Kolkata’s soccer clubs under ED lens in Saradha scam

first_imgThe 14 Saradha Group firms were running Ponzi schemes using collections from new investors to pay previously-enrolled members rather than from income generated through investment in the mega chit fund scam, according to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).Completing its investigation into the scam, SFIO said on Monday that these firms would face prosecution for violation of several laws. Besides, the activities of the companies violated Companies Act, Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) Act and several provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the corporate affairs ministry said in a statement on completion of the SFIO probe. Companies which violated Sebi regulations for ‘collective investment schemes’ would be prosecuted for violation of Sebi Act, instead of the Companies Act as the former carries longer terms of imprisonment.Meanwhile, the scam has got deeper with top officials of Kolkata’s popular football clubs, including Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, coming are under scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the scam. Officials of two other major football clubs Bhawanipur and Kalighat were also summoned by ED.According to sources, Saradha Group chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen’s involvement with the football clubs began in 2010, when he had first roped in Kalighat Club. The club later branched out to other sports like cricket and hockey. The officials of all the four prominent Kolkata clubs arrived at the ED office at Salt Lake on Monday morning and handed over their sponsorship documents.”We have submitted all supporting documents to ED officials. They will examine them and if necessary, they might call us again for further clarification,” senior East Bengal club official Shantiranjan Dasgupta told the media after emerging out of the ED office. Sources said that Sen transferred `5-`6 lakh every month to East Bengal. Besides, he used to give hefty amounts to Kalighat Club from several Group companies. ED quizzed the club officials about how the Saradha sponsorship amount was spent, their mode of payments and other related issues.advertisementlast_img

Intel takes another step into the Arduino world

first_img “Things are getting so compact nowadays. I have an old soldering iron. I am seriously thinking about getting a real soldering station. Maybe one of these recommended here… http://www.whichsolderingstation.com “ The Arduino began life as a simple and inexpensive 8-bit microcontroller teaching tool. In the intervening decade plus, it’s grown into a diverse platform that has revolutionized the microcontroller education and hobby worlds. Recent, more powerful additions to the Arduino family have added 16 and 32 bit processors and have brought the Arduino into commercial development as a rapid prototyping platform.One of the latest entrants to the world of high-performance Arduino compatibility is the Edison, from Intel. The Edison has a dual-core 500 MHZ Intel Atom processor, with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It comes with 1GB of RAM, 4GB of eMMC internal storage, and a USB 2.0 OTG controller (but not the connector).I’ve designed a fair number of PC boards with an Arduino-compatible heart. The 8-bitters, Atmega32u4 and Atmega328P, are really easy to use, but limited in power. I’ve started using the 32-bit ChipKIT design, with a Microchip PIC32MX340-512E, which is much more capable, and not a whole lot more difficult to design in. Still, I want more power, which sent me toward the Edison.The Edison is set up to be Arduino software compatible. It also runs a pre-loaded Linux distribution. You can load Arduino code into it through the Arduino IDE, or you can load code through the Linux side, just like you would with any other embedded Linux distribution. When combined with the right add-on cards, this flexibility makes for a real quick initial bring-up, as well as the capability to do some real work.The basic module can’t be used stand-alone. It’s designed to be plugged onto a motherboard, or as one board in a stack. All of the I/O and power connectors come out to a high-density 70-pin board to board connector, so the device needs at least one add-on board for power and any wired I/O. Multiple boards can be stacked to add just about whatever peripherals might be wanted.I recently purchased an Edison module with the intent of designing something around it. I also purchased a Sparkfun “Base block” daughter board, with USB connectors for the console and USB OTG. The whole stack can be powered through the USB ports, so this minimum configuration will allow me to get to know the software end of things while my board is in design and being built.I use I2C a fair amount, so my first design is an add-on board that will have 3.3 volt I2C, 5 volt I2C, and a micro SD card receptacle. The Edison runs natively at 1.8 volts, so it requires line level converters for just about everything. My board will have three; one for each of the I2C interfaces, and one for the uSD card.Unfortunately, one of the first things I did with the Edison was break the board to board connector on the base block. I wouldn’t recommend doing the same thing. The connector is a somewhat fragile 70 pin, 0.4 mm-pitch Hirose board to board connector. I hit it with the nut driver when I was fastening the two boards together.It’s too small for me to do anything with, but fortunately, the folks I work with at Screaming Circuits, my day job, can easily replace it for me. 0.4mm pitch high density connectors are really getting beyond the hand soldering capabilities of all but the most masochistic folks. (We apparently have some of those people in our rework department – a definite advantages of working in a place that specializes in this kind of work.)Sparkfun made their Edison boards open source, and put the design files on the product pages of their website for download. Github, where most people place their design files, is nice, but I like having a direct download of the files in the same place I buy the board. Their EagleCAD files gave me a point of departure, with the board sized to match those at Sparkfun, and the high density connectors already placed and routed out. From there, I added the microSD socket, line level converters, and two connectors for I2C.I’m using a Texas Instruments TBX0108, 8-bit converter for the microSD card, and a pair of PCA9306 open drain 2-bit converters, also from Ti, for the 5 volt and 3.3 volt I2C interfaces. It wasn’t that long ago when line-level converters were somewhat of a rarity in the microcontroller world. Now, with higher performance systems like the Edison, at 1.8 volts, converters are standard-fare.As you can see in the layout above, it fits nicely into the Sparkfun-size, 1.2” x 1.75”, form-factor pc board. I chose a 2 mm x 4 mm, 0.4mm pitch DFN package TBX0108 for the micro SD card converter, to give extra clearance around the mounting hole. I used a larger package for the PCA9306 to allow for routing under the part.I’ll write more when I finish the design and get the assembled boards back. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram 2 thoughts on “Intel takes another step into the Arduino world” Continue Reading Previous Benson’s BlocksNext Maximizing visibility through logging, as on Mars Pathfinder July 18, 2016 at 3:53 am August 10, 2016 at 3:54 am Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Log in to Reply Smith.Elkins says: Johnzw says: Log in to Reply “TMT and smart is trend.”last_img read more

