Month: July 2019

Deal in the Works for Major Mission District Housing Project

first_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% After a last-minute vote by the Planning Commission on Thursday postponed consideration of the largest housing development planned for the Mission District, opponents of the project are scrambling to put together an alternative that would increase the amount of affordable housing on-site — and say they will put millions of dollars into the deal.“I’ve been approached by several people who can come up with up a million dollars each,” said Spike Kahn, one of the principal opponents of the so-called “Beast on Bryant,” a 335-unit development planned for Bryant Street.Opponents hope that half the site will be reserved for affordable housing, which they want built at the same time as the market-rate units on the site. They also want union labor used on the project, and the 1-1 replacement of some 50,000 square feet of arts and light industrial space known as PDR — production, distribution, and repair — that used to be on the block. Podell’s proposal calls for one third of the site to go to the city for affordable housing, and plans some 11,000 square feet of PDR — most of which would be built by the city. Because the affordable housing would be built and financed by the city, activists believe it will be close to a decade before those units come online. If they can raise funds on their own, they hope to expedite that process with even more below-market-rate units.Kahn said she has been in contact with wealthy friends in tech who are “interested in doing the right thing” and willing to contribute funds. Earlier this year, Kahn raised $200,000 in a day to buy the former home of Precita Eyes Muralists, which housed four rent-controlled tenants. That building was transferred to non-profit control and is now permanent affordable housing.Josh Arce, a liaison for the construction union Local 261 and candidate for District Nine supervisor, said his union “would like to work with the community and developer to identify the additional funds” needed to bump up the affordable housing component of the project.Arce declined to say where those funds would come from — and how much money, if any, the union would be willing to invest. It would be premature to release specifics before sitting down with the developer, he said.Kahn said there is a potential for $5 million in funding from various labor groups and that a meeting between Podell, community activists, labor unions, and the mayor’s office was planned for early next week.Kahn would raise another $5 million from her community contacts, she said. This deal, however, is orders of magnitude larger than what Kahn pulled off with Precita Eyes and would need to be put together in just two weeks, since the Planning Commission is set to hear the project for an up-or-down vote on June 2.“I don’t want to have to to scramble within two weeks to come up with $5 million, but I’m more than willing to work together [to find funding],” Kahn said.2000–2070 Bryant St.The project — located on Bryant Street between 18th and 19th — is the largest housing development currently planned for the Mission District, with 335 units. The 1979 Mission St. project at 16th and Mission falls just short of that, at 331 units.It would also have the largest component of affordable housing on-site of any of the projects coming to the neighborhood after the developer, Nick Podell, dedicated a third of the total site land to the city to fulfill his affordable housing requirement earlier this year.The majority of the site would house a six-story, 196-unit market-rate building — plus three below-market-rate units — at 2000 Bryant St. Podell would dedicate 34 percent of the total site to the city for an eight-story, 136-unit affordable building next door at 2070 Bryant St.The two buildings would be separated by a 25-foot wide public alleyway running through the block.But because that affordable housing site would be financed and built by the city, opponents doubled down earlier this year and released an alternative proposal and set of demands. They asked Podell to dedicate half his site to the city instead, and to identify funds that could be used to ensure the affordable site comes online at the same time as the market-rate one.Opponents say the land dedication shifts responsibility for the affordable housing onto the taxpayers, and point to years-long delays in other land dedications as evidence that the affordable site would go online long after the market-rate one.The Mayor’s Office of Housing said earlier this year that public funding is available to develop the affordable site and that it could take just three and a half years to finish its construction.Evette Davis, a spokesperson for Podell, said the developer had not seen the alternative proposal. Opponents of the project say they emailed a copy to the developer earlier this year. Before the Planning Commission hearing, Davis said Podell was planning to go forward with his current proposal, but on Thursday, Davis said she did not know whether or how the project may change in the coming days. Podell declined to comment on the upcoming negotiations. Show Us Your BooksAfter the Planning Commission’s delay — which Davis said came at the request of the mayor’s office — Kahn and other opponents are hoping Podell will open up his books and reveal his expected profit margin from the development. That, they say, will determine whether Podell needs additional financing to up the affordable housing on-site.“[Podell’s] response has been, ‘We can’t afford it,’ and we said, ‘Well, show us your books,’” said Kahn. “If it turns out he actually can’t do better, we have other funding available to help make this a more affordable project.”“We’re looking for 10,000 more square feet, we’re not asking for that much,” she added. The site is 70,000 square feet in total — 41,200 for the market-rate site, 23,800 for the affordable site, and 5,000 for the public alleyway.Podell said earlier this year that his personal profit from the project would be just 5.8 percent for his first year’s rents, not taking into account the return on investment for his principal funder, Junius Real Estate Partners, the real estate investment arm of J.P. Morgan Chase.Junius Real Estate Partners did not respond to requests for comment.Whether Podell opens up his financing remains to be seen. If a deal is worked out, it could set a precedent for market-rate development in the Mission District, which is routinely opposed by community activists for contributing to gentrification in the neighborhood.Kahn, for one, was somewhat hopeful.“All we have to do is get a table to begin the discussion,” she said. center_img 0%last_img read more

