first_imgBy Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily The harmonized sales tax has hurt tourism across the province, but the city’s largest tourism operator has passed under the governmental blight relatively unscathed, says the hill’s general manager. Brian Cusack said Whitewater Ski Resort managed to minimize and nullify the larcenous effect of the HST on local skiers, absorbing much of the acidic effect of the tax increase last year, and raising annual season pass prices by only $10 this year. But given the fact Whitewater had purchased and has now nearly installed the Glory Ridge chair lift, any increase in season passes is reflected in that capital cost, not the HST, said Cusack. “We felt that we wanted to support the community and the HST was enough of an impact already so we kept that (season pass price) down,” he said. The day pass ($57) remains the same as last season, with the season pass going from $700 to $710 ($580 to $590 for early bird passes). Last year tourism at the hill was expected to dip but Whitewater didn’t see that at all, said Cusack. This year they have forecasted for a 10 per cent increase in skier visits. “But it is my feeling that we are going to see more and we don’t know whether they will come on specific days, or they will be spread out over the year,” said Cusack. B.C. Liberal Tourism Minister, Kevin Krueger, said the HST has hurt the tourism industry in BC. Krueger told media last week he would like to see an HST rebate for international tourists, saying “it just seems a very unnecessary barrier to be charging our visitors sales tax when we’re trying so hard to attract them here.” This is a clear backtrack by the Liberals, said Bruce Ralston, New Democrat finance critic. “The B.C. Liberal government has been saying that the HST will be good for British Columbia and good for tourism,” he said. “Now he’s saying an exemption is required, which just goes to show that the B.C. Liberals should have consulted with business and consumers before … pushing through a significant tax change.” editor@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

first_img RETURN ON INVESTMENT Executives from FLOW, exclusive telecommunications partner for the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships (Champs) are once again revelling in the value the association brings to its brand from a consumer perspective. Head of retail marketing and television at FLOW, Kim Lee, said that the meet – which is now the largest and most prestigious of its kind in the hemisphere – gives the company a great opportunity to connect with a large segment of its key consumer base. “As far as evaluating our return on investment over the past 13 years, Champs has over-delivered on its promised value. The massive crowds which have attended year after year, along with the high-profile and highly publicised nature of the annual activity gives us great fodder to land our consumer messages and bring attention to special products or initiatives,” Lee said. This year, Champs goers will have the unique opportunity to capitalise on yet another exciting phone offer from the telecommunications company. “From Tuesday to Friday, patrons switching to the FLOW network will be able to trade in voice feature phones or “bangers” as they are commonly referred to, in exchange for a brand new Android phone for only $1,400 + GCT,” Lee revealed. “As major sponsors, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to engage patrons as well as our customers directly and this year is no different. Everyone is now riding the mobile data wave and persons want to be able to get on social media, use video calling, and, of course, capture special moments like Champs. As such, this is the perfect opportunity to unleash this special offer,” she added. During the press launch held two weeks ago for the 2017 Championships, Lee said that beyond its commercial objectives, the activity also allows the company to meet its philanthropic mandate. “Over the past five years, we have invested approximately $10 million outside of our sponsorship fees directly into the sports programmes at several schools to support their participation at Champs,” she highlighted. This year, Calabar High School, Kingston College, Edwin Allen High School and Wolmer’s Boys School, were the beneficiaries of close to $800,000 in cash and other supplies through FLOW’s ‘Journey to Champs’ programme.last_img read more

first_imgP16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC “I’m just grateful [for] the opportunity that boss Ronald Mascariñas gave to me. I’m always happy to represent my country,” he said Monday during a homecoming brunch.Paras is part of the Gilas cadets team which will compete in the upcoming 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup together with his fellow “23-for-2023” players in what would be his first taste of hardcourt action since helping the Philippines win the gold medal in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownAnd just like how he performed in Kuala Lumpur, the popular swingman promises to bring the same intensity to the squad.“Just like last year, I’m just gonna bring energy. That’s what I bring to the team,” he said. “I love to play with the young guys because we can run a lot and we don’t get tired. I’m excited for the fast-paced game. You can expect more transition and the fast-paced game. If I get the ball, I can bring it down and run.” Paras is also excited to play, especially with Ricci Rivero, whom he was teammates with back in their high school as part La Salle Greenhills.“I’m excited because when we were in La Salle, we weren’t able to play as much. At least this time, we have a chance to play together, not just for any school or anything else, but for Chooks-to-Go,” he said. “I see my teammates as brothers and I can’t wait to practice with them, build a bond, and hopefully win in the Flying V.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’center_img Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Kobe Paras. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netKobe Paras is ready to put his past behind and move on to his new chapter with Gilas Pilipinas.Abruptly ending his collegiate career in the United States, the 20-year-old is ready to don the national team colors while looking forward to his next endeavor.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Lady Spikers plan ‘grandest of exits’ for graduating starslast_img read more

