A brand new highway to hell

first_imgDear Editor,I am a resident of the East Coast of Demerara (ECD). I am happy that we have a new smooth wide and clear road that will ease the traffic on the East Coast corridor in rush hour or traffic build-ups. But I am also sad. Sad that the level of engineering put into this project was even worse than the planning of a circus.There were absolutely no public consultations on the design, a design meant for use by the public. Public consultations are very lucrative in the design process as it aids in ensuring the end product will be absolutely useful for its intended purpose without impacting the daily lives and businesses that reside immediately along the corridor. In developed countries, these designs are available online for public constructive scrutiny and criticisms, however, this was not the case for this project.The engineers at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) treated these designs as if it were their personal heirloom and put it safely into pandora’s box where no one but the contractor and consultant had access to it. By guarding these designs, they perfectly preserved the flaws that eventually budded into the new ECD highway of hell. And by hell, I mean literally – all hell started from the inception of construction.If one were to gather data on the accidents caused by improper road safety in the construction period, one would be alarmed at the frequency and amount of damages caused to vehicles by construction pits that were literally left open or unlighted construction zones. Driving home in the nights was a challenge also because the entire construction corridor was unlit most times.To top it off, common sense was not a part of the planning process in the traffic diversions during the construction period especially during rush hour because this was not taken into consideration during the design process. The MPI is fully aware of these standard operating procedures of which are presented and reviewed in the design process utilising traffic data and studies collected and analysed.To make matters worse, the IDB Country Rep to Guyana resorted to Facebook to highlight the nonsense that was happening after being stuck for hours in the construction zone traffic jam. If this was an IDB-funded project, the contractor may have either been immediately terminated or heavily sanctioned for the nonsense that was allowed to take place.Most embarrassing is the fact that Geoffrey Vaughn, the coordinator for the Work Services Group (WSG), an engineering arm of MPI who are the ones responsible from the client end to oversee the project, traverses this corridor on his way to work and back every day and allowed the circus to entertain the play of citizens’ lives for the entire duration of this project, which, in my opinion, is criminal.The MPI was responsible for sanctioning the consultant who was responsible for the management of the project and seems to have failed miserably. I do hope media houses would do a little more research to add to my letter with all the incidents and accidents during the construction phase and the loss of life associated.The main reason for me writing this letter is, however, the lack of proper engineering which was supposed to be adopted to form the guidelines along which the whole project was designed. From previous knowledge and information received from a few longstanding engineers at MPI, the code usually adopted for road design is the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials). An engineering review, should it be done, would show that this code, or no code, was adequately adopted or even properly consulted for the project design and construction procedures. The contractor was literally allowed to do as they pleased and the Consultant (E & A Inc) seemed like toothless poodles for the entire project.There are sections of the roadway that are definitely licensed to kill, take for example the southern dual carriageway from Good Hope to Mon Repos Market, which literally cuts down in width to approximately half the roadway without a transition or even safety signs placed there. If one were to consult the Guyanese critic page, there was an instance whereby after a lengthy blackout, there were two serious accidents where vehicles catapulted into the stalls that were left at the end of the broad section of the roadway.There is also a mistake in the transition coming out of the Good Hope cremation site and Fullworks Auto Spares junction, whereby the transition lane is placed on the wrong side of the median but all these are overlooked. One of my greatest questions is, where are the comments from the Guyana Association of Professional Engineers (GAPE) or any of the senior reputable engineers of this country on this?They are supposed to be watchdogs for engineering projects but they are toothless poodles, like the consultants. The signature of this highway to hell is the lack of engineered lighting design which would have adequately lit the roadway in the night and reduced blind spots.A proper road engineer would tell you to either put good lights or no lights on a road as this becomes a hazard. The MPI cannot defend my points highlighted because they have not done such designs and simply plucked an existing duck and placed it in the pot.But little do they know that each type and manufacturer of lights have their own unique properties which would define the placement and height of lamp poles. This malpractice is adopted across Guyana with confident ignorance and only political gains to accomplish.Finally, on this “hellway”, I would like to let the MPI know that the lack of consultant oversight will lead to long-term disaster on some of the drainage structures which were not done to even the locally adopted construction standards as I have witnessed uncompacted backfill being done to a few culverts and all engineers know the importance of compacting backfill and for those who know, I suggest that they inform the consultant on this road project.I forgot to mention the gross neglect of temporary diversion signs during construction which should have been in place until the final road markings and signs were erected but this was not done and is yet another instance of malpractice which led to many disastrous accidents which went uncompensated by the contractor and blindsided by the consultants.Who has to bear the nightmare both physically and financially of this hellway? Yes, it is us the regular taxpayers. We have to pay for the sloppy work and feel it even more when there are accidents.The MPI acted like a lost dog for the entire project and still have no clue that they have been delivered yet another Chinese failure akin to the 69KV GPL lines and interconnecting substations which were subject to endless politicised football blame games and the Skeldon Horror House. But all politicians can do in the time of disaster is point their rotten fingers on the other guy and absorb the insanity. Wake up Guyana!Sincerely,Name providedlast_img read more

