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Is that such an outlandish desire?

first_imgDear Editor,Mr Winston Mars, in his letter that was published on December 5, 2019, in a section of the media, was critical of the recent protest actions by sugar workers. In expressing his criticism, Mr Mars contends that “…more than 60 per cent of its expenditure had to be apportioned to wages” and against that background sugar workers should not get any pay rise. It appears to us that the letter writer is a stranger to the industry. Certainly, was he knowledgeable, he would have known that in 2018, about 45 per cent of costs concerned employment. Of course, we should mention that expenditure included from the lowest to the highest-paid employees, it also concerned monies paid to the industry’s pensioners as well as monies expended on transportation, purchase of safety equipment, among other things.Mr Mars said that “…some middle ground has to be reached here quickly…” but in the very next breath said, “…the workers and their unions must be aware that the situation in the industry is not getting better but rather worse”. It appears that the middle ground spoken about is really a skewed attempt to say workers should swallow bitterly no improvement in pay though they do not control and direct the industry. It should be recollected that it was not the workers that secured a $30 billion bond. Certainly, it was not the workers that significantly stripped the industry of its assets and are selling them at a fire sale. Definitely, it was not the workers that stood by with arms folded and allowed a public escalation between the NICIL-SPU and the GuySuCo. Undoubtedly, it was not the workers that have caused the locking away of bond proceeds aimed at re-vitalising the industry. The fact is that the workers are the least responsible but the most affected.The sugar unions are next accused of making “…unreasonable demands… over the decades …”. It appears, in Mr Mars’ mind, that it was some cardinal sin to give sugar workers a pay rise. It was wrong to want them and their families to live a decent life. It was a crime for wanting them to be better able to cope with the cost of living. And, it appears, at least in the letter writer’s mind, that only certain persons must move up and others left behind.It is next said that the workers’ actions are influenced by the Opposition. This is most funny. The workers’ actions are influenced after they soberly consider their situation. In considering the situation, the workers would well recognise that they are unable to cope with the costs of contemporary life. They would be aware that their dollars are not going as far as they once did. They have the distressing and depressing situation of looking at their families and knowing that they cannot afford them a little treat or a special meal at Christmas time while they see others around them having a merry time. That, Mr Mars, is the mindset of the workers. They simply want to live happy and contented lives. They just want to work dedicatedly and receive decent earnings. Is that such an outlandish desire?Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral Secretary,GAWUlast_img read more

Employers warned about hiring children under 15

first_imgStudents participating in walk in Berbice on WednesdayAs Guyana joined the rest of the world in observing World Day Against Child Labour on Wednesday, employers were warned against hiring children under the age of 15 since it is illegal and they can face the full brunt of the law if found doing so.This was according to Superintendent of Police Budnarine Persaud, who was at the time addressing scores of young people and adults who participated in a walk in Region Six.“When we look at the root causes of crime we think of poverty as being the root cause. when you go into employment at the age of 15 years, it is robbing your childhood. It deprives you of your education if you go into employment at the age of 15. [It is] what is referred to as a labour”, Persaud added.The senior police rank explained that for persons to have good paying jobs, they will first have to educate themselves and as such, urged the youths to stay in school.Also addressing the students was New Amsterdam’s Mayor, Winifred Yearwood, who related that child labour could have mental, physical and psychological effects on the young souls.“Why do people involve in child labour? They do this because they don’t want to pay the amount of money, they will have to give more money to the older persons to do the same job”.She said child labour can be in different forms while noting that young girls are asked to stay home from school to take care of their younger or older relatives.Children who are being asked to assist in family business during school hours are also victims of child labour, the Mayor noted.Regional Education Officer Bhajmattie LaCruz noted that a UNICEF 2016 report on Guyana revealed that 18.3 per cent of 5-7-year-olds were involved in some form of child labour.“Child labour is not restricted to you going out and earning money doing some job for a couple of hours. Things that happened in the home can contribute to child labour as well,” she noted.The International Labour Organisation (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate such.Each year on June 12, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers’ organisations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.Today, 152 million children are still being forced into child labour. Although child labour occurs in almost every sector, seven out of every ten is in agriculture.The walk was organised by the Department of Social Cohesion under the theme “Children shouldn’t work in fields but on dreams”.In Berbice, students from several secondary schools in New Amsterdam marched through New Amsterdam carrying anti-child labour placards.last_img read more

