Hard-pressed ex-Skeldon sugar workers renew protest for outstanding severance
Almost 50 ex-Skeldon sugar workers protested outside of the estate’s Administrative Office yesterday for GuySuCo and the government to make outstanding severance payments without any further delay. Some of these workers got part of their severance in January and were promised that the remainder would be paid in the second half of the year. That has not happened as yet. The workers’ main concerns yesterday, which marked 273 days since the Skeldon Estate was closed, were about putting food on their tables, paying their bills and loans and ensuring their children stay in school. Some workers said they were unable to continue the construction of their houses which they started while being employed at the estate, while others added that they were unable to provide three meals per day for their families. Melissa Sinclair, 25, of Number 77 Housing Scheme, a mother of an eight, five, three and one-year-old who was employed in the fertilizing gang at the estate, stated, “Since the estate close down we left half way with we house.”
Man dead, two others critical after Liliendaal crash
A Castello Housing Scheme man is now dead, while two other persons are critical after the car they were in crashed into a utility pole at Liliendaal, along the Rupert Craig Highway yesterday morning. Dead is Isaiah Corlette, 25, of 99 Castello Housing Scheme, who lost his life on his birthday. The injured have been identified as Mikhail Punch, 25, of Lot 33 Middle Street, Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara, who is said to have been the driver of the car, and Akeisha Jones, 24, of Leopold Street, Werk-en-Rust, who was travelling with them. The accident occurred around 2.20 am yesterday, after which the victims were all taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where Corlette was pronounced dead on arrival. Punch and Jones were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where they both remained up to last evening.
Law allows for LGE nominators to be made public
The People’s Progressive Party-nominated commissioners on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) are rejecting a claim by the Local Government Elections campaign manager for the Alliance For Change (AFC) David Patterson that they were responsible for the names of the nominators of party candidates being made public. “At no time whatsoever has the issue regarding publication or rather posting of the submissions on Nomination Day by the Returning Officer come to the commission for discussion or otherwise prior to Nomination Day,” PPPnominated commissioner Sase Gunraj told Stabroek News. Responding to the claim made by Patterson at an AFC press conference on Thursday, Gunraj, an attorney, said, “In fact, the Local Government Elections Act Chapter 28:03 caters specifically for that to happen. It was not based on an insistence by any PPP-nominated commissioner or any other commissioner. It occurred as a matter of law.” Contrary to Patterson’s claim that the list of nominators were not posted until the current process, Gunraj added, “It has occurred in the 2016 Local Government Elections, pursuant to the law. This is a public process.”
Sunday, September 30th NICIL hoping for sale of sugar estates by early next year, Chairman says
With PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) having completed its valuation of the four GuySuCo estates that are up for divestment and potential bidders currently analysing the findings, the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) is hoping that by the end of first quarter of 2019 all the estates would be sold. “PwC has finished their valuation and the information memoranda sold to interested companies, who now have up to October 31st to submit their bids,” Chairman of NICIL Horace James told Sunday Stabroek in an interview. James said after the deadline for the submission, an evaluation process would be undertaken. After the bids have been submitted and evaluations completed, it will be Cabinet that will make a final decision. “PwC would give the score, because they will use a scoring system for the business plans as they evaluate them in terms of technical and financial aspects and that sort of thing. They will look at the bids, score, make their evaluation and recommendations but we still have to submit to Cabinet.”
Monday, October 1st Vincent Adams to head EPA
Energy Expert and scientist Dr Vincent Adams is tipped to be the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is expected to formally take up the reins today, sources have confirmed. Dr Adams takes over from Khemraj Parsram who has been acting in the position following the resignation of the substantive head, Dr Inderjit Ramdass. With a wealth of experience in the energy sector, Adams’ appointment comes against the backdrop of impending production in Guyana’s nascent oil and gas sector. With production expected to begin in 2020, it is expected that the EPA will have a critical role in planning and oversight. Adams is the holder of a Degree in Civil Engineering, a Masters’ Degree in Petroleum and Geological Engineering and another in Geohydrology. The Linden-born scientist is also the holder of a PhD in Petroleum and Geological Engineering and another in Environmental Engineering. He retired last year, after three decades with the United States Department of Energy, where he served in key leadership roles including technology development; dismantlement and cleanup of the nation’s nuclear weapons complexes; executing the Government’s Environmental Stimulus programme and creating and managing the Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) programmes for nine universities in the U.S.
