Crossrail will not open until 2021 and could run £650m over budget, bosses admit

first_img“These must be done to the highest quality standards to ensure reliability of the railway from day one of passenger service. whatsapp Read more: Crossrail’s 2021 delay to cost TfL an extra £1bn “The Trial Running phase will begin at the earliest opportunity in 2020, this will be followed by testing of the operational railway to ensure it is safe and reliable.” That could see the total cost of Crossrail breach the £18bn mark, from its original 2010 budget of £14.8bn. Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild warned technical issues and testing were the factors behind the latest delay to Crossrail’s opening date. “Crossrail Ltd will need further time to complete software development for the signalling and train systems and the safety approvals process for the railway,” he admitted. Friday 8 November 2019 11:41 am “Our latest assessment is that the opening of the central section will not occur in 2020, which was the first part of our previously declared opening window. “Since the delay to Crossrail was announced last year, the Mayor has been clear he wanted the new Crossrail leadership to be fully open and transparent with Londoners about the huge challenges that remain around the Crossrail project,” a spokesperson for the mayor said. “The Elizabeth line will open as soon as practically possible in 2021. We will provide Londoners with further certainty about when the Elizabeth line will open early in 2020.” Crossrail: Some stations will be ready this year “The prospect of a further setback to Crossrail is very disappointing to businesses across the capital, as are the further cost overruns which go hand in hand with any delay,” she said.  Wild, who took over at the helm of London’s troubled transport project last November, has previously only said Crossrail would open between October 2020 and March 2021. “The Mayor is deeply frustrated that following a review of the programme it is clear that the cost and schedule pressures facing the new Crossrail team are even more severe than initially thought. “But efforts must be redoubled to ensure that the railway opens as soon as practically possible and that we learn the lessons for future projects.” However, it said the project was “past the point of no return”, with £16bn already ploughed into it at that point despite doubt over whether the scheme represents value for money for taxpayers. The spending watchdog accused bosses of driving up costs unnecessarily, and said management had shown a “failure to change course” when the project became derailed. “By the end of the year Custom House, Farringdon and Tottenham Court Road stations will be complete and the project is on track to finish fit-out of the tunnels in January,” Wild said. “Further work is taking place immediately to assess Crossrail’s latest cost estimates. TfL and the Department for Transport, as joint sponsors, will continue to hold the Crossrail leadership to account to ensure it is doing everything it can to open Crossrail safely and as soon as possible.” Read more: Crossrail bosses earned huge bonuses as Elizabeth Line problems piled up Wild said today that the Elizabeth Line has made good progress over recent months as engineers work to complete the tunnels and stations by the end of 2019. Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “deeply frustrated” by confirmation the project will not open in 2020. Read more: Crossrail bosses blasted for ‘needlessly’ driving up costs Crossrail: In pictures Read more: One Liverpool Street: City of London approves Crossrail entrance office blockRead more: Crossrail shares progress pictures at key Elizabeth Line stationscenter_img Wild also warned that the latest estimates suggest Crossrail will run up to £650m over its revised budget. Joe Curtis Transport bosses revealed last summer that the infrastructure scheme would not meet its 2018 deadline, before it then sailed past its rescheduled opening date of autumn 2019. Crossrail engineers inspect a section of track (Photo by Getty Images)Progress on a station in May 2019 (Credit: Crossrail)A map of where Crossrail will go once complete (Credit: Crossrail)Prince William is shown around a Crossrail train (Credit: Getty Images)Here’s what Crossrail’s Elizabeth Line trains will look like when it eventually opens (Credit: Crossrail)Every stop along the Elizabeth Line (Credit: Crossrail)An Elizabeth line train (Credit: Crossrail) “Sadiq Khan should guarantee that Londoners won’t have to suffer from any more delays and he should immediately release all documents relating to this latest debacle.” Crossrail will not open until 2021 and will run up to £650m over budget, transport bosses admitted today. The long-awaited Elizabeth Line, which was originally due to open in December 2018, will not open until “as soon as practically possible in 2021”, Transport for London (TfL) said. Around 200m passengers a year will use Crossrail, according to estimates. The infrastructure project will add 10 per cent to central London’s rail capacity. And the railway will take just 17 minutes to travel between Paddington and Canary Wharf, Crossrail has said. But the National Audit Office condemned the project for running both late and overbudget back in May. Crossrail will not open until 2021 and could run £650m over budget, bosses admit He added: “I would bring the Crossrail leadership in daily if need be to give me updates on the issues and progress being made. There can be no more hands off approach from the Mayor’s office simply because he is afraid of being tainted by bad news. “The central section will be substantially complete by the end of the first quarter in 2020, except for Bond Street and Whitechapel stations where work will continue.” Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of business group London First, blasted the latest delay as a bad sign for businesses. The Elizabeth Line, the project’s official title, will provide an east-to-west rail service across London from Abbey Wood in the east to Heathrow in the west. “We must not lose sight of the transformational change Crossrail will bring to our city. It has been 40 years in the making and will be worth the wait. “The two critical paths for the project remain software development for the signalling and train systems, and the complex assurance and handover process for the railway; both involve safety certification for the Elizabeth line,” Wild said today. Read more: Crossrail is at real risk of facing even more delays, this report warns Mayor of London expresses ‘deep frustration’ over Crossrail delay Mayor of London conservative candidate Shaun Bailey said: “This is nothing short of embarrassing for TfL and Sadiq Khan and very bad news for London’s commuters and businesses. A stark contrast to when Boris Johnson was mayor and the project was on time and within budget. He said “programme risks and uncertainties” will mean Crossrail will blow its revised £17.6bn budget agreed in December by between £400m and £650m. Share “Crossrail will need further time to complete software development for the signalling and train systems and the safety approvals process for the railway. whatsapplast_img read more

