LET’S LECTURE: Devolution of Power to Local Government – Part 1

first_imgOver the past ten years there has been a lot of discussion about transferring power from the central government in Monrovia to our political sub-divisions—counties, statutory districts and cities. Gallons of ink have gone into papers, countless amounts of money into workshops and seminars. Yet we do not appear to be any closer to getting the job done than we were a decade ago, so painfully slow has been the process. In this, the first of two articles on this subject, I shall share my experience with devolution in Kokoyah Statutory District, in the hope that that experience may hold some lessons for how we might pick up the pace and proceed with a little more speed on the vexed issue of devolution of power.In 2005, when I served as economic advisor to the head of the transitional government, Chairman Gyude Bryant, I was approached by my people from Kokoyah. They were concerned that they were about to have a district superintendent imposed on them. The person was Mr. Edward Yallah, father of Senator Henry Yallah of Bong County. Yallah the Elder had enjoyed a long and distinguished public service career spanning back to the Tubman Administration. But the people wanted an opportunity to choose their own superintendent.Why had they approached me? Because for decades the House of Zackpah had played a leadership role in Kokoyah affairs, and so, their reasoning went, who better to advance their cause than a scion of the House of Zackpah who was close to the levers of power?Recognizing that their request was somewhat unorthodox (since super-intendents had always been appointed by Liberian presidents, not elected), I nonetheless approached Chairman Bryant. He asked me if I was sure that that was what the people of Kokoyah wanted. To make the point, I arranged for a delegation of chiefs and elders to come down from Kokoyah to meet him.The chiefs came, they confirmed what I had told him, and he gave me the go-ahead to organize an election. Whereupon, I undertook a tour of the district, visiting all three sub-districts—-Boinsen, Tupkpablee and Kokoyah—-and informed the inhabitants that there would be an election for them to choose their superintendent. They were overjoyed.An election date was set and a church in Botota, the district headquarters, was selected as the location for voting. Since we did not have a voters’ roll or the money to conduct a one-person one-vote election, we opted for an electoral college. Each of the three districts would appoint fifteen electors to the Electoral College to vote on their behalf. Election Day was a festive occasion. Such was the enthusiasm that some people walked miles to participate in what some saw as an opportunity of a lifetime. Citizens from the three sub-districts were given time to caucus and select their Electoral College representatives.After that was done, we went into the nomination process. In addition to the two candidates who had already been placed into nomination, I informed the gathering that anyone in the hall would be allowed to nominate a candidate, including himself/herself. At that point, Mr. David Wamah from Tukpablee stood up and nominated himself. So, the three candidates were each given 10 minutes to make a short electioneering speech. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Edward Yallah withdrew, leaving Mr. Quoi Wamah from Boinsen (the largest sub-district) and Mr. Wamah. What happened next was study in political horse trading that would have made Thomas Jefferson proud. The electors for the two smallest sub-districts (Tukpablee and Kokoyah) formed an alliance and outvoted the candidate from Boinsen by a margin of 31-14. Mr. Wamah, who was not a known candidate prior to election day and had only become so through self-nomination, won. Democracy has a way of sometimes confounding the pundits.Then we moved to election of the development superintendent. Again, I introduced a new rule: the superintendent and development superintendent could not come from the same sub-district. That would disqualify a Tukpablee sub-district candidate from contention.Again, something unexpected happened. The paramount chief of Kokoyah sub-district, Mr. Togar Glaygboe, realizing that the electors of Tukpablee might want to return the favor by voting for the candidate from his sub-district, in a supreme act of leadership, withdrew his candidate, thus leaving the field to Mr. Quoi Wamah, the candidate from Boinsen, who was elected unopposed.Paramount Chief Togar Glaygboe acted as he did because he figured that a situation where the two smallest sub-districts (Tukpablee and Kokoyah) carried all the positions, leaving the largest one (Boinsen) with no position was a recipe for future conflict. So, he sacrificed his sub-district in the interest of peace.These elections enabled the citizens of Kokoyah to choose their own district officials, the only district in Liberia to have done so, as far as I know, because of the willingness of the head of state to think and act out of the box. Moreover, this whole exercise was conducted within the span of just a couple of months and cost me no more than US$1,000.Next week we will explore how the lessons learned from the Kokoyah experiment can be applied to other situations.The writer is a certified public accountant and a businessman. He can be reached at (hagreaves49@gmail.com)Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Supply Health Centre contract terminated

