SF Mission Tech Workers Skeptical Over Proposed Tech Tax

first_img Tags: Board of Supervisors • ed lee • Elections • Google • tech • twitter • vote Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Mission tech workers reacted to a proposal for a tech tax to curb the city’s growing inequality with comments ranging from skepticism to wondering why such a tax had not been imposed earlier. Mission-based tech worker Erini Blakey said that while the tax would rightfully “force tech companies to be good citizens,” she questioned its efficacy since it targets only companies with payrolls in San Francisco.“So many [tech employees] commute south for work, yet they live in the city and contribute to the issues that we are dealing with here,” said Blakey. “I just feel like it doesn’t completely tackle the issue.”Added another tech worker who asked that his name not be used, “Any well-established company that claims they want to be a part of the community should be held accountable when that community is suffering. These companies make huge profits for the most part. Asking them for a small percentage to invest in issues such as homelessness now, it feels like a little too late.” 0%center_img Others said that tech companies should not be singled out. “I don’t think you should blame only the tech companies because they are successful right now, but all big companies in San Francisco,” said tech worker Sam Cebo. “There are plenty of tech companies that are making an effort to do good by their communities.”Housing advocates have long called on wealthy tech companies to “pay their fair share” by investing in the communities in which they operate. Last month, three city supervisors launched an effort to turn that call into city policy by introducing an initiative that would impose a 1.5 percent payroll tax on tech employers that make at least $1 million a year in gross income.If approved by at least six supervisors next month, the proposal will move to the November ballot.  Already, Mayor Ed Lee and others are campaigning against such a measure, which they call a “job-killing” ballot initiative. Nick Pagoulatos, legislative aide to Supervisor Eric Mar, who introduced the the measure in late June, said that the well-being of all in San Francisco,  “shouldn’t just fall on the government sector.”Mar’s office estimates that the tax would generate some $120 million annually to be allocated towards the city’s housing and homeless needs. “Is $120 million even enough?” Another tech worker, who gave his name as Tim C., wanted to know. “I am not sure that money is the right way to solve the problem of homelessness or the city’s housing shortage.”  He suggested that instead the government come up with ways to “incentivise tech companies to invest in their communities locally.”Others interviewed wondered how far tech dollars would go in solving the city’s long-festering problems, such as homelessness.“The issue is incredibly complex and it’s hard to believe that more money has been the only missing ingredient for all these years,” said Nipul Patel, COO of the Mission-based company Townsquared. “Businesses of all sizes and industries are eager to do their part, and there is so much more that compassionate people can do than merely contribute money.”But proponents of the tax say that past incentives, such as tax breaks that have allowed tech giants such as Twitter to get breaks by setting up in the city have not necessarily inspired the companies to mitigate the impacts that their presence has had on the city’s poor and working class communities. Pagoulatos agreed that the tax is “no magic solution” to the city’s deep rooted problems, but rather an attempt to “level the playing field” by focusing on companies “who have had tax breaks and tremendous success.”Billy Leet, a Google employee, also agreed that “good citizenship” must sometimes be mandated.“A tax is a more mandated way to part with your money voluntarily,” he said. Keren Flavell, the CEO of a Mission-based app startup, said that it was about time for wealthy companies to pay up, given the state of the city’s affairs.“This mind blowing disparity between wealth and poverty is a freakish situation that the city is dealing with,” said Flavell. “The companies with their names on buildings, they really run the city now. They should take more pride in it.”A mandated tax, she said, would help flip “tech’s focus on internal culture” outwards and in the long-run benefit those companies banking on continued success in San Francisco. “The tax could work in favor of these tech companies as well, by allowing the city to clean up the streets and making it more enjoyable for [their employees].” last_img read more

Proposal from Supervisor Ahsha Safaí would deny potential challenger John Avalos city

