China Makes Huge Humanitarian Donations

first_imgThe People’s Republic of China’s intention to cement relations with Liberia continues to be manifested as the country turned over equipment and materials worth about US$5 million to the Liberian Government.The equipment and logistical materials turned over yesterday to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Yue, include 20 ambulances, 20 pickup trucks, 10 incinerators, 100 motorcycles, 150 hospital beds, 4000 sets of healthcare products, 60,000 sets of PPEs, 20,000 bottles of hand washing disinfectant, and 215 sets of assorted medical instruments, 645 sprayers, and 215 infra-red thermometers.Among the equipment donated are 10 forklifts which Ambassador Yue said were not mentioned in the original listing.“I recommended adding these 10 giant fork lifters to the list when I saw the urgent offloading needs at the Liberian ports of entry which handle thousands of tons of goods pouring into the country,” Ambassador Yue noted.“These goods come at a time when people here are striving for post-Ebola resilience and getting prepared for future epidemics,” according to the Chinese Ambassador,Yesterday’s consignment is the 4th batch of humanitarian assistance the Chinese Government has given Liberia amid the Ebola outbreak that claimed many lives in the country and the sub region.Recalling some slogans relating to China-Liberia friendship, Ambassador Yue said, “Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends” and “A friend in need is a friend indeed” are two of them that I have often heard when people talked about China-Liberian relationship during the last several months. He also recounted the handing over ceremony of the first large batch of humanitarian assistance from China held at the Free Port on August 12 in the presence of President Sirleaf, saying, “China was the first country to deliver a large batch of very urgently needed humanitarian assistance over 10,000 miles by a chartered cargo-plane to Liberia and other affected countries.”Ambassador Yue told President Sirleaf and Liberians that the humanitarian assistance was not only a manifestation of solidarity from the Chinese people, but also firm confidence of Liberians winning the battle against Ebola.Last year in China, an earthquake struck the Yunnan Province with various kinds of disasters in other parts of that country. Despite the situation, the Chinese Ambassador said, China spared no effort to reach out a helping hand to Liberia and the sub region.“Up to now, China has contributed 4 rounds of humanitarian assistance worth more than US$120 Million to the region, of which nearly US$52 Million worth of materials and cash went to Liberia,” he recalled. He further detailed that China has sent nine special planes, transported more than 200 tons of materials and 400 medical personnel to Liberia.“China is the only country to build and operate an ETU here. Thanks to the hard work of China’s PLA medical team, 6 confirmed Liberian patients walked out of the ETU and rejoined their families and the society,” he added.Ambassador Yue then promised President Sirleaf that China will work with Liberia to ensure that the country recovers from its economic loss sustained during the Ebola crisis.He then warned Liberians that while the country has turned from being the worst Ebola hit to the best Ebola free, people should avoid complacency and observe health protocols to keep safe.President Sirleaf in response to the gesture acknowledged the role of China in Liberia and thanked Ambassador Yue and the People’s Republic of China for the assistance given Liberia in its time of need.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Bong to Get More Access to Justice

first_img– Advertisement – Bong County District # 6 Representative Adam Bill Corneh An Act seeking to create a Magisterial Area (including the establishment of a Magisterial Court) within Totota, Salala District, Bong County has been approved by the House of Representatives and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.The Act was unanimously passed on Thursday, April 6, as a result of a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Judiciary, Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning and Internal Affairs.“Having scrutinized this Act in Committee room, Hon. Speaker and distinguished colleagues, administering justice has been and continues to be a concern to national peace and stability, passing into law an Act that will establish procedures for the people of Bong County will be a boost to our justice system,” the Joint Committee, chaired by Rep. Worlea Saywah Dunah said.Bong County District #6 Representatives, Adam Bill Corneh, who sponsored the bill, said the long distance between Totota and the current magisterial area is posing serious challenge to access to justice; especially the lives and properties of residents which he noted are in danger due to the lack of administration of justice.Speaking over the weekend from his Capitol Building office, he stressed that the new magisterial area would lead to the establishment of a court, will be a relief for people who had to travel more than 37 miles to get legal help.  This, he said, would strengthen peace, make access to justice and promote human rights.He added that it would encourage citizens to live in harmony with each other and also help to reduce crime.“Between 43,000 to 45,000 inhabitants reside in the area and it is a well-defined territory,” said Rep. Corneh.He pledged support to the people of Bong County to ensure that more developments happen in the county.Meanwhile, upon the concurrence of the Senate, a stipendiary magistrate and two associate magistrates as well as other officers will be appointed and their salaries provided through an annual budgetary appropriation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Airline ticket taxes aiding private pilots

