Council could lease ghost estate houses

first_imgNewsLocal NewsCouncil could lease ghost estate housesBy admin – March 31, 2011 748 Linkedin Email Facebook WhatsApp SOME houses lying vacant on unfinished estates in the city could be used for social housing, says Cllr Tom Shortt.He told a meeting of Limerick City Council this week that with 3,500 on the city’s waiting housing list, a special case could be put to the Department of the Environment that vacant properties be allocated to the council.“We should be negotiating for the sale or lease of some of these properties – some of them could be used for social housing – we should pursue this,” he urged.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Cllr John Gilligan pointed out that the council did not create the problem of ghost estates.“Water and sewerage is essential but we do not have the capacity to go in and finish all of the estates, but Cllr Ger Fahy said that Waller’s Close, which has 10 houses, requires just “some outside works remaining to be completed“As it is, we have vacant houses there which attract anti-social activity and become targeted”.Cllr Joe Leddin recommended that where there is a genuine problem with the provision of water and sewerage, the estates concerned should be categorised in terms of priority and value of the bonds outstanding, which in many cases, would not cover the costs involved.“We must ensure that we, as a local authority, are not out of pocket on this. Is there, I wonder, any provision for us to go in to these estates and carry out emergency works because as it is, we have people living on building sites, with fencing and hoardings torn down, and one unfinished estate has no bond – I thought this was essential to secure planning permission”.center_img Twitter Print Advertisement Previous articlePlea to bulldoze Hyde Road ‘eyesore’Next articleThomond Park to miss out on Inter Milan adminlast_img read more

Modern age musicians

first_imgRecent times have seen seismic movement in the music industry. Mergers, job losses, reductions in artist numbers all point to a fundamental failure in the music industry’s business model. And why?  Technological change, both recording and the Internet, have changed everything, and threaten the industry’s four big players in ways they don’t care to admit. Of course the familiar issue is thatof piracy. Illegal music is shared in vast quantities, with some estimates of around a billion tracks downloaded in the first half of 2005. This obviously has been of great distress to the larger international record labels, and they have deployed PR companies and lawyers to attack first websites and program makers, and then individual file sharers. The real turnaround, however, is coming with legal downloads. While illegal downloads are thought to be at fairly stable levels, legal download revenues have tripled in the first half of the year. They now represent six percent of industry revenues, while CD sales are in secular decline and music revenues are slowly but steadily falling. This success can only continue with more and more people using the Internet and with the ever-diversifying selection of gadgets to play music, including iPods and mobile phones. So, the big labels may ask themselves, is this it? Will we see a turnaround back to the good old days of high sales, albeit in a different form? Maybe sales will recover somewhat. But there is a more fundamental challenge to the status quo on the horizon. This comes not from consumers, but from individual artists. The traditional idea of a record label is a large firm, hiring young talent, providing recording, distribution and promotion, and in return receiving a considerable part of the revenue. The greatest ambition for many young artists was to be signed, because it let them access vast audiences, unimaginable for the sole trader musician. Throw in a load of cheap, home computer technology for production, marketing and distribution, and suddenly it all becomes feasible. Anyone can set up a website and sell their own music, with tiny overheads and complete creative freedom.Mercury nominee Seth Lakeman followed this route. For three hundred pounds he recorded his album of Cornish folk songs in his kitchen (after unplugging the fridge), set up his own label and website, and sold his album to the masses. This type of achievement is by no means confined to the technology- savvy world of Cornish folk music: in the newer industry surrounding rap and R&B the same is true. The winner of the Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO awards, Sway Dasafo, remains unsigned and chooses to distribute his music himself. While the Internet isn’t as important for distribution, cheap production technology allows him to produce thousands of copies of a mix tape, essentially cutting out the corporate middle man. These two musicians have proved the extent of what you can achieve without the backing of a large and powerful label.At the same time amateurs and new artists are able to put up free downloads and be heard by as many people as can find their site. Already commercial ventures such as amazon.com run free download pages, aware of the value of such a service. The quality of the free downloads available varies widely from the ludicrous to the sublime and from experimental to retro, but it means that anyone can explore different genres of music like never before. Of course taking this direct route to fans has its limitations. There is no vast marketing machine available to reach every single music lover in the land. But then is there ever? Most of the successful artists (outside pure saccharine pop) tour to make their name. They rely on word of mouth advertising, slowly increasing sales and a good reputation. It’s just how quickly they get up the ladder.It is not just the artists who could benefit from this. Music fans now have arguably their greatest ever choice. Already there is a vast reduction in pop sales, lost to rock, jazz and folk-styled artists. Why should we continue to watch Top of the Pops when we can access whatever we want at the touch of a button? With the live scene on an unprecedented high, there is no shortage of dynamism and creativity in Britain. For the first time these artists have the opportunity to pursue this for themselves. Even if the industry faces challenges, we stand at the beginning of an extraordinary time of opportunity for the young and talented, which can be only be good news for the music-loving public.ARCHIVE: 1st week MT 2005last_img read more

