Extravagance: A factor in the economic downturn?

first_imgThere have been, and continue to be, serious concerns over national spending since the Government took office in 2015. While the D’Urban Park and the Sussex Street controversies may have come to epitomise these concerns, what continues to be revealed is equally alarming. Just recently, it was disclosed that Special Prosecutors are receiving some $20,000 per hour for services rendered and a $2 million retainer against fees and costs.This is not suggesting that legal skills must not be adequately compensated. However, in the current circumstances it would be difficult not to question the amounts offered. This is against the backdrop of a contracting economy which has forced growth projections to be downgraded on more than one occasion. That is part of the bigger picture and when specific areas are closely examined, the economic situation appears much direr.The impact of the closure of sugar estates and the firing of thousands of workers continue to hit hard on many households and by extension, communities across the country. It may be safe to state that Guyanese who are not familiar with life on the sugar belt may not fully grasp the gravity of what continues to unfold there through the forced economic squeeze and its daily worsening.Much has been said about the ongoing devastation inflicted by the plethora of new taxes which further cripple workers and naturally redound negative effects on the national economy; hence, it is a possible contributing factor for lower growth. Simply put, the nation’s workers have had unnecessary economic burdens foisted upon them resulting in an evaporation of disposable income thereby lowering standards of living and regressing progress.Local and international trade have also taken a hit, and one of the eventualities is job loss which would further compound a worrying situation. With a bleak outlook, one would not only ponder on what the future holds, but would also question what precipitated the situation and whether it could have been avoided.This has to be viewed from what transpired in the beginning of the Government’s tenure. Guyanese were shocked at the seemingly unnecessary expansion of ministerial portfolios and the now infamous 50 per cent increase in salaries for them. The D’Urban Park Project began around the same time with millions eventually ploughed in to accommodate just about two national events annually. It should be noted that all the details of this project are yet to be revealed.Just recently, it was reported that some $265 million was spent on rental of the Sussex Street bond, the use of which, reportedly, should have been discontinued some time ago. While reasons have been offered for continuation, validity may pose an issue. Also, it was reported that some $850,000 has been paid as monthly rental for a property in the city earmarked for the Law Reform Commission, with its latest status being “almost” set up.While none can argue against the need for advance preparation, in the context of what has unfolded on aspects of Government spending and the questionable situations it triggered, the rental since six months ago for the Law Reform Commission seemed to have delivered another such circumstance.When all of these, plus the reported exorbitant house rental for some officials, seemingly extravagant international travels and other areas of public funding are taken holistically, questions over whether most of that financial resource could have been channelled to mitigate current austerity measures appear far more relevant.Had some been made available to help bolster sugar before closure of estates, the harsh economic impact on the fired workers, their families, and the thousands who indirectly depended on the industry could have possibly been avoided.Extravagance, therefore, becomes the watchword. From all that have occurred, it makes a compelling case with a difficulty in trying to understand the rationale, given current realities. For those who lived in the pre-1992 Guyana it can appear a repetition of history.During aspects of that period, extravagance seemed routine at the expense of the masses. The downward spiral of the economy, aided by that and some poor policy decisions, was profound. It resulted in economic hardships, a period during which some basic food items were banned.Currently, while there is no ban on items in a free market economy, many are forced to curtail spending on commodities and services which could have been afforded just a few years back. There will be situations in almost every society, including Guyana, where a section of the populace would be so unable; but that is inherently due to existing poverty. Under the current circumstance, people are being moved from a position of affordability to poverty as a result of some national fiscal policies.How big a factor extravagance is is yet to be determined. However, one can posit that if sums deemed unnecessarily spent were used differently, then some of the economic challenges could have been mitigated. As borrowing continues seemingly unabated, a worrying end result looms, bringing into focus the adage: the mode of transportation best suited for a particular type of economy.last_img read more