Fort St. John Stingrays hosting first swim meet of the season

first_imgThe Stingrays, along with other clubs from across the region will be at the event. The meet gets underway bright and early Saturday morning at 6 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. The pool will be open to the public from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. that day.On Sunday, members of the swim clubs will be at the pool from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. Public swimming will then commence from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.All other pool programs for the weekend have been cancelled.- Advertisement –last_img

Preterm births increase nationally

first_imgPASADENA – Westley Ethan Song, born at 6:04a.m. Sept. 10, arrived 2 months ahead of schedule. Weighing 4.1 pounds, he measured just short of 18 inches from head to toe. For his first few days of life, he was too young to know how to suckle. He was fed through a tiny tube snaking in through his nose and down his throat. “He came a little bit earlier than we expected, but he is doing really, really good,” said Dosun Kim, a 37-year-old Altadena resident, holding her son four days later in the neonatal intensive care unit of Huntington Hospital. And, doctors say, much of why babies are born prematurely remains a mystery. Some risk factors have been identified. More and more mothers are choosing to have children later, they say, and more are using in vitro fertilization – increasing the chance of multiple births. Both are known to make having a preterm baby more likely. Little is known, however, about how these risk factors translate into the problems that cause preterm births. “One thing, for instance, that’s really being implicated in preterm birth is different balances in women’s reproductive hormones,” said Jack Turman, director of the Center for Premature Infant Health and Development at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. “But why would that be any different now than 40 years ago?” Another factor in birth outcomes is mothers’ incidence of infections, he said. “But is it more now than it used to be? We don’t really know,” Turman said. The earlier that babies are born, the longer they usually stay in intensive-care units with such problems as a lack of a vital coating inside their lungs, a problem called respiratory distress syndrome. And for the very youngest babies, their very lives are also at stake. Although 1-pound babies that have only spent 22 weeks in the womb can survive, said Dr. Michael Mah, neonatologist at UCLA Medical Center, “80, 90 percent of (those) babies don’t make it, no matter what we do.” “By 24 weeks, about 50 percent of babies survive,” he said, and “by 32 weeks, the survival rate is close to babies that were full term. They could have problems, but in terms of survival, they’re close to that of a term baby,” Mah said. There are other impacts as well. Fifty percent of premature babies grow up to need special- education services, usually because of learning disabilities, Turman said. Thirty-three percent are eventually diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, as opposed to 8 percent of the rest of the population. Even discounting the cost of long-term care such problems require, Turman said, preterm births are “estimated to cost our government $26 billion annually. That’s just talking about NICU care.” It is a problem that nobody is quite sure how to solve. One solution to preterm births has long been widespread prenatal care, Turman said. Only a small percentage of expectant mothers – between 2 and 4 percent – get no prenatal care or care only in their third trimester. “But at the same time, what’s really interesting is that has not prevented preterm birth,” Turman said. “This is kind of a conundrum, this is not at all what was expected.” Now, many researchers are suggesting a much more expansive approach to prenatal care is needed, he said. “Clearly, OB/GYNs give good prenatal care within the scope of their practice, monitoring the health of women,” he said. However, he said, “I think that we need to kind of take a broader approach.” Researchers have found ties between healthy pregnancies and good nutrition, mental health and exercise starting early in a woman’s life. In the past few decades, Turman said, “women’s diets have changed for the worse. So has the stress for women in the family.” elise.kleeman@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! All around him, tiny, wrinkly babies were nestled into incubators, some of whom needed help even to breathe. Although most of these children will eventually go home healthy, all will face higher risks for a range of health and developmental difficulties. Westley and the others are part of a swelling tide of preterm babies, whose numbers have been on the rise for decades. Between 1990 and 2005, according to a recent National Center for Health Statistics report, the percentage of infants delivered after less than the standard 37 weeks of gestation jumped 20 percent. Today, more than one in eight babies will be born prematurely. Among blacks, that number rises to more than one in six. last_img read more

