Excelsior High School’s Shanice Love has been dominant at the regional level.Now, she is celebrating her first title at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Associ-ation (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, after a record-breaking performance in the Class One girls discus event.The dominant Love landed the disc an amazing 52.73 metres to erase Tara-Sue Barnett’s 2013 mark of 51.16m.Davia Brown (Hydel High), 42.76m, was second, with St Jago’s Tracey-Ann Simms, 41.52m, taking third.”This is my last Champs and I really wanted to make my mark, and I did,” beamed Love.So with two events scored, Excelsior are out in front of the girls’ race with 15 points, one more than Hydel High (14), followed by St Jago (10), Wolmer’s (nine), Holmwood (seven), Vere Technical (seven), and Buff Bay High (six).Three finals are on for today’s third day of competition among the girls.Defending champion Natalliah Whyte has been a spectator for much of the season as she struggled with a prolonged injury. She was good enough for second place in her Class One 200m heat yesterday, clocking 24.18 to finish behind Holmwood’s Shanta Deer, 24.11.Holmwood’s Ashley Williams, 23.80, was quickest to the line in the heats, with Edwin Allen’s Patrice Moody joining her as the only two athletes to dip below 24 seconds, with a 23.82 win in her heat.St Jago’s Shaniel English was most impressive in the Class Two girls 200m heats, stopping the clock at 24.07 to win her heat with little trouble. Manchester’s Dazsay Freeman clocked 24.18 to win her heat, with Edwin Allen’s Kashieka Cameron also posting the same time in her heat.CLASSOFTHE FIELDHydel’s Gabrielle Matthews, 24.95, was the class of the field in the girls Class Four 200m heats, registering the fastest time as she advanced to today’s semi-final. Edwin Allen’s Bethany Bridge had the second-fastest time – 25.09; with her teammate, Salieci Myles, 25.34; Shantae Williams (St Jago), 25.42; RenÈe-Ashley Jackson, 25.71, also of St Jago; and Hydel’s Omelia Stanley, 25.97, also looked good in qualifying, with the winner expected to come from that bunch.Joanna Reid, the 200m-400m double champion from Class Four last year, was comfortable in winning her Class Four 200m heat, stopping the clock at 24.79. But she will be hard-pressed to win this event with the likes of Kevona Davis (Edwin Allen), who also booked her spot in the next round with a 24.61 win in her heat. Britany Anderson (Vere), 24.40, and Hydel’s Ashanti Moore, 24.72, also made progress.Excelsior’s Ackera Nugent, 24.97, is another one to watch in this event.Edwin Allen’s Cemore Donald has already gone 2:10.09 in the 800m and the defending champion was authoritative in winning her heat and topping all qualifiers into today’s Class Three girls 800m semi-final with a fine 2:16.91 clocking.Her schoolmate, Kayan Green, was also the best in her heat, winning in 2:19.17 with Holmwood’s Delverna Bromfield, 2:20.48 completing the top three qualifiers. Medal favourite Britney Brown (Manchester), 2:24.14 also booked safe passage with a comfortable win in her heat.In Class 2, Chrissani May (Holmwood), who had to play bridesmaid in both the 800m and 1500m at last year’s championships – with two silver medals to her name – was keen to show her intentions at the first chance, posting the fastest time 2:15.31, in yesterday’s 800m qualifiers. Hydel’s Shanique Masters (2:15.60) finish second in the heat and was also the second fastest qualifier, with Vere’s Britnie Dixon, May’s main rival for the gold, also winning her heat comfortably in 2:17.51.Other impressive qualifiers included another Holmwood girl, Brittney Campbell, 2:17.90, Spalding’s Kimone Campbell, 2:18.15, Kelly-Ann Downer (St Andrew), 2:16.76 and Albert Town’s Tasinia Mothersill, 2:17.59.Janell Fullerton, a bronze medal winner for Edwin Allen last year, is safely through to the final of the girls Class One shot put event. Fullerton, who now defends the colours of St Jago, posted 12.12m to lead all qualifiers in her preliminary flight. But it was Immaculate Conception High’s Kadian Clarke who was most impressive, with a 12.31m mark in her flight.Medal contender Latifah Smith (XLCR), barely made it through to the final with a 10.55m effort, while Holmwood’s Georgetta Samuels, 11.89m; STETHS’ Sahjay Stevens, 11.82m and Rashida Elliott, also from Holmwood, 11.50m, where the other impressive qualifiers.Jordan Temple’s (Immaculate), 4.95m, is the best distance among qualifiers to the Class Four girls long jump event, while St Andrew’s Davia Nichol registered 4.92m on her first attempt, with Zourie Smith, also from St Andrew High and another Immaculate student, Shantay Kellyman, both going into the finals with 4.85m efforts.
