Dear Editor,The current difficulties being experienced by members of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament in getting information regarding millions of dollars in funds provided by Central Government since 2015 to the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, though disappointing and worrying should come as no surprise to anyone in this country.Financial management at the Georgetown Municipality has to be the worst not just in Guyana, but surely breaks a record in this region and possibly across the globe.The fact that City Hall’s yearly budget is never published in a detailed way to be scrutinized by the public is no oversight on the part of the Council, it is deliberate. The fact that Council gives out hundreds of millions of dollars yearly in contracts without adherence to the policies and guidelines of the National Procurement & Tender Administration (NPTA) of Guyana is no mistake on their part, it is intentionally and knowingly done in order to award grossly bloated contracts to friends and family.It is just unimaginable that the Council would have been allowed to avoid having its accounts, its financial records and its systems audited during the life of this Council and the previous Council from 1994 to now. Which other public entity in this world would be allowed such laxity?But most worrying in all of this is that in spite of this well-known negligence and venality that has been going on at City Hall, successive central governments have been bailing them out with billions of dollars over the last 24 years without insisting that their books be audited. Simply incredible!Expenditure allocated by Parliament for the Ministry of Communities should have never been handed over to the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown, without strict conditionality and should have been stringently monitored every step of the way. Handing over hundreds of millions of dollars to the City Council was asking for trouble, the trouble that the PAC is now encountering.The members of the PAC should not expect answers or explanations to the discrepancies discovered any time soon, because the Council is not accustomed and is unwilling to answer to anyone regarding its errant behaviour.The Audit Office of Guyana has admitted that it has been awaiting the supply of the documents for several months from the Georgetown Municipality. It must be pellucid by now that none are forthcoming.I wish the Public Accounts Committee and the Audit Office of Guyana, the best of luck in unraveling the mysteries of the Georgetown Municipality. There are so many secrets there, so many hidden facts that a book could be written of the City Council.Sincerely,James Mc Onnell
Leroy Fer’s second goal of the season gave QPR a deserved half-time lead at Ewood Park.The Dutchman applied the finish from Junior Hoilett’s right-wing cross midway through the opening period.Former Blackburn man Hoilett looked particularly bright against his old club, having a cross-cum-shot saved in the opening minutes.QPR twice had hearts in mouths, first when Shane Duffy nodded just wide from a corner and then when Joe Lumley, making his first league start in goal, fumbled Corry Evans’ shot but saved Jordan Rhodes’ follow-up.Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side were always a threat on the break, utilising the pace and directness of Hoilett and Matt Phillips.The goal came after good work from Sebastian Polter, one of eight chances to the side that lost at Nottingham Forest on Saturday in the FA Cup.He sent Hoilett clear and the winger’s delivery beat Phillips and Blackburn keeper Jason Steele before being put in by Fer.Steele later saved from Polter while at the other end, Lumley got behind a Ben Marshall effort.Blackburn: Steele, Marshall, Duffy, Hanley, Spurr, Bennett, Evans, Akpan, Conway, Lawrence, Rhodes. Subs: Raya, Henley, Brown, Olsson, Williamson, Taylor, Lenihan.QPR: Lumley; Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Konchesky; Faurlin, Henry; Phillips, Fer, Hoilett; Polter. Subs: Hudnott, Angella, Chery, Luongo, Tozser, Mackie, Petrasso.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
After navigating the educational offerings, the product rollouts, and the more celebratory rituals that accompany the International Builders’ Show, which for three days in January took over the Las Vegas Convention Center, it may have been hard to stay focused, or even awake, once it was all over.But for those trying to up their game in the energy efficiency and green building realms, there was at least one principal takeaway touted by the convention’s host, the National Association of Home Builders, which highlighted the American National Standards Institute’s approval of the 2012 ICC 700 National Green Building Standard for residential construction.Both NAHB and the International Code Council have for several years been partnering on the development, through a consensus process, of the NGBS. The first ANSI-approved iteration of this effort was the 2009 ICC 700 standard, which has four levels of compliance: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald, in ascending order of stringency. Emerald compliance was intended to reduce energy consumption by a projected 65% below estimated energy use achieved by meeting minimal requirements of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).The 2012 version of the ICC 700 standard ups the ante a bit by referencing the 2009 IECC, whose requirements, the NAHB and the ICC say, will increase energy efficiency performance by an estimated 15% over the 2006 version of the IECC. RELATED ARTICLES ANSI Approves NAHB’s Green Building StandardGreen Rating Systems for Home BuildingWhat Is Green Certification, And How Does It Work?Talking the Green Code Talk, but Walking the Walk SlowlyWhat’s Happening to All the Green Building Programs? Pennsylvania Builder Lands NAHB Green’s First Emerald Rating Scoring revisions, and the next IECCThe 2012 ICC 700 also includes two significant sets of changes: revamped scoring criteria for remodeling projects and incentives for choosing lots in developments that have been certified to ICC 700 or an equivalent program. The scoring changes for remodeling projects include criteria, pegged to the specific compliance level being sought, for whole-building improvements in energy efficiency and water efficiency. The ICC 700 update also provides a green protocol for renovations of functional areas of the home, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and basement.While builders certainly can opt to meet energy efficiency performance standards that surpass those identified in the 2009 IECC, it will be a while before the ICC code-development process delivers a fully vetted IECC update. The deadline for submitting code-change proposals for the 2015 IECC was January 3, 2013, with much of the rest of this year devoted to committee actions and public comment.One of the participants in the process is, of course, the Department of Energy, whose website includes a breakdown of the IECC changes it has proposed and, therefore, a preview of where at least some of the 2015 IECC edition might be headed. (The ICC is scheduled to release a compilation of proposed changes on April 1.)In terms of energy efficiency, the DOE proposals focus on subjects such as window performance (relative to building orientation and shading), roof/ceiling resistance to heat gain, a heat-recovery system requirement for mechanical ventilation in colder climates, upgrades to domestic water-heating systems, and sensors for lighting controls.The current version of the ICC 700, meanwhile, is available from NAHB Builder Books for $35.95 ($31.95 for NAHB members).
