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Election Special: So who will be our 37 councillors this Friday?

first_imgTHERE are 37 Council seats up for grabs this coming Friday, May 24th. There will be surprises. Seats will be lost and won. And political pundits will be proved wrong (and right!)….Will there be more than 3 women elected this time around? All that aside, here’s what we think could happen.MILFORD ELECTORAL AREALiam Blaney (Fianna Fail)Maria Doherty (Sinn Féin)Eimer Friel (Fine Gael)Dermot Hardy (Aontú)Noel McBride (Fine Gael)Ian McGarvey (Independent)Charlie McGinley (Independent)Declan Meehan (Independent)John O’Donnell (Independent) The re-creation of the Milford Electoral Area has thrown up an intriguing battle for just three seats, with three sitting councillors running in the area. Cllr Michael McBride decided to run in Letterkenny when the new boundary was announced, feeling he has a better chance of keeping his seat in that area.There is little doubt that Cllr Liam Blaney will top the poll here, maintaining an almost century-long political family link to the constituency.And despite all the headlines over the past couple of years – and a dressing down by the Standards In Public Office Commission for his role in an RTE investigation into planning – Cllr John O’Donnell is tipped to do well and retain his seat (his supporters say they’re getting huge support from mainstream Fianna Fáil folk).That leaves a battle for the third seat and it’s clear that battle is now between sitting Cllr Ian McGarvey (now 89) and 35-year-old mother of twin boys Eimer Friel (Fine Gael). McGarvey is Ireland’s oldest sitting councillor and rumours abound (denied by the McGarvey camp) about him handing over the seat to someone else in a year’s time with even Independent candidate Charlie McGinley also mentioned amongst those who could be gifted the seat after the election.That aside it’s clear the Fine Gael grassroots are backing Friel who, according to party sources, is ahead of running mate Noel McBride who lost the seat (first won by Minister Joe McHugh in 1999) back in 2014.Friel’s advantage is not just her farming background (she also lives in a council house), but her constituency work for McHugh since 2014, helping to deliver millions of euro into local projects and schemes.McBride has been trying to put a brave face on things, but hasn’t got a hope. But Friel will need his transfers once he is eliminated in later rounds in this proportional representation election.A former Fine Gael member, Declan Meehan, has now joined the Thomas Pringle camp and that is being mentioned on the doorsteps in a traditionally conservative electoral area. Maria Doherty (Sinn Féin) is the daughter of one-time party stalwart Pat Doherty but is suffering through a lack of recognition on the ground (she’s been in Dublin for two decades). Dermot Hardy (Aontú) will eat into a traditional republican vote, but Doherty’s run is really against Liam Blaney and it’s a non-contest.So it will come down to Friel v McGarvey… with perhaps the native Irish speaker from Fanad just edging it on transfers, but it’s too close to call.Prediction:Elected – Liam Blaney (Fianna Fáil)Elected – John O’Donnell (Independent)Third Seat – Eimer Friel (Fine Gael) or Ian McGarvey (Independent)LETTERKENNY ELECTORAL AREA: 7 seatsThoiba Ahmed (Independent)Kevin Bradley (Independent)Ciaran Brogan (Fianna Fáil)Donal Coyle (Fianna Fáil)Adrian Glackin (Sinn Féin)Jimmy Kavanagh (Fine Gael)Manus Mandy Kelly (Fianna Fáil)Michael McBride (Independent)Charlie McClafferty (Independent)Cathal McGlynn (Independent)Gerry McMonagle (Sinn Féin)Bernie Moran (Fine Gael)Finnian O’Donnell (Independent)Mary T Sweeney (Aontú) The four female election candidates unveiled by Fine Gael.So where do you start with Letterkenny with 14 candidates chasing seven seats?Sitting councillors are always at an advantage but in this race one or two may be vulnerable.Fine Gael’s Jimmy Kavanagh, Fianna Fail’s Ciaran Brogan and Sinn Fein’s Gerry McMonagle will be returned to Lifford. Who tops the poll remains to be seen.Independents Finnian O’Donnell, Cathal McGlynn and Thoiba Ahmed will struggle to make any real impact.So who will be the second Fianna Fail councillor? Kelly or Coyle? Manus Kelly is probably best placed with his base in Glenswilly and his record on community work, with many seeing him as a natural replacement for the retiring (from politics only!) James Pat McDaid.Donal Coyle gambled on making the Bonagee Link his big campaign issue, demanding that work begin immediately (he even set up an online petition). With Transport Infrastructure Ireland set to begin the Compulsory Purchase Orders for land and initial design for the link