Residents Want CEMENCO to Observe Safety Procedures

first_imgResidents of Belema and Sawmill communities on Bushrod Island in Monrovia have said they may file a lawsuit against Liberia Cement Company (CEMENCO) for its ongoing demolition exercises if the company refuses to carry out environmental safety procedures.The residents complained that their homes are covered in dust during the demolition of the old factory. However, Mr. James D. Gibson, Jr. told the Daily Observer last week that the demolition at the old CEMENCO factory has not started, pending the result of a bid process for a company the perform the demolition exercise. Gibson also said that the cement production process is done in coordination with Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and poses no health risks to the community.Mr. C. Brown Dennis, spokesperson of the communities, who spoke to the media after a peaceful protest yesterday at the main entrance of the company, said that they experience flooding during the rainy season “because the new factory which is built in the community often blocked the waterways.”He claimed that the current demolition exercise that CEMENCO is undertaking will pose serious risks to their health.“This peaceful protest is to create awareness by calling the attention of CEMENCO management to the manner in which they are dismantling the old plant; that it could cause us serious health problems. What we want them to do is to stop and hire a professional company; and if they do not stop, we will take legal action against them,” said Dennis.He alleged that the company hired by CEMENCO does not have the equipment to do the work properly and “is not licensed by the government of Liberia through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”He claimed that there is a sickness or disease called “asbestosis,” which comes from asbestos, adding that if the sheets are not dismantled properly they will cause lung cancer for residents.“Last week, we met the management of the company and they denied that they were not dismantling the plant and said in fact they do not have asbestos. But interestingly, when you look at the plant, it tells you that they are carrying on the demolition,” he said.He therefore called on the national government and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to intervene so as to save their communities from “environmental calamity.”Meanwhile, officials at CEMENCO contacted refused to comment or address the issue.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More »

“Christmas cancelled”– Linden vendors

first_img…decry slow pace in holiday shoppingWith just a few days left until Christmas, vendors and stallholders at Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are complaining about the slow pace in business.Some vendors have already declared it “the worst year” yet, noting that there is minimal holiday shopping this year, as opposed to the usual spike in economic activities associated with this time of the year. Guyana Times visited a number of vendors and stallholders along the Mackenzie Market area, considered the main shopping arena in the community, to have a first-hand look at the holiday shopping atmosphere.“It’s like Christmas cancel or something this year. Nothing ain’t going on. People hardly shopping. Well, we hoping things pick up by weekend,” one vendor lamented.Meanwhile, some are comparing the state of activities with that of last year, noting that while last year was slow also, it was far better than this year.“Last year was better, a hundred per cent better. I would blame it on the President. He’s pressuring the business people in terms of expending. They’re not getting to expend due to the taxes. Businesspeople got to pay bills and the smaller ones are feeling it,” Curtis of Curtis Groceries and Greens Stand told this publication.The entrepreneur, who has been in business for 25 years, stated that he was not optimistic about business next year, as he pointed out that the prices for some items such as apples which are popularly sold around this season have increased. He explained that he believed that it was a countrywide issue. The businessman said while it was customary for him to provide holiday hampers to his staff, this year he was sceptical since his business has declined by about 60 per cent.“I think next year would be worse. Time like this I don’t frighten to invest in me shop, but right now I frighten. What I giving me workers them to carry home this season?” he worried.Yet another vendor, Ronnel Mingo noted that the situation may be caused by limited spending power. “Look how the track clear,” she said, “Plenty people ain’t get ‘back’ pay and it’s the teachers who would usually give we a boost, but they ain’t get nothing this year. Just their flat salary. Like two years back, we would have been running to town three, four times to bring up goods, but not this year. We only hoping that it gets better because it’s just a couple more days left,” she said.Joan Caesar of Chanzar’s Enterprise said business was moving along slowly, but she was optimistic that it would get better at the weekend.Another vendor, Wendell, said he remained hopeful. “Time like this the place does ram. I’m hoping things pick up, because I buy plenty things and I glad for it sell out. But how much shopping people could do in one week?” he lamented. (Utamu Belle)last_img read more

Read More »

