Cash-strapped GuySuCo sells more land

first_imgThe cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is gearing up to dispose of more of its transported lands, in a bid to secure cash for its operations.Dr Clive ThomasThe Sugar Corporation has advertised for sale several acres of land, inclusive of vacant properties at Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD), where the entity houses its headquarters.In inviting bids, GuySuCo said it was looking to sell portions of its transported freehold lands situated at Mandela Avenue, Georgetown, Liliendaal and Ogle ECD.Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, Professor Clive Thomas, had earlier alluded to the fact, notwithstanding, that the entity had asked for a sum of $12 billion this year and had received $9 billion, a review was ongoing to see how best it could utilise its considerable land holdings – a significant portion of which is unused.He is quoted in sections of the media as saying, “What we are trying to do is to use land sales as an important means of financing over the next four to five years… we are looking at our land holdings to see what is possible, then we will decide on how to structure the sales.”According to Professor Thomas, “We asked for $12 billion this year and we got $9 billion… the rest has to be supplied by land sales.”On Sunday, this publication reported that the entity was set to receive another $3 billion in subsidy, in addition to the $9 billion it had received earlier in the year when Finance Minister Winston Jordan presented the 2016 Budget.Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) President Patrick Yarde told the opening of the General Council that the Union’s delegation “in the current negotiations on wages, salaries and allowances was notified that a further $3 billion is to be provided to GuySuCo”.The transfer, when effected, will mean the cash-strapped company would have been supported to the tune of $12 billion.This past week, President David Granger had alluded to the bailout of GuySuCo as among the reasons Government was constrained in making a bigger offer to public servants.According to the Head of State, GuySuCo is being bailed out to the tune of $10 billion annually and this is in addition to the problems being faced with the falling prices for sugar, gold and bauxite, some of Guyana’s main revenue earners.GuySuCo has already recorded a whopping $6 billion deficit in its accounts for the first half of 2016, but this has been masked by the $9 billion subsidy that was handed to the beleaguered entity by Government.In fact, while the $9 billion transferred was earmarked for the Corporation to be disbursed for the entire year, all of the money has already been transferred.Finance Minister Jordan had documented in his 2016 Mid-Year Report that the reason the allocation was disbursed in its entirety by the end of June 2016 was “because of a deterioration in the Corporation’s cash balances that was due to a severe shortfall in production”.The subsidy that was transferred to GuySuCo has in fact allowed the company to record in its books an operating surplus of $2.9 billion, down from an operating surplus of $3 billion for the corresponding period last year.last_img read more