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Girlfriend killer gets 12 years for manslaughter

first_img…says “evil forces” affected himA young man who slaughtered his then teenaged girlfriend, Tenicia McAllister, in the presence of his mother and siblings has claimed that “evil forces” were at work when he committed the heinous act nearly two years ago.This is what presiding Judge Navindra Singh was told moments before Joshua Baveghems pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for his crime.Baveghems agreed with the State’s contention that on August 13, 2015, using a cutlass, he murdered the former Cummings Lodge Secondary School student at his Diamond, East Bank Demerara home, after accusing her of being unfaithful. State Prosecutor Tamica Clarke, in reading out the facts of the case, related that Baveghems grabbed the young lady by the hair and dragged her to the kitchen before he retrieved the cutlass and chopped her about the body.Clarke informed the court that all of this was done in the presence of Baveghems’ mother, his brother and sister. The court also heard that in the midst of the chopping, the three family members fled and solicited the assistance of a neighbour. Some time after, Police discovered the young woman’s body lying in the grass outside Baveghems’ residence. According to the post-mortem examination, McAllister had 19 incised wounds. The State Prosecutor noted that the accused posed a threat to several family members and stressed that one should walk away when faced with domestic violence issues.The accused, in addressing the court, claimed that “evil forces” affected his judgment and he had no control over his actions.“I wasn’t in the right state of mind; something take me over, I begging you for mercy,” the 21-year-old pleaded.Justice Singh told him that his remorse seemed genuine, adding that Baveghems would have to live with the fact he killed his loved one which would affect his mind for a long time.Baveghems now takes anger management classes, attends chapel regularly and he prays and sings, the court was previously told. He was represented by Attorney Kemo Griffith, who had told the court that “love is something we cannot understand”.last_img read more

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Heavy snowfall near Fort Nelson, travellers advised to drive slow

first_imgFORT NELSON, B.C. – If you are planning on heading towards Fort Nelson, you will wake to make sure you take some extra time to travel and caution while driving.Between Fort Nelson and Liard River, heavy snowfall has occurred.The area of concern runs from Fort Nelson to Steamboat Mountain along Highway 97.- Advertisement -To keep up to date on current road conditions, visit: http://www.drivebc.ca/Photo Courtesy: DriveBClast_img

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$100,000 powerboat stolen from Fort St. John warehouse

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Mounties in Fort St. John are investigating after a powerboat was stolen from a warehouse south of the Alaska Highway in Fort St. John last week.On June 24th, the RCMP were advised of a break and enter and theft at a warehouse in the 10400 block of Beaver Road. Police learned that the warehouse had been broken into, and a black 2014 Malibu Wakesetter 11 MXZ boat was stolen from the property. The value of the stolen boat is estimated at over $100,000.The break and enter and theft occurred sometime between June 12th and June 24th. Below is a photo of the boat.- Advertisement -If you have any information regarding the break and enter and theft, or observed suspicious activity in the area at the time, please contact the Fort St John RCMP at 250-787-8100 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.last_img read more

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Barcelona to ward off Arsenal and Bayern Munich and offer midfield starlet new contract

first_imgBarcelona are ready to offer Sergi Roberto a new contract in an attempt to ward off interest from Arsenal and Bayern Munich.The midfielder has seen his playing time increase this year and he has already made 10 league appearances – after making only 12 last season.The Spaniard’s performances have not gone unnoticed with Arsenal and Bayern Munich both keeping tabs on his progress.However now, according to Sport, Barcelona are ready to reward Roberto’s start to the season with a new contract.The 23-year-old, who is seen as Barca’s long-term successor to Xavi, is keen to remain at the club and talks are expected to progress quickly.Roberto’s current contract runs until 2019 and his new one is likely to see it extended by a year, with it also containing a release-clause of £30million. Barcelona starlet Sergi Roberto 1last_img read more

