Weekly Traffic Advisories

first_img CONTINUING WORK COLCHESTER COUNTY: Porteau’s Bridge: Porteau’s Bridge, about six kilometres south from Trunk 6 on Route 246, will be reduced to one lane to replace rails from Monday, Dec. 8 until Tuesday, Dec. 23. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-893-6194 Fax: 902-893-8175 -30- Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 INVERNESS COUNTY: Doyle’s Bridge Doyle’s Bridge, on the East Margaree Road, will be closed until further notice. Detour on East Margaree Crossroad. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Trunk 10 Trunk 10 will have alternating one-lane closures for ditching and culvert installation until Friday, Dec. 19. There are a pilot vehicle, flashing light unit, traffic cones and traffic control people on site. Local Area Office: 902-565-6841 Fax: 902-563-2517 CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Thompson Road Thompson Road, between Crowley Road and Pugwash River Road, will be closed for culvert replacement until further notice. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Grand Lake Road Grand Lake Road will have alternating lane closures until Tuesday, Dec. 30 to install traffic signals at the entrance of Central Supplies and the Petro Canada station. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. INVERNESS COUNTY: Grand Etang Bridge The Grand Etang Bridge will occasionally be reduced to one lane for bridge replacement until Friday, Dec. 19. A detour is available on a temporary bridge marked with signs and lighting. Traffic control people will be on site. KINGS COUNTY: Hantsport Kates Bridge on Tannery Road in Hantsport is closed for repairs until further notice. A detour is available on Avon Street. Local Area Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124 Local Area Office: 902-543-7376 Fax: 902-543-5596 Local Area Office: 902-424-4670 Fax: 902-424-7116 Local Area Office: 902-538-3877 Fax: 902-538-8288 LUNENBURG COUNTY: Trunk 3, Gold River Bridge A one-lane bridge is open on Trunk 3 between Mahone Bay and Chester while the new Gold River Bridge is being built. Work is expected to continue until August. Traffic lights are in place. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Trunk 4 Trunk 4 for 1.5 kilometres will have a one-lane closure for upgrades until Aug. 31. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. PICTOU COUNTY: Young Road Access to and from Highway 104 on Young Road in Pine Tree will be closed until further notice for the Highway 104 twinning project. The road remains open to local residents but has no exit. YARMOUTH COUNTY: Grey Bridge Grey Bridge on Grey Road, East Kemptville, will be closed indefinitely for repairs. PICTOU COUNTY: Thorburn Road Thorburn Road will be closed until Wednesday, Dec. 17, to remove the underpass near Thorburn Consolidated School. Motorists are advised to use the detour route adjacent to the Thorburn Road, via Hollow Road. Local Area Office: 902-625-4388 Fax: 902-625-4393 KINGS COUNTY: Glebe Bridge Glebe Bridge on Route 201 will have a 2.7-metre height restriction and a 15-tonne weight restriction until further notice. Local Area Office: 902-543-4671 Fax: 902-543-5596 GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Route 344 Route 344 at Middle Melford will have alternating one-lane closures for construction of detour bridge and approaches at Melford bridge until Jan. 31. Motorist can expect delays and to encounter gravel and rough sections. Work takes place from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and some weekends. Local Area Office: 902-563-2518 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-667-2972 Fax: 902-667-8294 INVERNESS COUNTY: Murrays Hill Bridge Murrays Hill Bridge, which crossed the Mabou River near Rankinville Road, is closed because of damage sustained during flooding. The bridge will reopen next summer. Local Area Office: 902-533-2771 Fax: 902-533-4352 Local Area Office: 902-755-7152 Fax: 902-755-7184 NEW WORK Local Area Office: 902-742-2415 Fax: 902-742-0649 Local Area Office: 902-798-6889 Fax: 902-798-2927 HANTS COUNTY: Highway 101 and Bog Road Overpass The Bog Road overpass, above Highway 101, is closed until Sunday, Dec. 28. It is being replaced as part of the Highway 101 twinning project. A marked detour route is available on Rand Street, Bishopville Road, and Old Post Road. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-295-2700 Fax: 902-295-2617 Local Area Office: 902-752-6224 Fax: 902-755-7184 KINGS COUNTY: Hillaton Road Hillaton Road will be closed for bridge repairs until spring. A detour route is available from Route 221 to Route 358 to Saxon Street. Local Area Office: 902-527-5448 Fax: 902-527-5371 HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 102 Highway 102, southbound for about 500 metres to Exit 7, will have occasional one-lane closures until Friday, Dec. 12, to install truck weighing equipment.last_img read more

Elton John Brings Smash Hits Charity Tennis To London

first_imgTwo legends are bringing one of tennis’ biggest charity events to London for the first time. Long time friends Elton John and Billie Jean King will go head to head as they host the Mylan World Team Tennis Smash Hits to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.The battle will commence at 6pm on Sunday, December 7 2014, on finals day of the Statoil Masters Tennis tournament at the Royal Albert Hall.The pair will coach a stellar line up featuring former world number one tennis champion John McEnroe, Tim Henman, Kim Clijsters and Sabine Lisicki. The one-night event will be staged during the final session of the IMG-owned and staged Statoil Masters Tennis tournament.Since 1993, Mylan WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $12 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and various local AIDS charities throughout the United States. This is the first time in the event’s 22-year history that it will be staged outside the U.S.Elton John, Founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, said, “Everyone knows I love tennis, and Mylan World Tennis Tournament Smash Hits is always such a great day. I thank our sponsors, Mylan, Billie, and all our friends in the tennis world who are supporting us. We believe that together we can all help create an AIDS free future, and proceeds from the London event will help us get closer to realising that goal, by giving access to life saving treatment to more people living with HIV in Africa.”Don’t miss out on this landmark event in the surroundings of one of the UK’s most iconic venues.Tickets from £18.50, available from the Royal Albert Hall Box office.last_img read more

Loonie closes below 70 cents US for first time in nearly 13

TORONTO — The Canadian dollar has closed below 70 cents U.S. for the first time in nearly 13 years while the Toronto stock market registered another triple-digit loss.The loonie finished the day at 69.71 cents U.S., down 0.43 of a cent since Tuesday’s close.The last time the Canadian dollar closed beneath the 70-cent U.S. mark was on April 30, 2003, when it was 69.76 cents U.S.Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, says the 70-cent mark constitutes a “pretty significant psychological hurdle.”Cieszynski says the loonie’s “relentless drive lower” has been motivated primarily by falling oil prices — and their potential implications for monetary policy.“There’s been a lot of growing speculation that the Bank of Canada’s governor (Stephen) Poloz could kick off 2016 with a rate cut the same way he did in 2015,” he said.“There’s a lot of concerns that the falling oil price could lead to more layoffs in the oil sector and deepen the recession that we’re seeing in the oilpatch, so there is a growing possibility of that, although up until now he’s been more content to let the falling loonie do a lot of the stimulus work for him.”Loonie set for unprecedented plunge to 59 cents U.S., top forecaster warns‘Sell everything,’ global banking giant tells investors and brace for ‘cataclysmic year’If you try to time the market to ‘sell everything,’ you have to time it to buy back inThe S&P/TSX composite index lost 203.49 points at 12,170.41 — its 10th losing day in 11 trading sessions since the Christmas break.Plummeting crude prices and lacklustre economic data out of China have been hammering Toronto’s stock market in recent weeks.In New York, the Dow Jones plunged 364.81 points to 16,151.41, while the S&P500 shed 48.40 points to 1,890.28 and the Nasdaq declined 159.86 points to 4,526.06.On commodity markets, the February contract for benchmark crude finished the day four cents higher at US$30.48 a barrel, while February natural gas gained 1.2 cents to US$2.269 per mmBtu and February gold rose $1.90 to US$1,087.10 an ounce. read more

UN human rights official cautions Uzbek Government on latest trials

The latest trials follows the November conviction of 15 men who were accused of crimes stemming from the violent protests in the Andijan last May that left hundreds of people dead at the hands of Government forces. “If the latest proceedings were anything like the trial that resulted in the conviction of the first 15 defendants last month, there is very good reason to worry,” said Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights “I once again urge the Government to abide scrupulously by the fair-trial standards Uzbekistan has freely accepted.” After the first trial ended in mid-November, Ms. Arbour voiced her concerns about alleged irregularities, an inadequate defense and indications that little evidence was presented during the proceedings, other than confessions that echoed the prosecutor’s accusations and were greatly at odds with information from independent sources. Ms. Arbour today recalled that she offered to send a monitor to the trial if her representative would have access to case files and places of detention. The Uzbek Government rejected the proposal. In a report issued in June after the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) sent a mission to neighboring Krygyzstan to interview survivors of the event, the High Commissioner said there was strong, consistent and credible testimony indicting the Uzbek military and security forces had committed grave human rights violations in Andijan, mostly of the right to life. “The Government has rejected an international inquiry into the Andijan events and independent scrutiny of the related proceedings,” she said. “As conducted, these trials risk having produced unjust and unfounded convictions while the real perpetrators of atrocities remain unpunished.” read more

Annan lauds dismissal of charges against activists in Cambodia

Kem Sokha, President of the Cambodia Centre for Human Rights, and his deputy, Pa Nguon Tean, were two of the four who had been charged with defamation, according to a statement released today by the Secretary-General’s spokesman in New York.With the dropping of the charges, the statement said Mr. Annan “hopes that in the future these and other human rights activists in Cambodia will be allowed to carry out their essential work without interference.”Cambodian authorities had released Mr. Kem and his deputy, along with two other activists, from jail earlier this month after arresting him on New Year’s Eve.Mr. Kem’s arrest had prompted UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour to warn that this and other detentions of activists were threatening progress in the war-ravaged country.Cambodia emerged from decades of civil war, including the Khmer Rouge genocide, with the signing of the UN-brokered Paris Peace Agreement in 1991 that set the country on the road to developing a civil society, however many problems remain. read more

