The Letterkenny Chamber is asking the business community and the voting public to insist that infrastructure and access is the top priority for all incoming public representatives. Letterkenny and the North West has many needs but none more so than basic access to the region.There are a very wide range of candidates and each has their own top priorities. Over the last few weeks we have seen Ministerial visits and on every occasion we have asked that they prioritise access to Letterkenny.Sometimes we feel this is falling on deaf ears however we believe that the newly elected members of Donegal County Council must place access as their top priority and must bring pressure to bear on central government to enable this County and town get the roads that its business community needs.Letterkenny Chamber President Gerard Grant explains why this is such an important issue, he told Donegal Daily, “Back in 2008 we were promised that we would be driving on the A5/N2 in 2015 by the Transport Minister.“We are now in 2014 and the A5/N2 is still in public consultation. “The road link to Dublin is the main arterial route for many of our businesses in dealing with customers, suppliers and for transporting goods to and from the region.“It is used when executives from the US Headquartered companies come on regular visits to Letterkenny and it is the first transport link experienced by prospective investors and it is simply not fit for purpose and borderline embarrassing, he added.Grant points to the motorways being built connecting the main cities in the south to Dublin, but Letterkenny and Derry remain cut off.Secondly he points out that the Government is projected to spend almost €370m linking up two sides of the Luas in a city already served by bus, light rail and tram which is scheduled to be finished in 2017.Grant concluded, “The investment and infrastructure deficit in the Northwest needs to be addressed once and for all if economic recovery is to be a reality for every region in the country. “As the new enhanced council forms in June we believe they have a strategic role in the development of this region and they will need bring their influence to bear on this issue.“Letterkenny Chamber takes every opportunity to lobby government and TDs on the serious infrastructure deficiencies that are affecting the North West.“Potential County Councillors hoping to represent this region must do all they can to support us.LETTERKENNY CHAMBER CALLS FOR CANDIDATES TO MAKE INFRASTRUCTURE THEIR NO.1 PRIORITY was last modified: May 14th, 2014 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:BusinessElection CandidatesLetterkenny ChamberLocal electionsnewsPolitics
20 April 2015The World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) was fantastic this year and exceeded all expectations, according to Sugen Pillay, the exhibition’s commercial director.Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, he said the international buyers at WTM Africa were impressive, and were “impressed with the exhibitors”.WTM Africa was held in Cape Town from 15 to 17 March. More than 200 hosted buyers attended the event, which was in its second year. It had grown significantly in just a year, he added: in 2014, there were 3 000 trade visitors and 200 exhibitors; this year there were 550 exhibitors. Visitor numbers still had to be aggregated.“We had the right type of international buyer and more than 20 African countries represented. This gave a real sense of what the continent had to offer,” he said. “Exhibitors and visitors were surprised by the number and type of buyers at the show.”WTM Africa is to be followed by the Tourism Indaba in Durban, the entrenched annual exhibition that runs from 9 to 11 May this year. Indaba showcases Southern Africa’s best tourism products, and attracts international buyers and media from across the world.Pillay saw no conflict between the two. Indaba focused on the inbound market, he explained.“The industry has responded well to WTM Africa,” said Pillay. “We also focus on the outbound market, and we featured countries from outside Africa. This means they see Africa as an outbound market, and that there is a demand for tourists from Africa.”EbolaAddressing the knock on effect of issues such as Ebola on tourism to Africa, Pillay said tourist numbers had dropped since the Ebola outbreak. “There is a perception globally that affects the consumer. There is a need for education that Ebola is in a small region of an entire continent.”Governments played a role in this education and the various tourism associations were working hard to get the message out. “Global issues like this do have an immediate effect on tourism, but it is not long term. And tourism is a long-term industry,” he added.