first_imgShe noted that employers are generally tasked with updating the NIS on its employee’s data. It is only, however when a contributor makes a query that the required information reaches the agency.“The only time sometimes that we are able to capture them apart from getting back to the employer to say hey there’s a query we want this person to come in, is actually until they make a claim,” she clarified.The PRO added that a mere address mistake can slow down the process and urged persons who have moved to go into their office to have the changes made to their records.Another bump in the process may be if an employee gets married or has a name change and did not notify the NIS.“Contributions have been paid in the past under an employee’s maiden name, although the name would have been changed. In the same way, contributions have been made under employees’ martial name, without the Scheme being informed.”According to the PRO, the NIS has been pushing for the employers’ data to be synced to the NIS records so as to avoid such discrepancies.Persons have complained in the past and have vented their frustration on social media over the lengthy process that is usually associated with making a financial claim at the NIS.Meanwhile, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) was well-represented as they sought the opportunity to magnify Guyana’s natural trademark with the banner “Continue to shine with a green economy in mind”.Their float featured the globe with doves to symbolize world peace and the aspects of the Caribbean Community to demonstrate Guyana’s relationship with other nations on the international stage.One of the revellers, Caprice explained, “Mash is about celebration after hard work and this is so fun. I’m having the best time in my entire life.”The Chinese Association of Guyana introduced aspects of their culture, dressed as dragons and playing a selection of cultural music.Spectators lined the roadway as they awaited the entrance of each band, one after the next that journeyed along the route. Some children even grew impatient as they waited during the intervals.This year, there was also a sprinkle of tourists who were absorbing the vibes of this unified festival.“It was really, really good. I liked the costumes. I’m out here every year and I don’t ever miss Mash,” said Lisa.Meanwhile, Beveny stood at the beginning of Vlissengen Road and shaded her body with a large umbrella, which allowed her to enjoy the march. For her, this celebration means “culture and unity”.“Wonderful! It’s a bit slow but it will improve later on. People are coming out. My favourite so far has to be the Social Cohesion Ministry one. Mash means everything, the culture and unity, everything,” she saidThe bands proceeded along Vlissengen road where the number of persons intensified and then headed for D’Uurban Park for the first session of the annual event. By then, the revellers were drenched as they prepared to be greeted once more by another mob of onlookers.The 2019 celebrations were welcomed under the theme “Celebrating 49 with victory in mind; rediscovering El Dorado”. Guyana became a Republic on February 23, 1970, from which the Amerindian word ‘Mashramani’ was birthed, meaning “celebration after a hard and cooperative work”.last_img read more

first_imgBartica massacre trialTwo weeks after pleading guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter, one of the accused in the Bartica massacre was on Friday sentenced to 420 years imprisonment by trial Judge, Justice Roxanne George at the Demerara High Court.The convict, Celbert “Chi-Chi” Reece, was indicted along with four others for executing an attack where 12 persons, including three Policemen were brutally murdered in Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), in February 2008.Celbert Reece was sentenced to 420 years imprisonmentHowever, Reece along with another co-accused, Michael Caesar, pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter earlier this month and the trial judge ordered probation reports to be presented on December 16, when sentencing would have been imposed for both men.But Reece’s report was completed and submitted to the High Court early, hence the ruling was handed down on Friday. The trial judge began the sentence with 65 years on each count but deducted 10 years for the guilty plea, another 12 years for mitigating factors and eight years for the time he spent incarcerated awaiting trial.This brought the sentence down to 35 years on each charge; however, the sentences will run concurrently. Reece will be eligible for parole only after serving 30 years of jail time.State Prosecutor Diana Kaulesar had detailed the involvement of the killings, telling the court that he transported a group of men to an island in the Essequibo River just before Bartica and then the following night, he took them to Bartica where the heavily armed men disembarked. She related that after a while, the group of men returned carrying high-powered weapons and two safes.The Prosecutor added that the men then travelled to Sherima, where they ditched the boat and Reece was awarded with six ounces of gold.Meanwhile, the trial into the Bartica massacre with three other accused continues in the Demerara High Court before Justice George.last_img read more

