MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Kim says North Korea could participate in South’s Winter Olympics Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFrancis Vicente may have lost his post as head coach of Generika-Ayala, but the bad news did not damper his holiday spirit.Generika-Ayala let go of its head coach after the team failed to enter the playoffs in the All-Filipino and Grand Prix, finishing seventh in the both of the conferences with a combined record of 5-9.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Vicente, though, remained positive despite the ouster, saying he could now focus better on his other two commitments as the head coach of University of the East and the national women’s team.“I see this as a blessing in disguise,” said Vicente. “Now I can focus wholly on UE and the national team.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkGenerika-Ayala has yet to reveal its new head coach but already has a shortlist for the potential replacement. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
Fellow Liberians:Last week, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf met with ranking members of the Liberian Council of Churches. The meetingwhich focused on the foundation of the Republic on Christian principles proved to be enlightening for all concerned. Hours later, through various media reports, the government became aware of an ecumenical letter from the Liberian Council of Churches over the signature of its President, Most Reverend Jonathan B.B. Hart, drawing attention to issues of corruption, education, health and poverty – issues that are inextricably linked and with which the government is seriously concerned and endeavoring to comprehensively address. The Liberian Government views the Liberian Council of Churches as constructive partners in the ongoing process of transformation, and accordingly, treats its positions with due respect and seriousness. However, we do not believe its recent public posture tells the whole story or accounts for the progress we have achieved together.CorruptionCorruption remains public enemy number one. Describing corruption as a “vampire” is, once again, a reminder of the seriousness of this societal ill as well as the duty Liberians share to fight it everywhere – in the government, in the church, in various communities, in schools, and in our homes. Making the fight as inclusive as possible is how we will continue to be successful. There is no doubt that the Church is an enduring pillar of the Liberian State. This enviable position imposes a duty, perhaps more than on many other institutions of the Liberian society, to be joined with the government in ensuring the total health of the nation whose lifeblood corruption, the “vampire”, is desperate to suck away. And so we continue to believe we can both do more.But the need to do more in the fight against corruption ought not to translate into an understanding by the Council that nothing has been done to fight corruption. In 2007, Liberia was included in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) Ranking. The CPI ranks countries of the world from least corrupt to most corrupt by objective measures of various independent organizations. In 2007, Liberia wallowed at the bottom ranking 150 out of 180 countries. In 2008, the country ranked 138 out of 180 countries. In 2009, Liberia advanced 41 places and ranked 97 out of 180 countries.In 2010, the country ranked 87. In 2011, apparently distracted by the conduct of free and fair elections, Liberia ranked 91. In 2012, Liberia achieved its highest ranking and highest place of 75 out of 176 countries. In 2013, the country dropped eight places to rank 83 out of 177 countries and outperformed many of its neighbors and countries on the continent. According to the latest report for 2014, the difficult year of the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak, Liberia ranked 94 out of 175 countries. This is the objective proof of the measure of progress in the fight against corruption.Additionally, as has been widely reported, early next month, the country is poised to enter into Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) from which the country is expected to benefit from a grant of US$256.7M to be largely invested in electricity and road maintenance, binding constraints to the growth of the Liberian economy, and by extension, major impediments in the efforts to improve the living conditions of our people. Under this Program of the United States Government to which Liberia has been engaged for at least three years, similarly-situated countries compete among themselves principally in areas of democratic governance and control of corruption to qualify for the much-needed grant. Liberia’s continued success over the last three years is due in no small measure to its ability to consistently pass the scorecard on control of corruption which measures the country’s efforts in fighting corruption against other countries similarly situated to Liberia.Certainly the Council will agree that corruption is endemic – historically rendering all institutions of the society vulnerable to its cancerous embrace. This settled truth has therefore compelled two unavoidable consequences in the ongoing fight against the scourge: Firstly, that there is bound to be a perennial struggle