JCSA calls for INSPORTS board to resign

first_img LEADERSHIP BREACH “I must alert you (board) that the JSCA will be calling for the replacement of the board and particularly you (Anderson) as chairman, as we have seen where your leadership of the organisation has breached all public bodies’ guidelines, acts and regulations. Mr Andrews cannot be held liable for any decision taken by the board that he is forced to comply with, despite his declared concerns,” highlighted Grant. Efforts to reach chairman of the INSPORTS board, Anderson, for comments via telephone proved unsuccessful, as all calls went unanswered. The JCSA letter was copied to Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Alison McLean, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs. Loris Jarrett, deputy financial secretary, Ministry of Finance and Public Service, the ministry’s financial secretary, Devon Rowe, Mrs. Pamela Monroe-Ellis, auditor general, auditor general’s department, all members of the INSPORTS board and Andrews. UNHEEDED CONCERNS The Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) has again called for the resignation of the entire board of directors of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS). This position, it said, was made on the grounds of a second round of attacks on the agency’s administrative director, Ian Andrews, with regard to having his signing authority removed, as well as its proposed action regarding retirement and contract extension of staff. Last year, the Don Anderson-led board rid Andrews of his signing authority – which is part of the administrative director’s job description – a decision that was overturned after a directive by the Ministry of Finance. Now, the INSPORTS board is headed in the same direction. However, the JCSA, which represents government workers, has filed a strong response. In a letter dated April 27 to board Chairman Don Anderson, President of the JCSA, O’Neil Grant, revealed that they were in receipt of two correspondents sent to Andrews (April 8th and 14th) by Anderson on behalf of the INSPORTS board. Grant raised a number of concerns and insists that the action proposed by the board is “ridiculous” and “untenable” and clearly violates the statutes and regulations applicable to government entities. The letter highlighted that the board had failed to heed concerns pertaining to the institute’s governance and reminded its members of the Civil Service and the Ministry of Finance’s concerns that the agency is regulated by rules governing public-sector bodies, that the board is not an executive board and has no authority to revoke or appoint signing powers, cannot authorise who signs or who does not, or has any authority or privilege to sign cheques. It also objected to the board’s interference in deciding staff retirement and reassignment. “The board is acting beyond its scope and authority in removing senior staff from signing on behalf of the institute without cause,” said Grant. “Furthermore, your letter (April 14) indicates you (board) have informed the banks that staff are not to sign cheques. This is an absurd request, they (bank) cannot ignore the legitimate signatures approved by the Ministry of Finance how signatories must be assigned or removed from government accounts.” He continued: “Any decision by the administrative director is legal and binding. You have indicated that you will decide as a board who should retire or have employment extended. “To be so involved in the day to day issues of staff retirement and reassignment is another ridiculous stance as these persons are treated under the Civil Service Pensions Act,” Grant stated in his letter. Although citing the board’s instructions as “untenable”, the JCSA head advised Andrews to comply with the directives until, but specified that the administrative director cannot be held liable or responsible for any decision taken by the board.last_img read more

Peace River Regional District News Letter

first_imgAttached below is the latest news letter from the Peace River Regional District – Advertisement –last_img