first_img… citizens urged to report all corrupt practicesThe Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) said in light of the recent house lot payment fraud in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), which resulted in the Regional Housing Officer being sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, the Authority is not in favour of compensating those affected.Chief Executive Officer of CH&PA, Lelon Saul“I think first we must establish what has happened and I won’t want to argue that the Regional Housing Officer was not acting on behalf of CH&PA when he engaged in such activity and I would not be favourable to compensating anyone who was defrauded by the accused,” Chief Executive Officer of the CH&PA, Lelon Saul said.According to reports, earlier in the year, Region Two’s Regional Housing Officer Omesh Sasenarine allegedly collected the sum of $50,000 as payment for a house lot but issued a persona receipt instead of an official one, converting the money to his own use.The woman, he sold the land, visited the Regional Democratic Office for an update on the progress of her transaction only to be told that there were no records and the receipt she had in her possession is fake. She then ventured to office of the Central Housing and Planning Authority at Brickdam, Georgetown and it was revealed that there were no records of the transaction.An investigation was launched into the incident.Saul told a press conference on Monday that the issue is engaging the attention of the Police and investigations are ongoing. He added that they are also investigating to determine whether this was an isolated incident or part of a pattern of corruption.“During last week, we received a report which seems to suggest that the Regional Housing Officer at Region number Two unlawfully collected $50,000 and issued a forged receipt for a house lot. Police was called and the accused was arrested. Investigation is ongoing to establish whether or not this is an isolated incident or a patterned corrupt practice,” he said.Sasenarine have since been sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation and if found culpable, he would be immediately dismissed.Except for the CH&PA office in Georgetown and Linden, all payments for house lots must be made at the Regional Democratic Offices in Regions Two, Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo). Given this report, ongoing investigations are being carried out at all those offices.He informed that the Authority is currently conducting audits of all their offices and would ensure that their regional offices are much more closely monitored. He added that there would be regular audits by the Regional Audit Departments and at least one managerial visit per month.“Given this report I therefore request of members of the public who may be adversely affected or aggrieved by indiscretion of any employee of the Central Housing and Planning Authority to immediately report such cases to the CEO office or any manager of the agency,” Saul said.“Further, I advise citizens not to enable corruption by offering inducements to the employees of the CH&PA. Moreover, you’re welcome to report cases when employees demand payment or favour. Our employees are paid by the State and you do not need to pay them. Let me assure you all cases of corruption will be thoroughly investigated and those found wanting will be ferret out and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.The CH&PA is also advising persons to be more observant when making payments for house lots at the Regional Offices.last_img read more

first_imgUnruh and her fellow Canadian teammates outscored their British competition 14-0. More information on team Canada will be available as soon as it’s available. A member of the Fort St. John community will be competing on an international level.Courtney Unruh has earned a spot on the Canadian Women’s Hockey team, competing at the 2011 Winter Universiade in Erzurum, Turkey. The competition began on Jan. 27 and the Canadian Women’s team has already played twice with stellar results.- Advertisement -The team started off its tournament on Jan. 28 against team Slovakia. The women beat the Slovaks by a score of 3-0. Canada’s second game was a bit more dramatic. On Jan. 30, the fourth day of competition, the Canadian Women played Great Britain and the game was no cup of tea for the Brits. Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgThe budget comes together after “literally hundreds and hundreds of decisions,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the governor’s finance department. Some parts of the budget, including corrections and Medi-Cal, will grow faster than the governor’s spending in the proposed 2007-08 budget. “Other things are going to grow slower,” Palmer said. Palmer described the proposal as a matter of parity. It’s “consistent with the growth in the other two branches of government. And we think that’s appropriate.” But it’s still “autopilot spending” to the state’s nonpartisan budget hawk, the legislative analyst. Her staff concluded there’s “no policy rationale” for budgeting the governor’s office based on a formula, rather than particular needs. Funding for the Legislature and parts of the judiciary grow annually by a formula that accounts for population growth and the cost of living. In budget jargon, that calculation is known as the state appropriations limit. The legislative budget grows by the appropriations limit because of a term-limits measure voters passed in 1990. It slashed spending on the Legislature by more than one-third and capped it. A few years ago, lawmakers agreed to have state trial court funding grow automatically by the limit, in part because court cases grow with the population. (Now the governor is calling for expanding that to the entire court system.) During the past two years, the administration has sought to link the governor’s office budget to the appropriations limit, although the term-limits initiative did not cut the governor’s budget. Last year, the governor’s aides proposed, and later withdrew, a change in state law to make the increases automatic. This year, the governor’s office wants the same percentage increase as the Legislature receives. But it’s not asking for guaranteed increases in the future, Palmer said, and it’s not an autopilot increase. Although it’s a tough sell, the governor’s idea may have merit, said Tim Hodson, who directs the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State University. For fear of voter backlash, he said, some elected officials and public agencies skimp on staff and spending. Still, Schwarzenegger should be sure to cap spending so the formula doesn’t become a “blank check.” “Autopilot is like art,” Hodson concluded. “It’s in the eye of the beholder.” kfolmar@mercurynews.com (916) 441-4602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! And Schwarzenegger’s budget simultaneously expects others – notably welfare recipients and public university students – to take hits. California’s revenue projections are cooling because of lackluster home sales and lower-than-expected tax payments. “They don’t think a cost-of-living adjustment is appropriate for the poorest people in the state, but it’s perfectly fine for the people making $100,000 in the governor’s office?” asked Mike Herald, a legislative advocate for the Western Center for Law and Poverty. “I just can’t reconcile that.” Schwarzenegger aides recently revealed that most of the additional $1million is earmarked for adding server capacity and redundancy to a seven-year-old information technology system, not for new staff. Spokesman Aaron McLear said that, if raises were given, they would come from the existing personnel budget, not new funding. Administration aides note that spending on the office – now at $18.6million – is less than 0.02percent of the overall general fund. The budget as a whole will grow by just 1percent. SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to boost spending on his personal office next year by more than 5percent, even as a lean budget prompts him to limit welfare grants and ask college students to pay higher tuition. For the second consecutive year, the Republican governor is seeking to peg spending on his 185-person staff to an inflationary formula that dictates spending for the state Legislature and some courts. In and of itself, Schwarzenegger’s proposal wouldn’t break the bank – adding only $1million to the $103billion state budget. But the notion galls some observers because it smacks of the formula-driven “autopilot” spending Schwarzenegger railed against in 2005 as he campaigned for the power to make unilateral budget cuts. last_img read more

