17 Jan

Erroneous Stabroek News article on land sale

first_imgDear Editor,Stabroek News’ Sunday article on the sale of land to Scady contains a number of inaccuracies. One major inaccuracy related to attributing a footnote in my report (attached for ease of reference) dealing with the sale of the Scady land, when the footnote related to the sale of the land to GBTI for their banking headquarters. Pages 34 and 38 of my report (transaction #66) deal with the Scady transaction.The reporter erroneously treated footnote #66 shown on page 43, as relating to the Scady property sale. My report clearly references this footnote to Transaction #63, “Sale of Tract A, Young Street ”. This land was sold to GBTI for their headquarters based on a public tender. Interesting enough, the tendered value and sale price of $201 million is less than 50% of the private valuation from Mr Rodriques.GBTI has spent billions of dollars to develop the approximately three acres of land acquired, contributing in no small way to the improvement of the landscape. And while Scady has not yet developed the land acquired, although detailed designs have been completed, at least US$150 million has been invested in the Berbice bauxite industry since 2004 as a result of RUSAL’s involvement. In fact, RUSAL helped to save the Berbice bauxite industry and almost 1000 direct and indirect jobs. At least at the time of the sale in 2008, I can also say that the sale price per acre of the land sold to RUSAL’s principal shareholder is the highest sale price/acre for underdeveloped land on the East Coast that I am familiar with. Part of the confusion on prices that the reporter make reference to related to the budgeted cost of an access bridge to access the land from the public road, a set-off against the G$150 million sale price in accordance with the Cabinet decision of Sept 2008 (10 years ago). The bridge cost will now be borne by the land owner in addition to all of the infrastructure to develop the land.If one peruses the 860-page report titled “Privatisation in Tables – Phase II”, there are literally hundreds of transactions completed during the period 1993 to 2012. I joined the Privatisation Unit in 1994 and served for over 21 years. Many of our transactions look at multiple development considerations.From 1993, large areas of vacant land have been developed. Take Liliendaal/Turkeyen for example. From the Caricom Headquarters, the Convention Centre, the 100 acres of backland sold to NHL that is now witnessing billions of dollars of investment for residential construction, the GPL substation project, the Amerindian Hostel, the Giftland Mall, the Aquatic Centre, and the US$30 million-plus Movietowne currently underway, to name a few. GuySuCo also sold many pieces of land for housing east and south of the Giftland Mall. Projects that did not proceed included the Lakeview Hotel, the Sand and Sun hotel, and the Specialty Hospital. But for the most part, significant development occurred.Large tracts of undeveloped land have been improved, creating jobs and significant investment. And while price was one consideration, economic development was important. Investment created jobs, income and taxes. I recall that in the last 25 years, over 200,000 house lots were allocated by the Ministry of Housing, at relatively low prices. Government spent initial sums to develop roads and bridges; water and electricity followed later. In more modern developments, bridges, roads, concrete drainage, water, electricity, parks, street lighting, are all borne by the developer, before the lots are sold. At GPL, I recall that over a 10-year period, the number of customers rose from 125,000 to 175,000, in no small part, from the significant investment being made by GPL (with financing from the IDB/Government), to install electricity for unserved areas. Today, home ownership is at a record level in the history of Guyana, resulting in a significant middle class and considerable economic growth. And development did not stop at price. The Eccles and Coldigen industrial estates, where plots were leased at G$1/square foot/annum, were focused on investment and jobs (see pages 77 to 84 of the Privatisation in Tables report for a list of all the companies that benefited). The peppercorn rent had nothing to do with the valuation. Today, as one flies over Eccles and Diamond, one can only marvel at the vast expanse of development that occurred in the last 25 years. Much work and effort, however, went into creating this expansion.Sincerely,Winston Brassingtonlast_img read more

