Raising mining permit fees will be detrimental to industry – GGDMA

first_imgFollowing an Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) report that shone a spotlight on the mining sector, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) is arguing for the status quo regarding fees for mining permits to remain untouched.GGDMA President Terrence AdamsIn the EITI report, the organisation had stated that the State might be losing money from incorrectly categorised miners. It had noted that some large-scale miners are, in fact, paying fees for smaller scale permits. It had, therefore, recommended a review of permits.According to GGDMA in its statement, however, raising fees will, in fact, be counterproductive for the industry. The association noted that the mining sector is already in decline. As such, they noted that additional burdens on miners will negatively impact the economy.“The sector is already in decline, proposing to put such additional burden on the local entrepreneurs that operate with tremendous uncertainties will further impact the communities and villages that depend on it for sustenance.”According to GGDMA, the industry, in fact, needs more roads to access mining lands and assistance with better techniques. They noted that the industry needs a regulatory system that is more modernised and with fewer bottle-necks“The industry needs more roads to access mining lands, assistance with better techniques for recovery and environmental standards, access to finance and a regulatory system that is more modernised and freer from bottle-necks to ensure that the sector continues to contribute to Guyana’s economy.”The GGDMA warned that raising the fees for mining permits are counterproductive and will be detrimental to the survival of this vital sector.RecommendationsIn its report, EITI had recommended that a wholesale review be done to weed out wrongly categorised miners. According to the organisation in its recently released report, this is because thousands of acres of mining permits have been awarded to claimants on a scale that should be considered large-scale. Large-scale permits involve higher rental fees and more revenue to the State. But the report states that in some cases, this is not happening.“We note that several mining permits, covering plots in the same location as per GGMC list of permits, had been awarded on the same date to the same applicant following the award process of medium-scale mining permits instead of following the award process for large-scale mining licenses,” they had stated.“The total combined acreage of several mining permits awarded during FY 2017 to a same applicant exceeded 1200 acres which is the maximum surface for a medium-scale mining permit. If these plots had been combined, they would have exceeded 1200-acre threshold and would have been categorised as being ‘large-scale tenures’,” it also states.Besides paying higher rental fees, EITI pointed out that large-scale permit holders also have to go through more stringent license award procedures. These procedures include requiring further approvals from other Government agencies. According to EITI, this oversight may cost the State a large sum of money per year.“Additionally, the list of active mining permits shows that several plots were held by the same extractive entity and within the same location. The combined surfaces of these mining permits exceed 1200-acre threshold in several instances.”“Such mining permit holders may need to be categorised as large-scale extractive operators as defined by the current legislation whenever it is established that the relating plots run consecutively one after the other. The annual rental fees due by large-scale operators is US$3 per acre as opposed to US$1 per acre for medium-scale mining operators.”The EITI, therefore, recommended a review and an update of the list of current active mining permits in order to ensure all are in compliance with the definition of the large-scale mining license.last_img read more

“Shame on you!” diaspora protest AG’s visit in New York

first_imgA visit by Attorney General Basil Williams and other officials of the coalition Government to New York to attend a fundraiser quickly turned ugly, as members of Guyana’s Diaspora turned up in their numbers to protest the AG’s presence.The protest occurred on Saturday outside the Zen Lounge, a restaurant and night club in Richmond Hill, New York.Attorney General Basil Williams can be seen exchanging words with the protesters outside Zen Lounge, Richmond Hill, New YorkIn footage seen by Guyana Times, which was posted on social media, Williams could be seen approaching and exchanging words with the visibly upset protesters. When the protesters shouted for Williams to “go home” and to “stop wasting taxpayers’ money”; however, a chastened Williams retreated back to the lounge.The Attorney General has been under a barrage of criticisms from several corners, particularly after a High Court Judge, Justice Franklin Holder, walked off the bench without adjourning a case. This happened after an exchange of words with Williams, who was present in the courtroom as the State’s representative.The Judge, in a report complaining to the Judiciary, said he walked out of the courtroom without adjourning the matter because of Williams’ behaviour. He had also requested an apology, but Williams had on different occasions said there was no need for him to apologise and instead suggested that the Judge recuse himself.The case had involved embattled Trade Unionist Carvil Duncan, who had moved to the courts to challenge the tribunal set up to determine if he should be removed from several constitutional posts in light of charges which were laid against him.However, the High Court proceedings were left at a standstill because of the impasse between Holder and Williams. Justice Holder subsequently did recuse himself from the case, but accusations of interference in the Judiciary surfaced since the Judge’s recusal came days after Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo also requested that he do so.Justice Holder had subsequently insisted that he made this decision in the interest of the administration of justice. The Judge, giving reasons for his recusal, had explained to the court that the matter became politicised, and accused Williams of “egregious and disrespectful” behaviour which was “not necessarily contemptuous”.Overseas tripsThe Government has been under increased scrutiny for its expenditure on overseas trips, after it was revealed that President David Granger used a chartered plane to fly to The Bahamas on a State visit in March.The President had arrived in The Bahamas on March 2, as part of a three-day State visit which has been dubbed an ‘economic mission’.Transparency Institute Guyana Incorporated (TIGI) had called for Government to disclose the costs of the trip. TIGI head, Dr Trevor Tomas, had stressed that if questions are raised about the spending of tax payer monies, the Government has a responsibility to respond to them.TIGI has not been the only individuals calling for full disclosure. The parliamentary Opposition has also questioned the expenditure. And explanations from Government officials that the chartered plane was the most feasible option appear to not even scratch the surface, as the Opposition wanted specifics.last_img read more