‘Disrespectful’ Hospital CEO ousted from PAC meeting

first_img…as Finance Director disavows finance responsibilityA ‘disrespectful’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GHPC), Allan Johnson was upbraided by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Irfaan Ali on Monday and was subsequently asked to leave the hearing.PAC Chairman, Opposition Member of Parliament Irfaan Ali in full flow on Monday (Parliament Office PR photo)Johnson was at the time being grilled, along with Finance Officer Ronald Charles, by Ali and colleague People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament, Bishop Juan Edghill, but both men were woefully ill-prepared when questioned about expenditure by the entity.The matter came to a head when the MP questioned a failure to submit financial statements for 2015 in breach of the Public Corporation Act by GPHC.Questions were left unanswered and a strange state of affairs was also unearthed as the ‘Finance Director’ seemed unaware he was in fact Finance Director since another person also serves in the capacity.After the men failed on numerous occasions to provide specific answers on spending undertaken by the GPHC in 2015, Ali intervened and brought the proceedings to a close before ousting Johnson.The PAC Chairman was adamant the GPHC’s CEO, “is trying to frustrate the PAC, I believe the CEO, you, you are disrespectful…you came here before you know who are the relevant offices that need to be before PAC.”According to Ali, “this behaviour would not be tolerated; I will not allow you to waste the PAC time…we are going to ask you to leave this morning and we are going to get back to you and we hope you come back prepared the next time.”He used the occasion to draw to Johnson’s attention the fact the public was an integral stakeholder in the process. That eventually led to an informal back-and-forth exchange between MP Edghill who scolded the Hospital CEO saying “behave like a big man…this is nonsense…you believe I ain’t got nothing to do when Monday mornings come.”GPHC CEO Allan Johnson (left) and Finance Director Ronald Charles were roasted by the PAC on MondayAli had earlier clashed with CEO Johnson over the failure of the Corporation to submit its financial statements for 2015 and 2016 and questioned what sanctions would be put in place against the technical or financial officers responsible.Johnson told PAC, “We do have a plan to ensure that it gets done.”Asked specifically about the plan, and if any action was taken, Johnson answered in the negative, prompting the PAC Chair to ask, “As CEO you are satisfied with this?” which was met with a long pause.An angered PAC Chair, further pressing the Hospital CEO on what actions would be taken over the failure of the GPHC to keep the legal requirements of the Public Corporations Act said, “I am going to write the Finance Director – sitting next to him – for him to give me, um, for him to state why it was not done and then proceed from there.”It was pointed out by Edghill  that the breaches were unearthed in audit findings and known to the technical officers for several months and “he is going to come to PAC this morning to tell us, having had to answer a question, that he is now going to write the Finance Director to find out why this didn’t happen.”Edghill, a former junior Finance Minister under the previous PPP/C Administration, also used the opportunity during the brief session to question how much funds GPHC would hold in its accounts at the end of the year rather than returning the money to the Consolidated Fund.An assurance was given that the monies were returned, but when asked for some sort of documentation to corroborate claims that the monies were in fact returned to the treasury, the hospital team again found itself at loggerheads with the members of the parliamentary committee.Johnson then asked for time to provide that information and was given until today by PAC Chairman Ali.Edghill then sought to query how exactly the GPHC was closing its books at the end of the year if there was not documentation, but by this time the PAC Chairman observed that the GPHC CEO was, in fact, misleading the parliamentary committee.According to Ali, based on information available to the Committee, 2016 funds had not been returned to the Consolidated Fund – this despite the faithful assurance to the contrary a few minutes earlier.This conundrum led to a more revealing line of questioning since Johnson at this time asked that questions be directed to the Hospital’s Finance Director.The PAC Chairman reminded Finance Director Charles of the CEO’s assertion of the GPHC returning all monies to the treasury at the end of the year to which he responded “let me clarify.”He told the Committee all remaining monies from 2015 would have been returned to Government, but with regard to 2016, “as far as I am aware….”; there were a noticeably long pause, observed by the PAC Chairman, before the Finance Director conceded there might still be some money outstanding for 2016 that may have to be returned to the treasury, but this needed to be clarified.The PAC Chairman objected to the response coming from the Finance Director of the Hospital and asked, “Are you the Finance Director, sir?”Charles’ bizarre response – “not for the Finance per se” – left committee members visibly flabbergasted.Ali’s immediate response was to question what precisely he was Finance Director of at GPHC and it was at this point the Committee heard that there were in fact two Finance Directors functioning at the GPHC.The Committee heard that the previous functionary had been relieved of his duties, creating a vacancy for which Charles was appointed Finance Director.Johnson told the Committee, “The last Board brought back (name given) as director and therefore, Mr Charles, was shifted to procurement.”The PAC Chair replied, “I am (now) confused about what is going on here, when you introduced Mr Charles to the PAC today you said that he is the Finance Director; Mr Charles did not object to the introduction.”Johnson reaffirmed that Charles was in fact the Finance Director, prompting Ali to question “are you paid as the Finance Director of the Georgetown Hospital,” to which Charles responded: “Yes, I am.”An incensed Committee Chairman by this point declared to the Hospital CEO, “this place is in total confusion, you don’t even know who your Finance Director is…the Finance Director is saying he is not in charge of finances.”Having asserted his position before PAC as being the Finance Director of the GPHC, Charles told Committee Members he should be aware of the state of the finances of the entity, but at the time he was not fully aware.Johnson at this point in time attempted to explain away Charles’s presence before the PAC since the other Finance Director had reported sick two days earlier.By the end of the PAC session, MP Edghill posited that the postulations on the part of the Hospital CEO could have been very deliberate, “coming to PAC this morning with one member of staff who is not capable and in possession of all of the information”.last_img read more