first_imgTucked away in a single paragraph within a 30-page agenda for Friday’s Ethics Commission meeting is a proposal from District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí that, while eminently sensible on its face, would effectively hamstring and financially starve a potential political opponent. Safaí’s proposal would amend the city’s Campaign and Governmental Conduct code, restricting public funding for any candidate who, having received public funding in an earlier campaign, “failed to maintain complete campaign records … where the amount of expenditures for which there was incomplete records totaled $10,000 or more.”This would, neatly, cut the public spigot for former Supervisor John Avalos, who hasn’t ruled out running for his old job in 2020. Three years ago, an Ethics Commission audit revealed that, during his 2011 run for mayor, Avalos “failed to maintain complete campaign records for expenditures made, totaling $391,594.” Over the past three years, Avalos has gone through old records and reduced that figure to $103,154 in unaccounted-for expenditures. That is, for the record, more than $10,000. Email Address Avalos served as District 11 supe from 2009 to 2017. He beat Safaí in 2008, and ran largely unopposed in 2012 after would-be challenger Leon Chow was outed for not living in the district and for using his work address to register to vote. Safaí bested Kim Alvarenga by several hundred votes in 2016 and took office the following year.Safaí said the proposal was “something spurred out of a conversation with ethics commissioner Quentin Kopp. He wanted to run with it and asked me for my thoughts.” Safaí denied this was an attempt to undermine his frequent critic and once and potentially future competitor Avalos. “Oh, I have no idea who this particularly hits or not. I’m not focused on anything other than leading my district and focusing on the issues at hand.”Kopp told Mission Local, however, that that it was Safaí who came up with the initial idea. “He mentioned it to me a couple years ago and I became interested,” Kopp said. “I said ‘provide me with a draft of the concept and I’ll give it to Ethics Commission staff.’ … I can tell you this: It was not directed at any person who had received public financing and violated some law or regulation. It was purely a concept.”  The rule change is referred to within Ethics Commission documentation as  “a proposal made by Supervisor Safaí that would bar certain candidates from participating in the public financing program.” Kopp felt this to be “a good rule — they are using taxpayer money. And misusing it.” Asked about how it would affect a potential run for Avalos, he replied, “I don’t care.” Avalos says he is “not certain he is going to run” in 2020, and is “looking at other people who would consider running.” With regard to public financing, “the public needs to know their funds are being used right. I understand that,” he says. “But there are also notions in this country that we don’t do double jeopardy. As a candidate, I am accountable and I have been working with the Ethics Commission on what my penalty should be. When you commit an error, you should be held accountable for it. But not twice.”The former supe stressed that while he didn’t have receipts at hand for all of his expenditures, he did have canceled checks.In order to be ratified, Safaí’s proposal would need to meet the approval of four of the five ethics commissioners and two-thirds of the Board of Supervisors — and, considering the minimum 30-day wait between Friday’s Ethics hearing and when this could be put before the Board, it’s possible that the new supes being sworn in in January would have to approve this, not the current board. Seemingly innocuous — but, in practice, consequential — changes to the law do slip through with some regularity, especially when they constitute a few words of text attached to vast amounts of documentation. This occurs less frequently after such would-be changes have been covered in the media. Avalos accepts responsibility for the accusations leveled against him, and remains in negotiations with the Ethics Commission with regard to a future settlement.“I am responsible. I know we fucked up,” Avalos told Mission Local. “My treasurers were all volunteers and we lost track of stuff. I will take full responsibility and I do apologize.” Even still, Avalos continued, “it looks like [Safaí] is targeting me. That is pretty desperate.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterlast_img read more

SAINTS have announced their squad for Saturdays S

first_imgSAINTS have announced their squad for Saturday’s Super League XVIII Round 4 match at Bradford Bulls.As reported earlier in the week, Paul Wellens will miss out and that means Gary Wheeler has been drafted into the ‘19′.The squad is:2. Ade Gardner, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Sia Soliola, 5. Francis Meli, 7. Jonny Lomax, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 15. Mark Flanagan, 17. Gary Wheeler, 19. Josh Jones, 20. Lee Gaskell, 21. Tommy Makinson, 24. Joe Greenwood, 25. Alex Walmsley, 27. Anthony Walker.Francis Cummins will select his Bradford team from:1. Brett Kearney, 3. Keith Lulia, 4. Matty Blythe, 5. Elliot Kear, 6. Jarrod Sammut, 8. Nick Scruton, 9. Heath L’Estrange, 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 12. Elliot Whitehead, 13. Jamie Langley, 14. Matt Diskin, 15. Chev Walker, 16. Tom Olbison, 17. Jamie Foster, 19. Danny Addy, 20. Adam O’Brien, 21. James Donaldson, 22. Jobe Murphy, 27. Adam Sidlow.The game kicks off at 2pm and the referee is Tim Roby.Ticket details are here.Stat Pack:Super League Summary:Bradford won 21 (includes wins in 1999, 2002 and 2005 play-offs)St Helens won 25 (includes wins in 1999 and 2002 Grand Finals & 1998 play-offs)1 drawUps and Downs:Bradford highest score: 64-24 (H, 2004) (Widest margin. 54-8, H, 2004)St Helens highest score: 66-4 (A, 2005) (also widest margin)last_img read more

His side led 82 at the break but went down 1614

first_imgHis side led 8-2 at the break but went down 16-14.“We didn’t get the opportunity to try and win it,” he said. ”I thought it was a really good and tough first half and then we just couldn’t get going for one reason or another in the second and that made it really tough.“When you look at all those six against (repeat sets) and I’m still amazed at five of them, it made it hard as we were camped on our tryline for the whole second half. Credit to Leeds, they kept us down there and played really well.“I don’t think we played poorly and I feel similar to the last time we played here. It is a tough place to come and I am really proud of the team. We had 33 per cent possession in the second half and got to within two of a dangerous Leeds side who came off the back of a defeat last week, the events around the South Stand and who are hard to beat.“That said I don’t think we got a chance in the second half for some reason.“Our defence took it out of us but I thought we started the second half well. Then came an obstruction penalty and that was a big call, and then there were a few last tackle calls that made it really hard. We didn’t get much ball and that took our juice.”He continued: “I’m proud of how we hung on in there and played but unfortunately for us, it’s two weeks in a row now where we have been beaten by two points.“We’re still a point outside the top four – an ounce of luck would be nice but you also have to make your own. Leeds did that and took their chances and that is what we have to do. We’re in a similar position to last time we came here – we have to put some wins together.“The derby game is big now and it will be one we will look forward to. We got a good result last time and we’ll need that again after tonight and last week.“Ben Barba will come in too. He has been training really well and is a quality player. It will be good to get him in there.”Tickets for the derby are on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