Flying with Paraguay’s Moros

first_imgBy Dialogo November 03, 2014 After checking generic information such as its origin, destination, occupants and cargo, the fighter pilot confirmed that the suspect craft was an irregular airplane, and ordered it to turn around to Asunción for a forced landing at Silvio Pettirossi airport and subsequent investigation by the competent security agencies. Later, after the planes departed Asunción, flying in formation, they set course to the East until they crossed the Paraguay River. When air defense control spotted the target on radar, they turned to intercept in such a way that the unknown aircraft could not detect the interceptors. This occurred over the region of the Chaco Paraguayo. After checking generic information such as its origin, destination, occupants and cargo, the fighter pilot confirmed that the suspect craft was an irregular airplane, and ordered it to turn around to Asunción for a forced landing at Silvio Pettirossi airport and subsequent investigation by the competent security agencies. With the authorization of Paraguay’s President, we had the opportunity to fly in the AT-27 planes used by the Aero Tactical Group (GAT). As soon as the call to action sounded, the pilots on duty ran to the airplanes that were armed and supplied on the airstrip. They wore vests with survival materials and a pistol for self-defense in the event they were ejected over an area where there the extremist Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) or drug traffickers were present. Each plane was armed with two FN HMP capsules and two M3, 12.7mm machine guns, with 250 rounds each. While one of the planes continued to accompany the craft discreetly at a safe distance and in a favorable position for possible engagement, the leader approached the suspect aircraft, arriving at an interrogation position on the left (at 9 o’clock), staying near the wing and became visible to the pilot of the suspect aircraft. At this time, he showed the craft a plate with a radio frequency on it, and began to question the other pilot using scripted phrases in both Spanish and Guaraní. Positioning themselves behind and below the plane to be intercepted, using a technique to police the airspace known as “Distance Reconnaissance,” the pilot of one of the planes identified the aircraft’s registration and sent it to CIVA (the agency responsible for controlling and monitoring the nation’s airspace), which confirmed that the craft had not filed a flight plan. Note: Hours after the interception mission that we had the opportunity to fly, a television channel in Paraguay showed images of drug trafficking planes discarding it drug cargo mid-flight. We discovered that the drug traffickers learned that the Paraguayan Air Force was conducting an operation at the time, and that Tucano planes had been seen escorting an aircraft to the Asunción airport. Not knowing that it was an exercise, the pilots became afraid of being intercepted by the FAP and arrested upon landing. While we were taxiing back to the hangers, all of the GAT pilot officers were already gathered on the airstrip waiting to meet the first team of Brazilian journalists to fly with the unit, a beautiful example of cordiality and brotherhood. In unison and in the tradition of fighter pilots, they shouted, “ à la chasse! Bordel!” During the remainder of the flight, the intercepting fighter planes remained vigilant while accompanying the intercepted aircraft at a distance until the craft was finally forced to land. Once the suspect craft touched down on the landing strip, the pilots peeled off to the right, descended, approached the airstrip and initiated landing procedures. Note: Hours after the interception mission that we had the opportunity to fly, a television channel in Paraguay showed images of drug trafficking planes discarding it drug cargo mid-flight. We discovered that the drug traffickers learned that the Paraguayan Air Force was conducting an operation at the time, and that Tucano planes had been seen escorting an aircraft to the Asunción airport. Not knowing that it was an exercise, the pilots became afraid of being intercepted by the FAP and