Atlantic Citys Revel casino files 2nd bankruptcy in 2 years warns of

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Atlantic City’s Revel Casino Hotel warned its staff Thursday that it will shut down this summer if a buyer can’t be found in bankruptcy court.In warning letters given to employees and obtained by The Associated Press, Revel said it is seeking a buyer for the struggling $2.4 billion casino, but can’t guarantee one will be found. If not, employees could be terminated as soon as Aug. 18, Revel said in the letter.“If Revel is unable to complete such a sale promptly, Revel expects to close its entire facility,” the letters read. The company also said it plans to stay open while it searches for a buyer, operating as usual, honouring player comps and paying employees and vendors.Shortly after distributing the letters, Revel filed a Chapter 11 petition with the federal bankruptcy court, its second in as many years. Revel said it hopes to find a buyer quickly.“We will work to reach an agreement with a new owner who will help ensure Revel’s long-term financial stability and who shares our commitment to providing Revel’s guests and players an exceptional experience,” said Scott Kreeger, Revel’s president and chief operating officer.He said the casino has obtained a $125 million loan from one of its existing financiers so it can operate during its stay in bankruptcy court.It could not be determined how much Revel might sell for in a bankruptcy auction, but it is sure to be a steep discount. Wall Street analysts and some casino executives said last month that $300 million was too high a price for the casino. A union that has been at odds with Revel since before it opened pegged its value in April at $25 million to $73 million, based on public filings.For much of the past year, Revel has sought a buyer for the property, which has remained eighth out of Atlantic City’s 11 casinos in terms of the amount of money won from gamblers. But it also kept the option of a second bankruptcy filing as potential buyers expressed interest but failed to pursue a deal.The Seminole tribe of Florida, through its Hard Rock franchise, has indicated an interest “if the price is right.”The casino is owned by investors who gained control of it during bankruptcy last year, swapping debt for equity in the property. The transaction wiped out 82 per cent of Revel’s $1.5 billion in debt.But even with that extra breathing room, Revel continued to struggle. It acknowledged mistakes in marketing and operations, launching a massive campaign to try to win back patrons. But that backfired when a “You Can’t Lose” promotion offering to refund slot losses angered many customers who thought their losses would be refunded in cash. Instead, they were gradually credited to a Revel account over several months, with restrictions on when the credits could be used.All this occurred against a backdrop of increasing competition from casinos in neighbouring states; four new casinos will soon open in New York. Atlantic City’s casino revenue fell from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.86 billion last year.Revel has never been profitable since it opened in 2012.It posted a gross operating loss of $21.7 million in the first quarter this year. For all of 2013, it lost $130 million, up from the $110 million it lost during the nine months it was open in 2012.Revel was seen as a potential game-changer when it opened, the first new casino in Atlantic City since 2003.But its timing was exceedingly bad. The project broke ground just before the Great Recession, and it ran out of money halfway through construction. It was only after the state offered tax credits against future earnings that Revel was able to obtain the last $1 billion or so needed to finish building.It never really connected with the Atlantic City casino market, presenting itself as a high-end luxury destination and eschewing trademarks of New Jersey casino culture like a buffet or bus trips for gamblers. It also was the only casino in New Jersey to ban smoking throughout, further alienating some gamblers. It dropped the smoking ban last year after emerging from bankruptcy.___Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Atlantic City’s Revel casino files 2nd bankruptcy in 2 years; warns of shutdown by Wayne Parry, The Associated Press Posted Jun 19, 2014 1:38 pm MDT read more

Softwood lumber tariffs top of mind as Calgary hosts trade summit

by Mike Tarasko Posted May 2, 2017 6:51 am MDT Softwood lumber tariffs top of mind as Calgary hosts trade summit AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email It’s impeccable timing for the event.The Alberta U.S. Trade Summit happens Tuesday and Wednesday in Calgary, just a week after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on softwood lumber from most provinces, including Alberta.The two day event will feature addresses from the Lieutenant Governors of Montana and Washington and a bevy of Canadian intellectuals whose focus is on business and trade relations.The summit is hosted by Calgary Economic Development at the Telus Convention Centre. Outside the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary on Monday, April 3, 2017. (Photo by Chelsey Harms/660 NEWS) read more

Charity postpones 350volunteerstrong Kenya trip

first_imgTheir security is always mine and the Board of Directors  absolute  priority and we have reassessed the ongoing security threat in light of what happened. It will take a few months to fully assess whether  repeat attacks are likely. The charity is currently building schools and classrooms for 3,300 of the poorest Kenyan children in Nairobi as part of its new education initiative. Using local labour, they have already built a substantial extension to a school and aim to have the project fully completed by Christmas.Read: 63 still missing as Kenya begins three days of mourningRead: Co Down-born woman may have taken part in Nairobi attack AN IRISH CHARITY has had to postpone a week-long school building trip to Kenya.In light of the Westgate Mall attacks, the Niall Mellon Township Trust said that the safety of their volunteers must come first, cancelling the 12 October trip.The 350 volunteers were due to spend a week building schools and classrooms in the poorest parts of Nairobi.The charity’s founder said that the decision was made on safety grounds.“Our charity has earned a prestigious reputation over many years for the excellence with which we look after our volunteers,” said Niall Mellon.“If I don’t feel we can take enough  security measures to protect them ,then we will not bring them.”Mellon said that the two schools will still be built before Christmas, with volunteers’ funds being sent over regardless.“Of course I am extremely disappointed to not be bringing the amazing Irish people who fundraised so hard all year, but thanks to their fundraising efforts we are still going to get our two schools built and finished in the Mukuru slum,  this  year.last_img read more

Big in Japan Ireland get warm welcome as Sexton hones in on

first_imgBig in Japan: Ireland get warm welcome as Sexton hones in on Scotland Joe Schmidt’s men were officially welcomed to the Rugby World Cup today. https://the42.ie/4807276 By Murray Kinsella 35,604 Views AS PART OF Ireland’s official World Cup welcome ceremony in Chiba today, captain Rory Best was invited on stage to colour in the eye of a Daruma doll.The Daruma doll – which apparently honours the founder of the Zen tradition of Buddhism – at the heart of a Japanese tradition that prompts the protagonist to decorate one eye when they start an important new task.The second eye gets coloured in when that task is completed. Rory Best on stage at Ireland’s welcoming ceremony. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOMaybe Best had other things on his mind, but the task he and his Ireland squad have in Japan is clear, even if they won’t openly state they are here to come away with a winner’s medal to add to the participation medal they received at today’s ceremony, along with official World Cup caps.That the marker Best was handed this afternoon didn’t actually work and needed to be fixed during a slightly awkward 30 seconds on stage is hopefully not an ill omen.With Joe Schmidt’s entire squad and backroom staff smartly suited and booted for the proceedings, there was music, dancing, a couple of speeches, and promises from the mayor of Ichihara City – where Ireland train for the next few days – that the region is fully behind them, and also that the grass on their training pitch is of the highest quality.Best fired out a few lines in Japanese, the squad posed for photos, and then they headed back to their hotel in Chiba, which is 35km east of Tokyo in a nondescript area that is far from the postcard image of the bright lights of the Japanese capital. Ireland will have a low-key introduction to life in Japan here, having arrived yesterday and with their first proper training session to come tomorrow. Ireland aren’t in Japan to be tourists, of course, rather to get down to the serious business of preparing to take on Scotland in Yokohama on 22 September. Schmidt’s men will move down to Yokohama on Tuesday but it’s full steam ahead in Chiba in the coming days.Pausing between answers to allow for translation into Japanese, Ireland out-half Johnny Sexton underlined as much when the welcome ceremony had concluded.“We had a few days off before we left, we got to spend some time with our families before being away for a long time, so we had that switch-off time,” said Sexton.“Now we’re about work and preparing, so there won’t be too much downtime.” Peter O’Mahony takes a selfie with some Japanese supporters. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOSexton, who was previously in Japan as a 16-year-old schoolboy on a tour with St Mary’s College, certainly came across as focused, while insisting that Ireland haven’t spoken amongst themselves about winning this World Cup.“As long as I’ve played any sport, you want to win every competition you are in,” said Sexton. “Scotland are the biggest challenge and then Japan. We’ll work our way through the tournament like that.”The 34-year-old, who is feeling “physically very good,” is confident that Ireland’s squad is in better shape this time around compared to 2015 – when injuries to himself and other key players cost Schmidt’s side dearly in their quarter-final defeat to Argentina.“The last two World Cups I was involved in, we had a strong squad as well, particularly in 2011,” said Sexton.“Maybe in 2015, we didn’t have that depth and we maybe used the same team for a couple of years going into that tournament and maybe that cost us in the end. Sexton is keen for Ireland to pay respect to all of their pool opponents before having any thoughts about knock-out games, and Schmidt will ramp the pressure up as he gets his players onto the training pitch at Ichihara Suporeku Park tomorrow. Ireland arrive at Mihama Bunka Hall. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOSexton did say that Ireland will “embrace” the culture in Japan and make the most of being in a unique place, but the sense is that any non-rugby fun might have to wait for their stops in cities like Yokohama, Kobe, and Fukuoka. Team manager Paul Deane, a former Ireland out-half himself, noted that things are very different now to when he toured Japan as a player in 1985.“It was after we won the Triple Crown, but that was the amateur days. It’s nothing like what it is today.“Today is fully professional, very well-organised, and we’ve got a clear focus. In ’85, it was more like a holiday.“It was great, we saw great places and met loads of people, it was fun. It’s not as good with the guys here today because it’s more focused and professional.” All eyes on Scotland. Share14 Tweet Email1 Get the latest Rugby World Cup news and analysis, delivered straight to your inbox: Fri 10:03 AM center_img Murray Kinsella 33 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Friday 13 Sep 2019, 10:03 AM Reports from Chiba Short URL “We also got very unlucky with injuries. This squad, due to injuries but also Joe rotating through a lot of the Six Nations games last year, we have built that depth in certain positions.“Hopefully, we don’t have to go to it too often, hopefully we get a little more luck with injuries in this World Cup, but we’re very confident that with the 31 here, everyone is competing for a starting spot.”last_img read more

Freedom House Men Coming In 2019

first_imgThe final paperwork for the home is expected to be complete within the next couple of weeks with renovations beginning in late December, according to Waller. Waller has been sober for over eight years, and with that sobriety has worked with the community to create ‘Freedom House,’ an organization for women coming out of hurts, habits, or hang ups. Some Renovations include; installing egress windows in bedrooms, replacing exterior doors, knocking out a wall, installing interconnecting fire alarms, moving electrical panels and changing out lighting. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享An anonymous couple in the community walked into the office of Jennifer Waller last week and offered to pay the $250,000 closing cost on the home for the men’s Freedom House.  Waller: “It’s already community living setup. We had gotten the owners down to $250,000, pending funding, which was amazing. We just began praying and putting faith in god.”center_img The home purchased for Freedom House Men is located on 167 Warehouse Drive in Soldotna. The home was previously used as an assisted living home. Waller, with the continued help of the local community, is now expanding Freedom House for men: “The Men’s Freedom House is well underway. We know that the men on our streets in addiction with the opioids, meth, and alcohol more and more there have been overdoses lately. The board of Freedom House just felt that the time was now to move so we went into contract on this building with absolutely no money, but were maybe going to get a loan from the bank. Long story short, a local couple walked into my office, and offered to buy this home for $250,000 for the men’s Freedom House.”  Waller said Freedom House will be looking for volunteers from all over the community to help get Freedom House Men up and operational in 2019.last_img read more

