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first_imgThe Chairman of the Governance Commission has reminded the ruling Unity Party government that it no longer has time in its favor as there is left only three more years for the second tenure of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to elapse and there is still a lot to be done.Speaking during a two day cabinet retreat held in Julijuah, Bomi County last week, Dr. Amos Sawyer indicated that if the government is to finish strong, there is an urgent need to prioritize projects that will have a significant impact on the lives of the Liberian peopleDr. Sawyer, discussing within the context of the time constraint faced by the Sirleaf administration, urged Cabinet Ministers to identify priority programs which they will be able to complete and which will have a significant impact on the people as stipulated in the agenda of this administration. “It is important for this country’s sake that this government finishes up strong. It cannot limp to the finish line,” he admonished.This will be the first time since 1944 that one administration with a living President is going to be turning over to another administration with a living President, observed Dr. Sawyer. Considering uncertainties along the way, he indicated that there will be the dynamics of the politics as well as programmatic ideas so it is important that there is clarity of the agenda and strength of the implementation.He predicted that as institutions are in a fragile state, programs must be clear and enforcement strong so that uncertainties and institutional weakness are minimized as a result of fragility. The Governance Commission chairman suggested to President Sirleaf that government officials on her team should now recommit themselves to finishing the final three years or very early see some kind of change. “I think it’s important that everybody on this team recommits themselves,” he noted amidst laughter.President Sirleaf, in her remarks called for efficiency, coordination and a sense of common purpose across government as they embark on the final three-years of this administration.She urged her official family to be “integrated, vigorous, with a common purpose to make the most of the remaining 35 months of this administration.” Assuring the Liberian public that her remaining time in office will not be a lame duck government, as it is expected in many quarters, she declared “We are going to take it to the finish line and then turn it over.”Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, for his part, was more concerned about the decentralization of government. He thanked the President for organizing the retreat and expressed the hope that government follows up on the decentralization process, making sure of the involvement and participation of local officials and citizens in the rural communities in all government initiatives.“I think we should begin to connect those people with the different programs being implemented because at the end of the day government has to account for what was or was not done,” said the Vice President.The Retreat was intended to reunite the official family of the Executive Branch, infuse a commonness of purpose, and recognize the Government’s successes as well as set ambitious but realistic and achievable targets for the next three years. Most of Government’s development activities have been put on hold due to the Ebola virus disease that has plagued the country since March 2014.Though one of the objectives of the retreat was to identify and set realistic and achievable targets, Cabinet Ministers are now expected to present their proposed priority projects to President Sirleaf next Tuesday, January 27.The next Cabinet Meeting takes place on February 18 while the first Cabinet Inter-active Forum is scheduled for March 12.On the first day, nine presentations were made including the Cabinet Programs Update by the Director-General of the Cabinet, Mr. Jordon Sulonteh, who set out a process which Ministries, Agencies and Corporations need to follow to agree on priorities by February 18.The first quarterly review of performance against those priorities is set for April 1.  The nine presentations included: A review of the President’s Top Priorities: Roads, Energy, Ports by the Head of the President’s Program Delivery Unit, Dr. Clarence Moniba; Status Update and Execution Plan for Youth Development by Youth and Sports Minister, Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe; Status Update on Roads Infrastructural Development and Post-Ebola Execution by Public Works Minister, Mr. W. Gyude Moore, Sr. and Status Update on Energy Projects and Post-Ebola Execution Plan by Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, Mr. Patrick Sendolo.Others were the Status Update on the new Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Post-Ebola Executive Plan by Gender, Children and  Social Protection Minister, Mrs. Julia Duncan Cassell; Status Update on the current Health Situation and the Execution Plan for a Normal Healthcare System by Health Deputy Ministers, Dr. Bernice Dahn, and Yah Zolia and Assistant Minister Tolbert Nyenswah; Status Update on the Re-opening of Schools and Education Execution Plan for Post-Ebola by Education Deputy Minister, Mr. Anthony Nimely and Status Update on the Agricultural Recovery Program and Post-Ebola Execution by Agriculture Minister,  Dr. Florence Chenoweth.On Day Two, Presentation on the 2014/2015 Budget Execution Report and the Agenda for Transformation and Economic Recovery were made by Finance and Development Planning Minister, Mr. Amara Konneh; Liberia Revenue Authority- Revenue Performance Update and Execution Plan for Revenue Growth by Commissioner-General, Mrs. Elfreda Tamba; Driving Inclusive Private Sector Growth Agenda – Ministry of Commerce and Industry Execution Plan by Commerce and Industry Minister Mr. Axel Addy; The Importance of Audit in Government and Post-Ebola Execution Plan was made by the Auditor-General Mrs. Yusador Gaye; while the final presentation on the Status Update on the Public Sector Reforms and Post-Ebola Execution Plan was made by the Civil Service Agency Director-General , Mr. George K. Werner.