arrested upon landing. Positioning themselves behind and below the plane to be intercepted, using a technique to police the airspace known as “Distance Reconnaissance,” the pilot of one of the planes identified the aircraft’s registration and sent it to CIVA (the agency responsible for controlling and monitoring the nation’s airspace), which confirmed that the craft had not filed a flight plan. With the authorization of Paraguay’s President, we had the opportunity to fly in the AT-27 planes used by the Aero Tactical Group (GAT). As soon as the call to action sounded, the pilots on duty ran to the airplanes that were armed and supplied on the airstrip. They wore vests with survival materials and a pistol for self-defense in the event they were ejected over an area where there the extremist Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP) or drug traffickers were present. Each plane was armed with two FN HMP capsules and two M3, 12.7mm machine guns, with 250 rounds each. It is with these and other operations that the Paraguayan Air Force keeps alive in its young pilots the spirit of the Heroes of Chaco. While the FAP conducts these operations, it anxiously waits for the technical and political decisions that will, at last, restore its combat capabilities. While one of the planes continued to accompany the craft discreetly at a safe distance and in a favorable position for possible engagement, the leader approached the suspect aircraft, arriving at an interrogation position on the left (at 9 o’clock), staying near the wing and became visible to the pilot of the suspect aircraft. At this time, he showed the craft a plate with a radio frequency on it, and began to question the other pilot using scripted phrases in both Spanish and Guaraní. The Moros, which are the symbol of the Paraguay’s Third Fighter Squadron, were the most warlike among the Guarani tribes and were known for never letting anyone breach their borders. The unit’s routines are especially focused on the training of new fighter pilots, conducting aerial target practice missions, use of mounted machine guns, missiles and bombs, in addition to operational missions where the squadron may be required, such as for escort duty, isolated attacks and in the areas of armed reconnaissance, interceptions and combat air patrols. While we were taxiing back to the hangers, all of the GAT pilot officers were already gathered on the airstrip waiting to meet the first team of Brazilian journalists to fly with the unit, a beautiful example of cordiality and brotherhood. In unison and in the tradition of fighter pilots, they shouted, “ à la chasse! Bordel!” During the remainder of the flight, the intercepting fighter planes remained vigilant while accompanying the intercepted aircraft at a distance until the craft was finally forced to land. Once the suspect craft touched down on the landing strip, the pilots peeled off to the right, descended, approached the airstrip and initiated landing procedures. The Moros, which are the symbol of the Paraguay’s Third Fighter Squadron, were the most warlike among the Guarani tribes and were known for never letting anyone breach their borders. The unit’s routines are especially focused on the training of new fighter pilots, conducting aerial target practice missions, use of mounted machine guns, missiles and bombs, in addition to operational missions where the squadron may be required, such as for escort duty, isolated attacks and in the areas of armed reconnaissance, interceptions and combat air patrols. Later, after the planes departed Asunción, flying in formation, they set course to the East until they crossed the Paraguay River. When air defense control spotted the target on radar, they turned to intercept in such a way that the unknown aircraft could not detect the interceptors. This occurred over the region of the Chaco Paraguayo. It is with these and other operations that the Paraguayan Air Force keeps alive in its young pilots the spirit of the Heroes of Chaco. While the FAP conducts these operations, it anxiously waits for the technical and political decisions that will, at last, restore its combat capabilities. last_img read more

