Referees’ rage! – Clarendon, St Catherine officials show red card to JFRA executive

first_img OTHERS MAY PULL AWAY Clayton warned that the actions of the JFRA would force other parish referee associations to pull away from the organisation, and wants Brown and his executives to resign and an audit to be done before fresh elections are called. “The JFRA is not a must. You don’t have to be a part of the it based on constitution, so pulling away from the JFRA means we will save some funds. My referees (St Catherine) have a problem, so we send a letter; Clarendon is having problems and they are brave enough to send a letter, and there are more letters to come,” Clayton said. “They all need to resign, put everything on pause, have a forensic audit, and start afresh. It (JFRA) serves no purpose whatsoever.” Brown is nonetheless ignoring the calls for his resignation and notes that they are in the process of doing an audit. He also hopes to iron out some of the concerns raised. “I have nothing to resign for and I have no intention of resigning,” he stated. “Mr Clayton doesn’t have the moral or legal right to question the purpose of the organisation … the JFRA is of utmost importance. It is very relevant and needed.” “We are in the process of doing an audit soon, which will be supplied to all the members of the JFRA. We hope to iron things out with Clarendon. They have some legitimate concerns, and we are hopeful we can discus and come to a better understanding, and they will want to come back,” added Brown. “St Catherine has flatly rejected any meeting with us. But any time St Catherine feel they want to return to the JFRA, the door is wide open.” Chairman of the St Catherine Referees Association Oneil Clayton has called on the Franklyn Brown-led Jamaica Football Referees Association (JFRA) administration to resign. Clayton stated that referees islandwide are disgruntled about how their affairs are managed and how referees fees are being utilised. The St Catherine and Clarendon referees groups recently withdrew their membership from the JFRA, and Clayton accused Brown of not providing adequate services for the fees charged and insisted on a forensic audit and that money owed be paid over to them. He also questioned the organisation’s purpose after FIFA placed the responsibilities of administering and training local elite referees on national associations in 2014. Clayton says that the JFRA is nothing more than a social club that is still not meeting its members’ needs. “We pay $,1500 a month for referee dues, $450 for CUG, $50 for welfare, and $335 for insurance. So a balance of $655 is left. When other people were in charge, that $655 was used for Christmas parties and awards, but we haven’t had one in six years. So why pay over this fund?” he asked. Clayton, a vice-president in the previous administration, led by Courtney Campbell, said that Campbell generated sponsorship to host these functions during his stint so money in the JFRA coffers for that purpose was untouched. But Brown noted that the decision to discontinue the annual Christmas party was taken by the previous administrators, and instead, funds were allocated to the confederations to host their own parties and awards. “Central had it one time and KSAFA held theirs twice, and they got their money. Other confeds were supposed to do it, including South Central, but they did not, but the money is there for them to use,” he stated. A $15,000 salary bump given to the two office administrators after the association cried that it had no funds is also a bone of contention for Clayton. Brown, however, countered that the increase was long overdue.last_img read more

Men’s Tennis Downs GW and NIU To Open 2017 Season

first_img Drake 2-0 Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,4,6) 1. Gillespie, Vinny/MacGeoch, Calum (DU) def. Marbach, Eric/Lundkvist, Georg (NIU) 6-1 3. Chris Fletcher (GW) def. Stride, Ben (DU) 2-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-6) 4. Thorold, Barnaby (DU) def. Hjertonsson, Tom (NIU) 6-3, 6-2 5. Clark, Ben (DU) def. William Tutecky (GW) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-6) In Drake’s nightcap against NIU, the Bulldogs once again won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. Gillespie put together a dominating performance to beat Georg Lundkvist, 6-2, 6-3. Freshman Barny Thorold won his first collegiate career singles match, beating Tom Hjertonsson 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4, to give Drake a 3-0 lead. Clark clinched the Bulldog victory with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Louis-Philipp Hamel at No. 6 singles. 