Coronavirus call for calm

first_imgWith LaTrobe MP Jason Wood Australia is a self-sufficient nation. That is why panic buying and rushing our supermarket shelves are unwarranted and unnecessary. We have enough for everyone, and we are not going to run out of food. We need to take reasonable steps to protect fellow Australians from spread of coronavirus, so can I request everyone to look after the elderly as they are the most susceptible to falling ill. We need to work together to help stop the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). To protect people most at risk and slow the rate of community transmission:* Non-essential organised gatherings should be kept to fewer than 500 people* Non-essential meetings or conferences of health care professionals and emergency services should be limited* Reconsider if you need to visit residential aged care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.From midnight Sunday 15 March, all travellers coming into Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.Social distancing is important because Covid-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person.Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people, through:* Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared* Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or* Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.So, the more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.If you are sick, stay away from others – that is the most important thing you can do.You should also practise good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene:* Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.* Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.* And, if unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).As well as these, you can start a range of social distancing and low cost hygiene actions now.These simple, common sense actions help reduce risk to you and to others. They will help to slow the spread of disease in the community – and you can use them every day – in your home, workplace, school and while out in public.* Avoid handshaking and kissing.* Regularly disinfect high touch surfaces, such as tables, kitchen benches and doorknobs.* Increase ventilation in the home by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.* Visit shops sparingly and buy more goods and services online.* Consider whether outings and travel, both individual and family, are sensible and necessary.In households where people are ill (in addition to the measures above):* Care for the sick person in a single room if possible.* Keep the number of carers to a minimum.* Keep the door to the sick person’s room closed and, if possible, a window open.* Both the sick person and the people caring for them should wear a surgical mask when they are in the same room.* Protect other vulnerable family members, such as people over 65 years or people with a chronic illness, including, if practicable, finding alternative accommodation.In the workplace:* Stay at home if you are sick.* Stop handshaking as a greeting.* Hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call.* Defer large meetings.* Hold essential meetings outside in the open air if possible.* Promote good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and provide hand sanitisers for all staff and workers.* Take lunch at your desk or outside rather than in the lunch room.* Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.* Consider opening windows and adjusting air conditioning for more ventilation.* Limit food handling and sharing of food in the workplace.* Reconsider non-essential business travel.* Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts.Consider if large gatherings can be rescheduled, staggered or cancelledIn public:* Sanitise your hands wherever possible, including entering and leaving buildings.* Use ’tap and pay’ rather than handling money.* Try and travel at quiet times and try to avoid crowds.* Public transport workers and taxi drivers should open vehicle windows where possible, and regularly clean and disinfect high touch surfaces.From Monday 16 March, the Australian Government advises that non-essential gatherings should be limited to less than 500 people; and non-essential meetings of critical workforces such as healthcare workers and emergency service workers should be limited.For more information about public gatherings, go to the information on public gatherings at read more

Cardinia’s new wards named

first_imgThe boundaries of Cardinia Shire Council’s nine new wards – which will be represented by just one councillor – have…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription. By Mitchell Clarke last_img

It’s just a matter of who wants it most

first_img[img_assist|nid=9789|title=|desc=PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff |align=left|width=250|height=170|link=node] Holmdel’s Kristin Galicardi (c) holds her position in front of RBC’s goal as Holly Manucci (l) applies [pressure and Mary Beth Weiner (r) tries to clear the ball during a game in Holmdel. last_img