first_img…efforts being made to recoup money from contractor The Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) administration has moved against a contractor who undertook the construction of the Supply, East Bank Demerara (EBD) Health Centre, but against whom sanctions have since been recommended over alleged shoddy work.This was revealed by Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas, who was at the time addressing a statutory meeting of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) held earlier this week. According to Lucas, she has not only terminated the contract but has also ordered the contractor, Navin and Son’s, to repay the region monies for the foundation and columns.“I wrote to him outlining the results of the recent tests that were done and indicated to him that he would have to redo the foundation at his own cost. However, he indicated to me that in his view nothing was wrong with the foundation and therefore he saw no need for the foundation having to be redone,” she said.“I have therefore written to the Ministry of Communities outlining the issues and thereby seeking the advice in the way forward. As such, the Ministry wrote me and accepted my recommendation of terminating the contractor with the contractor tasked with repaying the region,” the REO continued.Lucas stressed that the decision to terminate the contract is based on recommendations made by the senior engineer for the region and the Auditor General’s office, both of whom conducted tests on the works done. Both tests lead to similar findings.However, Region Four Councillor Mazarool Majeed questioned what would become of the foundation in having it redone. According to Lucas, this will be part of the region’s letter to the contractor. She noted that he will have to shoulder the cost of dismantling the columns and foundation.She also addressed other concerns regarding the re-advertisement of the same contract.Councillor Amarnauth Chickan questioned whether the previous blueprints and even the current site would be used again. The Councillor was against the same site being used to construct the health centre and called for a detailed assessment of the area by regional engineers to guide further construction.The Supply Health Centre has for some time been at the heart of a struggle between regional officials seeking value for money and the contractor. A few months ago, an investigation was ordered into the issue by Regional Chairperson Genevieve Allen.The move was sparked after Councillors on the RDC recommended sanctions against the contractor. At the time, it was pointed out that the contractor has multiple contracts in the region and thus, those projects could also have issues.There have been long standing concerns over the quality of the work and the actions of the contractor; all of which had caused the Region Four authorities to seek to halt the construction of the health centre.According to a report that was submitted by the Clerk of Works, the contractor had failed to comply with a number of requirements for the project. Among the requirements reportedly ignored by the contractor was one for the complete removal of tree roots and debris from the site.Regional officials have complained that contrary to the specifications of the project, the casting of the health centre flooring was found to have been done without removing a major tree stump. Lucas had previously expressed concern that this raised serious questions about the strength and quality of the building.The contractor was ordered by the Clerk of Works to not proceed with casting the foundation of the health centre. This cease work order was reportedly ignored.last_img read more

Annual Maurice Solomon Golf Tourney tees off September 1

first_imgAction at the Lusignan Golf Club (LGC) greens continues this Saturday, September 1 when the annual Maurice Solomon and Company 20th Anniversary Golf Tournament tees off at 12:30h.LGC President Aleem Hussain receives the sponsorship check from a representative of Maurice Solomon & Company; in the presence of Solomon (sitting) and other staff membersTons of prizes will be at stake when some of Guyana’s best golfers assemble in support of Solomon, an avid golfer and perhaps the LGC’s longest active member. His company has provided auditing services for the club for many years and Solomon himself has been an active member, winning several times in his category in 2018.The tournament will be played in three categories and special prizes will be awarded for longest drive, nearest to the pin, Best Gross and Best Net overall and is open to players of all handicaps. A special invitation is extended to clients and friends of the Company, members of the ex-pat community and visitors in Guyana especially those who have never visited the magnificent grounds at the Lusignan Golf Club.The LGC has been transformed in 2018 having hosted more than 25 tournaments so far and the next few months will see an increase in activity at the club as almost every major company in Guyana is set to host a golf tournament leading up to the 2018 Guyana Open set for November 3 to 4.A massive marketing campaign will be launched next week and players from more than 12 countries have registered to participate in an effort to wrest the Men’s and Women’s title from Guyanese reigning champs.Meanwhile, fans will be able to obtain free tickets that will allow them an opportunity to win one of more than $500,000 in prizes during the Guyana Open tournament by participating in putting contests at the Giftland Mall, Pegasus, Marriott, Princess and Grand Coastal hotels.last_img read more