between objective reality and popular perception about corruption. And secondly, that if we are to continue to succeed as we believe we can, then we must continue to fight corruption collectively,systemically and sustainably.As to the struggle between objective reality and popular perception, the government continues to seek a useful balance by improving public awareness and exposing the stubborn facts of our collective progress always aware that public perception will not simply go away. Sadly, then, public posturing on this grave issue by venerated organizations such as the Liberian Council of Churches, in obvious disregard to the available objective evidence, can only fuel the inherited negative public perception about the ability of the society to wage a successful war against the “vampire”. Worst still, it leaves the unfortunate impression that corruption exists only in the government, and that only the government has a duty to fight it. On either of these counts, the resultant effect is to publicly undermine the ongoing fight against corruption.As to fighting the public menace sustainably, the approach of the government has been to begin by deliberately and continuously addressing individual and institutional vulnerabilities including improving civil servants’ salaries and capacities within available means as well as creating and reforming public institutions. Today, there are more integrity institutions than ever, and although we are still limited by the lack of capacities and resources to do all that we wish to, yet, in public procurement, for example, we have incorporated best international practices to ensure transparency, accountability and value for money. These individual and institutional safeguards are showing signs of bearing fruits across the public bureaucracy.The truth also is that continuous audits are now a main feature of the management of public resources – an obvious departure from the past. Through the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature or the Courts, as deemed necessary, we continue to hold public officials duly accountable for proved abuse of the public trust. As promised, and after much-needed reforms including to the jury law, the courts have begun to produce a number of indictments and convictions of public officials for corruption-related offenses.This has brought a sustainable whole-of-government approach to fighting corruption. Also, where it has been necessary to take immediate administrative actions, pending final resolution by the Legislature or the Courts, the Executive domain has consistently done so without fear or favor.Another important measure of proven success in the ongoing fight against corruption is the growing sense of public awareness which has now been generated against corruption, and upon which both the State and the Church must continue to build. We celebrate this significant gain even though, in the interim, it makes for many unsubstantiated claims in the public space. But we believe this is a reasonable, albeit annoying, small price to pay in this important endeavor. Make no mistake: The fight against corruption is far from over. Throughout the ongoing efforts, we continue to remind ourselves that we are not where we know we can be. However, it is wrong for the Council to have ignored the changing reality of our circumstances, and to suggest, as it has, that nothing has been done to fight corruption.Finally on this subject, we know the church to be a community dedicated to the spiritual and moral nurturing of its members. Today, many public officials are members of various churches in the country. Some are even serving in high positions of trust in the church. Either prior to entry into the government or while they are in the government, many of these public officials regularly fall under the moral and spiritual guidance of their clerics. To therefore suggest that the government has failed in the fight against corruption – that these same officials are somehow irredeemably corrupt –even if this were true and supported by available evidence, is to correspondingly admit the moral failing of the church for which the Council must also accept responsibility. EducationRegrettably, we find the Council’s position on the educational system to be wanting, and we refuse to believe that it is largely informed by the expressed need of the government to subject subsidies to private schools to increased levels of accountability. At 5,181 schools, there are more school buildings constructed across the country than ‘before the war’, and at 1.1 million students, enrolments, especially of girls, exceed the pre-war periods. Obviously, here again, we do need to renovate and construct more buildings. But as the Council will agree, schools are more than buildings.They include teachers, over a third of which are not qualified, with for instance, up to 70% of teachers in Sinoe being untrained. As the Council knows, war drains a nation of its brains, and in the case of Liberia, effectively removed the capacity to produce possible replacements. Especially as a result of this, we are seeing our children underperform in public examinations including the West African Examinations. The government is equally concerned that many of our schools, including private schools, are failing our children. In fact, the evidence is that