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Firefighters at Station 125 really deliver

first_img“In the last five years, we’ve had two pregnant women on their way to Kaiser in Woodland Hills not make it to the hospital in time and have to stop here to have their babies,” said Capt. Tom Duda. The first child, little Johnny Ireland, turned 5 last week and his mother brought him by the station – as she does every year on his birthday – to thank the guys. Friday, Dina Weiss did the same thing with her baby, Moshe, who just turned 1 year old. She brought along a birthday cake, balloons and her mother-in-law, Leah Weiss. Leah was in the back seat with Dina last year as her son, Yitzchak Weiss – Dina’s husband – drove the family car in a great simulation of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. “It was the eve of Passover, two hours before sundown, and the freeway was bumper to bumper,” Leah said. “Dina was starting to feel like she had to push, and I was trying to keep everyone calm. Dave Brown delivered the baby. Mike Nava cut the cord. And Jon Galiher? He just stood there with a catcher’s mitt waiting for the little guy to come out, the firefighter said Friday. Welcome to Los Angeles County Fire Station 125, just off the Ventura Freeway at Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas. Around these parts it’s known as “the quick stop before Kaiser.” “We called 911 and they put us on hold. We got off at Lost Hills Road and Yitz was driving up on the shoulder of the road trying to get through the traffic jam. “People were honking their horns and yelling at him. It was crazy.” And that’s when they saw it – the most beautiful sight the family of a woman in labor could ever see: The quick stop before Kaiser. Yitz hung a U-turn and pulled into the fire station parking lot right around 4:30 p.m., honking his horn and yelling that his wife was having a baby. Nava, who was in the kitchen getting ready to start cooking, turned around and said, “Hey, guys, looks like we have a job out in the parking lot.” You gotta love firefighters and cops. Nothing ever seems to rattle them. Nava and Galiher went out and removed Dina from the back seat, calmed everyone down, put her on a stretcher, and carried her inside. Meanwhile, Brown, an ex-medic, was soaping up to deliver his second baby in five years. “We barely got her on the bed and she was ready to deliver,” he said. “Had to be less than five minutes. There were no problems. The little guy was ready to come out.” While Brown handed Moshe to a crying, relieved Dina, Nava cut the cord. Galiher stood there with his catcher’s mitt on just in case. “Moshe, these men were there when you were born,” Dina told her baby Friday, thanking the guys again. Moshe didn’t seem to care. The kid was too busy playing with a toy fire engine given to him by the firefighters at the quick stop before Kaiser. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.com (818) 713-3749 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Funds allocated to aid groups

first_imgThe money helps provide hot showers, meals, clothing, travel vouchers, motel vouchers and shelter for mothers with small children, Castellano said. Senior citizens in West Covina will also benefit from the grants. A total of $70,000 will go directly to the Senior Citizen’s Assistance Program, which is operated by the city at its Senior Center. Although the 15 community groups who requested funding asked for $347,625, the city can only provide $261,000, officials said. Of that, $140,000 will go to the elderly; $46,000 will go to youth; $23,500 will go toward the homeless; $30,500 will go to food pantry programs; $18,000 will go to programs assisting victims of violent crime; and $2,500 will go to families in crisis, according to staff reports. frank.girardot@sgvn.com WEST COVINA – Seniors, victims of domestic violence and the homeless learned this week how much government money they will receive this year through Community Development Block Grants. The grants, totaling $261,000, will be distributed to 15 programs that benefit residents of West Covina, officials said. The money, actually federal tax dollars, comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among the groups receiving money is the Hacienda Heights-based East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless. The group will receive $13,500 for fiscal year 2007. That’s up from the $10,000 the group received in the last fiscal year. A good portion of the funding will directly benefit as many as 225 residents of West Covina officials classify as homeless. (626) 962-8811 Ext. 2717160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Interim City Hall still undetermined

