The Liberian Government has bestowed upon outgoing European Union Ambassador, Attilio Pacifici, one of the nation’s highest distinctions for his numerous contributions and services to Liberia.Amb. Pacifici, who has served in the country since 2009 and has, in collaboration with government entities, overseen several development initiatives, was conferred upon by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the distinction of Grand Commander in the Order of the Star of Africa.The ceremony took place at a farewell reception held in his honor in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.As EU Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Pacifici’s first engagement was to spearhead the restoration of Liberia’s ownership of EU development interventions through the re-opening of the National Authorizing Office (NAO). The NAO powers had been revoked during the crisis in the country. He met an NAO that fell short of the standard of a full Embassy in terms of staffing and capacity. His first milestone was the signing of a Financing Agreement that would inject EUR 20 million into Liberia’s National Budget as a grant for macroeconomic stability.President Sirleaf, in her remarks before conferring the distinction, described the Italian-born EU diplomat as a great man who had accomplished a lot for Liberia and its people.She said during Amb. Pacifici’s tenure, the EU was transformed into a full-fledged diplomatic mission and from a humanitarian institution to a development oriented body. It was also during his tenure that the Liberia-EU dialogue and many other initiatives were realized.She regretted that the astute Ambassador was leaving at a time when the country was still facing the onslaught of the Ebola virus disease thereby resulting in an atmosphere of a low key celebration. Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh, too, described the outgoing EU diplomat as not just a partner, but a dependable friend and a true advocate for Liberia.Min. Konneh noted that through the Ambassador’s advocacy and commitment to Liberia, the country has witnessed a gradual increase in direct budget support amounting to EUR 40 million and EUR 35 million in budget support for the health sector from the European Union.“This EUR 75 million constitutes support provided through our budget, and is only part of the total EUR 161 million we have received through the 10th EDF as support to the health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, fisheries and forestry sectors; and to capacity building for the General Auditing Commission and the Bureau of Customs and Excise,” Min. Konneh said.He indicated that upon Amb. Pacifici’s arrival in 2009, the country’s engagements with the EC were limited because there was not a full EU Delegation in Liberia; and more importantly, the EU Delegation in La Côte D’Ivoire was performing the duties of the NAO for Liberia, in managing the European Development Fund (EDF) allocation for the country because our NAO powers were revoked.“We met, and decided that our first goal as counterparts was to restore country ownership of EU development interventions, so that Liberia could optimally benefit from EU’s support to our national recovery and development agenda,” the Minister said.He recalled that in 2013, Liberia and the EU signed the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) allowing Liberia to export its forestry materials to EU at no cost. “This agreement has a six-year life span 2014-2020, during which we expect substantial revenue and job creation as we gain access to international markets for our natural resources.”He noted that with Amb. Pacifici’s leadership, Liberians are assured of the strong continuity of this level of support from the EU, as substantive investments were made in terms of financial and technical support to build the capacity of the NAO which manages the EDF and ensures transparency, mutual accountability and optimal allocation toward viable, impactful projects and programs.“Having supported us in building a credible and competent NAO, we can now look forward to the next envelope of EU support in the amount of EUR 279 million, which constitutes the 11th EDF, set for implementation from early next year up to 2020. This represents a 73 percent increase in the EDF allocation for Liberia.”Another immense contribution of the outgoing diplomat was what Minister Konneh termed, as the swiftness and impact of the EU’s support to Liberia at a time “when we needed all of our friends the most – when the Ebola Virus invaded our country.”“The Ambassador responded quickly,” he said, “by advocating strongly with the EU Headquarters for increased budget support for Liberia. As a result, we have received more than US $35 million as grant directly into our budget, since the beginning of the crisis.The EU Ambassador thanked the government for the honor and said that it has always been part of his nature to serve humanity, noting that when one wants to be a good diplomat, he/she should try to understand the culture and makeup of the people whom one works with.The Outgoing EU boss noted that most of his interactions with the government have culminated in actions that are critical for the future of the nation.He noted that he has always stood out as a diplomat because he likes what he does, interacting and knowing the needs of people. “There is nothing worse in life than doing something you don’t like.”He praised the Liberian people for the level of impression they had on him during his tour of duty in the country.Meanwhile, the traditional people of Liberia, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, gowned the outgoing EU Ambassador and gave him the title of Paramount Chief of the newly created Tehr district in Bomi County. The district was recently created by the Johnson Sirleaf administration. The word “Tehr” is a Gola name meaning “Center.”The ceremony was attended by an array of high profile government officials, especially from the Executive branch including the conferrer, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Internal Affairs, Agriculture and many others.The Doyen and several members of the Diplomatic Corps were also in attendance. The Chairman of the Governance Commission, Amos C. Sawyer, and several other eminent Liberians were also present.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
