Bishoo eager to test Sri Lankan conditions

first_img After just three days here, West Indies have already come face to face with the challenge of the Sri Lankan heat, with temperatures already soaring past 32 degrees Celsius. And Bishoo said it was vital the team stuck together as a group in order to survive the rigours of the tour. “If the place is hot, you can’t do anything about it. At the end of the day, you still have to play cricket in it, and you have to be mentally tough and mentally strong,” he said. “We have to enjoy the tour as much as possible, stick together as a unit and do well. Sticking together will help the team a lot, that’s very, very important … just supporting each other. As I’ve said over and over, we have to enjoy the cricket as a team.” West Indies face Sri Lanka President’s XI in a three-day tour match starting next Thursday. CONFIDENCE “My confidence is there, there’s nothing to worry about too much. I just have to go and put the ball in the right areas and just focus on your game and do what you have to do at the set time.” Bishoo has enjoyed success ever since returning to Test cricket earlier this year, following a three-year spell outside the selectors frame. The right-armer played the second Test of the three-match series against England back in April taking five wickets in the match, and followed up with a brilliant six-wicket first innings haul in the first Test against Australia at Windsor Park in Dominica. “One of the things [I have been focusing on] is staying tough and enjoying my cricket as much as possible and just keep working hard at my cricket,” the Guyanese explained. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC): Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo says he is looking forward to his first taste of Test cricket on Sri Lankan soil, after undergoing his first practice session Saturday. The 29-year-old toured Sri Lanka last year with West Indies A but says the thrill of playing the longest format had left him highly motivated for the two-Test series. “It’s my first time in Sri Lanka playing Test cricket. I’ve heard a lot about Sri Lanka and the pitch taking spin, so I really want to play here … they are one of the best teams in the world at playing spin,” Bishoo said. “At the end of the day, you have to play your cricket and try to enjoy it as much as possible and be up to the standard. I just want to do well, as with every other series and every match that I play, I just want to do well and enjoy it as much as possible. STICKING TOGETHERlast_img read more

L.A. pours on the glitz in bid to lure 2016 Olympics

first_imgIn trying to persuade USOC officials to recommend Los Angeles over rival Chicago to the International Olympics Committee, city officials planned a dinner at the Getty Center, a luncheon at the Staples Center Grand Reserve Club and overnight accommodations at the landmark Beverly Hilton. They also provided some star power. With Disney Studios and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games released a three-minute stylized commercial illustrating why Los Angeles should be selected. Like one of the opening credits of a Bruckheimer film with montages of Los Angeles – a jet landing at sunset at LAX, surfers, movie stars and landmarks – it featured local Olympians touting the city and their experience as athletes. “One of the concerns we hear from the USOC and … the IOC, is that the Olympics have lost their appeal to young athletes, particularly young men,” SCCOG Chairman Barry Sanders said. “What we are saying with this is that we have the talent, the creativity, to appeal to young people to get them involved with the Olympics once again.” Evans – a swimmer who won three gold medals in the 1988 Games in Seoul and a gold and silver in 1992 in Barcelona – said most of the USOC delegation’s questions centered on facilities that would be available. With high-profile fervor, Los Angeles rolled out its most enthusiastic salesmen Thursday to wine, dine and shepherd U.S. Olympic Committee officials on a two-day tour as the city bids to host the 2016 Games. A grinning Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, business leaders and former Olympians Janet Evans and Peter Vidmar led Olympics officials on a tour of UCLA, where athletes would stay if Los Angeles is chosen to host the games. “Los Angeles is the city of America’s dreams,” Villaraigosa said. “This is a city where people come to invent themselves. This week we had the Academy Awards show here and (Best Actor) Forest Whitaker talked about how the city nourished him and allowed him to pursue his dreams. “We can do that for the athletes and the Olympics. We want to put on an Olympics where the athletes are the stars.” Vidmar said he and the athletes stressed that the city is ready to host the games and only needs to build a single new facility – for shooting. “We have everything here and all but a couple of our venues are new,” said Vidmar, a gymnast who won two golds and a silver medal in the ’84 Games in L.A. “From an athlete’s perspective, it is invaluable to have these facilities open and available now. “It means we can hold world-class events before the Olympics and the athletes will have an idea of what to expect.” The USOC team also is scheduled to go to Chicago to view that city’s plans, which call for a compact area for the games that would need major venue construction. “We are not competing against Chicago,” Villaraigosa said. “Chicago is a great city. We just believe Los Angeles is better suited to serve as host of the games.” Unlike the controversy that marked Los Angeles’ efforts to win the 1984 Games – with a threat to block it if public funds were used – this year’s effort has received wide support mainly because the ’84 Games ultimately were a success. Those games poured millions of dollars into the local economy and realized a $235 million profit that was used to create an endowment to fund amateur athletic events citywide. Officials say they think the 2016 Games, using the same model as the 1984 event, could bring in more than $1 billion to the local economy. Sanders said polls show that 85 percent to 90 percent of residents support the city’s bid to host the games. The USOC is scheduled to decide in April which U.S. city to nominate to the International Olympic Committee. That group has said it will make its announcement in October 2009 from among as many as 20 cities from around the world. rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want 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