WPA as a PNC flank group

first_imgAs the elections draw closer, as usual, our two major polarised ethnic groups are acting like magnetic poles dragging the society into one or the other camp. In the classic Liberal polity, supposedly rational individuals engage in a variety of roles and belong to a multitude of organisations and groups whose several interests are cross cutting. The individual, in his political role as a voter, therefore, makes a “rational” choice based on the position a given party takes on the issues before the electorate. Even if all voters do not conform to this ideal, there are enough who do, to constitute a pool of “swing” votes in the middle for which all parties compete. This situation creates a centripetal moderating effect and the parties line up on a continuum on the issues. We have the politics of “in and out”.The party system in a divided society like ours operates on totally different basis. Here, the individual is a member of groups, which instead of diffusing the cleavages, act to reinforce them. They will generally attend different places of worship, occupy different occupational niches, and have different modes of recreation. The “broker institutions” that each group participates in, and which represents him in the larger society, are also ethnically based trade unions, political parties etc. Political affiliation, is thus not based on the party’s position on a variety of issues, but generally on one issue: which groups’ interest does the particular party represent? Party membership is generally inscriptive, where individuals perceive their fate in ethnic, rather than individual or class terms.For the longest while, the PPP and the PNC have been attempting to be seen as “multi-ethnic/multiracial. However, working against such parties is the existence of “flank” parties or groups. These are found within every ethnic group and take positions which can be considered “extreme” in favour of their given group. The major “multi-ethnic” party are forced to respond to their demands so as not to lose core support. Since the demands of these flank parties are invariably particularistic and in opposition to the “out” group, the major parties move away from the centre as they respond.In 2015, I thought the PNC made an important concession when they courted the AFC for the latter’s Indian-Guyanese supporters. But rather than moving towards the centre and addressing concerns of “both sides”, the PNC simply shrugged and let that promise fall, while the AFC recoiled from any advocacy for Indian-Guyanese issues. In the meantime, the rump WPA, which had merged with the PNC as “APNU”,  abandoned Rodney’s signal multiracial stance as its remaining members played leading roles in organisations that flanked the PNC from an Afro-centric perspective: Cuffy 250; ACDA; Buxton First of August Movement (BFAM) etc.I was rather bemused when I read my friend David Hinds asserting on behalf of the WPA, “We would argue that if any group should complain that Government has not put particular attention to them, it is African Guyanese… but it has shown that Government does not have ethnic preference”. What about, for instance, the $2.8B programme to develop the farming lands behind the African-dominated villages of Buxton, BV, Ithaca and Mocha?“The monies would be used to buy farming equipment that will remain in the identified communities, finance land clearing, restore and upgrade drainage and irrigation canals,  install a  pump in each of the farming communities and provide technical support for targeted farmers.  Planners expect that 155 kilometres of canals and drains and 40 kilometres of fair weather dam would be constructed and one pump station would be provided to enable farmers to reclaim 2,500 acres of abandoned land. There would be market-driven approach to match demand for high quality produce in Caricom countries while the second and third best would be processed into value added products”.Or what about the 90% Afro-recruits to the Public Service College; thousands trained for jobs; given scholarships; facilitated in business; 16 out of 17 Permanent Secretaries; Ministers, Heads of Dept; Boards membership;  IDPAD initiative; housing schemes;  augmented Disciplined Forces? etcBut what took the cake was David claiming the PNC Government “was careful not to throw Indian Guyanese under the bus”. That’s cold. Apart from shuttering sugar, why not an agricultural plan like the above for the fired workers, using some abandoned cane land?Or at least subsidise their electricity bills?last_img read more