next month anyway, it’s a campaign which hasn’t exactly caught the imagination.Questions remain on whether or not Aidy Glackin can retain a second seat for Sinn Féin. Gerry McMonagle’s transfers may play a role in this from a positive point of view – on the downside Charlie McClafferty (Independent) and Michael McBride (Independent) are also chasing that same country vote, with the latter well got in the areOne newcomer to the race is Bernie Moran who is standing for Fine Gael. She has been drawing in support from across the town – and interestingly – from the hinterland too. A nurse and creche owner, she could land a seat in later rounds with a strong first poll and transfers from other candidates.The big unknown is Mary T Sweeney (Aontú) who is essentially a single issue (national issue) candidate who opposed the repeal of the 8th amendment – will she get the old Dessie Shiels vote?Opinions on Kevin Bradley, the bakery owner, vary as much as his range of Highland Bakery goodies, with some tipping him to be the surprise winner of a seat. He has a good campaign team behind him but will he end up with the heel of the loaf? (Sorry!)So in no particular order here’s what we think will happenElected – Ciaran Brogan (Fianna Fail)Elected – Manus Kelly (Fianna Fail)Elected – Jimmy Kavanagh (Fine Gael)Elected – Gerry McMonagle (Sinn Fein)Last three seats – The last three seats will see a battle between Bernie Moran (Fine Gael), Kevin Bradley (Independent), Michael McBride (Independent) and Aidy Glackin (Sinn Féin),  and Mary T Sweeney (Aontú).STRANORLAR ELECTORAL AREA: 6 seatsGarvan Connolly (Fine Gael)Gerry Crawford (Fianna Fáil)Michael De Ward (Indepdendent)Gary Doherty (Sinn Féin)Liam Doherty (Sinn Féin)Martin Harley (Fine Gael)John Hartnett (Aontú)Frank McBrearty (Fine Gael)Patrick McGowan (Fianna Fáil)Alan McMenamin (Indepdendent)Maghnus Monaghan (Renua Ireland)This is another fascinating battle where just one thing dominated the headlines for weeks – would Frank McBrearty run for Fine Gael?Well, as we all now know, the answer is Yes. And it seems most of the party faithful in east Donegal are happy he’s on the ticket. McBrearty is running alongside sitting councillor Martin Harley and newcomer Garvan Connolly.They are three of 11 candidates seeking six seats – with all six sitting councillors expected to perform strongly.McBrearty’s grassroots politics and work with local groups, particularly in Raphoe, should see him returned to Lifford. And Ballybofey publican Martin Harley should also re-claim his seat for a similar record in and around the Twin Towns.Fianna Fail’s due of Patrick McGowan and Gerry Crawford should also be safe bets, with the latter a long-standing supporter of the Lifford Hospital support group.Sinn Féin’s Gary Doherty will be returned to the council. Talk on the ground is that Liam Doherty should also be returned.So is there room for a surprise? Who will be still around when the last seats are being decided may well decide the issue.Independent Alan McMenamin is a long-standing supporter of Thomas Pringle and seems to be the candidate most likely to cause an upset, but it is an outside chance.Former bookie Michael de Ward has been running a decent campaign on social media but doesn’t stand a realistic chance.And Maghnus Monaghan (Renua Ireland) and John Hartnett (Aontú) are both running on the national abortion issue. Whilst this issue is coming up on some doorsteps – we are told 1 in every 25 or so are raising it with the main parties – they are unlikely to take a seat.Whilst it’s highly likely all six councillors will be returned, a number of factors need to be looked at.What damage will Aontú do to Sinn Féin? Will Hartnett take enough votes off Liam Doherty to put one of those seats in doubt and open the way for either McMenamin or indeed Fine Gael’s third candidate Killygordon’s Garvan Connolly who is building momentum? The voters will decide on May 24.Again in no particular order here’s our prediction:Gerry Crawford (Fianna Fáil)Patrick McGowan (Fianna Fáil)Martin Harley (Fine Gael)Frank McBrearty (Fine Gael)Gary Doherty (Sinn Féin)Final seat battle between Garvan Connolly (Fine Gael) and Liam Doherty (Sinn Féin).GLENTIES ELECTORAL AREA –  6 seatsEnda Bonner (Fianna Fáil)Brian Carr (Sinn Féin)John Sheamuis Ó Fearraigh (Sinn Féin)Marie Therese Gallagher (Sinn Féin)Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla (Independent)Michael McClafferty (Fine Gael)Noreen McGarvey (Fianna Fáil)Anthony Molloy (Fianna Fáil)Liam Mulligan (Aontú)Seamus O’Domhnaill (Fianna Fáil)Seamus Rodgers (Labour Party)Evelyn Sweeney (Fine Gael)Liam Whyte (Independent)The headlines in Glenties Electoral Area have been dominated by the internal party war