The magnificent Stranorlar House, a detached, listed period residence built c.1905 in pristine repair, is now on the market for a stunning €480,000. Set in mature grounds with a gated entrance and tree-lined avenue creating a very private property yet located at the edge of town. Exhibiting many period features including full-height canted bay widows, open, cross-braced bargeboards, hipped natural slate roofs, timber sliding sash windows throughout, front door frame with fluted columns. Internally, high ceilings throughout, period fireplaces, extensive plaster coving are just a few of the period features.Accommodation comprises of two reception rooms, dining room, family den, kitchen, utility and ground floor WC. Upstairs there are five bedrooms all en-suite.Outside offers storage outbuildings, vegetable and shrub gardens, ample parking etc. A very successful Bed and Breakfast was operating until quite recently. Overall an exquisite, private residence/business opportunity which can only be appreciated through viewing.Further details for the property can be found here from Henry Kee and Son Estate Agents. Stunning Stranorlar House on the market for a whopping €480,000 – Pics Special was last modified: April 7th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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:property
South Africa is a beautiful country, boasting a gorgeous coastline, stunning mountains and mesmerising bushveld. It begs to be explored, and doing that on a mountain bike is one of the best ways to go about it. The longest trail in the country is the Freedom Trail.Established in 2003, the 2 300-kilometre Freedom Trail – originally known as the Cross Karoo Challenge – starts in Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and finishes in Paarl in the Western Cape.The annual Freedom Challenge, aimed in part at promoting the route, takes place over almost a month and includes an extreme triathlon.10 years of FreedomThe Freedom Trail, launched as part of South Africa’s celebration of a decade of democracy in 2004, is a mountain bike trail consisting of dirt roads, dirt tracks and cattle tracks that includes plenty of technical challenges.Despite its great length, the Trail can be ridden at any time of the year, either in one go or in sections. It is designed to be ridden unsupported.Here is an outline of the route:(Please note that some sections of the route require permits. Information on these is provided on the Freedom Challenge website).KwaZulu-Natal MidlandsStarting in Pietermaritzburg, the trial makes its way to Hella Hella via Baynesfield and Byrne. In total, the distance is 70 kilometres.It takes in the Bisley Nature Reserve, and includes stretches alongside the Umlaas and Umkomaas rivers. Forestry tracks are also included.SizonkeBeginning at Hella Hella, the Sizonke section totals 200.5 kilometres. There are public roads and single tracks, and the trail passes though Hella Hella, into the Ntsikeni Nature Reserve, along roads that take in villages, through to Matatiele.From Hella Hella, the stops include Allendale, Creighton, Ntsikeni, The Side, the R617/Swartberg, Banchory, Rama Gate Junction, and Masakala.MalutiThe Maluti section is up to 265 kilometres long and it’s a real tester.It is a mountainous section, running from the Swartberg, above Matatiele, through villages and past mission stations built by Franciscan monks, below the escarpment of the Maluti Mountains and up to Naude’s Nek before descending into the picturesque village of Rhodes.StormbergAt up to 470 kilometres long, the Stormberg section is the longest part of the Freedom Trail.Starting from Rhodes, the trail winds its way upwards towards Barkly East, before heading down into the valley of the Bokspruit River. After exiting the valley, the route continues along the Sterkspruit River to Johnson’s Leap.Moving westwards, there is a climb before a descent into Bottlenek. Then it’s on to Rytjiesvlakte before heading into the Southern Drakensberg and descending into Vaalhoek.There follows a choice of routes on dirt roads to Clifford, before a tough section of climbing and descending through Swartnek to Rossouw and on to Dordrecht.An alternative route follows farm tracks over the mountains to Bonthoek before rejoining the road after Rossouw.The trail then continues on to Pronkskraal, Brosterlea and Molteno before crossing over the Bamboesberge to drop off the Drakensberg escarpment.Great KarooThe Great Karoo is another long section, measuring up to 433 kilometres.It starts in Hofmeyr and heads off to Cradock along dirt roads. It crosses the Great Fish River and heads