Players should be able to snub Premier League return: Sordell

first_img“Their partners might be pregnant or they might have young kids, and some might have underlying health conditions. Some players themselves might have underlying health conditions.“I think people’s own situations need to be respected. If they want to play, and it’s safe to do so, then allow them to play. If they don’t want to play because they don’t think it’s safe to do so, I think that needs to be respected.”While Sordell is concerned players may be forced into returning to action, Norwich manager Daniel Farke has backed the Premier League to find a safe way of completing the season.Farke, whose team are bottom of the table, told Sky Sports: “I totally trust the key people at the Premier League that have to make the decisions and not easy decisions because there are disadvantages for every scenario.“For us we deserve the chance to work on our little miracle and stay in this league and my general attitude is that we should try everything we can to finish the season.“But, if it is the situation that – by not finishing the season – we save one life then we should do that.”Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Players should be allowed to refuse to take part if the Premier League resumes amid the coronavirus crisis, former Watford forward Marvin Sordell said on Monday.Premier League chiefs hope the season can be finished over the summer, but their ‘Project Restart’ has come in for criticism for potentially putting players at risk.Although the Premier League is reportedly willing to pay for testing for players and staff if matches resume, that has not been enough ease the fears of some stars.Sordell, who also featured for Burnley and Bolton before retiring last year, believes players should only return if they are comfortable with their personal situations while the virus is still a threat.“Some people will be living on their own and they won’t have any responsibilities in that sense, or those fears that they may pass the virus onto somebody else if they contracted it themselves,” Sordell told Britain’s Press Association.“There will be other players who live with their parents, or they are their parents’ only means of being able to get food.last_img read more

Oceanport Shelves Ex-Commvault Site For Its New School

first_imgDisheartened members of the Oceanport Board of Education announce that they have removed the Crescent Place property from consideration for a new district school on Feb. 21. Photo by Chris RotoloBy Chris Rotolo |OCEANPORT – The former Commvault building at Crescent Place, recently identified as the potential site of a new $30 million complex for students of Oceanport and Sea Bright, has been scrapped from consideration after a surprise unanimous decision by the Board of Education.The announcement was made following a 68-minute, closed-door executive session at a packed public meeting in the Maple Place School’s library on Feb. 21. Concerned residents had come to speak out at the public hearing, filling the venue and spilling out into the lobby.“Based upon our thorough review as a Board of Education of all aspects of this proposed project, at this point we are removing the Crescent Place property from consideration,” said Board President Michelle McMullin.“This is not a win for our children,” McMullin added. “This means they will be in an unfit building for at least another two to three years.”Located at 2 Crescent Place at the Monmouth Park Corporate Center, the 110,000-square-foot building was once the site of Commvault, a data protection firm that opened in Oceanport in 1996. In 2014 the operation moved to a Tinton Falls property at the former Fort Monmouth.The board initially settled on the property at a Jan. 24 meeting, choosing the former Commvault headquarters as the best of three presented options, noting that the site offered the ability to create a more modern facility without interrupting their students’ education during the construction process, as well as ample space to expand if student enrollment increased.Oceanport residents erupted in cheers and applause, some providing a standing ovation, as the Board of Education announced its plans to remove a property at Crescent Place from consideration for a new district school on Feb. 21. Photo by Chris RotoloThough public comments were delayed by the executive session, that did not quell discussion among the more than 120 waiting residents in the library, who voiced their concerns about student transportation, nearby flooding of the Turtle Mill Brook, contaminated soil due to the dumping and storage of chemicals by former inhabitants of the facility – including Perkin-Elmer Corp. and Interdata Inc. – and potential criminal threats.Resident Rob Newland presented a report to the board which he said described 94 criminal acts in the past 20 months at a nearby hotel, some of which allegedly occurred during school hours and when extracurricular activities would be taking place. The transgressions, he said, included drug overdoses, weapons discharge, theft and disorderly persons offenses.Oceanport resident Chris Macioch addresses his neighbors about harassment he has suffered for voicing his opinion in favor of a new district school at the Crescent Place property formerly under consideration for a new district school on Feb. 21. Photo by Chris RotoloBoard of Education member Meghan Walker said she was displeased that Commvault was no longer an option.