inside Fianna Fáil with sitting councillor Enda Bonner infamously dumped at local convention and then re-instated to the party ticket by party HQ.So now the party has four candidates all on solo runs across this vast electoral area. Geography will play a huge role in an electoral area this size but there’s loads of other factors too.Can Fianna Fáil take three seats? Bonner and current council chair Seamus O’Domhnaill are the sitting councillors. Noreen McGarvey – an assistant to Pat the Cope Gallagher – and former GAA player Anthony Molloy make up the four.If the latter two are doing as well as some party sources say they are, where does that leave Bonner and O’Domhnaill? The four candidate strategy in a 6-seater looks precarious where votes are likely to transfer locally than between the candidates.And Sinn Féin is in a similar predicament with three candidates. Sitting councillor Marie Therese Gallagher is expected to poll well, but what of the other two. Cllr John Sheamuis Ó Fearraigh in Gaoth Dobhair is running again and this time former independent candidate Brian Carr is running in Glenties with some suggestions that he may poll less well with Sinn Féin than he would have done as an independent. Time will tell.The fascinating addition to the campaign is Fine Gael’s two candidate strategy with a rare thing happening – candidates from the same party actually working together.Cllr Terence Slowey (Ardara) has left the council and was Fine Gael’s sole representative in a Glenties area that once held 3 seats for the party.This time around Gaoth Dobhair’s Evelyn Sweeney, who works with Minister Joe McHugh’s constituency team, and former independent candidate Michael McClafferty (Falcarragh) are the party’s candidates.Liam Whyte is the Pringle candidate here but may find his chances being dented by Molloy’s presence on the ticket with both being from Ardara.The other independent Michael Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig is certain to get a seat with some predicting he may even top the poll after the first count. Liam Mulligan (Aontú) makes up the list of candidates.Canvassing teams for Sweeney and Molloy, it seems, have been the busiest throughout the electoral area, travelling the highways and laneways hoping to mop up those extra wee votes outside their home patches which might get them over the line. (Sweeney has made several trips to Ardara and Glenties). If Sweeney, Gallagher and McGarvey were to take seats it would make history – with women taking half the seats in the electoral area.This is our prediction for GlentiesElected – Michael Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig (Independent)Elected – Seamus O Domhnaill (Fianna Fail)Elected – Anthony Molloy (Fianna Fail)Elected – Marie Therese Gallagher (Sinn Féin)Elected – Evelyn Sweeney (Fine Gael)Final seat – a battle between Michael McClafferty (Fine Gael), Noreen McGarvey (Fianna Fail) and John Sheamus (Sinn Fein). The party which works best together might just decide this one.Cllr Niamh KennedyDONEGAL ELECTORAL AREA: 6 seatsSeán Ó Beirne (Independent)John J Boyle (Fine Gael)Cyril Brennan (Solidarity-People Before Profit)Tom Conaghan (Independent)Justin Coughlin (Independent)Diarmaid Doherty (Independent)Billy Grimes (Independent)Noel Jordan (Sinn Féin)Niamh Kennedy (Independent)Pauric Kennedy (Independent)Seamus Maguire (Independent)Philip McGlynn (Fianna Fáil)Eimear McGuinness (Fianna Fáil)Michael McMahon (Sinn Féin)John McNulty (Fine Gael)Valerie McNulty (Independent)Roger Meehan (Fianna Fáil)Michéal Naughton (Fianna Fáil)Barry Sweeny (Fine Gael)Warning – this count is going to take forever with an incredible 19 folks all believing then can take one of the six seats on offer in another vast electoral area running from In Thru to Bundoran. If you’re going along to the count, bring a flask, a rake of sandwiches, three novels and a sleeping bag!“There’s a candidate for every townland,” joked one canvasser this week.So where do you start? We think we have to look at sitting councillors (or seats) to see where at least some of them will be decided.Sitting councillors running again include Cllr Micheal Naughton (Fianna Fáil/Laghey) as well as Independent Alliance’s Niamh Kennedy (Killybegs), Noel Jordan (Sinn Féin/Mountcharles) Tom Conaghan (Independent/Donegal Town).Cllr Seamus Maguire (Independent), recently co-opted by former councillor John Campbell (the Pringle alliance) is a candidate.And Barry Sweeny (Fine Gael) is standing in an area (Ballyshannon) represented by the retiring Barry O’Neill and feedback would suggest the new Barry is just as popular as the old one!Fine Gael also have former councillor John Boyle (Dunkineely) running again and the party’s organiser in