first_img Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Barcelona are lining up a January raid on Borussia Dortmund for reported Arsenal and Liverpool target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.The Catalan club are allowed to sign new players in January, when their transfer ban ends, and now reports in Spain have claimed that Aubameyang is on their hit list.The 26-year-old striker bagged 16 goals in 33 Bundesliga outings last season and has enjoyed a stunning start to the new campaign, scoring 10 goals in his first eight league appearances.That form has increased speculation about a New Year move with Arsenal and Liverpool two clubs rumoured to be interested.Both Premier League sides were part of the chasing pack when he was at St Etienne, before the hotshot decided on a switch to Dortmund in 2013.And now they might be usurped by Barcelona, who are reportedly ready to pounce once their embargo is lifted. 1last_img read more

first_imgLOS ANGELES – Most dogs in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County will have to be spayed or neutered and implanted with an identifying microchip under an ordinance approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors. The ordinance applies to all breeds, excluding animals that compete in dog shows, work with law enforcement or assist the disabled. Under the measure, dogs must be spayed or neutered at 4 months of age. “I applaud the staff for doing whatever they deem necessary to curb the overpopulation issue,” said Dan Morrison, executive director of the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority in Downey. “If this is a step in the right direction, that’s great. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventMorrison said he is unsure how the ordinance will be enforced and accepted by the public and hopes it will catch on in other areas, including the 12 cities his agency covers. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the program is duplicated in other jurisdictions like SEAACAs,” said Morrison. “But we don’t want to be unrealistic with expectations. It’s a lot to digest. I’m pleased to see that the board adopted the ordinance. Now we’ll have to see how it’s enforced and if it really makes a difference.” More than 50 people testified before the supervisors both in support of and against the ordinance. It was initially introduced in January in a slightly different form by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who sought to reduce overcrowding in animal shelters and address the problem of dangerous dogs. “Our department is overwhelmed with unwanted dogs,” said Marcia Mayeda, director of Animal Care and Control. “Altering reduces aggression in dogs. It may not eliminate it, but it does reduce it, which is an important public safety concern.” Under the ordinance, canines must also have a microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) placed underneath their skin to identify a dog in the event it runs away and ends up at an animal shelter. Of the 23,799 stray dogs impounded last year, only 6,004 were reclaimed by their owners, Mayeda said. Dog license fees will also increase under the ordinance. A license for a spayed or neutered dog will increase from $15 to $20. Licenses for unaltered dogs will double to $60. “It is indeed an historic occasion. We believe that all attempts to curtail pet overpopulation require a three-prong approach: legislation, education and low-cost sterilization programs,” said Wendy Aragon with the Pet Assistance Foundation. “This is indeed a welcomed cornerstone.” But dog owner Kim Delisi said the ordinance was too far-reaching. “Irresponsible and uneducated owners are what happened,” she said. “People do not know how to be good owners. They do not know or care what their responsibilities are. Solve these problems and you will not only solve the overpopulation but also the dangerous dog problem.” In February, the board delayed voting on the measure Antonovich introduced, which would have applied only to pit bulls and Rottweilers. On the recommendation of Mayeda, the supervisors decided to expand the proposed ordinance to include all breeds. Last fall, the Legislature passed a bill authorizing local governments to enact breed- specific ordinances pertaining to mandatory spay or neuter programs. The board approved the ordinance on a 4-0 vote on first reading, with Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke absent from the meeting. If the measure is approved, as is expected, on May 2, it will go into effect on June 2. Staff Writer Sandy Mazza contributed to this story.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more