Rangers reject US financier Sarver’s revised takeover bid

first_imgRobert Sarver has seen his latest Glasgow Rangers takeover bid blocked by the Scottish club.The US financier, who already owns NBA side the Phoenix Suns, had increased his initial offer for a controlling stake in the club to £20million and vowed to hand them another £6.5million up front as part of a crisis loan to see them through the rest of the month.But the Ibrox outfit have been forced to reject Sarver’s offer after deciding they do not have enough shareholder support to pass it.Sarver wanted the club to call an emergency meeting to vote on proposals to hand him enough new shares to give him in control of 51 per cent of Rangers.The 53-year-old then planned to make an offer to buy up all remaining stock at 20p per share.But he needed the support of 75 per cent of the club’s shareholders after the board voted down its own resolution at last month’s AGM which would have allowed it to issue new shares to fresh investors without first offering them to existing stakeholders.Those hopes were ruined, however, when the board was blindsided as first the Three Bears – wealthy supporters Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor – and then Dave King made two surprise share purchases, handing them control of 34 per cent of the club.In a 7am notice to the Stock Exchange, the club announced: “The Board of Rangers has considered the revised possible offer from Robert Sarver (or a vehicle to be established and controlled by him) (“Mr Sarver”) which Mr Sarver announced on 8 January.“The revised proposal by Mr Sarver was similar to his first proposal in the respect that it sought a placing of 100 million shares (to be priced at 20p in this proposal) (“Placing”) which, would require the approval of shareholders (at least a 75% majority) at a general meeting.“The Board of Rangers rejected the first proposal from Mr Sarver on 6 January on the basis that the Board felt it unlikely that the approval of shareholders holding sufficient shares would be forthcoming.“Following receipt of the revised proposal from Mr Sarver, the Board has sought the views of a number of major shareholders on this revised proposal and has reached the same conclusion, namely that the resolution to approve the placing is unlikely to achieve the 75% majority required.“Accordingly, once again, the Directors do not intend to hold the General Meeting which would be necessary to implement the revised proposal.”The question now for the board is one of how to raise the short-term cash they desperately need to keep the club afloat.The Three Bears have left a £6.5million investment plan on the table but the ruling regime could yet turn to Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner, for yet more help.Ashley – who owns 8.92 per cent of Rangers – has already handed the club a £3million loan as the Sports Direct tycoon seeks to protect his lucrative commercial contracts.But after placing associates Derek Llambias and Barry Leach onto the board, he risks another confrontation with the Scottish Football Association – who have already charged him with breaching “dual ownership” rules – if he deepens his Ibrox involvement while remaining in charge at St James’ Park.He may, however, decide to work with the Bears – who along with King – are nearing the kind of shareholder support which would allow them to call an emergency general meeting and make wholesale changes to the Ibrox board. 1 Robert Sarver last_img read more