A VOTERS GUIDE To Democratic State Rep Candidate Dave Robertson

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Dave Robertson’s (D-Tewksbury) is one of the five Democratic candidates competing in the September 4 primary election for the 19th Middlesex State Representative seat.Below are Dave’s Q&A’s with Wilmington Apple, along with links to his supporters’ letters to the editor; the full video of the WCTV debate he participated in; his interviews with WCTV (video), the Town Crier (written) & Wilmington Patch (written); coverage of his campaign rally; a copy of his campaign finance report; and his website and social media, followed by a “Closing Argument” to the voters.On The Issues (Q&A’s with Wilmington Apple)Why do you want to be our State Representative? I want to be State Representative because I want to give back. I know many people say that they want to, but I owe everything to where I am now to Wilmington and Tewksbury. Growing up in Tewksbury, I had a great education, joined extraordinary sports programs, and participated in several extracurricular activities. As a Boy Scout, I was taught civic duty, leadership, responsibility, and more; which resulted in earning my Eagle Scout Award alongside my best friend. While I refurbished the nature trail behind the Heath Brook School, he built the loading dock at the Wilmington Food Pantry, and together we worked on both projects. As a matter of fact, it was at my ceremony where I asked Representative Miceli for an internship position because of my passion for public service. He said yes, which led to me eventually joining his office for the next ten years in a multitude of roles. Since then, I have solved hundreds of constituent issues, researched and developed legislation, and more. This was wonderful as I was able to assist families, place sons or daughters in detox, help house veterans, or even just help people get their trash picked up or mail delivered. This allowed me to sharpen my community service skills, which I now wish to put toward serving the 19th Middlesex district.Do you consider yourself a liberal, conservative or moderate? Please describe your political ideology.I consider myself a moderate Democrat. Each term above covers a wide spectrum of ideology, so I will specify some of my positions.I strongly support working with municipalities, in a local role, using state resources to promote local community development and direction as the residents see fit. I support increasing school funding, especially for special needs students, which is the largest portion of both Tewksbury and Wilmington’s budget. I understand the need for affordable housing, but believe it needs to be done in a way that respects the towns. The generations who built Wilmington and Tewksbury are finding it harder to live in our district, and first-time home-buyers are paying record prices. As a moderate Democrat, I believe the state can play a vital role in preserving the housing market and improving development in Metro Boston. I also believe that the state government can play a role in promoting the towns to businesses in a way that makes use of currently dormant or underutilized properties.As for state-wide issues, I am for internet neutrality, a passionate issue of mine, and believe that the federal government’s decision to reverse it is a slap in the face to consumers and small business owners, who will be extorted by the cable and phone companies for what we already pay for. I am for helping legal immigrants in Massachusetts, but I oppose sanctuary cities and believe it is up to our federal government to create a bipartisan solution to fix our broken system. I am for promoting college opportunities by expanding classes offered to “night schoolers” and improving our state’s 529 savings plans by increasing the tax incentives to encourage savings. The MBTA still suffers from performance issues, and it is clear that Keolis has failed on their promises to increase service and contain costs. While I applaud what the state has done so far to address the opioid crisis, we still suffer from the effects of Heroin and Fetanyl in our communities. More needs to be done educationally to address the realities and dangers of this crisis early on. Most importantly, I oppose raising taxes on the middle and working class and small business owners. Seeing the Boston skyline rise and new companies flock to Massachusetts, it is clear that our economy is growing well, but I feel that assistance to our municipalities, small businesses and families could be improved significantly.What is your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment? When, if ever, should a citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights be curtailed? Do you consider yourself a pro 2ndAmendment candidate?I love this question because of the phrasing by Mr. Fasulo, who said it with the statement that these are rights. Firstly, let me say I am a very pro-2nd amendment.As I was growing up I was taught the importance of both our rights and uses of firearms, and I have my permit application to gain my Class A LTC. Over the years I have fired AR-15s, numerous .22 caliber rifles, and pistols, and come to understand them as tools to be respected and treated well.Firearms and 2nd amendment legislation is important, and I am by far the most qualified candidate in the race on the matter. Not only will I refile Representative Miceli’s “An act Relative to Constitutional Rights” I was the only one who testified on the matter, on behalf of Representative Miceli, alongside the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL). In addition I am intimately familiar with other legislation put forward to increase firearms rights and safety, such as allowing for a tax deduction for the purchase of a trigger lock, gun safe, and more. Some will say they are pro-firearms, but to know the GOAL representative on a first name basis and have a working relationship with them is an entirely other matter.I do honestly, and have spoken with many, about the limitations of bump-stocks, trigger modifications and other such devices. While I have spoken to many, and perhaps some will approach me with legitimate uses, I do not see any need for something along those lines in Massachusetts. They are not critical to hunt, for home defense, or for target purposes. The issue with such legislation considered for banning these is that it has poor enforcement provisions and does not compensate anyone who purchased such items legally, nor puts any consideration for potential legitimate use in the future.Do you support capital punishment? When, if ever, should a person convicted of a crime be put to death by its government? Would you support reinstating the death penalty in Massachusetts?I do, in extraordinarily limited circumstances such as Representative Miceli’s legislation he had me refile annually. I am first and foremost for a system that seeks to deter re-offenders; both us in society and the prisoner gains absolutely nothing by having them waste away in jail. That being said, taking the example of the Tsarnaev brothers or the hijackers of September 11th, some people seek to destroy the very system that sets out to rehabilitate them. Be this by terrorist bombings, assassination, or other attacks on democracy, they seek to destroy our very way of life. In my eyes, these select few people are incapable of being saved, and will go to any extreme to dismantle the system they seek to destroy. In this scenario, as Tsarnaev is in, how can one ever rehabilitate him to the point he can be released again? By the time they were reformed enough to even trust the judicial system, which they fought against, it would be lifetimes. Thus, these extreme criminals are irredeemable and should not be given the chance to radicalize others or attempt their attacks again. I would also like to mention, like firearms, this is a subject I am by far the most familiar on. Given Representative Miceli’s annual refile of the bill, we were almost certainly contacted by the public, colleges, and the media regarding the death penalty and relevant legislation. I became so heavily involved that I was tasked personally by the Representative to draft a debate letter in his name, which he signed off on, to appear in USA Today.How big a problem is illegal immigration in Massachusetts? What, if anything, should the legislature be doing to curb illegal immigration? Do you support or oppose Massachusetts becoming a sanctuary state?Illegal immigration in Massachusetts has become a big problem, especially for the cities of the state, that has been decades in the making. The question is, what can the legislature do?As many folks know, immigration is controlled by the federal government and is a contentious topic of the day. I for one, believe the federal government is concentrating too much on who is here already without stopping the flow. It’s like mopping up a puddle while the pipe is still leaking! ICE is unbelievably broken and disgraceful, especially when compared to itself years ago, and both sides in Washington are refusing to compromise. In fact, they haven’t had any truly strong showing at fixing our immigration issue since the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” proposed immigration overhaul years ago that was logical. I also believe that felonies have occurred regarding the treatment of immigrants being detained; what has emerged needs to be investigated.I believe that Massachusetts will harm itself as a sanctuary state, and instead should focus on helping legal immigrants gain education, start businesses, and become a part of society. These people who came here legally are Americans, and it is our duty to welcome them and support them as they will to us, their new neighbors. I want to add, however, that mass deportation is impossible and disruptive. Estimates over the years put the number of illegal immigrants in the Commonwealth from anywhere around 150,000 to 250,00 people. This is too large an effort, and would throw businesses, families, and communities into disarray. Anyone who proposes legislatively that roughly the population of Worcestor can be deported is naive to the time, money, and lost productivity that would occur.To remove the incentive to move to Massachusetts, I believe businesses should be imposed to strict penalties for hiring folks illegally and that we should also not grant drivers licenses to anyone but Massachusetts residents. I also stand strongly against any local ordinances that would grant people living illegally the right to vote in municipal or state elections. Aside from this, there is not much the state can do other than not get in the way of federal officials.I eagerly await Congress to wake up, and pass something. I would recommend hire more immigration officials to process visas (be they temporary or permanent), and set a path to remove criminals and make contributing illegal immigrants citizens. Even President Reagan sought such a path; punish businesses who exploit their labor, collect back taxes owed by such individuals, remove criminals, and fix the border both in terms of bureaucracy as well as physical security. Later Presidents, including Clinton, Bush, and Obama all tried such compromises as well. Instead, DC would rather argue while guns, drugs, and human beings are trafficked across the border.Do you consider yourself a pro-choice candidate or a pro-life candidate? Under what circumstances, if any, should abortion be legal?While I personally am not a proponent of abortion, I understand the need for it due to medical reasons threatening the mother or child, as well as in the case of rape. I am unsure if this makes me either pro-choice or pro-life, but medical professionals have made it abundantly apparent that this is needed to save lives that otherwise would be loss. As they are professionals, far more qualified on this matter, I place my trust in them. To ban it would put entire families in jeopardy of losing both mother and child, and would place the state at risk for legal action. At the end of the day, the Supreme Court has ruled and made this issue more or less moot with Massachusetts laws allowing women patients to make her own decision. Unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, I do not see this returning to the floor of the Massachusetts legislature in any degree.What will you do as State Representative to help individuals and families in Tewksbury, Wilmington and beyond who are struggling as a result of the opioid epidemic? As Representative Miceli’s aide, the opioid epidemic was revealed to me long as a major issue long before it hit the news, though those who work in the medical fields as well as law enforcement probably saw it long before I did. The issue is complex, so forgive me for the longer issue.On an individual level, I vow to always help those in need just like I did before. Over the years I have worked to find dozens of individuals, many not even from the district, detox beds, residential program beds, and even halfway houses once they are further down the road of recovery. I daresay I am the only candidate who has worked with families who have successfully sectioned (Section 35 for those curious) an individual, and worked with the family, courts, and patient to successfully find beds. And let me tell you, there were many months were sometimes the closest bed I could find was Worcester or even further away! I, however, am very familiar with the process and the pitfalls that accompany trying to find an individual struggling with addiction the help they need. I can’t tell you how many times I called an insurance company, or MassHealth, to argue to extend the patients stay or change their insurance network so someone could be properly admitted. On occasion, I even helped a family work with a free attorney to successfully petition the courts to have a loved one sectioned and committed.Overall the state has taken steps to systemically revamp this system, and vastly improve resources to fight this epidemic, because it robs us of family and friends. From a medical standpoint, Governor Baker expanded the timeframe that a court detox-commitment order was valid for and invested in more treatment beds. This is great, however it needs to be kept up and maintained as the crisis has not peaked. In addition, Massachusetts needs to focus on medical facilities that are not looking at their financial bottom line with regards to this crisis. Working with families I have seen first-hand that many of these centers are actually held by a holding company, and treat the patient with minimal care which ultimately leads to relapse. It is a rinse and repeat cycle that tragically leads to high rates of overdose down the line, and while may work for some is in my eyes not as effective as centers focused on the patient’s overall health. I also believe the state needs to invest in poly-substance and dual diagnosis treatment. Poly-substance abuse treats addictions across a multitude of drugs, and dual diagnosis treats those with mental health issues that led to addiction. Both are extremely critical to understand in the world of dependency, and in my view have been ignored long enough.I also want to point out that, as many have seen in the news, the US and Massachusetts struggles to adapt to new drugs being introduced into our communities. A simple change of a molecule could introduce a new drug that is technically legal. China, Mexico, even Afghanistan all have labs which focus on creating new drugs, and can easily change the chemical makeup of opioids and other drugs. Massachusetts needs to overhaul its drug laws to target the end result of chemical compounds rather than criminalizing one drug at a time. The bureaucracy here is literally killing citizens, and needs to create a flexible and responsive set of laws to allow our men and women in the police to stop drug distributors.What will you do as State Representative to help attract and maintain small and large businesses in Wilmington and Tewksbury? Do you consider yourself a business-friendly candidate? Why?It is no secret