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The federal government has taken billions of dollars from the taxes and fees paid by airline passengers every time they fly and awarded it to small airports used mainly by private pilots and globe-trotting corporate executives. Some of these “general aviation” facilities used the federal dollars — more than $7 billion during the past decade — for enhancements such as longer runways and passenger terminals aimed at luring traffic, an Associated Press review has found. And the money comes with little oversight, and at the expense of an increasingly beleaguered air transportation system. “They’re making out like bandits,” said Bob Poole, director of transportation studies at Southern California’s Reason Foundation and author of several studies on air transportation costs. “It’s not only that airline passengers are paying more than their fair share, but they’re being overtaxed to give private jets a free ride.” Passengers pay as many as six separate taxes and fees on a single airline ticket, adding up to more than $104 billion since 1997, the AP found. Yet these assessments often are overlooked by the millions who click the “buy” button to purchase tickets online, even though they can exceed 25 percent of the total airfare. Meanwhile, travelers deal with more hassles than ever. In 2006, more passengers were bumped, their flights delayed or their bags lost than in 2005, according to the annual Airline Quality Rating report released earlier this month. “What are people getting for their money?” said Kenneth Button, a professor of transportation at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy and an expert on air transit taxation. “Delays are increasing. How can consumers make a sensible assessment on how the money is being spent? You need an abacus to figure out all the costs.” Congress will decide later this year whether to curtail the huge public subsidy for small airports, while pilots’ associations, airport managers and other interested groups are fighting to keep it. Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, which represents 8,000 operators of private jets and other aircraft, said all Americans benefit from the proliferation of small airports throughout the country. They aid emergency preparedness and critical services such as medical evacuations and mail delivery, he noted. Without help from the federal government in the form of passenger taxes, many would be unable to survive, Bolen said. “Not all aircraft are the same nor do they impose the same costs on the system,” he said. “If we were grounded tomorrow, the system would cost the same.” Mark Cooper of the Washington-based Consumer Federation of America said the key question is whether passengers are paying for something and getting nothing in return. “It costs me more to park my car at National Airport than it costs to park a corporate jet,” he said. The taxes and fees finance the Federal Aviation Administration and its air traffic control operations, as well as passenger and baggage screening, federal air marshals and police presence at the nation’s commercial hubs. But hundreds of smaller airports also are among the beneficiaries. These run the gamut from remote rural airstrips serving crop-dusters and hobbyists, to “executive” airports serving corporate jets and exclusive resort destinations. J.T. Wilson Field in Somerset, Ky., got more than $12 million since 2001, much of it through the influence of local Rep. Hal Rogers, a longtime Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee who uses the airfield for trips home. Wilson Field is home base to 26 small planes and one jet. Despite millions in improvements, including a passenger terminal, the airport has yet to see scheduled commercial service. California’s Napa Valley Airport collected $6.3 million in taxpayer dollars over the past two years, even though it mainly serves private jets and small planes in addition to being a pilot training base for Japan Air Lines. Sardy Field, in the ultra-rich mountain playground of Aspen, Colo., has received $27.2 million in funding since 2005. While Aspen does offer service by major airlines, private jets and other general aviation aircraft make up the majority of its traffic, airport officials said. Austin Municipal Airport, about 90 miles south of Minneapolis, is home base for 25 small planes and three jets, at least two of which are owned by Hormel Foods, a Fortune 500 company with headquarters nearby. Since 2000, the airport received nearly $16 million in federal funding. More than two-thirds of the takeoffs and landing are by small, private planes. Greenville Municipal Airport, on Maine’s Moosehead Lake, received $4.1 million over two years despite being the home airport to eight small planes and seeing fewer than 6,000 takeoffs and landings per year. Marion-Crittenden County Airport in rural Western Kentucky spent $4 million in federal dollars over the past five years to transform and lengthen a grass landing strip into a 4,400-foot, paved runway capable of handling jet traffic. The upgrade began in earnest after Tyco Corp. pulled out of the region, taking 300 jobs with it. James C. Johnson, a former FAA employee and pilot who chairs the local airport board, said the runway allows “corporate decision-makers to get in and out of here in a manner they like to travel.” “We’re not saying money shouldn’t be going to those airports,” said John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist at the Air Transport Association, a trade group representing the airlines. “We’re saying it shouldn’t be our money.” Passenger taxes are collected in noncommercial aviation only in instances involving the fractional ownership of private jets, air charter operations and small commuter flights. Instead, it contributes to America’s air transit infrastructure in the form of a fuel tax