Developers of LowIncome Senior Housing Aim for Efficiency

first_imgNonprofit organizations collaboratively planning a building for formerly homeless seniors at 24th and Harrison streets have increased the number of units that could fit in the building to between 45 and 52. Now, they have to balance efficiency with neighbors’ preferences for height and design. To that end, the architects have adjusted their plans since their last report to the community, squeezing five more units into a five-story model of their building for a total of 45 units. A total of up to 52 would fit into a six-story model alternative. Each studio measures around 330 square feet, while still maintaining accessibility necessary for senior housing like roll-in showers for wheelchairs. “It’s important to be efficient with a project like this,” said Yakuh Askew of Y.A. Studio, one of the architects of the project. Fitting as many units as possible into the space is imperative because the project relies on public funding, which means costs per unit must be kept reasonable, said Santiago “Sam” Ruiz of Mission Neighborhood Centers, which owns the property and is one of the nonprofits developing the project. 0% Even at five stories, the project will be among the highest on 24th Street.  “What we realized is, six stories is a big building for this street,” said Rod Henmi of HKIT Architects, the other firm working on the project. The various preliminary proposals for the project, which are still malleable, have design elements to mitigate the visual effect of the senior housing building towering over its neighbors. These include color blocks that end at the height of the surrounding buildings, adding vertical indented areas along the outer walls that appear to break the facade into smaller portions, and pulling portions of the top floor away from the property edge. Nonetheless, several of the dozen or so neighbors at the meeting expressed a preference for the shorter building. One man even asked why the sponsors hadn’t considered a four-story alternative, given that even a five-story building would be taller than most of those around it.“You’re proposing a six-story building, which I think is crazy,” he said.“You need to have ‘X’ number of units in order for the project to pencil out,” Ruiz said. “Four stories would not have enough units to be cost effective.”The lot is zoned for 55 feet in height, which the five-story building would meet – for six stories, the project would need permission to go up to 65 feet, likely through an affordable housing bonus program.One proposal for the Casa de la Mision project, as seen from Balmy Alley. Image courtesy HKIT Architects.Indeed, concerns about height appear to have caused some confusion among neighbors. At the beginning of the meeting, Ruiz said he had fielded concerns that the building being pitched had been turned into a nine-story building. In fact, he said, neighbors were thinking of a project at 1296 Shotwell Street being proposed and developed by the Mission Economic Development Agency and Chinatown Community Development Center.Neighbors also pitched ideas for how to improve on the design and layout of the building. A few suggested the facade pay homage to the neighborhood’s Victorian character rather than the more modern ideas presented. Others raised concerns that placing a main entryway and lobby for the building on the corner of the ground floor would mean occupying prime retail space with a less lively lobby area and create congestion with slow-moving seniors.  They suggested moving the entryway to the more residential Harrison Street side of the building, or at least away from the corner. Traffic, especially in front of a building with residents that might need to be frequently picked up or dropped off at the curb, was also a concern. A few neighbors seemed worried about the population expected in the building – formerly homeless seniors.  Mercy Housing staff assured them that these would be seniors who have previously been in city programs, and would be permanently housed there, rather than transitioning through, the building. Social services are planned to be available on site. Overall, neighbors seemed supportive of the project, but wanted more information. “I would love to get feedback from the population it would be serving,” said Ben Feldman, a nearby resident. “And what do the merchants say?” he wanted to know.The project is still in the early stages of development, with groundbreaking not expected until December 2018 if all goes smoothly. Three more community meetings will be held in June 2017, August 2017, and January 2018. center_img Tags: Affordable Housing • housing • mission neighborhood centers • seniors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

DAY 16 – After last nights events at the Eastern

first_imgDAY 16 – After last night’s events at the Eastern Creek Karting Centre, today started with an early morning presentation to the worst driver.It was a close call with Callum Hazzard steadily crawling around the track… but the winner was Kevin Brown, who managed to complete only seven laps in comparison to everyone else who did at least 17.His reward was to wear a little pink tutu for the day.Next up was a trip to one of our favourite spots, Manly Beach, as the lads got some time relaxing.Sunbathing, surfing, bodyboarding and swimming in the waves as the hot sun was shining was the order of the day.It was again time for another first in the history of the tours, as Jordan ‘the wrecking ball’ Olmez managed to snap his surfboard clean in half!A visit to the famous Harry’s Cafe De Wheels followed – and a tiger pie for lunch. A combination of pie, mash, mushy peas and gravy – a delicacy enjoyed by people all around the world, especially Chris Follin who could have done with a nosebag.Then it was back to Panthers for training.Tommy Martyn looked at different options and techniques with the kickers, Neil Kilshaw worked on running lines and handling with the backs and Ian Talbot went through some positional specific drills with the forwards.The team then came together, under the guidance of head coach Derek Traynor, to go through roles and responsibilities in team defence.After tea in the Panthers Leagues Club it was back to the accommodation for a quiz, with quizmaster Eric Frodsham.Eric has spent lots of time and effort researching his questions but you would never have guessed!It was entertaining to say the least and who would have known that Australia hold the world record for having the largest Christmas cracker!By Ian Talbotlast_img read more

