Low Confidence in Gecom & Enthusiasm in LGE

first_imgDear Editor,The ongoing tracking poll being conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) finds widespread dissatisfaction with and declining popularity of the coalition (APNU+AFC) government. There is very low voter enthusiasm among traditional government supporters for this Monday’s local government elections (LGE) and little confidence in GECOM and its Chairman.People are uninterested in the elections, and more concerned about their belly (bread and butter issues) and safety. Voter apathy is greater in the urban areas, with more rank-and-file enthusiasm in rural areas like in the sugar belt that has been hit hard with estate closures.Respondents complain that local government elections are meaningless when too many people can’t make ends meet and are perennially worried they might become victims of criminals at virtually any place; almost everyone is concerned about out-of-control crime. Poverty is also growing.The declining popularity of the coalition government is attributed primarily to the sagging economy, perceived widespread corruption, poor governance, mismanagement, increased unemployment, rising crime, and broken promises, among other reasons.People complain that Government has failed to deliver on promised constitutional reforms to empower local governments (and their elected representatives), leaving them ineffective and powerless to service their constituents. The voters, as well as candidates seeking elective office from both sides of the aisle, say local governments should be vested with powers and resources to manage their own affairs. They also want a system in which they can exercise oversight over the all-powerful national government and arrogant officials who have outgrown their breeches.The survey finds that the opposition PPP is projected to sweep the elections, winning a huge majority of the eighty local organs (71 NDCs and 9 municipalities). The ruling APNU (PNC) and AFC are expected to suffer significant losses even in what are considered to be their traditional strongholds including in recently gerrymandered NDCs and constituencies (seats).It appears AFC is “rotten meat”, as voters are not attracted to its meetings or expressing support for it; APNU is doing better, especially in its strongholds. Still, it would take a lot of ground work to change angry minds to vote for APNU or AFC. Meanwhile, the PPP has been coasting, even making gains in support in some government held NDCs; its leader, Bharrat Jagdeo is enormously popular everywhere, energizing the base. The opposition URP is also making some showing.However, people expressed concerns about the fairness of the elections. Asked if they think, the local government elections will be free and fair, 39% said yes; 53% said no. The findings reveal 57% feel that the government has changed the boundaries (of NDCs and first past the post constituencies or seats) for political advantage; 34% don’t think so.Fifty-nine per cent think government has been abusing state resources for electioneering as opposed to 32% who don’t think so. And a large 84% wants central government (6% oppose) to grant more autonomy to local government to manage their own affairs.There is limited confidence in James Patterson as GECOM Chair. A large 63% do not approve of President David Granger’s appointment of James Patterson as GECOM Chair (as opposed to 21% who do). Asked if they support the appeal court’s ruling on the appointment of Patterson, 24% support it in contrast to 64% who disapprove of it. Some 69% do not agree with GECOM Chairman’s position to refuse United Nations help on elections, with only 11% backing him and 20% not offering an opinion.Asked if foreign observers should have been invited for LGE, 71% said yes with 15% saying no with 14% unsure. When asked if they will vote, some 60% said no. On the subject of which party they will vote for, PPP gets the nod from over 60% and is projected to win a lopsided majority of seats. Surprisingly, many voters are unaware that they can’t vote because candidates in their NDCs won unopposed.People everywhere complain about conditions in the country and if given an opportunity, over 90% say they would migrate to America even with the oil earnings coming on stream in a year.The poll also queried voters on social issues. The findings will be released in a subsequent report.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Gardaí investigating frightening attack on Letterkenny home

first_imgGardaí are appealing for witnesses following a senseless attack on a home in Letterkenny.The residents of a home at Binnion Avenue in Glencar received a fright on Tuesday last when two windows were smashed at the front of their house.The incident occurred at around 11.40pm on Tuesday, 26th March. A Garda spokesperson said that they are not aware of the motive behind the incident, however, they are appealing for information on two youths who were spotted leaving the scene.Anyone with any information which may help the investigation is asked to contact Letterkenny Garda Station on 0749167100 or call the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.Gardaí investigating frightening attack on Letterkenny home was last modified: April 2nd, 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:crimegarda appealglencarletterkennylast_img read more

Crash cleared at village blackspot

first_imgEmergency services have cleared a collision which occurred earlier this morning in the village of Carrigans.The two-vehicle crash on Main Street was believed to have been caused by an oil spill.Gardaí attended the scene of the incident after 7.30am. There are no reported injuries. Traffic is moving as normal, according to AA Roadwatch.The crash is one of many to occur in the East Donegal village, where concerns are repeatedly highlighted in calls for enhanced safety measures. Crash cleared at village blackspot was last modified: April 9th, 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:Carriganscrashlast_img read more

