The most recent report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a visit here by a high-level team from that institution has once again vindicated the position of various stakeholders that the economy is in tatters and the coalition Government must act with haste if it were to lessen the impact its policy decisions, taken over the past months, would have on the masses.The IMF, in its 2017 Concluding Statement detailing its findings on Guyana’s economic outlook, as part of its annual consultations under Article IV of the Articles of Agreement governing borrowing, noted that Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was uneven, buoyed by the new gold mines, while the non-mining sector saw a contraction.The economic indicators are not very promising, and experts are predicting that the situation will even get worse if the necessary corrective actions are not taken immediately. So far, we have seen very little effort by the Government to stimulate growth in the economy. Instead, it has chosen to increase the burden on major sectors with a slew of tax measures and other policies that constrict their potential for growth.The IMF statement referred to above has confirmed that the Government slavishly followed the recommendations of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) on extending the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime to crucial sectors, without regard to the social impact on citizens. In fact, we are witnessing almost daily the implementation of certain policies that hurt businesses and increase hardship on the average citizen.Additionally, in the last year, there have been no major announcements regarding Foreign Direct Investments in Guyana, or any major job creation initiatives. The IMF has projected real economic growth of 3.5 per cent driven by an increase in public investment and a recovery in rice production. However, as stated before, most of the major sectors are declining, including rice, which recently saw one of the major players closing its doors after being in operation for 25 years.Additionally, the increased borrowing by the Government has been a major point of concern, particularly over the last few months. The IMF has said that the debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to reach 61 per cent of GDP by 2019 and has recommended fiscal adjustments. However, Government continues to “bank on oil money”, as local authorities have informed the IMF that once oil production starts, the debt-to-GDP ratio will decrease.The IMF has also noted the recent “increase in exchange rate flexibility”; however, Government has failed to acknowledge that there is a problem and advance measures to address the issue.Most importantly, on the issue of the impending closure of more sugar estates, the IMF has reiterated previous calls from various stakeholders for careful decisions to be made about the future of the industry. Considering the fact that no economic and social impact assessments were carried out, the Government is being accused of basing its decisions regarding the future of the industry purely on politics. In this regard, the IMF has warned the Government to be “mindful of the large social impact” and the need “to protect those affected” by the process of change in the industry. Everyone knows that no matter how the authorities try to spin the issue, the resulting impact on individuals and communities would be quite significant and, perhaps, it would take decades before they fully recovered.We had said before that the Government and GuySuCo’s management should have engaged in serious consultations with all stakeholders and do the necessary impact assessments before making such decisions. After all, this is people’s livelihoods that will be affected and they deserve to be fully engaged on what matters to them.It could be recalled that in 2016, the IMF staff had urged the authorities to adopt a restructuring plan for the sector that will improve cost efficiency, productivity, and alternative revenue streams, drawing upon the reforms proposed by the Commission of Inquiry. At the time, the delegation had said that the scope and pace of reform should take into account social implications. This aspect was certainly ignored by the powers that be. We urge the Government to stop being in denial regarding the current crisis facing the country and rethink its policies in the interest of everyone.
Photos: Christina Harrison Share This!Over at the All Star Movies resort food court we found this “Hallow-lime” cupcake, $5.99 or a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. The cake is moist vanilla, topped with a Halloween-colored swirl of icing, rimmed with sprinkles and embellished with sugar spiders. The moistness factor of the cake is boosted further when you inject the inject the included squeeze vial of lime syrup into the cake. The syrup is easily absorbed and not at all messy. The hands-on aspect of eating this definitely adds a bit of mad scientist vibe that’s appropriate for the season.
