In Connection with National Budget Preparation, Capitol Hill Admits Lapses

first_imgThe Chairman of the House’s Joint Committee on Public Account, Senator Edward Dagoseh, has admitted that members of the legislature have short-comings related to understanding procedures and process in formulating or drafting the national budget. They also have a problem reconciling their oversight responsibility with that of other legislative functions.Senator Dagoseh said understanding budgetary process is very challenging to the lawmakers, given that the public finance documents are often technical and contain much information. He said it is also challenging for most members of the legislature to balance the demands of oversight with other legislative works.The Grand Cape Mount County lawmaker made the comments Thursday, April 17, at the opening of a three-day legislative guide validation workshop at a local resort in Monrovia.The legislative guide is to lead or direct the national legislature in the budgeting process. It is also intended to give the Legislators a concise insight into their responsibilities as related to the process.“We want to begin by saying that the production of this guide is highly commendable, and we must commend the committee that worked on it.Why do we say it is commendable? It is so because it is an important component of the machinery of accountability, and transparency, in a democratic government.  It is also a device that drives national development.As we all know, there are four steps in the budgeting process: the budget preparation, appropriation and approval, execution and monitoring and reporting. You will note that the process itself is very huge and complicated; that is why I see the production of this guide as very commendable.That is why we say this guide is very important; it will help us accelerate our oversight responsibility,” Senator Dagoseh concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Georgetown and Aberdeen sign historic MOU

first_imgThe Mayors of Georgetown and Aberdeen on Friday signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).The MOU, inked at City Hall on Friday by Georgetown’s Mayor, Ubraj Narine, and Lord Provost, Mayor of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett from Scotland, aims to adequately prepare Georgetown for production in the emerging oil and gas sector expected to begin in a few months’ time.According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), some of the key areas of focus for the MOU include stimulating and supporting offshore energy business interactions between the two cities. Also, capacity-building and developing skills in the offshore energy industry in Georgetown, including facilitating university links and exploring opportunities through co-designed initiatives for funding priority Georgetown city projects, including healthcare services, solid waste management and green open spaces.Mayor Crockett said that Guyana has tremendous prospects and he is looking forward to working with Mayor Narine to make life better for the people of Georgetown.Mayor of Aberdeen Barney Crockett“We have had a long experience in oil and gas. I grew up in Aberdeen before the oil industry came so I remember what it was like, I remember some of the errors that we made but also some of the good things that would have happened so I hope with that history, Guyana can …be part of an international world where there are opportunities for Guyanese,” explained Mayor Crockett.He pointed out that Guyana must avoid risking its natural resources for a forthcoming industry no matter how lucrative it may seem. “You do not want to risk the enormous reputation that Guyana has; its eco-tourism, pristine nature, its wonderful wildlife in order to have a positive development of is natural resources.”In order to reap the benefits of the emerging sector, Mayor Crockett noted that Guyanese must be prepared for the rapid development and growth while at the same time balancing the tremendous attributes of Georgetown. He noted that planning for the infrastructural needs of the city, cooperation between the city Administration and the national Government will be vital.last_img read more