to the Mountain Zebra National Park. After traversing the park there is an exciting descent through the Groenhoek Farm, before entering the valley of the Little Fish River.Heading down from the Swaershoek Mountains near Pearston, the trail goes across the plains of the Camdeboo, past Karoopoort and down to Darlington Dam. Then, into the Addo Elephant National Park, the route continues alongside the Witrugberg, through Perdepoort to the village of Kleinpoort, and across the Springbokvlaktes to the Groot Rivier.BaviaanskloofFollowing the Great Karoo is the Baviaanskloof section. Measuring 280 kilometres, it begins in Steytlerville and takes in the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area. There is thick coastal foliage and plenty of water along the way, as well as lots of birdlife.Starting Steytlerville, the trail passes through Hadley, Grasnek, Goedehoop, Cambria, Geelhoutbos, Studtis and Voorkloof to Willowmore.SwartbergThe next section, the Swartberg, is up to 400 kilometres long. Leaving Willowmore, the trail heads towards Klaarstroom and the railway siding at Vondeling. From there is heads north, then west along the Droeberge, past Rondawel and Sleutelfontein to Prince Albert.Two options are offered from Prince Albert. The shorter route goes to the Gamkapoort Dam, along the Bosluiskloof road and on to Vleiland. The other choice takes one on a more testing route up the Swartberg Pass and into Die Hel before making for the Bosluiskloof road and on to Vleiland.From there, the trail runs the Swartberg Mountains to Rouxpos and on through the Anysberg Nature Reserve.Klein KarooThe next section, the Klein Karoo, is divided into just two parts. The first of these, from Anysberg to Ouberg Pass, covers 49 kilometres, while the second, from Ouberg Pass to Montagu via Langkloofspruit, is 37 kilometres long.The route is highlighted by a breathtaking descent down the Ouberg pass, which then heads along the Langkloofspruit.Breede RiverThe Breede River section of the Freedom Trail is 138 kilometres long. Part of the route includes the old wagon trail that runs along the northern side of the Riviersonderend Mountains.It goes through the Coegmanskloof to Ashton, and then on to McGregor. That’s where the wagon trail is picked up. The route drops down and around the Brandvlei Dam. Then it’s up to the Stettyns Dam, continuing up to the Elandspad in the Du Toits Kloof.From the top of the pass, the trail runs through the Hawekwas Plantation, through northern Paarl and over Paarl Mountain to Fairview and Cape Town.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Photographs by Bongani NkosiWhen one walks into the University of Johannesburg’s campus in Soweto, it’s immediately apparent that creativity was a requisite in designing the township’s first state-of-the-art academic facility. The campus boasts some splendid buildings, many of which are named after struggle icons – this makes the campus more relevant to the community of Soweto and to South Africa.• Read the full storyClick on a thumbnail for a larger low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below each thumbnail to download a high-resolution image. Buildings at UJ’s Soweto campus are named after struggle icons. • Download high-resolution image This lecture building is named after prominent teacher TW Khambule. • Download high-resolution image The ceremony on 4 February marked the official opening of the campus. • Download high-resolution image Leadership studies form the core of UJ’s curriculum. • Download high-resolution image The campus’ little freedom square. • Download high-resolution image UJ’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Ihron Rensburg speaks. • Download high-resolution image Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe speaking at the opening ceremony. • Download high-resolution image Members of the UJ Choir singing their voices out. • Download high-resolution image Dr Nthato Motlana was a prominent Soweto businessman and Nelson Mandela’s physician. • Download high-resolution image First year students were welcomed during the ceremony. • Download high-resolution image The campus was designed to inspire creative thinking. • Download high-resolution image This one is named after Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica composer Enoch Sontonga. • Download high-resolution image A student dashes past Bram Fischer building. • Download high-resolution image The campus will serve the Soweto community. • Download high-resolution image Some creative designers were roped in to produce a sleek campus. • Download high-resolution image A lecture building named after late Pan-Africanist icon Robert Sobukwe. • Download high-resolution image It’s open to students from all over South Africa and the world. • Download high-resolution image The campus is not far from Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. • Download high-resolution image The government invested R450-million to the campus’ revamping. • Download high-resolution image The campus was formerly part of Vista University. • Download high-resolution image This one is named after the late Bram Fischer, a human rights lawyer. • Download high-resolution image UJ is one of South Africa’s leading universities. • Download high-resolution image MORE GALLERIES
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Pete Conkle loves to stand in the rolling pastures of his family’s Columbiana County farm and just listen to the sound of his hungry cattle biting, tearing and chewing into a fresh new paddock of grass.“I love that sound,” he said. “It is therapeutic for me.”That sound gives Conkle plenty to ruminate about as it represents many things to him —profitability, success, animal husbandry, and hard-earned harmony between land, farmer and livestock. It all started when Conkle, this year’s Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award winner, returned home shortly after college and began to transition a few outlying grain fields to grass in order to supply feed for his commercial cow-calf operation.“We’d always had some calves but when I finished at Ohio State and came home, a good friend was looking for a place for a couple bred cows and so I bought them to eat the grass in the front. It was ground that couldn’t be cropped but it grew great grass. That was the start of our cow-calf operation,” said Conkle, who also works for the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District. “Dad really questioned the decision I made to buy those first few stock cows and seed some of the fields to grass. He thought I hadn’t learned anything at Ohio State. That was in ’98.”It was a big change for the farm, but the transition to grass fit in nicely with a long history of conservation for the family.“In ‘38 my grandparents bought the home farm where my parents still reside. They immediately began implementing conservation practices, planting trees on the steep slopes and taking that ground out of crop production. My dad has always been a big promoter of conservation practices too. He planted row crops at the home farm and rented additional acres of row-crop land. He installed sod waterways, drain tile, maintained the contour strips and used no-till planting to promote the conservation on the land. He always had small grains in his crop rotation as well. But, it got to the point where there wasn’t enough ground to justify all of the equipment for row crops,” Conkle said. “As we added more pasture, we got hooked on the grazing aspect of the cattle. We transitioned some fields into grass and did our best to manage the pastures using poly fencing. Now we have permanent subdivisions with high tensile fence and then we are further subdividing with poly wire or poly tape.”The details of grass management led to the need for more learning and experience.“The Eastern Ohio Grazing Council meetings have been a great resource. We attended a lot of those meetings to learn as much as we could. As we got further involved, we saw we needed to implement more things. We started with some spring developments and we could see our grazing efficiency wasn’t where it needed to be because we were getting away from our water sources. We started putting one-inch water lines and portable tanks out to break up our paddocks even smaller and continue to rotate. Then we could have water in every paddock,” he said. “We eliminated the cow trails and improved the overall efficiency of the operation. We started that back in 2006 or so. We have continued to add on to that water line to spider web it out. We have put in over 6,700 feet of water line. We switched to all grass in 2010 and the last of the row crops disappeared.”There was careful planning to make the transition from row crops to pasture as smooth as possible, both economically and agronomically.“To transition, we would plant beans and follow with an annual ryegrass cover crop with high-calcium lime in the fall. Then we would no-till drill pasture mix the following spring. We seeded a mix with 10 pounds of tall fescue, 10 pounds orchardgrass and two pounds of white clover and four pounds red clover,” Conkle said. “We would wait for that new crop to get up then fertilize with some chicken litter or ammonium sulfate. After that first hay crop comes off we hit it with a little nitrogen then go by soil test after that. We have worked with the USDA NRCS to develop a nutrient management plan to properly apply the manure. We also unroll hay to boost organic matter.”The pastures are managed differently based on their farm location and their purpose.“The home farm is where we do all of the spring calving and that is where the cows stay the majority of the year. We had 10 acres across the road that is away from the rest of the farm,” Conkle said. “That was the last field to be transitioned to grass. We make one cutting of hay on that 10 acres and then stockpile for grass and graze in November.”He bought a nearby 30-acre farm in 2002 that they had previously rented for crop production.“In 2008, we transitioned that farm to grass. Ever since then we make first crop hay, apply some fertilizer and stockpile that for grazing in the winter,” he said. “We move the older cows there in mid-December and this year the stockpiled grass should carry the cows to mid-February.”Four years ago, he added an additional 25-acre farm where they now keep replacement heifers.“When we took over this farm it had been in hay. There was a lot of fescue, green briar and Queen Anne’s Lace. We used older cattle with less nutrient demand and bunched them up tight so they either ate it, stepped on it or pooped on it,” Conkle said. “We would leave them in a paddock for a day and did that rotation for a season. I think mob grazing like that is pretty situation-specific in Ohio. It has its place, but it is limited.”The genetics have evolved over time to fit the needs of the grass-based operation.“We saw that those big cows did not work for us on a grazing operation. Their intake was way higher than their output. We have tried to select more moderate bulls and implement AI to get where we needed to be a little quicker,” Conkle said. “I like that 1,250- to 1,400-pound size cow with lots of rib and not too much leg. We want them to grow a big calf in there with plenty of room to fill up on grass. We have a lot of Red Angus because we don’t have a lot of shade and the reds seem to be better in that situation. They will still be grazing at 2 in the afternoon on a hot day when the Black Angus are looking for shade. I want an animal that can thrive on grass and not just survive.”The last few years a Charolais bull has been used as a terminal sire on the Red Angus based cowherd to provide heterosis and productive feedlot calves.The temperament of the animals is also important in this type of system.“As long as you have cattle that are accustomed to being moved it works. It is not a system for wild or hotheaded cattle. They just don’t do well in our system,” Conkle said. “After coming home from work it does not take too long to move two groups of cattle daily. The cattle are used to the poly wire and we can go out and set up new strands using temporary posts fairly quickly. We have tried to make everything portable and easy to manage.”The operation is managed with the benefit of the cattle and the people working with them in mind.“The heifers are always by themselves in a separate group. The mature cows are a separate group. We fence-line wean; we are really big on low stress. We move the calves off into the pasture near our heavy use pad and feed them depending on the grass and the market. All the cows and heifers are on grass,” he said. “Calves get grain after they are weaned and then sold as feeder calves, mostly locally, to be fed out. We try and market most of the steer calves, but it really depends on our grass. We kept almost half of our calves last year. We are about where we want to be if we calve 50 in the spring. That is what our land base can comfortably support, even if we get in a drought situation.The plan is to break ground this spring on a pen pack barn.“Once we wean the calves I would like to background them on grass until about the first of December. Then if we could go into that pen pack barn in December, we would save a lot of feed and improve their efficiency,” Conkle said. “The barn will allow us to capture the nutrients in the manure and apply it to our fields while the grass is growing. The pen pack barn will also give the pastures a rest from the young cattle during the dormant season which will leave the sod base intact throughout the winter.”The grass system also offers marketing options for the farm.