Migrant reform back on agenda

first_img“If we don’t succeed now, there won’t be another effort until after the presidential campaign,” said California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Senators met behind closed doors Tuesday afternoon to hammer out a compromise and were not expected to emerge until late in the evening. As the day wore on, several lawmakers said prospects for an agreement were looking increasingly dim. Reid, D-Nev., meanwhile, continued to threaten to kick off debate today regardless of the outcome, and could push forward a Democrat-backed bill that passed last year granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants. “I’ve heard the compromise isn’t looking good, and I’ve heard that it is,” said Steven Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies think tank. “I don’t know that there’s anybody that does know, because they may be working feverishly for quite some time,” he said. Meanwhile, Feinstein and Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, made an impassioned plea to include in any immigration reform a provision enabling millions of illegal farm workers to obtain legal status. The measure, originally crafted by Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, also reforms and speeds up the nation’s agricultural guest worker program. Growers from across the country barnstormed the Senate on Tuesday pushing for the measure and painting pictures of barren farms empty of apples, asparagus and bell peppers without it. Many complained they have been unable to find workers, despite offering wages of up to $15 per hour. “We simply can not survive on the promise that more workers will show up, or if we pay more the problem will be solved,” said Ella Vasquez, a Watsonville farm owner. Feinstein vowed to push for a separate agricultural worker measure if the Senate fails to act on a broad reform bill. But, she acknowledged Tuesday, it is “hard to tell” if that measure could win enough votes to pass on its own. Camarota said he isn’t optimistic that Congress will pass immigration reform this year. “It’s easier politically for them to kick the can down the road, and my guess is that’s the most likely scenario,” he said. “You kick the can down the road and blame the other guy. It’s a time-honored political tradition.” lisa.friedman@langnews.com (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The curtain is rising on the second act of Congress’ attempt to reform America’s immigration laws. And no one knows how the story will end. With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insisting that lawmakers embark swiftly on their second attempt to revamp U.S. immigration policy, there is still no agreement over what to do with the country’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants or how to address the future flow of foreign workers. Lawmakers and activists alike said time is running out. last_img read more

Rodgers looks forward to Liverpool’s Champions League decider – ‘It’ll be a great Anfield night’

first_img Rodgers watches on as Liverpool draw Brendan Rodgers’ may be under severe pressure but he has backed his Liverpool side to come good when they host Basel with their Champions League future on the line in two weeks’ time.The Reds’ drew 2-2 against Ludogorets on Wednesday to leave Rodgers’ men needing a win against the Swiss champions in their final Group B fixture to qualify for the next round.Ahead of the clash in Bulgaria, the visitors’ knew they had to avoid defeat if they were to continue their European adventure, but they suffered an early blow when the hosts took the lead inside three minutes.Goals from Rickie Lambert and Jordan Henderson then turned it around before the break, only for a late Ludogorets equaliser to cost the Reds a much-needed victory, though the draw at least kept their hopes alive.“We were disappointed with the goal at the end but that’s irrelevant,” Rodgers said.“We need to win a game at the end against Basel and at the start we would have looked at that game as the one to see us through and it should be a great night at Anfield.“It was always going to be a very close group. We have had a good result and should have won the game and now it is all in our hands and I can’t ask any more than that.“I am happy to rely on us to play at Anfield in front of our own supporters in the final game.”Despite his disappointment at only drawing to the minnows, Rodgers was quick to praise his players’ determination.He added: “We’ve set a standard here in the last two and a half years, and we’ve not lived up to that so far this season.[But] we showed wonderful character tonight.“Obviously if you go a goal behind in this competition you need great spirit and character from the team.”While skipper Steven Gerrard has come under criticism from some quarters, the Liverpool boss reiterated the importance of his experienced players during big European nights.“They’re certainly players that I know what they’re capable of,” said the Northern Irishman.“Lucas coming into the team, the last time he played was against Real Madrid and he was outstanding. Obviously they are players I know what they’re capable of but in time the new players will adapt to how you want to play.” 1last_img read more