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) refuses Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s T20I series Request

first_imgAuckland, July 31: Citing security concerns, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Tuesday turned down a request from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to tour the South Asian country for a T20I series.According to an ESPNCricinfo report, the Black Caps are scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to play Pakistan for a full tour that is likely to comprise three Tests, three One-Day Internationals (ODI) and as many Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) in October-November.The fixtures are not announced yet. The PCB hoped to host the T20I leg of the tour.”At the end of the day it came down to following the advisory and the security reports we had obtained,” NZC chairman Greg Barclay told Newshub.”There’s no doubt they (Pakistan Cricket Board) are disappointed. I think they saw a tour by a country like New Zealand as being a great precedent for them to start to build an international programme back in Pakistan. So they’re disappointed but they’re good guys, we get on really well with Pakistan, and I think they’re fully accepting of the decision that we’ve reached.”Since the 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus, Pakistan have made UAE their home.In May 2015, Zimbabwe became the first team since the ghastly incident to go to Pakistan for a short limited-overs series, which was marred by a blast near the Gaddafi Stadium.Recently, a depleted West Indies squad toured Pakistan for three T20Is in as many days. IANSlast_img read more

USC stumbles late again in weekend tournament

first_imgThe No. 14 USC men’s golf team slogged through another poor final round Monday at the Ping/Golfweek Invitational and finished the tournament in seventh place at 33-over 897.The Trojans entered the final day of play tied for third but struggled down the stretch. USC shot 16-over 592 for the first two rounds.“It’s unfortunate that we finished the way we did but we have a young team. We’re playing against strong fields on great, tough golf courses and I don’t think we’re very far off,” coach Chris Zambri said.No. 3 Oklahoma State, coming off of a second place finish at the Olympia Fields Invitational, blew away the field Monday en route to a commanding victory. The Cowboys shot 2-under 862 for the weekend and swept the top three individual finishes. Sophomore Peter Uihlein took the victory for Oklahoma State, followed by teammates Morgan Hoffmann and Trent Whitekiller.Zambri said that kind of gap between the victors and the rest of the field is rare, although it can happen with a team as talented as the Cowboys.“This is my fourth year and we’ve probably had three events where [there] was a margin of victory greater than 20 strokes,” he said. “It’s possible, especially when you get on the tougher courses. [Oklahoma State] is going to have even more separation when the course gets tough.”Compounding the frustration for the Trojans was their inability to keep pace with the other Pac-10 schools in the tournament. USC was sandwiched between Washington and Arizona State on the leaderboard entering the final round but faltered late for the second consecutive weekend.“If we can go out and shoot 1-under in a given round, there’s no reason why we should shoot 18- and 16-over in two other rounds,” Zambri said. “I’m really disappointed that we lost ground to them and three other teams. We go from tied for third to seventh. It’s unacceptable.”The Huskies finished second at 20-over 884 while Arizona State finished third at 25-over 889.Freshman Martin Trainer led the way for USC, tying for 12th place. Playing in only his second collegiate tournament, Trainer shot a 6-over 222 for his second straight top-20 finish.“For a freshman to come in and play as well as he has on the golf courses that we’ve played on is really impressive,” Zambri said. “It says a lot about his game and we’re really excited about what we have in him.”Junior Matthew Giles had a tournament — and final round — to forget. The returning All-American plummeted down the leaderboard Monday after bogeying eight of the first 12 holes. He ended the day 10 strokes over par and finished the tournament tied for 36th at 12-over 228.“He got off to a tough start and maybe let that affect his play after that,” Zambri said.Freshman T.J. Vogel finished tied for 27th at 9-over 225 and sophomore Steve Lim tied for 32nd at 11-over 227. Freshman Sam Smith, who shot 14-over 230, brought up the rear for the Trojans with a 43rd place finish.Despite some early season inconsistency, Zambri is confident the team will continue to improve as it gains experience.“Sometimes perspective [can get] fuzzy, but when it’s all said and done we’re young, we’re going to get better, and we still haven’t played our best,” he said.USC has two weekends off before it plays at The Prestige tournament in La Quinta, Calif. First-round action will start Oct. 12.last_img read more

