… says maybe there is more in the mortar than the pestleThe Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) says it has been kept in the dark with regard the purported sale of the US$200 million modern Skeldon Sugar Factory and has in fact warned of a possible untoward deal at a giveaway price to a preferred buyer.Skeldon Sugar FactoryThe Union sounded the alarm on Tuesday saying based on information available to it, “the ground is being fertilised to make a case for the sale of Skeldon at, quite possibly, a giveaway price and the workers and the public are not being adequately informed by the Chief Executive Officer, Errol Hanoman and/or the relevant Government official(s).”GAWU has since publicly voiced its objection to such a move. According to the Union, it “does not support the divestment of the Skeldon Factory and its rich and arable land – a part of our patrimony. Indeed, such an approach, we believe, most entail knowledgeable and responsible evaluators, consultations with the workers and their unions and, indeed, discussions involving the relevant agencies of the country.”According to the Union representing sugar workers, “We see the move place the Skeldon factory on the chopping block will have negative repercussions for the industry and the country as a whole.”It has since surmised that for the workers, the communities, the cane farmers and others who are directly and indirectly linked to Skeldon Estate, such a decision would certainly place their employment and welfare grave risk.“At this time, we emphasise our strong disagreement with the position mooted and strongly urge the Government and GuySuCo to desist from such a course and instead to heed the credible and sincere views of the many Guyanese who have grave difficulties to support the selling out of the Estate.”GAWU on Tuesday suggested that sugar workers and, no doubt, an alert public must have been taken aback and surprised to learn, from media reports, that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the Government are preparing the ground for the imminent sale of Skeldon Estate.“The pattern we have been witnessing over the last year or so regarding the sugar industry is clearly continuing… The authorities seem bent on doing things and considering measures that are certainly not suitable for the well-being of the industry, the workers and the country. Alternative and worthy proposals and ideas expressed by the Sugar Commission of Inquiry (CoI), trade unions, and other credible voices are simply shunned.”The Union observed from news reports that the Corporation’s Board is advancing the sale, among other, “options” in addressing the sugar industry’s future.GAWU said it wishes to point out that its representative on the Board is not aware of such a proposal being raised in at recent meetings, “neither has he been requested to express his view on these options… Apparently, the Board’s name is being used to illustrate that consultation is taking place and a democratic procedure is followed.”GAWU said the move also raises the question whether other Board members are aware of what is being proposed in their name saying “most certainly, the workers of Skeldon and their Unions are left in the dark.”GAWU also used the opportunity to decry purported moves made by the Corporation to engage the Wärtsilä group purportedly in relation to the factory’s cogeneration plant.According to the GAWU missive, “it is bewildering as to why GuySuCo would engage Wärtsilä especially since its known area is power generation and we are unaware of any track record of its credible knowledge with respect to sugar factories and thus its conclusion are open to be questioned.”The Union observed too that the public is now being told that as much as $12 billion is required to bring the estate up to speed and suggested “clearly this is an astronomically overstated sum… It would be interesting to learn of the breakdown of this big sum.”Responding to media reports that the GuySuCo Board has already begun talks with prospective buyers, GAWU sought to query, “Is it a case that there are buyers or just a buyer.”The Union contends that “it is also puzzling that the Skeldon factory now described as a ticking time bomb and requiring an astounding sum to be put right, yet is attracting interested purchaser/s so eager to talk… Maybe there is more in the mortar than the pestle.”The Union believes that transparency is certainly lacking even in this case involving the newest and costliest sugar factory.