FOUR rule changes will be introduced in the First

first_imgFOUR rule changes will be introduced in the First Utility Super League, Kingstone Press Championship, Kingstone Press League 1 and the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup in 2016.These changes have been produced by the RFL Laws Committee, a group with game-wide representation, and relate to the rules around video referee protocol, eight point try, communications equipment for medical staff and the ability of match officials to, at the request of medical personnel, instruct a player to leave the field for a concussion assessment or if a match official has concerns that a player may have suffered a concussion to stop play and call the medical team onto the field of play to examine the player.Additionally, there will be a season-long trial of three experimental new rules undertaken in reserve grade games.Details of the changes are as follows:Video Referee ProtocolThere shall be only be one video referee appointed to live televised games for the 2016 season.The aim of this is to speed up the video referee decision making process and reinforce the ability to overturn the referee’s live decision only when sufficient evidence occurs that the live decision is incorrect.The ‘live call’ shall remain as per 2015 with the video referee assessing if there is ‘sufficient evidence’ to confirm or overturn the ‘live decision’. Where ‘insufficient evidence’ exists, the video referee will confirm the ‘live decision’ and this will be indicated to the referee, players and spectators via the screen.Eight point tryA clarification has been made to the law with the objective of removing any ambiguity over action following a player being fouled in the act of scoring as follows:(a) If a defending player fouls an opponent who is in the act of “touching down for a try”, and who proceeds to score the try, a penalty kick at goal shall be awarded by the referee after the attempt to convert the try. The penalty shall be awarded on the 10m line in front of the offending team’s goal posts. The non-offending team must kick for goal and, if the attempt for goal is successful, shall be awarded an additional two points. Whether the attempt at goal is successful or unsuccessful, the game shall be restarted, in the usual manner. (b) The phrase “touching down for a try” refers to such a period which commences when, in the sole discretion of the referee or video referee, it is evident that a try is going to be scored by the player who is fouled and which ends when the referee awards the try or calls time off to refer the decision to the video referee or to consult with other colleagues. (c) For the avoidance of doubt a foul which is committed (i) on any other attacking player other than the player who is “in the act of scoring a try”; (ii) at any time other than when that player is “touching down for a try” or (iii) where a try is not scored as a result of the foul play or otherwise, shall not result in a further penalty being awarded by the referee as described above, but this shall not preclude the referee taking any other action against the offending player as the referee shall in his sole discretion determine.Communications Equipment for Medical Staff (Optional)The current Match Day Operations Manual prohibits any electronic communications equipment being taken onto the field of play. The RFL has reviewed the role of Medical staff and believes that, particularly since the introduction of Concussion Assessments, there can be a considerable period of time during a match when doctors are unable to see what is happening on the field of play or to react to signals from the physio that their presence is required to treat a player.The RFL has therefore determined that an exception should be provided to the prohibition such that doctors and physios may communicate by electronic communications equipment subject to the conditions set out below. Any breach of such conditions shall be Misconduct.The medical staff must use a different set of radios to the coaching staff and operate on a wave length to which the coaching staff do not have access. This is to ensure that: (i) the medical radios are not used to communicate messages from the coaching staff or perceived to be used for that purpose; and (ii) the wave length is not blocked as this could lead to vital medical communications failing No member of coaching staff shall use medical staff communications equipment in any circumstances The medical staff equipment must be clearly marked either by the use of green handsets (where possible) or by using green tape to identify the equipment Match Commissioners shall be entitled to check both the medical staff and coaching staff communications equipment before and/or after matches Clubs are under no obligations to use medical staff communications equipment and when using it are responsible for ensuring a manual back up system if the equipment fails or the signal at the ground is insufficient for reliable communication (this should be checked before every game)Role of Match OfficialsWhere a player refuses to follow the instructions of the medical staff to leave the field of play the medical staff may ask the match referee to instruct the player to leave the field. In which case the clock shall be stopped until the player leaves the field.If a Match Official has concerns that a player may have suffered a concussion he may stop play and call the medical team onto the field of play to express his concerns and ask them to examine the player.Experimental RulesThe following experimental rules will be trialled for the duration of the 2016 season in reserve grade games:Time off at scrums:If a team is properly formed and ready to contest a scrum the referee will call time off. Players forming the scrum must remain in the positions they were when the clock is stopped and shall remain in position and when the other team form their scrum time will be called back on.40/20 tap restarts:When a kick in general play and from inside a team’s 40 metre zone, finds touch (other than on the full) in the opposition’s 20 metre zone, the attacking (kicking) team shall restart play with a tap kick as opposed to a scrum 20 metres in from touch opposite where the ball crossed the touch line, but no closer than 10 metres from the goal line. The referee shall ensure a controlled restart of play. Attacking team adding a player to the back line at a scrum:Prior to a scrum being formed the attacking team shall have the option to have an additional player outside of the scrum provided that there shall be a maximum of eight players outside the scrum in the attacking line.last_img read more

