Infrastructural investments will catalyse Guyana’s development –State Minister tells Brazilian investors

first_imgMinister of State, Joseph Harmon, on Thursday met with a delegation of Brazilian investors who are in Guyana to explore areas of investment in the country’s emerging oil and gas sector. The meeting took place at the Minister’s Office in the Ministry of the Presidency.Minister Harmon highlighted infrastructure as an area of investment that will catalyse Guyana’s development.“It is a very important time in our development and in our history, and so we really welcome the investments and the opportunities between Guyana and Brazil. These opportunities are now increasing on a daily basis… Our physical infrastructure is key, because we cannot develop our country unless our physical infrastructure is organised. That means [that] our ports have to be modernised, ourMinister of State, Joseph Harmon, with members of the Brazilian delegation at his office on Thursdayroad network that links the coast to the hinterland will have to be modernised,” he said.The State Minister also said that strengthening the partnership between Brazil and Guyana would raise the quality of life for Guyanese.“In some countries, a river is a border, but for us, the rivers are bridges. We have built bridges over them, and therefore we’ve connected our people in more ways than one. It is this connection which, I think, we need to develop. We need to improve on it, so that we can provide a better quality of life for our people. Ultimately, that is what our task is as a Government, to provide that good life to our people. We are stewards of the resources of our country, and therefore it is our responsibility to ensure good stewardship of it, so that not only this generation, but generations to come, will be the better [from] the decisions which we make now,” Minister Harmon said.A member of the Brazilian delegation, Luis Panelli, cited the longstanding partnership between Guyana and Brazil as the main reason behind Brazil’s keen interest in investing in Guyana.“It’s important for us to be here, not only for geo-political reasons, but because we’re neighbours… We are very interested in joining you in this effort to develop the [oil and gas] field here. It is going to be a very important thing for Guyana and for Brazil… We have the means… we have the personnel, and we are very keen on [investing],” Panelli stated.Another Brazilian, Alexandre Saverin, who had visited Guyana four years ago, noted the entrepreneurial incline occurring in Guyana. “You see the difference. You see the progress, and you see the excitement in everybody’s eyes. I think we’re starting to see the change in the country, where people are starting to open new businesses and taking new risks just with the idea of the oil that is coming… We’re excited to be here, and we would love to proceed with [investment] in oil [and] in infrastructure,” he said.This year, Guyana and Brazil are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations. The other members of the Brazilian delegation include Yucatan Reis, John Forman, and José Mario de Castilho.last_img read more

Run with police for beneficial cause

first_imgThe Fort St. John Sub Zero Running Club will be putting on a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. The event will start at the Fort St. John campus of Northern Lights College. The races are all non-competitive and everyone is encouraged to participate.Registration can be completed from 9 until 10 a.m. on Apr. 10, the day of the event. Registration can also be done in advance or any other information can be answered by contacting Floyd or Barbara Polehoykie at 250-787-0977 or On April 10, the club will be holding a running event with all the proceeds going towards the Cops for Cancer- IronTeam Foundation, which supports the Canadian Cancer Society. Police officers and the general public will all run together, as a means to help raise money for the Society.- Advertisement -The event will include three races. The first is a 1 km race, the second is a 5 km race and the third is a 10 km race. There will also be multiple draws, where participants have the chance to win various prizes.Cops for Cancer is an organization that began in 1994, after Sergeant Gary Goulet and a group of police officers shaved their heads in support of a young boy in their community who was going through radiation and chemo therapy. The boy was also allowed to ride along with the police officers, all of whom displayed their hairless heads to the public to help raise the young boy’s spirit.The kind act of the police officers received international attention, which lead to the creation of the organization.Since its inception, Cops for Cancer has raised more than $16 million through a variety of fundraisers.Advertisementlast_img read more

Trucking on past the inspectors

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventAbout 2 million trucks a year pass through the Castaic inspection facility, also called the “scales,” and thousands of tickets written for safety violations account for millions in revenue. But Kappen said more truckers have trod a blocks-long city-street bypass off Interstate 5 in the four years since city engineers removed a sign prohibiting trucks weighing more than 15,000 pounds from doing so. Once the Cross-Valley Connector is complete, truckers will be able to leave the I-5 about 10 miles south of the scales and take the Antelope Valley Freeway to Golden Valley Road. Golden Valley and Newhall Ranch Road comprise the connector, and meet the I-5 just north of the scales, said Dwight McDonald, a commercial enforcement supervisor for the CHP. Some truckers now find alternate though less direct routes, he added. CHP spokesman Humberto Jimenez said officers in McDonald’s unit are experts at enforcing laws aimed at commercial vehicles. Reasons for wanting to avoid inspections abound. Many drivers who exceed the number of consecutive hours they may drive scheme to avoid getting caught. “We check the log books … to prevent driver fatigue,” Kappen said. “Driver fatigue is a major cause of truck-involved collisions.” The majority of trucks inspected at the Castaic facility are on long-haul trips, he said. SANTA CLARITA – Northbound truckers, who face inspection by the CHP at its Castaic inspection station, will be able to bypass the stop when the city’s heralded Cross-Valley Connector is completed. The $245 million road will connect the Antelope Valley Freeway to Interstate 5 – allowing big-rig drivers to avoid inspection of their trucks and their log books, which detail mandated breaks. CHP inspectors weed out trucks with faulty brakes and drivers who need more shut-eye. But if the city fails to post signs prohibiting truckers from detouring off the freeway – and skirting the rules – it will cost money and could cost lives, a highway official said. “Our main function is to keep our highways safe,” said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Tim Kappen, a 27-year veteran of the agency. “Doing our part by inspecting these trucks has its impact on that.” Driver fatigue is hard to prove after a crash, so truckers often are cited for driving at unsafe speeds or making unsafe turns, said Officer Michelle Esposito. In the past couple of years, the two main causes of truck-involved collisions were speeding and unsafe lane changes. CHP records show trucks were involved in 456 collisions in the Santa Clarita area in 2005. In the 210 crashes where truck drivers were at fault, 41 involved injuries and one person was killed. This year, 135 crashes involved trucks. In the 60 cases where truck drivers were at fault, one person was killed and seven injured. For some, the penalty for driving too long justifies the risk of avoiding it. Truckers can be sidelined for 10 hours, fined $500 and ordered to face a judge. Other common violations include exceeding the maximum allowed weight, having faulty brakes, not being properly licensed or driving with a suspended license. Cargo cannot be stored at the Castaic facility, so drivers cited for overweight loads face the burdensome task of summoning other trucks to carry the excess weight. The consequences of driving with poorly maintained brakes can be more troublesome. “A car can stop faster than an 80,000-pound truck,” said McDonald. “A 3,000-pound car going 65 mph comes and changes lanes in front of a truck … it dives over to take the off-ramp at Magic Mountain (Parkway) … the trucker going 55 mph slams on his brakes. But he will travel 55 feet before he can even think of putting his foot on the brake. He’s already going to be in the back of the car in front of him anyway.” Heavy or shifting loads that are not properly secured pose an added risk. Bindings holding hay, paper, steel and heavy equipment may loosen during a bouncy ride. Citations can range from fix-it tickets to $500 misdemeanors, but McDonald said safety, not revenue is the aim of inspections. Judges can lower fines or levy heftier ones, but ticket revenue goes to the city of Santa Clarita, not the CHP. Fines totaled $8 million to $10 million a year a couple of years ago, McDonald said, and the fines have doubled since then. Truck drivers cannot attend traffic school, they must appear in court. City traffic engineers say they have not heard a word about the bypass problem since 2002, when the CHP agreed it could address the situation through mobile enforcement. City traffic engineer Andrew Yi said he did not know how the sign near the scales came to be, but says the point is moot. “We can’t legally put a sign there,” he said. “We did an extensive investigation. A weight restriction sign had no basis to be enforceable.” Senior traffic engineer Ian Pari said a 2002 license plate survey found all trucks using Avenue Stanford were making local deliveries. Yi said it is unnecessary to restrict overweight trucks that might use the connector to avoid inspections because the scenario is so unlikely. “Trucks don’t like going through intersections, it slows things down,” he said. “If that occurs we will work it out with the Sheriff’s Department and the CHP to control overweight trucks. We don’t see any projection it’s going to happen so why would you want to worry about it now?” Pari said an earlier study done when the connector was planned as more of a freeway showed most trucks would detour for local business only but the likelihood of drive-throughs would be minuscule. Despite the city’s survey that showed it is not a problem, McDonald said he has snagged dozens of violators deviating off I-5 in his mobile enforcement patrols. Last September, in a five-hour span, 70 of the 76 trucks that had bypassed the scales were inspected. Twenty-eight tickets were issued and 7 percent of the trucks and 2 percent of the drivers were taken off the road. Seventy-two percent of the trucks were not making local deliveries or pickups. “Some actually had directions on how to bypass the scale,” he said. “Why are they bypassing the scale? That’s a lot of effort. You could go through the scale and be through quicker.” The process takes about two minutes, unless an inspection warranted and the average time for that is 20 minutes, he said. A pre-pass system flashes a green light to trucks whose companies maintain good records. Big trucks create excessive wear and tear on city roads that were not designed to carry 80,000-pound truck traffic, McDonald said. “The scales (are designed) to prevent injury, death and mechanical problems from happening,” he said. (661) 257-5255160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgErrigal in all of its snow-capped glory at dawn this morning.It is for many Donegal people around the world the most iconic image that reminds them of home.But not too many of us can say we have seen it close-up – at dawn.But this morning local accountant Pat McDermott scaled Donegal’s highest point and took this stunning picture. The picture shows winter is stretching from its slumber with snow covering the peak.Gardai are also warning motorists to take extra care on roads across the county.Temperatures plunged below freezing last night leaving ice on many roads around the county.“Roads are icy this morning and people should take extra care if driving. “Some roads are very slippy and we are asking people to slow down and not to take any chances,” said a Garda spokesman. STUNNING SNOW-CAPPED ERRIGAL BUT DRIVERS GIVEN ICE WARNING was last modified: November 10th, 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:donegalErrigalicesnowWarninglast_img read more