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Harper said the city would be willing to purchase the property and sell it once it has no use for it. The property owner is reluctant to sell and would rather lease the facility for about $20,000 a month. The length of a potential lease is also longer than what the city would like, he said. “Conditions are extremely crowded to the point that the addition of new staff to meet the growing service needs of the community is prevented due to the lack of space,” according to a city staff report. “The electric power capacity of the main City Hall building has been reached or exceeded and frequent power service interruptions have been experienced.” Assistant City Manager Hugh Riley said the negotiations will continue. “We’re grossly overcrowded,” he said. “We’d like to consolidate all the departments in one place.” Currently, there are about 50 full-time workers and about 30 part-timers. Employees are spread all over, and the departments are scattered in different locations throughout the downtown area. A new $17 million City Hall and civic center, currently in the design phase, has been on the council’s top 10 priority projects for years. Completion is at least three years away. Angie Valencia-Martinez, (805) 583-7604 angie.valencia@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MOORPARK – The search is on for an interim City Hall, with the development of a new Civic Center still years away. City leaders appeared to have found a potential spot at 5156 Commerce Ave. but are still negotiating a deal. The matter was pulled off the City Council agenda Wednesday, pending an agreement between the city and the property owner. The recommendation last week sought the council’s permission to acquire and convert the two-story building to an interim City Hall. But the council postponed a decision because of the conditions being negotiated. “Our staff is very cramped in the existing building,” said City Councilman Clint Harper of the facility at 799 Moorpark Ave. “The City Council and mayor had to give up the one desk we share … we were booted out of City Hall. It’s that tight.” last_img read more

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RYAN McHUGH NAMED ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

first_imgDONEGAL’S Ryan McHugh has been named Ulster All Star Player of the Year.Ryan was given his award at a ceremony in Armagh tonight attended by the top players in Ulster.Earlier he was one of six players from Donegal named in the 15-man Team of the Year. McHugh has had a sensational season; bagging two goals in last Sunday’s win over Dublin at Croke Park. RYAN McHUGH NAMED ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR was last modified: September 5th, 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)last_img read more

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Madison Williams throws two-hit shutout, Humboldt State beats Cal Baptist in West Regional opener

first_imgChico >> On a day where runs were at a premium, the Humboldt State softball team needed its senior ace to pitch like one.Madison Williams did just that.Williams was simply brilliant in Humboldt State’s opener of the Division II Softball Championships on the campus of Chico State, as the senior right-hander struck out a season-high 15 batters — one short of her career-best total — in a two-hit shutout and led the second-seeded Jacks to a 1-0 win over the Lancers on Thursday afternoon.She …last_img

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Davis blasts walk-off home run, Samardzija wraps up his 2019 season with a gem

first_imgClick here if you are having trouble viewing the slideshow on a mobile device.SAN FRANCISCO — Legendary Giants outfielder Willie Mays met rookie Jaylin Davis during the team’s last homestand.Mays, a Hall of Famer and perhaps the greatest player in baseball history, had simple advice for the struggling prospect.Relax and have fun. After slugging his first career home run to send the Giants home as walk-off 2-1 winners over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, Davis is heeding the …last_img

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Raiders’ Derek Carr on Chiefs showdown: ‘We better show up or they’re going to beat us by 50’

first_imgIt’s not as if Raiders quarterback Derek Carr hasn’t done this before, taking the podium and trying to put some kind of spin on a one-sided loss.He hadn’t done it in a while, though. Not since the Raiders were pummeled 34-14 against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3 have the Raiders dealt with the long, agonizing flight home after getting manhandled.And next up for Carr is Arrowhead Stadium and the Kansas City … Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.last_img

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Bok squad bolstered for home tests