‘The worst game of his career?’ England fans unhappy with Arsenal star’s performance

first_img1 Sometimes, no matter what you do as footballer, you can’t appease some fans and that was certainly the case for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Lithuania.The Arsenal star slammed home the final goal in the Three Lion’s 3-0 win, which saw them claim their tenth victory in 10 Euro 2016 qualifying matches, but he was still the subject of man derisory comments about his performance.A wasteful display saw him incur the wrath of the keyboard warriors and you can see what they said on Twitter below… Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain last_img

BREAKING NEWS: MOJO GOGO TO HEADLINE BEO GIG AT VOODOO TONIGHT

first_imgIT has just been confirmed that top Donegal rockers Mojo GoGo will headline Beo’s Live Alive gig at the Greenroom at Voodoo this evening.The event is run by Colaiste Ailigh students in Letterkenny – with numbers expected to be swollen by the superb line-up.The festive gig will also see performances by the highly-rated Insanity and Jamaican Vampires. Entry is just €5 (you’ll be paying a lot more to see Mojo GoGo in future).The gig starts at 7pm and finishes at 9pm.   BREAKING NEWS: MOJO GOGO TO HEADLINE BEO GIG AT VOODOO TONIGHT was last modified: December 20th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BREAKING NEWS: MOJO GOGO TO HEADLINE BEO GIG AT VOODOO TONIGHTlast_img read more

Policing priorities

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The LAPD has radio problems. Cops can’t reliably get in touch with their superiors or backup. There are signal dead spots throughout the city. The units the department currently uses have been out of production since 2002, making them hard to replace or repair. You’d think that with all the recent attention paid to emergency preparedness, this is a problem the city’s leaders would waste no time addressing. Think again. Although the Los Angeles Police Department has sought the funds for new radios, city administrators have denied the request. The reason: $43 million price tag. While that figure does seem awfully high for a force of roughly 9,000 officers, it’s not much more than the extra $37 million that city leaders now concede they’ll need to construct a new LAPD headquarters, at a total cost of $340 million. And no one seems to suggest that City Hall won’t be able to come up with the dough for its fancy new building. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Apparently city leaders are more committed to keeping top cops comfortable in their headquarters than patrol cops safe on the streets.last_img read more

DONEGAL’S FINESSE GYMNASTICS TEAM GET WARM ITALIAN WELCOME

first_imgDonegal’s Finesse Gymnastics Display Team have arrived in Riccione, Italy. Their participation in last night’s opening ceremony raised a rapturous welcome as they walked behind our Irish tricolour among the thousands of spectators in the city of Riccione, the Green Pearl of the Adriatic.All the colors of the world of gymnastics will perform at the Festival del Sole until July 4, with almost 4,800 non-professional athletes who are going to “invade” the city of Riccione: five arenas and an athlete’s village for showing a passion without barriers and age. The real action begins when Finesse showcase their new routine called “Charleston Fusion” when they hope to do their county and country proud. DONEGAL’S FINESSE GYMNASTICS TEAM GET WARM ITALIAN WELCOME was last modified: June 30th, 2014 by John2Share 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:donegalFinesseitalyletterkennylast_img read more