USC coach already thinking about next season

first_img He acknowledged there wasn’t much information needed regarding Bush, who figures as one of the top selections in next April’s draft, if not No. 1, if he goes in that direction. “I have to talk to him, make sure he’s right for that,” Carroll said. The performance of Vince Young in the Rose Bowl could alter previous drafting plans should the Texas quarterback decide to pass up his final year of eligibility and go pro. “Vince Young’s stock couldn’t go higher,” Carroll said. “He has to rethink his decision.” Young passed for 267 yards and rushed for another 200 against USC. He capped his night by scoring the winning touchdown on an 8-yard run with 19 seconds remaining and then running for a two-point conversion. “I was worried about this the whole time, I really was,” Carroll said. “He’s so much faster than anybody who plays his position. He’s a much better passer than he was a year ago. I didn’t know if we’d be able to tackle him. He doesn’t go down. “There’s never been a quarterback like that. Nobody’s ever been that big, that fast, that strong. And he’s got a great arm, too. He’s an extraordinary prospect.” USC went 48-4 under Carroll the past four seasons one of the most impressive runs in college football history. The Trojans’ run of 34 straight victories also ranks near the top. Oklahoma’s 47-game winning streak from 1953-57 is the longest among Division I-A programs in the modern era. Toledo, a midlevel school, won 35 straight from 1969-71 but wasn’t in the national championship mix. Miami also won 34 in a row, from 2000-03. USC entered the Rose Bowl with only 10 seniors listed on its two-deep depth chart. So, even with the likely early departures, the Trojans will have plenty of talent and experience returning next season. Third-year sophomore John David Booty and freshman Mark Sanchez will compete for the starting quarterback job. Booty was considered one of the best high school quarterbacks in the country in 2002, and Sanchez was in the same boat two years later. Among the possibilities at tailback, should Bush and White leave, are Hershel Dennis, Michael Coleman, Desmond Reed and Chauncey Washington. And that doesn’t include any incoming freshmen. Dennis started in 2003 ahead of then-freshmen Bush and White. The returning wide receiver corps, led by first-team All-American Dwayne Jarrett, is outstanding, as is the offensive line, including tight end. The defense, young and often hurt this season, should be significantly better if for no other reason than experience. The linebackers, for example, were mostly freshmen and sophomores, and Lawrence Jackson and Sedrick Ellis, two members of the starting front four, were sophomores. “It’s been wonderful doing what we’ve been doing,” Carroll said following the Rose Bowl. “It’s too bad it had to end.” At least until next season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We’re going to try and go right back in the mode of it,” he said Thursday a day after the Trojans lost to Texas 41-38 in the Rose Bowl. “Now, it’s getting there (again). We’ve done this before. I ain’t worried about it we know what it’s going to be like. “Staying there was not that hard for us. Once in that situation, we got very familiar and very comfortable with handling it. I like the burden. I haven’t had any problem with the burden.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Carroll knows he’ll enter the 2006 season having lost a lot of talent. He’ll know exactly how much by Jan. 15 the deadline for eligible underclassmen to apply for the NFL draft. Among those who definitely won’t be back are eight senior starters 2004 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Matt Leinart, offensive guard Taitusi Lutui, tight end Dominique Byrd, fullback David Kirtman, defensive linemen LaJuan Ramsey and Frostee Rucker, and defensive backs Justin Wyatt and Matt Ware. There’s a good possibility 2005 Heisman Trophy-winner Reggie Bush, fellow tailback LenDale White and offensive tackle Winston Justice will also leave, passing up their final year of eligibility to turn pro. Wide receiver Steve Smith and safety Darnell Bing could join them. Carroll said he is already talking with the players in question. “We’re working on it around the clock,” he said. “It’s really information-gathering time for their benefit.” center_img LOS ANGELES — With USC’s 34-game winning streak snapped and the chance for an unprecedented third straight national title denied, coach Pete Carroll is already looking to the future. Carroll is excited about trying to reach the top of the college football world again, saying he enjoys the kind of challenge it presents. last_img read more