the county John McNulty (Kilcar) on the ticket too. Only one of them stands a chance of being elected.While some believe 3 candidates for Fine Gael was a bad idea, then look at Fianna Fail who have come up with four – Philip McGlynn (former Bundoran town councillor), Eimear McGuinness (Killybegs and getting huge support from Pat the Cope), Roger Meehan, the chair of the Naomh Ultan GAA club, who is from Dunkineely, joining former Donegal Ladies senior manager Micheal Naughton on the ticket.Throw in other independents Seán Ó Beirne (Carrick) Cyril Brennan (Solidarity-People Before Profit/Ballyshannon), Justin Coughlin (Donegal Town), Diarmaid Doherty (former Sinn Fein/Bundoran), Billy Grimes (Ballyshannon) and Pauric Kennedy (Donegal Town) and you’re in for some battle of the parishes!Michael McMahon (Bundoran) is the second Sinn Fein candidateIt’s like a Wild Atlantic Way election… a candidate viewing point every few miles.PredictionElected – Niamh Kennedy (Independent)Elected – Philip McGlynn (Fianna Fail)Elected – John Boyle or John McNulty (Fine Gael)Elected – Noel Jordan (Sinn Fein)Fifth and sixth seat could go anywhere….BUNCRANA ELECTORAL AREA – 5 seatsPaul Canning (Fianna Fáil)Nicholas Crossan (Independent Alliance)Terry Crossan (Sinn Féin)Mickey Doherty (Fine Gael)Rena Donaghey (Fianna Fáil)Frankie Lavelle (Independent)Michelle McKenna (Fine Gael)Mark McKinney (Independent)Joe Murphy (Aontú)Jack Murray (Sinn Féin)Sinéad Stewart (Independent)Inishowen has been split into 2 electoral areas for this local election and is throwing up some interesting battles. South Inishowen/Buncrana has 5 sitting councillors running again: Mickey Doherty (Fine Gael), Paul Canning (Fianna Fail), Rena Donaghey (Fianna Fail) Jack Murray (Sinn Fein) and Nicholas Crossan (Independent Alliance).The question is can there be an upset? Can there be a change?Fianna Fail wisely stuck to two incumbent candidates. Donaghey and Canning are safe bets to return.Fine Gael also have two candidates and the question is can they get both home… and if it’s just one, which candidate will take the seat, Mickey Doherty or Michelle McKenna.Doherty lost his seat amid the Irish Water backlash of 2014 but was co-opted back onto the council last July in place of John Ryan who stood down.He only decided to run again recently, by which time the energetic Michelle McKenna had been canvassing for six weeks. Most party insiders say it’s too close to call between them as to who will get the seat. (McKenna has been part of a high-profile women’s campaign featuring Eimer Friel (Milford), Evelyn Sweeney (Glenties) and Bernie Moran in Letterkenny).Jack Murray (Sinn Féin) is certain to take a seat, but running mate Terry Crossan appears to be a step too far for the party.There are a number of independents on the ticket, including sitting councillor Nicholas Crossan and he is a banker to re-take his seat. We don’t believe the other independents have much of a chance here, but do watch Joe Murphy (Aontú) and Sinead Stewart (Pringle candidate) – but both are outsiders.So here’s what we thinkElected: Paul Canning (Fianna Fail)Elected: Rena Donaghey (Fianna Fail)Elected: Jack Murray (Sinn Fein)Elected: Nicholas Crossan (Independent Alliance)Elected: Michelle McKenna or Mickey Doherty (Fine Gael)Election candidate Martin McDermottCARNDONAGH ELECTORAL AREA: 4 seatsTracy Cullen (Independent)Albert Doherty (Sinn Féin)Mary Rose Doherty (Aontú)Marie Duffy (Fianna Fáil)Martin Farren (Labour)Martin McDermott (Fianna Fáil)Arthur Desmond McGuinness (Independent)Bernard McGuinness (Fine Gael)The North Inishowen – or Carndonagh – Electoral Area is perhaps the most predictable area to look at with just 8 candidates chasing the 4 available seats.We can’t see any of the 4 newcomers taking any of the 4 seats held by sitting councillors.Bernard McGuinness (Fine Gael) first raised the Mica issue and has been a noisy voice on it ever since; Martin Farren (Labour) should sail home with support from his base in Moville/Greencastle, Martin McDermott (Fianna Fail) stormed home the last time and will do so again and Albert Doherty (Sinn Fein) took his teacher’s pension early to work as a full-time councillor and is also a safe bet.PredictionElected: Martin Farren (Labour)Bernard McGuinness (Fine Gael)Martin McDermott (Fianna Fail)Albert Doherty (Sinn Féin)Donegal Daily will be at every count next weekend, with breaking results as they happen on our site and across our social media platforms.Election Special: So who will be our 37 councillors this Friday? was last modified: May 21st, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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:Donegal County Councilelection 2019last_img read more