12 Jan

Former PPP/C Ministers questioned again by SOCU

first_img…dubbed as “constant harassment”Former members of Cabinet under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) were called in for renewed questioning by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) regarding the sale and transfer of lands located in Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara, popularly known as “Pradoville 2” under the former Administration’s tenure.The former PPP Government Ministers making their way into SOCU Headquarters and being led by their Attorney Anil NandlallOn Wednesday morning, former Public Works Minister Robeson Benn and former Labour Minister Manzoor Nadir found themselves the latest to be questioned at SOCU’s headquarters.The duo was represented by former Education Minister Priya Manickchand, who disclosed that she too was called in for questioning regarding the matter on Tuesday.Speaking to media operatives after being questioned, Benn revealed that he explained to the SOCU investigators that the period surrounding the sale of the lands, a Minister had been murdered and so Government did what “needed to be done” at the time.He was referring to the assassination of former Agriculture Minister Satyadeo Sawh, his family and security personnel. Sawh and two of his siblings were gunned down in April 2006 shortly after they had returned to the Minister’s La Bonne Intention (LBI), East Coast Demerara home.Benn, who does not own property at the Sparendaam location, told media reporters that the overriding issue had to do with the stability of the country to make sure that the President (Bharrat Jagdeo) and other members of the Cabinet get a home in a secure and safe environment away from criminal activities.Meanwhile, Manickchand deems the prolonged investigation as a “distraction” expressing her belief that it is being politically directed. She contended that “Pradoville 2” was being targeted because the Opposition Leader lives there. The former Minister said too that the move comes days after meetings were held in Berbice.“This has only to do with an attempt to decapitate the PPP and pull down its leaders and interfere with its ability to lead and that’s all it is, it’s a political persecution,” she said.The PPP has started its campaign for the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE) that is set for November 11.Manickchand dubbed SOCU’s action as a “constant harassment” of former Government officials aimed at diverting the public’s attention away from serious issues facing the country which the Government has failed to address.A few hours later, former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds; former Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali; former Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran; former Amerindian Affairs Minister; Pauline Sukhai and former Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Kelawan Lall were also called in for questioning. They were represented by former Attorney General Anil Nandlall.Nandlall, who spoke with the media after hours long interviews said the former Ministers were interviewed about a particular Cabinet meeting and were asked a number of questions in relation to “Pradoville 2”, which was subject of the Cabinet meeting.“Nobody could remember. The Cabinet meeting took place 10 years ago or thereabout and therefore hardly can anyone remember what transpired at that meeting,” he said.But Nandlall contended that what is discussed at Cabinet is confidential and members of Cabinet cannot disclose confidential information to anymore. He said he finds it shocking that the current Government is now removing the confidentiality principle that governs all Cabinet decisions.He said, “They seem to forget that someday they will be out of Government and someday they may be interrogated about things they did at Cabinet. But I think it is principle that matters; [what is] discussed at Cabinet is absolutely a confidential matter. I don’t know how Police now can question that.”Nandlall said very specific questions were asked. He said his clients were shown what purports to be a document that has a Cabinet format. But the document seems to be appeared unsigned.“I believe all of this is designed to culminate in some set of charges which we are being told likely to come. So I suppose they are building a case and accumulating what they consider to be relevant evidence towards the establishment of a case,” he explained.Further to that, the attorney said his clients have refused to sign the documents that contain answers to questions to ask, because they were refused a copy of the document. He said, “If at a subsequent stage, their signature is required, well I suppose SOCU will make contact and they’ll be handed those documents.”Last year March, former President Bharrat Jagdeo and former Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, were arrested while several other former Government Ministers under the PPP Administration were detained by SOCU officials who were probing misappropriation of State assets.The arrest and detention was in connection with an ongoing probe into the acquisition of lands at “Pradoville 2”, among other things. Days after that, the President David Granger declared that the former Guyanese Leader should not have been treated the way he was.In the past, SOCU has detained several former prominent Government officials, regarding their connection with the Pradoville 2 scheme. The reason these persons are being questioned is because they purchased property at the Sparendaam seawall area.The current Administration contends that the transaction is a criminal act because of the belief that the land was sold below market value. However, the PPP had argued that subsidised housing has always been a part of the legacy of the PPP and that countless Guyanese have benefited from lands sold below market value.last_img read more