SA cricket: heartbreak, innovation

first_img20 May 2004If you were watching any of the previous four cricket World Cups, and you had any sympathy, you might have spared some for South Africa’s cricket team.In 1992 the team lost in the semi-finals when a less-than-well-thought-out rain rule saw their target increase from 22 off 13 balls to 22 off one ball when rain fell against England in the last four.In 1996 South Africa crushed all before them before a brilliant solo effort from Brian Lara helped the West Indies to a narrow win in the quarterfinals. With the Proteas’ loss in mind, a new system was introduced in 1999 to prevent a single win meaning the end of the road for a team; after all, South Africa were possibly the best side at the World Cup.In 1999 there was greater heartbreak for South Africa. In one of the greatest one-day internationals ever, South Africa and Australia played to an incredible tie in the semi-finals. The Aussies went through to the title decider because they had beaten Hansie Cronje’s side earlier in the tournament – by five wickets with only two balls to spare. In the final they smashed Pakistan by eight wickets.And in 2003, on home soil, South Africa lost out again in the most unbelievable manner. Facing Sri Lanka in pool play, with a place in the Super Sixes on the line, the Proteas were in position to secure victory when rain started to fall. A miscalculation on the South African team’s part meant they tied Sri Lanka on the Duckworth/Lewis method. One more run would have done the trick – South Africa’s World Cup bogey had returned with a vengeance.World greatsSome of the world’s finest players have represented South Africa. Sir Donald Bradman regarded Barry Richards as the greatest opening batsman he ever saw. Graeme Pollock was possibly the greatest left-handed batsman of all time.Mike Procter could stake a claim to being one of the greatest all-rounders ever. Jacques Kallis could make an assault on that title before his career is over. Shaun Pollock is another brilliant all rounder. Allan Donald was a devastating opening bowler. Jonty Rhodes was possibly the greatest fielder of all time.Sparking innovationSouth Africa has also played an important role in bringing innovation to world cricket.If you thought googly was something that came to cricket from the Asian nations, where spin bowling is ideally suited to their dry pitches, you are wrong. It was first brought to the fore by Englishman “Bosey” Bosenquet, but it was South Africa that really entrenched it.In 1905/6, when SA played England at home in a five-match series, South Africa included four googly bowlers: Reggie Schwarz (who had learnt the delivery from Bosenquet at Middlesex), Aubrey Faulkner, Ernie Vogler and Gordon White. The result was a comprehensive 4-1 series victory for the South Africans, a brilliant turnaround after eight losses in succession to the English.The use of cameras to determine run out and stumped decisions was also pioneered in South Africa. Today they play a vital role in helping umpires make accurate decisions.And the national one-day team under coach Bob Woolmer brought innovative shot-making to the international game – shots like the reverse-sweep and the slog-sweep. It also brought innovative fielding ideas, like catching throw-ins in front of the stumps, and not behind them, to speed up the action in order to bring about run outs.Jonty Rhodes helped lift fielding to new heights. Suddenly greater emphasis was placed on that aspect of the game, and spectators around that world benefited as cricket became a more dynamic game. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SA introduces green office buildings