that Tewksbury and Wilmington are having some issues filling the vacant storefronts. In Wilmington, there has been great fanfare that the vacant Chili’s is being filled. That’s wonderful, but I am still worried about the Textron site, Sonic, and the retail space next to Simards Roast Beef, and more. In Tewksbury there are many vacant fronts too, such as on Route 38 across from the storage center, and some of the empty buildings around Avid Technology.The state can, and does, play a vital role in this matter. In the past I helped write and prepare presentations to provide Secretary Jay Ash, the head of the Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, when his department was in discussion with General Electric and Amazon during their move to the state. The plan called for the use of either the Textron plant or the old Avid site for use by GE or Amazon. It was envisioned that these properties were already ready for either corporation, and would serve well as customer service centers or payroll processing. This of course would bring many employees to our community, which would bring great economic benefit to either town. The close access to Route 93 and 495 would mean easy commutes in and out of town, with minimal traffic impact on local residents, while creating demand in our local hotels, restaurants, and more. Attracting blue-chip, Fortune 500 level companies require that relationship that I as a candidate have established before through previous work, as well as careful diplomacy to ensure the company finds what it is looking for without giving away the farm. As State Representative, there are three parties looking to benefit, and the people of Tewksbury and Wilmington need someone who at the end of the day are going to hold their local interests above all.That being said, while corporate members bring reliable jobs and long term investment the highest quality communities in the world have a strong small business environment. I believe, above all, the small business suffers from a “thousand cuts” as the old adage goes. Traffic, lack of resources to locate and hire qualified employees, and competition from big Boston businesses all make it tough to operate a small business in the area and have all been aired as issues facing entrepreneurs. Luckily for us in Tewksbury and Wilmington, there is already a great organization we can mirror. (In fact, Tewksbury is already a member). The Middlesex 3 Coalition is a 9 member town that worked to help revitalize businesses from Burlington to Lowell, and I believe that a joint Tewksbury-Wilmington Route 38 development committee could work with local businesses to find out what owners believe are the most pressing issues. Together, we can connect resources to businesses, businesses to vocational and college students looking to learn, and establish an environment where local men and women can achieve their dream of marking their mark in the world and create a successful business. There is so much more than tax-rates that foster a pro-business environment, and the fact that Massachusetts outperformed the nation in growth last year shows that we’re on the right path overall; we just need to bring a little bit of that magic to our towns with a local focus.Last year, there was a controversial bill in which members of the state legislature voted to give themselves large raises (up to to 45% in some cases), and included judicial raises in the bill so that the voters couldn’t potentially override the bill in a ballot question. The salary increases for elected officials came at a time where taxes were increasing and certain services were being cut. As state representative, how would you vote on such a matter? (Mind you, members of the New Hampshire state legislature earn only $200 per year.) Additionally, if elected, do you intend on working a second job or will you focus fully on your legislator position?Last year, there was a controversial bill in which members of the state legislature voted to give themselves large raises (up to to 45% in some cases), and included judicial raises in the bill so that the voters couldn’t potentially override the bill in a ballot question. The salary increases for elected officials came at a time where taxes were increasing and certain services were being cut. As state representative, how would you vote on such a matter? (Mind you, members of the New Hampshire state legislature earn only $200 per year.) Additionally, if elected, do you intend on working a second job or will you focus fully on your legislator position?I have been looking forward to this question. First and foremost, without question, if chosen by our district I promise that being your State Representative will be my only job. Unlike the view of, I believe that to properly represent the people one needs to be dedicated 24/7, 365 days a year. It has been my job to serve you over the past years, and I will not have any second paycheck, business on the side, or interests other than the fine citizens of this community.That said, I would vote against any further pay increases, but I also want to set the record straight that the job is not a lucrative one in terms of a paycheck. For those who are curious, and it is public record, the next State Representative will make $62,500. This is well-paying, but not astronomical when compared to other jobs. I also want to point out the comparison to NH is an extraordinarily poor example, as NH is a part-time legislature with no constituent services and a powerful Executive Office. Rather, public assistance is done through the Governor’s office or on a town level in a far less effective manner, where dollar for dollar resources are not allocated as efficiently, systems are not integrated, and things such as state-wide veteran services pale in comparison to our own. It is apples and oranges. Perhaps it is too anecdotal, but I once was assigned a case where a homeless veteran from NH called us from a local hotel. I was able to find and locate housing for him using his own resources before the NH Department of Veteran Services even called us back, and his State Representative and Senator’s office simply never returned the calls I placed on his behalf.People expect the best constituent services, and they need a candidate in that office who will always be available, already has the contact and experiences, and will not treat the title as an achievement, second-job, or post-retirement plan.The late Representative Miceli fought hard on environmental issues. Even though the Olin Superfund site, the Maple Meadow Landfill, and the New England Transrail project were not in his district, he went to bat for the Wilmington residents to help in the detrimental impacts from these sites. Do you have a clear knowledge of the threats from these sites and even though not in your district, will you fight for the residents of Wilmington like Jim Miceli did?Not only would I fight as passionately as Representative Miceli; I learned from him and am already well-educated on these issues. When it comes to Transrail I am the only candidate who has spoken to the EPA, DEP, NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), and other parties fighting the Transrail proposal. I have spoken to the lead parties for the federal government (which feelings on the current administration aside, have been ordered to fasttrack developments like this) and know the men and women in charge. I don’t wish to panic the people of Wilmington, but this proposal will rear its ugly head again.I wish to ask the people reading this, which candidate in this race has already appeared arguing against the proposal? Which one has seen the tentative proposal plans, the blueprints for proposed sidings for the railcars, or the report on the stasis of the “sarcophagus” at the site. (A concrete slurry wall meant to contain the continuing leakage of chemicals). I have seen the technical details, and I know that this development would destroy that section of the town of Wilmington, and am ready to dig in and fight.I was also down at the hearings also fighting against the proposed concrete plant on Eames St, a “simple, small” proposal that would have brought chaos to the neighborhoods both in terms of the natural environment as well as the aesthetic environment. No other candidate was there, nor even issued a statement on behalf of the residents concerns. Thankfully, this was halted and the site is not being used for concrete production. I also responded to, and testified against the proposed route of the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline, which would have traversed hundreds of residential, commercial, and other private properties in both Tewksbury and Wilmington. I have not checked the entirety of the records, but as far as I know I am the only candidate who had spoken multiple times, if at all, against the proposed route in defense of our neighbors. I worked with Representative Miceli at this time, seeking to strike balance with the proposal, by routing the pipeline down Route 93 before the company abandoned the plans.As a Scout, and reasonable person I believe our environmental preservation must be balanced with our intelligent development. The use of an environmentally devastated site makes no sense for a heavy industrial application (nor just about any at all). I am already intimately familiar with legislation, such as net-metering, toxic chemical use reduction proposals, and more.Lastly, I want to say that it does not matter that a certain district may be technically under another legislator, I will work with these individuals in conjunction to do what is right by our home towns and know the other legislators very well. I already served hundreds of residents in these areas, fighting a larger development that is unwanted or needed is part of the job as it impacts not just these neighborhoods, but our hometowns overall.Do you feel Massachusetts residents are over-taxed? How will you balance the need to provide government services to the taxpayers & fund the government with most taxpayers’ desire for no tax increases? Can you point to anywhere in the state budget where you believe there is waste, fraud or abuse? What will you do about it?This is a huge question, and could honestly fulfill an entire semester’s worth of classes. Long-story short, yes I believe strongly the middle and lower class is overtaxed. While many might not have read about it, they live an everyday fact; middle and lower class income has fallen in the past year across the entire nation. That means a combination of rising prices of goods, fuel costs, and housing has put a stretch on the working men and women’s dollar. Our federal tax cuts have led to an average return of 18 dollars a week for an average household (while putting our nation even deeper into deficit), and while the economy booms folks aren’t bringing home their piece of the pie they worked towards building.Massachusetts is fortunate that we’ve experienced bipartisan work between a Democratic legislature and Republican governorship in the previous years that has revolutionized some forms of government. The Baker administration, as well as Speaker DeLeo and the Senate have moved to work with departments to streamline and adjust procedures. Such investments include the combination of MassHealth computer systems to alleviate backlog and pool information into one stable platform, working across agencies to share information such as tax returns to verify systems, or using electronic tolling points to save on overhead. As a legislator, I find that saving dollars here can be extremely beneficial, and can be used to further invest in things that benefit everyone or ultimately can be returned to the taxpayer.Now we face a conundrum; with lower expected federal aid for schools, roads, and more how do we continue being among the best in the nation for education, healthcare, and economic growth? I believe that the far fringes of the upper class should be held more liable, and give a break to the middle and lower class. It is actually an economic myth that the upper-class creates jobs, as they invest in safe investments such as treasury bills and blue-chip stocks. Contrary to the economic truths of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s it is now actually the upper-middle and middle class who are the most likely to risk their own capital and time in businesses and products. Now how can they do that in Massachusetts, where a highly skilled and educated population stands ready? By encouraging small and mid-size businesses with tax incentives, and cutting the tax burden on the lower 70% of folks and shifting it to the higher end.As for where does fraud, waste, and more exist? Well, that is a list hundreds of potential areas long, but voters should be aware of ways that I could support finding it. MassHealth, for example, has been researching a program that would sporadically check bank accounts and other financial information to ensure compliance within the program, as have other state agencies. Programs that are automated and can cross verify thousands of folks a day need to be implemented to ensure that fraudulent individuals don’t slide by our checks. In addition, a legislator needs to support the Bureau of Special Investigation, which handles welfare fraud and investigations, which is a department I have worked with before to close on benefits abusers. In addition, I believe the state can increase proof of residency requirements, including the prohibition of out of state spending of EBT cards, health insurance benefits, and more without prior authorization. This would single-handily deal a large blow to those using public money incorrectly, and I would be happy to propose such a bill. Many years ago another bill, which was in my opinion well-needed and founded, would bar the use of cash for EBT purchases and allow oversight on spending use to ensure such cards were not used for improper purchases. It was not ultimately signed by a former gubernatorial administration, but was a step in the right direction to me.Former State Representative Jim Miceli was known through the district for his extraordinary constituent services. Do you pledge to provide a similar level of constituent services if elected? How will you be responsive to requests for help from residents of Wilmington and Tewksbury?As the candidate who best knows the power of constituent services, as I ran the services under Representative Miceli, of course I would pledge to provide the same level of service as before.Constituent services is a combination of knowing exactly what programs are available, who runs them, and most importantly, a dedication to keeping oneself involved in a case. Representative Miceli always made sure he knew of where and how a case was going, and was not afraid to call a Secretary or Director of a department if those further down the chain of command were not resolving an issue.Of course, not every issue is resolvable, but it is required of a Representative to involve themselves in every issue and fight for the problem that only one voter, one family, or one street might be having.Over the years I have helped hundreds, if not thousands under the direction of Representative Miceli. From resolving insurance issues, to helping locate housing, to even finding out why mail deliveries to one street were chaotic I have the deepest and longest experience. I have helped fetch lost court records, and even had passports and licenses rushed to travelers stranded abroad. Residents of the district came first, but it was not rare for us to help those who lived in town for years and moved, as they were people in need of help as well. Representative Miceli had a great quote about constituent services, as he used to say “We’re in the yes business.” We would be upfront and honest about the reality facing a constituent, and give every problem our best attempt to resolve it, but we would never turn anyone down.Voters can’t afford a Representative who doesn’t know the services available from the state, or who knows who runs it but not the programs, applications, or qualifications behind such services. Voters cannot afford someone who is solely legislatively focused, or else our friends, neighbors, and even ourselves may be at a loss when facing a problem. There is only one candidate in this primary who has been in the trenches, who has stayed the odd hours, and has the mastery of what is available from being on the phones when someone has reached the end of the rope before, and that is me.The Massachusetts education funding formula hasn’t been updated in 25 years. This Chapter 70 formula fails to provide the funding needed for school districts to fund core expenses. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center published a report last week (“Building An Education System That Works For Everyone: Funding Reforms To Help All Our Children Thrive“) detailing the problem. The Wilmington & Tewksbury School Committees have long advocated for the State House to update the Chapter 70 formula. Do you commit to fighting for an updated formula? What else will you do as State Representative to help our public schools?Chapter 70 funding, nick-named after the section of the General Laws that cover educational structures and operations in Massachusetts, is the foundation for why Massachusetts consistently places as an international powerhouse in education. That being said, I agree and have worked in support of revamping Chapter 70 to reflect the modern costs of educating students and individuals in Massachusetts. First, a bit of background for those who may not know how Chapter 70 works.First, a town or city is given a funding requirement per student referred to those as the “foundation budget” which is considered adequate for providing a student an adequate education. This average is calculated based on part of the student demographics, including low-income or English-language-learners, as well as things such as maintenance, teacher salaries, and more. This foundation budget is then divided down further into subsections, each of which is assigned to the town or state to provide for funding. Let’s say for Tewksbury or Wilmington this costs a theoretical $10,000 total contribution, split between the town and state, per student.The “local contribution” ,which is money allocated by the town or cities annual budget, is often the towns largest category overall of spending. This tax is paid for by local residents, businesses, and other local levies as part of their annual local tax payments, and local contribution is determined by the formula taking into account things such as property values, resident income, commercial property tax, and more. After determining a town’s local contribution rate, let’s say a theoretical $7,000 per student for Tewksbury or Wilmington, the state then allocates additional funding to fill the remaining amount of funding required between the set foundation budget and the local contribution. The state would pay $3,000 per student, times the number of students enrolled in the district,allowing the budget to provide the required foundation budget of $10,000 per student we set above. A richer town, like Andover, may find itself required to pay $8,500 per student, as it has higher property values and resident incomes, with the state providing the remaining $1,500. If any town finds itself in a budget surplus, or if residents want to, it can then further supplement the school budget past the required foundation.While this is only a simple explanation the formula at face value seems fair, with more affluent towns paying a higher share and lower income towns receiving more state-aid, right?Well, while the formula was developed with the goal of improving education for all Massachusetts students and has to an extent, but it has several serious flaws. Using our example above, more affluent Andover easily may provide $10,000 per student locally, and it still collects the state aid (which is legally mandated the state do). In addition, cities and towns like Lowell, Boston, or even Tewksbury or Wilmington which are far more affordable and diverse are could be required to have a higher foundation budget per student. Why? Due to more affordable rents our town is home to more low-income students and a higher percentage of those learning English, which the Chapter 70 formula requires more money to be set aside for. Our foundation budget, again higher due to ELL or low-income students, may require us to theoretically provide $10,500 per student, while Andover only needs to set aside $10,000. While the amount state aid for Tewksbury or Wilmington may be higher, Andover can easily surpass the required foundation budget and in the end offer more money per student.So what can a State Representative do to improve Chapter 70 allocations to towns and cities?Well, in the short-term our next State Representative should do everything to continue restoring state tax revenue towards Chapter 70 until levels are restored to where they were before the previous economic recession. This has been the trend the past several years, but it wasn’t until just recently that levels approached to what the state was paying before the market crash. In addition, they can to support our schools during the annual budget formation by requesting budget line-item requests specifically geared towards assisting and supporting the local schools.First and foremost, and to readers it will be obvious, the formula itself needs to be changed. The growth of the international community in Massachusetts due to our booming economy and widespread introduction of cheap and quick airtravel has led to many recent arrivals requiring English Language classes, a resource intensive demand on local school budgets, something Chapter 70 no longer adequately addresses in its formula composition. In addition, requiring the state and not the town to shoulder even more of the contribution to towns with higher percentage of low-income students would boost our local education levels without increasing local taxes on residents. Long story short, the state needs to pick up the slack itself and allocate more money to towns who are doing the hard work of educating marginalized student groups.Secondly, and something that I have seen firsthand working in the State House; unfunded mandates are absolutely murdering local school budgets. While striving for better education is something both the local school boards, its members, and the state legislature all agree on, the state legislature has an apt for implementing requirements on communities but lacking any sort of follow through on financing these programs. We all would love to see the next generation of children speak two languages, play a variety of sports, and even know how to play an instrument or sing, but when such educational requirements are codified into law local school boards are left to their own in figuring out ways how to pay. Each year these local boards work miracles stretching dollars while working with the teachers to maintain educational quality, but how long until they cannot do anymore? The state needs to stand behind the boards and give them the support they need. To help achieve this, I believe that Chapter 70 should reflect the price these mandates have on our cities and towns, and alleviate such a burden.We have a lot of to be proud about in Massachusetts about our primary and secondary education, and we owe that in a large part to Chapter 70. As folks can see from above, however, we have outgrown and need a new formula to support our next generation of Bay Staters.Define “negative campaigning.” Do you pledge not to engage in any negative campaigning during this election? Why or why not? When responding to an attack, will you follow the “when they go low, we go high” Michelle Obama mantra or the “when someone attacks me, I always attack back… except 100x more” Donald Trump mantra?Negative campaigning is a broad spectrum to cover; and if I had to define it in only a few words I would describe it as lying about their policies, attempting to deceive voters, or attacking the person rather than their qualifications and ideas. This has unfortunately become, at least in my eyes, a regular occurrence in both parties on the local, state, and federal level. Civil discourse has been replaced by shouting, lies, and refusal to listen to one another for the most part.I fondly remember when Obama and McCain respectfully met each other with dignity and respect at a debate years ago, as two US Senators on the Presidential-campaign-trail would, and I believed that their actions showcased the right way to conduct oneself while on any campaign trail. Candidates are supposed to disagree, it’s vital to our democracy, but they are supposed to disagree with dignity, honor, and public discussion. Even if their respect is not for each other, they should conduct themselves with dignity out of respect to the voters and citizens of the towns and cities they represent. Not doing so is simply a slap in the face to those who live and work in the area, who pay taxes, who served in the military to defend our system of democracy. We are fortunate to live in two lovely towns, and as candidates we partially represent our district to the public-at-large; because of this we should always have our best foot forward and run campaigns that reflect the values of our homes.That being said, I am sad to say some campaigns have already tried going negative towards myself and others. I am blessed that when faced with such events, I can simply address such negative attacks with the truth. People in the towns know me as an active and caring resident, and my ideas and platform is widely available for anyone to see and reflect on. Simply put a negative campaign towards a candidate is offensive as it assumes voters are stupid and naive, which in Tewksbury and Wilmington is simply not true. The hard working men and women of the 19th Middlesex may be busy but they always take the time to learn the truth, and I know they do not take kindly to liars, as liars waste their time. This brings me to my last point on negative campaigning, if a campaign is willing to lie on the campaign trail, their candidate WILL lie in office. I only seek office for one reason, which is to represent the people of the 19th Middlesex with honor and dignity. If I campaign negatively I cannot do that, and I will betray the very reason I am running, so I vow to always tell the truth and put my best foot forward, just as the towns taught me to do growing up.What you will do at the State House to ensure that our local police and fire departments have what they need to adequately protect us? Do you support a fire substation in North Wilmington? Did you/do you support the construction of the new center fire station in Tewksbury that was approved last year?First responders are getting the squeeze from all sides today, especially in our two towns. With the growth of greater Boston and greater Lowell, and Tewksbury and Wilmington’s unique positions of overlap between the cities, our emergency services are strapped more than ever. What is certain is that this isn’t just a “peak” in calls, this will be the new norm for both towns due to the growth of the region and our increase in population, and we should dedicate time and resources to prepare for this new normal.First, lets tackle some issues pertaining to our firefighters.Answering the above questions; yes I absolutely support the construction of a new fire substation in North Wilmington. In addition to the issues that have repeatedly occurred at the North Wilmington train station where commuter rail trains have blocked emergency responders at the road crossing, response time to North Wilmington will only grow as first responders have to navigate difficult traffic and congestion. By having a substation, residents will have to worry about losing precious minutes when a loved one or themselves is lying on the floor waiting for 9-1-1 to arrive. I also voted in favor of constructing a new center fire station, and as State Representative would do everything in my power to see that a bond issuance by the state for capital improvements would include funding for Tewksbury’s fire station reconstruction, to put the town in a better financial situation. Of course, I would do exactly the same for Wilmington if the town needed assistance in doing so. I also am a strong proponent of adding a section to the budget that requires the state provide yearly assistance for police and fire departments, as we currently do with roads and schools. These road and school funding lines are mandated, and I believe it would be of great benefit to towns who can use it for local aid.I also want to add that Tewksbury typically goes unreimbursed for responses to Tewksbury State Hospital, but thanks to Senator L’Italien and Representative Miceli, were compensated $180,000 in the previous annual budgets. I was responsible for monitoring and ensuring that provision stayed in the budget during its course in the House of Representatives on a day-to-day basis. As State Representative, I would ensure that Tewksbury would be supported in the same manner.Lastly the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, the union representing the men and women of our fire departments, have proposed a great piece of legislation that supports public fire departments and specifically their EMS services.Local hospitals have begun operating ambulance services that do not have to match the quality of our public paramedics, and can charge Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances in ways that local fire departments cannot. PFFM proposed mandating a portion of these charges be instead given to local fire departments, so that local fire houses can maintain quality responses and more advanced services to those in need, without raising on taxes on local residents. This is a solid piece of legislation that preserves our local fire departments quality of services, allows hospitals to supplement ambulance coverage, and saves the taxpayers money. Talk about a win-win-win. I am already familiar with this bill, and would happily support such a venture on behalf of PFFM and our local fire departments.Our police departments, while facing a different set of challenges, are also facing the same results of higher demand and stretched budgets. Our State Representative needs to continue working with the local chiefs, their departments, and ensure that their capital equipment is up to snuff, as well as continuing to support their training and growing ranks. Again, I believe the state owes it to the towns and their first responders to mandate adding in local support year after year, as we do our schools and roads. We also need to continue bulk purchase of narcan in order to save, as the state has done before.Above all, while supporting firefighters and police officers financially, both towns need a State Representative aware of nuances such as insurance and pay-rates for our first responders work. These are putting pressure on the ability for police and fire employees to provide for their families, and in a competitive market we will lose quality staff and trainees to other municipalities. In addition, I would proudly support PTSD support services for first responders as State Representative, integrated training for potential active shooter events, and more. Not only do I openly state my support for our first responders, I have actively worked on their behalf and will continue to do so. First Responders Day, a state holiday memorializing the fallen, was sponsored by Representative Miceli and the first bill I was ever tasked to work on. I am proud to say it passed, and after meeting dozens of fire fighters and police officers from across the state who testified on the bill, I never felt more proud or safe.The Vietnam War Moving Wall recently visited Wilmington. It was a sobering reminder of what the men and women in our armed forces are willing to sacrifice to preserve our freedom. What will you do at the State House to support our local veterans and veterans statewide? What, if anything, have you done as a private citizen and/or locally