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgAnother year has come and gone! And, while we prepare to embrace a new one, we must pause and reflect on those achievements made in the most recent one. In doing so, we are able to identify tasks that we have achieved successfully, tasks that need to be revisited and new tasks for the New Year. At the beginning of 2015, I mentioned that the New Year (2015) would be a year of progress. Indeed, the year has been one of progress and the sector continues to progress. The year saw the nation tackle many of the obstacles (unwillingness to view ICT as a major driver of economic development, the lack of infrastructure, lack of skilled personnel, and our unwillingness to change), that have been hindering ICT development in the country. These obstacles which still exist, bring about a “digital exclusion” which negatively impacts economic development. Fortunately, developments in mobile technology, open source software, broadband cloud computing and the social media have equipped us with the “tools” to tackle the forces that lead to “digital exclusion”. How we adopt, embrace, and utilize these “tools” to our advantage is what determines the growth or decline of our ICT sector. The past months saw considerable improvement in the use of ICTs in Liberia, both in and outside of government. We saw Ministries, Agencies, and Commissions (MACs) of the Government of Liberia (GoL) take on initiatives for operational efficiency, effective service delivery and reduced cost, using ICTs as the enabler. For example, we saw the National Bureau of Concession deploy a National Concession Information Management System (CIMS) that enables it manage concessions in Liberia. We saw the Governance Commission revamp its infrastructure enhancing operational efficiency and building its capacity to use ICT for the achievement of good governance in Liberia. We also saw the dedication of our Internet Exchange Point (IXP), an initiative that will increase the affordability and quality of the Internet for local communities. On the other hand, discussions on the handling of the .LR ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain) were held during the period in review. Significant progress has been made in expediting this initiative. I only mentioned a few MACs in the paragraph above but almost every MAC in Liberia made some kind of stride in incorporating ICTs to build their capacity in order to provide services to “customers of public administration” (Citizens, businesses, other government entities, and government employees). When speaking of government institutions providing services to “customers of public administration” using ICTs (especially the Internet), we are talking about electronic government or e-Government. While its official e-government strategy is pending endorsement, much work is being done to achieve a robust e-government program capable of bringing a paradigm shift in the way it (GoL) delivers services to its citizens and businesses. The GoL’s e-government program began a few years ago and since then a lot has been achieved. For example, the CIMS at the National Bureau of Concessions, the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) at the Ministry of Finance, the automated passport system at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Health Information Systems at the Ministry of Health, and the new procurement system at the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) (which will lead to an e-Procurement system), are part of Government’s e-government programs. At the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the Project Management Office (PMO), a unit established within the Ministry through a mandate by the National Telecommunications and ICT Policy 2010-2015, completed the first phase of the development of the national e-government portal. The e-government portal development project’s goal was to develop a one-stop shop that allows citizens, businesses, government and government employees to have access to information and an ecosystem of eServices through a single window. Phase I also known as “WebPresence” according to the Gartner Group Open Government Maturity Model, involves putting online MACs’ information, forms and the procedures involved in obtaining services they (MACs) provide. The online delivery of services to citizens cannot be done in the absence of a secure ICT infrastructure. Hence, the need for a national data center and a secure Government network (GovNet). The Government of Liberia with assistance from USAID has decided to deploy a Shared Services Center (SSC) which will allow services to be shared by all MACs. In addition, the deployment of a secure Government network by LIBTELCO (national operator) is in the pipeline. LIBTELCO