“I don’t care what you think of me for saying this, but I don’t think this is the right decision,” Walker said to those on hand. “I whole-heartedly believed in Crescent Place. There wasn’t anything that was submitted to us that we did not investigate, and came up with answers that satisfied me.”“I’m not an expert on crime statistics but the people we consulted are. Same with the flooding, same with busing, same with everything else,” Walker added. “It breaks my heart to take this off the table, because in my heart I know it was the most fiscally responsible and forward-looking thing to do. It allowed for expansion. It solved all of our problems as it pertained to parking and ballfields, ADA compliance, fire safety, intruder protection. All of it would have been solved for every student in this district.”The Crescent Place project would have been financed through a $30 million bond over a 30-year period. It was tentatively planned to be on the ballot for a special referendum on Oct. 2, and would have raised taxes significantly for Oceanport residents, and would also have subjected Sea Bright residents to a slight hike.For the past three years, the Board of Education has researched options to upgrade its two schools – Wolf Hill Elementary School and Maple Place School – which serve kindergarten through fourth grade and fifth through eighth grade, respectively.During the proposal presentation on Jan. 24, it was revealed that Wolf Hill Elementary – which is 107 years old – and Maple Place School – which was built in 1966 – both lacked fire-prevention sprinkler systems, as well as intruder protective entrances approved by the Department of Homeland Security, and ADA-compliant features, providing limited security and accessibility to their students.Annamarie Ippolito is a resident and teacher at Wolf Hill Elementary School who supported the board’s decision, and said, despite the conditions of the facilities, she’s ready to continue the search for another option.“Now we do start over and I will sit in that building now for another two years until we find another solution,” Ippolito said. “And again, I ask that you continue to put the students first, as you have. And I thank you for that.”With the former Commvault site now off the table, the board may search for new options, or revisit remaining proposals, one of which included the construction of a brand new Wolf Hill Elementary School next to the current facility at 29 Wolfhill Ave., while making short-term upgrades to Maple Place School that would call for future funding.A second option was to build a two-story structure at Fort Monmouth for pre-K through eighth-grade students, but was shelved because of uncertainties surrounding the bidding process through the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority.“I appreciate that you took into consideration what we had to say, what everyone had to say, and made a decision based on it,” resident Kim Vaughan said to the board. “I think that we have a very good momentum going now. Everyone in our town is engaged. Everyone wants a new school. And now you have us at your disposal. Use us. We will help you.”This article was first published in the March 1-8, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Mount Sentinel edged out by Kootenay rivals at BC A Boy’s Hoop Championships

first_imgMount Sentinel opened the tournament dropping a 86-42 decision to Port Coquitlam’s BC Christian Academy.”We worked really hard but ultimately couldn’t content with the two 6’8″ big men,” said Mount Sentinel coach Ed Nielsen.Johnny Johnson led Mount Sentinel with 11 points.In consolation round action Mount Sentinel lost 68-33 to nine-ranked Northside Academy of Vanderhoof. “We came out flat and didn’t get going until the second quarter,” Nielsen explained. “Their experience really showed as did our youth.”Aslan Mackay led the Cats with 10 pointsWest Point Grey Academy defeated Vancouver’s St. Patricks 73-56 to claim the tournament title.BC Christian edged Unity Christian of Chilliwack 54-42 to claim the bronze medal.The L.V. Rogers Bombers travel to Langley this week to compete in the B.C. High School Boy’s AAA Basketball Championships.First up for the Bombers is Charles Tupper of Vancouver. In a rematch of the Kootenay Final, the Fernie Falcons outlasted the Mount Sentinel Wildcats 41-31 in the consolation round of the B.C. High School A Boy’s Basketball Championships Saturday at the Events Center in Langley.The loss dropped the Cats into 12th spot at the 16-team provincial tournament.Mount Sentinel advanced to the contest by stopping Pemberton 50-48 Friday.The Cats led wire to wire with Pemberton rallying to tie the game at 48-48 with 14 seconds remaining in the contest.But Johnny Johnson scored with 10 seconds left to give the Wildcats the 50-48 win.Johnson finished the game with 23 points while Spencer Legebokoff kicked in eight points and 16 rebounds.last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – THURSDAY JUNE 11, 2015