HEAR Joe Greenwood talk about life at Saints and h

first_imgHEAR Joe Greenwood talk about life at Saints and his move to the NRL in the latest edition of the Saints Podcast.The back-rower joined the Gold Coast Titans this week in a swap that saw Zeb Taia come the other way.He talks about what he will miss at the club and his favourite memory.Also featured this week is Head Coach Keiron Cunningham. He reflected on the latest events at the Totally Wicked Stadium with podcast partner Wish FM.It’s easy to listen to our podcasts – they are automatically synced to your device if you subscribe via iTunes.You can also listen direct at our Fanzone page.Simpy click on the links to find out more.last_img read more

Whilst the majority of training for the 2018 Betfr

first_imgWhilst the majority of training for the 2018 Betfred Super League campaign has been at our Cowley Training Facility – the coaching staff freshened things up by taking the boys away to the seaside.Part one of the camp was training at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay.“This was a venue Justin identified as a place we could get away as a group together,” Assistant Coach Jamahl Lolesi said. “It isn’t too far away from home and it gives us the opportunity to train in weather we would expect at the start of the season.“It’s good to come away as a group as it freshens everyone up. We will spend time together and bond.”Tuesday’s session saw the lads run through several drills before an opposed session refereed by Jack Smith.This allowed the players to see the new rule interpretations in action in readiness for the new campaign.Jamahl continued: “We’ve taken their phones away too so they will have to use old school communication for a while, which will be interesting as everyone is on their phones these days! We also have a few fun activities planned.“The chairman will present the history of St Helens to the players too before a tough session to end the camp.“We’ve had a good pre-season; everyone came back with a great attitude and in good shape. But of course, everyone is flying this time of the year, undefeated and winning the comp!”Saints kick off their Betfred Super League campaign at home to Castleford on Friday February 2.To secure your spot, call into the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, telephone 01744 455 052 or log on here.last_img read more

Utah man wanted in death of daughter arrested in Wilmington

first_img StarNews reports that Wilmington Police Department got a call from someone who said Anderson was living at a Martin Street homeless shelter and had a warrant for his arrest.According to KUTV, Sevier County Sheriff Office said in a release back in August that the deputies believe Anderson is directly responsible for Siri Anderson’s, 1, death.Sheriff Curtis said that deputies responding to a call found Siri unresponsive in her crib on June 7. She was transported to Sevier Valley Hospital but was not able to be revived. Her first birthday would have been June 8 — the next day.Related Article: NC woman didn’t know she was pregnant until she gave birthAccording to the release, Anderson had sole custody of his daughter for three months before her death.Sheriff Curtis cites review of facts and information gathered by the sheriff’s office, the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office and doctors in making Anderson’s arrest Wednesday.Anderson is facing a second degree felony for Child Abuse Homicide. The charge is typically a $10,000 bond but the judge in this case felt a $20,000 cash only bond was “more appropriate give the charge,” the release states.Anderson’s initial appearance will be August 23. David Anderson (Photo: NHSO) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/StarNews) — A man wanted in Utah for failing to appear for sentencing in the death of his infant daughter was arrested in Wilmington last week.David Lewis Anderson, 38, was arrested on September 13 near the 600 block of Greenfield Street.- Advertisement – last_img read more