EMMET RUSHE: THE ERRIGAL TWEET UP, CANCER AND YOU

first_imgBY EMMET RUSHE: Yesterday (Sunday) I participated in the 4th Annual Errigal Tweet Up.The event is organised to raise awareness for childhood cancer and the great turn-out showed that it had the necessary effect.People of all ages turned up at 10am to start the climb, with 2 young survivors being part of the climbers. September is Childhood cancer Awareness month and the Light It Up Gold campaign for childhood cancer awareness has been leading the way.You can donate to this great cause by texting GOLD to 50300.Over 200 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland.That’s 4 families each week who hear the devastating news that their child, brother, sister or grandchild has cancer.Childhood cancer is the biggest cause of death by disease in children in Ireland. Childhood Cancer Foundation is committed to raising public awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer, developing early diagnosis programmes amongst health care professionals, advocating for improved services for children affected by cancer and assisting to fund vital services for children and families affected by this disease.These events also show how being active plays a huge part in the recovery process from anyone at any age who are recovering or has recovered from cancer treatment.The European Code against Cancer has developed guidelines that people and their families can follow to help reduce their risk of cancer.* Avoid smoking or using tobacco products and avoid second hand smoke.Cigarette smoking kills up to half of long-term users. Not only is it the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer but tobacco use is also linked to various other cancers and threats to our health.If you smoke, deciding to quit could save your life.If you smoke, please ensure that you do not smoke around your children.* Be a healthy weightMaintaining a healthy weight is the most important way to reduce your risk of cancer. People who follow a healthy lifestyle that adheres to the recommendations for cancer prevention have an estimated 18% lower risk of cancer compared with people whose lifestyle and body weight do not meet the recommendations.* Be physically activeAim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.Being physically active contributes to a healthy lifestyle which can reduce your risk of cancer. * Have a healthy dietYour diet has a powerful effect on your health, including your chance of getting cancer.Limiting your intake of foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat while increasing your consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and pulses can help to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk of cancer.* Avoid alcoholDrinking alcohol can cause at least seven types of cancer: those of the mouth, gullet (oesophagus), throat (pharynx and larynx), liver, large bowel (colon and rectum), and breast.Not drinking alcohol is better for cancer prevention. If you do drink alcohol, limit your intake of alcohol. There is no ‘safe’ level of drinking, but the risk of cancer is lower, the less alcohol you drink.* Avoid too much sunSkin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland but it is also one of the most preventable cancers. Avoid too much sun and make sure you are Sun Smart by:1. Seeking shade between 11am and 3pm on sunny days2. Covering up by wearing a T-Shirt with a collar and sleeves and a sun hat with that gives shade to the face, neck, head and ears.3. Wearing wraparound sunglasses with UV protection.4. Wearing sunscreen with SPF 15+ (SPF 30+ for children) * Advice for womenWomen who breastfeed their babies for prolonged periods have a lower risk of developing breast cancer in later life than comparable women who do not breastfeed.Use of hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of cancers of the breast, endometrium and ovary, as well as several non-cancer adverse health outcomes. If possible you should avoid or limit the use of hormone replacement therapy.*  Get vaccinationsFew people associate infection with cancer, but nearly one-fifth of all cancers in the world are caused by infectious agents, including viruses and bacteria. Reduce the risk of cancer by ensuring your children take part in vaccination programmes for Hepatitis B (for newborns) and Human Papillomavirus (targeted for girls in first year of secondary school and upwards).* Get screened for cancerSome types of cancer can be found and treated before they cause symptoms.The main aim of cancer screening is to prevent death from cancer.Screening can also make it possible to use less severe treatment methods if the cancer is detected early enough.For some cancers, such as cervical cancer and bowel cancer, screening can actually prevent the cancer from developing.Take part in organised screening programmes for bowel cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer.Childhood cancer is no different to any other type of cancer when it comes to funding.Children are not automatically entitled to a medical card and their families must undergo means testing.Without the medical card, families are forced to pay for in-patient treatment and for medications, medical equipment and dressings etc., needed for children going through treatment.So once again I would ask you to please text GOLD to 50300 and donate €4 to an amazing cause.#TrainSmartFor more information, contact me through the link below.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rushe-Fitness/120518884715118?ref=hl* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe FitnessEMMET RUSHE: THE ERRIGAL TWEET UP, CANCER AND YOU was last modified: September 27th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:cancer awarenesschildhood canceremmet rushefitness columnlast_img read more