first_imgFernando Perez10318161017%$715,260 Jerry Hollendorfer56714713%$519,204 Joseph Talamo1121992317%$765,838 Felipe Valdez9071488%$342,430 Alex Solis3263419%$237,034 Robertino Diodoro2462325%$214,030 (Current Through Sunday, June ) Philip D’Amato47146530%$735,810 Peter Miller641417522%$582,330 Tyler Baze15925222516%$1,423,990 Kent Desormeaux535969%$286,584 Richard Baltas50176434%$842,120 Martin Pedroza85613147%$329,324 Doug O’Neill8616161019%$723,788 Tiago Pereira57109618%$408,090 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Bob Baffert2462525%$287,970 Gary Stevens2053325%$504,810 BAFFERT RETURNS ‘HOME’ AFTER TRIPLE CROWN‘PHAROAH’ COLLECTOR’S PRINT FREE AT SANTA ANITABEHOLDER RETURNS IN ADORATION ON SATURDAYBAL A BALI GOES FOR 10 IN A ROW IN SHOEMAKERDENMAN: ‘AND AWAY HE GOES’ ON BRIEF RESPITESANTA ANITA DERBY WINNER DORTMUND BREEZESBAFFERTS MAKE MAJOR DONATIONS TO CHARITIES Mike Smith3478321%$606,096 Mario Gutierrez4173817%$334,498 Gonzalo Nicolas8666137%$226,048 Edwin Maldonado748131311%$367,996 Mike Puype50711714%$455,840 Martin Garcia2873425%$221,410 John Sadler5359109%$292,974 Drayden Van Dyke901310914%$559,600 Victor Espinoza3166619%$489,320 FIRST 5,000 FANS TO RECEIVE TRIPLE CROWN PRINT SATURDAYSanta Anita has announced that it will provide the first 5,000 attendees on Saturday a beautiful American Pharoah Triple Crown Champion collectible print, free of charge with paid General Admission. Each item will be accompanied by a protective plastic roll-up sleeve.The print showcases the Bob Baffert-conditioned Triple Crown Champ and jockey Victor Espinoza in three must-see shots–winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes–and thereby becoming racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years this past Saturday. (All photos were shot by acclaimed equine photographer, Skip Dickstein).First post time on Saturday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. (Please note, the American Pharoah Triple Crown Champion poster will not be available in Santa Anita’s Infield Area). Eddie Truman1571247%$260,050 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Rafael Bejarano13332282024%$1,388,698 Richard Mandella3598426%$690,540 MANDELLA EYES SATURDAY STAKES SWEEPTwo-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder seeks her 10th win from 11 career starts at Santa Anita when she runs in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Adoration Stakes for fillies and mares, 3 and up, at 1 1/16 miles.“She’s ready to go,” said Richard Mandella, who trains the 5-year-old Henny Hughes mare for owner B. Wayne Hughes. “There have been a few bumps in the road, including the temperature that forced her to miss the Grade I Vanity (on May 9), but there are a lot of bumps in this business. Fortunately, Beholder has good shock absorbers.“She looks great and we’re looking forward to seeing her run.”Mandella also saddles American Stakes winner Bal a Bali Saturday in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile on turf.“He’s in good shape,” Mandella said of the 5-year-old Brazilian-bred horse, who won his U.S. debut by a length on May 9, his first start in 11 months. Overall, Bal a Bali has won 12 of 13 starts, including his last nine in a row.The field for the Shoemaker, race five of nine: Winning Prize, Martin Garcia, 8-1; Talco, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1; Midnight Storm, Tyler Baze, 6-5; Seek Again, Jose Lezcano, 4-1; and Bal a Bali, Flavien Prat, 9-5.The Adoration, which goes as race eight: My Monet, Gonzalo Nicolas, 15-1; Grandiose Tactics, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; Cast in Silver, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Beholder, Gary Stevens, 2-5; Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze, 5-2; Wild in the Saddle, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; and Oscar Party, Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1. Santiago Gonzalez7361568%$308,376 MIRAHMADI FILLS IN FOR DENMAN BEHIND THE MICTrevor Denman, the treasured voice of Santa Anita since 1983, is on a two-weekbreak and will return for the final weekend of the Spring Meet on June 27-28.Denman is at his Minnesota farm in an effort to get things ship-shape while also recharging his batteries from the lengthy season that began last Dec. 26.The inimitable Frank Mirahmadi, who filled in admirably for Denman last year, once again will take over behind the mic starting today.“I’ll be back for the Gold Cup weekend,” Denman said before leaving. “As I said last year, it’s a matter of taking care of the 40 little cows on the farm, so I’ve got to go back.”The farm is located in a dot on the map called Kellogg, 90 miles south of Minneapolis and about 15 miles from Wabasha.“A house is bad enough,” Denman said. “There’s always something wrong with it, but a farm is five times worse. Pipes break, water doesn’t flow, things go wrong all the time. I have a farmer who actually owns the cows, so he comes over every now and again, but you’ve got to be there.”Denman welcomed the breather after years of maintaining a shorter schedule at Santa Anita, which extended its meet with the absorption of most of the days lost by Hollywood Park with the closing of its venue in December of 2013.“I’m so used to that easy calendar every year,” Denman said. “It has been a long meet. They just keep coming at you, so the break is good. They always say, ‘Can you do it?’ Of course you can.“But you’re going to lose a bit of enthusiasm after a while. If you don’t, you’re not a human being. That battery recharge puts you up to 100 percent again.“It’s great to have Frank here. I’ve known him for over 20 years. I just feel so comfortable having him as a replacement.”FINISH LINES: American Pharoah, who will be paraded at Churchill Downs on Saturday, will return to Santa Anita Thursday, June 18 . . . Bob and Jill Baffert have announced major donations to four charities that care for racing’s retired athletes. Following American Pharoah‘s historic victory in the Belmont Stakes and becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, the Bafferts said donations would be given to CARMA, Old Friends, TAA, and PDJF. “Jill and I are blessed and honored to be in a position to be able to donate a portion of my earnings to these four special charities whose work is vital to our industry,” Baffert said. “We hope these contributions will go a long way toward supporting and bringing awareness to the very important work these non-profit organizations do in caring for our human and equine athletes.” Added Madeline Auerbach, CARMA’s Founder and Past President: “I spoke to both Bob and Jill before the race and they told me of their plans to shine a very bright spotlight on horse retirement.” Noted Lucinda Mandella, CARMA’s Executive Director: “We are very grateful to Bob and Jill for making such a substantial contribution to CARMA. Their generosity and support means so much. They have demonstrated exceptional leadership for such an important cause in our industry.” CARMA, (California Retirement Management Account), was founded in 2007 and has granted over $2.5 million dollars to charities that retire, retrain and rehome off-track Thoroughbreds. It is a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization formed to assist Thoroughbred rehabilitation and retirement organizations that facilitate the care and retraining of horses who raced in California and whose racing careers have ended . . . Under regular rider Martin Garcia, Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund worked four furlongs in company Thursday in 49.20, while stablemate Flat Footed Mama went the same distance in 49.80. Baffert called Dortmund’s drill “perfect.” . . . Laz Barrera winner Kentuckian, prepping for the Los Alamitos Derby on July 4, worked five furlongs for Jerry Hollendorfer in a bullet 58.80 . . . Agent Brian Beach said Victor Espinoza will resume riding at Santa Anita next Thursday and not this Sunday as previously announced. Flavien Prat11020221118%$1,218,610 PHAROAH GAVE BAFFERT GOOD VIBES FOR THE BELMONTBob Baffert, unmistakable with his snow white hair, signature jeans and cowboy boots,was back on the beat early Thursday morning at Santa Anita, radio in hand, calling the shots for his blueblood stock including Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund, before heading to Kentucky where Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will go back to the track at Churchill Downs Friday morning.Baffert, who handled the media frenzy on the Triple Crown trail with typical carefree aplomb, calling on his experience from being down the path three times previously, took time to recount American Pharoah’s front-running triumph in the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes under regular rider Victor Espinoza last Saturday, winning by 5 ½ lengths to become the first horse to capture racing’s most elusive and coveted prize since Affirmed in 1978.“American Pharoah has a high cruising speed and he wants to dominate, and it’s neat to watch him run like that,” Baffert said. “All the way down the backside, even though I could barely see, you could tell he was having fun. When he got to the three-quarter (mark), he was still pulling on Victor.“You could tell by Victor’s body language that on the far turn the other jockeys had a lot of respect for the horse. Watching the replays, Materiality had to work just to hold his spot in second. At the three-eighths pole he was still there and the one horse (Mubtaahij) made a run, and I knew he had great stamina because Mike de Kock is a great trainer and his horse had trained for a mile and a half, but then I could see he was struggling.“(Joel) Rosario saved ground and rode a really good race on the gray horse (Frosted, who would finish second). He tilted him out there and we really didn’t know how good he was, but turning for home, you could tell Victor was really loaded for bear.“Secretariat, when he turned for home, he was like that. Victor could have easily left a little bit earlier to separate himself, but he took care of the horse, just sat on him, and when he asked him to go, he just took off with him.“Victor got to take it all in, although he said he didn’t hear the crowd noise. That shows what was going through his head. He was enjoying it, and that’s got to be the greatest feeling for a jockey, to know that you’re actually going to win the race in the first turn. You just hope nothing drastic happens from there to the wire.“Going into the Belmont, the horse gave us a vibe that he was going to do it. People in the industry and in the stands at Belmont felt it was time, this is the horse, and that’s the vibe I felt going in there. I knew when I saddled him he was doing better than for all the other races.