Installment plan may be besttax solution

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – It’s a chilling moment that many small business owners go through at this time of the year, when they realize they don’t have enough money to pay their income taxes. They need to start working immediately on two solutions – first, how to pay their tax now, and second, how to avoid the problem in the future. Many owners in this situation understandably feel some panic when the realization sinks in that the IRS will be expecting money that they don’t have. Some might be tempted not to file their returns – but that’s not an option that anyone should consider. Not filing a return on time subjects a taxpayer to steep late-filing penalties in addition to late payment penalties and interest. They might also be thinking of filing for an extension of the filing deadline. That’s not likely to help owners with a funds shortfall; even when they get an extension, they still have to estimate their tax liability and report that amount to the government. Accountants say small business owners do have options, but they should all be considered carefully, since all carry financial consequences. For example, the one that might seem the easiest, dipping into credit cards, can also be the most expensive, considering that the interest rate on cash advances often run 20 percent or more. Another one to avoid is to divert payroll tax money to pay income taxes. Barbara Weltman, a tax attorney in Millwood, N.Y., and author of “J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes,” noted that business owners can be personally liable for payroll taxes that aren’t paid. Many owners decide the solution is to raid their retirement accounts, or to tap a home equity line of credit. These are viable options, but owners need to consider the penalties that can be incurred by withdrawing money from a 401(k) or other retirement account, and the loss of investment income they’ll suffer. And diminishing the equity in their homes will add another monthly payment and can also limit their financial options for the future. Jeffrey Berdahl, a certified public accountant with Berdahl & Co. in Center Valley, Pa., suggests owners consider an installment payment agreement with the IRS. “The IRS is user friendly to work out some kind of installment plan,” he said. Generally, the IRS says you cannot be turned down for an installment agreement as long as you don’t owe more than $10,000 and you’ve timely filed your returns and paid any tax due during the previous five years. You also cannot have entered into a previous installment agreement during that time. And you must pay the amount you owe within three years. If you owe more than $10,000, you can still request an installment agreement, but Berdahl said you might need approval from an IRS district office, and chances are you’ll need to furnish the government with more financial information. To apply for an installment agreement, you need to file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request; if you’re filing the form with your return, it must be attached to the front. You can download the form from the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov; it includes instructions and an explanation of how the installment agreement works. You will need to pay late payment penalties and interest, and generally there is an administrative fee of up to $105. Before you sign any papers, you should do some number crunching – and maybe even get some advice from a tax adviser – to be sure that this indeed the best and most financially sensible way for you to deal with the problem. There’s a larger problem that an owner in this situation needs to deal with: how to avoid being in the same predicament in the future. The first thing an owner needs to do is figure out what went wrong, and this might best be accomplished with some professional help. Often, the problem is that an owner doesn’t have a good handle on the company’s cash flow. In that case, he or she needs to set up a better accounting system, or get someone to help them keep track of their finances. Equally common is an owner just doesn’t set aside money for taxes. Weltman suggested owners set up a tax account, which is an interest-bearing account separate from business or personal accounts, and deposit money there so it’ll be available at tax time. While a tax account can help any business, Weltman noted that people whose business is freelancing can be especially vulnerable to tax money shortfalls if they don’t set aside some of their earnings for taxes. “They take money in, collect a fee like $1,000 and look at it like it’s money to spend,” she said. “Put 25 percent of it away automatically so the money will be there.”last_img read more

Immigration rally targets Bush plan

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “People are really upset,” said Juan Jose Gutierrez, president of Los Angeles-based Latino Movement USA, one of several organizers of today’s rally. “For years, the president spoke in no uncertain terms about supporting immigration reform … then this kind of plan comes out and people are so frustrated.” The proposal has been sharply criticized by Hispanic advocacy groups, Democrats, the Roman Catholic Church and unions that have many immigrants in their ranks. They argue the cost of work permits and the green card application – which could total more than $20,000 – are prohibitive for low-wage earners. When 500,000 people marched the streets downtown a little over a year ago in support of illegal immigrants, many were angry over a proposal to build hundreds of miles of new fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and criminalize anyone who lent a hand to undocumented immigrants. Immigrant advocates say similar discontent could push several thousand to come out for a rally today. This time the proposed reform is coming from someone immigrant communities had long considered an ally: President George W. Bush. The White House’s draft plan, leaked last week, calls for a new “Z” visa that would allow undocumented workers to apply for three-year work permits. They would be renewable indefinitely, but would cost $3,500 each time. To get a so-called green card, making them legal permanent residents, illegal immigrants would have to return to their home country, apply at a U.S. Embassy or consulate to re-enter legally and pay a $10,000 fine. last_img read more