the public schools are outperforming the private which are largely faith-based. As the Council knows, it takes courage in leadership to call a problem for what it truly is. And so we did. However, we have not only called a problem, we are employing resources and capacities to faithfully address the problem.The government therefore encourages the Council’s cooperation in achieving the announced reforms in the educational system so as to provide the best quality of education to our children. The time-bound objectives of the comprehensive plan of the government includes putting in place the foundations for a Liberian educational system that improves all students’ learning by 2017, and seeing a significant improvement in children’s learning outcomes and national literacy rates by 2020. This is why the recent action by a number of private institutions, some of which are members of the Council, to enroll their students in the WAEC Exams against the directive of the Ministry of Education is unhelpful.Of course, we wish the Council had joined us in the meeting with the students and the administration of the University of Liberia. Perhaps its position on this serious matter would have been less cynical. Suffice to say that all stakeholders in quality education at the University of Liberia need to do more. We admit that the government needs to source the means to allocate more than the current USD15M to the University. The same is true that the administration needs to do more to improve the services and quality as well as to attract additional support, and the students need to do more to purchase the quality of education that is lacking. Not only is the cost of education at the University of Liberia the cheapest in the world, at LD175 per credit hour, compared to all other tertiary institutions which are dominantly church-owned, it is by far the cheapest in the country.Finally on this subject, we can only encourage the Council to join us in these efforts, rather than assume an unenviable seat on the sidelines.HealthIt has been well-documented that in 2006, the country’s health care system was anything but that with, for example, only 41% of the population accessing basic health care within 5km distance or one-hour walk, with 354 health facilities serving more than three million people and accounting for a population to health facility ratio of 1:10,500 persons. The country had 3,966 health workers of which 60% were unskilled staff while 46% of health facilities were managed by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Average salary for nurses was approximately LD800 or USD15 while medical doctors received USD30 or its equivalent in Liberian Dollars.Malaria prevalence rate was 66% as the country frequently experienced outbreaks of infectious diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and measles all of which are on the decline with malaria being reduced to 28% by 2012. In 2006, three counties had no functional hospitals and eight counties including River Gee, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Rivercess, Gbarpolu, Sinoe, Grand Kru and Maryland had no Liberian medical doctor to provide quality and comprehensive health services.Prior to the EVD Outbreak, according to the WHO statistics, Liberia ranked among eight countries on the Continent to achieve under-5 mortality (MDG 4), from 194 in 2000 to 114 in 2009, recording the fastest rate of annual reduction on the Continent of 5.4%. These were achieved through a robust Public Health Care (PHC) Approach adopted by the government integrating immunization campaigns with deworming, Vitamin A supplementation as well as increasing the number of fully immunized children. By 2009, according to the MDG 2011 Report on Assessing Progress in Africa, seven African countries, including Liberia, were classified as “best-performing in reducing Infant Mortality Rate by at least 50% between 1990 and 2009”. On account of these serious and sustained interventions, even while hosting refugees, since 2006, remarkably, Liberia has not experienced acute watery diarrhea and or cholera outbreaks anywhere in the country.Interestingly also, since 2009, physicians have increased by 30%, while the other three core health professionals have all increased by 50-60%. Each county now has at least one medical doctor with increase in salaries for nurses from USD15 to USD275, and for doctors from USD30 to USD1575. Functional health facilities have increased by 86% from 354 in 2006 to 657 in 2015, similarly increasing access from 41% to 71% in 2013. In 2006, the per capita health expenditure was USD3.3 per person compared to USD17.2 in 2013/14, excluding donors’ funds. Importantly, since 2011, public health care services have been mandated to be free-at-point-of-use ensuring equitable access to health care by all Liberians. There were many other notable and recorded improvements in the health sector since 2006 including the completion of two regional TB Laboratories at Phebe Hospital, in Bong County and the Liberia Government Hospital in Grand Bassa County as well as the provision of 61 clinics with solar panels in 2013. From budgetary allocation of USD10.9M in 2006, budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Health have been increased year-on-year including up to USD67.3M in 2012/13, and USD76.7M in 2014/15. Ranging