has also been working on the deployment of aerial fiber optic network to further enhance access to broadband by both the GoL and others. Apart from building their internal ICT infrastructures many of the GoL’s MACs have gone online giving citizens and businesses an optional medium to access services that they (MACs) provide. This further increases our web presence which is expected to be guided by an e-government website strategy developed by USAID, and an e-government website policy being developed by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. We also saw the end of the National Telecommunications and ICT 2010-2015 policy which guided the ICT sector since 2010. The revision of this policy has begun and is being led by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the head of the ICT sector and ICT policy maker of Liberia. As a way to ensure Universal Access, there has been several discussions and feasibility studies that will lead to the deployment of a national backbone, which will then allow access to the underserved and un-served communities. Google, which has been very “resourceful” in Africa, has been part of these discussions along with USAID, the World Bank, et al. We also saw strides made in human resource development during the past few months. ICT institutions of learning have begun offering robust ICT training programs aimed at developing the skills of today’s and tomorrow’s ICT leaders. Many of our higher institutions of learning have alsobegun integrating technology in their curricula while maintaining ICT programs. Moreover, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and LIBTELCO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education have begun a project that will put internet-connected computers in all public schools in Liberia. Despite the progress made thus far, our ICT sector continues to face several challenges preventing it from leveraging all available assets. Some of these challenges include the lack political will to integrate ICT in our society as has been done in Rwanda, the lack of adequate budgetary allotment for ICT, the lack of skilled ICT staff, but most of all, the lack of a national ICT Champion. Finally, there were many other developments that occurred in the ICT sector in 2015, all of which have impacted other sectors of the nation. I know I have neglected to mention quite a few, but this was not intentional. Hopefully, as time goes on, they will be mentioned in future articles. But for now, we can say we have made great strides in the sector. We look to the year 2016 for many great things as we strive to improve our ICT sector.Until next week, CARPE DIEM! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgPublic Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has revealed that the procurement process to acquire equipment for the Forensic Laboratory has been approved. The Minister disclosed that the equipment costs fell within the vicinity of US$1 million and was provided for by the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) of the Public Security Ministry.Ramjattan also disclosed that over the next six to seven months, the Laboratory, located at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, would have its security upgraded to safeguard the integrity of the exhibits. Ventilation work would also be completed and staff who would be conducting various forensic tests certified.“The American experts, through their Ambassador, indicated that we haven’t as yet reached the stage for that quality of DNA testing. And we had to wait until we get all the other things fixed – the infrastructural work, the integrity system and the ventilation system, because these exhibits have to be maintained at a certain temperature and also the design of that original lab wasn’t there yet.”The Public Security Minister said it was disappointing that DNA testing was not yet achieved. He, however, emphasised that the “accreditation and the certification, will come when we get it 100 per cent fixed.”The Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL) is a Government initiative with the long-term goal of providing quality laboratory service to support forensic and non-forensic investigations. According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), the GFSL offers forensic analysis on samples related to criminal investigations in the areas of toxicology, document analysis, trace evidence, and chemical analysis and non-forensic laboratory testing relating to matters not associated with criminal investigations.last_img read more

first_imgPee Wee 11 & Under Football Tournament…St Pius Primary made a resounding statement about their intention to retain the Courts Pee Wee 11 and under football tournament; as they stormed into the quarterfinal with a 5-1 victory.St Agnes Primary held off their opponents for a 2-0 winThe round of sixteen action went down at the Ministry of Education Ground, Carifesta Avenue on Saturday last, as St Agnes, Genesis, Timehri, Tucville, Soesdyke, North Georgetown, West Ruimveldt and St Pius Primary schools bagged wins to advance to the more exhilarating rounds of the competition.St Agnes Primary were the first to etch their names on the quarterfinal schedule as they brushed aside Redeemer Primary in a 2-0 affair. Cleon London granted St. Agnes the lead in the 16th. St Agnes maintain their 1-0 lead into the second as Shaquille Dalrymple extended the lead in the 38th for the win.Genesis Primary stunned Mae’s Under-12 Primary