3. Stride, Ben (DU) vs. Schweiger Muzar, Bor (NIU) 7-5, 4-2, unfinished 3. Clark, Ben/Hands, Tom (DU) def. Chris Fletcher/Jakub Behun (GW) 6-3 Story Links 1. #73 Gillespie, Vinny (DU) def. Julius Tverijonas (GW) 6-3, 6-4 The Bulldogs worked quickly as Drake took care of the GW in just over two hours.Vinny Gillespie and Calum MacGeoch cruised to a 6-2 win, while Ben Clark and Tom Hands defeated Chris Fletcher and Jakub Behun, 6-3, to clinch the doubles point for the Bulldogs. DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University men’s tennis team opened the 2017 season with a pair of victories on Saturday as the Bulldogs defeated George Washington 6-1 and Northern Illinois 4-0 at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center. Drake 6, George Washington 1Jan. 21, 2017 at Des Moines, Iowa (Roger Knapp Tennis Center)  2. MacGeoch, Calum (DU) vs. Marbach, Eric (NIU) 6-7, 0-1, unfinished 6. Wood, Ben (DU) def. C. Hadjigeorgiou (GW) 6-0, 7-5 2. Fernando Sala/C. Hadjigeorgiou (GW) def. Stride, Ben/Thorold, Barnaby (DU) 7-6 (7-2) Drake 4, Northern Illinois 0Jan. 21, 2017 at Des Moines, Iowa (Roger Knapp Tennis Center)  Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,6,1,5,2,3) 5. Hands, Tom (DU) vs. Manzanas, Carlos (NIU) 4-6, 4-3, unfinished Match Notes Singles competition Singles competition Box Score – vs. Northern Illinois Match Notes 1. Gillespie, Vinny/MacGeoch, Calum (DU) def. Julius Tverijonas/Chris Reynolds (GW) 6-2 1. Gillespie, Vinny (DU) def. Lundkvist, Georg (NIU) 6-2, 6-3 2. Stride, Ben/Wood, Ben (DU) def. Schweiger Muzar, Bor/Manzanas, Carlos (NIU) 6-4 Hands kept his momentum from doubles into single as he rolled past Dennis Afanasev, 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. At No. 6, Ben Wood won his first eight games enroute to a 6-0, 7-5 win, giving Drake a 3-0 lead. Gillespie, who is ranked 73rd nationally, sealed the win for the Bulldogs with strong 6-3, 6-4 victory. 3. Hamel, Louis-Philipp/Hjertonsson, Tom (NIU) def. Clark, Ben/Hands, Tom (DU) 5-4 6. Clark, Ben (DU) def. Hamel, Louis-Philipp (NIU) 6-3, 6-2 George Washington 0-1 Doubles competition The Bulldogs will head to the Lone Star State on Jan. 28 to take on host Texas in the first of two matches at the ITA Kick-off Weekend event. Drake will play either Rice or Oregon on Sunday, Jan. 29. 4. Hands, Tom (DU) def. Dennis Afanasev (GW) 6-2, 6-1 Box Score – vs. George Washington Drake 1-0 Doubles competition 2. MacGeoch, Calum (DU) def. Chris Reynolds (GW) 7-6, 2-6, 1-0 (10-7)  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Do Fossil Counts Match Sediment Counts?

first_imgIf evolution is true, the number of species coming and going should track the number of rock layers in which they are fossilized, at least roughly.  The more sediments per unit time, the more new genera should arise within them.  Shanan E. Peters (U of Michigan) decided to test this “novel” approach with marine fossils (the most abundant in the fossil record) over most of the geologic column, from Cambrian to Pliocene, and did indeed find a correlation.  He wrote his conclusions in PNAS.1    Peters compared two databases: one that counted genera of marine organisms in the worldwide geologic column, and one that counted rock sections in the geologic column in the USA.  (A section is a record of continuous sedimentation bounded by gaps, or unconformities.)  First, he graphed genus richness against rock quantity; these measurements correlated well until the Cretaceous, when they diverged sharply.  The divergence, he explained, could have been a statistical artifact of sampling called the “pull of the recent”; i.e., the tendency for recent epochs to be better represented than ancient ones.  That’s OK, he explained; one would expect the correlations to be seen better at macro rather than micro scales.  Second, he graphed first and last appearances of genera against the bottoms and tops of rock sections.  These correlated fairly well for extinctions (r=0.75), but not as well for originations of genera (r=0.54 or less).  “This finding means,” he tells us, “that the average longevity of a genus in the fossil record is comparable with the average duration of a sedimentary section.  In fact, the entire frequency distribution of genus longevities is remarkably similar to that of section durations.”  Third, he compared genus turnover with section turnover and also found similar positive correlation, though with some data points as prominent outliers.  In his concluding discussion, he tried to explain what these correlations mean.These results demonstrate that the temporal distribution of genus first and last occurrences in the marine animal fossil record is intimately related to the temporal continuity and quantity of sedimentary rock.  Determining why this result is the case is more challenging than demonstrating that it is so. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Since the two databases (genus counts and section counts) were presumed “as independent as two data sets that share the same timescale could possibly be,” he felt the correlations, rough as they were, indicated something significant.  Either the results were artifacts of preservation bias (the luck of the fossilization process), or had a common-cause relationship.  The former, he argued, seems unlikely: “Thus, if stratigraphic correlation and the shared timescale are the only reasons for statistical similarity, then virtually all temporal patterns derived from the geologic record must be little more than methodological artifacts of binning and correlation.  This possibility seems extremely unlikely (although quantifying the magnitudes of the statistical contributions of these factors is very important).”  