COUNCILLOR CALLS FOR RESTORATION OF TIDY ESTATES COMPETITION

first_imgCllr Jimmy KavanaghCllr. Jimmy Kavanagh called on the municipal council to restore the tidy estates competition to the same level as existed when the competition was run by Letterkenny Town council.He said that in view of the fact that Letterkenny had now won the tidy towns competition it was essential that those standards were maintained, as the town would now be under closer scrutiny than ever before.Addressing the Letterkenny Municipal Authority monthly meeting, he said he was aware that Donegal County council were liaising with the tidy towns committee in Letterkenny about running a tidy estates competition. However, the prizes on offer of just €1,000 fell far short of the €7,000 that was available when the tidy estates competition was run by the Town council. Cllr. Kavanagh said that it was impossible for the very many resident associations in the town to maintain current standards unless they were getting appropriate funding from the council.He also pointed out that the residents associations played a role far beyond just keeping the estates tidy, as they were also always on hand to highlight anti social behaviour in the estates and to stop problems before they escalated.He said it was not a big ask to expect the municipal council to continue the competition to the same level as resident associations had become used to.The motion was seconded by Councillor Ciaran Brogan and agreed unanimously by the council members. The council replied that the matter could be considered in the context of the 2016 budget.COUNCILLOR CALLS FOR RESTORATION OF TIDY ESTATES COMPETITION was last modified: October 20th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Cllr Jimmy KavanaghTidy Estateslast_img read more

Inishowen MD meeting adjourned in memory of Manus Kelly

first_imgMonday’s sitting of the Inishowen Municipal District was adjourned earlier this afternoon for half an hour in memory of the late Manus Kelly.The former Fianna Fáil county councillor was killed in a crash last month on the third day of the Donegal International Rally.Manus Kelly (41), was one of Ireland’s leading rally drivers and a prominent businessman in the local area. The meeting is due to get underway again shortly.Inishowen MD meeting adjourned in memory of Manus Kelly was last modified: July 15th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

In Science and Politics, Expect the Unexpected

first_imgTwo findings reported this month illustrate how science changes.  Paradigms and policies can have their scientific underpinnings yanked out from under them, causing both consternation and opportunities for new ways of thinking.Bring back the acid rain:  Pick your poison: acid rain or global warming.  Acid rain was the bogeyman of the 1980s, leading to severe cutbacks in sulfur emissions by law.  Now, reported EurekAlert, new studies of streams in Appalachian hardwood forests show an “unexpected result” of the reduction in acid rain: an alarming rise in dissolved carbon dioxide.  The streams are now as pristine as you could get, but that means the plants are now more efficient at respiration and are emitting more CO2.  A Penn State researcher said, “Rising amounts of carbon dioxide in streams and soil could have implications for the forest ecosystem, and the carbon balance in general.”  And what does that imply?  “Higher amounts of carbon dioxide in the soil means more of it ultimately may be emitted back to the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.”  Maybe the forests need to do their fair share in abiding by the Kyoto Protocol.  Or, maybe some nations will now have an excuse for not cutting back, saying they are emitting less than plants.  See also the report in LiveScience that agrees “less acid rain is not always so great.”Silent mutations get noisy:  “Another dogma in cell biology seems about to be toppled,” reported Science Now last week.  Certain mutations in the DNA translation process were dubbed “silent mutations,” because they didn’t affect the amino acid inserted into the protein.  If a triplet codon with a silent mutation inserts the exact same amino acid, what could possibly be different in the result?  A new discovery by researchers for the USDA hinted that these mutations are not so silent after all.  It turns out that an unexpected triplet codon can slow down the rate of translation.  When this happens, the resulting protein takes slightly longer to form.  This, in turn, can affect its folded shape.  As a result, the protein may act differently, even though it is composed of the same amino acid sequence.    The researchers found this out when observing that some cancer cells are more effective at pumping out chemotherapy agents.  The protein pump that performed better had a silent mutation that slightly altered its shape.  The news report issued an analogy: “Like designs made with Silly String spraying out at different velocities, the folding of an amino acid chain into a 3D structure is somewhat speed-dependent, and slower production could cause the protein to take an altered final form,” Mary Beckman reported.  “The cell might be able to compensate for one silent mutation but not for multiple rarely used triplets.”  This “entirely new concept” is causing scientists to “start listening to what silent mutations have to say.”    One possibility is that the “degeneracy” in the genetic code (i.e., the fact that some amino acids can be coded for by up to six different triplet codons) has a function, regulating the rate of protein production or the activity of the resulting protein or enzyme.  As in the case of the cancer cell, environmental pressures may trigger the dominance of one form over another to provide robustness under varying circumstances.As these examples show, anything from cancer treatment to global environmental policy is subject to change when paradigms shift and assumptions fall.If we are vulnerable to this much uncertainty about present-day, observable facts of science, how can the Darwinists be so smug that they know how the universe and life began and what dinosaurs were doing 100 million years ago?  The role of assumptions in scientific knowledge cannot be overemphasized.  The only way to be certain about anything is to have an omniscient being who always existed and who made everything tell us.  But that would require faith.  Science is not about faith (see Finagle’s Creed and the rest of the Quick Guide to Evolutionary Theory).(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA, Dutch cities renew bond