First Team

first_imgThe boss has made just one change to his squad with Aaron Smith retaining his place in the squad after impressing in the win over London on Friday. James Bentley drops out.Holbrook will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 20. Jack Ashworth, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote. Huddersfield Giants’ 19-man squad is:1. Darnell McIntosh, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 4. Jordan Turner, 5. Akuila Uate, 6. Lee Gaskell, 7. Matt Frawley, 9. Kruise Leeming, 10. Suaia Matagi, 12. Alex Mellor, 13. Michael Lawrence, 15. Oliver Roberts, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai, 19. Matty English, 20. Jake Wardle, 25. Colton Roche, 26. Sebastine Ikahihifo, 29. Sam Hewitt, 32. Innes Senior, 35. Joe Wardle.————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————The next home game at the Totally Wicked Stadium is against Hull KR and kicks off at 7:45 pm on Friday 29th March. Tickets are available from the Club Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455052 or by clicking here.,Holbrook will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 20. Jack Ashworth, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote. Huddersfield Giants’ 19-man squad is:1. Darnell McIntosh, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 4. Jordan Turner, 5. Akuila Uate, 6. Lee Gaskell, 7. Matt Frawley, 9. Kruise Leeming, 10. Suaia Matagi, 12. Alex Mellor, 13. Michael Lawrence, 15. Oliver Roberts, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai, 19. Matty English, 20. Jake Wardle, 25. Colton Roche, 26. Sebastine Ikahihifo, 29. Sam Hewitt, 32. Innes Senior, 35. Joe Wardle.————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————The next home game at the Totally Wicked Stadium is against Hull KR and kicks off at 7:45 pm on Friday 29th March. Tickets are available from the Club Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455052 or by clicking here.last_img read more

NHSO Two busted for delivering drugs across state lines

first_img During the delivery, Spann was armed with a 9mm pistol concealed in his waistband.Spann was charged with PWIMSD heroin, conspire to traffic cocaine, conspire to traffic heroin, possess drug paraphernalia, carrying concealed weapon, PWISD cocaine, three counts of trafficking in cocaine and three counts of trafficking heroin.Evans was charged with possess drug paraphernalia, two counts trafficking heroin, two counts of trafficking in cocaine, possess heroin, maintain vehicle for controlled substance, conspire traffic heroin and conspire traffic in cocaine. NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two people were arrested Friday after New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office they traveled to the Port City from South Carolina to deliver heroin and crack cocaine.Marcus Abdul Spann Jr., 18, and Mary Kristina Evans, 24, were arrested after they delivered 56 grams of raw heroin (capable of more than 5,000 bags) and 28 grams of crack cocaine near Harris Road in Wilmington.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Freeman Park reopens town issues own violation to land owners

first_imgCAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Less than a week after the town closed it to traffic, Freeman Park is back open although not the way the town would like.Land owners planted sea oats and the town said the posts made travel along the historic public access unsafe.- Advertisement – The town issued a violation to the land owners in addition to the one issued by the State Division of Coastal Management demanding the fence be removed Monday.Town leaders say they hope to hear from the state Tuesday on moving forward.They urge visitors to drive with caution on Freeman Park.last_img read more

Locals peace further away as US embassy moves to Jerusalem

first_img “For the long haul, it’s not really good for the state of Israel,” said Musa Agil, a Palestinian-American who has called the U.S. home for more than 30 years.“I understand that this is going to be an extremely painful and problematic move,” said Rabbi Julie Kozlow of B’nai Israel adding, “I feel that we absolutely should be in Jerusalem as our capitol. I absolutely wish that the Palestinians would understand that as well. But I understand why the won’t or don’t.”Since the state of Israel’s establishment in 1948 tensions remain between Arab Palestinians and the Jewish-Israeli community.Related Article: U.S. drone shot down: Trump says he believes strike by Iran was not intentionalAgil still has family in the West Bank he says day in day out see a police like state and poverty. He believes the embassy move is a step backwards.“We ought to encourage them to promote more and more peace and stability and peaceful negotiations,” said Agil. “Right now the peaceful negotiations are not going anywhere and will not go anywhere.”CBS new reports more than fifty Palestinians reportedly died in protests along the Gaza strip Monday. It’s violence that troubles Rabbi Kozlow as well.“I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that the direction we’re all going in is not a direction that is going to help any of us in the long run make peace.”President Trump talking a push for peace in his recorded message at the embassy unveiling. For Agil, the actions by the administration sit louder than words.“How can you bring peace between two parties when you basically put your full weight behind one party and ignore the aspirations of the other party, the other, being the Palestinians?”The U.N. Security Council is set to meet Tuesday to discuss the deadly violence along the Israel-Gaza border. LELAND, NC (WWAY) –  This morning marked history in the Holy Land with the United States establishing its Israel embassy in Jerusalem. The opening came with violent backlash as Palestinian protesters in Gaza clashed with Israeli forces and the death count keeps rising.President Trump announced its move in December. The unveiling comes around the 70th anniversary of establishing Israel as a Jewish state. WWAY’s Andrew James spoke with those locally in the Jewish and Palestinian communities. Each shared concerns about the move.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Gov Roy Cooper talks grant program Confederate statues and more