11 Jan

Blogs memorial sites for Anna Nicole

first_imgHOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Fans of Anna Nicole Smith aren’t making a pilgrimage to the place she spent her final days. They’re not leaving flowers. They’re not gathering in masses expressing their grief. Emotions are being expressed in a way as uniquely modern as Smith’s fame – on blogs, Web pages and online message boards where true fans battle naysayers to get their voices heard. “I loved her.” “I miss her.” “She was beautiful.” Such messages are written by her fans. On Facebook.com, hundreds of Anna Nicole pages are buzzing with gossip and outpourings of emotion. YouTube.com has logged hundreds of thousands of hits on Anna Nicole videos, including some fan-produced tributes. On Craigslist.org, a fan sought others touched by the starlet’s death to join in a candlelight vigil in New York’s Union Square. Sian Richter, a 20-year-old office worker who has been posting messages and photos online from her London home, has been glued to E! coverage of her idol’s death. “I do almost feel like I’ve lost something. She was an inspiration to me,” Richter said. “I truly believe she had a lot of love to give and just wanted to be loved back. Also, I looked up to her because of the background she came from. Humble roots and making it big-time gave me inspiration.” Richter said she has some handbags with pictures of Smith on them, a bobblehead doll in the former Playboy model’s likeness and recordings of episodes of “The Anna Nicole Show.” She remembers first finding a copy of her cousin’s June 1993 issue of Playboy and thinking Smith was beautiful. In New York, Brian Hewson, 26, who works in a theater box office, had followed news of Smith for years and was shocked when a friend instant-messaged him Thursday that she had died in Hollywood, Fla. “It doesn’t even seem real,” Hewson said. “If someone wrote this story, if it was on television, no one would think it had any realism to it. But these insane new developments just keep popping up.” There seemed no limit to the reach of the news. In Kuala Lumpur, a huge photo of Smith in a bright red dress was splashed across the front page of the Star newspaper on Saturday. In Helsinki, Finland, her image fronted the Iltalehti newspaper. Talk of her death was still filling cable airwaves Saturday, though it was slowing as new details seemed absent and authorities remained tight-lipped. “I sympathize with her,” said Catherine Toth, a 31-year-old resident of Hawaii Kai on the island of Oahu who pens The Daily Dish blog for The Honolulu Advertiser. “I saw so much tragedy in her life. I just kept hoping it would get better.” Billy Lowe, a hairstylist who frequently works with celebrities, said many people couldn’t help but gasp when they heard news of Smith’s death. “We’ll certainly miss her charm, her on-cam blunders and bloopers, and we’ll pray she’s making the sandy shores in the hereafter very happy,” he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

6 Jan

Keane ready to end Fergie feud IF former Man United boss says sorry

first_imgRoy Keane says he is prepared to bury the hatchet with Sir Alex Ferguson – so long as he receives an apology from the former Manchester United manager.Keane enjoyed great success as Ferguson’s captain at Old Trafford, helping the club win a host of major honours, but his acrimonious departure from United in 2005 saw the pair’s relationship break down.Ferguson went on to blast the Irishman in his autobiography, while Keane hit back in his own book by accusing the Scot of ‘disloyalty’ and of failing to honour the terms of his contract.But Keane has now suggested he could end his feud with the 72-year-old.In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, quoted in several national newspapers, Keane – asked whether he would ever go for a pint with Ferguson – replied: “Well, it would be a cup of tea. If Sir Alex apologises, then yes, I would.“If Ferguson apologises I would be happy to move on… for Ferguson to bad-mouth me after I left, I think he does owe me an apology.”He added: “It was never going to end as a pal’s act. I was never going to leave with champagne and flowers.“I saw how Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce left the club, both decent United captains, and I didn’t like the way they left.”The outspoken Irishman also made it clear he was not losing any sleep over any supporters who feel his feud with Ferguson has tarnished his legacy.“If United fans say I had a decent career, then brilliant,” he said. “If they want to say, ‘What’s gone on with Ferguson stuff?’ then f*** them.” Roy Keane with Sir Alex Ferguson in happier times 1last_img read more