0Shares0000Trophy-holders Esperance of Tunisia became the first qualifiers for the CAF Champions League quarter-finals after a 2-0 home win over Horoya of Guinea in Group B Friday. © AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACEJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Mar 9 – Trophy-holders Esperance of Tunisia became the first qualifiers for the CAF Champions League quarter-finals after a routine 2-0 home win over Horoya of Guinea in Group B Friday.Malian Hamed Assoko conceded an own-goal midway through the first half to put the three-time African champions ahead at the Stade Olympique in the Tunis suburb of Rades. Esperance needed a second goal to be sure of success and it arrived seven minutes from time through Cameroonian midfield enforcer Franck Kom.Victory for the Tunisian outfit maintained the last unbeaten record in the competition this season and guaranteed they will top the final standings.The disappointment of Horoya was diluted by news from the other end of the continent that Orlando Pirates of South Africa were surprisingly held 2-2 at home by FC Platinum of Zimbabwe.Pirates’ failure to win in Soweto means they must take maximum points from an away fixture against Horoya in Conakry next Saturday to overtake the Guineans and finish second.The top two finishers after six rounds in the four groups advance to the quarter-finals stage of the Champions League, the elite African club competition.Esperance have 11 points after five rounds, Horoya seven, Pirates six and Platinum just two from their first group-phase appearance.Horoya centre-back Assoko has scored four goals in the Champions League this season, but two have been own-goals with his latest misfortune coming in Tunisia.Kom, a midfielder more accustomed to preventing goals than scoring them, netted his first of the campaign to ensure Esperance of a third consecutive two-goal home victory.– Little chance –Given a bye to the group stage because of fixture congestion, the Tunisian club are hoping to become the first club since Al Ahly of Egypt in 2013 to achieve back-to-back titles.A Platinum side without a win in six qualifying and group matches were given little chance of dodging defeat away to Pirates, the 1995 African champions.But after Nelson Tigere missed a penalty, he put the Zimbabwean outfit ahead and Rainsome Pavori doubled the lead before half-time at Orlando Stadium.Platinum retained the two-goal advantage until nine minutes from time when unmarked Thembinkosi Lorch beat goalkeeper Petros Mhari at his near post with a low drive.The goal galvanised the Soweto Buccaneers and Zambian Augustine Mulenga slammed a loose ball into the net on 87 minutes to raise hopes of a dramatic victory.Platinum survived a late onslaught, however, to end a run of three straight losses despite having centre-back defender Kevin Moyo red-carded.Meanwhile, Group C leaders CS Constantine of Algeria surprisingly fell 1-0 at home to Club Africain of Tunisia and surrendered an eight-match unbeaten record.Ismaily of Egypt dropped out of contention for a quarter-finals place after being held 1-1 at home by five-time champions TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo.Constantine (10 points), Mazembe (eight) and Africain (seven) are in the running to make the knockout phase with the odds favouring the Algerian and Congolese clubs.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)
Technical difficulties were affecting a set of traffic lights in the Twin Towns this morning (Thurs) – causing long delays.It was reported that the traffic lights on the Main Street in the Twin Towns changing to red ‘every minute or so’, causing huge queues.It is understood that a bin bag has now been placed over the traffic lights. Traffic is moving slowly in the area and motorist have been advised to drive with caution.Local County Councillor, Gary Doherty said: “There’s a fault with the traffic lights in front of McElhinney’s at the moment.“The lights are going red automatically every minute or so which is causing traffic delays.“I have contacted the Council and it will be fixed as soon as possible.” Donegal County Council has been contacted for comment.Twin Towns traffic light fault causes major delays was last modified: November 14th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)
Klay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!LOS ANGELES — As the Warriors gathered around for a film session, they did not just marvel at Kevin Durant’s scoring outburst or dissect the team’s high volume of fouls. They also admired Andre Iguodala for seemingly doing everything.“‘Oh to be 35 again,’” Warriors coach Steve Kerr remembered saying with playful sarcasm.Not many 35-year-old NBA players can offer …
If a catastrophic world event wiped out the dinosaurs, why did birds survive? They’re smaller and more delicate, it seems. National Geographic published a new hypothesis: they out-thought the doomed dinosaurs. “Birds survived the global catastrophe that wiped out their dinosaur relatives due to superior brainpower, a new study suggests.” A couple of seabird skulls alleged to be 55 million years old show a larger and more complex brain, researchers said in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. This explanation, however, is not alone. Other reasons why birds survived the extinction include the location hypothesis (that they were distant from the catastrophe), and the coastline hypothesis (that coastal habitats were not as impacted as others). These hypotheses seem to ignore the dinosaur species living in the same lucky habitats. The proponents of the bigger-brain hypothesis noticed that some birds went extinct, so “it wasn’t feathers or warm-bloodedness that gave modern birds a leg up.” It