County city leaders hold meeting to discuss affordable housing

first_img “The average county employee, the average teacher starting out at just about $30,000 a year, there’s not a home that they can buy in New Hanover County that fits that salary range,” said County Commission chairman Jonathan Barfield.Before the meeting was over, county leaders voted to form an affordable housing advisory committee, hire a paid staff member using money already allocated in their budget, perform a study, and create a public awareness campaign to combat the stigmas associated with affordable housing.“Typically, when you hear the word affordable housing, people think of minorities, they think of public housing, and affordable housing has nothing to do with public housing,” said Barfield. “It’s all about what you can afford, what your pocketbook can afford based on your salary.”Related Article: Track when storm debris will be picked up in WilmingtonDuring the meeting, Barfield suggested partnering with a developer to create affordable housing on 15 acres of county-owned land on Castle Hayne Road.He says he also spoke to county manager Chris Coudriet about creating affordable housing in the proposed Project Grace downtown.“It would be great for the average person to be able to live downtown, just like everyone else does,” said Barfield. “And if we could find a way to incentivize the developer that we’re partnering with to build some affordable units within those apartments or condos or whatever we’re looking at doing there, I think it would be great for this entire community.”During the meeting, Mayor Bill Saffo said there are less than 2,000 acres left for development, and he believes a housing bond will be necessary to purchase land to build affordable housing. City and County leaders meet to discuss affordable housing.(Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Working together to create more affordable housing.It’s an issue that became more urgent after Hurricane Florence, and Thursday a meeting was held to discuss the problem.The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners and Wilmington City Council held a joint special meeting to discuss the issue and come up with potential solutions.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Wake N Bake clears hurdle to serve alcoholinfused donuts

first_img The shop plans to use alcohol in making donuts as well as pair it with their fried dough.“We intend to work with local breweries and distilleries to cross promote their products with a very specific pairing, and we intend on being able to provide this to our of site event customers as well,” Danny Tangredi told the town.No word yet on when the alcohol-infused donuts will officially be added to the menu.Related Article: All paws on deck for the Inaugural Surf Dog Experience“It’s a growing trend kind of fun and funky,” Tangredi said, “but overall we’re a donut shop. We don’t ever intend to be a donut shop, but this is a part of the industry.”Tangredi says the shop will now send a request to the ABC commission for requirements and regulations they must meet to sell alcohol and alcoholic flavored foods. Wake N Bake has been featured on The Cooking Channel, and was voted Best Donut Shop in North Carolina by BuzzFeed. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Wake N Bake Donuts has received the green light to start serving booze with their sugary treats.At a town council meeting Monday, Carolina Beach approved a conditional use permit for Wake N Bake Donuts to serve alcohol at its 1401 North Lake Park Blvd location.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Volunteer firefighter shortage impacting departments across Brunswick County

first_img “The volunteer service is dying out at an alarming rate,” said Leland EMS Battalion Chief Amy Burton.Burton has been at the front of Leland Fire and EMS’s recruitment campaigns to maintain volunteers. It’s the departments around Leland, however, that Burton has seen impacted the most.“If we can only get two men onto a truck to roll out, and you have a structure fire, then you’re way behind the ballgame from the national average of what should be on a scene,” Burton said.Related Article: Beware these scams on Amazon Prime DayBurton says it’s nothing against the smaller departments. She says they do the best with what they have. It’s a matter of the “have” that hurts them all, including residents.“We have some that are doing a great job, and they have their interest in and they have their members, ” Burton said. “They respond as often to just about every call. And then there are some that do not have the people to respond that they need to.”Those that are hurting sit in the middle of the county, according to fire administrator Mack Smith. Smith spent years as a volunteer in New Hanover County, eventually moving into a paid position when growth forced the county to move into a completely paid department.“It’s not just Brunswick County. This is the fire service nationwide,” Smith said.Smith and Burton notice it’s a change in culture in the community that’s causing the shift. Both started as volunteers and say that’s how firefighters launched careers into the service, but now potential volunteers and current ones have to make sure they can make ends meet.“People may not have as much time to volunteer, which is causing a lot of problems for our volunteer departments within the county,” Burton said.The problems with the ongoing shortage are showing impacts in the county coffers. Last year several departments requested fire fee increases. Smith says this year looks like there will not be a need to see similar increases, but it’s about where the money has to go now.“Most of the time now when departments are increasing their fire fees it’s due to having to staff the fire stations when typically it was staffed by volunteers. Now they have to pay people to be there,” Smith said. “Those northern and southern departments are doing fairly well with the fire fees. The other ones the fire fees are just barely covering the people that they are hiring.”Brunswick County is serviced by 21 fire departments. The county has more than a dozen of them listed as “volunteer” departments. Smith says the fact, however, is that a majority of those departments have to have a paid employee there during the day to listen out for 911 calls.Leland Fire noticed the need. Forty out of the roughly 80 personnel are volunteers, and that comes from the work Chief Burton spearheaded with the help of the SAFER grant from the chiefs association.“It can improve. It’s just a focused effort,” Burton said.You can see more about what fire departments like Leland can offer volunteers. Burton says it’s not all about responding to vehicle crashes or burning buildings, but also educational and training events that volunteers can step in and have positive impacts for area departments. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Fire departments across Brunswick County are fighting a blaze inside their own stations.The North Carolina Fire Chiefs Association reports an average of 600 volunteer firefighters are leaving departments each year. That’s not only impacting response times according to fire officials, but also the cost to maintain current departments.- Advertisement – last_img read more