Read More »

More collaboration needed on constitutional reform – British Envoy

first_img…says Constitution clear on dual citizens until reforms madeWith criticisms abounding about the slow pace of constitutional reform, British High Commissioner Gregory Quinn has noted the need for a collaborative and consultative approach.British Envoy Gregory QuinnThe British High Commissioner noted that while many persons recognise the need for constitutional reform, a more collaborative approach is needed.“We’ve been talking about constitutional reform. In 2016 we funded a project with the Carter Center, which launched a discussion on constitutional reform. Ultimately constitutional reform has to be a Guyanese-led process. There are a lot of people who recognise work must be done on the Constitution.”“It’s now over to the political parties to decide what needs to be done to move the process forward, if that’s what they want to do… because it has to be a consultative process. Changing the Constitution takes two-thirds of the 65 seats in Parliament. So it’s not like one party or another can direct. So they need to decide how to move that forward, if they want to move it forward.”Asked about the recent resignations of dual citizen Members of Parliament (Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin and Public Service Minister Dr Rupert Roopnarine) from Guyana’s National Assembly, the diplomat noted that the Constitution is clear on the matter.“The Constitution at the moment is clear about the dual citizens’ issue and the courts have ruled on that. So unless there’s a change to the Constitution, things will have to play out the way they’re currently playing out [resignations].”“The Constitution is the supreme law of Guyana and, therefore, must be adhered to across the board. And I think that’s what we’re seeing. And that’s how it must be,” the British diplomat said.The Ministry of the Presidency had previously announced that effective from April 1, Members of Parliament (MP’s) on the Government side that have dual citizenship have resigned and as such, would not have been returning to Parliament when it reconvenes on April 11.Article 155 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana states that “No person shall be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly who (a) is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or State.”In February, Chief Justice Roxanne George had ruled on the case filed by Compton Reid over the dual citizenship of former AFC Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud. In the case it brought to the Chief Justice, Government had argued that Persaud’s dual citizenship status invalidated his vote in support of the No-confidence Motion that brought the Government down.This argument also formed part of the opinions presented to Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland in the hopes that he would reverse the ruling… something the Speaker ultimately refused to do.The Court of Appeal later upheld the January High Court ruling that it is illegal for persons holding dual citizenship status to be sitting in the National Assembly. Government has been under increasing criticism, even from its own supporters, for stating that dual citizens will return to the National Assembly despite these two rulings.During a recent press conference, Trotman had said that his party wants the constitutional provisions against dual citizens sitting in the National Assembly removed through the constitutional reform process.Over the past few years, constitutional reform has been before a parliamentary committee. There is a Constitutional Reform Commission bill that was to be examined by the committee. But there have been accusations made of members of the committee stalling the process.last_img read more

Read More »