Wine shop hits a new snag

first_img“But looking at all the circumstances, I think it warrants looking at it again and seeing if there’s something we can do,” Powell said. He added that he will meet with Daniels on Friday to discuss whether she can qualify for an exception to the requirement for a second bathroom, or whether her access to a second bathroom in another building can be formalized. (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN DIMAS – After a few ecstatic days believing they would reopen soon, the owners of the shuttered San Dimas Wine Shop and Tasting Room were crushed Wednesday to learn they had more red tape to work through. The wine shop was closed in March for lack of a health permit, and public health department requirements for reopening are proving too expensive, said co-owner Heidi Daniels. A requirement to build a second bathroom was threatening to close the tasting room permanently, until Daniels got word Friday that a second bathroom wouldn’t be necessary after all, she said. But after a flurry of activity – purchasing new sinks, bathroom tile, and other items required by public health before the store could legally reopen – Daniels heard Wednesday the bathroom would be required for the tasting room at 225 W. Bonita Ave. “It’s just devastating. I’m on an emotional rollercoaster, and I’m tired of getting this bad information,” Daniels said tearfully. “Now I’ve gone and spent more money on non-refundable items so we can open … it’s hard to jump through so many hoops and just keep hitting your head against a brick wall.” Terrance Powell, the acting director of public health’s environmental health division, said that although plans for the store to reopen had been approved, he reviewed them and found inconsistencies. “The staff moved a little too quickly,” Powell said. The bathroom requirement was back on the table, he said. The county’s Public Health Department will continue to work with Daniels to see if anything else can be done, Powell added. “She’s essentially an illegal facility,” he said, pointing out that she had been caught without a health permit. “But I don’t think it was intentional.” Normally, public health would not grant exceptions to “new” businesses – that is, businesses that haven’t had permits before – because the businesses are expected to come to the department before they open to ensure that their spaces can legally meet their needs, Powell said. last_img read more

Keita still adapting to life at Liverpool, says Klopp

first_imgHowever, Klopp is prepared to give the Guinea international, who arrived from RB Leipzig during the summer, time to adapt.“I spoke to Naby. Everything is fine. I am completely happy with Naby,” said the Liverpool boss.“Could he be a bit more confident in the games? Yes. Is he exactly the player in his best time at Leipzig? No. He is still adapting, that’s how it is.“Everyone saw at the beginning of the season how brilliant he played.”Klopp said minor injury problems had held the player back but he was a welcome addition to the squad.“It is so good and I am looking forward to our common future,” he said. “You see it every day, wow, there is so much to come and there is so much influence he can have on each game.”He added: “There is really no doubt about the boy, he is an outstanding player.”Keita is likely to get a start in the FA Cup tie at Wolves on Monday as one of a number of players in need of pitch time.Another of those is Adam Lallana, who has also had his struggles with injuries.“I can tell you it is a good opportunity for all the players,” added Klopp. “Adam is actually in outstanding shape. It’s unbelievable. It was close in the last game whether we started him or not. He is really, really good.”0Shares0000(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Naby Keita is still adapting to life in the Premier League © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 7 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the “outstanding” Naby Keita has yet to reproduce the form that persuaded him to sign the midfielder — but says he has a bright future at Anfield.The 23-year-old started his Liverpool career brightly and has made 18 appearances so far this season but he has failed to feature in the past three matches for the Premier League leaders.last_img read more

UC Irvine chief apologizes for flap over dean

first_imgBy Gillian Flaccus THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IRVINE – The embattled chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, avoided a public rebuke from faculty Thursday as he apologized for withdrawing an offer to make a liberal legal scholar the founding dean of the university’s new law school. “I have learned a very painful lesson this week. I made a series of difficult decisions without consulting senior faculty early enough or often enough,” Chancellor Michael V. Drake said at the emergency meeting of the Academic Senate. “I’m sorry for this and I apologize sincerely for the problems that have followed.” Drake ignited a nationwide debate about academic freedom last week when he abruptly withdrew the offer from legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky. Chemerinsky, an international expert on constitutional law who represented exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame, said Drake told him the offer was being withdrawn because he was “too politically controversial.” The chancellor denied that he had been pressured to release Chemerinsky. He re-extended the offer – which Chemerinsky accepted – Monday after a private weekend meeting. On Thursday, faculty met in a 400-seat lecture hall to decide whether to censure Drake for his actions, wavering between adopting two resolutions – one that some called a harsh censure, and another that was less critical of the chancellor. In the end, the 43-member voting body of the larger Academic Senate voted to table both resolutions for further study. 160Want 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