Traditional Chiefs Want Article 30 Revisited

first_imgTraditional leaders of Liberia are opting for a Constitutional review process aimed at amending Article 30a of the 1986 Constitution.Article 30a requires that “Citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature: (A) For the Senate, have attained the age of 30 years and for the House of Representatives, have attained the age of 25 years.”According to the Chairman of the National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL), Chief Zanzan Karwor, the required age for those wanting to occupy said position is “solely responsible for the unpleasant behavior of lawmakers on Capitol Hill.”He noted that until the required age is adjusted through a constitutional process, the conduct of lawmakers, particularly those of the House, will continue to bring shame to the Liberian society.In his wisdom, Chief Karwor believes that more values need to be added to the first branch of government so that the conduct of business in both houses could represent the views and aspirations of the entire country.“How can a 25 year old be representative in the House and all they do there is about boyfriends and girlfriends business. Whole day in the House, all we find them doing is fighting over money; everyday money, money business. We need to look at that part of the Constitution that talks about who is qualified to be lawmaker. If we do that, we will stop plenty of the things that [are] going on in the House,” the Traditional Chief declared.Judging from these situations in the country, Karwor said, “Liberia is now beyond repair and things are not improving.”The Traditional leaders’ assertion is in response to recent standoff on Capitol Hill involving Representatives Roland Opee Cooper and Bill Corneh, of Margibi and Bong Counties respectively.In that commotion, it was established that Opee Cooper physically assaulted his Bong County counterpart when Corneh attempted to calm him (Opee) doing a heated debate in the House’s chamber.According to Chief Karwor, such action does not represent a group of people with high moral integrity, and as such, Liberians must consider changing the rules in order to bring dignity to the Capitol Building.Chief Karwor made the assertions yesterday at a two-day forum organized by Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) held under the theme: “Working with Traditional leaders to enhance citizens’ participation in LEITI implementation.”  According to LEITI Head of Secretariat Konah D. Karmo, traditional leaders’ participation in LEITI implementation remains cardinal to the work of the organization.Presenting a lecture on the topic: “The LEITI Process — A benefit for every Liberian”, Karmo encouraged traditional leaders to lead the way in making sure that companies and concessionaires abide by commitments on the book for affected communities and people.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GGMC team dispatch to Saxacalli

first_imgRiver pollutionA team from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is expected to visit Saxacalli, Essequibo River, to address the issue of polluted river water as a result of mining activities in Gold Creek and Tiger Creek in the Mazaruni, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).The community of Saxacalli, along the Essequibo River, remains threated by pollution from mining in inland communitiesResidents have said pollution from mining practices in the Mazaruni region is still affecting them, despite many initiatives over the years to curb the scourge. The situation have escalated to the point where the main water source in the riverine community is so polluted, villagers are afflicted by skin rashes accompanied by diarrhoea.An official from the Natural Resources Ministry told this publication the GGMC is aware of the issue and noted that it is a recurring one. The official added that a team will be deployed to the area to address the issue and provide the residents with some form of relief.Residents informed Guyana Times last Saturday that they made complaints to the GGMC, alerting the Commission of the issue but noted that nothing has been done to address it. The complaints were made since 2015 and they are yet to receive a response as to the next course of action. When contacted, acting Commissioner of the GGMC, Newell Dennison said he had no comment on the issue. However, an email was sent to the Natural Resources Ministry’s Public Relations office for an update to the situation but no response was received.Community Health Worker (CHW) and resident, Helen Williams, told this newspaper on Saturday last that the polluted water is flowing down from upstream locations. “We depend on the rain water; the river water very nasty, that’s with the gold mining that’s going on… at Gold Creek and Tiger Creek,” she explained.This ongoing crisis has altered the very culture of the community, which traditionally saw inhabitants using the river water in nearly every aspect of their lives; including drinking, washing and cooking. But this has all changed as often times; patients are brought in with flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea and vomiting; and skin rashes.“When the rain falls, it usually wash down through the creeks and then come out in the river and sometimes we find small children, even adults coming down with skin infections,” Williams also noted.The health worker further pointed out that often times, members of the community are compelled to purchase water when their rain water reserves become depleted.She said she spoke to officials who visited the community, adding that she made a complaint in 2015 to the GGMC but never received a response. “The GGMC send up people to test the water but nothing else,” posited Williams, echoing the call for the relevant agency to look into the community’s concerns.last_img read more