from deliveries assisted by skilled provider and antenatal fourth visits for pregnant women to receipt of all basic vaccinations for children under the age of one as well as counseling and testing for HIV, the health sector, prior to the EVD outbreak, showed appreciable levels of improvements in service delivery to our people.Notwithstanding these accomplishments, experts are in agreement that the size and scale of the Ebola outbreak we faced would have similarly collapsed the health systems of many countries and shattered their economies. But our commitment is to rebuild a more resilient system, as has already begun, with the help and support of our partners. Again, we do not claim to have had a resilient health system but we certainly had one which was capable of responding to usual ailments, and it had increased access for more Liberians. We will continue to rebuild the health system and in that process account for the possibility of outbreaks such as Ebola, which even more developed countries have themselves admitted, the world was unprepared for.PovertyImproving the welfare of our people is at the core of the purpose of this administration. This is why we continue to prioritize the infrastructure, especially electricity and roads, as the backbone to Liberia’s economic growth and development. The harsh truth is that of Liberia’s 10,000km of roads, only about 700km is paved. To pave the roads as we desire will cost USD2.2billion which the country does not have. However, within our means and with the support of our partners, we continue to open new access and pave more streets and highways in the country because the multiplying effect is to reduce the cost of living on our people. On Sunday, September 13, we dedicated one such project at the cost of more than USD8M to safely link the Township of Caldwell to Monrovia and as far as Kakata, in Margibi County.The same is true about electricity and water. Although the government inherited zero operational public utility and social services in the country, all of which had broken down, been destroyed or looted, but for the disruptions caused by the EVD Outbreak, the country was on track to rehabilitate the Mount Coffee Hydro power Plant to complement other efforts at power generation and distribution across the country including in villages and towns which had never experienced such growing necessity to improvements in their living conditions since Independence. Access to safe drinking water by many Liberians has also been exponentially increased from zero when this administration came into office to at least 60 percent. Again, we are committed to doing more.Of course the wage bill has increased due in large measure to adjustments in the income of civil servants and bringing others including healthcare workers previously paid by NGOs onto the payroll. Notwithstanding the adjustments, admittedly, there still are inherited disparities in incomes for example between doctors and politicians to which we have already objected and are currently addressing. We do not apologize that salaries of civil servants – increased from a minimum of USD15 in 2006 to a minimum of USD125 today – must always have first claim on the budget. However, by creatively adopting the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) budgeting, we have ensured that much-needed investments in public sector improvement projects intended to significantly address poverty are included and protected in the new medium term expenditure cycle. We have also introduced the County and Social Development Funds not only to increase outlays to the counties for their development but also to increase Liberians’ participation in and ownership of the development of their villages, towns and counties.The truth also is that under this administration, many of the inherited and challengingly high indices by which poverty is measured have been respectably, and in some cases, exponentially lowered. For instance, life expectancy in 2014 has improved to 60.6 years compared to 46 years in 1985. Each year since 2006, the country’s human development score has increased from 0.33 in 2006 to 0.41 in 2014. According to the latest report on Liberia Food Security Assessment, food consumption has improved over the last years. An indicative trend shows that 50 percent of the population had either poor or borderline food consumption in 2006. By 2010, this rate reduced to 41 percent. In 2012, the poor food consumption households represented18 percent of the population. Today, the households characterized by poor food consumption constitute 5 percent of the population. Liberians engaged in business and with access to micro-credits and financing have also increased. At 175 out of 187 countries, no doubt Liberia remains a poor country. But we did not become poor yesterday or last week! Our historic failures to invest in education, health, agriculture, roads, electricity, and human capacity – to pursue the collective benefits of inclusive growth – especially in the best of times inevitably contribute to the poverty of any nation. Compound that with the total implosion of the Liberian State and up to 90 percent collapse in the productive sector of the economy, the greatest by any nation since World War II – all of this just over a decade ago – as well as the complete overturn of the moral compass and it becomes easier to appreciate the remarkable resilience of the Liberian people and the achievements of their government.Obviously, we are not overwhelmed by these accomplishments. We continue to strive to do more. But we believe that the ongoing efforts including increased public participation in national decision-making as well as programs of decentralization being diligently pursued will strengthen the foundations of change we have introduced – change in how we serve our people and provide them the tools they need to be lifted from the sinking pits of poverty. Again, we ask you to join us in these important undertakings and remain constructively involved.