“I told that to Victor and when I did, his eyes just lit up. I said, ‘You can be aggressive. He’s going to give it to you.’ And Victor said the minute he jumped on his back in the paddock, he just gushed. I think they know when they get on them, and Victor looked at me like, ‘Hey, he’s ready.’“You have to have great people around you and I’m really fortunate that I don’t have to worry about anything. I would get completely burned out if I had to do this on my own. You can’t do it without a great staff.“But the horse just gave me that vibe. We were just worried about the break . . . but once he hustled him to the lead, the horse got rolling and he doesn’t use much energy. He’s so quick he can just get to a spot, and once he did, that was it.”Baffert was non-committal on when American Pharoah would run next.“Everybody’s trying to pin me down,” Baffert said. “He’s going to go back to the track tomorrow. Jimmy (assistant Jim Barnes) said the horse is getting pretty anxious to get back, so he’ll train, he’ll come here (to Santa Anita, on June 18) and we’ll look for something.“Our options are the Jim Dandy and the Travers (at Saratoga), the Haskell (at Monmouth), but first I’ve got to see how he is. Everybody’s dying to be the first one to get the news. As soon as he crossed the wire, everybody was asking, ‘Where is he running next?’“But the whole key is how the horse is doing.”Fellow Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella summed up best the feelings of Baffert’s peers at Santa Anita when he shook his hand and told him Thursday morning, “You made us all proud.” Elvis Trujillo585479%$269,290 Michael Machowsky2154224%$133,820last_img read more

DALMORE UPSETS HEAVILY FAVORED DANZING CANDY BY A HALF LENGTH IN GRADE III, $100,000 AFFIRMED STAKES AS DESORMEAUX BROTHERS TEAM TO GET 1 1/16 MILES IN A SIZZLING 1:40.84

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (July 2, 2016)–In the best race of his career, Dalmore, who is trained by Keith Desormeaux and was ridden by his brother, Kent, engaged heavily favored Danzing Candy a quarter mile from home and proved best by a half length in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita. With longshot Beaumarchais and Danzing Candy carving out fast early fractions, Dalmore sat a comfortable third, about three lengths off the lead with three furlongs to run and he stopped the clock after a mile and a sixteenth in a rapid 1:40.84.“It’s been a nice three-race series here with this horse,” said Keith Desormeaux. “Each race, he’s had a perfect trip. I think that’s attributed not only to Kent’s prowess but also the fact that he’s had small fields and it’s always ended up a decent pace. Although, in the two previous races, the pace was slower and today it was quick, so good job by Kent judging the pace today.”A Florida-bred colt by Colonel John, Dalmore was purchased for a bargain $47,000 as a Keeneland September yearling in 2014 and is owned by Big Chief Racing, LLC, Rocker O Ranch, LLC and Keith Desormeaux. Dalmore, who came off a first condition allowance win here on May 29, was off at 7-2 and paid $9.20, $2.60 and $2.10.Eased three starts back in the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct on April 9, Dalmore was subsequently a well beaten fifth in the 1 1/16 miles California Chrome Stakes at Los Alamitos two starts back on April 30.“The most impressive part (of today’s race) was that half mile move to the quarter pole,” said Kent. “That was all him, I never asked him. I hadn’t even used my horse yet and Rafael (Bejarano, aboard Danzing Candy) was driving. To me, I knew we had him. It was a very explosive effort by Dalmore.”With three wins and as many seconds from 11 overall starts, Dalmore picked up $60,000 for the win, boosting his earnings to $187,302.Unraced since beaten 20 lengths in the Kentucky Derby May 7, Danzing Candy made his first start today for Bob Baffert and he appeared every bit a 1-5 favorite as the race unfolded. As Baffert had hoped, he relaxed well under new pilot Bejarano and seemed comfortable sitting a close second behind Beaumarchais before taking the lead five sixteenths from home.“Well, he was rating pretty good, but Beaumarchais was just going so fast,” said Baffert. “When I saw that second quarter in 46, I thought ‘Oh man…’ Dalmore is a good horse.”Off at 1-5 in a field of five sophomores, Danzing Candy, who finished 8 ½ lengths clear of Prince of Arabia, paid $2.10 and $2.10.Ridden by Santiago Gonzalez and off at 13-1, Prince of Arabia picked up a tiring Beaumarchais the final sixteenth and paid $2.40 to show while finishing 4 ¼ lengths clear of the pacesetter.Fractions on the race were 23.26, 46 flat, 1:10.02 and 1:34.52.First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday at Santa Anita is at 1:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.last_img read more

Public Works Pens Contract on Ganta/Harper Road Pavement Construction Time: 2 Years