‘I’ll be astounded if Keane joins Everton… bigger sides should be in for him’

first_imgStuart Pearce is ‘astounded’ by reports Michael Keane will join Everton and not one of the Premier League’s leading clubs.The Burnley defender is understood to be closing on a £25million move to Goodison Park as the Toffees continue their summer spending splurge.But Pearce, the ex-England captain, cannot understand why the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United aren’t battling to sign the 24-year-old.Speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, he said: “I’ve got to say, if Everton get there before any of the top four, five or six, I’ll be astounded.“I saw him at the back end of last season and he had grown so much as a player – and I think there is more to come from him.“If I was one of the bigger sides, I would get in and get there before Everton.“I think if Everton get there before them they have signed an extremely good central defender that is going to improve and maybe even move on for bigger money when he eventually goes.”last_img read more


first_imgThe heartless thieves who attacked a 96 year old woman stole a “substantial” amount of money which she was saving to have new windows put in her home.Frail pensioner Margaret ‘Greta’ Lilly is recovering at Letterkenny General Hospital after being punched and gagged by her attackers.At least one man broke into her home at Aghilly, Buncrana in the early hours of Saturday morning. The man, dressed in dark clothing and wearing a balaclava punched Ms Lilly in the ribs before escaping with her handbag.The terrified pensioner, who lives alone, managed to raise the alarm by pressing a 24 hour panic alarm at 12.30am.Sources last night revealed the thugs managed to get away with a “four figure sum” which Ms Lilly had saved for new aluminum windows at her home.“Greta is very house-proud and she was so looking forward to having her old windows replaced. “Her house is spotless and she had been planning for ages to get the new windows in.“I doubt if she’ll be able to get them now,” said the source.Ms Lilly remained at Letterkenny General Hospital today where she is described as being in ‘good form’ but ‘shook-up.’Her injuries are not understood to be serious.Ms Lilly does not have relatives living locally in Co Donegal but receives daily home help visits from the HSE. Local TD Padraig MacLochlainn, who lives just 100 yards from the victim, said the local community will look after Ms Lilly when she finally gets out of hospital.“There is a great community spirit in Buncrana and we will make sure she is looked after when she gets out of hospital.“We will assist her and her family in any way to ensure security at her home is stepped up and that people call in to see her,” he said.Gardai have been conducting door-to-door enquiries since Saturday’s raid as part of their overall investigation. A Garda spokesman appealed for anybody who may have noticed anybody near Ms Lilly’s house on Friday evening or early Saturday morning to contact them.However, a statement yesterday said there was “nothing new at this point” in regard to the investigation.THIEVES STOLE ‘WINDOWS’ MONEY FROM 96 YEAR OLD PENSIONER was last modified: January 7th, 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:assaultbuncranaPENSIONERtheftTHIEVES STOLE ‘WINDOWS’ MONEY FROM 96 YEAR OLD PENSIONERlast_img read more


first_imgA SICK stalker who harassed a family for six days whilst they were grieving over the death of a son showed no empathy towards his victims, a court has heard.Stephen Flood, 19, from Carnasaul, Kilmacrennan but now living in Gortlee, Letterkenny, bombarded members of a family in Convoy with hundreds of sickening phone calls and text messages.During one session he sent 68 text messages over a four hour, period – some of them urging a member of the family to take their own life in the same way another family member had done 18 months earlier. Judge Paul Kelly, who heard the case at Letterkenny District Court, said he had read victim impact statements given by members of the family and they found their ordeal to be “extremely distressing.”“I couldn’t begin to imagine how these events must have effected all the members of this family,” said the judge.The sickening harassment lasted for six days and six nights from  November 15th to 21st 2011 when family members called in Gardaí. Flood however faced just one charge of harassment and stalking.Sgt Jim Collins, who investigated the case, said Flood had gotten to know some family members through mutual friends.Judge Kelly said that he had read probation reports prepared for the court and could find no remorse whatsoever from Flood.“I’m concerned about his lack of insight into his behaviour as set out in the probation report and the lack of empathy towards this family,” said the judge.“It must be a torment for them for it to be brought up yet again,” he said, looking at the victims at the back of Court No1 in Letterkenny.Even Flood’s solicitor acknowledged this.“When I try to speak to him (Flood) it is like staring into a dark pit because he won’t say anything to me; there is an emptiness when it comes to his own well-being,” said defence solicitor Patsy Gallagher“When I try to do my best for clients I speak to them but he won’t say anything to me; his demeanour and the way he holds himself is of concern. He even has an uncaring attitude towards himself,” said Mr Gallagher.Judge Kelly told the court: “I am very conscious of the grievance and distress caused to this family and in particular to the young members of the family….who were coming to terms with a very grievous loss.“The defendant has expressed little in the way of insight or understanding of his impact on the victims.“They have been very courageous with the way have come forward and in their victim impact statements which detail all too graphically the pain and suffering they have gone through.Mr Flood, he said, should be acknowledged for having pleaded guilty to the charges.“He has at least spared the family of having to give evidence and I am obliged to take that into consideration but I also have a detailed probation report which I must also take into account. He has no convictions prior to this incident.“He (Flood) needs some attention from the probation service – for the sake of others in the community.”He sentenced Flood to serve 180 hours community service in lieu of 9 months in prison.Judge Kelly said Flood should attend for medical and/or psychiatric counselling as directed by the probation service.Any breach of those conditions would trigger the prison sentence.Judge Kelly concluded the case by offering his deep condolences to the family.SICK STALKER WHO HARASSED SUICIDE TEEN’S FAMILY ‘SHOWED NO EMPATHY TOWARDS VICTIMS’ was last modified: January 21st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:chargedGortleeguiltuharassmentJudge Paul KellykilmacrennanletterkennystalkerStephen Floodlast_img read more