Google Pixel 4 prices leaked ahead of launch, may start at Rs 56,000 in India

first_img Shweta Ganjoo New DelhiOctober 7, 2019UPDATED: October 7, 2019 12:53 IST Image Courtesy: Evan BlassHIGHLIGHTSGoogle will launch the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones on October 15.Google Pixel 4 with 64GB space is likely to be priced at around CAD $1049.95.Google Pixel 4 is likely to come with a starting price of Rs 56,000 in India.Google’s Pixel 4 and the Google Pixel 4 XL are arguably the most leaked smartphones of the year. We know almost everything about the two phones, all thanks to Google and the tipsters who have kept the Pixel 4 leak stream flowing over past couple of months. One thing that we don’t know about the Pixel 4 smartphones is the pricing. But now thanks to another leak, we finally have a heads up on pricing.Noted tipster Evan Blass shared the Canadian launch price of the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones on Twitter. As per his report, the 64GB variant of Pixel 4 smartphone will cost CAD$1049.95 (Rs 56,000 approx), while the 128GB version will be available for CAD$1199.95 (Rs 63,900 approx). Similarly, the 64GB version of Pixel 4 XL will be priced at CAD$1199.95 (Rs 63,900 approx), while the 128GB variant will costs CAD$1359.95 (Rs 72,400 approx).Now, it is important to note that these are the converted prices, which means that Google may or may not launch its next generation Pixel smartphones around the same price in India. Simply said, the price of Pixel 4 smartphones may vary from region to region. For your reference, the 64GB variant of Pixel 3 was launched in India for Rs 71,000, while the 128GB version was launched for Rs 83,000. Similarly, the 64GB version of the Pixel 3 XL smartphone was launched in India for Rs 83,000 while the 128GB variant was launched for Rs 92,000.There is a significant price difference in the launch price of the Pixel 3 smartphones and the expected launch price of the Pixel 4 smartphones in India. So, it is entirely possible that Google will offer its next generation Pixel phones around the same price as it offered its 2018 Pixel phones. We will have to wait for the official launch event to knowing the official prices.advertisementSeparately, another report last week leaked the technical details of the two Pixel 4 smartphones. The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and sport 6GB RAM. They will come with Pixel Neural Core for processing images and sport a dual rear camera with a 12MP dual pixel lens and a 16MP telephoto lens. While Pixel 4 will come with a 5.7-inch Full HD+ Smooth Display and a 2,800mAh battery, while the Pixel 4 XL will come with a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Smooth Display display and a 3,700mAh battery.ALSO READ: | Pixel 4 will come with a dual exposure camera mode, new social share feature for camera appALSO READ: | Leaked videos show how Pixel 4’s Motion Sense, face unlock features workALSO READ: | Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL specs sheet leaked ahead of October 15 launchGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShweta Ganjoo Tags :Follow GoogleFollow Google Pixel 4Follow Google Pixel 4 XL Next Google Pixel 4 prices leaked ahead of launch, may start at Rs 56,000 in IndiaGoogle Pixel 4 smartphones are likely to be available in two memory variants — 64GB and 128GB – this year. Google Pixel 4 is likely to start at about Rs 56,000.advertisementlast_img read more

Promote Broader Participation in Growth Strategy – Tourism Minister

first_img Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says for tourism to maximise its full potential, every Jamaican must be factored in any growth strategy going forward. Addressing a press conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on July 6, the Minister said global trends show that tourist destinations that do not promote high levels of linkages will not produce substantial economic development and may even “foster resentment” of the industry by local residents. Story Highlights Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says for tourism to maximise its full potential, every Jamaican must be factored in any growth strategy going forward.Addressing a press conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on July 6, the Minister said global trends show that tourist destinations that do not promote high levels of linkages will not produce substantial economic development and may even “foster resentment” of the industry by local residents.“Our growth agenda must remain people-centred and aligned with broader national economic and social imperatives. It is important that we understand that sustainable tourism must mean inclusive growth that will expand economic benefits to our local population, and in the process help to move people’s lives from poverty to prosperity,” Mr. Bartlett argued.He emphasised that the tourism sector must not only generate prosperity and wealth for a few but must be inclusive to where all Jamaicans feel “they have a legitimate shot at a piece of the pie”.“The sector must also seek to preserve the natural and cultural resources of our beautiful island,” he added.Mr. Bartlett said the industry must also help to strengthen linkages with other sectors of the economy, particularly the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. “It is also important to strengthen the benefits derived from the industry by local residents and communities, so as to promote broader participation by our people,” he said.Noting that community tourism is a priority area of “sustainable tourism”, the Minister said that Jamaica’s National Community Tourism Policy and Strategy “envisions” an invigorated tourism sector in communities that enriches quality of life through social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits, while exemplifying sustainable livelihoods.“We have also established our Tourism Linkages Network, which has a mandate of promoting sustainable tourism development in Jamaica by developing and strengthening sustainable linkages between the tourism sector and other productive sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, manufacturing and the creative industries, including entertainment,” Mr. Bartlett said.He also pointed to the “wonderful work being done” by the Tourism Linkages Council, which is made up of public- and private-sector partners who oversee the coordination and implementation of effective and sustainable strategies that strengthen and facilitate linkages.Meanwhile, the Minister argued that if Jamaica intends to continue to be globally competitive, “we must find ways to unlock new sources of competitiveness”.One approach, he said, would be to diversify offerings to attract new markets, as international travellers have become far more demanding and have higher expectations of the destinations to which they travel.The Minister pointed out that international tourism trends are showing a shift from the traditional ‘sun, sea and sand’ and more towards interactive experiential tourism.“We have to continue appealing to markets interested in gastronomy, nature, heritage and cultural experiences. Our tourism sector must continue to position itself to tap into these emerging markets that constitute the future of global tourism,” Mr. Bartlett said. “Our growth agenda must remain people-centred and aligned with broader national economic and social imperatives. It is important that we understand that sustainable tourism must mean inclusive growth that will expand economic benefits to our local population, and in the process help to move people’s lives from poverty to prosperity,” Mr. Bartlett argued. last_img read more