“We have flexibility with our grass base. If we want to feed them longer we can, or if we want to sell them earlier when we run out of grass we can,” Conkle said. “The grass gives us flexibility to market cattle when we want versus when we have to. We can be more of a price maker and less of a price taker. We have pretty good freezer beef clientele as well, which helps to generate some income throughout the year. We will also sell some bred cows and bred heifers if we have a good breeding season and end up with more pregnant females than the farm can support.”Intense management is required with the system, but it has been very rewarding on the farm.“That switch to grass was important for the land we have. We have excluded pretty much all of the woodlots and added bluebird houses and wood duck boxes. We have installed 3,695 feet of stream exclusion fencing. We are fortunate to have several streams running through the property and the cattle do not have access to any of them,” he said. “The water quality has improved as we have learned how not to overgraze. We just do not see the run-off and the sediment loss. It has been a definite improvement to the water quality.”The local wildlife populations have benefited from conservation practices as well. There has been a noticeable increase in the songbird population, wild turkeys, and even a family of fox.“I work a lot with aerial photography and when I see our place still green in the late fall, it makes me feel good about what I am doing. We have a lot less inputs now than we did with the crops and on a per acre basis the profitability is there with the cattle,” Conkle said. “I believe this farm is more economically viable being in grass. I am blessed that my family let me do this even though my dad still questions that initial purchase from time to time.”
LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Read Next Jerrick Ahanmisi was cold-blooded for Adamson down the stretch, hitting a floater with 54.3 seconds left to give the Falcons a 70-66 lead and nailing the two charities for the game’s final score line.Carlos Escalambre managed to give UST a final gasp of life with a triple with 14 seconds left that cut the deficit to three, 73-70, before Ahanmisi put the game away.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAdamson head coach Franz Pumaren was aware of the huge disparity between the two teams’ rankings and he expected a better showing from his group.Unfortunately for Pumaren, what he saw was the complete opposite of what he expected. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE — Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAdamson U tightened its grip on the third seed and knocked down University of Santo Tomas, 75-70, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.The Soaring Falcons bumped their record to 7-4 behind La Salle to also keep their chance for a twice-to-beat edge while the Growling Tigers saw their losing streak extend to an historic eleven straight games.ADVERTISEMENT Bong Ravena suprised with Kiefer’s all-out effort in Draft Combine “I was so disappointed, but you know these guys are trying to level down because probably their mindset going into this game was that UST is winless so they thought those players would just lie down,” said Pumaren.“It’s not that we’re going to cruise along but at least with this victory we have a hold of third place.”Ahanmisi finished with a game-high 21 points while Papi Sarr held the fort in the paint with 12 points and 14 boards.Regie Basibas led UST in scoring with 17 points while Jeepy Faundo and Steve Akomo put up respective double-doubles.Faundo had 12 points and 12 boards while Akomo put up 10 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments
Vitesse coach Slutsky reveals Musonda ‘bitter setback’by Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveVitesse coach Leonid Slutsky has virtually wrote off the season of Chelsea midfielder Charly Musonda.On-loan at the Eredivisie outfit, Musonda has been missing since September with a knee injury – and Slutsky admits his recovery hasn’t gone to plan.”It does not look good,” he said.”Musonda will now be fit again at the earliest in February. But beware: then he has to be trained again to become a match fit. Then we talk about the end of March. “And then everything has to go as expected.”For all of us this is a bitter setback.” TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Unfortunate are those who were caught in the webbing of fraud builder groups and have to endure the price of embezzlement that these builder groups and their directors/owners inflicted upon them. It is strange how a handful of people capitalised on the idea to fool thousands right under everyone’s noses. It is to the credit of authorities to have unravelled the chain