College roundup: No. 8 Stanford overcomes absence of Wiggins, topples UCLA

first_img Saint Mary’s 70, Pepperdine 64: Maija Lahde had 22points, nine rebounds and seven steals to lead the Gaels to the West Coast Conference win. Teiosha George (Palmdale) led the Waves (12-16, 5-8) with 11 points. MEN’S VOLLEYBALL No. 1 Pepperdine 3, Stanford 0: Paul Carroll’s 15 kills on .423 hitting helped lead the host Waves to a 30-14, 30-22, 30-23 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory. It was the ninth straight win for Pepperdine (12-1, 10-1). WOMEN’S WATER POLO No. 1 UCLA 16, No. 4 Hawaii 7: Katie Rulon and Jillian Kraus scored four goals apiece to lead the host Bruins (7-0, 3-0) to the MPSF victory at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. MEN’S SWIMMING Pac-10 Championships: USC’s Larsen Jensen, who has won Olympic and World Championship medals as well as NCAA and U.S. national titles, finally has added a conference crown. Jensen won the 500-yard freestyle in a meet record 4 minutes, 13.52 seconds in Federal Way, Wash. USC is in fourth place midway through the meet with 159points. Stanford leads with 352 points. HANDBALL National Intercollegiate Championships: Top-seeded Brian Carroll from the Dublin Institute of Technology advanced to the men’s second round with a victory against Pacific’s Dan McNabney in the tournament at the Spectrum Club in Canoga Park. Eimear Ni Fhalluin of the University College of Dublin, the women’s top seed, also advanced. The competition continues through Sunday. – Howie Eisenberg 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Jayne Appel scored 24 points to help No. 8 Stanford overcome the absence of leading scorer Candice Wiggins and clinch at least a share of its seventh straight Pacific-10 Conference women’s basketball title with a 65-54 victory over UCLA on Thursday night. Stanford (24-4, 16-1 Pac-10) is already assured the top seed in next week’s Pac-10 Tournament because it swept second-place Arizona State. The Cardinal can win the title outright with a Sun Devils loss at Arizona on Saturday or their own win Sunday against USC. Noelle Quinn scored 17points to lead the Bruins, who have lost four straight games. Teammate Lindsey Pluimer added 15 points. California 86, USC 79 (OT): Ashley Walker scored a career-high 32 points, including two crucial free throws at the end of regulation, to spark the Golden Bears to the Pac-10 win. Devanei Hampton added 25 points and eight rebounds for Cal (21-7, 10-6), and Natasha Vital had a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. Walker also had 11 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the year, and made 14 of 16 free throws. Eshaya Murphy scored 19points for the Trojans (16-11, 10-7) and Jamie Hagiya had a career-high 16, but it was not enough for USC to pull off a win it needed to assure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans play Stanford on Saturday. Though teams have gotten at-large bids with 12 or 13 losses, they usually have some big wins, and USC’s best victory is against unranked Notre Dame. center_img Wiggins, the two-time conference Player of the Year, missed the game with an injured hamstring. She could also miss Sunday’s regular-season finale and next week’s Pac-10 Tournament as coach Tara VanDerveer said the priority is making sure Wiggins is healthy for the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal did miss Wiggins against UCLA (13-16, 7-10), but used a late 11-2 run to take a 60-50 lead with 1:23 left and put the game away. last_img read more

Read More »

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino ‘looks rattled’ and is ‘feeling the pressure’

first_img 2 Tottenham’s recent slump has seen Mauricio Pochettino ‘lose his composure’ the first time since he arrived in England, believes Southampton legend Matt Le Tisser.Spurs face Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, and they arrive at the San Siro in danger of losing three matches in a row for the first time under the Argentine.Pochettino is under the spotlight following back-to-back defeats to Watford and Liverpool in the Premier League. “He’s been very composed up until this point, but he’s just starting to show signs of feeling a little bit of pressure in his job.“At the moment I think he’s probably a bit frustrated with the depth of his squad and the lack of investment in the summer.“And he’s just starting to show the first signs of perhaps a little bit of pressure.”Listen back to Matt Le Tissier on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above 2 SPURSY – Tottenham followed up their 3-0 win over Man United with two straight defeats The boss also baffled many with a strange rant referring to ‘cows and trains’ ahead of the Inter showdown – a repeat of the famous 2010 clash which saw Gareth Bale score a memorable hat-trick.And Le Tisser, who is a big fan of Pochettino’s thanks to his spell in charge of the Saints, believes the coach is starting to show the first signs he is feeling the pressure at Tottenham.Speaking about the manager’s press conference remarks, the St Mary’s hero told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “It’s a strange one.“This is probably the first time since he’s been in this country where I’ve seen him a little bit rattled. Pochettino left journalists highly amoosed with his strange rant ahead of Inter Milan last_img read more

Read More »