That being agreed, which explanation – selection bias or common cause – best explains the data?Assuming that macroevolutionary patterns derived from genus first and last occurrences have the potential to be meaningful in a biological sense, the task then becomes to explain why patterns in the genus fossil record are closely duplicated by analogous patterns in the sedimentary rock record.  As discussed above, there are two possibilities, (i) preservation bias and (ii) shared forcing mechanisms (common cause).He showed that the latter possibility makes better predictions, but does admit one caveat: “because only unconformity and rock quantity biases are being measured here, it is possible that facies biases and/or asymmetries in environmental preservation within sedimentary sequences are causing the stronger section-genus extinction correlation”; i.e., the beginning and end of the story don’t always reveal what happened in the middle.  Nevertheless, he felt confident that taxonomists and geologists had not conspired to bias the conclusions: “it seems unlikely that the work of hundreds of taxonomists has been so nonrandom as to render the survivorship patterns of >32,000 genera from across the tree of life little more than a quantification of the structure of the sedimentary rock record.”    Why, however, would the genus extinction count correlate with the end of the rock section better than the origination count correlate with the beginning?  Aha, the common-cause hypothesis predicted it would.  The answer is in the way evolution works:Under the common-cause hypothesis, however, genera are expected to originate early in a sedimentary basin’s history as new habitats and environments expand and to go extinct abruptly when environmental changes eliminate the basin environments altogether.  Thus, similar average durations for sections and genera as well as corresponding peaks and troughs in rates of origination and extinction are expected.  Interestingly, the common-cause hypothesis also predicts that the genus-section extinction correlation should be stronger than the genus-section origination correlation because genus extinction can match the timing of rapid environmental shifts that result in section truncation, whereas genus origination may not be capable of responding instantly to the macroevolutionary opportunities afforded by basin expansion.  This possibility is sensitive to choice of timescale, but it is supported by analyses that find less empirical support for pulsed genus origination [i.e., punctuated equilibria] than for pulsed genus extinction at the same level of temporal resolution in the Phanerozoic.The remainder of Peters’ discussion delved into the meaning of these correlations for theories of environmental forcing of macroevolution and timing of mass extinctions.  He favored gradualism over saltation for origination of species, and discounted the need for major catastrophes to explain extinction rates.  He defended the challenging concept that “much of the macroevolutionary history of marine animals is driven by processes related to the formation and destruction of sedimentary basins.”  If some evolutionists believe that extinctions and explosions of biological diversity can be forced by a meteorite impact, for instance, why not consider the possibility that macroevolutionary change can also be forced by slower geological changes?  Thus, “it would seem prudent to revisit some of the classic unifying hypotheses that are grounded in the effects of continually operating processes and to reevaluate seriously the extent to which unusual or episodic events are required to explain the macroevolutionary history of marine animals.”    In conclusion, he admitted that more work will need to be done to rule out taxonomic biases.  These “remain a potential obfuscator of macroevolutionary patterns in all global taxonomic databases,” he says; though he has shown some correlation, he is not trying to push his point too far.  “Further quantifying the relationships between the large-scale temporal and spatial structure of the geologic record and the distribution of fossil occurrences within this structure will be important,” he ended, “in overcoming persistent sampling biases and in testing the extent to which common-cause mechanisms have dominated the macroevolutionary history of marine animals.”1Shanan E. Peters, “Geological constraints on the macroevolutionary history of marine animals, “ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, August 30, 2005, vol. 102, no. 35, 12326-12331, published online before print August 16, 2005, 10.1073/pnas.0502616102.This lengthy entry is exhibited here to show how evolutionists can fool themselves into thinking the observations support Charlie’s tall tale.  In the first place, he used evolutionary assumptions to calibrate evolutionary assumptions: the “common timescale” of both databases is the geologic column, a theoretical arrangement of global sediments built on the assumption of evolution and millions of years.  This is reminiscent of the joke about the church bell ringer who set his watch by the clock tower on the parliament building, only to find out that the clock tower maintenance man set his clock by the church bell.  Second, the correlations are only marginally significant.  His charts show severe outliers.  Sometimes the anomalous data points have an important story to tell.  Third, his use of gap-bound rock sections only concentrates on the beginning and ending of continuously-deposited sediments.  In the old Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat, the first and last pages of the book, showing the children contentedly at ease in a clean living room, belies all the chaos and commotion that occurred in the middle.  Last, Peters trusted in the “if you build it, they will come” theory of evolution.  He didn’t explain how new genera of marine organisms would “emerge” when the sea level rose or fell; he just assumed that whenever organisms are given a safe haven, presto!  macroevolution happens.  In short, the evolutionary story rigged, controlled, operated and guaranteed the outcome of the entire analysis.  Evolution is a self-fulfilling prophecy.    For a side dish, consider what EurekAlert recently reported: most scientific papers are wrong.  Whether from financial interest, prejudice, unseen biases, conflict of interest, peer pressure or the desire to prove relationships that don’t exist (false positives), “There is increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims.”  Iain Murray, writing for Competitive Enterprise Institute, reflected on what this means – much authoritative-sounding science talk is inconclusive and, frankly, politically or selfishly motivated.  The paper by Peters, reviewed here, fits the description.  For all its graphs and jargon, it is trying to prove something that isn’t necessarily true, built on a bias for a certain brand of Darwinian evolution.    Even if there were a correlation between sediment counts and genus counts, could there be a non-evolutionary explanation?  Naturally.  In a flood scenario, for instance, more genera are likely to be buried in sediments corresponding to the volume of the material.  The first appearance of a genus would either represent the chance placement in the layers or a mechanical artifact of the burial process, such as liquefaction or hydrodynamic sorting.  Extinction would occur, but not origination by evolution.  No great time periods need transpire.  Since Peters’ radar screen was not tuned to this possibility, he missed it.(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Today’s Science Hates Faith

first_imgThere are individual scientists who believe in God, but their institutions ridicule any and all forms of “faith.”Don’t take our word for it. Here is how leading journals and scientific representatives characterize any view that does not emanate from the halls of Big Science.The reaction was predictable. Nature allowed Kathryn Pritchard, a member of the Archbishops’ Council for the Church of England, to express her view that “Religion and science can have a true dialogue.” It didn’t matter to readers that the dialogue is all one-way, as she describes it (i.e., scientists inform believers how and what to think). When letters to the editor came in, sparks flew. “With the rise of religious fundamentalism worldwide and the expansion of education in ‘faith’ schools, I consider that promoting the idea that religion and science have some kind of equivalence risks making societies more divisive and backward-looking,” one wrote, with other commenters chiming in. “Religion fulfills a basic human need, and so has evolved and survived through the ages despite all the progress science has made in explaining the world.” Too bad believers don’t understand how Charles Darwin rendered their religion an artifact of natural selection.Big Science can appear tolerant in one sense. As long as a formerly religious person shows a bona-fide conversion to Darwinism, then a few lingering feelings of nostalgia can be overlooked. Current Biology interviewed paleo-entomologist Michael Engel, who grew up in a religious home. Asked about his views on the “faith vs science debate” (note the wording), Engel replied,As the son of a minister, I’ve met people on diverse fronts in the discussion of faith and reason. This ‘debate’ has been paramount, and brought Kansas to the national stage, albeit not necessarily for flattering reasons. Politicians and fundamentalists on each extreme stir discord, each with their own ulterior agenda, and from this foment there appears a stark dichotomy and a war for the minds and souls of those residing between the poles. … Faith is not science, and so should not be covered in such curricula, just as the experimental method should not form the basis for theological inquiry. Both should be taught within their own context, and approached openly by those of either persuasion. Science is a communal effort which organizes and grows knowledge through evidentiary observation, testable explanations, and rational predictions. Scientific conclusions should not be rooted in faith. Faith is personal and while precepts may be shared, it remains fiercely individual and need not rely upon an impartial adjudication of evidence….His view is like the NOMA position advocated by the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould: each view has its own place. Faith is OK for making you feel good in times of crisis, but don’t pretend it has anything to say about the real world. Materialists can tolerate that. Just admit that faith is a product of evolution.What really makes Big Science erupt with indignation is any request for a seat at the table of knowledge by a “religious” person who doubts Darwin. That is intolerable. And to really fan the flames, let that person suggest that schools should be free to question the adequacy of Darwinian evolution. Evolution News & Views shares one recent reaction when Darwinist Michael Zimmerman suspected (incorrectly) that the Bearded Buddha might be questioned in Texas science standards. “The creationists are back in Texas attacking high quality science education,” he says, and off he goes on his tirade against the bogeymen.A favorite tactic against “religion” is the Yoda complex. The materialist imagines himself on a higher plane of consciousness, looking down on the “people of faith,” using quasi-scientific theories to explain how the peons evolved their backward religious beliefs. In Science, Carter T. Butts portrays “those who reject evolutionary theory” as stuck in some kind of evolutionary backwater, tossed to and fro by conflicting thoughts between the facts they know from science and the faith in their religion. He uses mathematical models to explain their cognitive dissonance. Another, more subtle example was published in PLoS One, titled, “Collective Dynamics of Belief Evolution under Cognitive Coherence and Social Conformity.” The authors portray beliefs as things that evolve like any other natural phenomenon: e.g., “Each individual is endowed with a network of interacting beliefs that evolves through interaction with other individuals in a social network.” One can only wonder if they ever considered their own beliefs in this paper as reducible to such network interactions.In some circles, Big Science is softening its stance on religion. Pritchard’s article in Nature is one example. Materialists don’t want to position themselves as bigots. This is seen in PhysOrg‘s report about a study that found “Most British scientists … feel Richard Dawkins’ work misrepresents science.” It’s not that they feel Dawkins is wrong. They just don’t care for his combative style: insulting and deriding religious people on his crusade to promote atheism. That’s not politically expedient. You can hate religion; just don’t look hateful. “The best science communication does not begin with insults and arrogance,” says David Johnson, co-author of the study. “It encourages curiosity, open-mindedness and appreciation for” –what? religion? faith? philosophy? No; appreciation for “science.”And that’s the point. Science must dominate. Be nice to religious people, but don’t listen to them. Don’t take their views seriously. Communication is good, as along as it is one-way, from scientist to person of “faith.” Encourage religious people to convert to Darwinism. Maybe, with carrots instead of sticks, they will mend their ways.By now, regular readers know how to respond. They know it’s a false dichotomy to characterize individuals as “scientists” vs. “people of faith.” Everyone is a person of faith! Don’t let the atheists define the debate in those terms. Atheists have lots of faith – in fact, much more faith than average churchgoers. Not only do they have faith in their perceptions and powers of reason, they have faith that the universe is comprehensible. They have faith in induction (a questionable premise, philosophically). They have faith that the laws of logic are reliable. They have faith in folk psychology. They have faith that they can communicate with other members of Homo sapiens who will understand them, and whose responses indicate they have minds similar to their own.Atheists have so much faith, in fact, that it is tantamount to belief in magic. They believe that universes and living things can just pop into existence, showing exquisite fine-tuning, without mind or plan. Contrary to all reason and mathematical probability, they believe that atoms organized themselves into proteins, DNA and cells. And talk about cognitive dissonance: they deny anything beyond matter and energy, yet rely on immaterial realities of consciousness, intentionality, and reason. They have no reason to believe in reason if they are materialists. They depend on moral values like honesty that cannot be reduced to atoms and forces. They are supernaturalists in spite of themselves!So please, don’t let atheistic materialists set the table their way. They stole the table and the silverware from creationists. If they had to set their own table, they would be sitting on dirt, or hanging in the air. Everyone belongs to “people of faith,” but some believe in absurd, self-refuting faiths, like materialism. We need to reason with such people. Help lead them from absurd faith to reasonable faith. Like Tim Standish says at the end of Illustra’s new film Origin, “There is nothing magical about living things. I’m a scientist. I don’t really believe in magic. I believe in mechanisms and causes that are sufficient to achieve the phenomena that I observe.  Intelligence is sufficient. Intelligence is necessary. Therefore, intelligence is the conclusion that I come to.”(Visited 81 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

US firm buys SA ATM company