must have been the bigger brain, they said, even though, pound for pound, a T rex brain would seem much bigger than a hummingbird brain. Maybe it was the software, not the hardware – though by all accounts, dinosaurs must have had pretty good programming, because they showed a remarkable flexibility and tenacity in a variety of habitats for a long time. Why the Dodo emerged and Velociraptor perished is just one of those things that happens in evolution. National Geographic ended the article with, “As well as providing valuable new evidence for the evolution of birds… the latest study offers an intriguing new theory that will motivate paleontologists to look harder and farther to find more fossils.” They desperately need more fossils, the lead author said. “We can only get so close to understanding the brains of the earliest birds with the sample of known species currently available.”We sincerely hope you enjoyed this bedtime story. Some day, if you think real hard, you might survive an extinction, too. You might outlive the bobble-headed professors who teach Darwinist nonsense in academia, oblivious to the fact that it is imploding.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Coleman drew attention to the positive economic impact by South African companies MTN, Standard Bank and Shoprite in other parts of the continent. Indian companies are active in the manufacturing, tourism and property development sectors, while China’s investment lies in infrastructure and resource extraction across Africa. According to Coleman, Brazilian investors are active in West African countries and the Chinese are involved in economic projects all over Africa. India and some large South African companies are also making their presence felt in African countries. Stability and predictability of institutions, a free press and a transparent Constitution and government give South Africa an advantage over many developing countries in attracting investment, but more must be done to stamp out corruption, says Goldman Sachs International MD Colin Coleman. Easier place to conduct business Coleman was addressing the International Entrepreneurship and Investment Conference in Durban on Thursday on the challenges and opportunities facing African countries in terms of economic development. He pointed out that countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo had rich natural resources, but lacked the technical know-how to maximise opportunities to attract investment. He said that, for now, South Africa was one of the leading economies on the continent, given its admission into the BRICS grouping of influential developing countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA – and other important international institutions. 3 June 2011 BJM Securities chief executive Andile Mazwai told delegates that South Africa, in comparison to other emerging markets, was an easier place to conduct business. He also warned, however, that corruption, as well as health and safety issues, had to be dealt with immediately. Africa, despite challenges like infrastructure shortages, political instability and health issues, is increasingly attracting foreign investment. Source: BuaNews
Between 1994 and 2011, South Africa transferred over 6.8-million hectares of land to people dispossessed under apartheid, according to a government mid-term review report released in Pretoria last week.In November 2010, a recapitalisation programme aimed at increasing food production and job creation through the commercialisation of small farmers was introduced. (Image: CIF Action)Brand South Africa reporterThis 6.8-million hectares represents 27% of the government’s target of transferring 24.5-million hectares by 2014.The report, released by Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane in Pretoria on Friday, reviews the progress made by the current administration at the November 2011 mid-point of its 2009-14 electoral term.It indicates that from 2009 to December 2011, about 823 300 hectares of land were acquired and allocated to 20 290 beneficiaries, an improvement over previous years that “indicates that our systems are improving”.In addition, 76 368 land claims relating to 2.9-million hectares of land under the Land Restitution Programme were settled. A total of 712 of these claims, for 292 995 hectares, were settled between 2009 and December 2011, against a target of 1 845 claims for the period.Realities around the land issueHowever, the report also points to some of the realities associated with the complex land issue in South Africa.“The process of acquiring and distributing a particular piece of land is often lengthy, and this escalates the cost of redistribution because the former owner stops investing in the land,” the report states. “Many of the farms are therefore in a poor state of repair at the point of acquisition.”In addition, the report finds, there is often a decline in productivity on redistributed farms.This led to the adoption, in November 2010, of a recapitalisation programme aimed at increasing food production and job creation through the commercialisation of small farmers.By December 2011, 595 farms were in the process of being rehabilitated. However, the report notes, the focus of rehabilitation has been on rebuilding infrastructure, and there is a risk that, without adequate farmer support and development, the farms could again decline in future.Also, some of the beneficiaries have indicated that the policy of allocating land to them on a 99-year leasehold basis is an impediment to investment in the land, and that they would prefer to be given full ownership.