Men’s Tennis Heads to Texas for ITA Kick-Off Weekend

first_imgOregon heads into the weekend undefeated, 2-0, as they beat Montana State and Utah State to open the season. Rice is receiving votes in the latest ITA top-25 team rankings and is coming off wins against UT Arlington and Prairie View A&M. Live Results DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake men’s tennis team travels to Austin, Texas this Saturday and Sunday to compete in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event against No. 9 Texas, Oregon and Rice at the Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Indoor Tennis Center. The Bulldogs begin the event squaring off against host No. 9 Texas on Saturday at 1 p.m. And then close out the weekend against either Oregon or Rice, depending on Saturday’s outcome. Story Linkscenter_img The Longhorns are 4-1 on the season with their first loss of the season coming last weekend at Tulsa. Texas boasts three top-50 singles players and two top-50 doubles in the rankings. Freshman Christian Sigsgaard leads the Longhorns ranked No. 6, while fellow freshman Yuya Ito and Harrison Scott are ranked 36th and 47th, respectively. Drake opened the season last week and earned a pair of wins, led by sophomore captain Vinny Gillespie, who was named MVC Player of the Week on Tuesday. The Bulldogs topped George Washington 6-1 and Northern Illinois 4-0. If the Bulldogs are able to come away with two wins, they would advance to next month’s ITA Division I National Team Indoor Championship in Virginia. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Read More »

Get along to the ultimate Wedding Fayre at the Mulroy Woods Hotel

first_imgIf you and your loved one are planning a special day, then this Sunday will provide you with a great opportunity to meet all of Donegal’s top wedding exhibitors.That’s because the stunning Mulroy Woods Hotel is hosting its annual Wedding Fayre.Situated on the outskirts of the picturesque village of Milford the stunning Mulroy Woods Hotel is set amidst stunning scenery rolling from the Donegal hills towards the shore-lands of Mulroy Bay. The old world character of this landmark hotel captures the essence of Irish hospitality, where traditional Donegal charm meets modern luxury. As a family run, luxury 3 star Hotel the owners pride themselves on attention to detail.The Hotel is staffed with hospitality professionals who ensure that all guests enjoy a first-class hospitality experience.The hotel’s plush décor creates an instant sense of comfort and cosiness, Mulroy Woods is a Hotel with heart. Roaring turf fires and delicious cuisine welcome you in winter while in the summer “The Woods” make you feel like you’re in the middle of a wild garden. The ideal destination Wedding venue with two large, airy, spacious banqueting suites, the Glashagh Suite catering for up to 350 guests and the Mulroy Suite for up to 160 guests.Our wedding specialists are at hand to assist you to craft a unique celebration finalizing all the details from your menu to tableware, accommodation and all special requests that make your day special.The wedding packages offer exceptional value and can be tailor-made to suit your budget. If guests are staying for a few days, the Hotel is the perfect departure point for discovering this most fantastically varied corner of Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way iconic attractions.One of the stunning suites at the Mulroy Woods Hotel.Located with close proximity to some of the most breathtaking scenery on the Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll find a host of enchanting wedding photo backdrops in this versatile Hotel complex, whatever the weather.Great value accommodation rates available for bridal party and guests.So whether you are celebrating a lavish wedding reception, a civil ceremony or civil partnership, the Mulroy Woods Hotel can take care of all your needs. Welcoming hospitality, tranquil surroundings, all that’s missing is you…For further information or to arrange an appointment to view our facilities, call our team today on 074 9153313E: info@mulroywoodshotel.com W: www.mulroywoodshotel.comThe lobby area of the beautiful Mulroy Woods Hotel.Get along to the ultimate Wedding Fayre at the Mulroy Woods Hotel was last modified: September 22nd, 2017 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:Mulroy Woods Hotelwedding fayrelast_img read more

Read More »

First-half latest: Norwich 0 Chelsea 1 – Blues well on top on Carrow Road

first_imgKenedy put Chelsea ahead after just 39 seconds at Carrow Road.The 20-year-old Brazilian cut in from the left, dodged two challenges and fired into the far corner – his first Premier League goal.Kenedy replaced the axed Baba Rahman at left-back, while Bertrand Traore was brought in by boss Guus Hiddink for his first league start for the Blues.There were also recalls for Oscar and Nemanja Matic, with Willian and John Mikel Obi dropping to the substitutes’ bench, where they are joined by Alexandre Pato, who was included in the matchday squad for the first time since his loan move.Chelsea, unbeaten in the league since Hiddink took over, have been well on top but were given a scare when Cameron Jerome headed over from Wes Hoolahan’s cross.Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Kenedy, Fabregas, Matic, Hazard, Oscar, Traore, Costa.Subs: Begovic, Baba, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Pato, Remy.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Read More »