first_imgAuthorities of the Ministry of Public Works have signed a US$42.7 million contract with a Chinese company for the pavement of phase one of the Fish Town-Harper Road Project,  funded by the government of Liberia and the African Development Bank.Senior officials of the Public Works Ministry disclosed that the China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group Company Limited is to pave the 50 kilometer road from Harper City to Karloken in Maryland County.The Public Works executives also intimated that the contract value is a little over US$42.7 Million dollars and the actual construction period is two years with one year of defects liability.During the signing ceremony, newly appointed Public Works Minister William Gyude Moore admonished the contractor to take into consideration the triplet issues of quality, durability and value for money.He said that the road to be constructed is significant in the socio-economic development of the country, particularly southeastern Liberia, and as such the Ministry would ensure that the contractor does quality work. Monitoring and supervision will be prioritized at all stages of the project, Minister Moore added.The Public Works boss also noted that his leadership is aware of the challenges ahead and will ensure integrity in the contract awarding process at the Ministry and that quality products result from that process.He thanked his predecessors, Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods and outgoing Minister Dr. Antoinette Weeks for their leadership and influence on the project MPW team as they worked with the ADB and contractor in ensuring that the project became a reality.He acknowledged the presence of the Chinese Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission at the signing ceremony.Minister Moore noted that as a result of the Ebola virus, most foreign companies fled the country but the partnership with the government and people of China has remained strong.  He   pledged to continue this strong relationship while serving at the Ministry of Public Works.The partnership with the government and people of China and Chinese companies coming here to do business is a solid manifestation of sustained bilateral cooperation.Minister Moore also thanked Dr. Margaret Kilo of the AFDB for her excellent leadership and the Ministry’s project team for their commitment and hard work over the years as it relates to the project’s documentation and implementation.“For the people of Liberia the best way to improve our country is to enhance improvement of these things that we call economic multipliers—power, roads, telecommunication; in effect the infrastructure.  These development initiatives make it easier for business people to do business; for goods to move across the country,” Minister Moore asserted.“We have been concerned about the southeast; that every rainy season this part of the country gets cut-off,” Minister Moore lamented. “The prices of goods and services go up; escalating poverty in places that are already economically depressed.  We are, therefore, very happy that this project can now start,” he declared.Speaking to the contractor, the Minister stressed that MPW staff believed that China Railway Number five (5) Engineering Group Company winning a contract from a multilateral financing agency is a prestigious thing.Speaking on behalf of China Railway No.5 Group Company,  Mr. Hao Tingkui, country Representative said that as a construction company they were happy to be in Liberia and deliver to the Liberian people a high quality road at the end of the project.Mr. Tingkui said his company will concentrate on every technical detail so that they may do a good job that will be long-lasting and meaningful.The Chinese company country representative said his company won the international competitive bidding for phase-1 of the Fish Town-Harper Road not just because of its lowest bidder status as compared to other competitors but primarily to the company’s long track record of undertaking large infrastructure and delivering high quality works to the clients.The Fish Town-Harper road is 130 Kilometers in total and is part of the missing link on the Mano River Regional Connection; a subsidiary of the Trans-West Africa Coastal Highway System.It connects Conakry-Freetown-Monrovia-Abidjan. Locally, the corridor forms part of the key 510 Kilometer highway between Ganta-Harper linking four southeastern counties.This project is in line with the Government of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation’s pillar on infrastructure restoration and the implementation of the road sector strategy which entails linking all county capitals with paved roads.According to the contract, the nature of work to be executed include cement pavement, drainage improvements, putting into place erosion control measures, safety improvements including reflectorized pavement markers to aid nighttime driving, and construction of sidewalks, curb and gutters through towns along the route.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mooning the Public: Life Sells

first_imgAdvertisers have known for a long time that sex sells.  That’s why ads often include a scantily-clad woman standing next to the pickup truck for sale.  It seems that in planetary science, life sells.  An icy moon can be a pretty dull thing, but announce that there might be life there, and eye appeal jumps.  The latest Sky and Telescope (June 2009) is a case in point.  The feature story is about the moons of Saturn, but the cover accompanies a curvaceous picture of Enceladus with the eye-grabbing title in big, bold letters, “Does this WORLD Harbor LIFE?”    It doesn’t appear that author Emily Lakdawalla, blogger for The Planetary Society, had life on her mind very much when describing Cassini’s findings at Enceladus, Rhea, Dione and Tethys in “Ice Worlds of the Ringed Planet.”  Sure, she teased occasionally with the L-word, describing Enceladus as having “potential for liquid water and perhaps even life,” and thought it a possible target for a future mission “because of its potential habitability for life.”  Well into the article, she elaborated on the possibility that catalytic chemistry could be occurring in a subsurface ocean under Enceladus: “there was probably liquid water, heat, organic chemicals, and active chemistry – the stuff of life,” she speculated.  “As a possible abode for past and present life, Enceladus has catapulted from being moderately interesting to brief consideration as the prime target of NASA’s next flagship mission to the outer solar system.”  That was the extent of her references to life in the 9-page article, but that is what Sky and Telescope chose to emphasize on the cover: “Saturn’s moon Enceladus has the stuff of life.”    What did not receive emphasis, but is potentially more provocative, are findings Emily relayed about the age of Saturn’s moons.  Noting that Voyager scientists found Enceladus to be wiped free of craters, she said, “It seemed ridiculous that a body as small as Enceladus – only 500 km across — could be geologically active today, and could provide the necessary input of particles to sustain the E ring.”  When Cassini scientists found plumes emanating from the south pole ( 07/14/2005, 11/28/2005), jetting water vapor at “many hundreds of meters per second” (02/09/2008) into space along with ice particles, scientists had found the source for the E-ring and the fresh coat of white on the moon’s surface.  What they also found was a serious age problem (03/01/2006, 12/03/2007, 06/19/2008): “If Enceladus has been venting at its current rate over the age of the solar system, it would have lost 20% of its mass,” Lakdawalla said.  Then there’s Iapetus (07/17/2007).  Scientists now believe the yin-yang appearance of the moon is due to thermal segregation (10/16/2007): “It’s a runaway process that rapidly blackens dusted regions in a matter of a few to a few tens of million years – just a blink of an eye in geologic terms” (05/05/2008).  Taking an upper limit of 50 million years as “a few tens” shows how fast a blink that is.  The entire process would have taken just one percent the assumed age of the solar system (4.5 billion years) – one yard on a timeline the length of a football field.What Emily didn’t mention is that a significant quantity of ice escapes Iapetus during each 30-year orbit.  There should not be any left after billions of years: in fact, even with generous estimates of the original ice, scientists can only make it last for 1/3 of the solar system’s assumed age (05/05/2008).  The article also mentioned the possibility of rings around Rhea (which shouldn’t exist, 03/10/2008), and the possible detection of plasma around Dione and Tethys, which also should not exist (04/18/2007, 06/16/2007).  These are much more significant actual findings and should have been more newsworthy than tantalizing speculations about life under Enceladus.  For a catalog of age problems throughout the solar system, see the “Resource of the Week” described below.    To call water, nitrogen, ammonia, propane and acetylene “the stuff of life” is so lame, it’s downright comatose (see online book).  One might as well say that protons and electrons are the stuff of life.  If so, the sun has the stuff of life, too.  Let’s see if Sky and Telescope will add this caption to its next cover story on the sun: “Does this star harbor sunbathers?”  One can only hope that in the next issue’s letters to the editor, astute readers will give editor Robert Naeye a lecture for stooping to titillation to sell copy.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Auditor rings alarm bells over NBs debt months before provincial election

first_imgFREDERICTON – With a New Brunswick election just months away, the auditor general is sounding the alarm over the province’s fast-growing debt.Kim MacPherson said Tuesday she is deeply troubled by the fiscal decline — pointing to a $7-billion increase in net debt over the last 10 years.“As I have reported repeatedly, this net debt growth is not sustainable,” she said as she released Volume One of her 2018 report.The debt is expected to hit $14.4 billion by the end of March 2019; the government spent $700 million in interest last year just to service the debt.“If this interest cost was a department, its budget would be larger than the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure,” she said.“If this continues, eventually governments will not be able to provide the same level of programs and services such as health care, education, roads, schools and hospitals.”MacPherson said New Brunswick is on track for its 11th consecutive deficit, and there is no immediate plan to address it.Tom Bateman, a political scientist at St. Thomas University, said the province’s finances should be a key issue in the campaign for the Sept. 24 election. But he said most voters and politicians are only interested in short-term promises.