FDA: Don’t eat cicadas if you are allergic to seafood

first_imgAdvertisementTags: cicadasFDA By TYSABRI: PRESCRIBING INFO Sponsored Content AdvertisementHowever, the Food Agricultural Organization of the United Nations released a report saying allergies related to eating insects need more study. The report, which focused on the safety of eating insects, noted that “individuals already allergic to crustaceans are particularly vulnerable to developing allergic reactions to edible insects, due to allergen cross-reactivity.”That means the immune systems of certain people are sensitive to certain proteins found in shellfish and that similar proteins found in insects could also trigger allergic reactions, NBC News reported. The Brood X cicadas emerge from the ground every 17 years. Billions will take to the trees to mate and lay eggs before they die. Moderna trial showing promise for expanding age requirement next month May 26, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments NBC News – If you have a seafood allergy, the FDA said you may want to pass on the cicada recipes popping up across the internet. “Yep! We have to say it! Don’t eat #cicadas if you’re allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters,” the agency tweeted Wednesday.The warning coincides with the emergence of billions of cicadas in Eastern U.S. With a bug surplus, more adventurous culinary connoisseurs have tasked themselves with finding a way to make them appetizing, though some describe them as a rare gourmet treat. Fish and shellfish are two of the eight major food allergens that must be labeled on food packaging, according to the FDA, along with milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybean. Together, these allergens account for 90 percent of food allergies in the U.S., NBC News reported. AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 commentscenter_img RELATEDTOPICS Ohio man smashes his car after a cicada hit him in the face June 15, 2021 FDA: Pfizer vaccine can be stored at standard fridge temperatures up to 1 month May 21, 2021 A Family’s bond. From Biogen. Local teens begin getting Pfizer vaccine after FDA authorization May 14, 2021 In facing the journey ahead, one family knows the importance of sticking together.last_img read more