first_imgNomonde Mda, head of Nompumelelo High School in Duncan Village, is surrounded by Dutch teachers from Leiden, part of an information exchange programme that saw the Dutch visitors accompanying their South African counterparts on visits to the poorer schools of Buffalo City. (Image: Shamin Chibba) Relationships between cities can be complex affairs, but Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) in the Eastern Cape seems to have handled its bond with the Dutch city of Leiden with consummate ease.Representatives from both cities were present at the BCM mayoral office towards the end of 2010 to sign an agreement that would extend their relationship another five years, taking it to an accumulated 17 years in partnership.Underlining this relationship is the law of give and take and this was emphasised by the deputy mayor of Leiden, Frank de Wit, who was one of the signatories. Even though the Dutch have been assisting BCM with major developmental projects over the past 12 years, he believes the relationship has been mutually beneficial.“We have gained inspiration and education from this city. With the student exchange, Leiden students have been able to grow.”De Wit stressed the need for both cities to continue learning through this bond. “One of the goals is to learn from each other’s cultures. We must listen to each other.”He stated that the objectives for the next five years would not change.“This renewal is an extension of the memorandum of understanding. We are going to start new projects but it is up to [Buffalo City] to decide which challenges to address,” said De Wit.He noted that with the new Dutch government in place, relations with developing countries could become less intensive. However, Leiden’s involvement with Buffalo City would not dissipate.“The [Dutch] government is not in favour of supporting developing countries, but we cannot leave it.”The local chairperson of the Leiden platform, Dinesh Vallabh, was excited about the agreement, since it would continue to uplift the underprivileged.“These projects are helping the poorest of the poor in the city. This is service delivery at its best,” he said.BCM’s acting municipal manager, Andile Fani, also signed the agreement. He was optimistic about having Leiden on the city’s side during the 2011 transformation from a municipality into a metropolitan area.“I am looking forward to this initiative. Seeing that Buffalo City Municipality is going to be a metro this will go a long way.”Developmental projects in Buffalo CityLeiden’s involvement with South Africa began in the 1970s when the city, along with the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, campaigned for the abolishment of apartheid. When the system was finally scrapped, each Dutch city was told to form relationships with municipalities here. Leiden was paired with Buffalo City and began relations in 1998.Twelve years later, Leiden’s bond with the city has deepened. In 2010 alone, Leiden has assisted the municipality with major development projects involving student exchange programmes, HIV/Aids, storm water drainage and solid waste management.It started in June when Leiden officials contributed to the transformation of a dangerous floodplain, which killed six people in 2002 in the township of Duncan Village, into a habitable area for its residences. They donated R1-million (US$146 000) to the cause.Acting Mayor Sizwe Dikimolo said changes were evident in the township and that further improvements could be made if residents cooperated with the municipality.The Dutch continued their work when, in August, a group of Leiden learners, part of the Keys for Kids programme, converted a shed into a girls’ unit at House on the Rock, a childcare centre.The project is an educational three-week excursion that brings a number of Dutch adolescents each year to partake in various developmental activities in the country, and learn about South African culture at the same time.In October, 14 educators from various institutes in Leiden visited the city in an information exchange programme. Dutch teachers were paired with their South African counterparts and spent one week visiting poorer schools in Buffalo City. They learned about the techniques local educators employ when managing classrooms of over 50 learners, something that is unheard of in the Netherlands.Vallabh believed that for some learners it would have been the first time they met a foreign national, and this would help expand their horizons.“Our learners need to know of the world around them. They need to be shown a new way of life, which is an education in itself,” he said.The educators who attended the programme had to pay their own air fares. “It just shows they want to add value to this trip,” added Vallabh.last_img read more