“The response to WTMAfrica shows that tourism is on a growth path in Africa.”Figures released by Tourism Indaba earlier this month support Pillay’s comment. Indaba exhibitor numbers were up 30% and hosted buyers were up 100%.South African Tourism, owners of the Indaba, said on 10 April that exhibitor applications were up 30% compared to 2014, and 90% of the tradeshow floor space had been reserved. Approved non-hosted buyer applications were on a par with 2014; and approved hosted buyer numbers were double that of 2014.Outbound marketWTM Africa is marketed as Africa’s largest inbound and outbound business to business tourism show. It is a platform for buyers and exhibitors to do business. In addition, key issues and trends are presented and discussed via interactive networking sessions and panel discussions.This year, these included the Responsible Tourism Speed Networking Session, the Asata Western Cape Chapter Meeting and Young Professional in Travel Networking Session, Rhino Art’s presentation highlighting rhino poaching, and Wendy van der Byl’s presentation on the SADC Univisa between Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola.A highlight was the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards.Figures are not yet available for WTM Africa this year, but at the inaugural event in 2014 about 4 000 industry professionals negotiated deals worth $314-million (R3.7- billion). This was expected to be exceeded this year, and 2014’s figures surpassed, said WTM Africa.Freedom Park on showFreedom Park, the memorial park in Pretoria, was among the exhibitors. “[The] World Travel Market 2015 audience [was] exposed to the Wall of Names, which is an element amongst many within Freedom Park wherein more than 80 000 names of the heroes and heroines who perished in various wars like the First World War, Second World War, Anglo Boer War, Wars of Resistance and Liberation War are inscribed,” said Freedom Park spokesperson Naomi Madima.The market was a suitable platforms for Freedom Park to exhibit its iconic symbols because it hosted African and international exhibitors in the tourism industry. In keeping with the ethos of the park, the stand carried information dating back 3.6 billion years, as well as on various phases of the South African history from slavery, genocide, colonialism, industrialisation, liberation and democracy.“Freedom Park is a national monument in a true sense in that it encompasses and embraces a history of all South Africans and acknowledges other international liberation heroes and heroines,” Madima said.WTM Africa’s official charity this year was The Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct. It, together with leading South African tourism industry stakeholders, used the event to signal their game-changing approach to protecting children from the worst forms of exploitation. The Code is an industry-driven, multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry in order to combat the sexual exploitation of children in contexts related to travel and tourism.WTM Africa forms part of Africa Travel Week, which comprises of three co-located industry events, namely: International Luxury Travel Market Africa, International Business Travel Market and Word Travel Market Africa.SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced this year’s deadline for producer applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is March 31.March 31 is also the deadline by which initial applications are needed from farmers with expiring 2012-2016 contracts if they want to renew them for another five years. Some 12 million acres already in the program are eligible for renewal this year.“CSP is a continuous sign-up program, and producers can apply to enroll at any time of the year,” said Traci Bruckner, Senior Policy Associate for Agriculture and Conservation at the Center for Rural Affairs. “NRCS applies a cut-off date for applications to be considered during a particular fiscal year. Once the cut-off date is past, producers may continue to apply, but they will not be considered for entry until the spring of the following year. To enroll in 2016, you must file your application by March 31.”The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary stewardship incentives program administered by NRCS. It rewards farmers, ranchers, and foresters for maintaining existing conservation and for adopting additional measures that run beyond the farm or ranch.CSP pays producers for clean water, better soil management, improved habitat, energy efficiency, and other natural resource benefits. Since the program began in 2009, nearly 70 million acres of farm and ranch land have been enrolled in the program.To sign up, farmers and ranchers should visit their NRCS local service center and submit their basic application form by the March 31 deadline. To find a local service center visit: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?agency=nrcs“Once a farmer or rancher’s initial application is accepted by NRCS, they are then scored based on current and planned future conservation activities,” added Bruckner. “If applicants meet acceptable conservation levels, they become eligible to compete in a ranking process that determines who will receive contracts. NRCS works down through the list of eligible applicants until acreage allocated to the particular state for that particular year runs out.”2012 Contracts Up for RenewalMarch 31 is also the deadline for CSP contract holders who enrolled in 2012 to renew. CSP contracts last for five years and can be renewed for an additional five years, extending and building upon their previous conservation efforts and current level of stewardship.Existing CSP contracts enrolled in 2012 will expire later this year if they are not renewed by March 31. Producers should act now to ensure a seamless transition into another five-year contract and avoid any lapse in payments.Approximately 12 million acres and 8,000 contracts are up for renewal this year. To see the number of contracts and acres set to expire in each state: http://goo.gl/y1NZwW. The map below shows the total number of acres that were originally enrolled in 2012, which are set to expire at the end of the year if not renewed before March 31.