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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! WHITTIER – Although it functions like a library, kids might find the items on the shelves at Adventure County Park more appealing than books. Officials run a toy-loan program at the park, allowing children to check out used toys for a week at a time. The program targets children whose families may lack the resources to provide toys on their own. Loaning toys to children not only puts a smile on their faces, but it also teaches them a lesson, said Caren Grisham-Algotts, who donates to the program. “It’s like a library for checking out toys,” the Whittier resident said. “They’re having fun but at the same time its teaching responsibility.” Grisham-Algotts and the women’s auxiliary of the Church of Scientology brought “hundreds” of donated toys to the park . This is the third year the philanthropic group has wheeled in carts and lugged boxes full of stuffed animals, dolls and games to the park. “They’re still in good condition,” she said of the toys. “This way somebody else can use them and enjoy them.” Though her church is in Pasadena, Grisham-Algotts has lived in Whittier for 48 years. She takes advantage of opportunities to give back to a city she loves. “I wanted to do something in my area,” she said, adding helping kids can positively shape the future of the community. “We like working for kids because we want them to start young and grow up responsible,” she said. The toy-loan program, headed by Los Angeles County Social Services, has been at the park for five years. About 40 to 50 kids participate in the program, said Dave Martinez, a park recreation services supervisor. “It’s open to anybody at any time,” he said. “We even invite the kids on the playground.” On Fridays between 3 and 5p.m., Adventure County Park lets kids check out a toy to take home and play with for the week. They must bring it back on the following Friday in the same condition. After a number of check-outs returned on time, children can pick a toy to permanently call their own. “They’ll see something that they haven’t seen before and want to play with it,” Martinez said. Park officials collect toys from the community and organizations like the women’s auxiliary. “It gives them a variety of toys to play with,” he said. on Wednesday firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2236
Lifford Community HospitalCounty Councillor Gary Doherty has branded as ‘disgraceful’ the attitudes of successive governments towards Lifford Community Hospital.And he has blamed the austerity policies of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour for the demise of the facility which has had its total In-Patient bed numbers halved since 2009.Commenting on the shocking figures, which were revealed following a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Health tabled by Sinn Féin, Cllr Doherty has squarely laid the blame at the door of the government parties for their failure to adequately resource the facility which has led to a steady reduction in patient numbers.Cllr Doherty said “In December 2009, the number of beds available at Lifford Community Hospital was reduced by ten from 40 down to 30. Inspectors from HIQA were informed at the time of an unannounced inspection that this reduction was due to the HSE recruitment embargo which – as we all know – was shamefully introduced by Fianna Fáil. “In their report the HIQA inspectors found that the physical design and layout of the premises – given the age of the building – did not meet the needs of residents in a number of ways, citing concerns relating to shared communal rooms, and limited assisted bathing and shower facilities.“Another inspection was subsequently carried out in June 2011, during which it was observed that the number of beds at the hospital had been reduced further to 20 in total, with 11 beds designated for long-term residential care. Again, Inspectors noted that the building’s physical structure posed challenges to the delivery of care but staff were praised for the cleanliness and maintenance of rooms.”The most recent HIQA inspection in May saw inspectors noted that there had been no new admissions for long term care for quite a considerable amount of time and also found that the number of long term residents had reduced from 11 at the time of registration down to just four.