Warriors comeback falls short in 114-108 loss to Thunder

first_imgOKLAHOMA CITY —On the second night of a back-to-back set, a limping Warriors team with tired legs almost completed a comeback win against the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday. In the end, however, they didn’t have enough. Not enough experience and not enough players.With just eight players available for most of the night, the Warriors (2-8) lost to the Thunder 114-108, wrapping up an 0-3 trip that started in Houston and went through Minnesota. Close games against the Timberwolves on Friday and …last_img read more

Improving lives with bicycles

first_imgBicycles offer an efficient way for rural road workers to get on site. Girls from Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha are delighted at their increased mobility. Meshack Nchupetsang at work in the Westlake Bicycle Empowerment Centre. Andrew Wheeldon of the Bicycle Empowerment Network and Helen Zille, mayor of Cape Town, prepare to race through the city’s afternoon traffic – he on a bike, she in a car. The bike won. (Images: Andrew Wheeldon, BicycleEmpowerment Network)Jennifer SternOur world seems a mess. Greenhouse gases are choking the planet, the cost of almost everything is skyrocketing, and people spend so much time either at work or commuting, they hardly get to see their families.Technological development hasn’t really freed us from the drudgery of manual labour – it’s just created another form of drudgery. People work so hard to afford the trappings of “the good life” they hardly ever get to appreciate all they’ve accumulated.That’s just some people, though. The rest – the vast majority – are desperately trying to get by, struggling to find work, feed their families and educate their children. They live in areas with limited infrastructure so they end up paying more for transport, electricity and other services. And both the have-lots and have-nots spend far more time in traffic than is healthy.These problems sometimes seem insurmountable. If only there was a magic pill that could make it all better – clean the air, give us time to get some exercise and smell the daisies. There isn’t a magic pill, but there is a fabulous invention that can effectively address a number of these issues.It’s called the bicycle.Devised by Englishman James Starley in 1869, this spectacularly efficient machine was embraced with enthusiasm at the time, but it is only in the last few decades that its many advantages have been recognised.It’s not exactly a magic pill, but it has the potential to solve some of the world’s ills. And the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) is one of many organisations that advocate this humble invention as an effective tool in reshaping our world for the better.BEN’s goal is to promote the use of the bicycle to improve mobility, health, access to education and community cohesion, create jobs, empower people and offset carbon emissions.To do this, the organisation has three main programmes. It distributed bikes to people who need them, trains these people in bike maintenance and road safety, and works with national and local government to develop effective bicycle infrastructure, particularly in the Western Cape.International collaborationBEN grew out of Afribike, an organisation set up to distribute bicycles to people who could not afford to buy them. In 2000 Louis de Waal and Andrew Wheeldon were, separately, asked to help manage the Western Cape section of Afribike, which they did. It didn’t last long but, out of its ashes, BEN rose in February 2002. In August that year Wheeldon took a fund-raising trip to the US and Europe, and returned with enough resources to get BEN running sustainably.In the US he met with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and managed to secure four years of funding for BEN, to tie in with their Access Africa project and supply California bikes to people in the Western Cape.Wheeldon then went to Utrecht in the Netherlands, and met with the Interface for Cycling Expertise (ICE) from whom he secured funding for a four-year project called Locomotives, or Low Cost Mobility Initiatives, which was aimed at working in cities to improve cycling infrastructure at every level.The project ran from 2003 to early 2007, after which the Bicycle Partnership Programme, which provides direct assistance to municipalities to look at bike planning, replaced it. Through BEN, ICE has chosen partners in three focus cities in the world: Nanded in India, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Cape Town.Not a free rideMost of BEN’s donated bicycles go to schoolchildren to help them to get to school safely, quickly and cost-effectively. The organisation also donates bikes to home-based health workers, rural road workers and community-based organisations.The bicycles come free of charge, but there is a sweat equity involved. Recipients must attend a two-day workshop in bicycle maintenance and road safety before they take possession the bikes.  Most of the bicycles are new, but some are rebuilt second-hand cycles from Europe. BEN started off in 2002 with ITDP’s California bike, a low-cost, high-quality and rugged bike that is great to ride and easy to maintain, designed especially for conditions in developing countries. After handing out more than 2 000 California bikes, BEN formed a partnership with Shova Kalula in 2004 and began to distribute the Giant Commuter Bike.Shova Kalula, isiZulu for “pedal easy”, was started by the then South African minister of transport, the late Dullah Omar, 2000. The programme originally aimed to distribute 1-million bikes throughout South Africa by 2010 by appointing service providers in each of the nine provinces, a process that is still under way with some of the provinces not yet on board.The programme hit a few hitches but by 2004, when BEN became the Western Cape service provider, it had been revived. The initial target of 2010 was a bit ambitious, but there is a good chance that the million bicycles will be distributed by 2015.Between 2002 and 2008 BEN distributed some 6 000 bicycles in the Western Cape, and plans to hit a target of 25 000 by 2010 and 100 000 by 2015. Every bike comes with a helmet, a pump, spares and a lock.Safety on the roadWhen BEN donates bikes to schoolchildren they work out the route that each child will travel to school. With the children they identify high-risk areas such as large intersections, and devise ways to minimise risks.They also encourage the implementation of school “buses”. These are not big diesel-belching behemoths, but rather a group of learners who all live in the same area or along the same route. The older children in the group start off to school, picking up the younger bus members en route, and at the end of the day escort them home, ensuring greater visibility, safety in numbers, and security for the littler cyclists.While BEN trains all the recipients in basic bicycle maintenance, the organisation also recognises the business opportunities that can be accessed, particularly if the number of bicycles in an area increases. To this end they have set up Bicycle Empowerment Centres in a number of Western Cape communities.These are small business opportunities for the unemployed, who are trained in bicycle maintenance and business skills, and then helped to set up a bike repair facility. So far, eight centres are up and running. There is one in the pretty Boland town of Riebeek Kasteel, one in the depressed, drought-stricken Karoo town of Merweville, and six in Cape Town – one each in Mitchell’s Plain, Masiphumelele, Westlake, and Capricorn Park, and two in Hout Bay.Bicycle infrastructureProbably the most important long-term programme BEN is involved in is the creation of bicycle infrastructure in cities.  In March 2006 the organisation successfully won the rights to host Velo Mondial in Cape Town.Velo Mondial is a global cycling conference that, every six years, brings together bicycle advocacy groups, politicians, engineers, planners, industry reps and other interested parties. Held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the conference attracted 350 delegates from 41 countries. BEN used Velo Mondial as an opportunity to showcase cycling to Cape Town and South Africa generally.As a result of the conference, the Cape Town Declaration – an undertaking to increase non-motorised transport facilities and infrastructure in the city – was signed. This led to the formation of a non-motorised transport forum (NMT).Wheeldon was the chair of NMT between June 2006 and June 2008, but it is now being driven by the City of Cape Town, although BEN is still involved. Other than BEN, the forum is made up of road engineers, consulting engineers, the Pedal Power Association, University of Cape Town Department of Urban Planning and Built Environment, and representatives from the Western Cape Departments of Transport and Public Works, and the City Council Environmental Resource Unit and its Department of Transport. The NMT forum meets monthly to discuss the planning, budgeting and implementation of non-motorised transport infrastructure projects.The plan is to make Cape Town a truly bike-friendly city where people can commute by cycle to work and school in safety in a scenic and traffic-free environment. So far, the NMT has started construction on a bicycle and pedestrian route that will stretch from Rondebosch to Salt River, following the Liesbeek River and traversing the proposed Two Rivers Urban Park. It is scheduled to be complete by June 2009. Other aspects of cycle infrastructure include safe bike parking and showers as standard in office blocks.Sounds good, you might think, but who has time to cycle to work? To get an answer to this, Wheeldon challenged Helen Zille, the mayor of Cape Town and leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, to a race – she in a car, he in on a bike.Zille, an incurable workaholic and one of the busiest people in Cape Town, gladly agreed. Racing Wheeldon from her office to her home, she started off by pulling away from him but had to watch him zip past her once she hit the traffic, and found him leaning on his bike at the garden gate when she got home.The 8km trip took 13 minutes by bicycle and 21 minutes by car. Let’s not even get started on the costs involved.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesSocial development in South AfricaBikes for Africa – from bamboo Useful linksBicycle Empowerment Network Pedal Power Association Interface for Cycle Expertise Institute for Transportation and Development Policy European Network for Cycling Expertiselast_img read more