“However, this could result in beneficiaries selling the land,” the report says. “There is a need for this challenge to be investigated further to ascertain the degree to which it is limiting the success of the transferred farms.”Better post-settlement support neededInadequate post-settlement support and lack of suitable markets mean that few land reform beneficiaries are progressing into sustainable farming enterprises. Less than one in 20 land reform beneficiaries have benefited from either Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) grants or Micro-Agricultural Finance Institutions of South Africa (Mafisa) loans.Officials also note that 11 000 new smallholder farmers have been established since 2009, out of a target of 50 000.Although support has been provided to both new and long-established farmers through programmes such as CASP, Letsema, the Recapitalisation and Development Programme and Mafisa, only a marginal number of 5 381 smallholders are involved in agribusinesses and a mere 3 910 are linked to markets.“To achieve success, smallholder farmers require a comprehensive agribusiness support package, including favourable commodity pricing, access to finance, provision of technical expertise/mentorship and contracted markets,” the report states.“However, no convincing support package is yet in place; government initiatives tend to cause dependency, and the sector is struggling. Government should consider providing better incentives for commercial farmers who are willing and capable of mentoring smallholder farmers.“More support is needed for farms in distress and additional incentives are needed for interventions to strengthen [existing] services and to encourage the adoption of new production and processing models that also conserve natural resources.”Support for new small farmers can include funding for equipment. (Image: Paul Saad)Investment in agriculture and agro-processing is central to food security in South Africa, as farmers’ incomes and agricultural job creation are highly dependent on global economic conditions and global markets, the report notes.This, combined with challenges such as climate change and uncertainty around land reform, has resulted in a decrease in the number of commercial farmers, a decrease in total production levels, a higher volume of food imports and higher food prices.The report suggests that this has discouraged new entrants into the sector, which in turn is prejudicing its contribution to job creation.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The perch from the combine this fall offers a great view for catching breakouts of Palmer amaranth and other problem weeds in fields.Ohio State university weed control specialist Mark Loux is still emphasizing the importance of spotting problem weeds before they take over a field.“Keep an eye out for waterhemp and Palmer amaranth when harvesting, with the goal of preventing further spread if found. Where plants or patches of these are encountered, think twice about just harvesting right through them,” Loux said. “Doing so will disperse seed more widely throughout the field being harvested and also contaminate combines with the possibility then of spread to other fields. We have seen all of this occur in our investigations of Palmer amaranth. The wiser choice where these weeds are encountered, or where additional help with identification is needed: avoid harvesting through the weeds for now, get positive identification, and remove them by hand prior to harvesting the crop in that area.”Palmer amaranth emergence begins in May and lasts through the fall, said Seed Consultant, Inc. agronomist Matt Hutcheson. The weed has a prolific growth habit and resistance to multiple herbicide modes of action, making it is critical to identify and control Palmer amaranth.It can be easily confused with other pigweed species. It is important for growers to have the ability to identify Palmer amaranth so that it is not confused with other pigweed species. There are a number of useful universities resources for ID and control of Palmer, including: http://u.osu.edu/osuweeds/super-weeds/palmer-amaranth/.Hutcheson offers the following tips for controlling Palmer amaranth in the future.1. Scout for and identify problem weeds early. Palmer Amaranth is a pigweed species and can easily be confused with other pigweeds, such as redroot pigweed, during early growth stages. It is critical to identify weeds correctly in order to keep them from spreading. Universities such as Ohio State, Purdue, and Michigan State have excellent fact sheets with pictures to aid in weed identification.2. Start with a weed-free seedbed. Effective burndowns or deep tillage will help control Palmer Amaranth and will allow growers to begin the season with a weed-free seedbed. Apply herbicides when the seedlings are less than four inches tall.3. Use residual herbicides. Use of residual herbicides will control seedlings at emergence and limit the number of plants that will need to be controlled by post-emergence applications. This is especially critical in soybean fields, where effective post-emergence options are very limited4. Crop rotation from soybeans to corn will allow for the use of additional herbicide modes of action (herbicides used in corn) that are effective at controlling Palmer amaranth.5. Consider hand weeding if plants escape normal management practices. Removal before they produce seeds is essential. If a seed head has formed, place a trash bag over the seed head before removing the plant from the field to eliminate the spread of seeds across the field.6. Manage drainage ditches, field borders, etc. Regularly mowing ditches, waterways, field borders, etc. will help control the spread of this weed. Although weeds growing in ditches do not directly compete with field crops, they will produce seeds and promote the spread of Palmer amaranth.