“Again, despite five years having passed since HIQA’s very first inspection where it was reported that structural and design issues were preventing the needs of residents from being met, HIQA inspectors determined again in 2015 that the needs of residents were not being met due to the building’s layout, and that the problem was ‘seriously compromising’ the ability of staff to provide care to residents. “Just like in 2010 concerns were raised about limited assisted bathing and shower facilities for residents and – despite this issue having been identified back in 2010 – they were found to be continuing to impact on patient care.“In essence, the current government has known about these issues since before ever having taken office and yet here we are as they come to the end of a five year term and the facility has been scaled back, has lost half its bed capacity, with little or no assistance having been given to it to address the issues highlighted by HIQA inspectors.”The Sinn Fein politician added that despite these challenges, during each and every inspection HIQA inspectors praised the high level of care received by service users at the hospital and commended staff at Lifford Hospital for the courteous and respectful manner in which they treated and cared for patients.“The authority also spoke highly of the local community in Lifford, particularly the Friends of Lifford Hospital group for all the assistance and support which it provides to the unit such as fund raising initiatives and organising various activities for service users throughout the year.“This facility has been at the heart of the community in Lifford since 1775 and has been a place where many of our elderly loved ones have been treated and cared for during times of sickness and ill health. It’s a place where many of them have spent their last days and – at a time of deep personal upset and grief for their families – Lifford hospital and its dedicated staff have been there for them. “While the local community and indeed the staff and management at Lifford Hospital must be praised and congratulated for all that they do to provide what is an exceptional and tremendous service for residents and their families, the complete indifference and lack of support given to the facility by all the government parties is simply disgusting.”LIFFORD HOSPITAL IS DISGRACEFULLY IGNORED – CLLR DOHERTY was last modified: January 4th, 2016 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:CLLR GARY DOHERTYdonegalLIFFORD HOSPITAL
The Shandon Hotel in Portnablagh.A Donegal hotel is to press ahead with its grand opening after it was granted a drinks license despite court objections by its former owner.The Shandon Hotel in Portnablagh will now open in April after a massive renovation programme and the creation of 45 new jobs. The incredible spa facility at The Shandon has been opened for a number of months now and has been extremely busy with hundreds flocking to it weekly.It comes after its former owner, Dermot McGlade, who lives next to the hotel, objected to the granting of the license at Falcarragh District Court this week.Mr McGlade claimed that the hotel should not be granted a license as he is taking a case against the hotel owners over a right-of-way at the hotel.He argued that, in the event of an emergency at the hotel, residents would be forced to come onto his land because the side of the hotel continuing an emergency exit borders his land.The court heard that the disputed right-of-way is a matter of separate High Court proceedings.The new owner of the hotel Mr Warren McCarty and his Bar Manager Robert McElhinney were also present in court but did not give evidence.The court heard that the fire officer had examined the site and previous objections had now been satisfied after works had been carried out.Mr Denis O’Mahony, solicitor for the Shandon Hotel, said a claim against the granting of a license in relation to a right-of-way was not a valid argument.He also pointed out that the valid time for Mr McGlade to object under the licensing laws had lapsed.Judge James Faughnan asked solicitor for the Shandon Hotel, Mr O’Mahony to take some time to explain to Mr McGlade that his objection was out of time.Judge Faughnan then explained to Mr McGlade that his objection was not valid saying “you fall at the first hurdle because you are out of time.”He added “This has nothing to do with the license I am granting here today. This is a property dispute and this is a licensing issue. It is doomed. I am striking out the objection and granting the application.”FORMER SHANDON OWNER FAILS TO HAVE HOTEL’S DRINK LICENSE BLOCKED was last modified: January 23rd, 2016 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:Dermot McGladeJudge James FaughanPortnablaghshandon hotel
Ireland’s Olympic team manager Patsy McGonagle wants teachers across Donegal to close their schoolbooks and get behind boxer Jason Quigley.Finn Valley boxer Jason Quigley guaranteed a broze medal in the World Championships.The Ballybofey boxer will compete for a place in the World Championship Final when he steps into the ring tomorrow.And his fellow Twin Towns man wants kids across the county to watch the boxing match so it can inspire them to greater things. Patsy already has a fight on his hands trying to convince RTE to show the bout on live television although it can be seen on the RTE website through a live web screening.Patsy told Donegal Daily “We have world class athletes representing their communities and their countries and our next generation aren’t even seeing it.