With last year’s senior-laden roster gone, the Dons are searching for a new identityBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Columbus Catholic boys basketball team is one-third of the way through its 2014-15 regular-season schedule, and it is still working out the kinks.The Dons have won a one-point game, lost tight games at the Cranberry Classic and against Neillsville on Tuesday, lost by 26 at Auburndale, and then turned around and beat Gilman by 37 two days later.The Dons tied for the Cloverbelt East title and reached the WIAA Division 5 sectional semifinals last season with a senior-laden roster. This season, Columbus (3-4, 2-1 Cloverbelt East) is relying on an entirely new starting lineup and a number of sophomores and juniors that have not played many varsity minutes prior to this year.Seven games into the season the Dons are trying to find their identity.Following the loss to Auburndale, where the Dons shot 36 percent and committed 15 turnovers, the team did some soul searching. Columbus responded with a dominant performance against Gilman, using a full-court press to force 16 turnovers in the opening 7 minutes and open up a big lead early.“I wasn’t so much worried about a playing hangover as I was an attitude hangover,” Columbus Catholic coach Joe Konieczny said following the Gilman game on Dec. 11. “At practice we had some tough conversations with them about what type of people we are, whether we’re disciplined and unselfish. I think we had some good conversations and some growth from it. We saw some kids on the bench that were into it, emotional, enthusiastic and supportive, and good teammates.”The message is simple from Konieczny.“If these guys are good teammates and supportive, we can be good,” Konieczny said. “If we’re not disciplined and not 100 percent unselfish, then we’re not going to be very good.”Junior Evan Nikolai and sophomore Hunter Schultz have been the top offensive players thus far this season for the Dons. Senior Christian Payant, junior Brett Loveland, and sophomore Tyler Fuerlinger fill out the starting lineup with senior Ben Behling and junior Matthias Gouin the first off the bench.Konieczny likes to use his defense to force the tempo and get easy layups or open 3-point shots. The style has been a staple for the Dons during the past few seasons as they have won three of the past five Cloverbelt East titles. However, Columbus has not been able to consistently implement that style of play to its advantage.“We’re fast, and we have kids that can handle the ball and play fast,” Konieczny said. “We just need to do it disciplined. I think sometimes when we’re teaching kids to play fast, that turns into being undisciplined on defense and taking too quick of a shot on offense. If we can learn to play quick and disciplined, I think we can be pretty good.”Columbus hosts Colby on Friday and Granton on Tuesday in a pair of Cloverbelt East matchups as it looks to recover after suffering its first conference loss of the season this past Tuesday at Neillsville, 54-51.Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at [email protected]
TagsOpinionAbout the authorEdward StratmannShare the loveHave your say Three key issues Solskjaer must address to clean up Man Utd messby Edward Stratmann10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveIn the wake of Jose Mourinho’s sacking from Manchester United, the club have chosen to replace him with former hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Stepping into the role of interim manager, the Norwegian has many issues to address in his quest to arrest the side’s fortunes and the negativity surrounding the club. Our columnist looks at three key issues he’ll need to confront…Boost morale and team happinessUnder the stewardship of Mourinho, a man who was never shy in criticising his players in public and letting his opinion fly in a forceful manner, there was no escaping the detrimental impact this had on the squad. Couple this with his pragmatic tactics and the palpable tension surrounding United was rife. On a massive downhill spiral, Man Utd currently find themselves 19 points behind table leading Liverpool as a result, an unacceptable position to be in for a club of United’s quality and stature. With Solskjaer now taking over the reigns, his first challenge will be to return some much needed confidence and positivity into this group. Crucially, he’s shown from his previous posts that he backs his players and shows plenty of belief in his troops. This should unquestionably be a breath of fresh air for a United team who had clearly grown tired of Mourinho’s demoralising style and approach. Sort out PogbaThe strained relationship between Paul Pogba and Mourinho had become a disappointing, ongoing saga, as the duo had been battling it out for the best part of a year. While Mourinho stoked the fire by publicly lambasting him many times and dropping him regularly, the French World Cup winner didn’t cover himself in glory either due to his antics, with his outspoken nature getting himself into hot water and frustrating Mourinho on many occasions. Never really seeming to trust Pogba, Mourinho duly struggled to get the best out of his £89 million star.Having previously stated his admiration of Pogba and worked with him during his time coaching the United reserves, Solskjaer will relish the opportunity to involve the former Juventus whizz. “I would [build the team around him], absolutely no doubt,” he said back in August. “That just shows how far the kid has come. Paul is a fantastic kid so hopefully we can build the team around him and keep him.”It’ll therefore be expected we’ll see the tremendously talented Pogba immediately restored to the starting lineup against Cardiff City this weekend, with the enigmatic midfielder set to be an integral component of the 45-year-old’s plans.Offensive football to returnAs the unrest grew on many fronts, the stifling tactics often implemented by the Portuguese manager were a key bone of contention among many. Judging on Solskjaer’s previous experiences, the new man in charge should bring some bolder, more attackingly geared football to Old Trafford, something that will be music to the United faithful’s ears.Although it’ll take some time for his ideas to bed in, once they’ve been taken on board, Solskjaer will be hoping to get his team playing some progressive and exciting possession football. Previously noting Pep Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson as two of his idols and never afraid to give youth a chance, he’ll insist on United building out from the back, pushing the full backs high and using the breathtaking pace and dynamism of the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to stretch defences.All things considered, he’s certainly got a massive task ahead of him to get things back on track to revive the ailing Manchester giants. Possessing an invaluable love and knowledge of the club, a desire to play offensive football and wanting to get his players back enjoying their football, watching him go about his work will be fascinating as he’ll do everything in his power to rejuvenate his beloved United.
TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 29: Alabama fans cheer after the Alabama Crimson Tide defeat the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama defeated Auburn 36-0. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)Last week, the Alabama chapter of Alpha Phi released a recruiting video which included an appearance from Crimson Tide running back Kenyan Drake. Just one week later, the school has pulled the footage and issued an official apology. Why? Well, we’re not really sure.Fox Sports’ Clay Travis was able to obtain the statement, which is a bit vague. The decision comes after a columnist at AL.com wrote a scathing piece on the subject, calling the video “worse for women than Donald Trump.”“This video is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens. It is important for student organizations to remember what is posted on social media makes a difference, today and tomorrow, on how they are viewed and perceived,” said Deborah Lane, Associate Vice President for University Relations.The school’s decision is causing a great deal of controversy, to say the least. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s been re-posted below. You can form your own opinion on it.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says he is pleased with the football gods following his team’s win over Aberdeen in the Scottish League Cup final.Ryan Christie scored the only goal of the encounter at the end of the first half as Celtic edged a narrow 1-0 win over Aberdeen to claim the first silverware of the season.However, Brendan Rodgers refused to be drawn on the prospect of winning the Scottish Premiership this season, saying: “We haven’t even played the second round of games yet in the league. That’s a long, long way away.”But the former Liverpool boss admitted the fact that Christie was the match-winner against the team he spent last season on loan with is ironic.“It’s the footballing gods that we saw today,” said Rodgers, according to The National. Match Preview: Manchester United vs Leicester City Boro Tanchev – September 13, 2019 Old Trafford is the venue for the Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Leicester City, which kicks off at 16:00 (CET) on Saturday.“When I came in he wasn’t ready to play week in, week out. We could see there was a talent there, but you need to have that physicality. You need to have that power as well as the quality. He’s always had the quality. I felt he needed to get some games.”“I’ve got good relations with Derek (Aberdeen manager McInnes). We both looked at it and we both felt he still needed to do more in the big games. But there’s absolutely no doubt he went away and got that physicality in body strength and durability in terms of how we want to play and the intensity.”“He came back in the summer and in the last eight or nine weeks he has shown that. It’s fantastic to see his status grow now and in the big games he’s shown really that he has that quality to play for the biggest teams.”“I’m delighted for him. The football gods, lo and behold he scored against the team he was at for 18 months. It was a wonderful finish, a great run off the ball. The keeper made a good save, but he reacts very well to it and finishes it and it ends up being the winner.”
According to City Manager Paul Ostrander the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has been working with the city on the project: “This year we actually got the Refuge to partner with us, they are going to provide information about the eagles for us throughout the season.” The City Council approved funds back in February for an upgrade to the camera system, which the upgrades have been installed in time for this season. According to a post on the City of Kenai Facebook page, around 7:08 p.m., they got the first glimpse of an egg in the nest. According to the post the city plans to post an extended version showing the entire process from the return to the nest until the female eagle is nestled in on top of the new egg. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on April 15th, 2018 at 09:58 amThe City of Kenai announced yesterday that the first egg of the season is visible on the city’s Eagle Cam. In a letter to the City Council Ostrander stated that in its first year of operation the Kenai Eagle Cam was successful, and in just the first summer of operations, the Eagle Cam was viewed for 2,083,618 minutes. In 2017 the City, partnered with the Kenai Chamber of Commerce to begin streaming live images of a nesting eagle pair.