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Read Next MOST READ “I don’t understand the rule,” said Nikola Vucevic, who had 24 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando. “Pretty much any home team, if you’re up one and still got 1 second (on the clock), as soon as somebody throws it, just run the clock, and if somebody touches it, it’s a jump ball. It doesn’t make any sense. I think they’ve got to look into that. That’s frustrating when things out of your hands hurt you. But at the same time, that’s not why we lost the game.”Aaron Gordon scored 28 points and made a driving, go-ahead layup with 5 seconds to play for the Magic, who trailed 106-97 before scoring 10 straight points. Lopez then drew a foul while backing into the low post with 0.6 seconds left, and he coolly made both free throws.“I knew I was going to hit them,” Lopez said. “It was bizarre. I guess we had the game-winning jump ball.”Lonzo Ball had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Lakers, who broke open a tie game with an 11-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, capped by Lopez’s thunderous dunk with 6:09 to play. But the Magic stormed back and trimmed LA’s lead to 106-105 when Jonathon Simmons made one of two free throws with 33 seconds left.Isaiah Thomas added 13 points and nine assists off the bench for the Lakers, who thrived despite the absence of leading scorer Brandon Ingram for the third straight game due to a strained groin.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games View comments “It’s obvious we’ve got a young group, and we didn’t execute down the stretch,” Thomas said. “I still don’t even know how it ended. I don’t even know what the call was. That (stinks) for the Magic. I’m glad we won.”TIP-INSMagic: Before the game, Orlando waived guard Rashad Vaughn. His sore knee would have prevented him from playing out the rest of his second 10-day contract, so the Magic made the move. … Evan Fournier scored 11 points before being sidelined during the second half by a sprained left knee.Lakers: They wore their powder-blue Minneapolis Lakers throwback uniforms. … Ingram won’t return until Sunday against Cleveland at the earliest. … The 7-foot Lopez somehow didn’t get a rebound in 35 minutes of play. “Fun fact,” he said with a sardonic grimace.ROOKIE ROLLKyle Kuzma had 20 points and 10 rebounds in one of his best games of 2018. The University of Utah product had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds for the first time since Dec. 22 at Golden State. He appeared to hit the rookie wall in January.THE BIG PAYBACKWhile recording their 10th win in their last 11 home games, the Lakers avenged an embarrassing loss in Orlando on Jan. 31. The Magic routed the Lakers 127-105 at Amway Center, even without Gordon in the lineup. That embarrassment partly sparked the Lakers on their current run of strong form, with nine wins in 14 games since that defeat.UP NEXTMagic: At Sacramento Kings on Friday night for the third stop on a five-game road trip.Lakers: At Denver Nuggets on Friday night. Lopez scored 27 points and hit two free throws with 0.6 seconds to play, and the Lakers blew a nine-point lead in the final 90 seconds before rallying back to beat Orlando 108-107 on Wednesday night.The game ended with a curious sequence of events. When the Magic inbounded the ball at midcourt after Lopez’s free throws, the clock started before anyone had touched the long pass. But because the mistake was technically a clock malfunction, the officials said the teams must have a jump ball at center court instead of replaying the possession, effectively preventing the Magic from getting a final chance to win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Just common sense would tell me in that situation, if the clock started early, just redo the possession,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. “They felt otherwise.”The weird ending ruined an otherwise thrilling finish between the Magic, who have lost nine of 11, and the surging Lakers, who have won six of seven. LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel, hidden in a crowd of Magic players, waiting for a ruling on the final play of the game in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The Lakers won, 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)LOS ANGELES — After the Los Angeles Lakers surged to a big late lead, the Orlando Magic erased it all and even went in front with 5 seconds left. Brook Lopez put the Lakers back ahead in the final second, setting the stage for a momentous finish.Thanks to a mistake with the Staples Center clock, the Magic didn’t even get the chance.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH James delivers in clutch as Cavs shoot down Nuggets Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus
It was Zaheer Khan’s dismissal of Windies opener Devon Smith that opened the gate for India’s win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.Chasing 269, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Smith were batting with ease, rotating the strike at will and milking away at India’s bowling. But, Zaheer got the better of Smith on 81 with his slower ball in the 31st over bringing an end to their 63-run partnership.The opposition lost their third wicket on 154 and that’s where the slide actually began for the West Indies.Man-of-the-MatchEarlier, India posted 268 against the West Indies and it was Yuvraj Singh’s maiden World Cup ton that proved to the highlight of the batting.But that wasn’t all, he came back to deliver the goods with the ball taking two important scalps in the match.Yuvraj Singh earned the Man-of-the-Match award for his all-round performance.
zoom Swedish marine engineering company Fartygskonstruktioner AB (FKAB) has completed the conversion of MV Zhen Hua 32 from a bulk carrier to a heavy deck cargo ship. Owned by China-based ZPMC’s Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited, the converted ship is now able to carry large equipment such as bridge container crane by roll on roll off method.The 2000-built vessel features a length of 235 meters and a width of 43 meters.This is the third conversion carried out by FKAB for ZPMC.At the beginning of 2015, the company converted an Aframax tanker to a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel.The second conversion started in mid-2015 and included MV Zhen Hua 31, a bulk carrier which was converted to a bridge crane and large equipment carrier.