‘CAN’T PAY WON’T PAY’ SLAM ‘HEAVY-HANDED’ APPROACH OF IRISH WATER IN LETTERKENNY

first_imgCan’t Pay Won’t Pay have condemned the “arrogant and heavy-handed approach” of Irish Water meter contractors who have moved into Letterkenny in force this week.And have pledged their full support for residents who resist metering or remove installed meters.Residents of Thorndale and Elmwood Downs awoke this week to find their footpaths ripped up and Irish Water vans putting in water meters in the area. A spokesman for Can’t Pat Won’t Pay said the residents had been given no notice of the water supply being cut off.“Despite what Irish Water have promised, no notice is being given to residents that their water supplies have been cut off. We have heard from people who have gone to work leaving washing machines or dishwashers on who have been worried that their appliances may have been damaged by the sudden loss of water supply,” said spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig.“Even where people have made it clear they did not want meters, the contractors have ignored them and continued the installations. Their actions are arrogant and heavy-handed. I have stopped installers on a number of occasions in West Donegal by standing over the connection and I fully support anyone who does the same in Letterkenny. Make it clear you do not want a meter, stand in their way, ask them why they have not given you the required notice. In short, get in their face and make it difficult for them. At the very least it will slow them down and they may decide to move on to where they will get less resistance.”“Where they do succeed, it is easy enough to remove the meter and I encourage people to do it. I believe this is rightful civil disobedience. The government can claim no mandate to implement these charges. There is overwhelming opposition to the charges and they should have scrapped them not modified them.” “It is important to remember that even if they install a meter on your supply, you can still join the boycott. Tens of thousands in Donegal will not pay regardless of whether we have meters or not. In the end it will be the impossibility of getting us all to pay that will make water charges uncollectable and will finally kill them off. Can’t Pay Won’t Pay’s message is: resist metering, support the protests and join the boycott.” ‘CAN’T PAY WON’T PAY’ SLAM ‘HEAVY-HANDED’ APPROACH OF IRISH WATER IN LETTERKENNY was last modified: January 8th, 2015 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:Can’t Pay Won’t PayIrish Waterletterkennylast_img read more

DONEGAL SPORTS STAR 2011: THE WINNERS LIST IN FULL

first_imgCategoryNameClub / AddressOVERALL SPORTS STARJim DohertyNewtowncunninghamAPPRECIATIONTony GormanGlencar Schoolboys F.C. / Kilmacrennan Celtic F.C.ATHLETICSMark EnglishLetterkenny A.C.BABMINTONChloe MageeRaphoeBASKETBALLJason CarrDonegal TownBOWLINGJohn QuinnBallylennon Bowling ClubBOXINGWilliam Mc LaughlinIllies Golden Gloves A.B.C.BRENDAN MCDAID MEMORIAL SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTMartin HarleyTrentagh (UK Champion Apprentice Jockey)CLAY PIGEON SHOOTJim DohertyNewtowncunninghamCRICKETRyan Macbeth CYCLINGConor Mc IlwaineErrigal Cycling ClubEQUESTRIANKenneth GrahamMuffGAELIC FOOTBALLKarl LaceyFour Masters GAA ClubGYMNASTICSGemma McCormickCarndonaghHALL OF FAMEDanny McDaidLetterkenny A.C.HOCKEYIan McGonigle HURLINGNiall CampbellBurtMARTIAL ARTSKathleen Mc NaughtSamurai Uladh Judo Club BurnfootMOTOR SPORTOisín Sharkey(Karting) St.JohnstonRUGBYNora StapletonFahanSEA ANGLINGMary O’ CallaghanKillybegsSOCCERKyle Mc FaddenSwilly RoversSPECIAL ATHLETEHughie SweeneyGweedoreSPECIAL RECOGNITIONMark ScottLetterkenny Rugby Football ClubSURFINGRichard FitzgeraldBundoranSWIMMINGKirsty Mc IlwaineSwilly SealsTEAMDonegal GAA Senior Football TeamTRIATHLONMargaret KellyLetterkenny 24-7 Triathlon ClubPRIMARY SCHOOLScoil MhuireGlentiesPRIMARY SCHOOL SPORTS BOYSam ToddSt. Patrick’s Boys National School CarndonaghPRIMARY SCHOOL SPORTS GIRLSarah Jane PorterSt. Mura’s N.S. Tooban BurnfootPRIMARY SCHOOL SPORTS TEACHERMel O’DonnellKilmacrennan N.S.SECONDARY SCHOOLLoreto Secondary SchoolLetterkennySECONDARY SCHOOL SPORTS BOYRuairi FinneganSt. Eunan’s College LetterkennySECONDARY SCHOOL SPORTS GIRLGeraldine McLaughlinLoreto Secondary School LetterkennySECONDARY SCHOOL SPORTS TEACHERJohn KennedyColáiste Cholmcille BallyshannonSCHOOLS APPRECIATIONJohn CampbellSt. Macartan’s N.S. Bundoran DONEGAL SPORTS STAR 2011: THE WINNERS LIST IN FULL was last modified: January 28th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL SPORTS STAR 2011: THE WINNERS LIST IN FULLlast_img read more