3 Jan

Steven N’Zonzi leaving Stoke for Sevilla in £7million deal

first_imgSteven N’Zonzi will complete a move to Sevilla this week, talkSPORT understands.The midfielder has made it clear he wants to quit Stoke this summer to enhance his chances of making the France squad for Euro 2016.The current Europa League champions’ original bid of £3m was rejected by the Potters, but the Spaniards have now met their £7m valuation.Mark Hughes did not want to lose the 26-year-old – his side’s Player of the Year last season – but the club had little choice but to cash-in with N’Zonzi having just a year left on his deal.Sevilla are now putting the finishing touches to the deal for the Frenchman and hope to unveil him as their new signing later this week. Steven N’Zonzi in action for Stoke 1last_img read more

28 Dec

MAN TRIED TO HEADBUTT BOUNCER OUTSIDE NIGHTCLUB

first_imgA Letterkenny man who attempted to head-butt a nightclub bouncer after he was removed from the premises has been fined €150.Paul Brogan, from 5 Binnion Avenue, appeared in court charged with assault outside Voodoo Nightclub on September 14th last.The court heard that Brogan, 47, had 19 previous convictions for various offenses including intoxication and using threatening and abusive behaviour. On the night of the offense, Gardai arrived to find Brogan being restrained by nightclub security staff.At one stage he lunged and tried to headbutt a member of the security team but did not connect, according to Garda Inspector David Kelly.Solicitor Kieran Dillon said his client had been under pressure from the sale of his family home which he said had put him “over the edge.”He added that Brogan had no real memory of what had happened and had apologised to staff and the Gardai.He is an electrician but had found it difficult to get work during the recession.Judge Paul Kelly fined Brogan €150.MAN TRIED TO HEADBUTT BOUNCER OUTSIDE NIGHTCLUB was last modified: October 7th, 2014 by StephenShare 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:assaultcourtdonegalletterkennynightclubPaul Broganlast_img read more

27 Dec

MICK COLEMAN – THE ROAD TO ESTONIA – PART II

first_imgLETTERKENNY MAN MICK COLEMAN IS TRAVELING TO ESTONIA TO TAKE PART IN THE EUROPEAN BENCH PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP IN ESTONIA. THIS IS THE LATEST PART OF HIS BLOG.I am still travelling around different gyms trying to find every tip and test every technique so that I am at my best when I go to the European Bench Press Championships in Estonia.This week my oldest friend from Omagh Peter Kelly who told me about a former power lifter ( Marty Quinn ) had opened his own gym in Omagh so I went up to check it out. The gym has no name yet but Marty calls himself the coach. The gym itself is small but has everything that a power lifter or bodybuilder would ever want.Over the last three or four weeks I have been doing a lot of board pressing to help me get over my sticking point about three inches off my chest, so when we where up with Marty on Saturday we did nothing but board presses and he told me the same thing as everybody else that i had to get myself a better bench shirt but still pushed 167.5kg off a three inch board which was not bad for me.My training will be changing again in about a week or two as I go back to full presses again and I will find out if the board presses have helped me or not.This week we will be talking about the role that the legs play in the bench press. Almost every lift that you do in the gym the power comes from the legs a stable platform for you to push from and the bench press is no different you need strong legs to have a big bench and to prove my point next time you are in the gym doing the bench press do it with your legs in the air and you will find that all your power is gone.BUILT IN ENERGIE LETTERKENNY POWERED BY NATIONAL IRISH BANK FOLLOW ME ON DONEGALDAILY.COMEndsMICK COLEMAN – THE ROAD TO ESTONIA – PART II was last modified: July 8th, 2011 by StephenShare 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:bench pressestoniamick colemanlast_img read more

27 Dec

SHAY’S €180K EURO 2012 WINDFALL

first_imgStar goalie Shay Given and the rest of the 2012 Euro Championship squad are set to earn a fortune – if they can defend their 4-0 lead over Estonia at Lansdowne Road tomorrow night.In fact the 22-man squad which is picked for the finals in Poland the Ukraine next year will share in a €4M windfall.That’s a massive €181,818,182 EACH! But money is the farthest thing from the mind of the Lifford man and his teammates for the second leg of the qualifier.And anyone who thinks that next year’s tournament could be Shay’s international swan song better think again.Giovanni Trapattoni will beg Ireland’s Shay and other senior stars not to quit after the Euro 2012 finals.Shay, Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Damien Duff could all bow out on a high after the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine. The quartet have amassed 395 caps between them and have played key roles in driving Ireland to the finals.Keane, 31, and Given, 35, keep dropping hints that this may be their last Irish campaign while Duff and Dunne, both 32, could follow suit.But Trap wants them all to stay.© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law. Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comSHAY’S €180K EURO 2012 WINDFALL was last modified: November 14th, 2011 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:donegaldaily.comFAILiffordShay Givenlast_img read more