that covers just a fraction of the services it uses. A study released in February by the FAA said it cost $2.4 billion just to provide air traffic control for private and corporate planes in 2005. Yet the industry contributed just $516 million in fuel taxes that year. Another $500 million annually pays for weather forecasts and other preflight data for private pilots. These contribute to overall air safety, said Andy Chebula, executive vice president for government affairs at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, which represents more than 410,000 pilots and is lobbying heavily for retaining passenger taxes. If private pilots have to start paying for such things themselves, they just won’t bother, Chebula said. Advocates of private and corporate aviation, which accounts for more than half of all air traffic, say the industry also costs far less to operate than commercial carriers, with their giant aircraft. “A Cessna Citation doesn’t require the same Air Traffic Control resources as a 747,” said Mike Tretheway, a consultant to the National Business Aviation Association. “What’s driving FAA costs are the airlines.” The main source of federal funding for small airports and airstrips is the Airport Improvement Program, which has distributed $7.1 billion to airports of all sizes since 2005. About $2.2 billion of that went to small airports with little or no passenger service, many of them near popular recreation or tourist destinations. Most of that money was collected from commercial airline passengers. Some airports have used AIP money to buy up surrounding property to create noise barriers between aircraft and neighboring residential areas. But an FAA audit found that six airports that used AIP funding for noise mitigation later sold the land and used $82 million from the sales for unapproved purposes. Other small airports have used their AIP money to extend and upgrade runways and taxiways for use by today’s heavier private jets, which often is pitched as an incentive for local economic development. The operators of Plattsburg International Airport, in upstate New York, used $12 million in AIP funds to outfit the former Air Force base with better runways, a state-of-the-art landing system and a new terminal. These improvements helped lure aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, as well as the Department of Homeland Security and other tenants. Former airport manager Ralph Hensel said Plattsburg also is hoping to lure commuter traffic from nearby growth-restricted Clinton County Airport, and possibly entice scheduled service by commercial carriers. Scores of other small airports spent millions on runway extensions, lighting and updated landing systems that airport managers say were not specifically for the benefit of private jets and business aircraft, but do lend themselves to such uses. Congress now is considering new approaches to financing the FAA before its funding expires Sept. 30. The House and Senate Aviation Subcommittees have been conducting hearings on the topic since February. The FAA wants to scrap many existing passenger taxes and replace them with higher fuel taxes and user fees that would put more of the burden on noncommercial aviation. “We will need to invest resources in order to make the transition to a new system that will significantly reduce operating costs and better serve our customers in the long run,” FAA administrator Marion Blakey told a Senate subcommittee on aviation in February. But pilots’ groups, business aviation organizations and small plane manufacturers are fighting the agency’s proposal. Bolen, the National Business Aviation Association president, said the nation’s entire aviation infrastructure is geared toward commercial air travel and cargo. “It’s like going out to dinner and somebody buys the most expensive stuff and then says, ‘Hey, let’s divide this up among all the diners,’ ” he said. “Who should pay for that?” Commercial airlines support the proposed changes and say private aviation has been collecting huge taxpayer handouts that should go to airports that serve the general public. “We’re saying users should pay in proportion to their share of system use,” said Heimlich, of the Air Transport Association. “The current system isn’t priced rationally.” The scrutiny from lawmakers comes ahead of a planned overhaul of the nation’s aging air transit system. Air traffic is predicted to grow by more than 25 percent over the next decade, and experts say the growth will be driven by a proliferation of smaller passenger planes and private jets. The ambitious overhaul will replace existing ground-based radar with satellites and is expected to cost $22 billion — maybe more. The FAA’s poor track record of containing costs is well-documented. For example, in 2003, the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, reported the agency’s ongoing efforts to modernize air traffic control and found the price tag had reached $35 billion — nearly three times the original estimate of $12 billion when the project began in 1981. Much of that money also came directly from airline passengers in the form of ticket taxes. “Then was then, now is now,” said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown, adding that Blakey has drastically tightened FAA financial management since becoming agency administrator in 2002. “The way we manage programs is dramatically different.” Former Pennsylvania congressman James Coyne, now president of the National Air Transportation Association, said that doesn’t negate the fact that the federal government has squandered aviation money over the past two decades. “Certainly billions of dollars were wasted because of mismanagement,” said Coyne, whose group represents charter, tour and commuter aviation operators and opposes eliminating passenger taxes. “Now, there must be some accountability.”last_img read more