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Kicking the habit

first_imgCynthia Torres of Pico Rivera considers herself a social cigar smoker. She said she started smoking cigars more frequently after her group of friends recently took it up. “I enjoy the experience of it, and I enjoy the socializing part that comes with it,” said Torres, 24. As the county Department of Public Health kicked off its latest anti-smoking campaign Wednesday with the release of a study showing minority men are lighting up more frequently, cigar smoking among young people seems to be on the rise, said Linda Aragon, director of the county’s Tobacco Control and Prevention program. The Health Department study showed that smoking among all county residents is at an all-time low: Only 14.6 percent of residents light up. But Asian and Latino men are smoking twice as much as their female counterparts, the report showed. “Asian men do tend to smoke more than their non-Asian counterparts,” said Nisha Varghese, director of health programs at the San Gabriel-based Asian Youth Center. “Many of the men are immigrants from countries where smoking’s the norm.” African-American and white men are also smoking at higher rates. Nearly 27 percent of African-American men and 16.9 of white men are lighting up. “Los Angeles County has made great progress in reducing smoking rates and the health burden associated with tobacco addiction,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, acting director of the county Health Department. “But this survey tells us is that we must continue our efforts so all of our residents can avoid the disease and death caused by tobacco use.” The county spends $4.3billion a year on smoking- related health problems, most of which are preventable, said Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke. “Obviously for L.A. County, when we talk about costs, we talk about the cost of health care. We talk about the fact that we have neonatal units that care for babies that, some of those babies would not be there if their mothers had stopped smoking,” Burke said. araceli.esparza@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.“Anecdotally, we’ve been hearing that it’s becoming more and more of a problem in the high schools,” she said. “A lot of celebrities are smoking cigars and it sets the trend for a lot of youth.” Cigars today come in several varieties – from thin cigarillos to cigars flavored with peaches and other fruits. Rap star 50 Cent is featured in ads for one brand of cigar, while rapper Jadakiss sells a slow-burning, natural-leaf cigar. “Our governor smokes cigars and makes no qualms about smoking cigars at the Capitol,” Aragon said. “It makes sense that young people would be following in the footsteps of those they look up to.” To counter the effects of tobacco advertisements, county health officials Wednesday launched “It’s Quitting Time, L.A!” – a campaign to get 200,000 smokers to quit by 2010. The campaign will enlist pharmacists and physicians to refer patients to anti-smoking programs and will particularly target ethnic communities, Aragon said. last_img read more

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‘We didn’t lose a friend. We gained an angel’ – Manus Kelly remembered at tribute night