first_img19 August 2009US-based electronic payment processing services company First Data is to acquire CashAxcess, which offers a range of ATM products and services to the South African corporate and retail market, from local investment groups Mvelaphanda and Venfin for an undisclosed sum.CashAxcess, which has operated in South Africa since 2005, provides outsourced ATM services to leading banks in the region, including Absa, Capitec and Mercantile.It also provides ATM delivery and installation, signage, wireless GPRS communication, cash management and replenishment services, ATM monitoring, equipment insurance, sales and marketing and training services, and has 200 ATMs currently deployed across the country.ATM outsourcingAccording to First Data director Estevao Tokata, ATM outsourcing is a growth area within the South African payments market, as banks look to drive more cost efficiencies through their operations.“Increasingly, banks are concentrating on building and providing core banking services to their customers while working with specialist partners such as First Data to enhance the breadth of payment solutions offered to customers,” Tokata said in a statement this week.First Data operates a global ATM business, with networks in the United States, Asia Pacific and across Europe, and also offers ATM outsourcing and deployment solutions for banks and retailers in more than 17 countries around the globe.It has operated in South Africa since 1993, offering a full range of payment services to leading banks and retailers.“We are delighted to welcome the CashAxcess team into the First Data family,” said First Data international emerging markets vice-president George Zafirakis.“The combination of their considerable ATM expertise and knowledge of the local business environment, coupled with First Data’s scale and global experience, will ensure we can deliver an enhanced service to clients in South Africa.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Southern Africa’s greenest dairy

first_imgThe greenest dairy in the southernhemisphere is due to open in October2011 in the Eastern Cape province.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library)The advanced OneStep technology meansmore efficient use of resources, and lowerenergy consumption.(Image: Coega Dairy)MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Marlize SmitCoega Dairy marketing director+27 83 703 3727RELATED ARTICLES• Woolworths tests green refrigeration• Nestlé expands operations in SA• Saving SA’s abalone• SA firms turn to green pest control• VW builds R500m ‘green’ press shopWilma den HartighA newly established local dairy company has taken the lead in milk processing, and boasts the smallest carbon footprint of any dairy in the southern hemisphere.The idea to establish a dairy with green credentials came about in 2010, when a group of Eastern Cape dairy farmers decided that they wanted to create a facility that could add value to locally produced milk. The farmers wanted to maintain the high quality of their products, but also had a vision to process milk using more eco-friendly methods.The Coega Dairy initially invested R50-million (US$7.3-million) in advanced ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing equipment that makes it possible to produce UHT milk, also known as long life milk, more efficiently.Coega Dairy CEO Dr Hennie Kleynhans said that no other dairy in the region or on the continent has invested in the advanced technology, known as OneStep, and internationally, he is only aware of a dairy in Spain that is using it.According to Kleynhans, this is because the technology is new in the market and besides being very expensive to install, would require dairies to undergo a complete overhaul of existing infrastructure.However, given the cost squeeze on dairy producers in South Africa, Coega Dairy deemed the investment worthwhile.Local trade magazine DairyConnect reports that South African milk producers face tough competition from countries where milk can be produced more competitively or where farmers receive subsidies. In South Africa, producers also have to contend with increasing input costs and low producer prices.The founders of the Coega Dairy realised that the technology could help them overcome some of these challenges: it allows for more eco-friendly milk production while also performing exceptionally on cost savings.Investing in the best green technologyCoega Dairy’s marketing director Marlize Smit said that the new UHT processing plant is significantly more efficient than conventional UHT equipment used in other South African plants.The Coega plant makes use of OneStep technology, which reduces the need for various steps during production. This means that milk can be processed faster, using fewer resources, at a lower cost.Energy and water consumption is considerably reduced, while the end products, which also include butter and custards, still maintain their high quality and have enhanced taste profiles.