Man tell ex-wife “Hell will never be full until you’re in it.”

first_imgA Carndonagh man, who breached a safety order and put his ex-wife ‘in fear’, has been given the benefit of the Probation Act.Michael McDaid, 51, of Altashane, Carn, was accused of breaching a safety order against his estranged wife, and putting her in fear, on October 11, 2015. McDaid admitted the charged against him when he appeared before Carn District Court.The court heard that the couple had a dispute over custody of their youngest son on the day in question as Mr. McDaid wanted to extend his hours of custody from 3pm to 7pm.Garda Declan Lambe told the court that Mrs McDaid sent her ex-husband a text message when he failed to appear at the designated time. Gda. Lambe said text messages were exchanged between the couple before Mr. McDaid rang his ex-wife.Gda. Lambe said during the phone call he said “hell will never be full until you are in it”.“Mrs McDaid took this as a threat and she feared for her safety,” Gda. Lambe outlined. “She was forced to stay away from her home as she was afraid.”Defence solicitor for Mr. McDaid, Mr Heron said his client was co-operative when questioned by gardaí. He added that there was no allegation of any violence being used towards Mrs. McDaid.Gda. Lambe agreed, however he added that the Carn man was not apologetic for his actions.Mr. Heron said his client just wanted to extend his rights of access to their 11-year-old son but this was not agreeable by Mrs. McDaid. He admitted that Mr. McDaid ‘lost the head’ on the day but added that he did drop his son off then.“He does admit saying the phrase, but he was upset regarding access to his child and this has had a dramatic affect on him,” McDaid’s solicitor added.Garda inspector David Murphy told the court that the request for extra hours of access were not just not objected to by Mrs. McDaid but also by their son.Mr. Heron asked the court for leniency for his client, who works as a care assistant, as it was his first offence.He added: “He has admitted this but the threat was on the lower end of the scale. The safety order is still in force, I’d ask the Court to be as lenient as possible.”Judge Kelly agreed and gave Mr. McDaid the benefit of the Probation Act as it was his first offence. However he warned the Carn man ‘not to be under any illusions’, adding that a safety order is a ‘very serious’ thing.Judge Kelly said if McDaid was back before the courts on the same breach again there would be ‘much more severe penalties’Man tell ex-wife “Hell will never be full until you’re in it.” was last modified: November 2nd, 2016 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)last_img read more

ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN….GLORIOUS WEATHER TODAY

first_imgDONEGAL will have glorious sunny weather today – with temperatures up to 20C.But enjoy it while you can, say forecasters, because the showers and rain will be back by Friday afternoon.“Many areas will have a bright and sunny and dry day for a change and the North West looks like being one of the best places to be today,” said a Met Eireann spokeswoman. “Get out and enjoy it if you can because unfortunately it is looking like showers will return on Friday and over the weekend.“There will still be bright sunny spells though,” she added. Send your pictures today to info@donegaldaily.com  ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN….GLORIOUS WEATHER TODAY was last modified: August 2nd, 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:donegal weatherENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN….GLORIOUS WEATHER TODAYlast_img read more

Katerega snubs KCCA training to confirm he has left the Kasasiro Boys

first_imgAllan Katerega(left) with Coach Mike Mutebi (centre) and striker Shaban Muhammad after signing the loan deal with KCCA in September. Courtesy photo.FOOTBALL–KCCA FC midfielder Allan Katerega has today morning not turned up for training in a move that confirms he intends to leave the Kasasiro Boys.The Former SC Victoria University who was released by AFC Leopards in November has been in contract talks with the two time Azam UPL champions for the last couple of weeks.The talks with KCCA broke down earlier last week when reports surfaced that he is poised for a move to Czech Republic Grampus league although the identity of the team is yet to be known.KCCA offered Katerega a two year contract worth 48 million shillings plus a sign on fee of 20,000 Us dollars which he gladly turned down.It is belived that he intended to sign for KCCA so as to be able to play in the upcoming CHAN tournament in Morocco for the national team but after learning that even the move could not enable him take part in the said tourny, he opted for greener pastures abroad after KCCA failed to accept his demands.Katerega was initially summoned in the 30 man provisional squad for CHAN but was later dropped after FUFA learnt that his deal with Kenyan side AFC Leopards could not allow him to play in the tournament.He was part of the CECAFA team that finished third in Kenya last month and he is highly tipped to be one of the lads to take the national team forward especially in the under performing midfield department.At KCCA for whom he signed a short term loan deal last August, Katerega has put up outstanding performances and in the process named man of the match on three occasions also growing into a fans favourite in the process.Katerega leaves KCCA with three goals and as many assists this season and with Muzamir Mutyaba and Saddam Juma misfiring coupled by Jackson Nunda’s injury issues, Mike Mutebi will have to find an instant solution to the midfield department that’s if the Kasasiro Boys want to win the league for a third year running.KCCA are second on the log, three points behind leader SC Villa at the conclusion of the first round.The league returns at the conclusion of the CHAN tournament which ends on fourth February.Commentslast_img read more

Filming incentives grow South African movie industry

first_imgA still from the filming of the award-winning South African movie Of Good Report.National Film and Video Foundation+27 11 483 0880info@nfvf.co.zaRomaana NaidooWith the film industry raking R3.5-billion annually into South Africa’s economy (according to a 2013 study conducted by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), government – via the NFVF, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Department of Trade and Industry  – has stepped in to provide incentives to improve on the sector’s growth.The trade and industry department revised its film and television production incentives – effective from April 2012, and to be administered up to 2014 – to attract international production houses to shoot on location and conduct post-production in South Africa. Its South African film and television production and co-production incentive is aimed at local movie producers creating local content.The foreign film and television incentive is intended to attract large-budget film and television production and post-production work in a bid to create jobs. It offers movie houses a 20% tax reduction on production expenditure for foreign productions filmed in South Africa with a budget of R12-million (about $1.3-million) or more. The incentive also provides a 22.5% to 25% tax reduction if post-production takes place in South Africa. Post-production expenditure must be R1.5-million (about $166 000) or more to qualify for the incentive.Local film production incentivesThe incentive for local moviemakers offers a 35% rebate for the first R6-million (about $662 000) spent, and 25% for the remainder of production expenditure.According to the NFVF’s study, “South Africa’s potential growth on local productions has improved over the last few years. Local film production is benefitting from increased assistance from government, co-production treaties with various countries and ordinary success of the film.”The country “generated revenues of more than R879-million in 2013 for the 204 films shown at the box office. This is due to a growing film industry and higher demand from consumers. Locally produced films have increased from 19 in 2012 to 25 in 2013, generating revenues of more than R98-million, putting SA’s box office share at 11%, while foreign films altogether generated more than R780-million with box office share of 89%.” The film industry annually rakes in R3.5-billion. (Image: Of Good Report)South Africa’s top two films at the box office for 2013 were Schuks! Your Country Needs You and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, grossing more than R20-million. Local films making substantial earnings in that year were Khumba (R8.5-million), Spud 2: the Madness Continues (R6.8-million), As Jy Sing (R6.5-million), Klein Karoo (R5-million), and Fanie Fourie’s Lobola (R3.7-million).More sophisticated local moviesAnother factor in local movies scoring more box office share is that local content is increasingly sophisticated. Comedies rely less on slapstick and opt for more nuanced storytelling, while local dramas are increasingly tackling difficult social issues, and coming up against censorship for it.An example is the movie Of Good Report, taking on a pernicious problem – age-disparate relationships in schools. With such sensitive subject matter, the movie came under fire from the South African Film and Publication Board.On 17 July 2013, just before Of Good Report was due to open the 2013 Durban Film Festival, the board ruled on a “refused” classification. The ruling is issued when the organisation deems a film contains “child pornography or propaganda for war, or incites imminent violence. Unless judged within context, the film or game is, except with respect to child pornography, bona fide documentary, scientific, dramatic or artistic merit or is on a matter of public interest.” The board later withdrew the classification.The movie, an homage to film noir, subsequently scooped awards for best feature film, best director, best actor (Mpthusi Magano), best supporting actor (Tshamano Sebe), and best supporting actress (Tina Jaxa) at the 2014 South African Film and Television Awards.South African film: the numbersAccording to the NFVF, around 25 films, officially, are locally produced for movie theatre release, but the real number is much more as made-for-TV films that go straight to DVD are not included. There are 750 cinema screens in more than 70 complexes across the country, and the industry creates some 25 175 full-time jobs, with additional employment opportunities at the 2 500 direct service providers to the industry.last_img read more

Quora for Startups: Sprouter Pivots to Focus on Q&A for Entrepreneurs

first_imgThe Toronto-based social network for entrepreneurs Sprouter is announcing a redesign today that involves streamlining its services and pivoting to focus on Q&A. Sprouter launched its Q&A platform last year and it’s become quite a popular way to get advice from experts, investors and seasoned entrepreneurs. According to founder Sarah Prevette, “We’ve been blown away by the amazing people who have come forward to share their advice and by the rich content that continues to be generated.” Sprouter’s value here (in addition, of course to having provided a strong startup network) is that it carefully curates its guests, inviting them personally based on their experience in the startup ecosystem and their ability to contribute solid advice. There’s little need, then, to sift through answers to find the responses from experts.Sprouter has been offering Q&A in live sessions as well as soliciting questions for online responses, and the company says it sees “a lot of opportunity to expand on it.”The newly redesigned Sprouter will let users submit a startup related question – either on a general form to directed to a specific expert. You can also browse through the experts who’ve answered questions already and find those who you think will have the most relevant responses. There’s a place to leave comments as well as vote up and share answers.Sprouter will officially launch the new and improved site tomorrow with a live Q&A session with Cheezburger Network’s Ben Huh at 2pm EST on Tuesday, March 1. Tags:#start#tips audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts last_img read more

Minneapolis To Eliminate Single-Family Zoning

first_imgMinneapolis has become the first major city in the country to drop zoning regulations that allow only single-family homes, The New York Times reports. In a vote earlier this month, the City Council approved new zoning rules that will allow multifamily units with as many as three dwelling units in every neighborhood in the city. The changes, now under review by a regional policy-setting body, are expected to be put into place next year.RELATED ARTICLESCan Sustainability Be Affordable?First Look at Affordable LEED TownhomesMaking Green Affordable, Part 1Making Green Affordable, Part 2Affordable Urban Green in Philly The change is part of the city’s revised comprehensive plan, called Minneapolis 2040, that lays out objectives in a variety of categories, including housing. The document notes that the city added more than 12,000 housing units and 37,000 people between 2010 and 2016, increasing demand for housing and pushing up housing costs and rents. “As a result,” the plan says, “housing units that were once affordable no longer are, and less housing is available for low-income residents of Minneapolis.” At the same time, median income for African-American and American Indian and Alaska natives has been sinking. The city has lost some 15,000 housing units considered affordable for those earning 50% of the area’s median income. Because of that, 49% of all households in Minneapolis devote more than 30% of household income to housing — what the plan calls “cost-burdened households.” While one-third of white households are considered cost-burdened, more than 50% of black and Native American households meet that test. Forty-five percent of Hispanic households are cost-burdened. Racial discrimination in housing was encouraged by loan underwriting guidelines from the federal government during the 1930s — guidelines that were intended to make loans for single-family homes less risky. This history has continued to shape housing opportunities for people of color, the plan says. “To address these issues, the City of Minneapolis will expand opportunities to increase the housing supply in a way that meets changing needs and desires,” the plan notes. “This means allowing more housing options, especially in areas that currently lack housing choice and in areas with access to frequent and fast transit employment, and goods and services.” Not everyone likes the new approach As might be expected, the effort to increase housing density in neighborhoods that have until now been limited to single-family homes isn’t going down without a fight. A group called Minneapolis for Everyone fought the changes on the grounds that it centralizes neighborhood planning in City Hall, and would degrade quality of life and the environment. The group also argued that Minneapolis 2040 “discriminates in housing and transportation against families with children, the disabled, the elderly and people with low incomes.” The group made lawn signs available for people who opposed the plan. One of them said, “Don’t Bulldoze Our Neighborhoods.” Another said, “Developers Win! Neighborhoods Lose!” Lisa McDonald, a former City Council member, worked with Minneapolis for Everyone and said many residents who live near public transit are worried that tall apartment buildings will spring up next to their homes, according to The Times. “We’ve tried very hard to work with the city to say, ‘Let’s find a rational approach to this,’ ” she said. “And instead, what the city has basically done is say, ‘If you’re not for this plan, you’re a racist and an elitist.’ ” Efforts are underway elsewhere Other cities with a shortage of affordable housing also are weighing similar plans. In Portland, Oregon, a revised housing plan would allow more multifamily units in single-family neighborhoods, according to a report in The Oregonian. The Residential Infill Project is intended to increase housing density and reduce the cost of housing. An early version of the plan was opposed by both housing activists and neighborhood groups. A new version would create 24,000 new homes over 20 years, and allow duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes on more residential lots, according to an analysis. The plan also would cover most of the city rather than just “high-opportunity housing areas.” City Council approval isn’t expected until 2019. A neighborhood association has asked a state court to overturn a section of the city’s comprehensive plan to block the project, the newspaper said. The Times reported that Seattle is considering a plan to rezone 6% of its single-family neighborhoods to allow more housing. But an increase in affordable housing won’t automatically follow. In an article published in The Seattle Times in May, Mike Rosenberg said that 69% of residential lots are occupied by single-family houses. Large swaths of the city are off-limits to apartments, condos, and town homes. And because single-family lots are mostly built out, only limited areas of the city are absorbing all of the city’s growth in population — 100,000 new residents in a decade. The city is slowly allowing greater density in single-family zones, but that hasn’t done much to make housing more affordable because real estate prices are so high. On average, Rosenberg said, at least seven housing units must be built on one property before each one is cheaper than the older house it replaced. “To have a real impact on affordability,” he wrote, “Seattle would need to build a lot more of these smaller homes in taller buildings – a complete overhaul to neighborhoods that existing homeowners (the majority of city voters) are likely to oppose.”last_img read more

SEA Games: Bejar fades vs Indonesian, settles for silver

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Despite Game 1 beating, CEU Scorpions ‘won’t quit’ John Paul Bejar of the Philippines competes against Iwan Bidu Sirait of Indonesia in the finals of men’s -55kg kumite in the 29th Southeast Asian Games karate competition Wednesday at the KLCC Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur. Bejar lost to settle for the silver medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/POOLKUALA LUMPUR—An aggressive John Paul Bejar stormed to a 3-1 lead over his Indonesian foe but faded when it mattered to settle for the silver medal Wednesday in the 29th Southeast Asian Games karate competitions here.Bejar, who joined the Philippine team in training in Germany, took the action right to Iwan Bidu Sirait, who got the nod of the judges on many close calls to take a 10-4 victory in the -55 kilogram kumite.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim His silver is the best finish so far in karate, although the Filipinos are confident of grabbing a gold when the competitions end Thursday.Earlier, Mae Soriano snagged a bronze in women’s -55kg kumite. Junna Tsukii also took bronze this time in -50kg in the sport played at KLCC Halls right under the Petronas Twin Towers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBejar’s march to the finals was marred with controversy as the PH team filed a protest over his semifinals loss to a Malaysian.The protest was upheld, allowing the 23-year-old Bejar to fight for the gold medal. View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READlast_img read more