Amendments Will Provide Better Animal Protection

first_imgThe Department of Agriculture is making animal protection more effective by clarifying the powers and duties of inspectors in cases involving animals in the care of the province or the SPCA. Agriculture Minister John MacDonell introduced amendments to the Animal Protection Act today, Nov. 8. The amendments include enabling the province to recover costs associated with the seizure and care of farm animals from the owner. A similar provision currently exists for the SPCA regarding domestic animals. “Animal protection is an important issue for Nova Scotians,” said Mr. MacDonell. “As a farmer and as someone who cares about animals, I’m very pleased with this comprehensive law. It enables fair and timely investigation into complaints and enhances the way the province looks after animals in distress. “Costs can be substantial for necessary veterinary and medical treatment and the care of animals. The proposed changes are necessary to ensure those costs are recovered. These amendments provide courses of action that will lessen the burden on taxpayers.” The amendments will also shorten the time before the department can seize abandoned farm animals. The province has enforced the Animal Protection Act since 2010.last_img read more

IIT Hyd Student commits suicide by hanging in hostel room

first_imgSangareddy (Telangana): A student of the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan in his hostel room, police said Tuesday. This is the second suicide this year at the institution. Sangareddy Deputy Superintendent of Police P.Sridhar Reddy said the student Mark Andrew Charles, 20, had gone to his hostel room at about 11 pm Monday. As he did not show up, his friends broke open the door of his room in the afternoon Tuesday and found him hanging, the DSP said. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! He said the student, who was pursuing his Master in Designing, had completed his final year exam some days ago and he was preparing for his final presentation. He hailed from Naria Lanka locality in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. Police found a suicide note written in his diary in which he mentioned that he may not get good marks and there was no future for “failures in the world”, the DSP said. Anxiety and depression may be the reason for the suicide, police said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Andrew mentioned names of some of his friends in the note recalling his association with them, police said. “I never thought I would end up letting all of you down. Do not miss me. I dont deserve it I am not worthy. Just know that I love you all back just the way you did because that is what friends do right? And also I am not doing this because I am sad now…” Police said he expressed regret to his parents for not being able to do justice to all their sacrifices. “Thank you for being the best parents.. I am sorry I turned out to be such a waste,” he said in the suicide note. IIT-Hyderabad condoled the death of its student. “This is indeed an irreparable loss to the institute and the family. May his soul rest in peace,” the institution said. A case has been registered, police said, adding that the body was shifted to a government hospital for autopsy. His parents are on their way from Varanasi,the DSP said. On January 31 this year, M.Anirudh, a third year student of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering, committed suicide by jumping from the hostel building.last_img read more

Meet the Whiz Kids of Kuujjuaq

first_imgAPTN National NewsThese are the Whiz Kids of the northern Quebec.They’re Grade school students from the remote Nunavik community of Kuujjuaq.This group of brainiacs are showing the big city kids how isolation and despair can be beaten by mixing together some culture and science.APTN National News reporter Danielle Rochette has the story.last_img

EC marks six constituencies for special watch

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission has identified six Lok Sabha constituencies out of 42 in Bengal for keeping special vigil. The EC has decided to deploy one Police Observer each for these six constituencies to ensure free and fair elections. There will be one police observer in charge of two constituencies in the other 36 seats.Sources in the EC said that the six constituencies which will be under special watch are Raiganj, Murshidabad, Ranaghat, Asansol, Sreerampore and Kolkata South. “There will be one Police Observer each for these six seats,” an EC official said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt may be mentioned that Police Observers for the constituencies which will go for polling in the first two phases, have already reached the state. The Police Observers will be responsible for maintaining law and order, the deployment of Central Forces, route march for area domination etc. They will also keep in touch with the state administration and send reports to the special Police Observer of Bengal as well as the Election Commission. The Election Commission takes into account a number of factors when it comes to deployment of a Police Observer. The geographical location of a constituency, its law and order situation, antecedents during previous polls and sensitivity of the polling booths under the constituency are all analysed before assigning such observers. The percentage of voting is also taken under consideration. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIt may be noted that North Kolkata has the least voter turnout ratio among Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha constituencies, in the last three Lok Sabha polls. In 2014, it had a turnout of only 66.08 percent, when the state’s average stood at a whopping 82.22 – one of the highest in the country. Sources in the EC said that there will be 44 Expenditure Observers for the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, along with 47 General Observers. The ECI on Thursday had already replaced retired BSF director general K K Sharma with 1981 batch IPS officer Vivek Dubey as Central Police Observer for Bengal. Sharma’s appointment as Central Police Observer for Bengal had been objected to by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and CPI(M) on grounds of neutrality. It may be noted that the EC has primarily approved the report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Bengal that less than 30 percent of the total booths in the state are ‘sensitive’. As per reports of the CEO’s office, 18,461 booths in the state have been marked as vulnerable out of as total of 78,000. According to sources in the EC, South 24-Parganas, with 2,357 vulnerable pockets, is the most sensitive district in the state. Eight other districts including North 24-Parganas, Murshidabad, Malda, East Midnapore, North Dinajpur, Birbhum, West Burdwan and Kolkata are also under the watch of the Election Commission.last_img read more

Ban reaffirms UNs unwavering support for poll result in Côte dIvoire

2 January 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed the United Nations’ “principled and unwavering” stand that the outcome of the recent presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire reflected the will of the people and the result must therefore be upheld. In a telephone conversation with president-elect Alassane Ouattara yesterday, Mr. Ban stressed that the international community remained committed to working together for a peaceful and durable end to the political stalemate in the West African country. He said he appreciated the restraint and patience even in the face of provocative actions.Côte d’Ivoire plunged into a tense political crisis after the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede electoral defeat to his challenger, Mr. Ouattara, following a presidential run-off poll held on 28 November. The international community has recognized Mr. Ouattara as the country’s president-elect.In their telephone conversation, the Secretary-General welcomed Mr. Ouattara’s appreciation for the support and principled stance of the UN, notably Y. J. Choi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the country, and General Abdul Hafiz, the commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Côte d’Ivoire, which is known as UNOCI.“The Secretary-General told President Ouattara that he was alarmed by the reports of egregious human rights violations,” said a statement released by his the spokesperson.“He said UNOCI had been instructed to do everything possible to gain access to the affected areas both for prevention and to investigate and record the violations so that those responsible will be held accountable.”Mr. Ban took note of Mr. Ouattara’s call during their conversation for an early International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation as a credible signal for accountability.Cote read more