We have a corrupt minister but were fine were happy – Journalist

first_img‘They tell you, “okay, fine, we have a corrupt minister, but we’re fine, we’re happy.”’These are the words of a local journalist responding to questions regarding Patron/Client relationships and corruption in Malta. This testimony forms part of a paper examining Clientelism entitled, ‘How Smallness Fosters Clientelism: A Case Study of Malta,’ by political scientist Wouter Veenendaal.The sentiment suggests that while the media makes efforts to uncover the presence of corruption among its political figures, ‘the people don’t care if the media say; listen we have a corrupt minister. You know, they tell you, “okay, fine, we have a corrupt minister, but we’re fine, we’re happy.” And I think the problem is that in Malta, we have not yet reached a situation where people can think freely.’While stating that the concept may not be ‘a direct cause of corruption,’ in Malta, previous research shows that, ‘corruption has in fact always been a feature of Maltese politics.’He adds that the existence of Patron/Client relations helps to explain the culture of impunity in relation to corrupt Maltese politicians. If citizens become more dependent on politicians in power, clientelism reduces their determination to hold them accountable, Veenendaal explains.  This can also be connected to a number of factors like the strength of the media and institutions to inform the voters and hold those responsible for corruption to account.Washing machines and favoursThis analysis is part of a wider piece examining the links between Patron/Client relations within small island states and its examination of the relationship between Maltese citizens and their elected or ‘campaigning’ representatives. In the first part, we looked at how this relationship is sustained by citizens and how it blurs public/private relations and competition for votes.Read: Clientelism in Malta: who really is in charge?Egrant, 17Black, Panama and gas Corruption has been a particularly significant buzzword in recent years with key political figures connected to the Maltese government having been named in connection with secret offshore companies in Panama and Dubai. Action to investigate and bring those named to account has been lukewarm at best. Only recently have calls from opposition figures and rule of law NGOs encouraged the judiciary to open of an investigation, despite previous appeals against.Read: Court will decide on Egrant report publication this week – MuscatRead: Magistrate announces inquiry into Panama Papers – RepubblikaNGOs in Malta have also criticised the government for its lack of action on investigating the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Caruana Galizia had herself investigated figures connected with the Panama Papers, like the Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi, and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.Read: ‘If Malta cannot or will not correct its weaknesses, European institutions must intervene’ – CoERead: 17 Black: Up to €8m passed through the company says Reuters to NewsbookRead: 17 Black: A web of ‘shady’ dealings and the PM’s wait for the inquiryWhile there have been considerable allegations of corruption inside Malta, there has also been a body of scrutiny from the European level that not enough is being done to investigate and punish. Recent reports from European institutions like the Council of Europe and the European Parliament, have pointed to structural weaknesses as well as a culture of secrecy and intimidation towards those raising awareness of corruption.Read: GRECO report says Malta’s criminal justice system risks collapseRead: Government authorizes publication of GRECO reportRead: Watch: “We have respected the court’s decision”; New members of the judiciary sworn inRead: Malta faces “prevailing ‘law of Omertà’” – Venice CommissionSubsequently, the Maltese government has announced strides towards modernizing the country’s institutions and making them more transparent and authoritative. The Venice Commission outlines a number of changes to the state institutions which while appear promising, have left a number of organisations concerned about how they are carried out and managed.Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government; Owen BonniciLuke ZerafaRead: Venice Commission: Justice Minister announces new State Attorney roleRead: Need to split roles of the Attorney General is urgent – BonniciWhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Dangerously ambitious – Arrigo

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> PN Deputy leader Robert Arrigo has upped the ante on the PN implosion. In a Facebook comment, the stage where this bloody drama is playing out, Arrigo wrote:” Dangerously ambitious”.This post followed another pointed quote which sources picked up from the comments board to another story. is trying the contact Arrigo to verify the post which said: “The couple are not sheep but wolves”. This comment ties in with the curt put-downs which Arrigo directed at Kristy Debono in the PN Executive meeting where her husband was co-opted to parliament.On Saturday wrote about Robert Arrigo’s now famous put down of MP Kristy Debono. The argument was about the handsome salary Jean Pierre Debono receives from the cash strapped PN.Our sources told us that the Deputy Leader for Party Affairs, Robert Arrigo, said that Debono’s salary was augmented by the parliamentary remuneration when he decided to give up his seat so that Delia takes up the position of Leader of the Opposition.Our sources added that it is only right that party officials receive a fair salary for their work but they considered Arrigo’s revelation about the salary together with his  rhetorical questions about the mysterious covert ‘private written agreement’ (Skrittura privata) as an indication of a form of collusion between JPD and Adrian Delia.A razor thin majorityJean Pierre Debono’s seat in Parliament may be debatable as sources close to the Partit Nazzjonalista told that the two-vote majority he obtained consisted of his won and his wife’s vote. The vote taken in what was described as a tumultuous meeting on Saturday gave a razor thin majority (42 – 40) to Jean Pierre Debono, propelling him once more into Parliament. Neither he nor his wife declared conflict of interest, an issue which was likened to an elephant in the room. And, in the vote in the Executive Committee of the Partit Nazzjonalista these two votes made all the difference. Dr Kevin Cutajar was not similarly privileged, the same sources said, as he was allowed to speak but not to vote.Our sources insisted for full anonymity, something which perplexed, particularly in a party which has prided itself on freedom of expression.In an unpleasant interpretation of the theory of relativity, our sources immediately referred us to the heated spat between leader Adrian Delia and former deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami during the Saturday meeting. The son of the PN’s iconic grandee said that he was insulted, threatened and mercilessly pressured because he dared to utter some criticism. Our Sources said that the leader’s animated response took several by surprise.Our sources reiterated their concern that the manifest conflict of interest enjoyed by Debono over and above the patent lack of parity of arms, may be deemed as vitiating the vote.  “It was simply not on for the Debono couple to take an active part in the meeting and vote” said our sources indignantly, adding “It seems that the party is now reverting to arguments about conflict of interest only when Labour ministers are involved.”This was not the only controversy during Saturday’s fateful meeting.WhatsApplast_img read more