Share Spike Johnson for The Texas TribuneTexas Gov. Greg Abbott, left, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry appeared at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Petra Nova Power Plant in Thompsons on April 13, 2017.First things first: Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest campaign idea isn’t going to lower your property taxes.Property taxes are local. It’s in the Texas Constitution: The state can’t levy a property tax. The governor and the Legislature can’t lower rates. The state doesn’t do property appraisals, either, so they can’t mess with the value of any particular property on the tax rolls.Still, anguish over property taxes is at or near the top of the list of what Abbott and other politicians hear most often from Texans. This is not a complicated part of the civic compact: Voters are peeved. Politicians aim to please. Lowering taxes would make a politician popular with voters.Abbott, who is running for reelection, proposed Tuesday to limit local governments to annual revenue increases of 2.5 percent, require two-thirds of voters to approve additional local debt, attempt to make property appraisal boards more accountable to voters and give taxpayers a little more leverage in disputes over property values.It’s no wonder property taxes are unpopular. Income taxes are based on taxpayers’ ability to pay: Make no money, pay no tax. Sales taxes are somewhat (but not completely) discretionary: Don’t buy stuff, don’t pay. Property taxes can rise even when property owners don’t have the money to pay them. Nevertheless, Texas is dependent on them, and now has the 6th-highest property tax burden in the country and the 12th-highest sales tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation. But just because voters and the people they elect hate income taxes doesn’t mean they love property taxes.State officials in Texas have never found a way to lower property taxes on more than a temporary basis. The last serious effort was in 2006, a school finance makeover that then-Gov. Rick Perry claimed cut school property taxes by one-third. Taxpayers never saw those savings. That 2006 effort took a lot of pressure off of school districts, limiting their top tax rates and pumping more state money into public education, but it evaporated quickly. On a per-student basis, the state pays less for public education now than it did then, according to the Legislative Budget Board. Local school property taxes have risen, in part, because of that decline in the state’s share. The state even uses money recaptured from local school property taxes for general spending on programs that have nothing to do with education.As Perry found (and other governors from both parties found before that), getting a handle on local property taxes is really hard — especially if you’re not one of the local officials who levy those taxes.That’s a particular problem with public education, which is both the largest portion of Texas property tax bills, the most expensive tax to lower, and the local property tax that’s most directly dependent on state spending, since public education spending is shared by local, state and federal sources.Texas legislators came close to capping increases in city and county property taxes last year, but the House and Senate couldn’t settle differences in how much growth to allow without requiring public referenda.Abbott’s latest proposal goes one place they didn’t go, proposing that the state stop imposing unfunded mandates on the local governments whose growth they want to regulate. Cities and counties alike have griped that the state is forcing costs on them and then squawking when taxes go up as a result.“The Legislature should be statutorily prohibited from imposing any mandates on local political subdivisions that impose additional costs without, at the same time, providing the appropriate funding — effectively prohibiting future unfunded mandates on political subdivisions,” Abbott writes. Note that weasel-word “future” — an indication that existing unfunded mandates will remain in place.Even so, the next line in the proposal could have been written by a lobbyist for the cities and the counties in Texas: “Such a proposal must go hand in hand with a property tax revenue cap because the state should not limit the ability of political subdivisions to raise revenue while at the same time imposing additional fiscal burdens on those same subdivisions.”That bit was missing from last year’s legislative proposals, giving the local governments a seemingly legitimate reason to argue against the state’s attempt to cage them on spending.Most of Abbott’s ideas were included in legislation that didn’t pass last year, or in earlier legislative sessions. He’s staying away from thorny school finance issues, though the state’s strongest mechanism for lowering or slowing the growth of property taxes would arguably be to raise its own share of the costs of public education, taking cost pressure off of local districts.To be fair to Abbott, that’s what Perry tried to do in 2006. But if Perry turned out to be wrong on the policy front, he was right on the political front: He was reelected in 2006, and again in 2010.
Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3u From 5-7 P.MWe’ll explore the aftermath of the unrest in Milwaukee after a Black man, who was allegedly armed, was gunned down by law enforcement last weekend. Plus, The Mod Squad, Taya Graham and Stephen Janis of The Real News Network report on politics and law enforcement, including thoughts on repairing the damage inflicted by, “zero tolerance,” policing as reflected in the DOJ report on the BCPD. These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes .