Lasting solutions for GPL

first_imgFinding a lasting solution to the power woesThe issue regarding the constant power outages across Guyana and its huge negative impact on both individuals and businesses is once again making the headlines. The problem seems insurmountable for the Government to deal with, as promises to make blackouts a thing of the past remain unfulfilled, and it looks as if Guyanese will have to wait much longer before they could enjoy the ‘good life’ promised by the coalition Government on the 2015 campaign trail.It is well known that businesses are becoming fed up with the situation, and based on information gathered, some are even contemplating closing shop. For example, the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI) had issued a passionate call for the Government intervene and bring some relief to the residents of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), especially the business sector— who were all suffering tremendously because of the inadequate power supply.The ECCI President was quoted in this newspaper as saying that the Region’s commerce is collapsing owing to the poor service offered by Guyana Power and Light (GPL). It was revealed that businesses were dumping products and those who have standby generators were pumping thousands of dollars into fuel and maintenance costs.Now that Guyana’s oil and gas sector is about to take off, it would be in the country’s interest to have a reliable supply of power. Investors, manufacturers, and so on will not be attracted to come here and do business if the present situation— as it relates to electricity supply— continues.In addition to the negative impact on businesses as a result of blackouts, it is a huge discomfort to individuals as it disrupts their daily lives. Also, everyone knows that constant power surges can result in severe damage to household appliances and even cause fires, etc. It is even more frustrating when one considers the fact that GPL does not have any clear policies as it relates to providing compensation when electrical appliances or machinery etc are damaged because of irregular power supply.It is clear that both businesses and private individuals are dissatisfied with the service being provided by the power company, especially so since the cost they are paying for such service has not decreased; in fact, it has increased over the past few years, even though Government has been saving millions of dollars because of declining oil prices on the world market.At present, it is still not clear as to what steps are being taken to bring a lasting solution to the power woes the country has been experiencing; in fact, officials have been giving one excuse after the other, which does not help in any way.  Some experts believe that there is a manifest lack of short— and long—term solutions to address the company’s inefficiency. They have expressed the view that no relief is being provided by the Government in the short-term, and no effective plan is in place to address the situation in the medium to long term, which could eventually see the problem deteriorating further.We had stated before that Guyana could have been in a better position regarding an affordable, reliable supply of electricity if there was bipartisan support for the Amaila Falls Hydropower (AFHP) project— which should have been in the system from 2017. Unfortunately, the APNU/AFC parties, while in Opposition, did everything they could to kill the project.That said, we are not oblivious to the many problems being experienced by the power company. These problems, which include line losses and electricity theft, have been known for decades and have certainly had a tremendous impact on the company’s ability to provide better services to Guyanese consumers. The extent of electricity theft is shocking and GPL must continue to tackle the issue frontally.The authorities must stop making excuses and find a solution to the problem once and for all. After investing so many billions, in this day and age, these constant power outages are unacceptable.last_img read more

Madrid out to seal top spot

first_img0Shares0000MADRID, Spain, November 21 – Real Madrid go into Tuesday night’s home game against Dinamo Zagreb knowing that a fifth straight Champions League victory will guarantee them the top spot in Group D.Their Champions League record has been impeccable up to now after four straight wins, making them the only team left with a 100% record in the competition. With ten goals scored and none conceded in those games, even a draw on Tuesday will almost guarantee they top the group ahead of Ajax or Lyon, who are battling it out for second place and qualification from the group.Madrid coach Jose Mourinho celebrated a crucial 3-2 away victory on Saturday night over Valencia in the Spanish league as if his team had won a record 10th Champions League final, ultimately one of their objectives this season.The win at Valencia was the ‘merengues’ eleventh straight victory in all competitions giving Mourinho his longest run of consecutive wins in a glittering management career.German midfield star Mesut Ozil arrived in Madrid at the same time as Mourinho in August 2010 as one of the Portuguese’s first signings and has been key to the team’s recent successful run.He was clear on Sunday about what it will take to defeat Zagreb again after a tight 1-0 victory in Zagreb in the first game of the group in September.“They are strong and fighters and its no coincidence that they are in the Champions League, in the first game they caused us a lot of problems,” he said.“But this time we are at home where we are very strong and if we stick to our game we will achieve our objective of three points.”“We have won all our games at home because we are like a family and each player fights for their colleagues, that is certainly what a lot of our success is based on.”One member of that family who could be on show on Tuesday is Brazilian star Kaka, despite not being available for the trip to Valencia at the weekend.Kaka has finally started to show the promise that made Madrid pay around 65 million euros for his transfer in the Summer of 2009, but injury problems are never far away after two years of constant problems with his left knee.On Saturday evening Mourinho’s assistant Aitor Karanka confirmed that Kaka’s absence in Valencia was not due to anything serious and could be in contention for Tuesday’s game.“Kaka has not had any type of recurrence of his injury, just a simple muscle strain, we have to be careful when these things happen and take it step by step,” he said.One player who won’t be ready in time is Angel Di Maria who has been another revelation in Madrid’s strong start to the season.He suffered a muscle strain in Madrid’s 7-1 victory over Osasuna in their last home game and has pencilled in next weekend’s derby at home to Atletico Madrid for his return.Madrid’s opponents Dinamo Zagreb will be playing for pride alone on Tuesday night.With four straight defeats Dinamo lie bottom of Group D after a poor campaign that only got worse after that initial home defeat by Madrid.Last time out the Croatians suffered a disappointing 4-0 defeat by Ajax in Amsterdam that ended any hopes they had of qualifying.Centre-back Josip Simunic will almost certainly miss the trip with a calf injury.The veteran defender played in both of his country’s Euro 2012 play-off games against Turkey but is now feeling the affects of those encounters.Argentinian defender Leandro Cufre stands by to replace him in the Santiago Bernabeu.Also out is defender Sime Vrsaljko with a torn hamstring.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

$21.3 billion deal set for HCA Inc.

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“It takes a little bit of the quarter-to-quarter pressure off the management team and has a much longer term view in this environment, where we’ve witnessed soft volumes and deteriorating bad-debt trends for the better part of three years,” he said. Shareholders of the company, which was founded by the family of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, would receive $51 in cash for each share of common stock under the deal announced Monday. The deal would present an 18 percent premium to HCA’s closing share price last Tuesday, the last major trading day before media reports about a potential buyout of the company, and a 6.5 percent premium to its closing price on Friday. Shares of HCA were up $1.38, or 2.9 percent, to $49.25 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, and have traded in the $41.80 to $52.74 range over the last 52 weeks. Barring a better offer, HCA expects to complete the deal in the fourth quarter. NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The board of HCA Inc. is recommending the nation’s largest for-profit hospital operator accept a $21.3 billion deal to take the company private in one of the largest leveraged buyouts ever. The deal, which would involve the assumption of $11.7 billion in debt, comes while HCA is struggling with sliding earnings, slow growth and escalating costs for uninsured patients. The buyout would take the Nashville-based company private for the second time since its initial public offering in 1969, and it would give HCA time to turn around its market performance. “This gives a company like HCA the ability to duck in the hole, so to speak, in a difficult time for industry fundamentals,” said Darren Lehrich, a managing director at Deutsche Bank. The buyer is an investor group made up of Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, none of which immediately returned phone calls seeking comment. Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., the senator’s brother and a board member of HCA, is joining with the private equity groups to acquire the company he founded with his father in the 1960s. Other members of senior management at HCA, including Chairman and Chief Executive Jack Bovender, have agreed to reinvest part of their HCA equity into the new entity. “This transaction will position the company to continue its tradition of high-quality service provided with genuine caring,” Thomas Frist said in a statement. “In addition, the transaction will position the company and its employees for sustained future success.” HCA on Monday reported second-quarter earnings of $295 million, or 72 cents per share, down 27 percent from $405 million, or 90 cents per share, in the same year-ago period. HCA’s earnings have been hampered by increasing costs for uninsured patients. In the second quarter, HCA’s provision for “doubtful accounts” was $935 million, or 14 percent of revenues. Wachovia Securities analyst Bill Bonello said HCA is an attractive buyout candidate because its share price has been low “despite the fact that its operating metrics have been comparable to its peers.” The costs incurred by uninsured patients are an industrywide problem, Bonello said, meaning HCA could be poised for long-term growth if a government or industry solution is found. “There aren’t a tremendous number of company-specific problems that HCA is facing,” Bonello said. HCA went private once before through a $5.1 billion leveraged buyout in 1989 when the company was concerned about a hostile takeover. That investor group included Chairman Thomas Frist Jr., HCA management and Texas businessman Richard Rainwater. The company went public again in 1992 and later combined with Columbia Healthcare. Ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch placed HCA on negative watch lists following Monday’s announcement, citing the increased debt load. Nancy Weaver, a managing director at Stephens Inc., said hospitals make attractive investments for private equity funds because they generate a lot of cash flow. “Even though the earnings are volatile, they produce cash flow,” Weaver said. “And private equity look at cash flow.” There may be similar deals in the hospital sector as long as hospitals’ cash flow remains high and hospital stocks remain shaky, she said. Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a Washington-based research organization, said the deal is not likely to have much effect on patients. He said that while the new owners might want to raise prices to help pay down the debt, marketplace competition would make such a move unlikely. But Barry Barnett, a health care consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, said the new owners of HCA would be able to raise prices in markets where they are the solo player. Employers in those areas would have to pay more and could pass those increases on to workers, he said. Ginsburg said removing the yoke of quarterly earnings reports can free hospitals to take on expensive, long-term projects, but said that given HCA’s debt that might not be a likely outcome of the deal. The deal is structured so that competing bidders have a 50-day window in which to submit a counter bid. However, one merger and acquisition analyst said the likelihood of another hospital group making an offer is slim – especially given HCA’s sluggish second-quarter earnings report. But private equity firms – many flush with cash from several years of strong equity-market performance – could form a consortium and launch an offer, said Howard Horowitz, director of research for Water Island Capital, which manages the Arbitrage Fund. “It is possible another group of private equity buyers could team up in a club deal and up with a counter offer,” Horowitz said. “More and more you’ll see five, six, eight private equity firms teaming up to do a syndicated buy, and this is a hot space,” he said. “As far as a strategic buyer, they’ve got a window of time – but there’s no obvious names. Private equity has a lot of cash to deploy.”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

LISTEN: Rodgers responds to Klopp’s claim he could write a book on defending

first_imgBrendan Rodgers was a special guest on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast and gave his backing to Jurgen Klopp.Klopp – Rodgers’ replacement as Liverpool manager – spoke of his disappointment at his side’s defensive struggles after they almost threw away three points at Leicester on Saturday.The Reds have conceded ten goals in their three away games in the Premier League this season and the German’s claims he could write a book on the art of defending have raised plenty of eyebrows.But Rodgers, fresh from masterminding another Old Firm victory for Celtic, told talkSPORT on Monday he sympathises with Klopp as he hailed his Anfield successor as a ‘top-class manager’.He said: “In modern football, defenders now are different. The expectations at the big clubs in particular are you not only have to defend and you have to like contact and you have to read the game, but you also have to be able to start the game from behind so to get that level of player who then has the leadership qualities is very, very tough. But he is a top class manager.“The expectations at Liverpool are huge. I have been in his shoes so I know what it is like but that is the focus at a club like Liverpool, They have got some outstanding players, they got a good result at the weekend, and they will go to Moscow now and hopefully get a result there.”Listen to the interview with Brendan Rodgers in full abovelast_img read more

In Santa Clarita, the blues are alive and well

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – You don’t have to shoot a man in Memphis just to watch him die to appreciate a good blues lick. It helps if you can put that soulful scenario to music, though, and if you do, John Parker invites you to jam. As president of the Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society, he and about 125 other close friends are dedicated to keeping the genre alive and well. “There was a period when it almost fell off the map, but there’s been a lot of interest lately,” Parker said. “I think it’s people from 45 to 60 who are really getting into this.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.The group organized in 2003 and maintains a full schedule of concerts and laid-back jam sessions. They’ve even sent bands to the International Blues Competition in Memphis and came out with second-place winners in 2005 in Michael John and The Bottom Line. Their soul is in the community, where members participate in fundraisers for local charities. The only time they raise money for themselves is to help the competing bands go to Memphis. “We’re sending a band and a solo/duo group, so we try to cover the airfare and some of the hotel,” Parker said. “Most societies don’t give their musicians anything and the bands can’t afford this kind of trip.” Parker said that Santa Clarita has “a great gene pool” for blues players. “I run into guys who played with people like Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker at the grocery store,” Parker said. “You’d be surprised.” He’s been playing guitar since he was 9, borrowing a neighbor’s instrument so often that they finally told him to keep it. Along with playing himself, he quickly rattles off a schedule of blues music that covers nearly every night of the week. The group plays regularly at local establishments such as the Londoner, All Corked Up winery in Canyon Country on Tuesdays, Primo Pizza in Saugus Wednesdays and some Thursdays, the Roast House on Thursdays and Rendezvous in Newhall on Sundays. Parker has also made the blues part of a cause near to his heart. A cancer survivor himself, he organized the first ever SCV Blues Festival for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, featuring several member bands and high school blues/jazz combos. It was such a hit, they were asked to do a two-hour jam session the following month at Burbank’s Relay for Life. His personal band, Forced Call, plays gigs all over Southern California. He’s retired from the film industry, where he used to be a prop master. The blues that keep the hound dogs howling also keep the wolf away from the door. Howard “Bluesdaddy” Fairchild has been with his band nine years. He jotted down his thoughts on the blues in an e-mail: “Almost everyone loves the blues, though many don’t realize this quintessential fact,” he wrote. “Sooner or later, Valley kids raised on FM ’70s, ’80s and ’90s rock will step into a pub where a three-piece band is smokin’ 12-bar blues and they will gain a new purpose in life. “Love, loyalty, sex, money, jealousy, broken hearted, drinkin’, smokin’, down on my luck, stuck with this ole dog again … Oh, the stinging note of a high E string on a Stratocaster, Robert Johnson’s tortured acoustic, Muddy Waters’ silk suits and mojo, Clapton’s `From the Cradle,’ Tommy Castro’s soul-infused magic, makes me wanna stop writin’ this, wipe the tears from my eyes and play. “The blues is all emotion. It’s the gateway to jazz. It lacks sophistication because it doesn’t need it. It requires honesty and expects devotion. It don’t make no promises, ’cause life don’t. If you listen to the blues, you will hear your story.” Proving you don’t have to be a boomer or more to appreciate the blues, teen musicians Charlie Tichenor and Chris Pucher are proof that the genre will live on. Tichenor has played at B.B. King’s Blues Club and jams regularly with blues legend Nat Dove. Pucher is currently a solo act looking for a band, but Parker calls him a “little Peter Frampton.” “This kid is amazing,” he said. “Blues come easy to me,” said the 16-year-old Hart High junior. “I heard Jeff Jensen (another local Blues Society member band) play and I was just in awe. I’m not much on the new music scene, but I’d love playing the blues.” Pucher and Parker are teaming to present a program started by the national Blues Foundation called “Blues in the Schools.” They’re looking for musicians to volunteer to help promote the program, which will send teachers and mentors into the schools to help music departments. “We will teach the history of the blues, familiarize the students with famous blues musicians, different styles of blues and how to write, sing and perform the blues,” Parker said. Anyone interested in sponsoring the Blues in the Schools program is asked to call (661) 296-4618 or send an e-mail to In the meantime, the club is winnowing its choices for bands to send to Memphis, holding semifinals at The Londoner in Canyon Country for bands on Sept. 22 and 23 and for solo/duo acts on Sept. 24. Best band finals will be held at Cozy’s in Sherman Oaks on Oct. 14. For information on the SCV Blues Society, log on to their Web site at (661) 257-5252160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Sheriff’s Department Collecting Phones for Domestic Violence Shelter

first_imgAny cell phone that is not capable of becoming an “emergency” phone is sent to a recycling company.  Proceeds from recycled phones are then provided to Turning Point to help support domestic violence programs and services. Once again, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Turning Point Domestic Violence Services will be collecting cell phones and cell phone accessories at the Sheriff’s Department building at this year’s Jackson County Fair July 23 – 29th. All cell phones, regardless of their age or model, can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s building. The phones will then be passed on to Turning Point.Turning Point converts old cell phones into emergency phones that can be given to victims of domestic violence, which allows a victim to call 9-1-1.  The phones are only used for that purpose and no other types of calls can be made from them.  All stored information is cleared from the phone before it is used as an emergency cell phone.last_img read more

Connecting Social Web, Cloud and Enterprise In a “New Meme”

