GECOM system– insist publication of nominator lists a statutory obligationThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) commissioners at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) are unhappy with the lack of accountability at that entity; and this is especially since there are just 43 days to go before Local Government Elections are held.Those commissioners, in an interview with this publication, made it clear that there are times when requests for information get them nowhere. One problem identified by Commissioner Sase Gunraj is the manner in which meetings are held.“You’ve heard in the media us complaining and saying things recently about the quality of the meetings, the discussions, the timing of the meetings; and thoseThe publication of the nominator lists, according to the commissioners, is a necessitystatements are not very complimentary of GECOM,” he said.“Because the meetings are truncated in terms of time, the discussions, sometimes even though they may be long-winded, do not end in implementable decisions,” Gunraj said. “And generally, at the commission level, it’s as though you have to squeeze blood out of stone to get what is happening.”According to Gunraj, those commissioners perceive the operations at the commission level are running on a need-to-know basis.Elaborating on the way meetings are held, PPP Commissioner Bibi Shadick compared what obtains now to the days of former Chairman Steve Surujbally, who demitted office in 2017.“Statutory meetings are held on Tuesdays and are supposed to start at one o’clock. From the first day, the Chairman announces that he’s not going beyond certain hours. First it was five o’clock. Then it came up to four o’clock. Then, if something is being discussed and the Chairman doesn’t (want to stay), he gets up,” she explained.“This has happened on more than one occasion. The thing about it is the commission under Surujbally was long hours, but at least we didn’t have a chairman that used to get up and walk out. This now is happening,” she declared.Retired Justice James Patterson was appointed GECOM Chairman late last year. The commission would be holding Local Government elections on November 12. Already, much controversy has surrounded the elections, including political parties accusing each other of submitting fraudulent lists on Nomination Day.ListsMeanwhile, Gunraj also addressed concerns about the publication of the candidates and backers’ lists. While Government officials have suggested that this should not have been done at all, Gunraj has insisted that the law makes it necessary.“All that is done for elections are a statutory process. Included in that process is that, upon receipt of the lists by the Returning Officer on Nomination Day within the specified period, they are required by law to post that list in a conspicuous place outside the RO office. That was done,” he said.“In fact, myself and other commissioners looked at this exercise at various RO offices throughout the Coast. I was on the East Coast; I know Commissioner Shadick was on the East Bank. I was also at Critchlow Labour College, where it was attended by a large media contingent (and) in person by the Minister of Communities and the Chairman of GECOM.”Gunraj noted that all those officials had observed the process, and he denied claims that the lists were published because of the PPP Commissioners.At a recent Alliance for Change (AFC) press conference, it was reported that that party’s Campaign Manager, David Patterson, had compared publicising of the lists to opening a can of worms. But according to Gunraj, the transparency it afforded highlighted electoral fraud.“It is an outcome of the viewing of these lists that all these issues have now arisen. People started to complain that they never signed lists. People started to complain that they did sign lists, but were duped into so doing,” he said.“They were told they were signing for better roads or old age pension. Another one I heard was they was listing persons to join a Community Policing Group. All of those are instances of fraud,” Gunraj said, adding that no right thinking person should countenance such things.
September 8, 2017This week, Arcosanti got a visit from 75 students from the Desert Marigold School, a Waldorf School in Phoenix. “The mission of Desert Marigold School is to provide an educational context that emphasizes intellectual achievement and the imaginative, artistic, and moral growth of its students. By addressing their heads, hands and hearts, the school will encourage students to be lifelong learners and independent thinkers as well as self motivated, self-disciplined, creative, adaptable and responsible individuals.” Here they are touring the site.The students took a one week field trip north. Before coming to Arcosanti, they camped at Lynx Lake and volunteered at Prescott Creeks. We are honored to be included in their trip. During there visit, they got a tour of the architecture, watched a bronze pour, and had a pool party! Here they are preparing to watch the bronze pour.They also got to participate in a silt casting workshop. (photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Shannon Mackenzie)
Derry and Strabane CouncilDerry to host first LegenDerry Street Food Fest in JulyLo & SloMayor Michaela BoyleWHITE HORSE HOTEL “There will also be music provided by local DJ’s to create a unique and intimate festival experience.”Catherine Goligher, Food tourism officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council explained the ethos behind the festival. She said: “The idea to host a Street Food Festival was developed by the Council in partnership with the recently established LegenDerry Food Network. “The Local Food and Drink Strategy identified Street Food as one of our key growth areas with much potential to develop. “We are delighted with the response to the call-out for participants and are really excited about bringing all this local food and drink out onto the streets for people to sample and enjoy.”Restaurants and bars located within the festival-zone are also signing up to be part of the festival by offering alfresco menus and dining options. The festival area will be incorporated within the Guildhall Street area of the city and will run from 5-11pm on Friday and Saturday, 19 and 20 July and from 2 to 10pm on Sunday 21Mayor Boyle said among the highlights of the festival she is looking forward to is the double decker bar and dining experience as well as food offerings that will include wood fired pizza, smoked slow barbecued meats and cotton candy.“I really love the sound of this festival and think it’s a fantastic idea that will be hugely popular with local and visiting food lovers. “Derry and Strabane’s food scene is really expanding and developing and it’s fantastic that we have been able to include all local producers and products at this year’s festival,” she added.Jennifer O’Donnell, Tourism Manager with the Council, added that one of the really positive aspects of the festival is the feedback and participation of local food producers. “We are delighted to see how this festival has really helped us forge ahead in developing this aspect of our food offering. “For example Emily from Lo&Slo has bought a new trailer while the White Horse Inn area diversifying so they can be part of this growing food trend.”Further details of the festival including a list of participating food outlets and a schedule of entertainment will be available over the coming weeks. For more info visit www.derrystrabane.com/streetfood #legenderryfoodDerry to host first LegenDerry Street Food Fest in July was last modified: June 11th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Michaela Boyle is excited about the festival and welcomes the fact that all those participating are from the local area. She said: “This is going to be a fantastic event for everyone to enjoy with a fantastic range of local food and drink producers stepping up to showcase their quality produce. “We will have a variety of street food trucks, vans and trailers all located within the Guildhall Street city centre as well as pop up bars serving local craft beers and exclusive cocktails using local spirits. “We will have live music performances and DJs with seating areas where you can relax with a drink and some food and soak up the atmosphere. # ShareTweet DERRY is set to host its inaugural LegenDerry Street Food Festival from Friday July, 19 to Sunday 21 July, Derry City and Strabane District Council has announced today.The festival, which will take place at Guildhall Street to showcase and celebrate the best of locally produced street food will be complemented by craft drink produce and live music in a city centre setting.The festival will coincide with the Open Golf Championships in Portrush and offer visitors to the city and region an opportunity to experience the city’s quality growing street food genre and sample the warmth of the local welcome and quality produce.