Blizzard Bicycle Club holds 37th Annual Awards Banquet on Sunday night

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Blizzard Bicycle Club held its 37th Annual Awards Banquet on Sunday night.In attendance for the event was 26 people to celebrate the end of the 2019 cycling season.Taking top honours was Nicholas Guliov for the Men’s Combine Cup and Kristine Bock for the Women’s Combine Cup.- Advertisement -Here is the complete list of award recipients:Combine Cup – Men: Nicholas GuliovCombine Cup – Women: Kristine BockAdvertisement Cadet Boys 15 to 16: Tanner McCrackenAdvertisement Junior Boys 17 to 18: Nicholas GuliovJunior Girls 17 to 18: Amanda MitchellSenior Men 19 to 29: Robert SappMasters A Men 30 to 39: Lucas BrandMasters A Women 30 to 39: Heather McCrackenAdvertisement Masters B Men 40 to 49: Dan WebsterMasters B Women 40 to 49: Kristine BockMasters C Men 50 to 59: Calvin McCrackenMasters D Men 60 to 69: Pat FerrisMasters E Men 70+: Richard WoodAdvertisementcenter_img Peewee Boys12 and Under: Brett McCrackenMini-me Boys 13 to 14: Matthew MitchellMini-me Girls 13 to 14: Madison McCracken Most Improved: Sam KeatsHalfwheel: Heather McCrackenTime Trial Men: Ray Avanthay (23:12)Time Trial Women: Heather McCracken (27:10)last_img read more

Kuo’s positive drug test not a concern

first_img“We have spoken with Kuo and his agent, and we are aware that Major League Baseball is looking into this issue,” it read. “Given Kuo’s explanation that this was simply cold medicine, we consider it a non-issue unless new developments come to light.” Chang also denied that the drug test was the reason Kuo didn’t pitch in the championship game, saying Kuo instead had shut himself down at the request of Dodgers officials because he felt mild pain in his pitching arm. Kuo didn’t pitch again until he arrived last month in spring training, but he appears to be healthy now and is a slight favorite to land the vacant fifth spot in the club’s starting rotation. tony.jackson@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee official told the Associated Press that Kuo and two other Taiwanese players who tested positive for ephedra had ingested the substance innocently through either a cold or pain medication. The three reportedly were then asked to clear all future medications through the team’s doctors. Kevin Chen, secretary general of the CTOC, told the Associated Press that the situation is “completely innocent.” Alan Chang, Kuo’s Chicago-based agent, said his client took an herbal medicine that “could cause the positive test result.” Chang wasn’t sure whether the medicine actually contained ephedra or another substance that might mimic ephedra in a drug test. A Major League Baseball official said the commissioner’s office is looking into the matter. But that investigation appears to be merely procedural in nature, and it is highly unlikely that Kuo would face punishment by MLB for failing a drug test in a competition that took place separately from, and independently of, MLB. “Kuo did not take anything illegal or against major-league drug policy,” Chang said. Kuo did not travel with the Dodgers for Monday’s Grapefruit League game with Baltimore, but he did tell the Associated Press back in Vero Beach that, “I just play baseball. I didn’t take anything.” Chang said he has been in touch with Dodgers officials about the matter and that those officials were satisfied with the explanation. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti was traveling and unavailable for comment, but the club issued a statement. center_img FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Dodgers left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo, who pitched five strong innings to help his native Chinese Taipei to victory in the first round of the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, tested positive for the banned substance ephedra before the event. But it doesn’t appear Kuo intentionally ingested the substance, nor does it appear the test will create a problem for either Kuo or the Dodgers. last_img read more