Fate of Marine Park Aired

first_imgRED BANK – The public was given its turn to ask questions about the fate of the site of the now unusable clay tennis courts on Union Street next to Marine Park at a special Borough Council meeting May 28. Now the decision about which plan will be chosen will be made by the governing body.The questions and suggestions from the audience of around 120, lasted almost three hours and only ended because the meeting was closed by Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer.First up was Rumson resident James P. Cullen, who has offered to donate $500,000 to the town, of which $400,000 would be used to rebuild the clay courts that were damaged by Sandy, and $100,000 to operate and maintain them.The Jetsun Enterprises proposal includes a year round ice skating rink, a miniature golf course, boat rental facilities, a visitors center for the borough and a free electric shuttle that would pick up people throughout the town.The third proposal was presented by Marine Park Activity Center, a local group formed to increase the recreational use of the river by local residents.The plan to save the clay courts presented by Cullen would be free to borough seniors and those up to 17 years old at selected times.“I think you have a unique landmark with a great history,” Cullen said of the courts. He said he would like to see a program that encourages young people in the town to play tennis.The plan sets discounted rates of $150 for unlimited play for borough residents while non-residents would pay $300. Half of the fees would go to the borough.Jeff Podesta spoke in favor of Cullen’s plan and said that playing tennis was an advantage to young people and research had shown that 81 percent of young tennis players had gone on to college.The proposal for retaining the tennis courts said, “A key to the project is retaining Rich Nicoletti who has been keeping the facility running in recent years with essentially no operating budget.”It also said that there be a free, two-week tennis clinic held only for Red Bank residents’ ages 7 to 17.A small committee, the proposal said, would represent the tennis court facility that would oversee it and would present any plans for changes to the Borough Council.“Almost everyone who has grown up playing tennis in the United States has done so on hard courts. However when they first get a chance to play on red clay, they realize it is a very special experience. Our goal here is to give the young people of Red Bank this experience,” the proposal said.The borough would receive 50 percent of moneys raised through fundraising and a yearly tournament the proposal said, which it estimated to raise $50,000 to $60,000.Stephen Hecht said, “I don’t believe we should have a tennis club” at the site. He asked Cullen if he “would be willing to have the town run it?” referring to the courts.“I’m open to that,” Cullen replied.The Jetson plan calls for a “multi-use recreation center” which would have a goal “to get people down to the waterfront, and have a reason to stay there.”It said, “We firmly believe family recreation is the only appropriate use of this valuable asset.”Fees for the activities listed in the plan were $9 for the miniature golf course for adults, with children 12 and under paying $8 and $6 for the ice skating rink with a two-for-one on Tuesdays.Borough residents over 65 and under 4, accompanied by an adult, will have free admission for those activities.Watersport rentals will range from $20 an hour to $80 for eight hours.The Jetson group will pay the borough $75,000 a year rent for the property according to its proposal, with a 25-year lease.Fred Stone questioned the fees and said they might exclude some borough residents from using the facilities. The fees, he said, “might not be trivial,” for some.Questions were also raised about the extra traffic that could be caused by the facility.Some residents who lived near Marine Park expressed concern that the complex would bring late night noise and litter on the streets.Others asked how the town could be assured the venture would succeed, since the partners had not had experience in managing a similar facility.Chris Paseka said he was in favor of the plan since now there was nothing in the town to do with children but “shop and eat.”Others felt differently.“Why would you want to do this to this town?” Shelley Davimos asked. She urged the council to go with the Cullen plan “Take his money, take his money please.”Sandra Talarico, speaking for the Marine Park Activity Center, said the group believed “the town now has a tremendous opportunity to use the riverside property to create a maritime center that expands the recreational opportunities on the river and becomes a focus of recreation education, and commerce for Red Bank.”She described the activities of the Navesink River Rowing group and the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association and said the proposed facility would allow for the expansion of these programs as well as additional ones.Among the activities proposed were adaptive boating, where existing boats are modified for participants who are physically challenged can take part in rowing and sailing programs, rowing, canoeing and small craft sailing as an in-school or after school physical education program, programs for older citizens to keep them active, and rentals that are affordable for kayaks, canoes and paddleboats to allow families and visitors to enjoy the river.In response to questions about a 20,000-square-foot building in the plan, Talarico said it was included because after reading the request for proposals from the town it was thought that the borough was seeking revenues. She said her group was seeking not-for-profit status.Their proposal calls for a 15-year-lease from the borough with terms “based on the gradual implementation of revenue producing programs after five years, and fees based on a percentage of revenue generated by programs and the facility thereafter…”Those who want to comment on the three proposals can do so on the borough’s website where the proposals can be read. They can also be submitted to the Office of the Administrator, 90 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701– By Liz Sheehanlast_img read more