When the pump truck arrives, everyone becomes alertOur Logix block has a 6-inch-thick concrete core. But the horizontal and vertical rebar, plastic zip ties, and plastic webbing in the block present many obstacles to using a mechanical vibrator during the pour. Instead, the crew would bang the ICF walls with hammer and block to vibrate and level the concrete within the block, particularly at the bottom courses.A trailer-mounted boom concrete pump truck arrived at the appointed hour and set up station, followed by the first of an eventual seven concrete delivery trucks. There was a sense of focus and some tension on the faces of the crew as the concrete began to flow from the delivery truck to the pump truck, up the long boom before emerging from the end of the hose and flowing into the bottom course of block.Only a few of the crew had experience with ICF block, and none with Logix brand. I guess all “concreters” live with an element of fear that they might have overlooked some detail in the concrete forms, and suddenly there’s a breach letting concrete flow onto the ground. That can be a very expensive repair and even messier cleanup. BLOGS BY ROGER NORMAND Construction Begins — and We Encounter a Few SnafusDo We Really Need 12 Inches of Foam Under Our Slab?Passive House Certification: Looking Under the HoodBackup Electrical Power for a Passivhaus Project?Can We Get More and Pay Less To Keep About The Same? We’ve been at this foundation business for about three weeks now. It seems longer!After we worked through several snafus detailed in my previous blog, the crew resumed stacking the block. Other chores included:Erecting ICF bracing on the interior side of the block. This steel bracing includes an adjustable turnbuckle to push or pull an errant wall back into plumb. The bracing also served as staging to allow the crew to stack the block to the full 12-foot height of the wall, and later as a platform to control placing the concrete into the block’s hollow core.Framing a concrete retainer and nailing surface for the four window wells on the south side. We will be using Timbersil rather than pressure-treated lumber where wood meets concrete. PT lumber has associated health and corrosive concerns. Timbersil is a manufactured (and more costly) lumber made by infusing glass into the wood fiber, rendering the wood impervious to rot or decay. It looks identical to dry PT lumber, but the glass barrier in the lumber is permanent, non-toxic, and not corrosive. RELATED ARTICLES Convincing the concrete to flow under the windowsIt was tricky to get the concrete to flow under the four window openings. The crew tweaked the slump, vibrated from below the window with block and hammer, and above using long poles. The sound from banging the block immediately below the window confirmed the cavity was filled.In retrospect, perhaps a better way would have been to initially leave out the bottom of the window frame, flow concrete into the cavity until it is filled, then toe-nail the the bottom frame into place.Overall, we are very pleased the Logix Platinum Series ICFs and the efforts of the foundation crew.Here’s a video on assembling the block and placing the concrete. Not enough bracingThere were no breaches, and we saw little sign of water seeping out of any joints. Nonetheless, it wasn’t a completely uneventful pour.We had to await delivery of concrete twice – once because it was being pumped into the Logix faster than deliveries could be made, and then at the end when the crew realized we were short about 4 yards of concrete. Uh-oh. It’s after 5 p.m.Fortunately, the concrete plant remained open, and quickly dispatched another truck to complete the pour.Some of the block rose up a bit during the pour but settled back into position as more concrete was added above. It will be interesting to see whether we maintained a uniform elevation at the top of the foundation when it comes time to set the bottom plate of the walls.A few of the walls bowed out of plumb as we neared the top courses of block. Much of that was because we had 10-foot tall bracing for a 12-foot-high wall. The crew had strung lines at the top corners of the foundation and quickly noticed the problems and brought the offending walls back into plumb. GBA Encyclopedia: Insulated Concrete Forms Foam Forms Create an Energy-Efficient Concrete House Spray foaming any gaps between cut block. While this will seal against air leaks and