Aeroplan out PC Optimum program in at Esso gas stations starting this

MONTREAL — Aeroplan loyalty card members will not be able to directly earn miles at Esso gas stations effective June 1 as Imperial Oil Ltd. shifts its relationship to Loblaw Companies Ltd.The loyalty card program notified members of the change to its 14-year partnership in an email.It noted that 1.5 miles for every dollar spent will continue to be earned when using Aeroplan-affiliated credit cards for purchases at any retailer, including Esso.Direct miles will continue to be earned at more than 75 partner brands, including Home Hardware, Toyota, Costco.ca, Avis and Marriott hotels.Loblaw shrugs off PC Optimum card glitches, signs up 6 million customers amid fierce competitionFive things to know about the merger of PC Points and Shoppers OptimumWhat the merger of Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus loyalty cards means to youAimia, the operator of Aeroplan, said it is working on a promotion to earn more miles with existing partners and developing a strategy for how the program will change once the long-term partnership with Air Canada ends in 2020Cheryl Kim, Aimia’s vice-president corporate reputation and public affairs, said Esso is not a material contributor to Aimia’s financial results and won’t affect the company’s financial guidance or strategy.“The number of miles you earn on any particular transaction is pretty low so it’s really not financially a big deal,” she said in an interview.Drew McReynolds of RBC Dominion Securities said Esso accounts for an undisclosed fraction of the 10 to 12 per cent gross billings from non-financial and non-Air Canada partners.However, the minimal financial impact doesn’t convey the overall effect on Aeroplan as it prepares for the departure of Air Canada.“The optics of any accumulation partner defections between now and 2020 are negative in our view, making new Aeroplan partner announcements between now and 2020 that much more critical to stem changes in member behaviour,” he wrote in a report.Loblaw Imperial Oil announced Tuesday they have signed a deal that will allow PC Optimum members to earn points at more than 1,800 Esso gas stations starting this summer.The company said members will earn 10 points per litre on fuel as well as 10 points per dollar on eligible convenience store purchases and car wash services at Esso stations. Registered members may also receive targeted offers.The PC Optimum program was launched earlier this year when Loblaw brought together the PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum programs.The company faced some issues during the merger, with some members complaining online about troubles with the new app and points conversions.The PC Optimum program is already available at Mobil gas stations.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Aimia’s shares gained nearly four per cent at $1.60 in morning trading. read more

Update Dicks replaced as Norfolk fire chief

Norfolk County has “parted ways” with Fire Chief Terry Dicks.“This council was elected on a strong platform of change, and that means making some difficult decisions,” Mayor Kristal Chopp said Thursday in a news release. “Today, we begin taking Norfolk County’s Fire Department in a new direction.”Where that direction leads remains to be seen. The mayor says the destination will come into focus once the county consults with the 250-plus members of the volunteer contingent.“The Norfolk County Fire Department prides itself on being a volunteer-driven group, tightly woven into the fabric of the community,” Chopp said in an email to the Reformer.“At the end of the day, the volunteers will be the ones who tell us what direction to take the department in. They’re the experts in the field who do such great work to keep us all safe.“From thinking about training to how we celebrate the unique identities of our individual stations, I think it will be really important to hear from them as we move forward – to recognize that we have a great deal of wisdom collected in the more than 250 men and women of the Norfolk County Fire Department.”Chopp did not reply to an email asking her to elaborate on the manner in which Dicks and the county “parted ways.” At the municipal level, personnel matters are treated as private and confidential and are not discussed in a public forum.Dicks has served as the head of the local fire service for nearly 13 years. He replaced the new Norfolk County’s inaugural fire chief Denys Prevost when the latter moved on to the City of Welland in 2006.A call to Dicks’ private number in Norfolk Thursday was unanswered.According to Ontario’s most recent disclosure of public sector employees earning $100,000 or more, Dicks drew a salary of $123,080 in 2018.Dicks’ accomplishments include overseeing the installation of numerous dry hydrants across Norfolk to facilitate the recharging of tanker trucks on short notice. The certification of Norfolk’s Superior Water Shuttle Program has resulted in reduced insurance rates for homeowners in select areas across the county.Dicks also oversaw the design and replacement of numerous fire vehicles.Norfolk’s Deputy Chief Gord Stilwell will serve as acting chief, effective immediately.Norfolk’s 250-plus volunteers serve at 11 stations across the county.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

Gusmão wins East Timors firstever presidency in a landslide UN declares

Mr. Gusmão garnered 82.7 per cent of the 378,548 ballots cast in Sunday’s election, easily outdistancing his only opponent, Legislative Assembly Vice President Xavier do Amaral, who won just 17.3 per cent of the valid votes. The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) announced the official outcome at a press conference in the capital, Dili, after the last of East Timor’s 13 districts finished tallying ballots overnight. The European Union Electoral Observer Mission – the largest of 35 international monitoring groups – declared today that it had “full confidence” in the election result. The vote totals were forwarded today to UNTAET’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Board of Commissioners, which still must certify the result and submit it to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 21 April. Appearing at the press conference, UNTAET chief Sergio Vieira de Mello congratulated Mr. Gusmão for his victory. “I trust that Xanana Gusmão will devote his infinite energy and will to fulfilling the noble pledges he made during the campaign,” he said. “I also want to congratulate runner-up Francisco Xavier do Amaral for his honourable campaign and for serving the people of East Timor.” “It is with enormous gratitude and humility that I received the trust that the people have put in me,” Mr. Gusmão told journalists. “By the decision of the majority of our people, I am the elected President, and I become a president for the whole nation, not only those who voted for me.” Mr. Vieira de Mello invited the president-elect to meet with him and Chief Minister Marí Alkatiri tomorrow to review the final weeks of transition from UN administration to independence. They will also discuss a 24 April UN Security Council meeting in New York expected to be attended by East Timorese leaders, and preparations for independence celebrations that will culminate in a 20 May handover ceremony. With Mr. Gusmão’s election, the last major democratic institution was put in place in East Timor before independence. The Legislative Assembly – popularly elected in a UN-administered ballot last August – will transform itself into a National Parliament on 20 May, and the new East Timor Government will be sworn in the same day. read more