Watch She always loved the camera

first_img 1 of 3 SharePrint Francesca Rausi’s mother Michelle told that her daughter was born loving the camera, and that is what led the girl to want to become a model.Francesca is an energetic and gorgeous three-year-old who has Down Syndrome.Michelle Rausi added that as soon as Francesca expressed the wish to model, she was immediately given the opportunity to do so by Ivan Gaffiero and Sue Rossi.Rausi added that one of the main reasons why she encouraged her daughter to model is to be living proof that children with different abilities are able to do the same things just the same as other children, and that the stigma is much less than it used to be.Michelle continued saying that abroad, integration had become the norm whilst in Malta things are slightly lagging behind; maybe also due to the fact that parents could be more protective. She urged parents to stay resilient as children are capable of doing more that they (the parents) think.Next Sunday, Francesca will be participating in a competition organised by Gaffiero Productions. She will be the youngest model in the show. We are sure that she will steal everybody’s heart with her beauty and joie-de vivre. Televoting is currently active on 50 614 214. Miguela Xuereb Miguela Xuerebcenter_img Miguela Xuereb WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Filipe Luis edges closer to PSG move

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis has one year left on his current contract with Atletico Madrid and according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Paris Saint Germain are close to signing the former Chelsea player.The 33-year-old has spent seven years at Atletico Madrid over two spells but looks set to leave Diego Simeone’s side after refusing to extend his stay in the Spanish capital. Reports in Spain have also suggested that Filipe Luis was disappointed to be left out of the starting line-up for Atletico Madrid’s 4-2 win over Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

MTN files complaint against Ugandan magistrate

first_imgAdvertisement MTN is one of Africa’s largest telecommunications companiesIt appears MTN’s controversy isn’t going away any time soon as the South African telecoms group has now lodged a complaint with the Uganda judicial service against one of the country’s chief magistrates, after MTN’s senior executives were summoned to face tax fraud charges.According to Reuters, MTN accuses the magistrate of unprofessional conduct after MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa and 12 officials including the chairman and CEO of MTN Uganda were summoned to court on Dec. 12 to face charges of tax evasion, conspiracy to make false customs declarations and conspiracy to evade taxes.Reportedly, MTN said it had not been aware of the summons and heard of them through media reports. – Advertisement – “A perusal of the summons shows that, although the order to issue them was made on the 19th November 2012, they were dated 7th November 2012,” which was also a day after the magistrate who issued them transferred the case to the director of public prosecutions, the company said in a statement on Thursday.“There was no charge sheet on the record nor was there a record of proceedings before (the magistrate) between 6th November, when she pronounced her ruling in an open court with counsel for all parties present, and 19th November, when the order was supposedly issued.”The company has previously denied the charges and says they were initiated by a former employee who himself is accused of defrauding MTN of millions of dollars.MTN has sued the employee for embezzlement. He had initiated the case against MTN as a private prosecution last month but a court ruled on Nov. 6 the public prosecutor should take it over.The magistrate’s court was not immediately available to comment.last_img read more