first_img He says he wants to bring awareness to the facility, and make sure people know how to apply for hurricane relief.He met with workers and also toured the new Emergency Management facility, formerly the Bladen County Correctional Center, and says he’s happy with the progress so far.While there, he addressed accusations by state lawmakers yesterday saying Hurricane Matthew aid money has not been properly distributed to North Carolinians.Related Article: Gov. Roy Cooper talks climate change on Capitol Hill“We’re ahead of schedule in a number of areas. The one that’s slower than we want it to be is the community development block grant disaster relief. A lot of red tape that’s been involved at the federal level. The general assembly moved it from the department of commerce to emergency management so now they’re having to rebuild it,” said Gov. Cooper.After he was finished in Bladen County, the governor went to Brunswick Community College.He met with students, took pictures, and spoke about his Finish Line Grants program.“Hearing college instructors saying some of their best students had to drop out because of expenses, I think this can help that situation,” said Cooper.The grant is aimed at helping students finish school when they are faced with unexpected financial problems.“We’re hoping this is something that all of our community colleges take advantage of,” he said.While there, the governor also addressed some issues at the top of peoples minds, including the future of Confederate statues in our state.“I think that we can learn from and document our history without idolizing painful symbols in our most public places,” said Cooper.Cooper says he believes the monuments should be placed in battlefields and museums.he also addressed his efforts to block constitutional amendments from being put before voters this fall.Amendments that would take away some of the governor’s powers and give them to the legislature.“This republican leadership has a history of passing laws that are declared unconstitutional, they come back and tweak them, they’re declared unconstitutional again, and then they try to run out the clock,” he said.North Carolina’s five living former governors came together on August 13 to criticize the proposed amendments.The first hearing for Cooper’s new case against the amendments is Friday at 11 a.m. BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Governor Roy Cooper was in our area Thursday, heading from Bladen to Brunswick county. During his visit, he addressed some hot button issues.The governor was in Elizabethtown around 1 p.m. He visited the Bladen County Rebuild NC Application Center.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Wilmington Police investigate shooting death in Hillcrest

first_img Police ask anyone with information to use Text-a-Tip or call (910) 343-3609 with information. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are investigating after they say a man was found shot to death this evening.A WPD spokeswoman says it happened just before 6 p.m. in the Hillcrest Housing Community. Officers responded to the 1000 block of S. 13th Street and found an unidentified male shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.- Advertisement – last_img

Lorettas Surf Side Bar closes after almost 47 years

first_img The new owners threw her a farewell bash to honor the role that Surf Side Bar has played in the Carolina Beach night life scene, and to thank her for paving the way for Jack’s Retreat.Loretta enjoyed her time owning the bar but says “[it’s] time to move on!”“We’re having this going away party for Loretta here, sending her off in style and after that come Monday morning we’re gonna have a lot of construction. We’re putting a kitchen in here. Our business is Jack’s Retreat. We’re a gourmet hot dog place. We need a full kitchen a full bar so a lot of of changes, a lot of renovations,” said Michael Urti, one of the new co-owners of Jack’s Retreat.Related Article: Carolina Beach Town Manager fires back against claims that he liedLoretta hopes her next step is to open up a bingo parlor somewhere in Carolina Beach very soon, and Jack’s Retreat will be open by Memorial Day. CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY)— Loretta’s Surf Side Bar has been a Carolina Beach staple for almost 47 years, but it’s time to close up shop.Loretta Gunter is stepping out and selling the building to the new owners of Jack’s Retreat, a gourmet hot dog restaurant.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Arrigo asks what happens if an employee is caught manipulating processes

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Facebook – Jean Pierre DebonoFacebook – Jean Pierre Debono Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) deputy leader Robert Arrigo asked what happens when an “employee” is caught manipulating processes twice. He was reacting to the comments made by David Griscti on Facebook.David Griscti wrote that the PN will not attract people back to the party if the message that is being communicated is that those who manipulate internal electoral processes get away with it.FacebookThe comments were referring to the PN Chief Political co-Ordinator Jean-Pierre Debono.What were the two instances? Back in 2017, Debono was involved in a votes scandal during the election of Adrian Delia as party leader. A leaked report stated that Debono had handed over a member’s voting document to another person without the former’s consent.Recently, Debono was criticised by the former President of the Executive Committee Mark Anthony Debono. Sammut said that the Gozitan parliamentary chair had been stolen thanks to processes manoeuvring. Sammut also said that when he was President of the Executive he did not have direct access to members’ data and attendance scores. He added that such data was Debono’s direct competence.This online debate was instigated by a post made by PN local councillor Pierre Paul Portelli who was a member of Adrian Delia’s team when the latter was running for leadership of the party. In his post, he listed a number of proposals that in his opinion could improve the PN. He said that over the past 20 months these proposals seem to have been falling on the deaf ears of those who know everything.Former PN MP Franco Debono asked whey have these proposals not been made in the past two years and added that eight years ago he had forwarded proposals that were also ignored.Żebbuġ local councillor Daniel Cordina said that the only solution is for the party to get rid of Jean Pierre Debono.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

Solar Energy can drive education in Africa – Samsung

first_imgAdvertisement Africa is a continent of contrasts. It is home to 54 countries in various stages of development and economies that operate at various levels of prosperity. It is a continent where it is common to find poverty existing alongside urban, westernised business districts serving cosmopolitan business communities.“Solar power has the potential to bring a new era of ‘sunlight-based’ services to remote African settlements and provide children with the educational opportunities they desperately need if they are to play a role in Africa’s burgeoning economies.” Samsung’s Thierry Boulanger, Director: IT Solutions and Business to Business in AfricaMost often the thing differentiating the two communities, and defining the lack of opportunities available to the poor, is simply a lack of infrastructure that has been exacerbated by an inability to deliver electricity to sites where it is most needed.The shortage of power, besides defining the geographical boundaries between urban and rural areas and separating the ‘haves from the ‘have-nots’, has a direct impact across a broad spectrum of life and service delivery in communities, particularly those situated far from roads and access to transportation routes. – Advertisement – The most important spheres of activity impacted on include:Medicine and health services. No electricity means an inability to use diagnostic and other equipment as well as restricting the use of essential basics such as refrigeration that are required in clinics.Access to telecommunications, the Internet, telephones and media.Education, which is stifled through the existence of the digital divide and the lack of teaching aids, textbooks and infrastructure that enables children to be taught, or to study alone at their own pace.Agriculture, which is impacted on by a lack of water pumps, boreholes, irrigation equipment and electrically-driven equipment required for intensive farming practices, whether it be the delivery of crops at a commercial level or construction of facilities such as ‘hot houses’, chicken breeding, silos and even abattoirs.Access to government services in rural areas. The lack of facilities here can extend from clinics through to provision of services ranging from social payments and population registration services.Most importantly, the commonly accepted amenities of life such as household appliances cannot exist.Bringing quality of life to far-flung communities therefore requires that a cost effective, sustainable source of power is established close to communities. Delivering the solution, however, also requires power sources that can be easily transported along existing routes, no matter what their state of repair or disrepair to final destinations.Solar power is the obvious solution to the dilemma, and has long been proposed as a solution to compensate for the lack of a formal electricity grid. In addition to the immediate improvements to quality of life offered by these facilities, is the fact that other benefits can be accrued.These, if correctly used and implemented can result in solar power solutions also offering communities a facility which offers a return on investment over a short period of between two and three years, requires little maintenance. Best of all, it can cap its initial investment costs by offering communities a means of generating income.Purpose- built installations that can be housed in traditional shipping containers present just such an opportunity. Delivered via rail or road, they just need to be treated to ensure that they can survive the vagaries of African weather conditions, and require nothing more than a flat solid, site for their placement.The potential for these mobile installations lies in their ability to be tailored to meet specific requirements. Use as clinics, community centres or for education is all within their capabilities.An example of what can be achieved through these containers is illustrated by the fact that a single unit could power four TV’s for five hours a day and simultaneously run four fridges for 24 hours a day, 16 neon or LED lights consuming 16w each for five hours a day, and four plug points delivering a maximum of 100w each for 24 hours. The advantages for a small rural village are obvious.Power for the units would usually emanate from an array of panels deployed on the roof of the container and connected to a junction box so that the power can be distributed.To ensure that a value is attached to the provision of electricity to the community, it can be arranged that pre-paid meters are installed and that a fee, no matter how small, is levied for the power. Funds generated can be allocated towards payment of the installation, a fund for battery replacement (generally required after about seven years) or paid to a municipality.Reality at this stage dictates that many installations of this type will remain within the ambit of corporate social investment projects. Government and parastatals are required to concentrate on meeting the electricity demands of expanding economies. They therefore need, through necessity, to concentrate their primary efforts on the erection of new power stations and the appropriate delivery infrastructure.When taken in context, what can be achieved through CSI programmes, however, is not insignificant. Recently Samsung Electronics delivered one container, the first of what could be a number of Solar Powered Internet Schools based in containers in Angola, in association with the Angolan government and other partners. The support for the project was in line with the company’s positioning as a leader in the business of creating solutions using solar energy.The Solar Powered Internet School, which is geared to provide access to the Internet and electronic textbooks will operate on a shift basis and meet the needs of 200 children a day.This school, housed in a ‘40-foot’ shipping container was delivered by truck to its site. It represents a breakthrough in the delivery of education by helping to break down the technological barriers facing education in Angola.Used on a rotational basis by children during the day, the school will operate between 08h00 and 17h00 every day. It also has the capacity to operate effectively for up to 36 hours without any sunlight at all.Built to withstand harsh African conditions the solar panels powering the school are made from rubber instead of glass, to ensure that they are hardy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent.The power generated by the panels each day also means that the school can be used beyond the traditional learning day. After-hours it can operate as an adult education centre or a community centre over weekends.It may be a small beginning, but for the 200 children who will benefit, the school opens the door to huge opportunities. Finding the funding to create hundreds of similar facilities across Africa could, within a comparatively short period, transform education, quality of life and service delivery across Africa.Source: Ventures Africalast_img read more