Motormouth Shannon Sharpe, citing no one, believes Warriors don’t want Kevin Durant back

first_img“I like to talk. I admit it. If I can’t talk, I’m crippled, blind, deaf and dumb.”— Former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe to Sports Illustrated before Super Bowl XXXIIIt appears Sharpe can’t talk and think at the same time. On Tuesday morning, appearing on FS1’s “Undisputed,” he gave birth to the most ridiculous Kevin Durant conspiracy theory so far. In fact, he just might have retired the trophy.Sharpe, based on nothing but the chirping of the birds in his head, asserted that the Warriors …last_img read more

A Tale of Two Falsifications of Evolution

first_imgIn diatribes against creationists, evolutionists have long pointed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria as examples of evolution in action.  Since antibiotics were unknown before the 1920s, debaters have taunted their creationist opponents with the claim that evolution is such an observable fact, we’re watching it happen right before our very eyes. The force of that argument has been undermined with a new discovery this week that pushes the “evolution” of such resistance way back before human civilization arrived.  Another article is claiming that human brain chemistry existed way, way back, “long before animals, brains and even nerve cells existed.” Antibiotic resistance:  An article on Science Daily began, “Scientists were surprised at how fast bacteria developed resistance to the miracle antibiotic drugs when they were developed less than a century ago. Now scientists at McMaster University have found that resistance has been around for at least 30,000 years.”  Gerry Wright and other McMaster scientists analyzed DNA from Arctic permafrost and found the genes for resistance there, including a gene for vancomycin resistance that was thought to have evolved in the 1980s. “We then recreated the gene product in the lab, purified its protein and showed that it had the same activity and structure then as it does now.”  (They noted that this is only the second time a protein has been reconstituted from ancient DNA.) Wright pondered the quandary raised by this find: “Antibiotic resistance is seen as a current problem and the fact that antibiotics are becoming less effective because of resistance spreading in hospitals is a known fact.  The big question is where does all of this resistance come from?”  It can no longer be seen as a recently-evolved trait in bacteria.  In fact, the McMaster team expects to find these genes in samples going back a million years, according to evolutionary dating. This requires a significant alteration of the evolutionary story.  “Antibiotics are part of the natural ecology of the planet so when we think that we have developed some drug that won’t be susceptible to resistance or some new thing to use in medicine, we are completely kidding ourselves. These things are part of our natural world and therefore we need to be incredibly careful in how we use them,” Wright said.  To rescue evolution, he turned to the personification fallacy:  “Microorganisms have figured out a way of how to get around them well before we even figured out how to use them.”  Lacking a brain, no microorganism has the power to figure out anything. Microbe brains:  In New Scientist, Michael Marshall titled a story, “Your brain chemistry existed before animals did.”  Dirk Fasshauer and team at the University of Lausanne found “a pair of essential neural proteins called Munc18/syntaxin1” in choanoflagellates – single-celled organisms from early life history in the evolutionary timeline.  “The finding is intriguing on its own, but much more significant when combined with a growing body of evidence that essential brain components evolved in choanoflagellates before multicellular life appeared.”  The proteins exhibit the three main functions of neurons: “carrying electrical signals along their bodies, signalling to their neighbours with neurotransmitters, and receiving those signals.”  This means that these proteins could not have emerged under some evolutionary pressure to invent brains or even central nervous systems.  To rescue evolution from this new finding, the article had to revise the story: “The choanoflagellates have a lot of precursors for things we thought were only present in animals,” says Fasshauer.  Today, says [Harold] Zakon [University of Texas at Austin], the nervous system seems “unbelievably complex”, but evidence from these tiny organisms suggests it was built up from several simple systems, which evolved separately for different reasons.  For instance, Fasshauer suspects M. brevicollis uses Munc18/syntaxin1 to secrete chemicals, much like neurons use it to release neurotransmitters. The very idea of a “precursor,” however, runs contrary to Darwinian theory.  Evolution, being blind and without foresight, cannot create a precursor to anything that might be useful in the future.  Nor can evolution evolve anything for “different reasons,” since there were no reasons, nor reasoning, for anything in the brainless age of choanoflagellates.  Darwinian theory was intended to rid science of teleonomic explanations (i.e., that organisms use proteins to secrete chemicals or neurons use proteins to release neurotransmitters).  Once again, the escape route taken by these researchers to save evolution was the personification fallacy, ascribing reasoning and planning to single-celled organisms. To repeat a principle that bears repeating in these commentaries, it’s not that evolutionists are unable to concoct a story to explain surprises in the data.  They are, after all, gifted storytellers.  It’s that the data require a story to maintain a belief – and to evade falsification.(Visited 115 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