Animal charity returns to Laois hunting for happy homes for rescue hens

first_img Pinterest Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results By LaoisToday Reporter – 8th November 2019 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR GAA GAA GAA Recently rescued hens. Photo by Niamh Cubie Due to popular demand, LittleHill Animal Rescue will return to county Laois this month with rescue hens for people to adopt.The Kildare-based charity is calling on compassionate Laois locals to consider offering a home to a few of these feathered ladies, to save them from the slaughterhouse.“We had a fantastic response in Laois during our last hen rescue operation in October,” said Susan Anderson, founder of LittleHill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, “so we have decided to return to Portarlington on the 16th of November this time around.”So, where do these hens come from, and what are they being rescued from? Commercial egg-laying chickens are routinely slaughtered at about 15-months of age, when their productivity drops slightly.“They take a little break from laying at around this age,” Susan said. “When they start again, their productivity is reduced by about 10%. This small reduction in eggs wouldn’t make any difference to you or me, but to a farmer on tight margins, this could mean the difference between profit and loss.”At several egg farms in Ireland, LittleHill rescues as many hens as possible from this untimely demise, so that they can experience long and happy lives, free from the stressful conditions of intensive farming.“The majority of these hens will live for a few more years,” Susan stated, “and they make the best little companions.”Already, hundreds of compassionate people in Laois have made room in their lives for these creatures, with many adopters reporting the surprising benefits. WhatsApp “We decided to adopt a few hens back in June because it broke my heart to think that these little girls were going to die having never felt love or kindness,” said Aoife Melia, who keeps hens at her home in Mountmellick.“When they first arrived, they were in horrendous condition – bald patches everywhere, pale floppy combs and just terrified of everything.“Within days though, they were basking in the sun, enjoying dust baths and slowly learning that they were safe here.”Many adopters, including Aoife, confess that their new chickens soon become much-loved family pets, with strong personalities.“They are such clever little creatures with the best personalities. They are fully fledged pets who love to sneak into the house for some treats and cuddles,” Aoife said.“Minnie, who’s the boss lady, even knocks on our window in the mornings to be let inside to lay her egg!”Aoife also discussed how keeping hens has helped her family to reduce their environmental impact.“We have the added bonus of zero food waste, our own free fertiliser from their poop and they are great little helpers with the weeds,” she said.Chicken Licken the rescue hen. Photo by Niamh CubieEggs from your back garden also have a much lower carbon footprint than shop-bought eggs, as the emissions associated with indoor farming, packaging and transport are avoided.To acquire feathered ladies of your very own, prospective adopters are asked to send a private message to the charity’s Facebook page, LittleHill Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, stating the number of hens they would like to adopt and the collection town.In addition to Portarlington on Saturday the 16th, other nearby stops include Birr on the 16th and Tullamore on the 17th.Those without a Facebook account can ask a relative or friend to make the booking on their behalf. A small adoption fee of six euro per hen applies.So, how can you prepare for your new arrivals? Aoife explains that you need a chicken coop, kennel or shed that can be locked at night to keep the hens safe from predators, and a secure outdoor area that they can enjoy during the day.“They’re so easy and inexpensive to keep, compared to what they give back to you in bucketfuls,” she concludes. “Our rescue hens have added so much to our family life, and the constant supply of delicious fresh eggs is a total bonus!”SEE ALSO – Footballer Bruno McCormack named as LaoisToday/Property Partners Buggy Sports Star of the Month for October Home News Animal charity returns to Laois hunting for happy homes for rescue hens News WhatsApp Facebook 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin Pinterest Animal charity returns to Laois hunting for happy homes for rescue hens Previous articlePanther’s star Melia leads Philadelphia side to victory after exceptional debutNext articleLaois’s favourite type of takeaway revealed LaoisToday Reporter Facebook Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory Twitter Twitterlast_img read more