Former Aston Villa and Sunderland ace seals Spain move

first_img Carlos Cuellar 1 Former Aston Villa, Norwich City and Sunderland defender Carlos Cuellar has joined Almeria after ending his seven-year stint in English football.Cuellar was released by Norwich just days after their promotion to the Premier League was confirmed earlier this year and has now headed back to Spain.The 33-year-old, who made eight Championship appearances for the Canaries last season, has agreed a deal with the Spanish Second Division side.Cuellar has a wealth of experience after racking up a combined total of 124 Premier League appearances during his spells at Aston Villa and Sunderland.last_img

Boy allegedly grabbed in alley

first_imgA 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy at a Reseda Laundromat, and police are trying to find out whether there are other victims, authorities said Monday. Rafael Manguia Magana is suspected of grabbing the boy in an alley next to the Laundromat at Reseda Boulevard and Saticoy Street at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Los Angeles police Lt. Paul Vernon said. Magana partially undressed himself and the boy, Vernon said. The boy was at the Laundromat with his mother. Another boy, 11, was also there doing laundry with his legal guardian. Both boys went into the alley to play, Vernon said. “The man grabbed the kid,” Vernon said. “His friend ran and hid.” 160Want 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 MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The alleged victim was able to get away from Magana, Vernon said, and both boys went into the Laundromat and told the adults what happened. All four of them – the two boys, the victim’s mother and the friend’s guardian – went into the alley. Magana was still there, and they held him until police arrived. Magana was arrested on suspicion of performing lewd acts on a child. He was being held at the LAPD’s Devonshire Station jail on $100,000 bail, Vernon said. Magana has no criminal record, but police are encouraging anyone who recognizes him to call them at 778-4720. Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 713-3669 last_img read more


first_imgIs Apple taking a bigger bite of its profits?Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the expected announcement tomorrow by the EU Commission that it is to launch a formal investigation is a result of the government adopting a “head in the sand” attitude to Ireland’s Corporation Tax dealings with Apple.The Donegal TD said his efforts to find out how Apple avoided major taxes in this country were blocked by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail.“I welcome this expected announcement by the Commission that it will investigate formally Ireland’s tax deal with Apple. The EU Commission will appear before the Finance Committee’s sub-committee on Global Taxation tomorrow where I will question them further on what has caught their attention,” he said. “Time after time when I have raised this issue the government have dismissed me and others.“The Finance Committee agreed, on my proposal, to set up a sub-committee to look at the issues involved but the government parties and Fianna Fáil refused to allow the Committee call representatives of Apple and other multinationals.“Now, it seems the EU Commission have decided there is a case to answer on grounds of possible breaches of State Aid regulations. The government has done only the bare minimum at a time when international opinion is moving towards a more transparent way of taxing multinationals. The time has come to get our house in order.“Minister Noonan has stressed that reputation is important in attracting multinational companies. Because of his lack of action and his head in the sand approach Ireland’s reputation as a fair and transparent country to do business in is under pressure.”  GOVERNMENT AND FIANNA FAIL BLOCKED MY PROBE INTO APPLE TAXES SCANDAL – DOHERTY was last modified: June 10th, 2014 by John2Share 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:AppleIrelandPearse Dohertytaxeslast_img read more