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Benioff understands the value of a meme. And as a result, he has more command over the enterprise cloud market than any other executive in the space. Cloud 2 is a that term shifts perspectives, connecting the concept of the cloud and the social Web to the Java-dominated environment of the enterprise. People may run away cynically but the language seems to work in the public discourse.In the message is a clear realization that the social Web is the overall dynamic theme that is affecting the Internet as we know it.That’s something people can understand.Facebook is playing on that theme to challenge Google on the premise that hyperlinks are the future of the Web. Facebook is connecting presence with location to serve relevant updates, which act as gestures. In this regard, the social Web is woven into Facebook’s and VMWare understand the dynamic that Facebook brings to the Web and into the overall enterprise. The apps developed out of VMforce will connect to an open graph that the enterprise controls. That’s a theme that can be communicated through the discussions about the VMForce platform. It will resonate far more than dull conversations about technology infrastructure.The alliance also shows that VMware is now positioned to compete as a platform providers against Google, Amazon and Windows Azure.All of this leave Oracle and SAP in a tight spot. These are not exactly companies that are commanding in their influence about the social Web and its connection to the enterprise.They are deeply entrenched, for instance, in this long discussion about private cloud computing, not communities of interest. It’s like Oracle has rejected this aspect of the Sun merger.Sun would seem like the logical successor to Java in the cloud. Java has historically served to represent Sun as the force behind one of the technology world’s most important developer communities.But that power is changing hands with and VMware as possible successors.VMware now is a direct benefactor of the Salesforce drive to the enterprise. And has all the advantages that VMware offers from its own enterprise imprint and its $420 million acquisition of SpringSource last summer.Java is a cornerstone coding language of the enterprise The question we now have to face: What will the competitors do as the Java platform moves into the cloud? How can they counter the micro application approach that seems to be gaining importance in the enterprise with each passing day. Tags:#cloud#cloud computing#saas alex williams There were tweets a plenty today about Mark Benioff and his latest term: “Cloud 2,” referring to the apps that will come from VMforce, the new Java-platform as a service that and VMware are launching. Dennis Howlett added to the discussion by picking up on the meme that CEO Mark Benioff shared as part of the launch: Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

House Majority Leader Misses Mark With Facebook Initiative

first_imgAll of this leaves us asking why not use the publicly available data on all pending legislation and allow citizens to “co-sponsor” any bill currently being weighed by the legislature?No matter how we feel about Facebook’s privacy provisions, we’ll be the first to admit that it is the default way to connect with people these ways. We’re not poo-poohing any initiative that harnesses social media that makes it easier for people to get involved in the political process, and we’re not bashing this from a partisan point of view. We’re bashing it from a point of view that cares about transparency.Cantor’s ploy reeks of partisanship disguised as bipartisanship (nowhere on the main page of the site are the words “Democrat” or “Republican” used). And while the Cosponsor Project may be more participatory, it’s certainly not the “open, visible” platform he promises in his introduction. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., launched the Citizen Cosponsor Project Tuesday, a Facebook-based platform he says will allow citizens to keep track of legislation currently before Congress. Log onto the site, review legislation and, if you support it, you can click “co-sponsor” and get updates on the status of the legislation as it works its way through Congress.Which is all well and good, providing you only care about the six pieces of legislation that Cantor cares about.In an introductory video and in text on the Web site, Cantor says the initiative will foster a “more open, visible and participatory legislative process.” The site refers to “we,” implying a bipartisan effort, but as Marci Harris points out on Huffington Post, the site never makes clear who “we” are. dave copeland Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts center_img Tags:#politics#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… But here’s the real rub: five of the six pieces of legislation on the site are sponsored by Republicans. And the one sponsored by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, is a rather innocuous Homes For Heroes Act ensuring access to HUD housing and homeless programs for veterans.The other bills range from repealing portions of the Obama administration’s healthcare reform legislation to the Permanent Hyde Rule, which Republicans are calling the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Feliciano Lopez ousts Nadal from Cincinnati Masters

first_imgFeliciano Lopez stormed into the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters after defeating fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in a well-fought two-and-a-half hour match.Nadal had to work hard to win the first set from Lopez who switched gears to take the second, serving six aces and no double faults on Thursday, reports Efe.The third set was closely fought with each player holding on to his serve. With the match poised at 6-6, Lopez seized the advantage in the tiebreaker and with it the match, to hand Nadal a stunning defeat.Feliciano reached round 16 after defeating Canadian Milos Raonic and then Italian Andreas Seppi 7-6(6), 6-2 while Nadal came from a 6-3, 6-4 win against French Jeremy Chardy.last_img read more