During the Famine Shaking at the Fear of Summary Execution

first_img There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News By Daily NK – 2007.01.06 11:59am News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak News AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img News [imText1]In the mid 90’s, during the mass starvation that cost the lives of several million North Korean citizens, Kim Jong Il legalized on-the-spot executions in order to facilitate the execution of criminals. This author witnessed the horror of a summary judgment at Haesan Railway Station in Yangkang Province in March of 1996.At the time, I had come to Haesan to sell copper, and had boarded the Haesan – Pyongyang train in order to return to my home. Due to chronic electricity shortages, the train ran only once every several days and was overloaded with merchants who had been out doing business. Not knowing when the train would depart, I stood in the passenger car and began to doze off. Suddenly, a woman screamed in distress “Please save me!” Soon the cry became “Mister, please let me go this one time!” as she wildly begged for help from those around her. After a few moments, her cries were accompanied by the sound of someone being struck as a scuffle broke out around her. About three minutes later, shouting “Move, get out of the way,” two men, accompanying the woman who was asking for help, were each holding the arms of two robbery suspects and escorted them off the train. The men holding the accused thieves were young men about 180 centimeters tall, wearing cotton pants and cotton winter jackets with ski masks. The surprising thing was that the ski masks were pulled down leaving only their eyes showing, and both carried guns in their hands.Upon hearing “On your knees!” the two suspects began to beg “Please forgive me,” and “Please save me!” In an instant, hundreds of surprised people gathered around the train.One of the young men holding a gun asked the woman the details of her case. According to the woman, she had come to Haesan in Yangkang Province to sell goods and at the time was on her way home after purchasing a Chinese brand of medicine worth 10,000 North Korean won (47 U.S. dollars under current exchange rates). But the two men, who had been watching her from the time she was in the market, used the confusion of the crowded train to get close to her. They had their eyes on her bag.These two slit her backpack with a razor, and began to remove goods from it, but the woman sensed their movements and began to scream. The men did not give up on the backpack, and threatened her with the knife. As soon as she was finished speaking, one of the men holding a gun asked the two suspects if the story were true. Both admitted it was true, and begged for forgiveness. Kim Jong Il’s Special Directive …Terrorizing the entire country with Summary ExecutionsThe two men with guns introduced themselves to the crowd who had gathered as having received policy direction from Kim Jong Il and been dispatched from the central government. They then asked the crowd “Everyone, what has to be done with these two?” Shockingly, the crowd answered, as if parrots, that “They must be killed.”The two armed men had come as members of a Special Team who had received Kim Jong Il’s “Directive to Restore Social Order.” The Special Team verified the suspects ages, names, and addresses. One then put his gun to the forehead of a kneeling suspect and proclaimed “For disrupting social order and threatening the life of a woman during a robbery, you are hereby punished in the name of the people.”With a “Bang!” the one kneeling sprawled across the railroad tracks and blood splattered all over the ground. Seeing his partner die instantly, the other suspect fainted. Hearing the sound of the gunshot, the Station Safety Officer, Guards (similar to a Military Policeman in the South), and soldiers assigned to the Defense Security Company, (similar to a military intelligence official in the South) came running with their flashlights shinning. The Special Team demanded to see the identification cards of the soldiers who had gathered, and then quietly disappeared. The Safety Officer and the soldiers were unable to say one word to the Special Team, and took the woman and remaining suspect and cleared the area. Having witnessed the entire spectacle, my blood ran cold.The one-the-spot execution, taking place without any legal investigation or judgment, can only be found in North Korea. As the entire country fell into chaos during the famine of the mid 90’s, Kim Jong Il protected his dictatorship through extreme political terror. It even got to the point where each province was given a quota for how many executions they were to have in a year.Because of this, summary executions for stealing one sack of corn became frequent. In Pyongyang, Agricultural Secretary Soe Kwan Hee was accused of being an “American Imperialist Spy,” and was publicly executed. Of course, Soe Kwan Hee was made a scapegoat in order to allow Kim Jong Il to evade responsibility for the famine. Now, ten years later, things have gotten better, however, we can be sure that somewhere, events that are unimaginable to people from the outside world, are taking place in North Korea. Facebook Twitter During the Famine Shaking at the Fear of Summary Execution SHARE North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more