The school bag that turns into a light at night

first_img12 May 2015When South African childhood friends Thato Kgatlhanye and Rea Ngwane finished high school, they knew they wanted to start something that helped young people and underprivileged communities. At age 18, they founded Rethaka, a social enterprise they hoped would do just that – although it would be two years before they figured out how.“Yes, it is a bit funny that you would register a business without a business idea,” says Kgatlhanye. “But at the heart of it we actually wanted to do great things. And when the idea of the Repurpose Schoolbags came to us, we worked on it tirelessly.”Repurpose Schoolbags is an environmentally friendly innovation made from “upcycled” plastic shopping bags with built-in solar technology that charges up during the day and transforms the bag into a light at night.The project targets school children in underprivileged communities, allowing them to study after dark in homes without electricity. The bags are also designed with reflective material so that children are visible to traffic during their walk to and from school.Introducing a sustainable solutionThe pair spent the first eight months of 2014 piloting the schoolbags, followed by producing 1 000 bags from August to December.The company has eight full-time employees in their factory in Rustenburg, but Kgatlhanye says they will employ an additional 12 people this year to help meet their production target of 10 000 bags for 2015.The initiative has been targeting corporate social investment budgets where companies can sponsor the production of bags. Each bag costs R250 (US$20), which covers the cost of employee wages and production.They plan to also produce bags for conferences and events, where participants will be able to choose to give the bag to underprivileged children after the event. The company has already signed up some major clients, including Standard Bank and PwC.Kgatlhanye says they hope to develop other products along the same idea, such as raincoats, but at the moment they are focused on ramping up production of the schoolbags and expanding into other communities.More ‘social’ than ‘entrepreneur’While the co-founders (now both 22) have had to think like entrepreneurs to ensure the business remains sustainable, Kgatlhanye says becoming an entrepreneur was almost a by-product of Repurpose Schoolbags.She says that as a child she never dreamed of owning her own business, but she knew she wanted to do something positive for the community that surrounded her, an awareness she owes to her upbringing and particularly her mother.“My mom cares about people like you wouldn’t imagine . so I grew up in an environment where I was always conscious of caring for other people and having a sense of empathy,” she says.“And thank God I had that upbringing – where I could understand there are people out there that don’t have as much as I do. And that if I find creative ideas on how to give them what it is they need, then we could both be fine ¶hellip and brave the world together.”Alternative sources of fundingKgatlhanye describes her business journey as “instinctive” and she has some great tips to help young entrepreneurs grow their businesses without capital.For starters, she believes there are alternatives to funding that don’t require giving away equity in the business to potential investors. For example, Kgatlhanye has benefited from a number of mentorship and entrepreneurship programmes.She was selected for an internship in New York with marketing guru and American best- selling author Seth Godin, and was picked as one of 18 South African social entrepreneurs to attend the 10-day Red Bull Amaphiko Academy last year. She was also selected as the 2014 first runner-up of the Anzisha Prize, where she won $15 000.“My advice is simple: bootstrap and find competitions to enter your business idea into,” she highlighted during an online Q&A session on the Anzisha Prize’s Facebook page earlier this year.“Firstly, it is a great way to get free business support and advice. Secondly it’s a great networking opportunity to meet high-profile business people – who usually judge these competitions – and potentially get mentorship from them. Finally, if you end up a winner, you will not only get a cash prize but also get some PR out of it.”However, most importantly, Kgatlhanye advises young entrepreneurs to trust their gut and admits that she has decided to lose mentors in the past simply because they shared different visions.Separating business and friendshipAs friends, Kgatlhanye and Ngwane have managed to work well as business partners. But for many, going into business with a friend has led to the end of a friendship.“One thing that’s key is when you form a business partnership with your friend, act as though you met that person that day,” says Kgatlhanye.“So you can’t say because you’ve known your friend since grade 4, you’ll work well together in business. No – you have known them since you decided to start a company together. So get to know your business partner as a business partner, not as a friend, because business and friendship is a different ball game.”Another trick that proved beneficial for the co-founders was to get a business coach to help them get comfortable in their business relationship.“And I think that’s the best advice. Get a business coach, be honest, leave the ego at the door and hustle.”This is an edited version of a story first published on The Anzisha Prize. Published here with kind permission.last_img read more