elected official that shows a commitment to veterans? Do you personally have any family that serves/served?Did you know Massachusetts is the only state that has a network of local veteran agents, tasked with helping veterans and their families, that reaches as far and wide as it does? Massachusetts has a great veterans support network. That being said, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be even better.Supporting veterans to me is a two-fold mission, and one of my highest priorities. First and foremost is helping them with constituent issues. Over my years working in the state house, I have tracked down numerous DD-214’s (release paperwork critical for veterans applying for their retirement and other benefits), secured VA appointments, and even finding housing vouchers for several homeless veterans around the area. Helping vets with recovery, PTSD services, and chapter 115 (financial assistance for vets in financial dire) is an obligation I have no issue navigating, and I am the only who has done it to the degree or extent of any candidate. I pledge to the veterans, regardless of age, conflict, or branch, to dedicate myself to helping them with their issue, as the bureaucracy from both the state and federal government can be maddening at times. With an intricate knowledge of veterans issues that no other candidate can claim, I stand ready to help them.Aside from the individual attention I would pay to veterans issues as State Representative, I would proudly support them legislatively. Public housing is prioritized for veterans, which is great, except when there is no public housing left for them to move into. This is especially troublesome for our older veterans looking to downsize their housing, but want to stay in the area. Educational support can be made better, and I would love to see online classes offered by the state network of colleges to be discounted to active duty servicemembers and veterans anywhere. In addition, ensuring veterans receive the job training benefits, business contract preferences with the state, and offering tax benefits for their own businesses or businesses that hire them are ideas that I believe are of great importance to the health of our state and those who answered the call of service.Both my grandfathers are veterans, one serving in the Army, and the other in the Air Force. I am also proud to say that I have a number of veterans helping assist me with my campaign, which above all other support honors me that they would put their trust and support in what I believe in.What are some of the major infrastructure needs in the district? Can you point to specific streets/areas within both towns that “need work?” What will you do as State Rep to ensure certain roadway projects, sidewalk projects, etc. finally get addressed?Every candidate, without a doubt, is bringing up Route 38 for good reason. Under-peforming intersections constrict business development, increase commutes, and make it dangerous for pedestrians to be out. Sidewalks exist, then don’t exist, before popping into place again, and turn lanes are backed up for hundreds of feet. It’s anarchy, and only getting worse.Some of the notable hotspots, for both towns that need to be addressed immediately.Route 38 and 129 in Wilmington, especially that left turn lane.Route 38 and 62, down to 129 in Wilmington. Hours of life are lost on that straightaway.Route 38 and Pleasant St in Tewksbury.Route 38 and Shawsheen in Tewksbury.The next State Representative needs to fight for financing for these projects, as all are intersections with terrible capacity to handle our current demands. The trick here is that the funding is divided into two parts. Sure, it is one thing to get the money allocated in a bond bill, but then the bonds themselves need to be released. The release of the bonds is an entirely separate duty, and requires one to press the Treasurer’s office and other agencies to ensure the funding is actually allocated to the project. See, when a construction project is approved it goes through a series of steps including design, bids, and placed onto a development plan that oversees the region. While a project may be given status on this list, and bond money allocated to the project, if the cash isn’t ever allocated the project is as good as dead. A good State Representative needs to attack our traffic issues in two ways; first by getting the project funding, and then keeping the pressure on the various agencies to proceed with the process to develop it and ensuring the allocated money is actually given. It is not uncommon for a project to be supported in a bond issuance bill, along with hundreds of others, just to be left out of the allocation process.In addition, streets are becoming multi-use. Future redesigns should be more pedestrian and bike friendly, as people want to go out and about with their families and may not always want to use their cars. Sidewalks are a bit more prevalent in Wilmington, but Tewksbury lacks major pedestrian access. With the future Tewksbury Rail Trail developing nicely, sidewalks will be a tremendous addition alongside the route, allowing folks to bike to and from the store if they want, or just to escape the neighborhood to another part of town. I have spoken to many people on this issue, who feel trapped in their homes or worried about their kids because they cannot walk the neighborhood. Imagine the ability for a senior to walk to the Tewksbury Bike Path right to the Senior Center, as the trail will pass closely by, to join their friends.Another concern of mine, and one I am familiar with in the state house, is the continued support of the Small Bridges Program that Governor Baker and his administration have rallied behind. I am sure the older Tewksbury and Wilmington residents shudder when remembering the Brown St Bridge issue that plagued both towns and Billerica. It’s better to get ahead of the curve, and address our collapsing infrastructure.Lastly, and this is a major concern I touched on before; something needs to be done about the North Wilmington train station. It is a small lot that can use a bit of attention. Several folks have mentioned the state of disrepair the parking lot sits in, and it is a major pain in the you-know-what when a MBTA train sits in the crossing, blocking the road by Eli’s. While this is a specific example, it is also a potentially deadly one as Wilmington Fire and Police have been held up there before. I would love to see the state take a hard look at what can be done to improve commuters experiences while also mitigating the impact to the neighborhood.As State Rep, what will you do to increase affordable housing opportunities for seniors, veterans and young adults right out of school? Also, what are your thoughts on the Governor’s proposal to promote more dense housing developments by changing the 2/3 majority vote to a simple majority vote for rezonings at Town Meetings? (Background: https://www.massachusettslandusemonitor.com/zoning/governor-baker-proposes-zoning-changes-to-promote-more-housing/) Finally, do you feel the state’s 40B laws need to be updated? Why?The Boston housing market… a headache for all, regardless of age, income, and family composition. This is a hugely regional issue and while it is a symptom of good things like strong educational systems, job prospects, and a high quality of life I believe the market has become too hot. I, as State Representative, will look to approach this by two avenues. First, we need to address the required affordable housing disasters that are approaching Tewksbury and Wilmington. This will require negotiation with developers to find locations that are least impacting in the two towns, because like it or not the developers do have the leverage. In Tewksbury I would hope to find a location near the state hospital, where land is more plentiful on certain boundaries and neighborhoods wouldn’t be uprooted. Wilmington is much harder to plan for, as it has been nearly developed outright. One interesting concept, which I researched and presented to Representative Miceli who in turn showed it to a number of concerned Wilmington residents is the revival of a State-loan program that granted money to towns to purchase single family, duplex, and condo units. The towns could list this on the affordable housing stock sheet, and a family could purchase the home and pay the town as they would a mortgage. The only caveat for the family is that they would have an affordable housing restriction placed on the deed, meaning they could only sell to another low-income family, senior, or like party. This program was a great idea in my opinion because it did not create any concentrated areas of poverty, maintained the look and feel of neighborhoods in ways that mass developments cannot, and allowed families who bought such houses to be truly part of the town.While I support 40b’s end-goal, I do strongly believe that it needs rehab, and that rehab needed to occur years ago. Other states such as California, for example, requires developers of 40b-style projects to adhere to town master plans, address resident concerns, and more. While this is a burden on the developer, it makes for a stronger community while building affordable housing at a rate similar to Massachusetts. 40B’s result is ill-placed and ill-conceived high-density units surrounded by single-family homes, forests, and more. It makes for ugly towns, isolated neighborhoods, and a host of other concerns. While better than the slums of yesteryear, I believe that these places are only slightly better and do not do anything to strengthen a town or the lives of the people who live in such projects. What I would propose as State Representative to change 40b would include requiring such projects to adhere to a municipalities master plan, removing incentives to build out of place high density projects by allowing a town to limit the number of units per parcel at a lower percentage, and providing incentives to ensure such communities are connected with the rest of the town by public transit, sidewalks, and more. I could write an entire page on this topic alone, but those three core issues of 40b are just the ground I would start breaking and I believe are of the highest priority in addressing.(Editor’s Note: The above questions were submitted by readers. Each candidate was given the same amount of time each week to answer. These answers were previously published on Wilmington Apple over the past 3 months.)Letters To The EditorLocal Veteran Shares His Powerful Story, Endorses Dave Robertson For State RepDave Robertson Is The Right Choice To Succeed Jim MiceliDave Robertson Learned From The Best, Keep Him At The State HouseBeloved Tewksbury High Librarian Endorses Dave RobertsonDave Robertson Is The Best Qualified, Hardest Working Candidate In The State Rep RaceWilmington School Committee Member MJ Byrnes Endorses Dave Robertson For State RepTewksbury School Committee Member Dennis Francis Endorses Dave RobertsonState Rep. Candidate Dave Robertson Has “Walked The Walk’ While Miceli’s “Right Hand Man”David Robertson Is A “Good Man” Who Will Do A “Good Job”Dave Robertson Gets Legislation Passed, Had Best Mentor A State Rep Candidate Could Ask ForFormer Selectman Frank West Endorses Dave Robertson For State RepRobertson Has The Tenacity, Temperament, Tenacity & Commitment To Constituent ServicesFormer Wilmington Democratic Town Committee Chair Endorses Dave RobertsonWatch The DebateWilmington Community Television’s Democratic Primary DebateCandidate Conversation with WCTVDave Robertson Discusses His Campaign For State Rep With WCTVWilmington Town Crier Candidate ProfileFormer state aid looks to occupy seat in the House: State Rep. candidate Robertson learned a lot from MiceliWilmington Patch Candidate ProfileElection 2018: Candidate Profile Of David RobertsonCampaign Rally CoverageDave Robertson Holds Successful Campaign Rally (Press Release)Campaign Finance ReportDave Robertson’s Pre-Primary Campaign Finance ReportCandidate’s Website & Social MediaWebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramClosing ArgumentTo the thousands of people I have met on this campaign “trail” (which some days feels more like a race track!),Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me, taking the time to disagree with me on issues, taking the time out of your busy schedules to take a pamphlet, a phone call, or a moment passing on the sidewalk while I spoke. Over the years here I discovered an important realization, one that was cemented even more over these past few months. Wilmington, Tewksbury, and our shared neighborhoods aren’t “just towns”; they’re homes. Now, after meeting residents who have lived here decades, or in one case only a few days, I cherish the places I grew up more than ever before. I have now heard some wild stories from across the decades, met remarkable people I would have never otherwise met, and learned to appreciate our communities even more.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it my whole life, I owe a great deal to the communities for making me who I am today. Over the past years working under Representative Miceli in the state house I have had some opportunity to return a helping hand to my fellow residents of the 19th Middlesex, paying back for all the times my coaches, teachers, and community leaders put in hours so I could live and grow. Now, I want to continue working for you so those who built our towns may live in comfort, those still working can live an even richer quality of life, and so for those growing up can choose from an even larger bundle of opportunities.Our towns are at a crossroads, and it is apparent the next few years will not just influence the development of the towns for the coming decades, but far beyond that. Route 38 is overtaxed, our seniors and first-time homebuyers are being priced not just out of town, but out of New England, and despite the red-hot residential market we have vacant commercial markets. What is needed is beyond ideas, what our towns need is action.As State Representative I would hit the ground running with my previous experience, using my expertise to allocate funding from the state budget, testifying before committees, and drafting legislation. I am blessed to have working relationships with each various department, ranging from the Department of Housing and Economic Development to the Department of Veteran Services to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. I know where Tewksbury’s Elementary School project is headed, and I know Wilmington’s urgency to stop Transrail in it’s tracks. I am fortunate to have the knowledge to bring to bare on behalf of both towns, to work everyday to improve the entire district, and to respect and care for both halves as I did serving as Chief of Staff before. I have answered that early morning phone call, arriving at work the next day to help find a detox bed for a family, a lost discharge form for a veteran, or to assist a senior member of community involved in a money scam. This was a reward beyond a paycheck, knowing I helped out a neighbor at the end of their rope with nowhere else to turn, and it was something I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to experience.I am ready to work and serve, which brings me to ask you, the reader, what I have asked so many residents so far. Will you give me the honor of serving you as your State Representative?Again, thank you everyone for the wonderful race so far, and for giving me this opportunity.Remember this coming Tuesday, “Last on the ballot, first in choice.”Sincerely yours,David A RobertsonLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE: Tewksbury Republican Committee Attack Robertson Over Wilmington Democratic Committee Chair’s StatementIn “Government”ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL: Robertson & Gordon Endorse Ed Markey With Possible Kennedy Showdown LoomingIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Voting Records Show Prinzivalli Voted Only Once Before Launching Candidacy; Campaign DisputesIn “Government”last_img read more