He’s ‘The King’ of Skid Row

first_imgClose your eyes and it could be Elvis Presley – or, at least, one of the better Elvis impersonators – belting out that melodic mix of baritone and tenor, with a touch of Southern comfort thrown in. “When no one else can understand me “When everything I do is wrong … “You give me hope and consolation “You give me strength to carry on …” He’s known as `The King’ of Skid Row. But it’s not the baseball cap crowning his head or the karaoke microphone he carries like a scepter that earned Roland Burris the nickname. It’s the voice – the pain of poverty and addiction coming out in the ballads and blues – that spark comparisons to that world-famous singer. “He sure sounds like The King, doesn’t he?” says Billy Blade, a neighbor of Burris at the Lamp Lodge, a transitional housing complex in the heart of Los Angeles’ Skid Row. A sampling of three CDs Burris has recorded using karaoke music features renditions of dozens of oldies, from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to Paul Anka and B.J. Thomas. But none match his takes on Elvis’ “The Wonder of You” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Joe Caron was among a handful of Skid Row advocates who saw Burris sing Elvis songs at karaoke night last year at the Acapulco restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. “We heard Elvis,” says Caron, project manager of the Skid Row Collective, a nonprofit that involves several support organizations for the homeless. “If it was something he worked at every day, he’d be very good. He clearly has talent.” Mario Williams, a longtime homeless resident in the neighborhood, is among those inspired by Burris. “We tell him all the time: `You need to be doing something with your singing,”‘ Williams says. “He may not be the spitting image of Elvis, but his voice sure is.” It is late morning, and Burris and other residents are sitting in the shade in front of their building in the 600 block of Stanford Street, sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes as a police car cruises by and other Skid Row lifers pass. “I didn’t set out to be an Elvis impersonator,” says Burris, 52, “and I’ve never charged a cent for impersonating.” It all started in 1986, when he called in to a radio station in Virginia Beach, Va., winning a jar of Vlasic pickles as part of a contest. During the conversation, the woman from the station told him, “You know, you kind of sound like Elvis.” Burris says he went out and bought an Elvis costume – a knockoff of the famous white jumpsuit emblazoned with a large eagle on the chest. His then-wife Barbara spruced it up with glitter and rhinestones, and Burris went on stage at an Elvis impersonation contest in Presley’s native Mississippi. He was the only one who not only knew all the lyrics but also had the single voice that struck judges as a dead-ringer for the king of rock ‘n’ roll. Burris continued the impersonations, entertaining at nursing homes in the South while keeping his full-time job as a maintenance worker. “I was like a carnival act,” he says, “and that was a life I knew real well.” The son of a Hungarian immigrant mother, Burris spent much of his young life as one of nine siblings in a touring minstrel group – The Singing Burris Family of Columbus, Ga. – that later blended into part of the traveling carnival. Along the way, Burris says, he was sexually abused by a friend of his stepfather. While he kept it secret for decades, the molestation wormed its way into his psyche. He was discharged from the Army after being diagnosed with bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders. A string of dead-end jobs followed. His marriage, which produced three children, ended in divorce. Ten years ago, at his wit’s end and looking for answers, he came to Los Angeles in search of his oldest sister. “After two or three weeks of looking and not being able to find her, I was homeless and I ended up here,” says Burris, motioning to the Lamp Lodge, a 49-unit apartment building among the numerous housing projects operated by nonprofits on Skid Row. He receives disability payments and VA benefits, but still struggles to pay the $279-a-month rent on his one-bedroom apartment. He rolls his own cigarettes to save money. He treats the bipolar and post-traumatic stress conditions with medication that has led to insomnia and more medication. He is now light- and sun-sensitive and always has the sensation of being hot. Still, his neighbors say, Burris is a bright spot – one of the best-adjusted and most productive members of their community. He cares for a resident who is incapacitated, doing her shopping and running her errands. At night, he takes his turn on a four-hour security shift in his building. On Labor Day, Burris also coordinated entertainment for a holiday celebration and barbecue in the parking lot of the Lamp Lodge. His karaoke machine provided the music, and between getting other residents to sing, he belted out several songs himself, including Elvis classics. Most recently, Burris has also been in charge of the makeshift garden made up of plant containers dropped off in front of the building by Farmlab, a downtown-based group that this summer is attempting to “green” Skid Row by contributing fruit and flower boxes in several locations. Jaime Lopez Wolters, an agriculturalist with Farmlab who has worked with Burris this summer, says he has been an ideal fit in the program. “I’m amazed to see someone so interested and knowledgeable about the plants and taking care of them,” he said. “And, of course, it’s a plus that he’s an Elvis impersonator singing to them.” The gardening has also spread Burris’ reputation as an Elvis impersonator beyond Skid Row, with tales of how he has crooned “Don’t Be Cruel” and other classics of `The King’ to struggling plants. “I talk to them, and sometimes I sing Elvis songs to them,” he said. “Does it work? You don’t see them wilting even in the heat, do you?” (818) 713-3761160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Golden Glove top 10 by clean sheets and games – how close was the battle?

first_img 10 10 10 10 4. Kasper Schmeichel kept 15 clean sheets in 38 appearances for Leicester City this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. 10 10 10. ?ukasz Fabia?ski kept nine clean sheets for Swansea City in 37 appearances in the Premier League this season – see the top 10 and the winner in full by clicking the arrow above, right – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. 10 10 6. Simon Mignolet kept 11 clean sheets in 34 appearances for Liverpool this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. It’s not all attack, attack, attack.The Golden Boot – clinched by Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane – may be the more exciting race, but let’s not undermine the battle for the Golden Glove.This season has seen Petr Cech, David De Gea, Kasper Schmeichel and Joe Hart all go head-to-head for the clean sheet prize.And De Gea saw his name struck off Chris Smalling’s Christmas card list after the centre back’s own goal in United’s 3-1 victory over Bournemouth saw the Spaniard fall behind his rivals in the final game of the campaign.So, check out the top 10 goalkeepers who recorded the most clean sheets in the Premier League for the 2015/16 season, ranked also by the number of appearances made, by viewing the slideshow above. 9. Adrián kept nine clean sheets in 32 appearances for West Ham this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. 5. Hugo Lloris has kept 13 clean sheets in 37 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. 7. Heurelho Gomes kept 11 clean sheets in 38 appearances for Watford this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. 10 3. Joe Hart kept 15 clean sheets in 35 appearances for Manchester City this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. 2. David De Gea has kept 15 clean sheets in 34 appearances for Manchester United this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. 8. Jack Butland kept 10 clean sheets in 31 appearances for Stoke City this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign. 10 1. Petr Cech claimed the Golden Glove, keeping 16 clean sheets in 34 appearances for Arsenal this season – Ranked by number of clean sheets recorded and appearances made throughout the campaign.last_img read more