QPR to attend work permit hearing for South Korean defender

first_imgQPR are due attend a work permit hearing for South Korea left-back Yun Suk-young on Tuesday morning.The club’s owners are keen for manager Harry Redknapp to sign the 22-year-old, who currently plays for Korean outfit Chunnam Dragons.Rangers chief scout Ian Broomfield watched Yun in action during last summer’s Olympics in London.Meanwhile, Redknapp is confident QPR are close to signing at least one of the centre-backs they have been pursuing.Click here for today’s QPR quiz See also:QPR confirm signing of Korean defenderRedknapp: Liverpool watched 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Riding the wild Cape winds

first_imgThere are some good spots in Cape Town for beginner windsurfers. This is not one of them. Bart de Zwart tests some high- wind equipment near Cape Point. Big waves give the opportunity to get some speed up coming in to the beach – and to get airborne going back out. (Images: Jennifer Stern)Jennifer SternWhen the wind is howling in Cape Town, most people batten down the hatches. But Stefan Gölnitz, Bart de Zwart, Gunther Baade, Jonas Holzhausen, Manuel Vogel and Frank Lewisch are not like most people. These guys come to the Cape because of the wind, not in spite of it.So the attendant at the gate of the Cape Point section of the Table Mountain National Park had to shake herself out of her inaction-induced reverie to sell them tickets. Not many people were braving the Cape of Storms with a howling southeaster blowing.But it was the perfect opportunity to test some wave-jumping boards and heavy weather sails, so the test team set off to play in the wind and waves.Gölnitz is a journalist for a Surf Magazin, the biggest windsurfing magazine in Germany and – strange as it seems – the best-selling windsurfing magazine in the world.  Germany has well over 100 000 active windsurfers, which makes it probably the biggest windsurfing market in the world. This is partly because the newer craze of kite surfing, which has seduced so many windsurfers away, has not really caught on in Germany to the same extent it has in, say, South Africa.After a short session near the Cape of Good Hope, they moved off to Witsand – a popular spot for experienced boardsailors.  And they went wild. There were a couple of intrepid kite surfers there when they arrived, but they were just getting out the water as the wind was picking up.Cool jobGölnitz has a pretty cool job. He has to do some nice travel articles, and he gets to play on the water more than most people who have regular jobs.But probably his favourite assignment is his six-week sojourn in Langebaan, where he and his colleagues test the latest, newest and hottest windsurfing equipment. They test light weather equipment in Italy, but they have to leave Europe to get really consistent high winds and big seas, so they come to Langebaan.This is the 12th consecutive year the Surf Magazin test team have used Langebaan as a location, and it has become an automatic choice.  “In fact,” Gölnitz says, “if the water was warm, this would be maybe the best windsurfing destination in the world.”Langebaan, he says is the perfect base. The lagoon is calm and protected so they can test relatively light weather gear when the wind is not too strong. When it picks up – as it usually does in the afternoon – they can test racing gear, getting up to tear-blurring speeds across the turquoise lagoon.“And,” he adds, “Swartriet is a short drive away when we want to do wave jumping.“And Cape Town is close by, so we can go to Big Bay to surf or to Cape Point and Witsand. There are so many good sites in just an hour’s drive.”Gölnitz says it’s not only the quality of the wind and sea conditions – fabulous as they are. It’s also the general vibe of Cape Town.  “We’ve done the tests in Egypt and the Caribbean before,” he says. ‘But it’s boring. There’s nothing to do when you’re not sailing. In Cape Town, if the weather is bad, we can go to a movie or to the Waterfront. Or even play golf.”A bit of translation may be needed here. Bad weather for Gölnitz means no wind, regardless of how sunny and warm it may be.They are based for the whole six weeks at the Cape Sports Centre. It’s conveniently right on the beach and it has the facilities to effect repairs if necessary. And it’s the centre of action for windsurfers, kite surfers, paddlers and cyclists with all manner of active happenings going on all the time, so it’s a vibe they can relate to.They need to test an enormous amount of equipment so it’s fortunate for them they have a sponsorship with a German airline, otherwise the cost of flying about 600kg of gear from Europe to the tip of Africa and back again would be prohibitive.  And that’s not even the half of it. The rest is brought over by the manufacturers themselves.International windsurfingThe first week of their stay is a real who’s who of international windsurfing. The top equipment manufacturers in the world fly in to Cape Town with a selection of gear they’d like tested, and then they spend a few days in Langebaan networking, pushing their products and – of course – sailing.After that first week, the team gets down to the serious work of testing the gear. It sounds like a cushy job but it really is hard work.The other five members of the team are not journalists, but are mostly semi-professional or professional windsurfers – either teaching windsurfing or running shops. It’s mid-winter in Germany when any sensible person would be sitting in front of a log fire with a mug of glühwein, or – at most – skiing, so business is slow for the water sports industry.While their skill is an essential ingredient in their being part of the team, size also does count. The team consists of three pairs of sailors of similar weights – two light, two medium and two heavy.And they don’t just go out there and have fun. They will perform specific tasks with a range of different boards and sails, and they take copious notes. Then they spend hours in the evening comparing their opinions, and recording their scores.The result is the most authoritative review of windsurfing equipment in the world. Keen boardsailors from other countries have started to learn German just so they can read it.While it’s not a holiday, and they are here to work, six weeks is a long time so many of the team are joined by friends and family for a week or two, and they certainly enjoy spending time in Cape Town.  They’ve got another couple of weeks, and then it’s back to a European winter – but that’s not too terrible a fate. There’s skiing and glühwein, and Christmas with real trees and homemade stollen.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesInto the big-wave DungeonsThe agony and the ecstacy The adventure starts here Useful linksSurf MagazinCape Sportlast_img read more