A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Augmented Reality#Google#Google Glass#marketing#pornography Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… sarah rotman epps Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Google’s Project Glass deserves plaudits for innovation, not just for the device itself but also for the process by which Google is developing and marketing the product. Studying product strategy and marketing as a Forrester analyst for almost nine years, I have never seen a company do what Google is doing: launch an entirely new form factor in such a transparent, inclusive way.The Google Glass RolloutA bit of history: Google debuted Project Glass publicly in April 2012, first on Google Plus and then on Sergey Brin at a charity event for fighting blindness later that week. From the beginning, Google X (the R&D lab that developed Glass) asked for feedback from the public on its Google Plus page.At Google I/O last June, Google demoed videos taken with Glass while skydiving and mountain biking (notably, the top comment on YouTube as I write this article is how Glass will revolutionize POV porn) and offered developers an opportunity to buy an “Explorer Edition” for $1,500.Google Glass In The Real WorldFast forward to 2013, and real developers, reporters and consumers are using Glass and talking about their experiences. The latest development in the Glass rollout is the #ifihadglass campaign: a contest for consumers to say on Twitter or Google Plus what they’d do with Glass and win an opportunity to participate in the Explorer program.Glass is still months or even a year away from launching as a consumer product, but its transparent product strategy — exposing the evolution of the product to developers, reporters and consumers — will help Google avoid the pitfalls of its past product launches. Google TV has been an expensive flop. Android tablets took two years to catch on. Chromebooks have not yet been a commercial success.Google released both of those products (Android for tablets and ChromeOS) and iterated post-launch; with Glass, it is opening the kimono before launch, and that will make a world of difference.Marketing Hardware Like SoftwareThis is software product strategy applied to hardware. In the software world, it’s common to release a beta version internally and then externally, improving the product before general release. In hardware, some small companies like Pebble are doing this but before Glass, there was no precedent for a major hardware launch to be so transparent. Secrecy is the norm in hardware, lest competitors get wind of what you’re doing and race to Taiwan to copy you.Apple is the best example of pre-launch product secrecy. Google’s transparent Glass strategy not only helps Google avoid the mistakes of its own past, it’s also Google’s best weapon to compete against Apple. Rather than compete on Apple’s terms, Google invents its own terms. It’s not just “Google-level design,” it’s Google-level marketing. And it’s working. Google received thousands of responses over a weeklong period to the #ifihadglass campaign; tech blogs – including ReadWrite – and mainstream media like The Today Show amplified the story.Social Market ResearchThe insights Google gathers from #ifihadglass submissions can help shape product development, app development and product marketing. For example, if you read the #ifihadglass tweets, you see that most of the submissions relate to sharing a point of view literally from someone’s own eyes, whether that’s for charity or sport or shopping. That’s what’s getting people really excited — Glass is tapping into a deep human need to be understood and share experiences with other people. A smaller number of posts relate to augmented reality — having data overlaid on physical space, whether that’s for entertainment or navigation or fixing something. Google product strategists and marketers don’t have to guess what excites people about their product — they already know.There are several important implications of Google’s transparent product strategy for Glass. First, I think the company will see unprecedented success for launching a pretty futuristic product — Glass will succeed at scale where similar products like MyVu and Looxcie have not. The success of Glass — and the marketing leading up to its launch — will have a halo effect for Google Plus, which Google is using as the hub for Glass conversation. (And I imagine, the default place to share photos and videos taken with Glass will be your Google Plus page.) The bottom line: Glass will be the next great platform to innovate for, and should be on every company’s radar. Glass will be the next Pinterest, Facebook, Amazon and iPhone all rolled into one.I am not looking forward to Google Glass POV porn, though.Image courtesy of Google. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts
With a number of cases already pending before the anti-doping disciplinary panel, those involving six top quarter-milers of the country seem to be heading for another long battle after Wednesday’s hearing was adjourned for October 5.Defence counsel R K Anand sought reports on the second test of one of the athletes from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) due to which the hearing had to be adjourned.Ashwini Akkunji, Sini Jose, Mandeep Kaur, Jauna Murmu, Priyanka Panwar and Tiana Mary Thomas appeared for their second hearing in the dope cases but there were hardly any arguments exchanged.The defence had sought the documentation package of all the athletes from NADA in the previous hearing. The packages of all the athletes were furnished but it came to light that Tiana tested positive for anabolic steroids in two different tests conducted by NADA – at the inter-state championships in June and an out-of competition test in Patiala.That gave Anand an opportunity to ask for the documentation package of