“It’s short- and medium-term pain for longer-term gain and this is a problem for which the solution is over many years or decades, but the political election cycle is four years long,” Bateman said.Green Leader David Coon said it is time the province got its finances under control.“The government stopped on its progress in reducing the deficit and the books should have been balanced for next year, and that’s not happening. P.E.I. is balanced, Nova Scotia is balanced and we should be balanced,” Coon said.MacPherson said she isn’t getting political — and pointed out the fiscal issues have been there over successive governments.“Getting a handle on this problem will be like turning the Titanic … it will take time,” she said.The Dominion Bond Rating Service recently downgraded the province’s rating trend from stable to negative. In a news release, DBRS stated: “New Brunswick’s 2018 budget once again delays the return to balance in favour of new spending ahead of the 2018 provincial election.”Meanwhile Moody’s Investor Service stated: “The stalled progression on deficit reduction is credit negative for the province which has not posted a balanced budget since 2007-2008 and is not planning a balanced budget until 2021-2022, resulting in one of one of the longest period of continued deficits among Canadian provinces following the 2008-2009 financial crisis.”MacPherson said the rating agencies’ reaction should be a major concern to government.Included in her review of government spending, MacPherson found that in five of the last 10 years, governments overspent their budgets prior to obtaining approval from the legislative assembly.She called for the release of audited financial statements before the Sept. 24 provincial election.Treasury Board President Roger Melanson said in a statement the audited figures will be released before New Brunswickers go to the polls, but did not give an exact date.Melanson defends the Liberal government’s handling of the books, saying they are taking a balanced approach.“I think if you speak to New Brunswickers, they want to see investment where it’s strategic and going to grow the economy and give them an opportunity to have a job. That’s what we have been focused on,” he said.MacPherson is also asking for more money for her office, saying a lack of resources is eroding her independence. She wants her budget increased by $250,000 in each of the next four years.Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs said Tuesday, that if elected, he’d give her that money.“We need to have the ability to have the auditor general look under the hood, look at decisions being made and make them accountable in every way, shape and form. We can’t keep talking about this, we’ve got to find the solutions and have to expose the way money is being spent and tax dollars are being wasted,” Higgs said.MacPherson also used her report to point out what she calls an unacceptable lack of addiction and mental health services in adult correctional institutions.She said that without adequate treatment, inmates can pose a risk to themselves and the public.The government responded Tuesday, saying a provincial committee will be tasked to look into the auditor general’s concerns.last_img read more

BC to have only one store selling cannabis on first day of

first_imgVANCOUVER – On the morning of Oct. 17, British Columbians shouldn’t expect to wake up and see marijuana stores opening their doors.At least that’s the message from the province’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, Mike Farnworth.In a news release issued Sunday, Farnworth said the government’s first and only BC Cannabis Store will open in Kamloops and more retail locations are “anticipated” in the following months, with over 100 paid applications in various stages of entry.The government is also hoping to launch an online sales platform to ensure British Columbians can purchase non-medical cannabis regardless of where they live, he said.He says the province’s new Community Safety Unit will target illegal retail operations, and seize the product and records without a warrant. A fine will also be imposed based on the value of the product seized.Farnworth says penalties will also be imposed on those who sell cannabis to children or minors.Bootlegging or selling cannabis to minors, will continue to be a criminal offence punishable by up to 14 years in jail, in addition to provincial penalties of up to $50,000, jail time of up to six months or both, he said.Police are receiving specialized training and tools to tackle drug-impaired driving, he said.Graduated Licensing Program drivers won’t be allowed to have any marijuana in their system, and neither drivers nor passengers will be allowed to use cannabis in a vehicle.Farnworth said that this is just the beginning and the government will take stock of what happens on B.C.’s roads after legalization.“The legalization of non-medical cannabis is a historic shift in public policy,” he said. “It’s a considerable learning curve and, without a doubt, all levels of government will need to refine their policies and regulations in the years ahead.”last_img read more