first_imgFEATURES: The Eclipse Cinema Family Fun Day has been heralded as a massive success after a huge crowd turned out for the event.There was a whole series of activities that catered for children of all ages and it really was a perfect family day out.Some of Disney’s biggest characters were also there meeting and greeting the excited children.Above are some pictures from the family fun day! ECLIPSE CINEMAS FAMILY FUN DAY A HUGE SUCCESS – PIC SPECIAL was last modified: September 1st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:EntertainmentFeaturesNoticeslast_img read more


first_imgThe Glenswilly Parish Mission take place all this week.The Mission, which will be undertaken by the Net Ministry, will be hosted in St Columba’s Church in Glenswilly.The Mission takes place each morning at 10am and in the evenings at 7.30pm. On Saturday the session takes place from 12noon until 4pm.There will also be a retreat where everyone is invited to pop in as time allows them.There will also be a youth mass on Saturday evening for all ages and everyone is welcome to attend.GLENSWILLY PARISH MISSION TAKES PLACE THIS WEEK was last modified: May 12th, 2016 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more


first_imgIreland’s newest lotto winner is hoping to get even luckier – by putting some cash on Donegal to win another All-Ireland.Sports fan Kevin Geoghegan scooped €10 million with girlfriend Carol Logan last week.And he revealed that the first thing he has done is put a few euro on Donegal retaining the Same Maguire Cup at odds of 2/1. Kevin said “People are telling me that I’m on a lucky streak at the moment so I decided to put a few bob on Donegal for the All-Ireland at 2-1 odds.“It’s not a bad price but I’ve only put on a small bet because that’s what I usually do and I’m not going to change that now.”Kevin said he genuinely fancies Michael Murphy and his team to go close or even all the way.“Donegal are looking good at the moment and their manager Jim McGuinness is a driven man and you can see that the team would lay down their lives for him on the field. “It’s very good value at 2/1 but I think Dublin or Kerry could also be there or thereabouts when September comes around,” he said. LOTTO WINNER PUTS SOME OF HIS CASH ON DONEGAL WINNING ALL-IRELAND! was last modified: June 5th, 2013 by StephenShare 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:donegalGAAKevin GeogheganLOTTO WINNER PUTS SOME OF HIS CASH ON DONEGAL WINNING ALL-IRELAND!Lotton winnerlast_img read more

North Bay fire victims search for what’s lost, have gratitude for what was found

first_imgSANTA ROSA >> Millie Pletkin had been a widow less than a year when October’s epic fire destroyed her Fountaingrove neighborhood.In the ruins of her home in the Sunset Vista subdivision, she asked her son to search for just one thing: the brass urn filled with the cremated remains of her husband, Alex.All she had grabbed that terrifying night was the briefcase filled with important papers her husband always kept near the front door in case of emergency. She could barely forgive herself. She …last_img read more