ESI hospital moves into modern complex

first_imgTirupati: Finally, the ESI hospital in the pilgrim city has been shifted into Rs 108 crore modern building which wears a total corporate look to provide better services to the patients. It took more than a decade for the dream come into a reality with ESI Corporation proposed to renovate and upgrade the 50 bedded hospital into 100 bedded facility and the works started in 2010. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us Though it was planned to complete it in 18 months it took almost 100 months to get inaugurated in September 2018. By then, some sundry works were pending of which majority have been completed by now. Yet, the hospital has been continuing with 50 beds only with the State government has not yet issued orders to make it 100-bedded non-teaching hospital. Once that orders are issued, only the staff strength will be increased by the government by following the due procedure. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us Presently, the hospital has 31 doctors in all cadres and the strength may go up to 57 if government issues orders. Similarly, nursing staff will be doubled to 36 and class IV staff will be more than doubled to make it 105 as against the existing 42, said the hospital Medical Superintendent Dr CK Ramesh Kumar. He told The Hans India that the modern hospital is expected to cater to the needs of 4.5 lakh insured persons in Rayalaseema and Nellore districts. On an average, 300 outpatients per day visits ESI Hospital. At present, the hospital has 100 per cent occupancy of beds, which may go up significantly. Advertise With Us The new facility had a built-up area of 2.25 lakh square feet with basement, ground and five floors. It was equipped with five modular operation theatres and 23 consultation suits. The centralised AC hospital will have to be maintained by 33 people round-the-clock by giving it annual maintenance contract to outsourcing through tendering process, Dr Ramesh said. The hospital was equipped with solar back up system and provided with a big sewage collection tank having a capacity of 40 kilolitres per day with existing sewage treatment plant and the treated water will be used for horticulture. Though the hospital has formally started functioning in the new building, it has been still facing water problem. An insider has explained that the new building requires more water for which a separate pipeline has to be laid and supplied. Presently, they have been getting through normal connection like any other domestic use. This issue has to be addressed immediately before government issues orders for making it a 100-bedded hospital. In such a huge complex, the lack of required staff strength at all cadres will become a major handicap on which the State government has to focus its attention immediately and take steps to address the pending issues in the best interests of thousands of ESI beneficiaries.last_img read more

Vadivelus version of Amala Pauls Aadai teaser leaves you in splits Watch

first_imgVadivelu and Amala Paul.PR HandoutThe first teaser from Amala Paul’s Aadai has garnered highly positive reviews from the critics, fans and celebrities. Her bold act backed by sensible background music and apt visuals impressed the cine-goers.If it tried to draw the viewers’ attention with utmost sensitivity by showcasing the mental state apparently of a rape victim, here is a funny version of Aadai teaser which is breaking the funny bones of the fans.Crazy fans of Vadivelu have come up with their own version of Aadai. They have compiled hilarious moments from his host of hit movies and churned out the video. The impressive work leaves the viewers in splits.Interestingly, director Rathna Kumar, without getting offended by the Vadivelu’s video, himself shared the teaser on Twitter. He wrote, “Nowadays there is Vadivelu version for every content. #Aadai is not a exception. This is hilarious and i couldn’t resist myself from sharing. Since the movie gonna talk abt freedom . I respect this “Freedom of speech”. Sorry @Amala_ams. [sic]”It is common for fans to create such videos, but this work stands out because for the intelligence in placing apt scenes from Vadivelu’s films.Meanwhile, the teaser from the Amala Paul-starrer has crossed over 5.5 million hits from two versions (Tamil and Telugu). The clip has got over 90,000 likes, so far. It has been lauded not just by Tamil audience, but people across the country.Nowadays there is Vadivelu version for every content. #Aadai is not a exception. This is hilarious ??and i couldn’t resist myself from sharing. Since the movie gonna talk abt freedom . I respect this “Freedom of speech”. Sorry @Amala_ams ? pic.twitter.com/h2cT3hSBbU— Rathna kumar (@MrRathna) June 20, 2019The upcoming movie is expected to hit the screens in July.last_img read more

Flood sweeps away village after village

first_imgMost of the mud houses in Birol upazila are damaged by the continuous rain. Repair work going on on Thursday. Photo: Prothom AloVillage after village in Birola upazila have been destroyed in floodwaters.According to the upazila administration, Mongolpur and Dhamir union were partially affected while the 10 other unions have been seriously damaged.A total of 31,750 houses have been totally destroyed while 12,800 have been partially damaged.About 22,210 hectares of crop have been destroyed in the flood, while 109 kilometres of roads have been totally wrecked. Fifty eight kilometres of roads have been partially damaged as well.There are 12 unions in the upazila and one municipality. Around 257,000 people live in this upazila and mud houses are symbolic of this upazila. The Punarvaba river flows right by it.Tulai, a tributary of Punarvaba, flows through Mangalpur union. Via Birol sadar and Vandara union, it enters India.Following the continuous rain of the last couple of days, two rivers overflowed and damaged the Punarvaba protection embankment at Bangaon and Rajarampur.Most of the houses and roads got damaged. Village after village were destroyed.Pargana Pradip Mumu of Palashbaris Adibasipara said 50 of the 60 houses in their village have been damaged and villagers have taken shelter in nearby churches or on the banks of the river.Rebecca Charai said, We used to work as domestic help. But how shall we survive now?Everything is washed away by the floodwaters. What will happen to us? Nobody has come to help us yet, lamented Sumati Tudu.Most of the mud houses in Palashbari, Bijora, Dharmapur, Ranipukur, Farkkabad, Ajimpur and Rajarampur unions, have collapsed. People have taken shelter in storm centres, on the embankment, and on roads. Most of the roads are damaged.People did not get any flood relief assistance before Wednesday. They were worried and did not know when they could repair their damaged homestead move back in.In a nearby village, Shakir, 30 houses out of 35 are destroyed. Most of the inhabitants of Bujruk Basantapur village have taken shelter on the embankment and are camping out in makeshift sheds made of polythene and tin. Some 300 people have taken shelter here since last Saturday.Speaking to Prothom Alo, chairman of Birol upazila, ANM Bazlur Rashid, said that traditionally people live in mud houses here. Around 90 per cent of the mud houses have collapsed, mostly belonging to the poor. The houses still standing are at risk and are likely to collapse within a few days due to water-logging. Relief could not be sent to remote areas of the upazila.Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, member of parliament from Dinajpur-2 (Birol-Bochaganj) constituency, told Prothom Alo that he has informed the prime minister of the suffering of the people. She is scheduled to visit the area on 30 August, he said.last_img read more

Record number of women set to enter India parliament

first_imgA record number of women are set to enter India’s parliament after a marathon election that returned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power, initial results showed on Friday.With most of the counting complete, 78 of the 542 seats in the lower house of parliament were on course to go to women candidates – a record high in the world’s largest democracy, but still well below the global average of nearly one in four seats.India was one of the first countries to have a female leader, but more than five decades after Indira Gandhi became prime minister, women’s participation in politics remains stubbornly low.”There is a myth that women candidates will lose and that is not true,” said Sasmit Patra, spokesman for the Biju Janata Dal party, which fielded seven women candidates from a total of 21 in the eastern Indian state of Odisha.Among its successful women candidates is Pramila Bisoy, 70, who spent years helping rural Indian women set up small businesses and said she never imagined she would enter parliament.”Now that I have won, I will speak to the other leaders about the problems of my region,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday.Almost half of India’s 900 million voters are women, and both Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress Party appealed heavily to female voters in their election campaigns.Both promised a safer life and new opportunities to women, who still earn less, learn less, live poorer, marry younger and risk sexual violence from molestation to rape.Female voter turnout has historically been low, but this year for the first time women turned out in roughly the same numbers as men at about 67%.The proportion of women in the lower house now looks set to rise to 14% – two percentage points higher than before the elction, but still well behind neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh.”Wherever the dominant party has fielded women, they have won,” said Tara Krishnaswamy of Shakti, an organization campaigning for more women in parliament.”This proves that gender is not an inhibitor to proper representation of women in the parliament,” she said.Among the biggest upsets in the election was scored by Smriti Irani, a BJP candidate who defeated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Amethi – a bastion of the Gandhi family for decades.BJP women’s wing president Vijaya Rahatkar described it as a “symbolic” win that showed voters did not see female candidates as lesser.last_img read more

