$700 Million Damage to 350 Schools by Hurricane Dean

first_img$700 Million Damage to 350 Schools by Hurricane Dean UncategorizedAugust 31, 2007 Related$700 Million Damage to 350 Schools by Hurricane Dean Related$700 Million Damage to 350 Schools by Hurricane Dean Related$700 Million Damage to 350 Schools by Hurricane Deancenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry Wilson, has said that despite the damage that some 350 schools sustained during Hurricane Dean on August 19, the government is determined to have a smooth start to the 2007/08 academic year.In a back-to-school broadcast, on (Aug. 30), Mrs. Henry Wilson informed that preliminary estimates from the Ministry’s regional and technical teams indicate that approximately $700 million would be required to repair these institutions. “This figure may increase, once all the estimates are in,” the Minister noted.The reports suggest that roofing accounted for most of the damage sustained, she said.Turning to general preparations that have been made for the new school year, she said emphasis was being placed on the readiness of school plants and that this has been assisted by the on-going efforts at physical maintenance and refurbishing, which was an integral part of the transformation of the entire education system.“We have developed an inventory of those institutions that need repairs and have initiated a programme for the construction of new schools and expansion of others. In some instances we have focused on provision of critical facilities, such as sanitation blocks, canteens, reading rooms, staff facilities,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.She explained that the over 3,000 classroom spaces that are being added was a move towards the implementation of universal secondary education, and to this end, some $1.5 billion has been allocated to “bring our schools to the required state of readiness and provide more spaces for the coming school year.”“Our objective is to reduce class size and phase out the shift system,” the Minister pointed out.Eleven schools will be taken off the shift system and others added during the course of the year. Another important programme is the on-going initiative of classroom furniture for students and teachers. “A total of 190,000 pieces of furniture have been provided over the past two years, valued at $586 million. Many schools had their new furniture stored in preparation for the new school year,” she informed.Mrs. Henry Wilson said that with the passage of the hurricane, if there are schools with critical furniture needs, immediate contact should be made with their regional offices to “attempt to settle the issue of availability.”“The shortage of furniture should not be an issue at the opening of this school year,” the Minister emphasized. Advertisementslast_img read more

Price rises from suppliers should be challenged

first_imgIf ever there’s a time to really get to grips with understanding your supply chain, this is it. Brexit, a weak pound and concerns about labour shortages have created a climate of uncertainty in the construction industry. But one thing is certain – costs are rising.Intelligence gathered by Procurement for Housing (PfH) shows there has been inflation throughout the supply chain with average materials price increase proposals of 6-9% – compared with 2-5% in the previous quarter.This is backed up by evidence from the Federation of Master Builders, which recently reported that building firms expect to see their costs rise by up to 15% this year.Indeed, latest data from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) shows construction costs are at an eight-and-half-year high and the weak sterling exchange rate against the US dollar and euro has led to higher materials prices.Price increases should not be accepted at face value and should be challenged by working more intelligently and collaboratively with supply chain partnersPfH works with 850 social landlords across the UK, many of which have major development and stock refurbishment programmes. The sector has plenty to worry about – from ongoing welfare reform to cuts in social rent – but what’s clear from the conversations I have with landlords is that the rising cost of materials is a growing concern.Whether you’re a housing association or a private developer, there are steps that can be taken. Price increases should not be accepted at face value and should be challenged by working more intelligently andcollaboratively with supply chain partners.Never underestimate the influence of buying power. Aggregating your spend to secure better deals, for example by working collaboratively through frameworks, can be part of a highly effective strategy.Regularly review and benchmark prices against those of other suppliers and challenge suppliers to justify future increases – for example, proof further down the supply chain from manufacturers providing evidence of higher costs for raw materials.This isn’t about squeezing suppliers in the hope of forcing them to absorb genuine price rises. They aren’t manufacturers and will be as affected by volatility in the market place as you are.It’s about protecting yourself from having to bear the brunt of the ‘Brexit effect’ by paying extra as a result of perceived risks that may not actually materialise.Those armed with a deeper knowledge of the markets they are purchasing from will be in a far stronger bargaining position. Where are items manufactured, what exchange rate risks does that present, could they be replaced with UK manufacturers rather than imported in order to eliminate that uncertainty?It’s about protecting yourself from having to bear the brunt of the ‘Brexit effect’ by paying extra as a result of perceived risks that may not actually materialiseThe same goes for understanding what’s happening in markets for the raw materials found in everything from white goods to heating systems to doors and windows. The copper market is particularly volatile (prices have gone up by 20% in the last year), so could plastic piping be a more cost effective alternative?A robust approach to procurement will involve regular dialogue with the supply chain – particularly high value suppliers – to build long-term relationships and trust so that you’re able to work through issues.For example, if a supplier proposes a 10% price rise and your market research indicates their costs have risen by 10%, it’s clear they are passing on the whole cost. It places you in a stronger position to argue that the additional cost should be shared.This depth of category expertise may need to be bought in, but it’s part and parcel of ensuring businesses have a clear and comprehensive view of the supply chain and it ultimately helps to manage and control future costs at a time of great uncertainty.Mike Williams is relationship manager (asset management) at Procurement for Housing (PfH)last_img read more