thermal losses, the more practical goal is to prevent any leaks and potential block failure while placing the concrete.Nailing temporary horizontal 1-by wood bracing at weak points on the interior and exterior surfaces where less than full-sized block were used, e.g., around window openings, where shorter blocks were needed, or at the two odd angle corners in the foundation.Finally, we were ready to place some concrete! The first article in this series was Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus Project. Roger Normand’s construction blog is called EdgewaterHaus. [Editor’s note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the 23rd article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]
By Carol ChurchWhen Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders come in, military families may experience mixed feelings such as excitement, fear, or anticipation. While it may be a way of life, it isn’t always an easy one. iStock-495773568 purchased by MFLN from iStock.com under member ID 18347305 16 Jan 2019 Return to article. Long DescriptionLearn more about the PCS Series of webinars focused on issues military families face during transitions: https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/personal-finance/pcs/One aspect of a PCS that can be challenging and stressful is the financial preparations. It’s true that the military makes many efforts to reimburse families, but there are still many potential pitfalls along the way. How can military families avoid getting burned by the many expenses of moving households? Experienced families have mentioned these hidden costs to keep in mind:When selling a home: staging, cleaning, home improvements and advertising the home sale. Also consider possible fees when selecting a real estate agent and the possible need to continue paying the mortgage and other housing bills.If using a rental house and leaving long-term take into consideration any repair costs to avoid losing the deposit.The costs for veterinary care before departure and the high cost to fly a pet to a distant location (overseas is especially expensive).New clothes or other new necessities for a different climate and lifestyle.Building up a new pantry and purchasing new household items and cleaning products.Costs associated with selling one’s car and purchasing a new one if needed, or for storing a car.Deposits for housing and utilities.Startup costs for other services such as cable and internet.Fast food and convenience food during the chaos before and after the move.Cost of enrolling children in a new daycare, after school care program, and activities.Short-term lodging costs: this is sometimes a factor, even though the military will cover this to a point.Taken all together, this can really add up! So, how can families best handle this hit to the budget? Here are a few ideas:Sell excess household goods on Craigslist or eBay, or hold a yard sale (families will need to purge anyway) Make a budget and save in advance. Well before the change, families should do their best to figure out how much they’ll need to save and start putting money into a “PCS fund” to make up for any shortfall and to cover up-front costs. (An emergency fund is certainly a backup, but not the best way to handle this.) When there’s a plan in place, the costs are far less likely to take a family by surprise.For more on PCSing and PCS budgeting and benefits, visit the links below.PCS OverviewFiguring Your PCS/OCONUS Travel ExpensesPCS FAQsPCS Toolkit Insure belongings: It’s important to take documentary photos of valuable items and write down the serial numbers before packing. Consider selling a car even if this was not the original plan, especially if PCSing overseas Research benefits ahead of time, and don’t forget to save receipts! The military provides an almost dizzying array of benefits to families who are PCSing, including money for mileage put on cars, money for meals and lodging, temporary lodging expenses, and more. They’re also eligible for advances in pay. Families shouldn’t pay a penny more than they have to. Try a DITY move: Families can earn quite a bit of extra cash by “DIY”ing at least some of their move, either by packing it all up themselves and driving a rented moving van, or by independently hiring a moving company to pack and ship their stuff. It’s often a better deal to hire the company (and easier, too!). Check the Personally Procured Move Estimator.