One year into a $12 million photo-enforcement program to catch Los Angeles motorists who run red lights, fewer than half of the cameras are in place and revenues from the program are falling short of city projections. Of 32 planned cameras, just 13 have been installed since last April because of engineering and other setbacks. And of $124,000 in photo-related fines collected last year, city government got less than half under a state law that gives some of the revenue to state and county coffers even though they contribute nothing to the expensive camera system. The city budgeted $2.2 million in camera citation revenues for fiscal 2007, but officials acknowledge they may not meet that, and the general fund could end up subsidizing the program. As an unofficial June deadline nears, officials have voiced concerns about the program, saying city staff and contractors have not provided fiscal and performance reports. “We’ve asked for timely reports, and we haven’t gotten them,” said City Councilman Dennis Zine, a retired Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who now sits on the Public Safety Committee. “We want (the cameras) up and operating to save lives. “They said this was the best system. … We really trusted the cameras would be in focus, that they would capture the front and back license plates. I’m very disturbed if this doesn’t measure up.” The issues are the latest in long-running efforts to establish a red-light photo-enforcement program at the city’s most dangerous intersections. The first attempt ended when a contract with ACS expired amid complaints that its technology wasn’t digital and did not photograph rear license plates. In late 2005, the City Council awarded a $12 million three-year contract — with two one-year extensions — to Nestor Traffic Systems. Glenn Ogura, principal engineer with the city’s Department of Transportation, said a push is on to try to meet the June 30 deadline. He said problems with the system and cameras have been minor, such as engineering issues that forced the department to substitute two intersections for two in the original plan. He said the problems haven’t been reported to the City Council because they were being resolved with the contractor. “You don’t want to tell council members you’re having problems with the program,” he said. “You’re supposed to work through them with the contractor so that you get them resolved.” Ogura acknowledged the council needs an update, and work still needs to be done with the contractor to improve the system. City Councilman Bernard Parks, who chairs the Finance and Budget Committee and serves on the Transportation Committee, said revenue is not a driving force behind the cameras. But he said updates are needed on the construction schedule, budget and performance to determine if the cameras are improving safety. “There needs to be a debate,” he said. “Is the system functioning as it should?” City officials said last week that Nestor Traffic Systems’ technology is better than a previous contractor’s, despite early problems in focusing the cameras and getting flashes to work properly. “We got off to a rough start, but it’s getting better,” said Nestor Traffic Systems project manager Jennifer Rehoreg. “We had to switch out a lot of cameras.” Officials said they hope to have the 19 remaining cameras in place by the end of June, although only three intersections currently are ready for installation. Ultimately, eight intersections in the San Fernando Valley will be equipped with the cameras. So far, the nearly dozen cameras in use citywide captured 5,822 violations during the last eight months of 2006, according to police records. Just 54 percent — or 3,150 — resulted in citations either for running a red light or not coming to a complete stop before turning right on red, records show. Sgt. Matthew MacWillie, who oversees four LAPD officers who review the cases, said the citation ratio is higher than the previous vendor’s 45 percent. He said officers review footage from the digital cameras, which lock onto fast-moving vehicles and take three to five seconds of video. Officers review the video to establish whether a vehicle was behind the crosswalk line when a light turned red — the criterion for a violation. The city gets $157 of every $381 fine for running a red light and $58 of every $159 fine for making an illegal rolling right turn on red. The LAPD’s MacWillie said the program is projected to become cost-neutral after all 32 intersections are activated. And even though the city may end up subsidizing the program in the short term, assistant City Administrative Officer Ellen Sandt said the effort was intended more to improve safety than generate revenue. “We have a $6 billion budget so $2 million out of $6 billion is not a big revenue stream,” Sandt said. “It’s designed to prevent traffic collisions at the intersections. … How do you value avoiding an accident?” MacWillie said collisions have declined 5 percent to 10 percent at intersections where the cameras are in use. “Basically it boils down to when people know there’s a photo red light in the neighborhood, it changes the behavior of people who travel to and from work. … It has an impact on the motoring public,” he said. Ogura said officials are planning to report on the system to the City Council as more cameras are installed. “We’ve told the council this program is not intended to be a revenue generator; it’s all about safety,” Ogura said. “We’re in it to save lives.” — Beth Barrett, (818) email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Following a positive second quarter Encana delivered their seventh consecutive quarterly increase of liquid volumes after beginning a strategy to increase high margin production. Overall liquids production was at approximately 127,300 barrels per day, a year over year increase of 87 per cent.In a release Encana president Doug Suttles said, “Following our successful portfolio transformation in 2014, we continue to lower costs, improve well performance and increase well inventory in our four most strategic assets. We exited the second quarter with significant operational momentum and we expect to accelerate liquids growth through the second half of the year.”Other highlights from the past quarter include significant expansion of liquids inventory in the Montney, with higher condensate yields in Dawson South and two recent Pipestone area wells each producing over 1,000 bbls/d.- Advertisement –
Ched Evans 1 Convicted rapist Ched Evans’ proposed signing for Oldham has fallen through due to the uproar that has surrounded the negotiations.CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT EVANS’ APOLOGYSources close to the negotiations have confirmed to various outlets that the Latics have decided against the move, despite joint-owner Simon Corney confirming a deal was 80 per cent complete.Shadow sports minister Clive Efford told talkSPORT on Wednesday evening the FA were ‘neglecting their duties’ to the sport by allowing the convicted rapist’s proposed move to go through.And it appears the pressure has told, as the League One side have pulled out of the deal.