in a battle of the private institutions. Mae’s drew first blood in the 16th, when Elijah Bynoe found the back of the net. However, Genesis managed to pull off a ‘come from behind’ stunt when Ezekiel Yarde netted a brace in the 26th and 31st minutes to shatter Mae’s quarterfinal dreams.Timehri primary were made to hold their nerve in their encounter against St Stephen’s Primary, as they defended a lone goal for the victory. Esteban Medina was once again the man for Timehri, netting a goal in the 19th. Thereafter, the boys from Timehri fought hard to hold off their opponents for a win.Genesis Primary fought hard to pull off a comebackSoesdyke displayed their dominance against Craig in a 3-0 encounter. Samuel Tasher opened the scoring in the 11th and the team held onto the 1-0 lead into the half. When Craig thought they could make a comeback, Jermaine Mitchell bagged two goals in the 25th and 27th for the win.Tucville Primary edged past Marian Academy to book their quarterfinal spot. Wayne Solomon was the man with the golden boot for Tucville, with a goal in the 17th for the 1-0 win.North Georgetown was excellent once again as they registered a 3-1 victory. Garey Primo started the scoring early with a goal in the second to give North Georgetown an early lead. St Ambrose’s Keandre Carr levelled the scores in the 10th, to intensify the game. However, Primo netted his second goal in the 26th and Akeem Joyce netted another in the 31st to seal the victory.Last year’s runner ups West Ruimveldt Primary fought hard to keep their slate clean as they defeated Enterprise Primary 2-0. Cleon La Rose scored the team’s first goal in 8th and then minutes later Emanuel Phillips found the back of the net in controversial circumstances to secure the second goal.Jamal Fraser once again led from the front for St Pius Primary as they trashed Uitvlugt Primary 5-1. Bryan Brown was the first to etch his name on the score sheet in the 6th and was closely followed by Troy Macy in the 8th. Jamal Fraser netted the first of his two 18th to finish the first half 3-0.An own goal was the only blemish on St Pius record, which came in 21st. Donovan Welcome and Jamal Fraser then scored back to back goals in the 38th and 39th for the 5-1 tally.The Pee Wee quarterfinal will be contested this Saturday, October 19 at the Ministry of Education Ground.last_img read more

first_img“The recall is huge. It’s unprecedented, and people are seeing their dog food is on the list and picking up the phone, wondering if there’s anything they can do or what to do,” said Tim Hackett, who runs a small-animal clinic at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “Fortunately, most of these animals are absolutely fine.” Julie Benesh of Chicago brought her cat, Truffle, to a vet’s office Wednesday after realizing the animal had eaten some of the contaminated food. The cat was lethargic and had been drinking an unusual amount of water. “That’s my baby,” Benesh said of the black-and-white cat she’s had since the animal was a kitten. “We’ve been through a lot together.” The Animal Medical Center on the East Side of Manhattan has tested 143 animals for renal failure since Saturday. Of those, 10 were confirmed to be diet-related cases, and one cat died. “I have people coming in who haven’t even said their pet’s eaten the bad food, but they’re worried that maybe the recall has not been broad enough so they want their pet tested to be sure,” said Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian at the clinic. The recall has led to at least three lawsuits against Menu Foods from pet owners who allege their animals got sick or died after eating recalled food. Menu Foods CEO and President Paul Henderson said Wednesday that the company is still investigating the cause of the kidney failure because the food linked to the deaths has shown no signs of contamination. He apologized for the worry that the recall has caused. Denise Tracy of Milford, Mass., said her first thought after hearing about the recall was, “Oh my gosh, I killed my cat.” Fluffy’s health deteriorated after Tracy fed her Special Kitty brand food, one of the recalled labels, and she had to euthanize the 11-year-old cat last week. She said the family, including her five children, are heartbroken. Her husband contacted a lawyer, and she plans to contact her state’s attorney general. “They’re killing animals because of somebody’s mistake,” Tracy said. “They should be held accountable for that.” In California, a Yorkshire terrier named Pebbles has been battling kidney failure since eating Nutro dog food. Even hooked to an IV, she attempts to wag her tail. The dog’s owner, Jeff Kerner, said he has called and e-mailed Nutro, and hasn’t heard back. “I want to give them an opportunity to do the right thing. Money can only do one thing, which is pay bills,” Kerner said. “I don’t want to end up with my dog not surviving and then owe $10,000. Or that she survives and I owe $10,000.” The FDA has sent inspectors to Menu Food plants in New Jersey and Kansas. Most complaints stem from products made at the latter factory, though both received shipments of wheat gluten, identified as a possible source of contamination, from the same supplier, said Stephen F. Sundlof, the FDA’s chief veterinarian. The ingredient is a protein source used to thicken the pet food gravy. The FDA is screening pet food samples for substances known to harm the kidneys, like toxins produced by molds. Dr. Robert Davis, a veterinarian in Ashland, Mass., said