SKA to ‘change image of SA, Africa’

first_img31 August 2012 The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope and its precursor, the MeerKAT, will create enormous opportunities while helping to change the image of South Africa and the continent, says Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. Speaking at The New Age Business Briefing in Johannesburg on Friday, Pandor highlighted the importance of the SKA. She said it would be most significant radio telescope ever built with the building to take place in South Africa and eight partner countries, along with Australia and New Zealand. The SKA would change perceptions of Africa, with international experts now coming to Africa to do their best research. “Who comes to South Africa to actually do their best research? They come here to examine us, to find out how poor we are … It’s an absolutely different image of the continent,” Pandor said. “[They will] not be here to exploit our diamond, gold and platinum but to say, I want to do iconic research on an iconic telescope.” South Africa is preparing to build the 64-dish MeerKAT, a precursor to the SKA, alongside the planned SKA site in a radio astronomy reserve near the small town of Carnarvon in the Northern Cape. Also known as the Karoo Array Telescope, the MeerKAT will be the most sensitive centimetre-wavelength radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere, constituting 25% of the first phase of the SKA’s mid-frequency array. Pandor said plans for the construction of the MeerKAT telescope had begun and the laying down of the antennae would start early next year. Observation time on the MeerKAT has already been booked far in advance by astronomers from around the world – indication of the capabilities of South Africa’s engineers and scientists, Pandor said. “We are really thrilled that the science of astronomy can be a boost for building the level of science interest and careers we want to see in our country.” The SKA also provided massive opportunities for South African-based high technology content companies, she said, adding that building a knowledge-based economy would give South Africa a basis for sustained economic growth. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