IIROC study finds HFT impacts “mostly positive”

first_img For example, the IIROC study found that high-frequency traders (HFTs) generally add liquidity, and that they contribute substantially to price discovery, according the IIROC study. As well, the majority of passive orders from HFT “either improve the best price or match the prevailing best prices,” the IIROC report says. The report also notes that there is “little evidence” that HFTs take advantage of slower traders. Absent the need for further regulatory action, IIROC will “continue to be proactive in strengthening the oversight and regulation of trading in a manner that fosters fair and efficient markets and protects investors,” the IIROC report says. To that end, the SRO says that it will keep up with innovations in trading technology and market structure; and continue to monitor trading activity to ensure compliance with the existing trading rules. “Our HFT research demonstrates how IIROC uses empirical information and objective analysis to inform policy development,” says Victoria Pinnington, senior vice president of market regulation at IIROC, in a statement. “As a public interest regulator, it was important to conduct comprehensive research to help us all better understand HFT and its effects on Canadian market.” U.S. derivatives regulator allows ICE speed bump Getting ghosted by the markets A study by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) into the impact of high-frequency trading (HFT) on Canadian equity markets has not uncovered any issues that justify any regulatory intervention, the self-regulatory organization (SRO) announced Wednesday. Instead, the results of the study suggest that HFT has “mostly positive impacts” on the markets and investors, IIROC says in a statement. Related news Keywords High frequency tradingCompanies Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter HFT costs global markets US$5 billion annually, FCA research finds James Langton last_img read more

Scotiabank Q2 profit down from year ago as provisions for credit losses soar

first_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto, On deymos/123RF Covid-19 weighed down Bank of Nova Scotia’s second quarter, causing its profit to plunge and the company to increase its reserves to cover bad loans.The Toronto-based bank reported Tuesday a profit of $1.32 billion for the period ended April 30, down sharply from a year ago. TD getting new head of private wealth, financial planning Covid vaccine-sharing discussions to dominate G7 summit talks Canadian Press Keywords Earnings,  Coronavirus,  Banking industryCompanies Bank of Nova Scotia Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news The bank’s provisions for credit losses totalled nearly $1.85 billion for the quarter, more than doubling from $873 million a year earlier.“This is not a garden-variety recession…We’ve never been through this before,” Scotiabank chief executive Brian Porter told analysts on a call on Tuesday morning.“We’re cautious here. This is not a one-quarter or two-quarter event. The banking sector will be picking up broken egg shells for a number of quarters here.”Porter acknowledged that Scotiabank’s results were significantly impacted by Covid-19, but reminded listeners that the bank and all its operating divisions continue to be profitable.He said the bank is well-positioned from a capital and liquidity perspective and appropriately reserved for credit losses.Scotiabank’s profit for the quarter amounted to $1.00 per diluted share compared with a profit of nearly $2.26 billion or $1.73 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.On an adjusted basis, it earned $1.04 per diluted share in the quarter compared with $1.70 per diluted share a year ago.Analysts on average had expected Scotiabank to earn an adjusted profit of 98 cents per share for the quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.The bank spent much of the quarter focused on offering loan and mortgage deferrals to customers struggling with the impacts of Covid-19 and its impact on the economy.“I have often said the role of banking is to act as a shock absorber during times of crisis. That was true in previous times of difficulty and it is certainly true today,” Porter said.Scotiabank offered about $100 billion in total loan support, which included financial relief for more than 300,000 customers in Canada on loans totalling over $40 billion.In the Pacific Alliance, the bank processed more than two million customer service applications on loans totalling $20 billion and to support small businesses and corporate clients, it provided additional loans over $45 billion.Demand for deferrals is starting to taper off, after peaking in Canada in the first week of April, Porter said.Meanwhile, the bank is seeing strong growth in its digital subsidiary Tangerine and online discount brokerage iTrade.Barclays analyst John Aiken, who had expected Covid-19’s impact on banks to be “ugly,” said Scotiabank’s earnings were better than expected because credit was better than expected.He suspected that the results will likely be rewarded, but warned that these are still the early stages of credit development.“It is our view that ongoing heightened provisions are more likely in coming quarters,” he said.“Expectations will likely be that additional reserves will need to be taken in future quarters as the true impact of the pandemic will be felt.” Fed plays limited role in assessing climate risks for bankslast_img read more