most customers have remained calm – in part because of detailed information available online. “There’s been no panic that I’ve seen,” Davis said. “I think a lot of people, rather than becoming more nervous and concerned, they go to the Internet.” Addressing pet food fears Questions about the recall of 60 million containers of potentially deadly pet food: Q: What has been recalled? A: Menu Foods has recalled “cuts and gravy” style pet food packaged from Dec. 3 through March 6. The products are contract-made for nearly 100 national brands of pet food. There is no recall for dry pet food. Q: Why was the recall issued? A: The recalled food has been blamed for kidney failure in scores of animals and killed at least 16 pets. Q: What are some symptoms? A: Symptoms include loss of appetite, loss of energy, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive thirst or urination. Q: What should I do if I notice these symptoms? A: Contact the pet’s veterinarian immediately. A simple blood and urine test can determine whether the pet has been affected. If so, the problem can be treated if caught early. Q: What are pet stores recommending? A: Pet stores have removed the recalled food and have been recommending other kinds of wet or dry food. Some pet stores have also suggested supplements to help pets make the switch to different food. – Source: Village Veterinary Centers Inc., PetSmart, PETCO.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Atlanta veterinarian Will Draper received so many calls and e-mails about the recall that he drafted a newsletter on it and e-mailed his customers. “That helped tremendously,” Draper said. “It has calmed clients.” Since Friday, nearly 100 brands of the “cuts and gravy” style food have been recalled by Menu Foods of Canada, including popular labels sold at Wal-Mart, Kroger and other large retailers. Veterinarians are directing most questions to the Food and Drug Administration’s recall Web site. Some have agreed to run blood tests on pets, even though many of the animals have not consumed any of the recalled brands. Pet owners with animals showing symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy and extreme thirst are being told to bring them in for immediate examination. ATLANTA – A recall of potentially deadly pet food has dog and cat owners studying their animals for even the slightest hint of illness and swamping veterinarians nationwide with calls about symptoms both real and imagined. “It’s like we’re on pins and needles,” said Brian Paone, a 27-year-old loan auditor in Knoxville, Tenn., who scheduled a blood test with his vet after realizing both of his cats had eaten brands on the recall list. “You kind of sit there and wonder – it’s terrible to say this – you wonder if this is going to be your last moments with your pet. It’s not pleasant.” Some of the 60 million cans and pouches of food have been blamed for kidney failure in scores of animals and killed at least 16 pets. Neither the manufacturer nor authorities have been able to determine why the pets died. last_img read more

first_img1 Wayne Rooney receives a golden boot from Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton after breaking his all-time goalscoring record for England Manchester United have granted Wayne Rooney a testimonial following a campaign by supporters to honour the striker’s long service to the club.Rooney will play in a testimonial match for a Manchester United XI against a yet-to-be-named opponent at Old Trafford on August 3, 2016.Details of the players and managers who will be involved on the day are expected to be revealed over the next few weeks.The 30-year-old has vowed to donate all the profits from the match to the NSPCC, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Claire House Hospice, and the Manchester United Foundation through the newly-formed Wayne Rooney foundation.Rooney’s representatives said United awarded the striker the testimonial following a meeting between “like-minded individuals and Manchester United fans” who wrote to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward asking that a testimonial be awarded following the player’s 11-year spell at the club.“I would like to thank everyone involved in making this testimonial become a reality,” the United and England captain said.“Most of all I want to thank the fans for all their incredible support for me and the team since I joined the club.“The match night will obviously be special for me and my family but I hope it will be a night of celebration for all involved and that we can also deliver one or two surprises.“Most of all I hope the fans will come out in force and help raise as much money as possible for these amazing charities, all of which are very close to my heart for different reasons.”Since joining United from Everton in 2004, Rooney has won the Premier League five times, the League Cup twice plus one Champions League title.The striker has also gained a host of individual accolades and is now just 13 goals short of Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record.“I am delighted that United fans will be able to celebrate Wayne’s amazing years at the club in this way,” Woodward said.“From his sensational debut hat-trick to the latest of his 236 goals, he has been a central figure in what has been one of the most successful periods in the club’s history, winning everything from the Club World Cup, through the Champions League and League Cup to his five Premier League titles.“Wayne has selected good causes very close to his heart and the club is delighted to play its part, in providing Old Trafford as a fitting stage for such a game.”last_img read more