Sim Registration Deadline Telecom Operators Await UCCs Directive on Unregistered Lines

first_imgUCC ED Godfrey Mutabazi (Center) and other top managers at a press conference Advertisement Four Days after the expiration of the sim card registration deadline, telecom operators in Uganda insist the action to switch off unregistered users will only be taken if the regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), issues the directive.In March this year, UCC extended the simcard registration deadline to May 31st, following complaints from operators and users about various challenges experienced during the registration exercise. UCC estimates that about 70% of all users had been registered at the time.“The second phase of registration was targeting those who hadn’t registered for one reason or another, especially those in hard-to-reach areas,” UCC’s Isaac Kalembe told PC Tech. – Advertisement – But after the expiry of the second deadline, UCC says they are allowing operators to complete the verification process before action can be taken.Mr. Kalembe said: “We have given allowance to the telecom operators to ensure that all the information collected on the forms is entered into the system.”This is, however, contrary to a report by the Daily Monitor that claimed UCC had warned operators against waiting for a directive from UCC in order to take action.“Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has warned telecom operators against waiting for a directive to switch off unregistered lines, saying they risk breaching the law,” wrote the newspaper’s Frederic Musisi.“… The switch off must begin after the deadline,” said UCC’s executive director, according to the Daily Monitor. He reportedly warned that, any non-complying telecom company is at risk of legal penalties.MTN’s corporate affairs manager, Justina Ntabgoba, told PC Tech that the company is currently verifying the data collected while waiting for a directive from UCC. She estimates that about 85% of all MTN subscribers have registered their simcards.“We are bound by the official directive to switch off all our unregistered Sim card users but UCC has not yet ordered so,” Ms Ntabgoba said.Similarly, representatives of Orange Uganda and Airtel Uganda both said their next steps would depend on the regulator.last_img read more

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Facts you are not being told

first_imgAdvertisement The whole world is astonished by Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the flight that simply vanished over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board.Even the world’s top air safety authorities are  baffled and are not sure about what direction the probe should take.This collection of facts  obtained from www.pakalertpress.com should raise serious questions in the minds of anyone following this situation. – Advertisement – • Fact #1: All Boeing 777 commercial jets are equipped with black box recorders that can survive any on-board explosionNo explosion from the plane itself can destroy the black box recorders. They are bomb-proof structures that hold digital recordings of cockpit conversations as well as detailed flight data and control surface data. Yet the black box from this particular incident hasn’t been detected at all.  That’s why investigators are having such trouble finding it. Normally, they only need to “home in” on the black box transmitter signal. But in this case, the absence of a signal means the black box itself — an object designed to survive powerful explosions — has either vanished, malfunctioned or been obliterated by some powerful force beyond the worst fears of aircraft design engineers.• Fact #2: Many parts of destroyed aircraft are naturally bouyant and will float in waterIn past cases of aircraft destroyed over the ocean or crashing into the ocean, debris has always been spotted floating on the surface of the water. That’s because — as you may recall from the safety briefing you’ve learned to ignore — “your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device.”Yes, seat cushions float. So do many other non-metallic aircraft parts. If Flight 370 was brought down by an explosion of some sort, there would be massive debris floating on the ocean, and that debris would not be difficult to spot. The fact that it has not yet been spotted only adds to the mystery of how Flight 370 appears to have literally vanished from the face of the Earth.• Fact #3: If a missile destroyed Flight 370, the missile would have left a radar signatureOne theory currently circulating on the ‘net is that a missile brought down the airliner, somehow blasting the aircraft and all its contents to “smithereens” — which means very tiny pieces of matter that are undetectable as debris.The problem with this theory is that there exists no known ground-to-air or air-to-air missile with such a capability. All known missiles generate tremendous debris when they explode on target. Both the missile and the debris produce very large radar signatures which would be easily visible to both military vessels and air traffic authorities.• Fact #4: The location of the aircraft when it vanished is not a mysteryAir traffic controllers have full details of almost exactly where the aircraft was at the moment it vanished. They know the location, elevation and airspeed — three pieces of information which can readily be used to estimate the likely location of debris.Remember: air safety investigators are not stupid people. They’ve seen mid-air explosions before, and they know how debris falls. There is already a substantial data set of airline explosions and crashes from which investigators can make well-educated guesses about where debris should be found. And yet, even armed with all this experience and information, they remain totally baffled on what happened to Flight 370.• Fact #5: If Flight 370 was hijacked, it would not have vanished from radarHijacking an airplane does not cause it to simply vanish from radar. Even if transponders are disabled on the aircraft, ground radar can still readily track the location of the aircraft using so-called “passive” radar (classic ground-based radar systems that emit a signal and monitor its reflection).Thus, the theory that the flight was hijacked makes no sense whatsoever. When planes are hijacked, they do not magically vanish from radar.Conclusion: Flight 370 did not explode, it Vanished.Source: Pakalert presslast_img read more