Many people have reached the end on the line in Iraq warns

“We are seeing a gradual increase in departures from Iraq,” Dominique Bartsch, the UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, told reporters in Geneva. “Many people have reached the end on the line. They no longer have the possibility to support themselves. Many will say that the only future is outside of Iraq.”Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that its partners and local authorities have opened two new camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Baghdad province, providing shelter to close to 3,500 Iraqis who have fled Anbar province due to recent fighting.“The humanitarian situation is worsening dramatically as the crisis in Iraq has accelerated since last year, when militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL] took over large portions of Iraq,” Mr. Bartsch said.Since January 2014, 3.2 million people in Iraq have fled their homes in multiple waves of internal displacement and already now, as estimated 8.6 million need humanitarian support. Mr. Bartsch said an anticipated 10 million Iraqis would need some sort of humanitarian assistance by the end of the year, representing more than a quarter of the population.The UN refugee agency was anticipating a much larger flow of internally displaced persons in Iraq, as Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, had been taken by ISIL and more fighting was expected. The humanitarian official warned that most basic services had to be reduced because of lack of funding, and that children had now been out of school for more than a year, leading families to leave for Europe. In addition, he also feared that a recently declared cholera outbreak could very quickly spread under the current conditions in Iraq. “Preventing further displacement out of Iraq will require a combination of minimum humanitarian assistance, but also more sustained support to, for example education and rebuilding livelihoods,” Mr. Bartsch said.Mr. Bartsch also called attention to the situation of more than one million Kurdish internally displaced persons in Iraq who had no perspective and inadequate humanitarian support. The Humanitarian Response Plan requesting some $500 million is only 40 per cent funded. read more

MVPs Used To Need A Good Team Behind Them Then Mike Trout

6Lance LynnTEX✓.486<16.8 +1.503034394449535863 Many of the other elite performers on this list are matching the mold Trout has fit all too often: great player, not-so-great team. Texas’s Mike Minor and Lance Lynn have each had unexpectedly outstanding seasons, but the Rangers are below .500 — and again, pitchers are usually undervalued in MVP voting anyway. Boston has two top-line candidates in defending MVP right fielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts (plus a third if you count third baseman Rafael Devers, who ranks 12th in AL WAR), but the champs have almost no chance of making the postseason. The best of the A’s duo, Chapman, is on pace to run nearly 3 full WAR behind Trout by year’s end. And Houston has hoarded enough elite individual performances to potentially dilute each player’s MVP case, leaving Bregman as just one of many Astros who could claim credit for the team’s blistering 104-win pace this season.Perhaps all of this is why Trout is such an overwhelming favorite in the betting odds for the award. As of Sept. 2, the money line on Trout winning MVP was -1000, which implies a 90.9 percent chance of taking home the hardware.5Before adjusting for the bookmakers’ “take” on each bet. (Running second in the odds, with a 12.5 percent implied probability, was actually DJ LeMahieu of the Yankees, who ranks only 14th in the league in WAR, followed by Bregman at 9.1 percent.)Seldom in the entire history of baseball would voters consider the best player on a 74-win team — even a player as great as Trout — worthy of the game’s top individual honor. But in a season when so many other top players are either also toiling on bad teams or facing vote-splitting amongst star teammates, Trout appears to be the choice regardless of whether you prefer the “best” or “most valuable” player as your MVP.Check out our latest MLB predictions. Mike Trout’s WAR as of Sept. 4, prorated over 162 games, was 1.9 WAR ahead of No. 2 Alex Bregman, and Bregman’s team is +.184 ahead of Trout’s in winning percentage.Source: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs +3.003540444954596368 3Matt ChapmanOAK.583796.9 2Alex BregmanHOU.645>997.9 +2.003236414550556065 7Mookie BettsBOS.53636.6 (It’s worth noting that this effect is more descriptive than causal — we don’t know how Trout, or any other player, would play on a different team alongside better teammates. But for the purposes of illustration, it’s clear that MVP voters are traditionally very responsive to players on better teams, even if they have a much smaller WAR lead than Trout currently has over Bregman.)In general, MVP voters have long tended to smile more on players with solid stats on winning teams than players with dominant numbers amidst a string of defeats. Only seven modern-era MVP winners were on teams with a losing record: Giancarlo Stanton (2017), Trout (2016), Alex Rodriguez (2003), Cal Ripken Jr. (1991), Andre Dawson (1987) and Ernie Banks (1958 and 1959). And among those, only three played for a team whose record was as bad as the current Angels’ is: Trout in 2016, Rodriguez in 2003 and Ripken in 1991. Similar to his MVP bid in 2016, another Trout win would be a rare victory for great players on bad teams — and another sign that voters are redefining the way they make that distinction between the “most valuable” and “best” players.But Trout might also get some help from just how scattershot the competition is in this year’s AL MVP race. Aside from Bregman and fellow Astros Justin Verlander and George Springer, Oakland’s Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien are the only other members of the AL’s top 10 in WAR on a team with any kind of playoff odds whatsoever. WAR through games on Sept. 4, 2019.Source: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs +0.5027%31%36%40%45%50%55%59% An MVP candidate can always use more team successModeled probability of a league WAR leader winning the MVP award, based on his gap over the No. 2 player in WAR and on the deficit in winning percentage between the teams of the two players The AL MVP race has a lot going onTop 10 players in the 2019 American League by wins above replacement, plus team record and playoff odds (according to the FiveThirtyEight model) 1Mike TroutLAA.461<1%9.7 +1.002933374247525661 +3.503741465156616569 +2.503338424752576266 5Mike MinorTEX✓.486<16.8 10George SpringerHOU.645>996.3 No sport loves parsing out the “best player” vs. “most valuable” argument in MVP debates more than baseball. Sure, the NBA hasn’t given its MVP to a player on a nonplayoff team since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976. But the best basketball players exert so much more influence on the game than their baseball counterparts that it’s difficult to have individual success without the team coming along for the ride. For MLB players, however, we frequently see good — and even historically great — seasons on bad teams. That creates a perfect recipe for all those endless debates about what “value” really means.Will it happen again this year? Some of the ingredients are there in the American League. AL wins above replacement1Using our JEFFBAGWELL metric to combine Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs WAR figures. leader Mike Trout is tracking for 9.7 WAR (prorated to 162 team games), which would once again rank among the top 100 individual campaigns by a batter since 1901. (He’s already had three of those in his eight full MLB seasons, and he came extraordinarily close to a fourth in 2013.) But his Los Angeles Angels are, once again, lousy. Our predictions think they’ll finish 20 games out of the playoff race, with a lowly 74-88 record.But before we dig in for one more round of online MVP bickering, another factor should come into play: This year’s AL MVP landscape is weird. There’s so much else going on, Trout could very well avoid too much friction along his path to putting a third Kenesaw Mountain Landis Award on his mantle.First, how big is Trout’s edge in individual value? The gap between his WAR and that of Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who ranks second in the AL, is 1.9 wins if prorated over 162 games. (That’s basically an entire season’s worth of value from an average player!) Limiting to cases in which the top two in WAR were both position players, the only league leader since 2002 with a wider gap came in the 2012 AL, when Trout himself was 2.5 wins ahead of No. 2 Robinson Cano. (Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera famously took home the MVP instead after winning the Triple Crown.) About three-quarters of WAR leaders in the modern MVP award era2Since 1931. lead the league by a smaller margin than Trout is on pace to beat Bregman by.Historically speaking, though, Trout’s MVP case would be better served if he were on a team with a slightly better record, even if his personal stats were worse. To examine this, I built a model3Using a Lasso classification regression on data since 1995. predicting a league WAR leader’s chances of winning the MVP based on his differentials (relative to the No. 2 player) in both WAR and team winning percentage.4I also accounted for whether the player was a pitcher — which significantly downgrades MVP odds after holding WAR constant — and whether the season came since WAR hit the big time as an MVP metric in 2012, which makes a WAR leader more likely to win MVP. According to the model, Trout would have better MVP odds than he currently does — with a 1.9-WAR lead on a .461 winning-percentage team — if his WAR lead got trimmed to a half-win but his team won just three or four more ballgames: WPCT Deficit 9Xander BogaertsBOS.53636.5 8Marcus SemienOAK.583796.5 WAR Lead-.200-.180-.150-.130-.100-.080-.050-.030 4Justin VerlanderHOU✓.645>996.8 RkPlayerTeamPitcher?Team WPctPlayoff OddsWAR/162 read more