first_imgFelix Valle, 24, started as a member of the crew in 2002. After two years as a member, he was hired by a larger wildland firefighting group, the Kern Valley Hotshots. Because the work is seasonal, Valle can spend his spare time teaching the Rio Hondo trainees. “It was a great learning experience,” Valle said. “That’s why I came back to volunteer my time to help out. I enjoyed what the college was doing.” Though the crew does not put out house fires or live in a firehouse, they are prepared for the kind of massive blazes currently plaguing the Southland. The Roadrunners are called out to prevent fires with shovels and chain saws by laying down fire breaks, as well as filling positions left behind by those fighting on the front lines. Once, the crew even journeyed to Texas for NASA to help recover pieces of the space shuttle Challenger. Hours for the crew are sporadic and difficult. Most Roadrunners are paid $14 per hour, and work 14- to 16-hour shifts when they are called to a situation, generally for 14 consecutive days. Sometimes these assignments can extend to 21 days. “They need the support of their family and friends to be successful,” Bennett said. Valle said his parents worry when he is out fighting wildfires. “My parents end up getting worried during the season,” Valle said. “You hear about the fatalities.” While they are deployed, crew members sleep in tents they carry on their backs, shower and eat in temporary firefighting camps, and spend most of their time at the front lines of danger, protecting homes and lives. The work is difficult, and Bennett said the closeness of the group is important to ensure the happiness and safety of the team. “It helps if you kind of like the people you’re stuck in a bus with for 14 days,” Bennett said. airan.scruby@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The Roadrunners are a group of wildland firefighters fresh from graduating an intense one-semester program at Rio Hondo College. After taking the course, students are selected to become part of the group, which provides a stepping stone into the competitive world of fire prevention and firefighting. Bennett, who spent 28 years with the U.S. Forest Service before retirement, said he has been teaching in the program since its inception in 2000. Bennett, 58, said Crew 77 allows new firefighters the chance to gain experience through part-time work and helps them find jobs. Most of those employed through the program stay for one or two years, although they are allowed to stay up to four. “It’s just not a lifetime career,” Bennett said. “We’ve had 88 hired from the program into the field.” The age of those in the program ranges from 18 to around 26. • Video: Fires in Castaic• For full fire coverage vist the Special Section. SANTA FE SPRINGS – The fires burning around Southern California bring danger and destruction, but for one group of young firefighters, the flames also bring a chance to learn. Rio Hondo College’s Crew 77, known as the Roadrunners, were sent out by bus on Tuesday to the Ranch Fire near Castaic. “It could very easily be very taxing,” Rio Hondo instructor John Bennett said of the fight ahead of the 20-member crew. last_img read more

first_img18 February 2009Soweto, South Africa’s famous township, is well known to tourists who’ve visited Johannesburg and gone looking for a taste of the city’s African culture and history of resistance against apartheid.Now, adventure tourists can also board the bus to Soweto, as a project to develop a “vertical adventure centre” with a distinctive township feel starts coming to fruition.And, if you’re a local and you’ve already done the bungee swing between the two 100-metre-high Orlando Towers in Soweto, and need to push the boundaries further: no problem. For a new adrenaline rush, you can now do the swing inside one of the towers.Zoopy TV takes a flying leap from Soweto’s Orlando Towers. Click arrow to play video.Yes, from this weekend you can line up for the internal bungee swing, says Bob Woods, the project director and rope expert. The external swing involves falling 30 metres from the top of the tower, then swinging back and forth like a pendulum and eventually being lowered to the ground.On the internal swing, you swing high inside one of the towers and then are lowered to some 15 metres above the ground before taking a foefie slide (zip slide) back to earth.Soweto’s Orlando site is dominated by the huge, colourful twin towers, which used to supply electricity to the former white suburbs of Johannesburg, but which are now defunct. The disused power station building is a cavernous structure some five storeys high, overlooking a dam.Phase one almost completeThe internal swing and other features will complete phase one of the adventure tourism project taking place at the towers, made possible by a loan of R3.6-million from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).