Ushahidi integrates Messenger into Uchaguzi Platform to help monitor General Elections

first_imgAdvertisement Ushahidi, which was founded out of the Kenyan 2008 post election violence, is today announcing the integration of Facebook Messenger to expand the reach of the Uchaguzi 2017 Kenyan election monitoring platform.The Uchaguzi partnership, which includes The Constitution & Reform Education Consortium (CRECO) and InfoNET, monitored the 2010 referendum and the 2013 election and uses the Ushahidi platform to allow citizens and election monitors to report from the ground via many channels such as email, SMS, twitter and embeddable web forms.For the Kenyan 2017 elections, Ushahidi announced on its official blog that Facebook Messenger is the newest Platform available in the Uchaguzi deployment of Ushahidi. “Integrating this bot for Messenger will improve the user experience, and extend the reach of the platform, to the more than 7 million active Facebook users in Kenyan, allowing them to report on issues during the voting process.” – Advertisement – Citizens can report on a successful vote as well a issues such as voter suppression, ballot issues, or violence via the Uchaguzi bot for Messenger. The Messenger bot makes it easy for citizens to answer the multiple questions in a report through the automated dialogue with the bot. Importantly, the bot includes the ability to easily send and receive text and images and interaction with structured messages.How it will workOn election day, trained observers, volunteers and witnesses will report to Uchaguzi any electoral related incidences through these digital channels, such as Facebook Messenger. These reports are then received by the hundreds of volunteers who will structure, geo-reference, and verify them. The reports are then visualized and made public on a map, timeline, and stats board at Uchaguzi.or.ke. Further they are shared with appropriate officials for organizations to respond when necessary. Citizens can sign up to receive alerts based on location, keyword, and timeframe at Uchaguzi. The result of this partnership is that electoral and response organisations have a new channel to monitor electoral incidences; and citizens have an easy to use tool to capture and report critical information during the August 8th elections.[related-posts]Through this platform Ushahidi intends to help Kenya have a free, fair, peaceful and credible 2017 general election by increasing transparency and accountability through active citizen participation in the electoral cycle.Source: Ushahidi Bloglast_img read more

Star Emergency Igloos are in business

first_imgBlog, everyday the reports that come through regarding the terrorist attack in Kenya are more and more horrific. Hostages dismembered and castrated, stabbed children left alive to freeze to death in giant freezers, and other victims being burnt to death. As the leftie and ‘PC’ Beeb bottle the issue (shock!), and haven’t even been referring to the evil criminals as terrorists, I just wonder how much longer the powers that be and social commentators will take the wet option, and wait for someone else to go first and start getting tough. When it happens at Selfridges, PLEASE let’s not have any surprised-and-unlucky-faces from any wets. PLEASE. All of the mock-sympathy and after-the-car-crash changes will be just too much to bare.In other giant shock news:Guess what? There’s a report come out that’s said a huge group of UN scientists have got together and come to the conclusion that Global Warming was all a bit exaggerated and the temperature of the world has barely moved for the last fifteen years. PHEW!!! There have been several times recently when I’ve gone out and forgotten to bring my pocket-fan for when the world starts melting!! What a load of total bollocks. How did all of these David Icke type characters create such a gravy-train out of nothing? I thought that by now, the Polar ice-cap and Himalayas would have melted, Cornwall and Norfolk would all be under-water, and everyone would be walking around in gas-masks? These people should be taken no more seriously than the religious loop-doops who ran around telling everyone the world was going to end in 2000. Only difference is, they didn’t get subsidised for hundreds of billions of pounds. Oh Gaul Wood, what a gravy-train that would have been! Please make sure we’re ready for when all the conspiracists start saying it’s going back cold. Next stop: Star Emergency Blow-Up Igloos – only £20k each!!Off for dinner to a super-fancy ‘ooly-fooly’ Spanish restaurant tonight. Shall report back to you, Blog.B xlast_img read more