A Post-Passivhaus Paradigm for Energy-Efficient Design

first_imgElevating latent load to a new position of importanceSo it seems reasonable to approach energy design from a individually determined performance standard — that is, latent load — instead of an arbitrary value, like the mystical 4.75 kBtu.This provides a rational basis that hopefully avoids the rapidly diminishing return for extreme levels of insulation. RELATED ARTICLES A New Passivhaus Standard for North AmericaBuilding Science Corp. and PHIUS to CollaborateAre Passivhaus Requirements Logical or Arbitrary? Reducing the small-house penaltyOf extreme importance is that it may tend to offset the penalty that Passivhaus imposes on smaller houses, where the higher ratio of wall area to floor area exacerbates the diminishing return phenomenon. Conversely, none of this negates the value of PHPP or WUFI-Passive as design tools.It was Deep Throat who said, “Follow the money.” When it comes to designing energy-efficient homes, it’s still good advice: to follow the money into the thickness of your walls, roof, and particularly your subslab insulation. But I think the real story is to “Follow the water vapor.” That is the key, in my book.So, thank you, Bill, for this epiphany. I’m eager to try this approach on the next project. It may be that the results will not be too far off from a straight-up Passivhaus analysis. I’ll keep you posted… The fatal flaw in the Passivhaus approachThis approach would be in contrast to Passivhaus methodology, where envelope and mechanical system design begins with the established value of 4.75 kBtu per square foot per year for specific heat demand.Generally speaking, using the Passivhaus system, the insulation values are beefed up until the predicted annual heat load is no greater than that value. In theory, that is the point at which the ventilation system — in our climate, a system based on an ERV — is capable of distributing not only sufficient fresh air, but also the heated air required for thermal comfort. At that point, as the theory goes, a conventional heating system can be eliminated — in turn saving enough construction cost to pay for the extremely high levels of insulation and other envelope components that were necessary to hit the magic 4.75.The fatal flaw of this system, however, is that even when the envelope is designed to achieve Passivhaus certification, the ventilation system may not be adequate to manage the latent load. So a conventional mechanical system remains necessary — and the higher levels of insulation required for Passive House provide what can then be considered unjustifiably diminished returns. Alan Abrams is a Certified Passive House Consultant, a Certified Passive House Builder, aCertified Green Professional (NAHB), and a Certified Professional Building Designer (American Institute of Building Designers). He is also the owner of Abrams Design Build in Takoma Park, Maryland. ARTICLES BY ALAN ABRAMS Makin’ WUFIA Shortcut To Sustainable Living: Downsize! Last night, I enjoyed an intense conversation with my friend Bill Updike. Bill, who has been closely following the developing partnership between PHIUS and Building Science Corporation, is the green building specialist at the Washington, D.C. Department of the Environment.We were talking about cost-effective energy-efficient design, and Bill tossed off a comment that the key to any design — at least in our mixed-humid climate here in Maryland — should be the latent load of the building. When he said that, my mind lit up like a pinball machine showing three cherries.Here’s why: The latent load of a building — in effect, the amount of humidity inside your home that has to be removed for you to feel comfortable — is largely independent of how much insulation you use in the floor, walls, and roof, as well as the qualities and disposition of the other components of the building envelope. You can thicken your insulation as much as you want, but you will not substantially reduce the latent load.So then, why not select the most efficient heat pump that will handle a given latent load, and then scale the envelope components to the point where that same heat pump can just handle the heating load during the winter months?last_img read more