More Support for National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Jamaica’s National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan has been boosted by a $108 million allocation in the 2009/10 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.The project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Health, seeks to assist the Government of Jamaica in curbing the spread of the HIV epidemic; improve treatment, care, and support for persons living with HIV/AIDS; and strengthening Jamaica’s capacity to respond to the epidemic.Jointly funded by the Government and the World Bank, the project commenced in June, 2008, and has met several targets up to February this year. These include: completion of a National AIDS Policy, review of a legislative HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy, completion of a draft monitoring and evaluation framework, adoption of a draft National Occupational and Safety Act in schools, improvements in the diagnostics capacity at the National Public Health Laboratory and regional laboratories.Targets for the current fiscal year include: improving the diagnostics capacity; maintenance of HIV testing of 90 per cent of antenatal clinic attendees in the public sector; and the provision of antiretroviral medication for prevention of mother to child transmission to 85 per cent of HIV infected pregnant women and, at least, 90 per cent of HIV exposed infants. RelatedMore Support for National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan Advertisements RelatedMore Support for National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plancenter_img RelatedMore Support for National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan More Support for National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan Health & WellnessApril 15, 2009last_img read more

Lorraine Explains: How to change a flat tire

first_imgIf you own an automobile, chances are sometime, somewhere, you’re going to have a flat tire. And they usually happen at the most inopportune times and often in the most inconvenient places – or worse, dangerous, such as the side of a highway. Calling a tow truck or CAA is the better idea, but for those times that you can’t, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and change it yourself. This week, Lorraine Sommerfeld demonstrates the right way to change a flat tire, and what to think about after the job is done.  Here, in order, are the things you have to do when changing a tire: See More Videos The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca RELATED TAGSNewsLorraine Sommerfeldcenter_img Loosen the wheel nuts, but don’t take them right off Place the jack under the car near the wheel; make sure the car is level and the surface under the jack is firm enough to support the weight. If not, place a flat rock or piece of wood under it.  Raise the car with the jack just enough that the wheel can spin. Remove all the nuts and then the wheel itself. Place the spare tire on the hub and screw the nuts on enough so the wheel is secure. Lower the car and remove the jack. Finally tighten all the wheel nuts. Tighten in a star pattern, going from one nut to the one across from it, rather than circular around the wheel, to ensure the wheel is seated properly. Make sure the nuts are very tight. Trending Videos COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information.last_img read more