ALL YOUR WEEKEND GAA RESULTS ACROSS DONEGAL

first_imgCOUNTY DONEGAL RESULTSRadio na Gaeltachta Senior ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment 15-Sep-2013 Ardara 0 – 10 0 – 5 Gaoth Dobhair O Donnell ParkMount Errigal Junior B ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment 15-Sep-2013 Letterkenny Gaels 0 – 9 2 – 9 Naomh Ultan DonegalMcGlynns Restaurant, Castlefin Division 2 LeagueDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment15-Sep-2013 Realt na Mara G.F.C 1 – 9 0 – 8 Naomh Mhuire BundoranRadio na Gaeltachta Senior ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment 15-Sep-2013 Kilcar 0 – 7 0 – 8 Glenswilly Mac Cumhaill ParkMcGlynns Restaurant, Castlefin Division 2 ReserveDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment15-Sep-2013 Realt na Mara G.F.C 2 – 3 3 – 12 Naomh Mhuire Bundoran Hurling ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment15-Sep-2013 Naomh Ádhamhnáin/St Eunan’s 1 – 9 1 – 13 Sean Mac Cumhaill St Eunan’sRadio na Gaeltachta Senior ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Killybegs 2 – 11 2 – 7 Sean MacCumhaills ConvoyBrian McCormick Sports Division 1 ReserveDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 St Michaels 1 – 17 3 – 7 Four Masters St Michael’sMarley Coaches Division 5 LeagueDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Ardara 6 – 13 0 – 6 Glenswilly ArdaraCentra Supermarkets, Co Donegal Division 3Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Gaeil Fhánada 1 – 16 0 – 7 Naomh Columba Pairc Uí ShiailMcGlynns Restaurant, Castlefin Division 2 LeagueDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 An Clochán Liath 1 – 9 1 – 11 Termon DungloeMarley Coaches Division 4Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Milford 6 – 14 0 – 4 Naomh Pádraig Uisce Chaoin Moyle ParkRadio na Gaeltachta Senior ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 St Eunans 2 – 7 3 – 12 Malin Bun CrannachaCentra Supermarket U21 B Football ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Gleann Fhinne 1 – 14 2 – 5 Naomh Colmcille Gleann SúilíMcGlynns Restaurant, Castlefin Division 2 ReserveDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 An Clochán Liath 4 – 14 2 – 8 Termon DungloeCentra Supermarkets, Co Donegal Division 3 ReserveDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Fanad Gaels 2 – 20 0 – 7 Naomh Columba Pairc Uí ShiailCentra Supermarket U21 A Football ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Convoy 2 – 7 3 – 15 Naomh Conaill Gleann FhinneMcGlynns Restaurant, Castlefin Division 2 LeagueDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Cloughaneely 2 – 11 2 – 11 Buncrana CloughaneelyHurling ChampionshipDate Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Burt 3 – 13 2 – 14 Setanta O Donnell ParkDONEGAL NORTHU13 League Division 2 Section 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment15-Sep-2013 Carndonagh 10 – 16 2 – 1 Naomh Colmcille Newtown Carndonagh15-Sep-2013 Convoy 9 – 17 1 – 2 Naomh Padraig Lifford ConvoyU13 League Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment15-Sep-2013 St Eunans 4 – 3 3 – 6 Naomh Padraig Muff O Donnell Park-Letterkenny15-Sep-2013 Sean MacCumhaills 1 – 5 0 Gaoth Dobhair Mac Cumhaill ParkU13 League Division 3Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment15-Sep-2013 Red Hughs 8 – 2 0 – 3 Glenfin CrossroadsU13 League Division 2 Section 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment15-Sep-2013 St Eunans B 5 – 7 4 – 4 Milford O Donnell Park-LetterkennyU16 League Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 St Eunans 2 – 13 2 – 11 Gaoth Dobhair O Donnell Park-Letterkenny League finalU13 League Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment13-Sep-2013 Buncrana 7 – 14 1 – 6 Letterkenny Gaels Scarvey-BuncranaU13 League Division 3Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment13-Sep-2013 Sean MacCumhaills B 1 – 2 5 – 10 Downings Mac Cumhaill ParkDONEGAL SOUTHUnder 13 League Division 1 Section 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Dungloe 2 – 8 1 – 3 Kilcar DungloeUnder 13 League Division 1 Section 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Four Masters 5 – 13 8 – 8 Aodh Ruadh Four MastersUnder 13 League Division 1 Section 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment14-Sep-2013 Naomh Conaill 11 – 8 2 – 9 CLG Naomh Muire Naomh ConnaillUnder 16 Championship Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment13-Sep-2013 Dungloe 0 – 8 0 – 8 Ardara Naomh Connaill PLAY OFF. EXTRA TIME IF REQUIRED Linesman Ronan Odonnell & ConniUnder 16 Championship Division 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment13-Sep-2013 Kilcar 2 – 8 1 – 10 Na Rossa Ardara PLAY OFF. EXTRATIME IF REQUIRED. Linesman Declan Callaghan & MarUnder 16 League Division 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment10-Sep-2013 Naomh Naille 2 – 11 1 – 14 Na Rossa Ardara SEMI FINAL, Extra Time If Required. Old PitchUnder 16 League Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment09-Sep-2013 Ardara 0 – 15 1 – 12 Dungloe Naomh Connaill LEAGUE SEMI FINAL09-Sep-2013 Naomh Conaill 2 – 8 2 – 7 Aodh Ruadh Four Masters LEAGUE SEMI FINALALL YOUR WEEKEND GAA RESULTS ACROSS DONEGAL was last modified: September 15th, 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:Donegal GAA resultslast_img read more