“We can talk until we are blue in the face about our health system and childhood obesity but we are doing nothing in this country to prevent it.“Children at primary and secondary level should be taken out of their classes and into assembly halls to watch our world class athletes in action. “How else are we going to inspire our young people and get them to think about sport? We won’t do that if we don’t even tell them about it.”McGonagle has even issued an open invitation to people to come along to the Finn Valley Centre to watch Quigley who will take on a Russian opponent Kazakhstan in the elite semi-final tomorrow.All those who come along are asked to arrive no later than 10.15am with free tea and coffee on offer.22-year-old Quigley is already being tipped for an Olympic gold in Rio in 2016.“He is a tremendous athlete and a tremendous role model and young people can take inspiration from him,” said McGonagle. RTE has been showing the championships online on rte.ieHowever a spokesman for RTE confirmed they will be showing a highlighted show on Friday evening at 7pm evening presented by Peter Collins and with guests Katie Taylor and Mick Dowling.There are also provisional plans to show a live show on Saturday morning depending on how many Irish boxers qualify for the finals.OLYMPIC COACH PATSY WANTS TEACHERS TO DELIVER THE KNOCKOUT BLOW FOR JASON was last modified: October 24th, 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:BallybofeyFinn Valley CentreJason QuigleyRussiansupportteachersWorld Boxing Championships
TORONTO — Kevin Pillar always thought all of his major league at-bats would come with the Blue Jays. Travis Bergen believed his first major league pitch would too.As the Giants prepare for a rare, two-game interleague series in Toronto, a pair of former Blue Jays are bracing for a strange feeling.“I guess I envisioned myself playing in the big leagues with them when I was drafted and the opportunity that I got here is something that I never would have dreamed of,” Bergen said.Bergen, a …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The 53rd annual Farm Science Review, sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, came to a close at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center after welcoming 116,784 visitors during the course of the three-day event and showcasing the latest in agricultural innovations.Daily attendance totals were: Tuesday – 38,220; Wednesday – 54,404; Thursday – 24,160. The total of 116,784 compares with last year’s 131,153. Although the show’s overall attendance was down from last year’s total — likely due to ideal harvest conditions across central Ohio — it was still deemed a success in the eyes of show organizers, based on the quality of exhibitors and attendees and the new connections they made, organizers said.“We’ve gotten great feedback this year in terms of the value that Farm Science Review offers to both attendees and exhibitors, providing a venue for forging new business partnerships and the transfer of knowledge among people involved in different facets of agriculture,” said Chuck Gamble, show manager.Trans Alliance, LLC, an agricultural trucking company based in Greenville, was interested in recruiting truck drivers at the Farm Science Review and was pleased with the prospects generated from exhibiting at the show, said Cory Griesdorn, the company’s information technology manager.“We’re looking for farmers or anyone with ag experience who wants something to do during other times of the year other than planting and harvest, and we’ve gotten a lot of great leads this week,” he said. “We set up a booth at a county fair this summer, but the Farm Science Review blew it away in terms of the number of prospects we talked with compared to there.”Highlights from the 2015 Farm Science Review included:Bruce McPheron, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES, announced a commitment of an additional $1 million in financial support to undergraduate students for the 2016-17 academic year.John Hixson and Harold Watters were inducted into the 26th class of the Farm Science Review Hall of Fame during the Celebration of CFAES luncheon.Field to Faucet Water/Nutrient Research Tours were available to attendees, featuring joint projects between Ohio State and Beck’s Hybrids.A field demonstration featuring four different plot combines and three plot planters was an addition to the show’s normal field demos schedule and showcased different aspects of the machines and the latest seeding techniques.Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) took to the skies above the fields during daily demonstrations, and were complemented with video monitors on the ground displaying real-time images and video footage for attendees.Titan Tire’s second annual charity tire auction raised $29,000 for Ohio FFA students.Early harvest results showing an average of 47 bushels per acre for soybeans and 180 bushels per acre on average for corn from fields on the Farm Science Review grounds.The Ohio Land Improvement Contractors of America installed 50 acres of tile, along with a flood control structure.“Moving forward, we’ll want to continue to focus on the quality of exhibitors we have here so that show attendees get the support and resources they need to increase production to help feed 9 billion people by the year 2050,” Gamble said.Next year’s show is set for Sept. 20-22, 2016.