first_img20 March 2013 South Africa’s first commercial green star-rated building has been unveiled. The cutting-edge building – the E block in Upper Grayston, a small multi-purpose development in Johannesburg’s Sandton business district – is the first small office building to receive five green stars from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). “We want to get the message out to other developers,” says Martin Evans of Upper Grayston’s developer Bryprop, “that South Africa can produce green buildings economically.” Green buildings are attractive to the property market, he says, and they offer a good return on investment. “Green buildings command a higher rental price and capital value, they have lower running costs, they let better, and they retain tenants better,” says the GBCSA’s executive chairman Bruce Kerswill. This green mindset is catching on in South Africa, he says. Five stars are not enough for Bryprop, though, and the firm is aiming for the coveted six-star rating with its newest building, Upper Grayston F, which is under construction right next to the E Block. This will make it the only six star-rated commercial building in the country. Rental space should be available around the end of June 2013, according to Bryprop.Green buildings mitigate climate change South Africa is following a new trend noted in a report titled “Rethinking Consumption: Consumers and the Future of Sustainability”, which has found that people in developing nations have a keener sense of responsibility towards the earth than those in developed nations. “Two-thirds of consumers globally say they ‘feel a sense of responsibility to society’ (65%), including 81% in emerging markets and 50% in developed markets,” notes the report. “Buildings can be a big part of the solution to mitigating the effects of climate change,” says Kerswill. “Good planning can reduce their use of power and water by up to 70%, and together with waste reduction this can have a significant impact.” Office buildings especially contribute heavily to global warming and pollution, and consume large amounts of energy and water. “But buildings are the cheapest way to make savings on carbon emissions,” says Warren Gray of Solid Green Consulting. “Overseas they use around 30% of the world’s energy. In South Africa the situation is a little different because our economy has been geared towards mining and we are still constructing the buildings that other countries already have.” Savings realised in a green building will come mainly from running costs and electricity. Although the largest part of a company’s expenses goes towards salaries, says Gray, people who work in green buildings perform better, they get discharged from hospital sooner, and they give the employer more value for the salary. “A 10% increase in productivity outperforms a 5% saving on electricity.”Bringing in the tenants Bryprop says that its tenants are becoming more and more interested in green features. In the new building, lessons learned from Upper Grayston E will be applied, with some extra features that the developers are confident will earn the six green stars. All timber used in the project comes from a sustainable forest and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Most of the building’s water will be reclaimed from rain and filtered and purified, and municipal water will only be used when the tanks are empty. Solar panels for both power and heating will ensure that no energy is used to heat water, and in terms of space heating, says Gray, good architectural principles and passive design means that a minimal amount of heating is needed. The building also has big glass windows which let in natural light and air, reducing the need for artificial lighting and climate control. A mixed-mode ventilation system will allow the building to use mechanical ventilation when necessary. People in the building will be able to monitor energy consumption in real time, via a screen in the entrance and a page on the web, which will supply a graph of energy consumption measured at one-minute intervals. The graph for Block E is already available online. The amount of concrete used in construction has been reduced through the addition of fly ash into the mixture. Fly ash is a residue generated during combustion, for example at coal-burning power stations. “This means that the building itself is constructed from recycled material,” Gray says. Carpets and paint used in the interior contain low levels of volatile organic compounds. Cycle parking and special cycle routes around the office park are aimed at encouraging this eco-friendly alternative means of transport.Going green and saving the planet Green buildings, according to GBCSA, are energy- and resource-efficient and kind to the environment because of the practices used in their design, construction and operation. They have also been proven to be healthier for residents and workers, leading to higher productivity. For green buildings, these practices will usually include the optimal circulation of fresh air and use of natural light, resulting in a lower use of air conditioning and heating. Lighting will be energy-efficient and controlled through motion detectors, and there will be greater use of renewable energy sources. The builders will make use of recycled or sustainable materials, and there will be other sources of water, such as rainwater harvesting, besides the municipal supply. Locally sourced products are essential to shrink the construction footprint, and if any existing structure is demolished to make way for the new building, as much material as possible, such as windows, doors or floors, must be re-used. When a company applies for green star certification for a building, there is a rigorous process that must be followed. Once the building has been registered – which is only the first step towards certification – the project team will prepare the necessary documentation to prove that the building complies with GBCSA standards. Assessors will not award points, says the GBCSA, unless they can see that all the requirements have been met exactly as detailed in the technical manual. By this stage the full assessment fee must have been paid. Once the fee and the documentation have been received, a panel will evaluate the submission and make their recommendations to the GBCSA, who will then contact the project team. At this point the team gets another chance to earn their green stars by including extra supporting documentation or making alterations to their designs if necessary, and resubmitting their application. The panel will again scrutinise the application and make their final pronouncement and the project team will be notified of their score. A score of 45 to 59 earns the building four green stars and is an indication of best practice locally; a score of 60 to 75 earns five green stars and signifies South African excellence; and a score of 75 to 100 earns six green stars and is indicative of world leadership. Upper Grayston E scored 67 points, which is currently the highest five-star score in the country. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more