27 Dec

GAA NEWS: DETAILS OF LETTERKENNY GAELS AGM ANNOUNCED

first_imgLetterkenny Gaels Club NewsThe underage Hurling & Camogie presentations were held last Saturday evening in the Clubhouse at the Glebe.A large crowd of children & parents attended as Marty Mc Grath from Burt presented the medals & certificates. The numbers of children in attendance is a reflection of the hard work being put in by all our Hurling & Camogie coaches.The GAA National Draw tickets are now on sale and can be purchased from any club member.This is a great fundraiser for the club as all proceeds from the sale of these tickets stays with the club.Please be advised that Pairc na nGael is now closed for the winter to allow for remedial repair work. The Club AGM is fixed for the 7th of December at Errigal Collage at 2pm. Nomination & Motion forms can be downloaded from the club Webpage.All club members are invited & encouraged to attend.Underage football coaching continues this Friday for U-6 (6-6.45pm) & U-8 (6.45-7.30pm) in the hall at Woodlands School & U-10 & U-12 is in the Aura from 7.30-8.30pm. New members welcome.Indoor Camogie continues every Monday evening at the Aura Leisure Centre from 7-8 pm for 5th & 6th class girls and Wednesday evenings at the LYIT sports hall from 6-7pm for 4th class & younger. Contact 086 8163605 for information. New players welcome.Our Club Dinner Dance will be held on the 28th December at The Radisson Hotel. In light of the clubs success this year this should be a memorable and enjoyable night. Hurling training for U-6, U-8, U-10 and U-12 continues every Thursday at the Aura from 6.30pm-7.30pm.This is open to boys and girls from 4 to 13 years. Please contact Dan Harnett 0867392780 or Sharon Harnett 0868405785 to book or for more information.Lotto numbers for weekending 16th November are 3,10,13,19. No jackpot winner. Match 3 winner is Hugh Rodgers.Sympathy is extended to the Lynch family of Orchard Grove on their recent bereavement. For regular club updates and photos see our club web page, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @LetterkennyGaelGAA NEWS: DETAILS OF LETTERKENNY GAELS AGM ANNOUNCED was last modified: November 18th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:GAALetterkenny GaelsNoticesSportlast_img read more

25 Dec

IS FINNER THE WINNER? SPECULATION MOUNTS THAT SOLDIER SCOOPED €12M LOTTO

first_imgSpeculation is mounting that a soldier based at Finner Camp is the winner of the massive €12M lotto jackpot.The American House shop which sold the €12M winning lotto ticketThe man, who is in his 30s, was at work today but was refusing to comment on the growing rumours that he bought the golden €12 quick-pick ticket.The winner has yet to claim their prize at lotto headquarters in Dublin. Speculation is rife that the soldier is waiting for the lotto frenzy to quieten down before claiming his fortune and remaining anonymous.The ticket was sold at the well-known American House Shop on Main Street in Bundoran.The owner of the shop, Brian McGovern, 71, says he honestly does not know who holds the winning numbers.However he says his hunch is that it could be a syndicate who scooped the lotto millions. He said most single customers opt for a €4 tickets but syndicates often buy tickets worth €12 and more.Shop assistant Majella Hegarty said staff are getting used to the excitement but they honestly don’t know who the winner is.The winning numbers were 13, 14,24,31,35, 43 and the bonus was 21.  IS FINNER THE WINNER? SPECULATION MOUNTS THAT SOLDIER SCOOPED €12M LOTTO was last modified: June 6th, 2014 by StephenShare 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:donegalFinner Camplottosoldierwinnerlast_img read more