International awards for SA stadium

first_img28 September 2010 South Africa’s FNB Stadium, previously known as Soccer City, was a major hit with the fans during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. It’s also been racking up the design and construction awards, most recently being named the overall winner at the prestigious international Leaf Awards. The Leaf Awards, now into their seventh year, “honour the architects designing the buildings and solutions that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural community,” according to the Leaf website. FNB Stadium, which also won in the best public building category, beat stiff competition for the overall prize from the finalists in the nine categories, including the amazing Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, and the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.‘A wonderful, exuberant design’ The stadium, resembling a massive calabash, rises from the ground at Nasrec, Johannesburg, its rounded multi-coloured shape outflanking the surrounding mine dumps and providing an imposing backdrop for the city’s skyscrapers. The three-tier stadium soars 60 metres into the air and stretches across 300 metres, a concrete and steel masterpiece. At night, with the lights shining through the clear shapes of the calabash sides, it takes on an ethereal quality. “A wonderful, exuberant design that seems almost uncannily to represent the continent in which it is constructed, the judges felt this would be an iconic building for Africa for years to come,” the judges said on the website. “The already world-famous project was chosen for its outstanding design and integral practical solutions. The judges and international architectural community was captivated by the excellence of the project.”‘Brings human scale to a monumental building’ The awards ceremony took place in London in early September, and the judges were unequivocal in their choice. “The architecture of Soccer City integrates the urban context of Johannesburg, its society, the historical mining industry of South Africa, and African culture as a whole. The facade design finished in shades of brown brings human scale to a monumental building, giving it instant appeal, warmth and accessibility.” Architect Bob van Bebber, whose design for the stadium was chosen four years ago, said his firm, Boogertman Urban Edge & Partners, had hoped to win one category, so were especially pleased to take the overall prize as well. The stadium, which cost R3.3-billion to build, accommodates close to 90 000 spectators. Seven 2010 Fifa World Cup games were played at the venue, including the opening and final. It was filled to capacity every time. Van Bebber said he felt satisfied with the stadium’s performance. “We achieved what we had set out to do, that is, to create an atmosphere for the people to enjoy the spectacle.” World football’s governing body, Fifa, described the stadium as “one of the most artistic and awe-inspiring football venues on the African continent”.Other awards The FNB Stadium has also picked up a range of local awards this year: the VISI award for the Best Designers in South Africa; the 42nd Sapoa Convention and Property Exhibition award in the category stadia; and the award for Innovative Excellence in Property Development. Although the stadium wasn’t quite finished in 2009, it received three awards last year: the Fulton Award for the Best Building Project – Concrete in Architecture; the Fulton Award for Commendation for Unique Design Aspects; and the SA Institute for Steel Construction Award. And it has been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival awards, to be announced in early November. Boogertman Urban Edge & Partners was ranked first in South Africa and Africa and 63rd in the world for 2008, according to World Architecture Magazine. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more