“Adventure tourism is a major growth market around the world, and the creation of an adventure tourism facility will undoubtedly contribute towards Soweto’s economic diversification and tourism attractiveness,” says Kate Rivett-Carnac, the DBSA’s tourism specialist.Woods says the vast walls of the towers will be developed into a “vertical adventure centre the scale and nature of which describes a truly unique and legendary facility.”He promises that by late March you can expect to be abseiling down the towers, and by early May you are likely to be bungee jumping between the two towers. He has brought in Canadian experts to help with the final rigging for the bungee jumping.Climbing the wallsAlso in the pipeline is climbing the internal walls of the towers, a climb of some 60 metres. Woods is concerned that climbing is an elitist sport – he’d like to bring it to young Sowetans.“I would like to promote climbing among the people of Soweto. It can often be a tool in helping to channel energies in a positive way,” he says. Other facilities below the towers he foresees are a restaurant, a music venue and bar, and a small skateboarding park.“We want to create the feeling of a park, where families can spend the day.”Since opening in June last year, Woods says he has had 15 to 20 jumpers take to the towers each day. Most visitors to the site are Gautengers, with 18 percent being foreign tourists. But it seems most people can’t quite bring themselves to jump off the towers, preferring instead to take the lift up, and stand admiring the view.Otherwise, from March you will be able to take a foefie slide ride from 10 metres up the side of one of the towers.You pay R360 for the swing, or R60 to take in the view from the top. The swing is open on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 5pm. You can book your place on the website.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

first_imgklint finley Tags:#enterprise#mobile IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Looking for an excuse to buy an iPad 2, which hit the streets today? The iPad continues to be used as a device for business as well as pleasure, and several enterprise apps were either released or updated since our last round-up. Take a look and see if any of them justify the expense of a new tablet.Adobe SiteCatalystIn addition to announcing its expanded social media analytics tools, Adobe announced a SiteCatalyst iPad app. SiteCatalyst is an Web analytics that Adobe acquired as part of its Omniture acquisition. It has a particular emphasis on e-commerce.Bomgar Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts Bomgar announced its iPad Rep Console this week, giving IT and tech support workers the ability to use its remote desktop technology from the tablet. Although Bomgar’s competitor Citrix has been quick to release iPad apps, it hasn’t released an iPad version of its GoToAssit product.Information BuildersJoining our list of business intelligence tools for the iPad is WebFOCUS from Information Builders. WebFOCUS brings dashboards to multiple mobile devices, including the iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices. Instead of native apps, Information Builders created a Web-based solution that autodetects the device a user is viewing the site on and adjusts its presentation accordingly.Rackspace CloudWe already covered Rackspace Cloud 2.0, the updated app for Rackspace administrators. It adds new features such as Chef integration, UK support and and the ability to manage OpenStack clouds.VMwareWe also covered VMware’s new iPad app this week. It enables users to access virtual desktops from their iPads, and competes with Citrix Receiver. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

first_imgOlivier Giroud is planning to “stick in there” at Chelsea, with there no plans on his part to push for a transfer despite slipping behind Alvaro Morata in the Blues pecking order.The 2018-19 campaign is shaping up to be another which sees the World Cup-winning striker face a battle for regular playing time.Giroud has been handed starts by Maurizio Sarri this term, but has seen Spanish team-mate Morata return to form over recent weeks to nail down the role of lone frontman. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! At 32 years of age, and with exit talk having first surfaced over the summer, it has been suggested that he may need a move in January, especially if he wants to stay in contention for the France national team.Giroud is, however, adamant that he sees his future at Stamford Bridge, telling Telefoot of his current situation: “I came back late from the World Cup. Morata played.“With the national team in September, a goal against the Netherlands did me good. After that, when I came back to Chelsea, I played several matches as a starter.“Today, the coach has introduced healthy competition. Morata started again, he played well.“It is true that we were having issues in the effectiveness department, he scored and things are going better.”Olivier Giroud Chelsea 2018-19Giroud added on the transfer gossip: “Would I have to consider a departure to keep my place in the national team? I feel like it is as if we are where we were several months ago when I was being asked the same questions before the World Cup.“Today I am calm, happy with this World Cup title. I don’t need to put myself under more pressure than that.“Of course, I am a competitor and I would like more playing time. But I am in a very big club, with very big players.“I am going to fight and for the moment, it is not a question about seeking a departure. I am going to stick in there and do not expect me to give up.”Giroud has made 12 appearances for Chelsea this season, but only four starts have come in the Premier League.He has just one goal to his name so far, with his account for 2018-19 finally opened during a Europa League clash with BATE on November 8.last_img read more