Firefighters battle to save Englands oldest hotel

first_imgRoyal Clarence Hotel Clark Gable stayed at the hotel during the war. Credit:Science & Society Picture Library/Science & Society Picture Library He followed in the footsteps of some of the world’s most notable characters, which have included Thomas Hardy, who stayed at the hotel with his second wife in 1915, and Beatrix Potter, who visited in 1892 and reportedly looked out of her window and said “what a fine view this is”.During the Second World War, when the Americans were based in Exeter before D-Day, both Clark Gable and Gary Cooper stayed at the Royal Clarence Hotel.  Gary Cooper stayed at the Royal Clarence Hotel during the war.Credit:Rex Features/Rex Features Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has declared it as a major incident.The hotel had already been evacuated as a precaution before the fire spread and no one is believed to have been injured.A spokesman for the hotel, which is currently known as Abode, said: “Following the fire in the building next door all our guests and safe were evacuated and are all safe and accounted for.”We are continuing to monitor the situation and send our sympathies to our neighbours and all those affected by the fire.”Last year the prestigious hotel played host to David Cameron while he was campaigning in the city.Mr Cameron and his team were some of the first guests to stay in the hotel after it reopened following a major refurbishment last year. Firefighters tackling a blaze at Royal Clarence Hotel in ExeterCredit:PA/PA Fire on Cathedral Green in Exeter @BBCDevon @BBCSpotlight pic.twitter.com/cmBa4zu6eu— Harriet Bradshaw (@BradshawHarriet) October 28, 2016 Clark Gable Most notably Lord Nelson dined at the venue in 1801 and gave a speech to reporters on his views following the Battle of the Nile.A few years later, in 1820, the Duke of Kent, father of the future Queen Victoria died while visiting the area and was taken to the hotel and embalmed in preparation for transportation to his funeral which was held at Windsor.Last night celebrity chef Michael Caines MBE, who launched his first Michael Caines Restaurant at the hotel in 2000 before ending his association earlier this year, wrote on Twitter: “Gutted to see the Royal Clarence on fire. Real loss to Exeter. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Michael Caines “Heart goes out to the firefighters who are doing their best to contain it.”The fire had started at the Castle Fine Art Gallery next door to the hotel at 5am on Friday.Crews initially thought they had it under control but later it has spread to other venues on the Cathedral Green – including the historic Royal Clarence.A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: “It started in an art gallery and the fire then spread through the roof space. The damage to the hotel has been very extensive. The roof has gone, it has spread through all four floors and the flames are in the ground floor.” Scenes from on top of Exeter Cathedral @BBCDevon @BBCSpotlight pic.twitter.com/Y0GB7Dm6Ub— Harriet Bradshaw (@BradshawHarriet) October 28, 2016 Built in 1769 in Exeter, Devon, it became the country’s first hotel after its French landlord Pierre Berlon, published an advert referring to it as a hotel rather than an inn.Over the years its esteemed guests have included Clark Gable, Beatrix Potter and Thomas Hardy among many others. Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter Last night the fire had destroyed the roof and ripped through all four floors of the historic building which has played host to the stars. Gary Cooper This is awful. The fire on Cathedral Green in #Exeter has now spread to The Royal Clarence Hotel. pic.twitter.com/RCAp0jh2s8— James Vickery (@jsvickery) October 28, 2016 “What is so particularly heartbreaking about this loss is that these buildings escaped the Blitz of 1942 when so much of Exeter was destroyed.”We have so little left and hopefully the fire will be contained and not spread further.”The 18th century coaching inn, which is now called the Abode Hotel, is part of the Andrew Brownsword group and has stood on the same spot for 300 years . Britain’s oldest hotel – which has hosted Lord Nelson, embalmed the Duke of Kent’s body and hosted Hollywood stars ahead of D-Day – has been significantly destroyed in a fire.More than 100 firefighters battled for hours to try to save the the 300-year-old Royal Clarence Hotel, which is famed for being the first hotel in the country 10th August 1878: Passengers boarding a coach outside the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter. Credit:Otto Herschan/Getty Images/Otto Herschan/Getty Images Chef Michael Caines MBE questioned whether enough was being done to protect Exeter’s historic buildings after hearing of the fire at the hotel where he honed his craft. Credit:APEX/APEX Dr Todd Gray, an historian at the University of Exeter, said the hotel has always been at the heart of the city.”For 2,000 years this area has been the focus of the city’s religious and commercial life,” he said.”The Royal Clarence is in the heart of what was not just the Medieval city but within the precincts of Roman Exeter.”The ground and first floors of the hotel are medieval and the upper floors were added in the late 1700s when the building was renamed a hotel.”It has been long known as the first inn in England to rebrand itself in this way. “It was the place to be. It was where the anti slavery people met in the 1700s and 1800s, this is where they planned abolition.last_img read more