A little help for a determined little girl

first_imgShe’s a natural-born fighter. Tough as nails. When she was born a little over a year ago, doctors told Aaliyah’s parents the baby wouldn’t make it through the night. But she did. A few weeks later, when she was baptized and taken off life support, doctors didn’t expect her to continue breathing on her own for more than a couple of hours. But she did. And when she went home from the hospital a month later, doctors thought she wouldn’t make it more than just a few weeks with 24-hour hospice care. But she did. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityEight months later, hospice workers told Ovy and Claudia Alvarez that they were leaving because it didn’t look like their daughter needed their services anymore. Aaliyah – born with just 20 percent brain function, according to an MRI administered shortly after birth – had no intention of giving up without a heck of a fight. And the least Ovy, Claudia, their family and friends could do was get in the fight with her. That’s what they’re doing with the Aaliyah Harvest Festival this Saturday at the Spooky House Haunted Theme Park in Chatsworth. For every $10 ticket sold, $3 will fund experimental oxygen-chamber therapy treatments for Aaliyah. It will cost $10,000 for 40 treatments – none of it covered by medical insurance. Every doctor they’ve talked to says it’s a waste of money, Ovy said. But for the Alvarezes that’s a good sign – because every doctor since the first day of their daughter’s fragile life has been wrong about her. If this young couple believes in anything, it’s their little girl’s will to live. She’s giving them a message, Ovy said Monday while caring for his daughter in the family’s Northridge home while Claudia was working to pay the bills. “She’s telling us not to give up on her, and we’re not,” he said. “Every day with her is a gift.” To the people who know the story – people like Haydee Cuervo and her husband, Yuri – what is going on inside that Mayall Street home is nothing short of a miracle. “For the last year, every day was supposed to be the last day of Aaliyah’s life,” said Haydee, who organized the Halloween fundraiser. “Nobody expected her to live. The biggest fear is one night she will just forget to breathe and be gone. But as long as she keeps fighting, there’s hope.” Ovy and Claudia say they’ve met with the families of children with similar brain damage who underwent the experimental oxygen-chamber treatment. “The results have been good for many of them,” Ovy said. “One little girl is now 12 and is walking, talking and defying what was thought possible by her doctors.” He knows it’s a long shot. But, hey, long shots win sometimes, don’t they? It was only after hospice workers left because Aaliyah refused to die that anyone thought about getting some kind of therapy for her, said Ovy, who quit his job to give his daughter the constant care she requires. “We all have to be flexible. My wife and her mother watch Aaliyah the hours I’m trying to get a home business started to help pay the bills. “(Claudia) couldn’t bear to be home all the time. It was just too emotional, so she found a job with a local mortgage company.” Their family income took a big hit the day Aaliyah was born, but they wouldn’t trade this gift they’ve been given for all the money in the world, he says. “It’s been incredible how many people have come forward to help with this fundraiser for Aaliyah,” he said. “I thought maybe a few friends and family members would be involved, but everywhere we go in the community people tell us they want to help. “You just don’t know until something like this happens what it means,” he said. It means people who know the story of your little girl’s fight with life want to be in her corner, too, Ovy. Betting on her to win. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. [email protected] (818) 713-3749160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more