Comparing High-Performance Wall Options

first_imgT. Barker is planning a high-performance house in Climate Zone 7A, where the number of heating degree days reaches 10,000 a year and the January design temperature hits 20 below zero. Although he is still tinkering with his plans, Barker is leaning toward a design with R-50 exterior walls to make the house as comfortable as possible and to reduce the cost of the mechanical systems. The question is how best to get to that insulation value. In a Q&A post, Barker asks, “Are there any good reports using actual construction experience comparisons for the cost to build double-stud 2×4 (or 2×6) walls compared to single 2×6 with exterior insulation?”RELATED ARTICLESHow to Design a WallChoosing Rigid FoamTwo Views of Double-Stud WallsCreating High-Performance WallsR-Value Advice from Building Science Corporation What reading he’s done so far suggests that most double-stud walls are framed on 24-inch centers. “I would think for the minimal cost difference to stay 16 inches on center you get better drywall finish and shear wall capacity for 2-story construction,” he says. What does the most recent research show in terms of material costs, construction labor, and pros and cons of each of these two options? Further, are there insulation materials on the market with very high R-value that might be a good fit for his house, such as silica aerogels? Those are the questions raised in this Q&A Spotlight. Double-stud walls are more practical Reaching R-50 with a 2×6 wall plus exterior foam takes a lot of foam, says Dana Dorsett, something on the order of 6 inches. That makes construction awkward, and may be a good reason to choose the double-stud option. “A double stud wall is far more practical, since the distance between walls is flexible — two feet thick isn’t substantially more difficult than a foot,” Dorsett writes. “You have to pay attention to the thermal bridging of the subfloors and band joists, etc., and dense packing cellulose gets harder, making fiberglass (which unlike cellulose won’t sag or settle if you don’t quite hit the target density) perhaps a better option.” As to Barker’s questions about the most up-to-date research, Dorsett points him to a study by the Building Science Corp. Even though it’s not quite as recent as Barker would like, Dorsett says, it still offers sound advice. But, he adds, forget about aerogel. “Aerogel is ridiculously expensive, and would be totally wasted as cavity fill,” he says, “but there are commercial products designed for framing edge strips, the primary market being commercial construction with steel-stud curtain walls.” It’s a matter of builder preference The choice between a double-stud wall and one with exterior insulation is a matter of the builder’s preference, says Michael Maines. “The ones who prefer double stud walls and don’t like working with foam say that double stud walls are the best value, and that installing exterior foam is difficult,” Maines writes. “The ones who like using foam say that double stud walls are twice the labor and twice the material, and that installing exterior foam is not a big deal. I’ve had this conversation with many different builders and most of them fall into one camp or the other.” With that said, Maines has found that exterior foam is the best value when the goal is in the R-30 range. For R-values of 40 or higher, a double-stud wall is a more economical choice. The cost difference between an 8-inch-thick wall and an 18-inch-thick walls is just in the extra insulation. “There are many variables in the equation,” he adds, “so the answer will depend on your specific situation.” Nor does the choice between 16-inch and 24-inch on-center framing have a clear answer. While 16-inch framing doesn’t use significantly more material, it does use more, and the extra studs don’t make the building substantially stronger. (Builders of three stories or more, however, are required by the International Residential Code to be framed on 16-inch centers.) Making the case for R-50 walls? “Can I ask the big question,” says Walter Ahlgrim. “Why R-50? Given the current prices of fuel, materials and labor in most places, an R-50 wall is unlikely to justify its cost in terms of dollars and cents.” If Barker is shooting for performance numbers required in a Passive House building, R-50 might make sense. Or Barker may live in an area where the cost of fuel is unusually high. He suggests Barker spend some time with a no-cost computer program called BEopt, developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to learn more about this options. Packing R-50 worth of insulation into the walls, and R-100 into the roof, will save about $500 a year in heating and cooling costs, Barker replies, in addition to the C$20,000 in mechanical systems. These savings over 15 