CEO to NGSA students No time to rest or poverty will

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNGSA starts tomorrow, CEO confident of improved performancesMarch 27, 2018In “latest news”Sterling Products rewards successful NGSA studentsJuly 29, 2019In “latest news”‘Never lose focus or your passion or purpose in life’ – CEO Hutson to Region 4’s top performing teachers, studentsDecember 6, 2017In “latest news” In another motivational speech to students receiving awards from Sterling Products Limited (SPL) for their outstanding performance at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) examinations this year, Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson urged them to focus heavily on education now so that they can reap the benefits of a good career later.SPL CEO, Ramsay Ali, Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson, other officials, parents and children at the Bursary Awards CeremonyHutson has been a key speaker at SPL’s Annual Bursary Awards for the past several years, dating back to when he first served as Deputy Chief Education Officer.Speaking to students and their parents at a ceremony held at SPL’s Providence East Bank Demerara office last Thursday, Mr. Hutson said, “You have to be very wise. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”He told the students gathered that now is the time to work hard and focus, particularly on English Language and Mathematics, so that they can matriculate. “It means that you would now be equipped with the subjects to move to a higher level of studies and advance in the world of work,” he said.The Chief Education Officer also urged parents to play a meaningful role in their children’s education, reminding them that they do not have to be the holders of Diplomas and Degrees to effectively do so.Mr. Hutson told the students and parents gathered that they must view the monetary award provided by SPL as a seed to be planted for future harvests.Each child received sixty thousand dollars.SPL’s Chief Executive Officer Ramsay Ali, in his remarks, said the company takes pleasure in conducting this annual exercise and urged parents to use the monetary token to help provide for their children’s educational needs, as they enter the new school year in September. “I want to congratulate the young people, and of course the parents. We hope that the money we are giving you is used wisely and towards the start of the secondary level to help you buy the right things for the child to start school,” Ali said.The CEO pointed out that SPL is looking at ways to help ensure the monies are used specifically for this purpose which could see an arrangement being made with an entity that sells a wide range of school supplies partnering with SPL for this purpose.The children and their parents also received timely words of encouragement from General Secretary of the Clerical and Commercial Workers’ Union (CCWU), Ann Anderson. She congratulated parents for their hard work and dedication, pointing out that some parents would have spent many sleepless nights preparing their children for exams. “Anything you want to be, you can be. The only thing is that you have to work towards that…Some of you may not have received the school you wanted to, but that is not a downfall, you can use that as your stepping stone,” she told the students.Those awarded this year are; Naomi Persaud, Isaiah Shaw, Heimarajie Jaipaul, Racheal Mohitram and Mario James.SPL provides the children of employees each year with this token. The event was coordinated by Human Resources Manager, Yvette Fiedtkou. read more