Adapting Your Leadership During Change

first_imgBy Karen Shirer, PhD           Understanding the nature of changeNo matter what organization we work in, we deal with increasing complexity and on-going change.  In my own work, one of our largest Extension programs in Minnesota, SNAP Education, experienced a 30% budget cut during 2013.  We continue to deal with the effects of this unexpected change today.  How do we become more resilient in the face of these kinds of on-going change in our organizations?A first step to building our resiliency involves understanding the kinds of change we deal with and how the kind of change determines how we respond.  Some changes seem to come out of nowhere, like the funding cut to SNAP Ed on January 1, 2013 that came as a result of federal legislative maneuvering. Other changes are more predictable or routine (e.g., people leave and create openings) but still require us to manage the response to it. Still other changes are a combination of routine and unpredicted changes.  For us, the loss of SNAP Ed funding was this latter kind of change.  We needed to first figure out how we were going to cover our costs for the last 9 months of the fiscal year while at the same time designing a new structure that the reduced resources could support (i.e., staff reductions).What is your change?On June 25, the Minnesota Family Learning Network, Lifestyle Transitions Team offered its first webinar, focusing on Building Resiliency during Change – Finding Courage Within. You can view this archived webinar at https://youtu.be/Hnjdur_rxvM.  During the webinar, military Family Service Providers identified a number of challenges that they faced in their organizations and their work with families, including:  A lack of staff to provide services and turnover of staff, reduced funding levels, too much paperwork and red tape, and challenges getting information out to families.  At the same time, service members and their families were seeking services for reintegration problems, financial challenges, the emotional wounds of the service member, feeling isolated, and difficulties seeking employment.This feedback confirmed what I already believed:  military family services organizations face challenges on a number of fronts in their organization and with the families they serve.  The webinar provided valuable information on how to begin to address the personal stressors caused by these change. If you have not viewed it, please take some time to do so.  This blog adds to the webinar by providing you with information to help manage and lead change in your organization.Types of change that will help us understand what is happeningA popular saying is “nobody likes change except a baby with a wet diaper.”  Even if we do not like change, our work requires that we address it in effective ways.  Heifetz, Linsky & Grashow (2009),  researchers at the Harvard Business School, developed a model that outlines three kinds of change or challenges/problems that leaders and managers face in their organizations and strategies for responding. These changes are labeled as:  technical, adaptive and a combination of technical and adaptive.Technical problems are well defined and their solutions are known. Those with adequate expertise and organizational capacity can solve them.  For example, a father of young children seeks help with finding high quality childcare for his children so that he can continue working during his wife’s deployment. His care provider unexpectedly quit. The service provider consults available resources and connects the father with them. Solutions to technical problems are often straightforward.Adaptive problems are much more complex and not well defined. The answers are not known in advance but require innovation and learning. For example, a service member and his/her family may come in for service for multiple issues – PTSD, housing insecurity, job seeking help – for which you have few existing resources to offer them. You have resources to deal with one of these issues alone but the combination is beyond your organization’s ability to manage. There may not be established models and resources for working with this complex set of issues, especially in an environment where there are reduced resources. You need to find new models, partnerships and approaches to meet this family’s needs.Many times the challenges faced by family service providers involve a combination of technical and adaptive problems; sometimes described as complicated problems. These are still tough challenges but you can more readily define them more than adaptive challenges. But their solutions may not be clear and learning is required. Much of our work tends to fall in this arena. For example, the homeless family above may live in a community where there are complex array of services available but you may not be knowledgeable about them. Learning about them helps you point them in the right direction for addressing their issues. In addition, you learn in the process the importance of helping community resources understand the unique needs of military families.How to apply to your workThese three kinds of change are often placed on a continuum with complicated problems wedged between routine and adaptive problems (see figure 1).  Heifetz, Linsky & Grashow (2009) go on to describe the kind of leadership needed to address complex problems or changes as adaptive leadership.  Basic to this model is the idea that a leader understands the nature of the problem or change – whether it is routine, complicated or adaptive – and applies the appropriate strategies for addressing the problem.  We do not want to apply a technical solution to an adaptive challenge (i.e., it is not strong enough to effect change) nor do we want to apply an adaptive solution to a technical problem (i.e., it is over kill and wastes valuable resources).My experience is that the bulk of our work with organizational change lies in the middle of the continuum. At first, the situation seems overwhelming and very complex – adaptive.  But as we begin to learn more and work with others to address the situation, routine or technical problems emerge for which we can begin addressing. Oftentimes, though, we need to take adaptive approaches overall to effectively weather the changes.   These approaches involve thoughtfully defining the problem, changing our relationships and approaches to the work, including the people with the problem in the work of solving it, and experimenting with solutions (and permitting failure).Figure 1If you are interested in learning more about adaptive challenges and adaptive leadership, please see the resources listed below:Five Steps for Leading through Adaptive Changehttp://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2014/08/10/5-steps-for-leading-through-adaptive-change/Technical Problems vs. Adaptive Challengeshttp://www.groupsmith.com/uploads/file/technical%20problems%20vs%20%20adaptive%20challenges.pdfPerspectives on Change:  Ron Heifetzhttp://changetheorists.pbworks.com/w/page/15475038/Ron%20Heifetz To end the story I began with …The budget cut for SNAP Ed I referenced at the beginning of this blog ended with the funding being reinstated in early 2014. Of course, this news was wholeheartedly welcomed but today we still are practicing adaptive leadership to invest the funds and deal with the negative fallout from staff layoffs. To address the budget cut, the program re-organized and down-sized its staff to meet the decreased resources. Now we are ramping up hiring of new staff to improve the quality and reach of the program.  This ramping up brings its own set of challenges and stressors. I’ve learned losing resources and gaining resources require adaptive leadership to address the challenges.  Take a few minutes to post your thoughts about your adaptive challenges and your experience addressing them.ReferencesHeifetz, R. A., Linsky, M., & Grashow, A. (2009). The practice of adaptive leadership: Tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press.last_img read more