West Ruimveldt father dies after Middle St crash
A West Ruimveldt father of two is the country’s latest road fatality following a collision between two vehicles at the intersection of Middle and Carmichael Streets, Georgetown early yesterday morning. Dead is 26-yearold Jason Marques called ‘Suicide’ of Lot 85 West Ruimveldt, Georgetown. Two of his friends, Mark Jacobs, 17, of Lot 32 Campbellville and Timothy Fairbairn, 26, of Lot 212 Charlotte Street, Georgetown were injured. Fairbairn remains in a critical condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) while Jacobs was treated and sent away. The drivers of both vehicles were drunk, the police said. Jason Marques
Knitting keeps filaria patient on the move
Battling Lymphatic Filariasis for most of her life, it has become a struggle for 63-year-old Edna (not her real name) to move around as the disease has progressively degenerated her body, but she marches on, putting her fingers to work and earning an income through knitting. She fights against the pain, centred on her left leg, and the depressed feelings, by creating chair backs, centres for coffee tables and other items. Her customers are mainly from nearby villages but because of the quality of her work, she sometimes get orders from North America. She finds it challenging to purchase the crochet thread though because the price has increased. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lymphatic filariasis commonly known as filaria is a neglected tropical disease, which later results in painful and profoundly disfiguring visible manifestations of elephantiasis, hydrocele and lymphedema. Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through the culex mosquitoes. It is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system.
Tuesday, October 2nd State agencies’ staff being trained in regulation of oil and gas sector
Key stakeholders in Guyana’s nascent oil and gas sector are taking part in a capacity-building workshop aimed at improving industrial safety and environmental regulation. The three-day workshop is a collaboration between the Embassy of Mexico, in Georgetown, and the Government of Guyana. At the launch at the Mexican Embassy on Brickdam yesterday, Mexico’s Ambassador to Guyana Ivan Sierra said that he could not be happier at being able to make a contribution to the implementation of Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy. Mexico’s Agency for Safety, Energy and Environment (ASEA) is facilitating the workshop, under the theme ‘Lessons Learned and Regulatory insights for Guyana’s Extractive Industries.’ The general aim of the workshop is to provide participants with an initial overview of empirical findings regarding industrial safety and environmental regulation of the oil and gas industry based on the Risk Management Model that was developed by ASEA, which is also the main regulatory body of the Mexican oil industry.
Driver charged with killing man in Middle St crash
One of the two drivers who collided at the intersection of Middle and Carmichael streets, Georgetown, early on Sunday morning, resulting in the death of Jason Marques, was yesterday charged with killing him. Although both Keron Deodat, 25, of Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice and Deion Jerrick were charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), it was the former who was the lone person to be charged with causing Marques’ death by dangerous driving. He was granted his release on $350,000 bail on the causing death charge by Georgetown Magistrate Fabayo Azore, who set October 11th for his next hearing. He was also granted $20,000 bail on the DUI charge and was given November 14th as his next court date for that charge. Jerrick, who faced a separate charge over the tint on his vehicle, was also due to be charged with causing Marques’ death but he managed to post bail on his two other charges and left the court before the third charge could be read to him. He was released on $20,000 on the DUI charge and $15,000 bail on the charge for prohibition of tinted glass. His next court date for those charges is November 14th, although he is expected to face a death by dangerous driving charge this week.
City wharf claimed by M&CC, NICIL, GNIC
Three different entities have claimed ownership of the ‘Sussex Street Wharf,’ which was leased to Quick Shipping Inc. by Town Clerk Royston King. Paul Sandy, Managing Director of Quick Shipping Inc., told the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the operations of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) yesterday that he believed that the property belonged to the city when in April, 2016, he entered into a lease with the city for use of the 25,000 sq. ft. property at Lombard Street, popularly known as the ‘Sussex Street Wharf.’ Under examination by his lawyer, Jerome Khan, Sandy told the CoI at a hearing at the Critchlow Labour College that his belief was bolstered by an expired lease for the same property, which had been granted to International Fishing Investment Company Limited by City Hall. This lease had expired in 2006. “At all material times, Mr Sandy was labouring under the belief that the land was owned and controlled by M&CC, buttressed by the fact that a previous lease existed between M&CC and the fisherman group,” Khan stressed repeatedly.