Losing interest in the gym Try these tips for structuring your workout

first_img Jan 24th 2017, 7:00 AM Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions The42 Gym Series: Hit those biceps and triceps hard with this 3-exercise arm workout‘If it wasn’t for the Hercules club, I probably wouldn’t be alive today’ By David Last Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions https://the42.ie/3201022 5 Comments Share42 Tweet Email1 Losing interest in the gym? Try these tips for structuring your workout routine A lot of people wave goodbye to their fitness goals at this time of year but with the right approach you can maintain your enthusiasm, writes David Last.center_img Tuesday 24 Jan 2017, 7:00 AM 17,398 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Follow us: the42.ie THE STATISTICS SHOW this time of year is when many people start to see their New Year goals slowly drift away.A lot of these goals are health and fitness related and having worked in commercial gyms for years I have seen this trend repeat itself time and time again.Suddenly the packed January gym floor, with lots of new faces, goes back to normality.There are a lot of reasons for this — boredom, a lack of accountability, not knowing what to do, little to no progress, or purely just having little to no enjoyment with your new fitness regime.I have said before that whatever path you go down you need to enjoy it. Perhaps you took the wrong path when joining the gym, hoping that was going to set you up for 2017.It’s easy to become bored with the same routine you’ve been doing three times a week for the past month.So this week I’m going to give you some assistance with mapping out your sessions.I’ve broken this article up using the same structure I’d like you to approach your 45-60 minute session with.This isn’t a specific programme for you but at least it will give you an idea on some structure.If you’re looking for a specific programme my advice is to seek advice from a personal trainer.I have worked with clients in the past who have done as little as 10 one-on-one sessions. In those sessions they learn how to train themselves the right way and then get great use out of their gym membership following on from that.A lot of the time I would recommend people to work on their limiting factors. For a lot of people that is mobility/flexibility, strength work and core work, following with their fitness and conditioning work.I would ask you to question your current training regime. Is it something you can see yourself doing in 20 years’ time?To me, longevity is a big thing. Fitness isn’t something I do for a summer holiday next year or for a special event in my life in the future.What I am doing now is something I still want to be able to do 20 years from now and something that will benefit my health and lifestyle for the long-term. Warm-up: 10-15minsThis is a very important part of your session. I’ve seen many approaches over the years; from those who do nothing at all, to the 10-minute cross-trainer option, and the 15-minute foam-rolling session.None of these may be the best of options. The goal of your warm-up is to set aside 10-15 minutes for getting warm, loose, working on some mobility/flexibility and activating/stretching your muscles to prepare for the session ahead.Try to add some structure so that you raise your body temperature, add some joint movement and plenty of stretches.Having access to tools like resistance bands, foam rollers, lacrosse balls and plenty of other mobility tools will also help.I have included a pretty standard warm-up video below which will hopefully help you out. Source: David Last/YouTubeStrength work: 20-25minsNo matter your age, gender or training level I feel strength training is a must for anyone’s workout program.I would generally encourage people to pick movements that will give them the best benefit, and to work on their weaknesses.I would focus on compound movements such as squats and deadlifts along with plenty of pulling, pressing and some core drills.I have previously highlighted five of the best exercises for your gym programme and you can bring all of these into the strength portion of your session.If you were to have three days a week where you can cover these five movements spread out you are doing well.I have mentioned “mechanics, consistency and intensity” before and this is where you need to scale the movement relative to yourself.For some people it might mean mastering the basic technique of the air squat before progressing on, or for others it could be working on five sets of five reps of back squats.You can see some good video examples of the right technique for those movements in the article linked above.When it comes to reps, sets, tempos, volume and all that gym jargon I would suggest you go relatively heavy or go work off a four-six-week programme that uses a percentage format relative to your own level.Again, if you are not sure on what programme to do then source a trainer who can assist you.A programme I have used in the past with some clients is the Wendler 5/3/1 and I have seen some great results when retesting strength six weeks later.Again, if you are new to the movements or strength training there is no need to begin percentage programmes just yet.My advice is to keep working on the movement while slowly making progress. Air squat  –> goblet squat –> back squat is a good example of that.Accessory work/conditioning/extra workI have decided to put all of this together even though they can incorporate very different approaches.You have already got a good chunk of the work done by getting a good warm-up in, working on areas of your mobility and bringing in some strength and core work.This portion of the session is where I feel you can make a few alterations and generally can go by feel and base this part of the workout on where you need to work the most.For some people it might mean doing some aerobic work/anaerobic work, or for others it might be an opportunity to do some accessory work with some extra weight training. Then again, you may need to do some yoga or extra mobility work.It comes down to what is needed most and how you are feeling on the day.If you find yourself already burnt out from a long day at work and possibly didn’t sleep well the night before, well then this is a time I wouldn’t suggest hammering yourself in an anaerobic conditioning piece.Perhaps what is needed here is to be happy with what you have done and leave your session at that, or do some extra work that wont be too taxing.This could be anything like some yoga, resistance band work, core work or even just going for a light jog.If you are feeling good and raring to go, well this is a time I would suggest pushing yourself and getting out of your comfort zone.This will more than likely mean hitting up an anaerobic piece; getting the heart-rate high and bringing in some intensity.Things like rowing, sprints, kettlebell swings, battle ropes, box jumps and the dreaded burpee for example.At the same time, don’t just throw them all together and do random movements. A smart approach is going with a couplet or triplet of exercises for a number of rounds.Setting aside 10 minutes and getting through a 400m run with some kettlebell swings and push-ups is a good example.Generally when I work with clients on a one-on-one basis at this stage of the session I suggest what I feel is best for the client at that moment.I have included a video below which outlines a rough guide on a workout structure. Source: David Last/YouTubeI hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a message from the links below.David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.You can also see some of his previous articles here.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Short URLlast_img read more

Bond Package For New KSelo School To Go Before Voters

first_imgThe project’s estimated to cost $12.3 million. KPB Mayor Charlie Pierce: “Obviously we don’t have the $5 million dollars in our balances, and we are unable to move forward without the $5 million dollars.” The bond package is part of a match for a state grant to pay for the new school. The borough was awarded $8,896,640 through the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED) towards the new school and the borough is required to provide a match. The bond package will go before the voters in the regular election on October 2. Kachemak Selo opened in 2008, and has 57 students, from PK-12. The current Kachemak Selo School consists of three buildings “in need of replacing”. The three buildings are privately owned and leased by the district. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough unanimously approved a $5.5 million bond package to pay for a new school at the Russian Old Believer village of Kachemak Selo,  subject to voter approval.last_img read more

Budget Cuts Sideline 3 of Alaskas 11 Ferries

first_imgThe Alaska Marine Highway System plans to lay up three of its 11 ferries for most of the next budget year.Download AudioA draft schedule released Friday shows the Taku out for all of fiscal year 2016, which begins in July. The fast ferries Chenega and Fairweather will be tied up starting in the early fall.Marine Highway spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says the schedule reflects state budget cuts, as well as vessel repairs.“The main goal is not to cut off any single port from ferry service. So no port will lose ferry service during the winter season. Just some will see less frequency.”Several Southeast communities go without ferries for about a month.Angoon, Tenakee, Gustavus, Metlakatla and Pelican will have no port calls from mid-January to mid-February. Sitka, Hoonah and Skagway will have only two weekly sailings during that time.The Taku is more than 50 years old and has been considered for retirement. Woodrow says it’s one of three ferries from the same era.“We’ve put more work into the Malaspina and the Matanuska. Those three are considered sister ships. So the Taku would be the first to go, and if we were going to lay up a ship, it would be the Taku first.”The fast ferry Chenega will be tied up for work in mid-September. Its sister ship, the Fairweather, will do the same in October.Both with be docked through the end of April. The draft schedule shows them remaining out of service through the end of June. Woodrow says that’s because they’re expensive to operate.“Once they exit their capital improvement projects, whether they go into service past June 30th for next summer season is to be determined based on what the proposed budget for the marine highway will be for fiscal year 2017.”The Legislature could make deeper cuts to the ferry system next year. Marine highway officials are taking comments on the winter’s draft schedule. Teleconferences are planned for Wednesday, July 22nd.The spring schedule will be addressed later.last_img read more