight it out for the next two spots.”Over the past few months, Nobbs has been rotating and experimenting players at various positions and has not shied away from taking some hard decisions which saw the ageing Rajpal Singh and Arjun Halappa being kept out of the Olympic qualifiers.However, he justified his decision after the Indian team qualified for the Olympics.The test event will again see India rotating the players and Nobbs hopes to iron out the deficiencies. India have rested Ignace Tirkey, who played a pivotal role in the midfield during the qualifiers, for the tournament and Nobbs does not want to put too much pressure on the 30- year- old’s body.”Ignace is not getting younger and we didn’t want him to be overworked. He will be back for the Azlan Shah tournament which will be another important tournament for us.”last_img read more

War memorial to come up in Ambala

first_imgChandigarh, Sep 13 (PTI) Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Vij today said all the formalities for construction of war memorial at Ambala will soon be completed. The war memorial would be a true tribute to the freedom fighters, he said. Vij said the First War of Independence of India in 1857 had started from Ambala district. Its entire history would be projected with light and sound in the War Memorial, he said He said the war memorial would display historical events of the freedom struggle from Ambala to Rangoon and information about all known and unknown freedom fighters of Haryana would also be inscribed. Vij said as per an estimate about 3,500 people had lost their lives in 1857 struggle, out of which about 1100 have been identified. Not only this, at that time the British had completely destroyed 115 villages, he said. Vij said that the war memorial would also project important historical incidents right from revolution of 1857 to Bahadurshah Jafar including events related to life of Jhansi ki Rani, Tantya Tope, Mangal Pandey and other freedom fighters. The war memorial would have the facilities like auditorium, library, tower museum, food court, reception, covered parking and helipad, he said. PTI CHS RGlast_img read more