BENS BLOG Annoying Sounds

first_img[dropcap]B[/dropcap]log, whilst taking the brave trek, from our pitch on the beach, hidden from the wind, over to the bar, Belinda stopped to turn and look directly at me.‘Stop!’, was the command given.‘Stop what?’.‘Stop making annoying sounds like an old person when you walk! I don’t love you when you make these sounds!’ (Delivered with real Latin fire!).I was then duly informed that my varied soundtrack of light sniffing, farting, clearing my throat when walking, quiet burps after dinner, moving around in the night, and breathing loudly when waking up in the morning, had most definitely taken its toll.Henceforth, I shall make every effort to follow Sophia Loren’s advice for eternal youth. And that is to ‘sit up straight and make less old person noises.’In other news:What’s wrong with the Star Army at the moment? We’re dropping like flies. Max Shoes had a terrible fall at Coventry Dogs last year, and since hasn’t been able to properly regain his balance. Surely though, Blog, anyone who is referred to as ‘Mr Shoes’, should have designed himself some special balance assisting space-man-esque footwear to aide his cause? Come on, Max!News also reaches me, that Ladbrokes and William Hill shares have risen sharply, due to the news that our beloved hustler, Mark Maskell, has had a terrible stroke and is out of action. Mark, one our most loyal and long serving associates, will now be taking some time off from causing havoc in the Big Three’s betting-shops, across East London and Essex.This blog sends love and best wishes to our above two mentioned friends. Speedy recoveries, are the order of the day, chaps.B xlast_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Man City v Liverpool

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Premier League swings back into action this weekend with plenty of odds-on chances on the coupon.The ‘Manchester double’ will no doubt prove popular with punters and both matches book-end Saturday’s Premier League action.First up, at 12.45pm, is Watford v Man U, but it’s the Man City v Liverpool game at 5.30pm that makes most appeal.Man City currently head the table on goal difference over Arsenal but it’s so close at the top that Man U, in fourth, would leap to the top if beating Watford. So come tea-time, there could be a little more pressure on their neighbours City to deliver. However, City are particularly strong at home and have now won 12 of their last 13 League games at the Etihad.Liverpool have undoubtedly looked better in the Jurgen Klopp era and have lost just one of their seven games. The wins have included a sensational 3-1 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and their sole defeat came at home to Crystal Palace in their latest match.This same fixture was one-sided last season with City winning 3-1 and Liverpool only getting a consolation via an own goal late on.The team news will be particularly interesting, given that there is speculation that both Sergio Aguero and Daniel Sturridge could both return after injury.Klopp will make a late decision on whether to include Daniel Sturridge who has yet to play under the new boss. Klopp said: “He is as fit as he can be after a long break. Of course he is not at 100% and we have to see. But because he is that skilled maybe we should include him. As a striker, sometimes five minutes are enough.”Man City v LiverpoolPremier League17:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Mar 2015 PREMIER Liverpool 2-1 Man CityAug 2014 PREMIER Man City 3-1 LiverpoolApr 2014 PREMIER Liverpool 3-2 Man CityDec 2013 PREMIER Man City 2-1 LiverpoolFeb 2013 PREMIER Man City 2-2 LiverpoolAug 2012 PREMIER Liverpool 2-2 Man CityJan 2012 CARLING CUP Liverpool 2-2 Man CityJan 2012 CARLING CUP Man City 0-1 LiverpoolJan 2012 PREMIER Man City 3-0 LiverpoolNov 2011 PREMIER Liverpool 1-1 Man CityThe last six league meetings between these two sides have produced an aggregate score of Man City 12 Liverpool 11. Hopefully, we will be in for goals again today and I’m backing BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE at around 8/11 with Star Sports and a cheeky bet on OVER 4.5 MATCH GOALS at around 9/2.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE for 15 points at around 8/11 with Star SportsBACK OVER 4.5 MATCH GOALS for 5 points at around 9/2 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 69.00 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Tuesday

first_imgHORSE RACING2.55 GalwayMighty Concorde 11/1 > 7/23.00 HuntingdonMy Mo 4/1 > 9/44.15 LeicesterEynhallow 8/1 > 11/45.00 GalwayRocky Court 9/1 > 4/17.15 WolverhamptonMr Black 2/1 > 6/5WORLD CUP QUALIFIERSFIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier19:45 ITV / ITV HD5/1 Slovenia 8/13 England 11/4 DRAWFIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier19:45 Sky Sports 2 / Sky Sports 2 HD / Sky Sports 5 / Sky Sports 5 HD6/5 Slovakia 11/4 Scotland 21/10 DRAWFIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier19:45 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD1/10 Germany 33/1 Northern Ireland 8/1 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Tuesday 11 Octoberlast_img read more