first_imgTHREE iconic rally cars lined up at the door of the Mount Errigal Hotel last night; a familiar scene at the Ballyraine, but this was for a rather more poignant occasion than usual.By Chris McNulty. Pictures by Brian McDaidThe three cars – a Toyota Corolla, a Mk2 Escort and an S12 B Subaru Impreza now known the world over – were reminders of Manus Kelly. Three years running, in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Glenswilly man, as the winner of the Donegal International Rally, drove that Impreza across the finish ramp, just yards from where it sat last night, at the entry to the Manus Kelly Tribute Night, a function to remember and celebrate the Glenswilly man, who lost his life while competing in the Donegal International Rally.Most of those who filed in took solemn looks at the machines.In 2015, Manus achieved a life’s dream when he drove the Escort to glory in the National Rally, having cut his teeth in the Corolla. The Impreza became the poster car for the Rally and Manus the smiling face of the event.Sadly, a June Sunday this year altered everything forever as Manus lost his life when the Hyundai i20 R5 he was driving left the road on special stage 15, Fanad Head. “Five months ago, our lives flipped upside-down and they’ll never be the same again,” his brother Caolan Kelly told an audience of over 600.“Things are extremely raw and we are dealing with a massive void in our own way. We are fortunate that we have a strong, close family unit that is supporting each other.”A Memorial Trust has been set up in Manus’s honour with a host of auction items last night raising money that will go towards assisting Manus’s wife, Bernie, their children Annie, Mandy, Charlie, Conan and Bella. Manus’s parents, Donal and Jacquline, his sisters Bridgin, Kelda, Ciara and Shannagh and his brothers Donal, Caolan, Teighearnan and Leon, as well as extended family members were in attendance for a night of celebration and reflection.The late Manus Kelly family at the tribute night including Donal and Jacquline sisters Breigeen, Kelda, Ciara and Shannagh brothers Donal, Caolan, Teigharan and Leon. Photo Brian McDaid“Life will never, ever be the same again without him, but I’m staying strong for the kids,” Bernie Kelly said. “It’s tough. Manus was an angel in this world. Everyone loved him. Manus was extra special in so many ways.” Manus won the National Rally in 2015 and the three-in-a-row from 2016-18 with trusted navigator Donall Barrett by his side for all of the triumphs. It was Barrett who sat in the passenger seat on the day of tragedy. “The unthinkable happened when we lost Manus,” Barrett said.“Since that day, reality has been hard to take in.“I have mixed emotions: Complete sadness at what happened, but complete pride to call Manus a friend. Manus gave so much in his short life. He was a special person.” Like the rest of the room, Mandy Kelly grew to admire Manus. He told how he watched with real pride as his father won the Donegal Rally.Donal Barrett with Declan Boyle and Andrew Nesbitt at the Manus Kelly tribute evening.“It made me proud and it was just class to see my own dad win the Donegal Rally three times in a row,” he said. “It was unreal.”Donal Kelly, another brother, thanked the organisers of the night and said the kind messages had been ‘a great comfort to the family’.Reflecting on Manus’s rallying career, Donal singled out Cathal Browne, Mickey Glackin and Paddy Boyle, who had been with Manus since the start.Donal recalled that he had been at Manus’s first ever rally, an event in County Monaghan and, of course, was at his last, the 2019 Donegal International. “He became a hero and all I wanted to do was to fill his boots,” Donal said.“Boy, what a journey it was. What a driver and what a brother.”Bernie Kelly noted how Manus had many ‘teams’ by his side whatever the occasion, from those in MK Rally, through a political journey that saw him elected as a Fianna Fáil County Councillor in May, those in the Glenswilly GAA club who went beyond duty’s call during Manus’s wake and funeral, and his work colleagues at his business, TFS.Bernie paid tribute to Donall Barrett who, she said, Manus ‘adored being in the car with’.Bernie thanked Fr Paddy Dunne, a close friend of the family, and Fr Michael Sweeney from Fanad, who anointed Manus on that fateful June Sunday. Paddy O’Donnell with Bernie and son Manus at on of Manus’ first rally car which was on show tonight at the Mt Errigal Hotel.She said: “Thank God, he didn’t suffer. If there had been a doctor on the fence that day, they wouldn’t have been able to save him. We’re thankful that he didn’t suffer.”The great and the good of Irish rallying were in attendances, including legends such as Andrew Nesbitt, Austin McHale, Declan Boyle, Garry Jennings, Donagh Kelly and Rory Kennedy. “Manus was a man with great charisma and sense of humour, a man of great strength and courage,” Caolan Kelly said. “We are facing every obstacle with the characteristics that made Manus the man he was.“As time goes on, things multiply and get harder. Pulling the duvet up and turning the brain off is a daily struggle.”The evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Charlie Collins – who interviewed a number of guests alongside Oisin Kelly of Highland Radio – put it neatly when he said: ‘There was never a bad word said about him. Not before. And not since.”There was hardly a dry eye in the house as Bernie Kelly mentioned how she was ‘trying to stay strong’ and how Manus’s passing had ‘changed me forever.’She said: “We can’t wait to see the back of 2019. I’m staying strong for the kids and I have a great wee team behind me.“We are not alone. We didn’t lose a friend. We gained an angel.”‘We didn’t lose a friend. We gained an angel’ – Manus Kelly remembered at tribute night was last modified: November 26th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare 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:Donall Barrettdonegal international rallyglenswillyManus Kellylast_img read more