first_img23 September 2013Springbok coach Heynecke Meyer has bolstered his squad ahead of South Africa’s upcoming Castle Lager Rugby Championship home tests against Australia and New Zealand.Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit returns to the Bok camp having overcome the sternum injury that forced him out of the South African squad earlier this year. He has recently played two full matches for The Sharks.Centre Juan de Jongh, after failing to crack the nod for the trip to Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, is also back in the line-up.‘Great’“It’s great to see Pieter-Steph back in action and I have to commend The Sharks for the good work they’ve done on getting him back to full match fitness,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said in a statement on Sunday.“He has always been part of our long-term plans and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back into the Springbok fold.“Juan is an experienced player and will slot back into the squad with ease as we start our preparations for the test against Australia at DHL Newlands on Saturday.”Fourie du PreezScrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who was superb when he came on as a substitute in the Boks’ 73-13 thrashing of Argentina in Soweto, is once again in the squad. The agreement with his Japanese club Suntory Sun Goliath is that he is he is available for South Africa’s home tests.After the Springboks’ highly controversial 29-15 defeat to New Zealand in Auckland, which subsequently resulted in the International Rugby Board withdrawing the red card handed to Bismarck du Plessis that forced the Boks to play 50 minutes with only 14 players, they trail the All Blacks by four points in the Championship standings.The Kiwis, after four wins in four outings, have 18 points. South Africa has 14 points from three wins, while Australia is on four points after edging Argentina 14-13 in Perth last time out. The Pumas prop up the table with two points.Potential deciderWhat it means is if both the Springboks, who take on Australia in Cape Town, and All Blacks, who face Argentina away from home, win this coming weekend, the test between the world’s top two teams at Ellis Park on 5 October could decide the winners of the title.Depending on the outcome of the game in La Plata, the Boks might also need another bonus point win over Australia.Given the unfortunate nature of their loss in New Zealand, South Africa will, no doubt, be hugely motivated to show they could have won with 15 men playing 15 men.The clash in Auckland was on its way to becoming a classic before Du Plessis’ sending off. That sets up the Johannesburg showdown as another potential doozy. Beating Australia, though, is the only focus for coach Meyer and his charges right now.The Springbok squad starts preparing for the test against the Wallabies on Monday in Cape Town.SPRINGBOK SQUADForwards (17): Lourens Adriaanse, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Juandre Kruger, Francois Louw, Tendai Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Gurthro Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Duane VermeulenBacks (13): Bjorn Basson, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (captain), Fourie du Preez, JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Ruan Pienaar, Jan Serfontein, Morne Steyn, Jano VermaakSAinfo reporter and SA Rugbylast_img read more

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Top Equipment Investments for Working Filmmakers

first_imgCamerasHonestly, we’re going to zip past this section. I know cameras are cool and fun to look at, but to be totally transparent, they’re the least of your worries. Lenses and lighting take your cinematic image so much further than the camera you use. Personally, I film on the Sony A7III, and it’s done wonders for me. My thoughts are if you buy a DSLR that’s come out within the last two to four years, you’re most likely getting something solid.LensesYou’ll need a lens, but which one?My best ROI on any lens has been a telephoto 70-200 mm f/2.8.Image via Canon.This is dynamite for parties, weddings, corporate interviews, and just about any shoot requiring a “cinematic look.” If there’s one piece of gear that will make you money, this is the one to invest in.The next lens on the list would be a decent wide angle. Anything from an eleven to sixteen or a sixteen to thirty-five will be perfect! Wide angles can get quite expensive but are really useful for capturing real estate video, event venue coverage, or even vlogging.StabilizersLet’s rip off the band-aid. Do you get a gimbal or not? I say yes! This is the one piece of equipment that is a cinematic Swiss Army knife. A gimbal can produce a range of different shots from Steadicam- to slider-style. If you want to learn more, check out this video I made on gimbal movement:If you’re looking at buying a gimbal I recommend the Ronin S.TripodsYou need a tripod! They may be a prehistoric piece of gear but it’s a must for any filmmaker picking up gigs. They last forever and are total lifesavers for events, time lapses, and interview shoots.DronesYou don’t need a drone, but they’re great pieces of gear that make money back! I’ve been hired time and time again because I own a drone and can capture unique footage on it.Cover image via Zark Fatah.Looking for more tutorials on filmmaking and video equipment? Check these out.Production Tips: Getting Started with High-Output Lights on SetTutorial: Getting Started with Content-Aware Fill in After EffectsVideo Editing 101: Using The J, K, and L Key Editing Shortcuts When it comes to working as a filmmaker for a living, what are the best gear investments to make money rather than lose it? Here are a few must-haves.As a freelance filmmaker, there’s nothing more daunting than investing in gear. When all is said and done, after purchasing all the accessories — from camera to tripod — you’re looking at a minimum price tag of 5K. Let’s face it, the laundry list of lenses, stabilizers, cameras, and additional accessories can easily break the bank — before you make a single dime. So, when it comes to working as a filmmaker for a living, what equipment should you invest in to make money, rather than lose it?(A brief disclaimer: The list below is just my personal opinion. Each piece of equipment has been a solid investment for me. That being said, this list doesn’t disregard the value of other pieces gear on the market.) Let’s get into it.last_img read more

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