the second test and the hearing had to be adjourned even as the prosecution lawyer asked for it to go ahead with the available documents on other athletes. But chairman of the disciplinary panel Dinesh Dayal allowed Anand another long period to prepare his case.According to the NADA rules, the hearing has to be completed within three months but often the cases have dragged on for months and in some cases, for more than a year. In fact, a few months back, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also pulled up NADA and asked it to hasten the hearing process. It was only then that NADA woke up to ask the disciplinary panels, which are independent bodies, to pick up the pace in the hearing processes.advertisementOn Wednesday, a three-member panel headed by Dayal also adjourned the hearing in the cases of 11 sports persons who tested positive for methylhexaneamine (MHA) last year.The MHA cases have been going on for close to a year, if not more than that, but the disciplinary panel hasn’t been able to come out with a verdict due to various delays at the pretext of some missing documents or the other.As the case dragged on, NADA stepped in and requested the panel to accelerate proceedings. A time-bound schedule for the hearings was proposed this week, but the hearing has now been adjourned till October 7.Seized or provided?The tests on the food supplements provided by the quartermilers have returned positive but it throws a serious question on what can be tested at the National Drug Testing Laboratory (NDTL) and what not.Besides, there is no clarity on whether the food supplements that were tested there were seized or voluntarily provided by the athletes.It has been reliably learnt that NADA never collected the food supplements from the athletes. It was the Sports Authority of India (SAI) which collected the samples at the behest the Mudgal committee, which is looking into the dope cases in athletics, and passed them on to the NDTL. However, as per the rules, NDTL cannot conduct tests except if the request comes from NADA or from any other national sports federation.Another question that arises is whether the supplements that have returned positive tests are the same as those substance found in the samples provided by the athletes.The banned substance, which has been found in the supplements, is ginseng and if brought to the notice of the panel, it may help the athletes to get a reduced sanction on the basis of “No fault or negligence clause,” mentioned in the NADA code.But for that, the hearing process will have to come to some conclusion which does not seem likely in the near future.Panel head pleads for more staffThe anti-doping disciplinary panelists, who decide the fate of India’s top athletes caught in the drug mess, are finding it hard to carry out their work in the absence of the required facilities.Justice CK Mahajan on Wednesday was once again critical of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for the lack of staff for him and other panelists. “I have been asking for a dedicated staff for hearing proceedings for a long time but I have got nothing,” said Mahajan as he got ready to dictate his order to a NADA official.It is just one official who has been designated to help the anti-doping disciplinary and appeals panel with its daily proceedings. Besides, the official also goes out for sample collection to various places outside the Capital and then has to maintain all the legal and laboratory records of the athletes which are to be provided to the panelists.advertisementAlso, he has to double up as a stenographer as well when the anti-doping panel dictates its order. On Wednesday, when another official came to take the order on a laptop, Mahajan made his displeasure clear.”It will take three days to dictate the order,” he said. Following his comments, one of the lawyers came in to take down the order.
June 19, 2013 Here are photos from the first day of our Juneteenth event this past weekend. It was a day filled with wonderful music, delicious food, and lovely people.At 1:30pm, Billy Mitchell, Ray Carter and Brian Messenger took the stage, delighting the audience with songs from everyone’s favorite jazz artists, ranging from Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Miles Davis and more. Billy Mitchell was on piano and vocals, Ray Carter on electric bass guitar, and Brian Messenger was on the guitar.(Photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Julia Dorn-Giarmoleo)Here they were accompanied by Leslie Daniels on the drums, Julian Davis on the harmonica, and vocals by Mel Bridges.Here is a closer look at Julian Davis’s harmonica serenade, along with Billy Mitchell and Brian Messenger.Around 3pm legendary saxophonist Richie Cole came on stage, playing with Sean Brogan on the upright bass, Rick Jones on the trumpet, and two members of the Groovin’ High Trio, trumpeter Patrick Adams, and his brother, Nicki Adams on the piano.Here’s a closer look at saxophonist Richie Cole, featuerd guest artist of the event.As the afternoon progressed, the music moved to a smaller stage set up in the vaults, where the returning band Six Feet brought a rock ‘n roll vibe to the event. Pictured here are David Maez on the keyboard, Rick Cucuzza on the Chapman Stick and guitar, and David Paez on drums.
09Jan Rep. Berman joined by family for opening of the 100th Legislature Categories: Berman News,Berman Photos State Rep. Ryan Berman of Commerce Township was joined by his family at the state Capitol Wednesday to officially open the 100th Michigan Legislature. Rep. Berman was administered the oath of office by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman.FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Kathleen Dreifus (mother), Stacie Berman (wife), Sloane Berman (daughter), Morgan Berman (daughter), Ron Berman (father), Laurie Winston (mother-in-law), and Tom Berman (brother).