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first_imgPrint Email Facebook Twitter Advertisement Waiting lists could be slashed – consultantTHE MID-WEST’S only consultant orthodontist wants immediate action taken by the government to address public waiting lists for children needing braces.Dr Ted McNamara of St Camillus Hospital, points out that recommendations made eight years can free up four-year waiting lists at little cost-if introduced.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Private treatment, he said, costs up to £4,000 – “which is a huge amount of money for most”.He alleged that there is a lot of obscene dental politics involved.“Politicians are afraid to take action on 2002 and 2005 reports from the Joint Oireachtais Committees on Health and Children, that made very good recommendations.“They found that certain practices are artificially blocking the system and creating longer waiting lists -these politicians need to have the courage to implement the changes recommended”. Dr McNamara has written to Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, and asked him to implement the recommendations.Biteback, a group of concerned parents who are working together for children in need of braces, also want the government to act.At the first public meeting on the issue last year, 300 parents with children on the HSE orthodontic waiting list turned up. Biteback secretary, Ursula Cosgrove, explained the situation to the Limerick Post:“We are frustrated with the long delays and want to hear from parents in the same situation. My child was on the list for orthodontic treatment for eight years”.The parent-run group is developing a website which will include an online petition.“We want our children taken off the waiting list and we need to get our current Minister for Health to act”.The issue, she added, is affecting hundreds of parents. “At present, they are visiting local health centres and being told the waiting list is three to four years, and that they are better off going private. A lot of parents aren’t even going on the waiting list, so if we have 1,100 and 1,200 children in the Mid West, that’s not a true reflection.“There are thousands of children in need of treatment”She said that internationally, 30% of children needed orthodontic treatment, which means that the correct figure for the Mid West could be around 6,000.“We would encourage parents to put their children on the waiting list to make it more accurate”.Biteback meet at Watchhouse Cross library on the first Thursday of every month.Anyone seeking more information can contact Biteback via email at [email protected]center_img Linkedin WhatsApp NewsLocal NewsParents bite back on orthodontic issuesBy admin – May 19, 2011 769 Previous articleMoney scams rampant in LimerickNext articleNews briefs adminlast_img read more

first_imgWhile our neighbor to the northeast, South Carolina, was left reeling from October’s floods, parts of Georgia were left with less rain than normal. Rainfall amounts varied dramatically across the Southeast. For instance, Charleston, South Carolina, received 18.91 inches during October, while four hours away Savannah, Georgia, received just one-tenth of that. The difference is remarkable and shows how localized the rain from the South Carolina flood event was. Georgia luckily avoided most of the problems associated with the flooding in South Carolina. The heaviest rain in Georgia from this event occurred in the northeastern mountains. Local stream flooding occurred in some locations, but was much less than the extensive flooding that occurred in South Carolina. Farmers were generally thankful for the drier conditions they saw last month. Wet conditions helped ease drought conditions in parts of the state but also caused boll rot in some cotton plants and caused hay to rot in the fields. The rest of the month was quite dry, which allowed farmers to harvest cotton and peanuts and cure hay for the winter. At the end of the month, farmers were waiting for rain to return, so they could start planting winter cover crops and small grains. The highest monthly total precipitation recorded by National Weather Service stations was 6.43 inches in Rome, Georgia — 2.57 inches above normal — and the lowest was in Albany, Georgia, at 0.65 inches — 1.94 inches below normal. Atlanta received 2.55 inches, 0.86 inches below normal; Athens, Georgia, received 5 inches, 1.45 inches above normal; Columbus, Georgia, received 1.07 inches, 1.51 inches below normal; Macon, Georgia, received 1.7 inches, 1.09 inches below normal; Savannah, Georgia, received 1.78 inches, 1.91 inches below normal; Augusta, Georgia, received 4.62 inches, 1.35 inches above normal; Alma, Georgia, received 3.26 inches, 0.23 inches above normal; and Valdosta, Georgia, received 1.73 inches, 1.47 inches below normal. Two daily rainfall records were set in October. Alma received 2.51 inches on Oct. 1, breaking the old record of 0.58 inches set in 1989. Brunswick, Georgia, received 3.38 inches on the same date, surpassing the old record of 0.76 inches set in 1957. The highest single-day rainfall amounts recorded by Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network stations were recorded on Oct. 4 in conjunction with the South Carolina flood event. The highest rainfall amount in the state was 5.2 inches, observed northeast of Hartwell, Georgia, in Hart County on Oct. 4, followed by 5.14 inches received west of Dahlonega, Georgia, in Lumpkin County and 4.91 inches received near Sylvania, Georgia, in Screven County. The highest monthly total rainfall was 14.07 inches, observed northeast of Dillard, Georgia, in Lumpkin County. Only two isolated wind damage reports were made in October, both on the first day of the month, but there were a few unofficial reports of wind damage on Oct. 7 in Athens where wind combined with water-logged soil to topple a handful of trees — damaging houses and causing isolated power outages. Temperatures across the state were close to average compared to the western half of the country, which had well-above-normal temperatures. In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 64.1 degrees Fahrenheit, 0.8 degrees above normal; in Athens, 62.2 F, 0.8 degrees below normal; in Columbus, 66.5 F, 0 degrees below normal; in Macon, 64.3 F, 0.6 degrees below normal; in Savannah, 68.2 F, 0.3 degrees above normal; in Brunswick, 70.2 F, 0 degrees below normal; in Alma, 68.3 F, 0.1 degrees below normal; in Augusta, 64 F, 0.4 degrees below normal; in Albany, 69 F, 0.9 degrees above normal; in Rome, 61.8 F, 0.6 degrees above normal; and in Valdosta, 70.2 F, 1.5 degrees above normal. In general, the warmest temperatures were in areas where the precipitation was lowest. One daily temperature record was broken in October. Alma reported a low of 39 F on Oct. 19, breaking the old record of 40 F, set in 2009. Macon also tied a record high of 88 F on Oct. 16, matching the observation from 1971. The outlook for November shows an increased chance of warmer and wetter-than-usual conditions across the state, which should aid in the removal of drought throughout the state. For more information, visit the Climate and Agriculture in the South East (CASE) blog at blog.extension.uga.edu/climate/ or visit our new Web page at gaclimate.org. Please feel free to email your weather and climate impacts on agriculture to share on the blog to [email protected]last_img read more

first_imgIn addition, a more stringent reporting framework was launched at the PRI in Person event in Cape Town in early October. The new framework requires PRI signatories to publicly report on their progress towards implementing the PRI’s six principles each year across a wider range of asset classes and investment activities, including voting and engagement, manager selection, appointment and monitoring and the integration of ESG factors into investment decision-making processes and ownership practices. Signatories that fail to report will be delisted from the PRI in the second half of 2014.All this has added to the tumultuous year at the PRI.However, the six Danish pension funds say they left the PRI over governance issues, and a lack of transparency and democracy, which is in stark contrast to the initiative’s principles calling for better corporate governance and engagement with companies that could improve in this regard.In a statement, the schemes said: “We have, over an extended period of time, observed with concern that the governance of the PRI organisation does not live up to the basic standards we as investors require of the companies in which we invest. Despite several attempts to improve the conditions within PRI, we must, unfortunately, acknowledge these attempts have not been successful. We have therefore elected to leave the PRI organisation until the organisation re-establishes the fundamental principles of governance that existed before the organisation on its own initiative in 2010-11 radically changed the organisation’s constitution without the involvement or consent of its members at the time.”The radical change among others included the abolishment of the PRI’s AGM, the requirement of a 10% minimum investor backing to achieve any kind of non-binding and consultative vote and a lack of transparency about the discussions taking place and decisions taken in PRI’s managing bodies – the PRI Advisory Council and the PRI Association Board.The PRI said it was “deeply disappointed” about the Danish exodus, stating that it had committed to undertake a review of its governance in Cape Town and that the Council’s governance committee had already begun to define the scope of the review, which would be led by a new Council Chair expected to be appointed in early 2014.But, as companies grow bigger, a strong sense of self-belief may develop, one that is so strong it refuses to listen to its shareholders – in other words, it is the company’s way or the highway.Is the PRI in a similar situation now? Has it grown to such an extent it no longer takes on board what its signatories are saying?Meetings with signatories were held behind closed doors in Cape Town, but there were some whispers about dissatisfaction with the way it is run.Since the Danish exodus, other investors such as ABP, PGGM and MN Services in the Netherlands have, while reaffirming their commitment to the project, conceded that governance at the PRI could be improved. Some linked the less-than-transparent governance structure to the fact the organisation is no longer officially part of the UN.Has the time come for the organisation to sit back and listen to its fee-paying members – without which it would be nowhere?Sure enough, asset managers – most recently Austrian asset manager Raiffeisen Capital Management – continue to flock to the initiative in an attempt to attract clients that increasingly see ESG as part of their investment strategy.But with investment managers currently outweighing asset owners to a ratio of 775:278, the PRI has to be careful not to loose its most powerful asset owner members, which are less likely than asset managers to see this as a window-dressing exercise.The Danish exodus may have been an unwanted, early Christmas present – but there were early warning signs that were not taken seriously. In Cape Town, investors were warning the PRI it was in danger of becoming an inward-facing country club.But make no mistake, being part of the PRI does not make an investor more responsible – that always comes from the investor himself, club membership or not. The PRI has paid the price for failing to heed asset owners’ concerns over governance, says Nina Röhrbein.While you have to acknowledge the phenomenal growth of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) to more than 1,200 signatories, the exit by six of Denmark’s pension funds –  well known for their integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues – has clearly put a question mark over the organisation.Doubts that already existed about the organisation may have been reinforced by the bold move taken by ATP, Industriens Pension, PensionDanmark, PKA, Sampension and PFA Pension. In turn, it may also strengthen the faith some current signatories have in the initiative.The PRI has undergone some significant changes in the past 12 months. Founding executive director James Gifford stepped down late last month to pass the baton onto managing director Fiona Reynolds. Earlier this year, PRI Association chairman Wolfgang Engshuber resigned, reportedly over differences of view with the PRI board, while former head of policy at BT Pension Scheme Pension Management Helene Winch joined as the PRI’s director of policy and research.last_img read more