North Western Golfing Alliance played at Ballyliffin (Glashedy) Golf Club20th October 2012 Par 72 SSS721ST Nett Kieran O’Neill (13) Strabane G.C. 39 Pts bot 2nd Nett Eamonn McGlinchey (8) Letterkenny G.C. 39 pts bot3rd Nett Pat Corry (10) Strabane G.C. 38 Pts4th Nett Marty McDermott (5) Strabane G.C. 37 Pts bot5th Nett Maurice McGettigan (16) Strabane G.C. 37 Pts bot 6th Nett Seamus Herraghty (14) Rosapenna G.C. 37 Pts bot1st Gross Enda Kennedy (+1) Rosapenna G.C. 692ND Gross Michael McGeady (+3) McCambridge-Duffy 72 bot3RD Gross Keelan Quigg (1) City of Derry G.C. 724TH Gross Brian McElhinney (+3) Golf Ireland 73 5th Gross John P.Dolan (Scr) Ballybofey/Stranorlar 746th Gross John Harding (3) City of Derry G.C.2’s winners were E.McGlinchey,D.Montgomery,J.Harding,J.Kelly,K.Lapsley,M.Feeney.M.McGeady, D.McNeill, J.McCaughan, B.Boyle, E.O’Carroll, P.O’Doherty and J.Park. What a great day Saturday turned out to be for playing Golf, fine weather a great course in splendid condition and an excellent field of golfers to take advantage of the benign conditions.It was obvious from the off that today was going to be a day for low scoring. The winner Enda Kennedy began with a bogey and then went birdie, birdie eagle continued with three pars another birdie and finished the first 9 off with a par to be 3 under .Hot on his heels was Keelan Quigg who had 2 birdies and 7 pars to turn in 33. In third position was Brian McElhinney who had a single birdie and 8 pars to be one under.as if that was not enough there were three other competitors on level par Derek McNeil, John P.Dolan and John Harding.It is a long time since so many players were producing such low scores.Enda continued to reel off the pars until the 16th par four when he dropped his only shot of the back nine .He got it back with a birdie at the par 5 17th, finished with a par for a marvellous round of 69 which is 3 under.Michael McGeady who had been well out of it after an indifferent 2 over on the front nine got going with 2 birdies and 7 pars to finish on level par 72, Keelan Quigg who had been doing so well also finished on 72 but an unfortunate poor run where he dropped 3shots at 14, 15 and 16 saw him take 3rd place on the break of tie. Brian McElhinney spoiled his chances when he took a double bogey on 15 to blemish an otherwise splendid back nine of 8 pars to finish one ahead of John P.Dolan, who had got to one under after 12 only to double bogey the par 5 13th He dropped one further stroke to end up with a 74 John Harding was one under with 4 holes to play when it all came unstuck and he finished with a double bogey and 3 bogies for a 76.In the nett section Kieran O’Neill pipped playing partner Enda Kennedy on break of tie to take the top placing. Kieran finished 2 under his handicap for a splendid round .He had also edged out Eamonn McGlinchey on the break .Eamonn had gone out in one over for 21 points and marred his card with a double bogey on 13th He did however regain his composure to finish with 39 points . Pat Corry was 3rd with 38 points and he will rue a run of bogies on 16 and 17.In the golfer of the year competitions John P.Dolan leads the Nett on 16 Enda Kennedy is on 11 and on 10 are Kieran O’Neill, Stephen McHugh Michael Collum and Maurice McGettigan.In the Gross section Brian McElhinney has 26 John P.Dolan 25 and Enda Kennedy is on 22.And Competition Nairn/Portnoo G.C. on 3Rd November 2012.GOLF: NORTH WESTERN GOLFING ALLIANCE NEWS AND RESULTS was last modified: October 21st, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GOLF: NORTH WESTERN GOLFING ALLIANCE NEWS AND RESULTS