South Africa moves to stabilise mining

first_img18 June 2013 Key players in South African mining, during a meeting chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in Pretoria at the weekend, agreed on a draft plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector. In terms of the draft plan, the parties agreed to speed up transformation in the mining sector to ensure that ordinary workers see real change, with the government committed to speed up the process of upgrading human settlements in mining towns and improving infrastructure to support growth in the sector. Mining management committed to managing miners’ issues more constructively, to take measures to protect staff members from violence and intimidation, and to develop protocols for security and law enforcement. And labour committed to manage workplace conflicts by identifying and dealing with root causes, while also educating workers on labour relations and the bargaining process. The meeting was convened amid heighted tensions between rival mining unions with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) over bargaining rights at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg, where 44 people died during labour unrest last year. The government has committed to increasing police visibility after two fatal shootings involving mineworkers were reported in the area recently. After the Marikana tragedy, President Jacob Zuma appointed a judicial commission of inquiry, currently under way in Pretoria, to probe the circumstances that led to the deaths. “The parties recognise that the mining industry is central to South Africa’s economy, job creation as well as the need to strengthening the mining sector in these difficult global conditions,” Motlanthe told reporters after the meeting. With the annual wage talks looming, Montlanthe said that, for the next two weeks, the parties would engage in a consultative process to determine how best to avert potential conflicts. Motlanthe said there was broad commitment from all parties to achieve industrial peace and ensure that the mining sector continued to play a central role in South Africa’s economy. “All parties will work jointly to identify sustainable support measures required by the sector. Government will ensure that legislative and regulatory programmes provide stability and certainty for the industry,” Motlanthe said. The government would undertake an assessment of economic and social conditions in the mines and would take steps to prevent the abuse of workers by unscrupulous micro lenders, including reviewing regulations on garnishee orders. In the draft framework agreement agreed to on Friday, the parties acknowledge that the rule of law has been lacking in the mining industry, leading to some of the conflict which they all said could have been avoided. “The parties commit to restore industrial peace and that where there are disputes, those disputes are resolved through engagement, and with the support of government,” Motlanthe said. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Holidays are a busy time for turkey farmers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The holiday season ensures a busy time of year for turkey farmers and 2016 has been no exception. Bowman and Landes Turkeys of New Carlisle  have been specializing in free-range gourmet turkeys since 1948 and the tradition continues today.“In our business, we have a lot of focus on the whole turkey market for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is definitely what we would consider our busy season. We hire a bunch of additional employees to help us get through it,” said Drew Bowman, part of the third generation involved in the business. “We have a large focus on providing whole turkeys, breasts, and roasts for the grocers of the world. But we also work with the food service side — restaurants, colleges, catering — so we have a year-round business as well.”With catering to such a niche sector of the market, Bowman commented on the state of their business.“It’s been going well for us,” he said. “We do not raise commodity turkeys per say, we are raising our turkeys free range and they’re never given any antibiotics and they’re raised on an all vegetable fed diet with no animal byproducts. Certainly not the cheapest turkey around, but we think we have the best quality turkey out there. The demand is high for them.”The nature of any animal product meant for the holidays means the business has to get in the holiday spirit a bit earlier than most.“We’re raising a lot of our turkeys starting in the summer months, but when it really starts to pick up here is late October basically through Christmas. That’s absolutely our busiest season,” Bowman said. “That’s when we’re processing the turkeys and doing all of our packaging and distribution. The turkeys take between 16 and 20 weeks to raise, so we’re raising those all throughout the summer and fall and we normally raise some turkeys in the wintertime as well. We definitely stay busy all year around, but predominantly mid-October through December is certainly our busiest time of the year.”Bowman said in their dealings with the whole turkey market, they’ve found customers of theirs surprised by aspects of livestock farming that may seem natural to the more rural-inclined.“Just the care with which we raise our turkeys — not many people these days are raising their turkeys free-range,” Bowman said. “People can come to our farm and see our turkeys being raised in an environment where we raise some completely on our pastureland once they’re old enough, and others are raised in barns with access to go outside. A lot of people in this day and age are really surprised and happy to see that.”last_img read more