I recently attended an event at the Owens Corning (OC) insulation plant in Fairburn, Ga., about 45 minutes from my house. Being of the geeky sort, I always appreciate the opportunity to see big machines, so the factory tour piqued my interest, although, unfortunately, I was not allowed to take any pictures of the process. As is usual with most industry events, there was some good, some bad, and a little ugly, but overall I considered it a reasonably good use of my time. And as a bonus, I actually learned a few new things while there.OC assembled about 30 industry people, including builders, representatives from utility companies, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Georgia chapter of the USGBC, Southface, green-building scientists, and some industry hangers-on like myself.Some interesting factsTo start off the day, OC representatives shared some statistics with us. They were 56th in Newsweek magazine’s list of the top 500 green companies, and they are the largest supplier of glass fiber reinforcement for the wind power industry (this fact came with a PowerPoint slide showing a single turbine blade that looked as big as a commercial passenger jet).The quick sales pitch was followed by a presentation by Paul Bates of GreenGuard Environmental Institute, a third-party testing organization focusing on air quality. While I am familiar with GreenGuard, their product listings tend toward the commercial market, so I have not dug too deeply into their ratings. My patience got the better of me early in the presentation as Bates was primarily addressing products rather than process, but he did get to the process eventually, and early enough that I didn’t get too rude with him. Some of the interesting factoids I took away—although I have not verified them personally—include:New homes can have indoor pollution levels that are more than 1000 times those that are considered safe.Computers, printers, and toner cartridges are consistent emitters of VOCs.Chrome-plated metal can release heavy metals through skin contact.Paints that are listed as having no VOC content can emit VOCs as they dry. (This particular point seemed somewhat self-serving, as GreenGuard specializes in product emissions, but I guess that’s why they provide these presentations.)Sunlight interacts with asphalt to create ground-level ozone.Over 10 years, childhood asthma rates have increased by 160%.Every day 40,000 people miss work due to asthma and 30,000 people have asthma attacks.5,000 people die of asthma every year.Poor indoor air quality results in $20 billion in workers compensation and medical costs and $120 billion in litigation costs annually.Bates sort of backed himself into a corner toward the end when he recommended that indoor air quality be tested annually, but couldn’t provide any good resources for professionals to do the testing, and admitted that the cost of these tests are prohibitively expensive for the residential market. We ended with a good discussion of the value, supply, and demand for services like these.But why are we here?The primary purpose of this meeting was to introduce OC’s new insulation system, EnergyComplete, which consists of a spray-applied latex gasket/air seal combined with traditional batt or blown-in fiberglass insulation. While I have seen this product before—and from what I have seen, I am impressed with it—there were many people who were not familiar with it, nor were they fluent in building-science speak, which dominated much of the day.OC’s biggest selling point is the low toxicity of the sealant, which can be applied without the need for complete personal protection and respirators; nor do other trades need to leave the house, as is the case with most spray foam products. I appreciate the low toxicity of the sealant, and if it and the insulation are both applied correctly, the system should result in a well-sealed and insulated building. But as with all products, the devil is in the details. Allowing various trades to be working in the house while the air sealing is under way could easily have people cutting holes in the building envelope after air sealing is done, creating leaks and thermal bypasses that get missed in the rush to get to drywall.The last wordOverall, I thought the day with OC was time well spent. They didn’t schedule anything during lunch, so there was plenty of time to network, and most of the attendees took advantage of this opportunity to meet new people and hand out cards. Clearly, the focus was on healthy buildings, which is OC’s big new marketing push as they expand their offerings in the marketplace. I’m willing to give their new product a try. I appreciate the fact that they are raising the bar in home construction and look forward to seeing how the market accepts their new product.
We’re beyond excited to announce that today, PremiumBeat is joining the Shutterstock family!After months of hard work, we’re ecstatic to make it public…PremiumBeat is uniting with Shutterstock, the world’s largest and most vibrant two-sided marketplace for creative professionals to license content.For the last 10 years, our team has been dedicated to sourcing and licensing high-quality music for media professionals and providing top-notch customer service. We’ve found the perfect match in Shutterstock, a dynamic company that’s paving the way for the future of image, footage, and music licensing. Advancing forward together provides tremendous benefit to our musicians, our team, and our customers.You may have some questions about the acquisition, so let’s hit on a few below:What will happen to PremiumBeat.com?We’re here to stay! We’ll be continuously adding new features to the site (just as we do now) and will maintain the same level of world-class customer service that you’ve come to expect from us. We remain dedicated to growing both the quantity and quality of PremiumBeat music – more awesome tracks coming soon!Will the track prices remain the same?Yes! Our licensing is not changing and neither is our pricing.What about licenses I’ve purchased, are they still valid?Yes! ALL previous licenses are honored per the terms of those agreements. We stand behind any past and future license purchases.Will you be licensing photos and footage on PremiumBeat?You’ll only find music and SFX on PremiumBeat, but if you’re looking to license photos or footage we know a site you should visit – Shutterstock!We’re excited to join the Shutterstock family and serve your music needs into the future!Please direct all questions and press inquiries to email@example.com