Bob Myers isn’t sweating the free-agent futures of Durant, Thompson

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceOAKLAND – For the most part, the Warriors are in such an envious position.They are favored to win the NBA championship for the fourth time in five years. They also have five All-Stars in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins. And unlike 29 other NBA teams, they do not need or plan to make any deal leading into trade deadline on Thursday.“I don’t sense we’re in a position this …last_img read more

Virgin Strikes Back

first_imgVirgin Australia has blamed Qantas’ policy of maintaining its 65 per cent market share for its [Qantas’] woes and accused it of stifling real competition.In an open letter to the Australian government, to counter Qantas’ lobbying for help, Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said the airline’s strategy is, and always has been, to bring strong competition to all sectors of the Australian market, not to destroy competition.Qantas is trying to stop Virgin Australia’s foreign airline shareholders from injecting $350 million into the airline suggesting those funds are bankrolling an unrealistic fare war and expansion.The airline is looking to the government for a [bank] guarantee ahead of what is expected to be a loss of up to $500 million for the 2014 financial year.However Mr Borghetti has hit back saying its strategy has been to bring “real competition to all sectors of the market, including regional monopoly routes.”“This is despite our competitor publically stating that “if a competitor puts one [plane] in, we’ll put two in as a group”, in order to maintain a 65 per cent share of the Australian domestic aviation market at all costs,” said Mr Borghetti.Mr Borghetti said that “this is a strategy that prevents competition including the possibility of new entrants.”“We strongly believe that a level playing field should include a full and proper investigation of this 65 per cent “line in the sand” policy and ask the Australian Government to divert attention to this important issue that is crippling competition and is not sustainable financially for anyone in aviation in this country.”Mr Borghetti said Virgin had no problem with the Qantas Sale Act, which restricts foreign ownership in Qantas, being repealed or amendments to the legislation which would allow Qantas to mirror the current structure of Virgin Australia by separating its international and domestic operations.Under Australian law an Australian domestic carrier can be foreign owned.“If Australia truly wants a “level playing field”, then any measures that the Government plans to take to support Qantas should be offered to Virgin Australia,” said Mr Borghetti.“We believe that this country needs at least two strong airlines, in order to ensure the travelling public is not faced with high airfares and restricted choice.”Yesterday Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce likened the spat between the two airlines to a soccer game in which Qantas was 10-nil up before Virgin had called three other teams onto the field ‘‘because they can’t beat us.’’‘‘We need a level playing field for the Qantas Group to have a future. Virgin does its heavy maintenance offshore. They don’t have these investments that we do in this country.’’Mr Borghetti said that Virgin Australia employs around 9,500 staff, has opened new routes, launched new bases and grown tourism through joint campaigns with the state tourism bodies and Tourism Australia.“We fly around 20 million passengers annually and we have injected over $11 billion directly into the Australian economy over the last three years.”“We have also purchased Skywest and 60 per cent of Tigerair Australia, with a view of strengthening their ability to compete”And in a sting aimed at Qantas’ offshore forays with Jetstar he added that “importantly, we will not be investing in starting new airlines offshore.”last_img read more