Group trying to preserve plants

first_imgThe plants, which twist for 40 feet around the palms, were planted near the turn of the last century around the edges of an orange grove, one of many citrus farms that carpeted the region at the time. As the tropical plants grew, images of them were used to market both Glendora and California as a lush paradise during the state’s booster period. In 1977, the bougainvillea became a state historical landmark, thanks to a nomination by then-owner Lloyd Pittman, who ran the 10-acre valencia and navel grove. The next year, the vines became the first plant to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For the Pittmans, the bougainvillea was a point of pride. Lloyd Pittman, now 91, constructed steel trellises for each tree before he sold most of his property in the mid-1980s. “It’s been a part of our lives, and we felt it was significant enough to fight for,” said his son Galen Pittman, a horticultural curator for the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Since taking over care of the vines in the 1980s, the city has struggled to maintain the bougainvillea, which threatens to topple the slender palm trees to which it is attached, Glendora Parks Superintendent Halla Speaker said. The bougainvillea requires more regular pruning and needs a stronger support structure, according to Glendora resident and Monrovia Growers employee Katharine Rudnyk. She nominated the vines for the recent foundation listing, and the bougainvillea was picked from hundreds of entries. Rudnyk said the plant is an icon that is representative of California history. “It was part of the citrus industry,” Rudnyk said. “And now, appropriately, it surrounds a development.” The vines grow along two sides of the Rancho del Bougainvillea, a dense, Spanish-style gated community that was built in the late 1980s. The project was constructed when the Pittmans sold most of their property. Residents of the Rancho pay a yearly fee that goes to maintaining the bougainvillea, but that only totals $3,888, Speaker said. The city would need several thousand dollars more to adequately care for the vines, but the residents have rejected efforts to raise the fee, she said. “A political argument could be made that maybe everybody in Glendora should pay a little bit, but the council would have to decide that,” Speaker said. Mayor Ken Herman said he has asked Rudnyk for a professional recommendation on care of the bougainvillea. He said he supported Rudnyk and increased recognition for the plants. The Chamber of Commerce had considered using the plants as a theme to promote the city, but that plan never went anywhere, he said. As for Rudnyk, she said, “I just want (the bougainvillea) to be around after my time is done on this earth.” (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2110160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Last month, the vines were named to a list of 21 “Heroes of Horticulture” – plants and trees across the nation that have been witnesses to history and are now considered threatened. The Glendora vines are at risk due to development and lack of upkeep, according to The Cultural Landscape Foundation. The Washington, D.C.,-based group each year issues “Landslide,” a list of landscapes the foundation says may be lost. The group has recommended that Glendora, which maintains the trees with a late winter pruning, develop a different care plan that would better take into account the vines’ age and size. The bougainvillea deserves protection in part because of the plants’ connection to the region’s bygone citrus culture, said Charles Birnbaum, founder and president of Cultural Landscape Foundation. “This part of California has been growing so much that this is one of the only truly living witnesses to a former lifestyle,” Birnbaum said. GLENDORA – The massive, tangled vines along Bennett and Minnesota avenues have witnessed the rise and fall of the San Gabriel Valley’s citrus industry. They have withstood the suburbanization of Glendora and surrounding communities and are now seeing the push toward redevelopment in the Valley. For more than a century, the papery, purple blossoms of the Glendora Bougainvillea have brightened the trunks of 25, 90-foot-tall palm trees as the city has changed around them. Now, a national preservation group is advocating that Glendora take better care of the historic plants, which are the largest collection of bougainvillea in the nation. last_img read more