Disseminating Building Science Knowledge

first_imgThe utility company recognized that the greatest opportunity for impact was in reducing the base load energy requirements in new construction, and the greatest opportunity to effect that change was through design.The classic change mechanisms are subsidies for energy-saving equipment, or maybe even the lure of a quick plan review if energy efficiency is included in the design. But this is premised on sufficient knowledge on the part of the architects. Thus, the greatest point of impact is in the training of the architects – hence, the job description for my new Turkish friend. He is tasked with providing technical support and training to architects. Very smart. RELATED ARTICLES Embarking on the Building Science Learning CurveCarl and Abe Write a TextbookPassive House Institute U.S. Starts Training BuildersPassive House Training Streamlined RESNET Launches Standards Program for Energy-Audit TrainingLEED Can Change, Part Three: The Education Program The greatest opportunity to effect change is through designI recently met a colleague from Turkey who said he was an architect working for a utility company.“In what context?” I asked.“To learn and to teach” he said.Apparently, this utility company needed to balance electricity demand with generating capacity. Since the number of users keeps rising, the only way to balance the equation is by reducing the per capita consumption — especially on new construction. Each time I meet with the “choir” of sustainable builders or building scientists, I gain more knowledge and solidify the existing knowledge I have. The only problem is that the members of this choir are often fairly constant, and the tune we sing is the same: “How do we teach our song to the masses?”This isn’t a topic that should remain confined among a select few; we need energy savings, resource regeneration, and sustainability in all manners — now! BLOGS BY VERA NOVAK Jobsite Communication: Creating a DialogueShades of Green: the 1970s vs. the Millennial GenerationBe the Change You Want to See in the WorldDesign for DisassemblyThe First National Green Code — or Communism? It’s time to move past experimentationHow else can we disseminate the knowledge? Back when I worked in the ICF industry, our field staff provided training sessions to building officials and architects. Most of the professional trades need some ongoing educational credits, and usually welcome the opportunity to learn about new products and systems.On the educational front, it is long overdue for all the Architectural / Engineering / CAD Technologies programs to include a solid base of information in building science. And it’s time for research to move past the models, the experiments, and the software innovations to concentrate on getting these ideas to market. Do they pencil out? If not, how can we improve our material costs, become more efficient in the delivery, and gain the benefits of volume?It is time to be asking the hard questions. And, like my Turkish colleague, it’s time to rethink the distribution of responsibility for sustainability. Because at this point, sustainability should be part of all of our job descriptions and goals. Dr. Vera Novak was recently awarded a PhD in Construction by Virginia Tech. Her work is dedicated to increased depth and breadth of sustainability in construction, by leveraging the points of greatest potential impact. She is currently working on optimizing corporate sustainability practices to support regenerative design, as well as adapting a lean thinking process for smaller scale projects. She also writes the Eco Build Trends blog.last_img read more

Syama Prasad Mookerjee son of Bengal: Trinamool

first_imgThe death anniversary of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee on Saturday, triggered a fresh controversy in Kolkata, with attempts by the Trinamool Congress to appropriate the political icon.Two Cabinet Ministers of the Trinamool government, Firhad Hakim and Sovandeb Chatterjee, participated in an event organised by the State government in south Kolkata’s Keoratola crematorium.Not only did the Ministers garland Mookerjee’s bust, but they also called the leader one of the “great sons of Bengal”. “There is no politics in this. This does not make us BJP or the BJP the Trinamool Congress,” Minister of State for Power, Sovandeb Chatterjee, said.State BJP president Dilip Ghosh despite welcoming the move, said that “it had come too late”. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha was more critical of the ruling party and accused the Trinamool of “using Maoists to vandalise the leader’s bust in March 2018”.last_img read more

Jennifer Nierva still learning to keep emotions in check

first_imgPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jennifer Nierva. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Jennifer Nierva had herself one heck of a turnaround.National University’s rookie libero was downtrodden when the Lady Bulldogs lost to Far Eastern University, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22, in their previous game in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Nierva tallied 30 excellent digs and 27 successful receptions in the game that ultimately eliminated the Lady Maroons from Final Four contention.NU, which was officially eliminated from the semifinal race several weeks prior, improved to a 4-9 record while the Lady Maroons dropped to 6-7 making way for University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University to lock up the last two Final Four spots.“When you’re a libero, you shouldn’t be emotional, you have to be steady always,” said Nierva. “Your attitude should always be straightforward to your teammates so you can always motivate them.”ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:19Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 201302:42PH 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewcenter_img View comments Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated PBA fines Christian Standhardinger, Calvin Abueva, Doug Kramer for Game 2 antics Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Nierva tallied just 12 excellent digs and 13 successful receptions and those numbers did not go well with the freshman as she left Filoil Flying V Center in tears.Just three days later, Nierva got back on the UAAP playing floor and completely showed University a defensive masterpiece in NU’s 25-21, 26-24, 17-25, 23-25, 17-15 victory Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsNierva said it was unbecoming of her when she broke down after NU’s loss to FEU and that, as the team’s libero, she should always remain composed for her teammates.“I shouldn’t be like that,” said Nierva in Filipino. “As a libero you should always play with consistency especially I’m the only libero in the team. Even if I commit an error or if I did something wrong, I should be composed as possible.”last_img read more

Supporting Salman because he is promoting sports: Salim Khan

first_imgMumbai, Apr 28 (PTI) Scriptwriter Salim Khan has once again defended son Salman Khans appointment as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian Olympic contingent, saying he cannot be called unfair as he did not support the superstar in other controversies.”Winding up. Salman has been in controversy for the last 25 years regularly. Not a single time I supported him. I was known as a fair person.”Now first time I support him on my belief that what he is doing is right. Instead and alcohol or tobacco he is promoting sports,” Salim wrote on Twitter today.Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and sprint legend Milkha Singh had raised eyebrows over IOAs decision to go with the 50-year-old Bollywood superstar over a sportsperson.Salims earlier tweets, where he took potshot at Milkha Singh claiming Bollywood “resurrected” the sports personality from “fading away”, were mocked by social media users.”And I am called unfair, arrogant and asked to apologise. Oh lord forgive them for they know not what they do – Jesus,” Salim wrote. PTI BK BKlast_img read more