of events for the public to take note of how these builder groups have brought down people’s trust, and the economy somewhere in their pursuit for wealth. Now reeling under the judicial hammer, their incapacity to cough up their dues–money siphoned from buyers–has obviously pushed the state, the judiciary and homebuyers in a state of utter chaos. But the Judiciary has to play its role as the guardian of justice and it is the sight of Supreme Courts delivering justice which relieves the distressed homebuyers. In an equation, the story of these builder groups is no more than a theft of public money but the impact it had on the public was beyond just a theft. It was a severe fraud where homebuyers’ biggest share of financial strength was siphoned off in the lieu of providing a dream home to those uninformed buyers. They did not steal just money, they stole fortunes and people have been waiting ever since. Stories behind several complaints against these real-estate giants such as Amrapali and Unitech Ltd sum up to gross injustice and public cheating on a massive scale–something the SC ought to come down very hard for upon culprits. When the Supreme Court, Tuesday noon, finally delivered its verdict on the Amrapali Groups’ future, it felt a fraction of justice. SC cancelled the RERA registration of the Group besides appointing the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete pending projects. The hammering did not cease. The Apex Court directed ED to investigate Amrapali Group officials and directors over money laundering. While the authorities will ensure that Amrapali Group coughs up all dues, the situation still leaves homebuyers in distress. An investment of a greater part of their fortunes into under-construction projects in pursuit to own a home that was never made is an investment of nearly a decade yielding absolutely nothing and simultaneously, impinging the investee with a financial crunch and a judicial battle–for their own money. The SC bench vested the rights of all projects seized by Amrapali with Senior Advocate R Venkatrami once its lease stands cancelled. SC will allow Venkatrami to enter into third-party negotiations in a bid to recover dues through the sale of these properties. Subsequently, ED filed a case of money laundering against Amrapali Group and its promoters who have allegedly failed to provide possession of flats to over 42,000 prospective buyers as per Noida and the Greater Noida Authorities. Amrapali Group’s fall, however, is not justice. The Court’s persistence in bringing assistance to complete pending projects is the road to justice. Providing homebuyers with complete refund or possession of their flats, even if terribly late is justice. Supreme Court finds itself in the position over not just Amrapali but Unitech’s matter as well. SC on July 9 had observed in the Unitech matter that the government should involve a third-party like state-funded NBCC to complete the projects. On the macro front, it is the Centre who has to initiate restoration of these losses induced by directors/owners of these defunct building groups. NBCC also has to divide its attention and work on successful and timely completion of all the pending properties as homebuyers have no alternative but to stay positive about getting their fortunes back. Also Read – A compounding difficultyWhile the Amrapali matter will be tabled again on August 9, ED has the job to lay the groundwork of recovering money from all personnel who have benefitted from the homebuyers’ money siphoned through these projects; the recovered money is to be used for completing the pending work. Thought the Supreme Court will now ensure the completion of these projects, it remains a fact that real-estate, through the demeaning picture painted by these tainted building groups, has sucked out both the money and trust off the middle-class segment who had hoped for better living houses. While largely curtailed to Delhi-NCR, there are several reeling under the same adversity in other cities as well and this is when only Tier-1 cities had the opportunity to have high-rise apartments and affordable luxurious homes. Supreme Court’s pursuit for justice also brings the question of ensuring state-involvement in construction of ambitious projects since the acts of the culprit groups only cite a pattern which robbed thousands surmounting to million. Regulations, however, remain the best tools to curtail the scope of corruption on the builders’ part and tightening a grip on those to prevent anyone from fooling others will have to be the norm if real-estate has to be protected from gold-hawks.