years will add up to at least C$25,000. “Additional costs to superinsulate and seal a 2,200-square-foot house will be approximately C$35,000,” he adds. “I can live with the extra cost for better comfort, a quieter house, and being green (never thought I’d hear myself say that — LOL).” Fuel is indeed a problem. There is no natural gas available on the site, and while propane is a possibility, it’s expensive. Plus, Barker sees no sense in running gas lines into the house when the future is clearly electric. Several GBA readers question Barker’s estimates of how much money he will save in HVAC operating and installation costs. Will he really save $25,000 over 15 years? “I wasn’t clear,” Barker says, “but I’m comparing R-50 ‘superinsulated, super-tight’ against the standard that most decent homes would be built to in this area today, which is about R-24 walls, ACH50= 3.0, etc. This happens to be about the quality my current home was built to 20 years ago, so I use electrical and utility usage from that house to make some of my comparisons. Will it end up being R-35 or R-40 instead of R-50?  Maybe, but it will certainly be far more insulated than R-24.” “At a whole-wall R-value of R-30 or more, the cost difference between R-30 vs. R-50 whole-walls or an R-50 vs. R-100 in the attic is often better spent on upgrading or fine-tuning the window options,” Dorsett adds. “Walter’s recommendation for maintaining a BEopt simulation as you adjust the design features is a good one. In most climates the heating and cooling loads can be cut to the level where point source heating/cooling can work without taking it to R-50 whole-wall and R-100 attic.” Choices for exterior insulation Barker has done some research on the cost of different types of exterior insulation and finds that mineral wool is the cheapest option. To reach R-50, he says, the cost of 12-inch-thick Rockwool would be about US$2.05 per square foot of wall area; EPS (13 inches) would be US$3.59 per square foot; XPS (10 inches) adds up to US$5.47 per square foot. GBA editor Martin Holladay wonders why Barker might choose XPS for exterior rigid foam when most green builders prefer EPS or polyisocyanurate. Barker says that he wants to stay away from polyiso because of its reduced R-values at low temperatures and, he suspects, some environmental issues. Dorsett suggests he consider reclaimed polyiso. “Large industrial and commercial flat roofs are usually insulated with polyiso or EPS, which is often swapped out and upgraded during re-roofing,” he says. “The used foam is ‘gold’ for materials reclaimers — they make a good margin even when reselling it at less than 1/3 the price of virgin-stock foam.” Plus, he adds, polyiso’s reduction in R-value at low temperatures is probably not as severe as Barker thinks. Our expert’s opinion GBA technical director Peter Yost adds this: It’s surprising to have such a detailed discussion of wall performance without mentioning windows. This is especially true given the difficulty that windows introduce in either a 6-inch exterior foam walls or double-stud walls. What is their performance relative to the walls? What’s the increased difficulty of window installation in thick walls? There are lots of decisions to make, and some careful detailing to manage. I decided to ask leading Passive House builder Steve Baczek what his preference would be for “superinsulated and super-tight” Climate Zone 7 walls. He provided the drawing at the top of this column, and added this: “I’d love to tell you there is a ‘silver bullet’ wall assembly out there, but — sorry, I’m not aware of any. “When it comes to enhanced wall assemblies, the choice is usually between a thicker frame (i.e. 2×8+) or a double wall assembly. I’ve done both numerous times and they each have their pros and cons. What I’ve found generally is that it really comes down to the builder’s perspective. “I can make either assembly perform well, but builders apply the $ tag to it. If I asked 10 builders, I would likely get a 50/50 split in favor of each. We can debate a lifetime on this, but here’s one of my contentions: We worry so much about the R-value of the wall at the cavity, that we usually neglect the wall at the window. “Understanding the impacts of whole wall R-value suggests heavy attention to exterior continuous insulation and, more importantly, to the windows. My stepping off point for a high-performance wall is usually a 2×8 24-inch on-center wood-framed wall with R-9 Zip  sheathing. Everything is a bit enhanced, but the number of parts is the same as a code-built wall. So I am essentially paying extra for enhancements, not additional labor. This wall for my climate gets me into a R-40ish+ range. It also usually leaves some money for that very important window upgrade to leverage my whole-wall R-value.”last_img read more