Pro-ethanol progress in White house meeting, but questions remain

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ethanol supporters were pleased with the long-awaited progress made on a couple of significant obstacles in a White House meeting last month focused on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the system of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).“President Trump…reaffirmed his commitment to our nation’s farmers by approving year-round sales of E15 without a RIN cap. This is a positive step because we know a RIN price cap would have been damaging to farmers,” said Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). “We appreciate the agreement on eliminating the outdated regulation on higher blends such as E15, a barrier that has long needed removal, and thank Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley for their tireless efforts on behalf of agriculture.”But as a possible concession for fuel refiners who continue to oppose the system of RINs that are part of the RFS, small refiners could gain biofuel credits through ethanol exports.“We have numerous questions, however, about a potential plan now being developed by USDA Secretary Perdue and EPA Administrator Pruitt to address small refiner waivers by potentially offering biofuels credits on ethanol exports, an idea that would harm our ethanol export success,” Skunes said. “NCGA has opposed RIN credits on exports, an idea that EPA stated last fall that it would not pursue. Offering RIN credits, which are supposed to be derived from a domestic renewable fuel use, for ethanol exports would threaten trade markets and impact corn farmers’ economic livelihoods. Pursuing a path that includes RIN credits on export gallons would violate the letter and spirit of the RFS, serving the interests of oil refiners who have already benefitted from Administrator Pruitt’s unprecedented RFS volume waivers at the further expense of America’s farmers.”The idea of attaching RINS to exports was proposed by the oil industry in 2017 but ethanol supporters have opposed it. U.S. ethanol is already some of the lowest cost in the world and attaching RINs to exports could distort trade in the eyes of importers and the World Trade Organizations.“Attaching a RIN to ethanol exports would have a crippling impact on American agriculture, significantly reducing demand for ethanol and corn,” said Emily Skor, Growth Energy CEO in a statement. “It would also have major trade implications, as export RINs would be considered a subsidy by our global trading partners, who will likely challenge this as unnecessary advantage to U.S. ethanol.”last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast – December 11, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest No major changes to the forecast this morning. The focal point for the moisture this weekend and next week seems to be a little farther east, but that still means we have 3 threats of moisture in a Friday to Tuesday period, and our totals look similar to our prior forecast. The map at right shows our thinking for 10 day combined moisture totals, at least how they look converted to liquid equivalent.We are dry today through Friday morning. Today will be rather cold again, but tomorrow not as cold as winds turn more to the south. On Friday clouds increase quickly. We likely see sprinkles develop Friday evening and then showers push farther north overnight Friday night though early Saturday afternoon. Rain totals will end up being from a few hundredths to .6″ with coverage at 60% of the state. We see nothing north of a line from Cleveland to Dayton.After a brief break in the action, another round of moisture is back for overnight Saturday night through Sunday midday. This time cold air is back in with the moisture, and we expect snow showers. Accumulations are likely, but should be minor at a coating to 12 with coverage at 80% of the state. We shut off the moisture later Sunday afternoon and stay dry through Monday afternoon.Later Monday night our third wave of moisture comes in with rain showers from I-70 south through the day Tuesday. Rains can be a bit impressive here with totals of .1″-.7″. Coverage will be nearly 90% of areas from I-70 south, but areas north of I-70 will stay dry. The entire region dries down to finish next week with a mix of clouds and sunshine Wednesday through Friday. Temps will be chilly to start that period, but will moderate toward next weekend.last_img read more