University extends reach across Africa

first_img25 August 2014The University of Cape Town (UCT) has launched a suite of online postgraduate programmes as part of a strategic initiative that will enable students across Africa to study with high-touch interactive support.UCT’s Faculty of Commerce‚ in partnership with online education company GetSmarter‚ is now offering three postgraduate qualifications online‚ in “blended learning” mode, as part of the Across Africa initiative. Blended learning combines the use of a flexible and cutting-edge interactive online education platform with face-to-face learning.The Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Marketing and the Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management will start in February 2015, with applications currently exceeding 145 and 111 respectively. The UCT Board Course will also be available via online format.“With an interactive high-touch design, our Across Africa programmes encourage styles of learning and engagement that go well beyond what can be implemented in the traditional lecture hall,” Don Ross, dean of UCT’s Faculty of Commerce, said at the media launch of the Across Africa educational initiative last week.“Rich, real-time student communication with lecturers, tutors and one another during all stages of learning is now possible.”The Across Africa learning model combines the use of a cutting-edge interactive online platform with a high-touch support model, which provides learners with direct access not only to their fellow students, but also a dedicated course coach (an academic) and a course instructor (an industry expert).Across Africa MD Jacques Rousseau commented: “Having road-tested the Across Africa online education platform myself in teaching a class of 1 500 students, it is clear that students appreciate – and greatly benefit from – the opportunity to work on their own schedules, as well as to receive peer and instructor support virtually on-demand.”The launch of the programmes has the potential to exponentially increase access to education. Currently, UCT is limited by its face-to-face intake. Diploma programmes in the commerce faculty are currently limited to about 80 students, whereas in the Across Africa format there is scope for class sizes in the hundreds.The Centre for Higher Education Transformation, which lists South African public higher education key data, indicates that there are over 2.7-million school leavers who have not undertaken education or training, or who are unemployed.“The provision of online education in South Africa allows universities such as UCT to expand the access of high-quality education beyond campus borders in an attempt to lessen these figures and to provide continuing education for graduates,” the university said in a statement.“UCT moved swiftly since the government granted it the right to offer distance learning qualifications last year. This was partly thanks to the university’s preparation to move in that direction through the presentation of short courses in partnership with GetSmarter.”GetSmarter CEO Sam Paddock said the cutting-edge delivery mode of UCT’s industry-aligned programmes gave working professionals the opportunity to retain full-time employment and advance a career in their chosen field, while formalising their skills with a top-tier tertiary qualification.“It is a privilege to partner with such a forward-thinking university to deliver these esteemed postgraduate diploma programmes to learners across Africa,” Paddock said. “We look forward to opening the doors of opportunity for those seeking to advance their learning through part-time, distance education.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more