15 years: Remembering the Causeway collapse

first_img Share By PAMELA CODYSpecial to the PRESSWhile news of the collapse of the Queen Isabella Causeway may have been lost in a national media frenzy, following as it did on the heels of the chaos of 9/11, for the communities of South Padre Island and Port Isabel, it was equally as devastating as the catastrophes unfolding in New York City, Arlington, Virginia and Pennsylvania. This year marks the 15th anniversary of that fateful day, and members of both cities gathered at the foot of the Causeway in Port Isabel to remember the eight lives lost, and to pay tribute to the survivors and loved ones who were left behind.Valerie Bates, Port Isabel resident for 36 years, recalled how events unfolded during those early morning hours on Sept. 15, 2011. “It brings back a lot of memories. I ran down here with my camera at 4:30 in the morning and didn’t stop shooting until the grand opening in November, so I ended up documenting it for TxDOT.”Bates paused, searching for the words to describe her feelings, saying, “It was impactful to the community and to me personally. It was so catastrophic and then doubly impactful because it was just four days after 9/11, so we were all very hyper-sensitive, and this was just an unthinkable possibility.”Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here. RelatedCities mark 15th anniversary of Causeway collapseBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] Thursday, Sept. 15, marked the 15th anniversary of the collapse of the Queen Isabella Causeway after it was struck in the middle of the night by a barge in 2001. Each year since, the cities of South Padre Island and Port Isabel have…September 16, 2016In “News”Cities to mark 17th year since Causeway collapseBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] The cities of Port Isabel and South Padre Island will be marking the 17th anniversary of the collapse of the Queen Isabella Causeway with a ceremony to be held at the base of the Causeway in Port Isabel. The event will be held…September 14, 2018In “News”Bomb threat closes Causeway on eve of collapse anniversary  Editor’s note: This is a developing story.  By Gaige Davila [email protected] UPDATE: The Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway has reopened following a bomb threat that closed both lanes and left people in both Port Isabel and South Padre Island in traffic for several hours. The Causeway was reopened around 4…September 15, 2020In “News”last_img read more

Mbappe can do ‘extraordinary things’, says Deschamps

first_img“Obviously, he can still improve and that is wonderful. But he is already very effective.”Mbappe discussed his candidacy for the Ballon d’Or on Thursday, saying he’s done everything he can to earn the award this year while adding that he will have no regrets should the votes not go his way.World champions France take on Netherlands in the Nations League on November 16 before facing Uruguay in a friendly four days later. France coach Didier Deschamps once again sung the praises of Kylian Mbappe after the star’s stunning start to the season.Mbappe, 19, has scored 13 goals and provided six assists in 12 games in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain to begin the campaign. The attacker is a contender to win the Ballon d’Or and Deschamps – whose team face Netherlands and Uruguay later this month – again lauded Mbappe.”Kylian is able to do extraordinary things. Look at his stats. He is efficient. Look at the goals he scored with his club and with us. He also made assists,” he told a news conference on Thursday.”He is a young player, who is doing very well at the moment. And he doesn’t ask anything. He is an offensive leader for PSG. For us as well.The first player to reach  goals in Europe’s top five leagues?That would be the man with the #WorldCup’s Young Player Award on his mantelpiece #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/ZmPB2juHCI— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) October 29, 2018″But he doesn’t try to take more space than he does now. He does already and it is natural.last_img read more

LOST IN THE STORM! DID YOU LOSE THIS BEAUTIFUL POOCH?

first_imgDog just found in the Lismonaghan area of Letterkenny tonight.Donegal Daily reader Jessica would love to re-united this lovely pooch with its owner.If you can help, email [email protected] or leave a message via Facebook or Twitter.  LOST IN THE STORM! DID YOU LOSE THIS BEAUTIFUL POOCH? was last modified: December 27th, 2013 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:dog foundletterkennylismonaghanlast_img read more

Last-minute touchdown earns Marshfield VFA title

first_imgMarshfield’s Matt Donovan looks down the field as he returns the opening kick off ball during the Oct. 11 game against D.C. Everest. Hub City Times staff photo.By Hub City Times staffMARSHFIELD – A 20-19 win against D.C. Everest, on Oct. 11 at Heiting Community Stadium, earned Marshfield another title in the Valley Football Association West.Everest got on the board first, with an 85-yard touchdown run and an extra point in the first quarter, to begin a lead Everest maintained until the final minute of the game.The Evergreens earned nine more points in the second quarter, before Marshfield got on the board with a Joey Goettl touchdown run and a Kyle Tremelling kick, putting the score at 16-7 to end the first half.A field goal by Everest produced the only points, by either team, in the third quarter, with the Evergreens maintaining its lead at 19-7.Marshfield was determined to stay alive in the VFA contest and began their push early in the fourth quarter with Goettl securing another touchdown run, secured with a Tremelling extra point.At 19-14, Marshfield still trailed as the final minute started ticking down, but a Goettl pass to Simon Slade pulled Marshfield ahead, squeaking out a 20-19 win.With the win, Marshfield finishes 5-3 in the VFA, earning a place in the playoffs.The Tigers end their regular season play on Oct. 18 against Sparta at Heiting Community Stadium.last_img read more

Gauteng, Ford in skills partnership

first_img30 June 2010The Gauteng provincial government and Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa have jointly established a world-class Supplier Incubation Facility outside Pretoria as part of a R100-million investment in skills development in South Africa’s vehicle manufacturing industry.The public-private partnership between Gauteng and Ford serves as a blueprint for future projects, and the provincial government says it will continue to promote such partnerships in the manufacturing sector.Primary growth sectorBlue IQ, the provincial agency responsible for flagship projects such as the Gautrain, Newtown and the Nelson Mandela Bridge, facilitated the new training facility at Ford’s assembly site in Silverton.Blue IQ chief executive Amanda Nair says the agency considers the automotive industry as a primary growth sector in the future of Gauteng.The Supplier Icubation Facility will be attached to the Ford Motor Company’s production facility following its recent R3-billion investment to produce the T6 next-generation compact pick-up truck.An economic impact report recently concluded that Ford’s T6 Model will contribute R79-billion to the Gauteng economy over the next 15 years and create around 700 000 direct and indirect employment opportunities.Skills development and trainingThe Gauteng Government has committed R50-million for the construction of the facility and an additional R15-million for start-up costs for black economic empowerment (BEE) companies. A further R32-million is allocated for training and development programmes at the assembly plant.More than 400 people will be trained during 2010 and a further 50 people will benefit through the incubator programme. A four-year training and development plan is in place to develop skills and ensure the growth of a globally competitive workforce.Government investmentThe Gauteng provincial government has demonstrated its commitment to growth in the automotive industry by including this sector in its industrial policies and future strategies.It has provided the land adjacent to the Ford facility upon which a 7 200 square metre factory will be constructed. At least four new black businesses will be established at this factory to perform value-add sub-assembly work to main suppliers on the vehicle production line.“Our objective is that these [BEE] companies will acquire the skills and experience to eventually become full-fledged suppliers to the South African automotive sector,” said Nair.Supporting economic growth, jobsHuge setup and investment costs have, in the past, limited opportunities for smaller enterprises to participate in the industry, and the new initiative will assist prospective suppliers to overcome these hurdles.A governance board will be established between Ford, its major suppliers and government to evaluate applications, award opportunities to participate and monitor their performance.Blue IQ and its subsidiaries in the automotive sector will provide business training and mentoring while Ford and its suppliers will be responsible for the technical training, quality control and the monitoring of safety standards.At the conclusion of an initial 10-year period, the Supplier Incubation Facility will either be transferred to Ford or continue in its existing form, depending on the requirements of the company at that time.Nair said the project confirmed the value of Blue IQ as a facilitator of strategic infrastructure that supports economic growth and job creation.“The [public-private partnership] model we have put in place is working well. We are delighted that Ford has continued to expand their manufacturing commitments in the province of Gauteng.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

More help for South African taxpayers

first_img4 September 2012 Additional help for taxpayers using eFiling has gone live, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announced on Monday. Electronic Filing users who require assistance while completing their tax returns online can use the Help-You-eFile service, a new facility which allows them to be in direct contact with a Sars call centre agent while they complete their return online. With permission from the taxpayer, the service enables a call centre agent to access the taxpayer’s eFiling browsing session at the same time as the taxpayer and to see exactly what the taxpayer is seeing. When clicking on the Help-You-eFile icon on their eFiling profile, the taxpayer will be prompted to accept the Terms and Conditions. They will then receive a session reference number, which will need to be quoted when phoning the call centre on 0800 00 7277.Benefits without the hassle of visiting a branch The agent will then launch the Help-You-eFile session and the taxpayer will receive a request asking whether the agent may connect to the session. By sharing the same information on two different computer screens, the taxpayer is allowing the Sars agent to shadow them as they complete the return and even highlight areas on their screen for additional clarity. The taxpayer benefits by being able to call on the support and advice of Sars staff without having to visit a branch. “This is the first time any revenue service around the world has instituted such a system and Sars is proud to be at the forefront of such technological advancements,” Sars said in a statement. Sensitive information such as the taxpayer’s banking details, password and login are not visible to the Sars contact centre agents – but all other information is visible. The agent also has view-only access and cannot enter any information on the return but can direct the taxpayer on where to enter information by highlighting fields on the return. A new tutorial video on how to use Help-You-eFile is also available on the Sars YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/sarstax.Record number of returns To date Sars has received 2.3-million tax returns since the 2012 tax season opened at the beginning of July, exceeding Sars’ expectations. At the same time last year 1.5-million tax returns had been submitted. Currently the average rate of submission per day since 1 July is over 40 300. “The unintended consequence has been that queues at branches have been much longer than during previous years. Across the country, Sars branch staff on average assist more than 20 000 taxpayers per day.” Statistics indicate that branches are seeing 55% more taxpayers than the same period last year. Sars said it hopes that the new facility to help taxpayers with eFiling will alleviate some of these pressures on branch offices, while also thanking South Africans who have filed their returns early. The deadline for taxpayers who submit their tax returns manually by post or by dropping it off in a Sars drop box, is 28 September 2012 while the deadline for all taxpayers who submit their returns electronically at a Sars branch is 23 November 2012. Non-provisional taxpayers who submit their returns via eFiling also have until 23 November 2012. Provisional taxpayers who submit their returns via eFiling have until 31 January 2013. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Meet the “Real” 4G

first_imgRelated Posts It is no secret that what the U.S. cellular carriers call “4G” is really not 4G at all. It is really more like “pre-4G” or “3G+.” Real “4G”, as defined by the International Telecommunications Union, does not exist. Yesterday though, we got one step closer. The ITU, a branch of the United Nations, announced yesterday the official standards for the next generation of wireless technology. Dubbed IMT-Advanced, the standard lays the rules of the road for what technologies like LTE and WiMax will eventually in to. What will the real 4G look like?To understand IMT-Advanced, you need to know how we got to this point. If IMT-Advanced is truly the fourth generation of wireless technology, there obviously are three generations that preceded it. Let’s take a quick look at the history.1G (Pre-1990): Analog Mobile Phone System and Frequency Division Multiple Access (AMPS & FDMA). The forefather of all cellular technology. Think of satellite or car phones or those really big things that used to require a brief case to lug around. I am always reminded of Martin Cooper and the original one-pound cellphone and how people used to gawk at him while he walked down the street in New York City chatting away. 2G (1991-2000): Time Division Multiple Access and Code Division Multiple Access (TDMA & CDMA). This is where the great rift between AT&T and Verizon originated. Ma Bell used the TDMA standard while Big Red has been built off of CDMA and its evolutions. This is the era when cellphone became more commonplace but by no means ubiquitous. Cellular adoption ramped up through the 1990s as phones evolved, going from the relative blocks of Kyocera and Nokia to the concept of flip phones that would dominate well into the first half of the 2000s. 2.5G (2000-Present): General Packet Radio System (GRPS) and CDMA 1x. The rise of the data packet, BlackBerry and the first versions of the mobile Web through Wireless Access Protocol (WAP). Speeds at 2.5G were about 156 kilobits down per second. 2.75G (2003-Present): Enhanced Data Rates For Global Evolution (EDGE). The iPhone was originally an EDGE phone. This is a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard employed by AT&T and T-Mobile.3G (2000-Present): Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and CDMA 2000. This is where we really started getting speeds that could handle full Internet data packets, up to 8 megabits per second down. This is also where the precursor to what the ITU calls “4G.” Before announcing the standards for IMT-Advanced, the last standards that the ITU approved were for IMT-2000, what is generally considered to be 3G. GSM and CDMA continue to be separate and incompatible. This is also the beginning of the rise of in your face marketing from the carriers in the United States all claiming to have the fastest 3G networks. 3.5G (2006-Present): High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Evolution-Data Optimized Revolution (EV-DO). The approved 3G standard starts to evolve and speeds get faster and data is carried over cellular connections more reliably. This is the foundation that the current app economy is based on.3.9G (2008-Present): Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access(WiMax), Long Term Evolution (LTE) and HSPA+. When the carriers shout, “my 4G is blazing fast!” this is what they are talking about. Though this is not technically 4G, the ITU begin allowing carriers to market these technologies as 4G in December 2010 stating that any technology is that a significant advancement to the 3G standard can be called 4G. Speeds here have the potential to be up to 45 to 80 megabits per second down under ideal circumstances, which basically never exist. Currently, the best these standards can operate under real world conditions is about 14.4 megabits per second down. Sometimes higher, mostly lower. Which brings us to today. IMT-Advanced is the significant jump of where these technologies can deliver reliable speeds of 1 gigabit per second down while stationary or 100 megabits per second while in motion (in a car, for instance). The technologies will be based on WiMax-Advanced and LTE-Advanced. This is also the end of the road for HSPA, which cannot evolve past its current form (though, with tweaks, can deliver speeds in excess of 100 megabits per second in ideal conditions). IMT-Advanced is also completely IP-based and will be compatible with IPv6. IP will the prime pipeline of voice, text and data for all cellular technologies. “IMT-Advanced would be like putting a fibre optic broadband connection on your mobile phone, making your phone at least 100 times faster than today’s 3G smart phones,” said François Rancy, director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau. “But it’s not only about speed; it’s about efficiency. IMT-Advanced will use radio-frequency spectrum much more efficiently making higher data transfers possible on lesser bandwidth. This will enable mobile networks to face the dramatic increase in data traffic that is expected in the coming years”Do not expect IMT-Advanced “4G” to come around any time soon though. It has taken AT&T more than a year to start delivering LTE capabilities and it is still only in a handful of cities in the U.S. Verizon has a more advanced LTE infrastructure but the need to move more quickly was evident for Verizon as the CDMA infrastructure started to decay and hit a dead end that could not be evolved. Sprint uses WiMax through its partnership with Clearwire, but WiMax probably does not have a future in the U.S. (as far as cellphones are concerned). Sprint has also started deploying LTE. T-Mobile will continue to build out its HSPA+ capabilities though right now it is missing the boat on LTE and will have problems conjuring up the bandwidth and financial capital to develop its own LTE network (this was the prime driver of its attempt to be acquired by AT&T).Also, do not expect the carriers to abide by the notion of “4G” as defined by the ITU. The marketing departments will not stand for it. IMT-Advanced will likely lead us into the new and exciting realm of “5G.” It is the nature of how the environment operates. Tags:#mobile#news#Trends Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces dan rowinskicenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more