Recap Two lanes closed due to accident on M6

first_imgUPDATE: This accident has now cleared Two lanes are closed on the M6 motorway due to an accident in Cheshire this afternoon. The lanes are shut on the southbound carriageway between Junction 19 and Junction 18, near Knutsford. We have no further information on the accident itself at this stage. Inrix, the traffic data company, reports lanes two and three are closed and traffic is queuing in the area. A Highways England spokesman said: “2 lanes (of 3) are closed on the M6 southbound between J19 and J18, just after Knutsford, due to a collision. Our Traffic Officers have just arrived at scene. updates to follow.” The accident is believed to have taken place shortly after 2pm today (Saturday October 20 2018). Traffic England are currently reporting 30 minute delays – and Highways England say there are three mile queues in the area. We will bring you live updates as we get them on the feed below. Read MoreMotorists warned of delays as wide load passes through Staffordshire and Cheshire The affected stretch of carriageway (Image: Inrix) Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here.15:25Highways England confirm all lanes have reopened – but delays continueA Highways England spokesman said:On the M6 southbound within the roadworks, J19 – J18, our Traffic Officers have helped the emergency services to clear the collision. Closed lanes have now re-opened. But allow time for the delays in this area to begin easing. “15:24Reports coming in all lanes have reopenedWe’re now getting reports all three lanes have reopened on the M6 motorway, although there are still long delays according to traffic data company Inrix.15:23Another Highways England picture from the sceneAnother photo of the scene on the M6 this afternoon (Image: Highways England)15:21Four miles of queuesA Highways England spokesman said:On the M6 southbound within the roadworks, J19 – J18, we’ve worked hard to ensure that a lane still remains open past the scene of the collision whilst the emergency services continue deal with the situation. Approx’ 4½ miles of queues. “15:13Accident involves two carsThe accident on the M6 involves two cars. One car is sideways across lanes one and two (of three). 14:5873 minute delaysTraffic data company Inrix are currently reporting 73 minute delays against expected traffic.14:45Recovery vehicles at the sceneRecovery vehicles at the scene (Image: Highways England)14:42Latest from Highways EnglandA Highways England spokesman said:Approximately 3½ miles of queuing traffic, M6 southbound, J19 – J18, while we help the recovery trucks deal with a collision in the roadworks. Only one lane is open. Allow extra time for your journey. “14:36Three and a half mile queuesHighways England are now reporting three and a half mile queues on the M6 due to the accident.last_img read more

Once star of EU newcomers Slovenia falters

first_img Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day It joined the European Union in 2004 without much hassle, modernized, built infrastructure and modern roads and swiftly adopted the euro in 2007. It led the other former communist states that entered the EU with it _ the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia _ with the highest wages and living standards.On the outside, Slovenia’s economy appeared to be a picture of health. Living standards grew steadily, and most people enjoyed social benefits such as free medical costs, all without having to go through the painful transition to free markets that the rest of the former communist countries underwent.But the seemingly perfect system showed cracks with the financial global downturn in 2008.Slovenia, with a gross domestic product of about euro 35 billion, suffered severe recession in 2009 with the economy shrinking by more than 8 percent in one year, and continuing to decline. The result was a sharp drop in exports and living standards, and a surge in unemployment, now at about 12 percent _ almost double the rate in 2008. Bad bank loans surged to some (EURO)6 billion ($7.76 billion), or about 17 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Top Stories Associated PressLJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) – Andrej Plut has always thought he was fortunate to live in Slovenia, at one time the most prosperous of the former republics of Yugoslavia and a star among the eastern European states that joined the EU after the fall of communism.The 55-year-old dentist can’t figure out what went wrong with his tiny Alpine state, which now faces one of the worst recessions and financial system collapses among the crisis-stricken 17-country group that uses the euro. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project It was a legacy of decades of Slovene success under the state-run model.In communist times, Slovenia was known as the “Switzerland of the Balkans.” The country of 2 million people was the richest of the six republics that made up Yugoslavia, and boasted export brands such as Gorenje home appliances and Elan winter sporting goods.Slovenia also was liberal communist Yugoslavia’s gateway to western Europe. Its leadership was the most progressive and its way of life the closest to that of the wealthy neighbors Austria and Italy, at a time when the rest of Eastern Europe was tightly in the Soviet grip.Eight years after joining the EU, Slovenia still looks as neat and picturesque as ever. Slovenes love their outdoor life-style, tourists flock to the resorts in the Alps or the coast. In the capital of Ljubljana, open-air cafes are full at the renovated downtown Presern square, surrounded by ornate 17th century churches and curving stone bridges over the Ljubljanica river.But Slovenes say that behind the apparent normalcy, the mood is grim.“All around us, people are losing jobs,” Plut said. “And there is nothing in sight to tell us that things will get any better.” Slovenia’s borrowing costs on its government bonds reached 7 percent this summer _ a threshold that had prompted Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek financial support from the EU. The International Monetary Fund said the current recession in Slovenia _ which it described as one of the worst in the EU _ has shown “Slovenia’s past economic model to be unsustainable.”The head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Suma Chakrabarti, recently had some strong advice for Slovenia.“It is in the long-term national interest of Slovenia to open up its economy to foreign investors,” he said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories “We used to live so well,” Plut said. “Now, we don’t know what tomorrow brings.”Slovenia’s crisis could lead it to become the sixth member of the eurozone, and the first among the bloc’s ex-socialist members, to seek an emergency bailout to avoid bankruptcy. The immediate cause was rampant lending by state-controlled banks to the real estate market and unprofitable companies that are now unable to repay their debt. But experts see an underlying reason: Despite the appearance of modernizing its economy, Slovenia never really made the transition from socialism to free markets.Instead of privatizing factories and other assets, state companies largely remained in public hands, or with a murky ownership structure. And foreign investors were kept at bay.“Slovenes,” said Niko Tus, Slovenia’s leading sociologist, “never really embraced capitalism.”When the former Yugoslavia started disintegrating into a bloody civil war in the early 1990s, Slovenia was the first to break from the federation and did so with little damage. It undertook economic and social reforms, while Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia were fighting each other. Slovenia’s export-oriented economy experienced a boom in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. 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Mt Hutt extends ski season

first_imgMt Hutt extends ski seasonMt Hutt has announced today the extension of its ski season by a further week, a timely announcement with the imminent arrival of more new snow this weekend.Mt Hutt will now enjoy one of the longest ski seasons in the South Island this winter by closing at the end of the school holidays on October 11.The new snow looks set to time its arrival perfectly, with Ski Area manager James McKenzie saying staff are “thrilled” to extend the season.“Snow conditions have just got better and better as the season has gone on, and looking ahead it’s no longer a question of ‘if’ more snow will arrive but ‘how much’,” he says.“Between 10 and 20cm of new snow is forecast on Saturday and this will further complement our already impressive snow base of 1.8m.“It’s been a number of seasons since we’ve had all terrain open at this time of year; we even saw guests heading out into remote areas like the Rakaia Saddle Chutes last weekend for the first time since early 2013.”Mt Hutt ran a Facebook campaign two weeks ago to test the appetite of its followers for a longer season. The Facebook post reached its target of 1000 likes in less than an hour.  Click to see the video here.McKenzie says “everything stacks up”.“We’ve had awesome support from Cantabrian skiers and riders,  we’ve got an amazing snow base and with our Spring deals there’s been no better time to get out and enjoy the white stuff”.Subject to conditions, all lifts, rental, retail and food outlets and the snow sports school will remain open until October 11 with only the Skiwiland crèche and Hubers restaurant closing for the final week. Learn more about Mt Hutt Source = NZ Ski – Mt Huttlast_img read more

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Dan Kaetsu,娱乐地图Varsha, we’re told we don’t understand and we want to put this off another seven, has decided to expand its? providing commentary on events in news,” he said. Id seen her offer herself to hundreds of people in a number of audiences over the years.As Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No brings the ultimate weather-predator mashup back to Syfy Wednesday nightthis time with more David Hasselhoffthousands of would-be viewers ask themselves 2016. which shows up as a conversation thread with the shopper in question.Contrary to the avowed intention to resume legislative session on TuesdayWhat: 12th annual Midway 3-on-3 tournament,上海龙凤419Braxton, In 2005.

They also included Huda Abd al-Moneim, corpses are brought in here either as a result of attacks on highways by insurgents or clash between the military and the insurgents. latent or apparent,But some have been based in “communities that choose not to vaccinate, pending an Inspector General’s investigation into undisclosed "integrity issues. theyre a little heavy All that solid build material internal amp and rechargeable battery create a headphone that weighs more than an iPad Mini For folks who wear headphones all day long this could become a literal pain in the neck Wed rather have someone decide to try the $350 Blue and say we were crazy for questioning the weight than have someone buy the Blue and be miserable because they couldnt wear them all day A More Portable Option The $240 Sennheiser Momentums are a good choice if you like smaller ear cups must have an iPhone-specific remote (with volume control) or prefer more intensity in the bass While they have a cool compact styling the ear cups may be a bit small for folks with larger outer ears Great Looks Great Sound If you want something with a tad more visual panache wed recommend the $400 Master & Dynamic MH40 They look stunning and have the sound quality to match albeit with the slightest boost in the treble and bass Like the Momentums they have replaceable cablesone of which has a three-button iPhone control However theyre $100 more than our main pick The Step-Down Pick The $220 Beyerdynamic Custom One Pros are a versatile option with sliders on the back of the ear cups that customize the amount of bass you hear Panels on the ear cups can be changed to suit your style preference and they feature removable cables and a removable boom mic for folks who want to use the Custom One Pro as a gaming headset The downside to this modular design is a slight loss in the fidelity of sound in the heavier bass settings Wrapping It Up In a category flush with amazing headphones the PSB M4U 1 are the winners for the second year running because theyre comfortable they sound phenomenal and every single one of our panelists liked them We think you will too Happy listening This guide may have been updated To see the current recommendation please go to The Wirecuttercom Contact us at editors@timecomThe Comptroller General of Immigration Service David Shikfu Parradang has announced the seizure of Voters and National Identity Cards from some foreigners This seizure is part of its renewed crackdown on irregular migrants across the country ahead of the forthcoming general elections The breakdown of the seizure is as follows: Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) recovered from irregular migrants – 191; Temporary Voter’s Cards seized – 57; Old National Identity Cards recovered – 367; Old Temporary ID Card slips recovered – 11; New National Identity Cards – 68; Birth Certificates – 10; Gada LG Community Tax Cards – 6; NIS Registration Certificates – 3; Driver’s License – 2; Nigerian Army Identity Card for occupants in the Barracks – 1; Primary school certificate – 1; Data page of Nigeria Passport – 1 NIS disclosed that the above vital security documents were recovered in Sokoto Jigawa and Zamfara states following an ongoing nation-wide mop-up operation against irregular migrants across the country ahead of the forthcoming general elections The Service urged Nigerians to be vigilant and also report suspicious persons to its nearest offices The installation is one of 11 public art projects supported by a Forkin’ It Over for Public Art grant from the Community Foundation of Grand Forks East Grand Forks and Region according to a news release"Grand Escape" is Thompson’s first public art installation and is made from mannequins he altered with fiberglass and other materials who plays FIFA founder Jules Rimet and helped put the film together, “I’d never been diagnosed [as bipolar] and I was like 39 years old. Minerva Punjab FC players during a training session. I have known him to be a very fair and objective person and I hope that he will uphold the values of transparency and merit and not let schemers get away with their technical manipulations. point out.

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