Madagascar commences SIM deactivation

first_imgAdvertisement After the SIM identification campaign ending on 20th April, Madagascar has started deactivation of SIMs not yet registered.The Agency for Regulation of Technology and Telecommunication (ARTEC, formerly OMERT) implemented the SIM registration campaign in early March 2016.Article 5 of Order No. 2471/2016 of the regulations gives subscribers 90 days from SIM deactivation to provide identification details in order to retain their mobile number. – Advertisement – If they do not do it with in the selected time-frame, the numbers are cancelled permanently.Madagascar joins Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabawe, and South Africa, who have implemented SIM registration.last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Reading v Ipswich

first_img[dropcap]G[/dropcap]ood result for the column yesterday with the recommended bet OUR MAX winning the final race at Laytown at 100/30. Happy days, by the seaside !!‘Proper’ football returns tonight and I’d never thought I’d look forward to Reading v Ipswich so much but the qualifying rounds for the Euro 2016 are such a hiatus and a real spoiler just as the domestic season is building in momentum.In reality though this is hardly likely to be the most exciting match of the weekend – probably not even tonight – Inverness CT v Hearts is on BT SPORT if action at the Madejski gets a bit dull. Reading’s home form has been woeful and they have failed to even score a goal at home for six games and are up against a side who have scored in each of their last nine away games which has helped them to move into third in the Championship table.Striker Matej Vydra is expected to make his Reading debut but the home side will be without defender Paul McShane.Ipswich should be boosted by the return of defender Christophe Berra (hamstring) together with strikers Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick (groin).Reading v Ipswich TownChampionship8pm SKYHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Feb 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Ipswich 0-1 ReadingAug 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 1-0 IpswichJan 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Ipswich 2-0 ReadingAug 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 2-1 IpswichDec 2011 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 1-0 IpswichNov 2011 CHAMPIONSHIP Ipswich 2-3 ReadingMar 2011 CHAMPIONSHIP Ipswich 1-3 ReadingSep 2010 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 1-0 IpswichApr 2010 CHAMPIONSHIP Ipswich 2-1 ReadingNov 2009 CHAMPIONSHIP Reading 1-1 IpswichReading at 6/5 makes no appeal, I’d want more than that about them actually scoring a goal. Ipswich at 5/2 is surely the bet with Star Sports.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK IPSWICH for 8 points at 5/2 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 191.36 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

STAR SPECIALS Football fans unite against ticket prices

first_imgStar Sports expects Premier League Ticket Prices To Increase AgainStar Sports have unleashed betting on Premier League clubs increasing the average ticket price next season, from a current average of £43.65Luke Tarr Head of PR, commented:Next year’s TV deal is the biggest in the history of the game and the clubs will be in an incredible financial position. Despite this, we’re strong odds-on that average ticket prices will still increase next season. It’s the top clubs that are most guilty of exploiting their fans, basically holding them to ransom, safe in the knowledge that if they choose to boycott matches, their seats can easily be filled with overseas tourists. Clubs continue to neglect the fans who have carried their clubs for the past hundred years and who will be there long after the TV bubble bursts. I hope I am wrong but I fear we will inevitably be paying out on ‘yes’ there will be an increase in average price, despite this clear opportunity to reward and subsidise their local followings.Average Premier League Ticket Prices To Increase Next Season?Yes 2/5 No 7/4Source for bet settlement is the BBC Price Football study, specifically a mean average of the average cheapest Premier League matchday ticket £30.68 and the most expensive average of £56.63. The mean average of these figures is £43.65. 2016/2017 study expected in Autumn 2016. Star Sports’ decision is final.last_img read more

£25 FREE BET Real Betis v Valencia

first_img£25 FREE BET IFBETIS WIN 1-0 (90 minutes)We are giving all NEW CUSTOMERS a £25 FREE BET if BETIS WIN 1-0 (90 mins).You simply need to open an account and place a bet at evens or above, of at least £10, on any market at between 9am on Thursday 7 February and 8pm on Thursday 7 February. TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) This promotion is for new account holders only. To qualify, you must open a new account at anytime from 9am on Thursday 7 February to 8pm (GMT) on Thursday 7 February.(2) In addition, you must place at least one bet online with before 8pm (GMT) on Thursday 7 February. The bet must be for a stake of £10 (or more), on a selection at evens or above, on any market as displayed on the web site.(3) The bonus promotional offer of £25 will be paid as a Free Bet if BETIS WIN 1-0 IN 90 mins (Real Betis v Valencia 8pm). The Free Bet will be valid for a period of 7 days from the point of issue and must be used within this period otherwise will expire.(4) If, for any reason, the event(s) do not take place or are declared void for betting purposes this offer will also be voided.(5) The bonus Free Bet, if successful, will be credited within 48 hours, direct to your online account.(6) Free Bets may not be used in conjunction with any other current promotion.(7) Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse any Free Bet promotion at any point.(8) Free Bet stakes are not returned with winnings.(9) Free Bet awards cannot be exchanged for cash.(10) Free Bet awards can be used online, tablet or mobile only.(11) The Free Bet must be used within the timeframe specified on the promotion details and may not be either part used or carried forward.(12) This promotion can only be used once per person and per account. Only one bonus can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address. In the event of a customer opening more that one account to claim multiple offers we reserve the right to suspend/close duplicate accounts and void any bets placed.(13) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team read more