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Robbie Neilson leaves Hearts to take charge of MK Dons

first_imgRobbie Neilson has left his role as Hearts head coach to become the new manager of MK Dons.The 36-year-old departs the Tynecastle club after two-and-a-half years in charge to join the English League One outfit.Hearts players gathered at the club’s training base to say farewell to their outgoing manager on Thursday morning with Jon Daly set to take the team for Saturday’s trip to Ross County.Stevie Crawford will join Neilson down at Stadium MK. “We will now begin the formal process of recruiting a new Head Coach and Assistant Head Coach.“A further statement confirming interim arrangements for our game against Ross County on Saturday, will be released tomorrow morning.”Newcastle coach Ian Cathro has been heavily linked as Neilson’s successor and the Jam Tarts are expected to make an approach to secure his services in the next 24 hours.In his debut season, Neilson led Hearts to the Scottish Championship title ahead of Rangers and Hibernian with a record points total of 91.European football was secured in their first season back in the top flight following a third place finish, with Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Rangers leaving the Jam Tarts second in the Premiership table.MK Dons are 19th in England’s third tier with 21 points from 20 games. A statement read: “The club can confirm that we have agreed terms with Milton Keynes Dons FC in relation to Head Coach Robbie Neilson and Assistant Head Coach Stevie Crawford.“Ann Budge, the Board of Directors and everyone at Heart of Midlothian Football Club would like to sincerely thank Robbie and Stevie for the enormous part they have played in helping to re-establish the club in the upper echelons of Scottish football.“The record-breaking 2014-15 Championship-winning season, which secured our promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking, will long live in the memory of Hearts supporters, as will the highly impressive third-place finish and the return to European football which was achieved the following season.“They leave us in an enviable position, sitting second in the Premiership table with a healthy playing squad, rich with talent and promise. We wish them every success in their new challenge with Milton Keynes Dons FC.last_img read more

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‘Trees of Hope’ to commemorate suicide victims in Donegal

first_imgDonegal County Council is to plant a ’Tree of Hope’ in each of the five Municipal Districts in the county to commemorate and remember those who have died by suicide.There are currently two Trees of Hope in Donegal, one in Letterkenny and the other on Tory Island (pictured above) and Sinn Féin Councillor Gary Doherty called for one to be planted in the MDs in the county.“What it does is that it provides a place of comfort to survivors or relatives of those who have died and they can memorialise their loved ones,” Councillor Doherty said. “It is also a place of comfort for those who are living with depression or with suicidal thoughts. It would be an appropriate gesture to commemorate and remember those we have lost.“More people die by taking their own lives than die on our roads. Suicide is reaching epidemic proportions and there is barely a family that hasn’t been affected by suicide.“My hope is that by taking this initiative that we will provide some small token of support.”Donegal County Council Director of Services Liam Ward said that tree planting ceremonies could take place around Social Inclusion Week in October. ‘Trees of Hope’ to commemorate suicide victims in Donegal was last modified: May 31st, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare 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:’VOTING NO IS A VOTE FOR JOBS’ SAY SINN FEIN AS DONEGAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHEDCouncillor Gary DohertySinn FeinSUICIDETree of Hopelast_img read more

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Dean Clancy makes a winning start at European Championships

first_imgSligo’s Dean Clancy has won his opening fight at the European Youth Championships in Italy.Last year’s silver medallist beat Belarussian Maksim Pankou 5-0 in his first round tie in the flyweight division to advance to the last 16.Later on, Manorhamilton’s Dearbhla Rooney will fight in the first round of the women’s bantamweight when she takes on a Polish opponent looking for a place in the quarter-finals.The Leitrim fighter will take to the ring in the seventh fight of the evening sessions against Pole Weronika Pawlak.The evening sessions get underway from 5pm Irish time.last_img

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