Elvis picture doesn’t tell whole story

first_imgLooking back on that day in 1957 when she held the scissors in her hand, the decision Elsie Pringle had to make really wasn’t all that tough. Most women would have done the same thing, she says today. “It was either Elvis or Norm – one of them had to go,” Elsie was saying Friday, standing in the hallway of the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills waiting for her doctor’s appointment. “It sure wasn’t going to be Elvis, so I told Norm, `Sorry, honey,’ and cut him out of the picture. It was the only way it fit into my wallet.” For the next 50 years, every time Elsie opened her wallet, the first picture people would see was a young, handsome kid with a killer smile standing there with his arm around her. “Isn’t that Elvis Presley?” they’d ask. “Yeah, we used to date,” Elsie would say, smilin’ and lyin’. Her husband Norm didn’t mind. If you have to play second fiddle to someone for 50 years, who better than the King – who died 30 years ago last week. “When he kissed her hand I swear she didn’t do the dishes for a week,” he says. The couple, married 55 years now, were standing in front of the Elvis Presley Memorial Wall at the Woodland Hills hospital and home that cares for people who had careers in the entertainment business. Norm worked as a recording engineer for Warner Bros. for more than 25 years. Dead center on the wall, surrounded by some of the King’s gold records, is the uncropped picture of Norm standing on the other side of Elvis with a microphone in his hand, getting ready to interview Presley, who was appearing in a concert in Vancouver, Canada. Back in 1957, Norm was a disc jockey on a local radio show in Victoria, and his young wife, Elsie, had tagged along to meet Elvis and begin a little white lie that’s had them both laughing for 50 years. They had met in 1952 on the radio early one morning. “I was an all-night disc jockey and she called the station at 2 a.m. one night to ask me if I knew how to fix tape recorders,” Norm said, laughing. “I could tell it was a come-on, that she had the hots for me. She invited me over after I got off work. There was nothing wrong with her tape recorder. “I didn’t have a car so a friend dropped me off at her apartment. I told him to drive around the block for a few minutes and I’d give him a signal from the window whether I was staying or not. “Hey, this was radio, I didn’t know what she looked like. I gave my buddy the signal that I was staying. The marriage has lasted 55 years so I’d say things worked out pretty good.” Yeah, they did. Very good. Now, every time Norm and Elsie go for a doctor’s appointment at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital, they walk in as minor celebrities. That young couple up on the Elvis Presley wall with the King. In her wallet, though, Norm didn’t make the cut. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. (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

5 hurt in fiery Gold Line crash

first_imgTelevision reports showed what appeared to be the charred wreckage of a van lying next to the front of the train. A crossing gate nearby had been torn off but the cause of the accident was not immediately determined. The commuter train line carries passengers between Los Angeles’ Chinatown and suburbs east of the city. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A commuter train headed toward downtown struck a car on the tracks and burst into flames during the Friday morning rush hour, injuring five people, a fire spokesman said. The train and vehicle collided shortly after 7 a.m. northeast of Los Angeles. The Metro Gold Line commuter train caught fire and received “significant damage” before it was doused, said a Los Angeles fire spokesman, Ron Myers. Five people were hurt, including two with minor injuries, Myers said. He couldn’t immediately say whether the injured were in the car or the train. last_img read more

Watch: Brilliant Boca Juniors goal

first_imgArgentine striker Jonathan Calleri scored a brilliant chip for Boca Juniors at the weekend – check it out above.last_img

Facebook’s Birthday Fundraisers Brought In $300 Million for Charity in Their First Year

first_imgFacebook added a feature about a year ago that lets you ask for donations in lieu of presents . . . even though literally NO ONE was buying presents for their Facebook friends before this. And some people think they’re a little annoying, just because of how CONSTANT they are.  Like, multiple times a week if you’ve got a lot of friends on there. But the good news is they ARE actually doing a lot of good. Have your Facebook friends been hitting you up for cash lately by creating “birthday fundraisers” for their favorite charities?center_img A woman named Asha Sharma heads up Facebook’s “Social Good” initiative.  And on Wednesday, she revealed that all those fundraisers brought in $300 MILLION for charity in their first year. The charities that have gotten the most money so far include St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital . . . the Alzheimer’s Association . . . the American Cancer Society . . . No Kid Hungry . . . and the ASPCA.last_img read more