FRESNO, Calif. – A group of powerful California farmers pulled their support Tuesday from a pair of massive, $16 billion tunnels that would have re-engineered the state’s water system in a decisive move that dealt a major blow to the project pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown.The board of Westlands Water District, the nation’s largest supplier of irrigation water to farms, voted to withdraw its participation from the project after more than an hour of tense discussions and comments from farmers who overwhelmingly concluded it was too expensive.After the vote, John Laird, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, said the aging water infrastructure must be modernized.“Failing to act puts future water supply reliability at risk,” he said in a statement. “This vote, while disappointing, in no way signals the end” of the project known as WaterFix.Tuesday’s vote leaves the project’s future in peril, potentially heightening a longstanding feud between typically dry Southern and Northern California, where much of the state’s water originates.Before the 7-1 vote in Fresno, Westlands general manager Thomas Birmingham had urged board members to support the tunnels on the condition that federal officials spread the cost more broadly to make it affordable for the district.“This thing dies,” Birmingham told the board about the decision. “The project will be over.”The vote was the first among several large water districts that have already spent more than $200 million on planning for the tunnels but have not committed to shouldering their share of the hefty construction costs.Water is a fought-over resource in California, which leads the nation in agricultural production, growing nearly half of its fruits, nuts and vegetables.Water for irrigation now flows through a complex system of reservoirs and canals managed by state and federal officials that was built decades ago.The tunnels project calls for building two 35-mile-long (56-kilometre-long) tunnels east of San Francisco to deliver water from the Sacramento River mostly to farms and cities hundreds of miles away in central and Southern California.Backers say the tunnels will stabilize delta flows, bolster endangered fish and ensure a reliable water supply. Critics say the project will be used to drain Northern California dry and further harm native fish.William Bourdeau, executive vice-president at Harris Farms and a Westlands board member, said the economics of the project didn’t pencil out and it came with no guarantee it would produce consistent water supplies years from now.“We would be obligating hundreds of family farms,” Bourdeau said outside the meeting. “That doesn’t make economic sense.”Rather than putting the responsibility on the districts that stand to benefit from the tunnels, Bourdeau said the federal government needs to play a leading role as it did decades ago when it built the current complex of dams and canals.The powerful Westlands agency provides irrigation water to 1,000 square miles (2,590 square kilometres) in the San Joaquin Valley, some of the nation’s richest farmland.Officials in other districts were watching the Westlands vote as they prepare to make their decisions on the project that has been on the drawing board for more than a decade.Opponents representing delta farmers, who long battled against the tunnels, considered the Westlands vote a good day for California. They’d prefer seeing money spent on capturing Californian’s storm runoff and replacing leaky toilets as ways to ease the demand for delta water.“The sooner we can get Gov. Brown to put an end to pushing California WaterFix, the sooner we can get to solutions for California water,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director for Restore the Delta.The vote came a day after The Associated Press reported state plans to put dozens more water agencies and millions of families and farmers on the hook for funding the tunnels.The approach pivots from longstanding state and federal assurances that only water districts that seek to participate would pay, instead shifting responsibility to a broader sweep of districts.Brown is pressing to secure the project before he leaves office next year. Calls and emails to the governor’s press office seeking comment Tuesday were not immediately returned.Westlands farmers had considered delaying their vote in hopes of securing a better deal from federal officials, but Birmingham told them the terms wouldn’t likely change.“There’s just too many unknowns,” said farmer and board member, Larry Enos.“The only guarantee is once we do it, we have to pay the bonds. I can’t get comfortable with it today.”
UPDATE: There has been a change of address for the special meeting. The new location is;Regional District Office Boardroom, 1981 Alaska Avenue, Dawson Creek, BCDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – A special meeting of the Board will be held with Government regarding the Southern Mountain Caribou, Central Group. The purpose of the meeting is to receive a delegation from Deputy Minister Dave Nikolejsin, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Deputy Minister Mark Zacharias, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.The public is welcome to attend to hear the presentation from the Province.The meeting takes place 10:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2019, in the Co-op Mercer Hall at the Encana Events Centre located at #1-300 Highway 2, Dawson Creek BCThe agenda is available online at www.prrd.bc.ca and a video recording of the meeting will be posted within two business days after the meeting.