What’s the Point? – Graduate school of life

first_imgHomeOpinionColumnsWhat’s the Point? – Graduate school of life Mar. 03, 2020 at 6:00 amColumnsFeaturedNewsWhat’s the Point?What’s the Point? – Graduate school of lifeDavid Pisarra1 year agosmdpwhats the point columnDavid Pisarra I’m in Durban South Africa, I leave today for a photo safari to see the lions, giraffes and about a gazillion birds. For the past few days I have been in the third largest city in the country, in the state of Kwa-Zulu Natal. It’s an absolutely gorgeous, lush, subtropical state. The humidity is mild, the countryside is very green, and it is on the east coast abutting the Indian Ocean, I think it is the second largest harbor in the country.This city is a bit of a mash up of Santa Monica, with a heavy emphasis on the tourist experience, a solid dose of Long Beach/San Pedro with its long shipping history of import/export and a heavy, heavy dose of inner city poverty.The hotel I’m staying in is called Quarters (http://www.quarters.co.za) and it’s a lovely campus of four old Victorian buildings that have been renovated to accommodate guests. Originally built in the early 1900s they possess the quaintness and charm of old world grace. The black and white tiled bath is like a step back to the 20s – I’m in heaven. From the moment of my first phone call to confirm that someone would be available to let me in, I have been enrobed in a polished and professional standard of care that thinks deeply about the guest experience. From the personalized, hand signed welcome letter of the hotel manager in my room to the black ribbon that surrounds the facecloth in the bath to make sure it stays folded properly, nothing has been overlooked here.Ryan is the duty manager I have had the most interaction with, and his soothing South African accented (to my ears) voice is simply the most reassuringly positive experience of this exciting country. He was the one who confirmed for me that he will be checking me in when I arrive. He is the one who has provided much needed guidance about where to walk and what to see. He is the insightful guide who warned me off those areas that are not tourist safe. In short he has been the local host that we all want when traveling.We would describe this hotel as a boutique hotel. It’s a lovely change from the corporate monoliths that say they do customer service, but fall short on a regular basis of making one feel welcome. I’ve been called “Sir” and “Mr. Pisarra” more here in the last four days than probably the last ten years combined.This is a beach city, and so of course I had to walk the promenade. At one end is the Ushaka Marine World and tourist experience. More than a dozen shops offer everything from a wide assortment of spices which caters to the heavy Indian population in this multi-cultural city, to the classic rip-off of American hamburger fast food restaurants, called WIMPY. Yes, like in the Popeye cartoons…There’s the reptile exhibit, I didn’t partake, and a theme restaurant called the Cargo Hold which used to be an actual working ship, that’s been relocated and turned into a semi-fine dining experience.Walking along the Golden Mile here is like strolling from the Santa Monica Pier to the Venice pier. There’s the usual array of beach barkers selling trinkets and ice cream, but also some very talented sand artists who are homeless youth, trained by the city to do art, so they can provide for themselves a bit. The tourists like me, take pictures and then donate a few Rand to the artists. It’s nice to know that the entrepreneurial spirit thrives globally, even in the most destitute, perhaps because of their desperation, of places.Then there is the overwhelming feeling of sadness at the poverty and I wondered how so many people could be lifted out of it into a world of better living conditions. I thought of the programs and support that the City of Santa Monica provides and yet we still have tremendous homeless and poor population. I compare the destitute in Los Angeles with the destitute in Durban and question which is better? Maybe neither. Maybe the truth is that there will always be poor, and there will always be those who work to pull themselves up and those who can’t, won’t or don’t.My brother is with me, and we went today to the Nelson Mandela Museum that was erected where he was arrested. It’s a soul expanding experience when you see the history of Apartheid laid out, with his life interwoven. The cruelty that was perpetrated is astounding. The tools of the oppressors from segregation, even at the beaches, the blacks had theirs, the Indians and coloureds each had a beach and of course the whites. The controlling whites used “pass papers” to control the movements of those they dominated. It made me question what is happening in my own country as we move to a “Real ID” system that is necessary to travel interstate on the airlines. Is this the start of the next phase of control?My friend Anne says that travel is the “graduate school of life”, she’s right. It is by traveling that we get to see the commonalities of life, the human potential that exists across all lands and the basic humanity that actually unites us, once we get past the artificial “differences” of skin color, politics, and money.David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at [email protected] or 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarraTags :smdpwhats the point columnshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentLetter To The Editor – Bernie vs. ObamaSamohi takes on Serra High in tonight’s playoffsYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall6 hours agoColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author12 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson17 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter17 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor17 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press17 hours agolast_img read more

Martin McGuinness headstone unveiled

first_imgHomepage BannerNews Google+ WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Previous articleRugby Review: City of Derry stay upNext articleInishowen League Results News Highland Google+ Martin McGuinness’ headstone has been unveiled today in Derry.The former Deputy First Minister died last month.The headstone was unveiled today in the Republican plot at the City Cemetry in Derry following an Easter Commemoration through the Bogside.Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said Martin and Dale Moore who was also remembered this weekend will continue to inspire and encourage us in the time ahead. They believed that a better Ireland, a genuinely new Ireland is possible. WhatsApp Twitter Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population growscenter_img Pinterest Twitter Martin McGuinness headstone unveiled By News Highland – April 16, 2017 Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty DL Debate – 24/05/21 Harps come back to win in Waterford Facebook News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterestlast_img read more