“The new plant is one of the most modern UHT plants, and one of the top green dairy plants in the world,” Smit said.The processing unit uses half as much energy, water and chemicals and generates 50% less effluent, of which 65% is recycled. The technology cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 40%, which results in a lower carbon footprint compared to world average values.According to Kleynhans, ordinary dairy plants use three litres of water to produce one litre of milk. In comparison, the OneStep technology makes it possible to use only 300ml of water per litre of milk. He noted that some dairies can use less water using traditional technology, but this is difficult as it requires extreme efficiency.Greening the dairy industryThe dairy industry struggles with eco-friendly operations. Production plants require daily cleaning, and this uses large quantities of water and chemicals. Cleaning chemicals are expensive and once used, are released in the effluent, which could harm the environment.“Many dairies do treat their water, but this is still not efficient,” said Kleynhans.Unlike traditional dairy plants, the OneStep technology design only requires cleaning every 60 hours, using fewer chemicals. This means less water and fewer chemicals, but an increase in production time, as less downtime has to be scheduled for cleaning.Establishing a green dairy and sourcing milk from farmers using eco-friendly farming methods is a step in the right direction for the local dairy industry. For the consumer, it also shows that farmers and the rest of the value chain know how important it is to produce food and beverages more sustainably.The switch to green technology anticipates changing consumer demands.“Eastern Cape dairy farmers are being pro-active. Consumers expect green products these days. It isn’t an option anymore,” said Smit.The farmers are also working towards greening the entire value chain, from the farm to the consumer.Smit said that the Coega Dairy will source milk predominantly from pasture fed cows raised in the province’s unpolluted surroundings.Coega Dairy products will be packaged in paper cartons, of which the majority can be reclaimed and recycled to make new paper products. The milk will also not be transported over long distances, which reduces the logistics and transport carbon emissions.Representative ownershipAt the moment 13 commercial milk farmers own the Coega Dairy, but next year the ownership structure of the company will change to ensure a benefit for all participants in the value chain.By 2012, dairy farm workers, black farmers and farm managers and factory workers will own 40% of the company’s shares.Additionally, said Kleynhans, the dairy will have a further positive economic impact on the Eastern Cape by creating 350 direct and 750 indirect jobs.Towards the end of 2011 when the plant becomes operational, milk will be sourced from black owned and managed dairy farms, many of which are highly successful.“These farmers milk over 25 000 litres of milk daily,” said Kleynhans. “Some also own close to 2 000 cows and on a properly managed farm, farmers can milk 15 to 20 litres of milk per cow per day.”Ownership of the company will be expanded further to include joint ventures with Amadlelo, a black empowerment agri-business concern, with the purpose of training black farm managers through shared milk production.Construction underwayThe Coega Dairy is currently under construction at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. It will be fully operational in October this year.Kleynhans said that with the infrastructure available, the road network and a reliable source of power at the Coega IDZ, it was the most suitable site for the new dairy.Extensive environmental impact assessments and relocation of vegetation, animals and insects were also undertaken before construction started.“Vegetation, animals, insects and even spiders, snakes and rats were relocated to a nearby site,” he said.Next year the Coega Dairy plans to install a second plant at the site. This will be valued at R192-million ($28.6-million) and will include value-adding equipment.last_img read more

ZP official alleges threat by minister, opts to retire

first_imgThe Additional CEO of Akola Zila Parishad has opted for voluntary retirement citing “threats and pressure” from the Minister of State for Home Ranjeet Patil, who is also the guardian minister of the district.“On February 12, the guardian minister had organised a ‘Janata Darbar’ in Akola. During this programme, the guardian minister spoke to me in unparliamentary and abusive language publicly. He also pressurised me to accept some tenders. I told him that accepting tenders, without following proper procedure, will be illegal but he got angry on me,” Subhash Pawar has said in his letter to Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Water Resources Department of Maharashtra government.Mr. Pawar has also alleged in his letter that the minister also threatened him during the programme.“The guardian minister threatened that he would see how to implicate me in some scandals since he is the minister of state for home. He also asked me as to why do I work as a government servant. I never experienced such treatment from anyone during my 25 years long service. My tenure as a government servant is spotless. This entire episode has increased my mental stress which is why I don’t intend to continue in the service anymore,” Mr. Pawar has said in his letter seeking voluntary retirement. Mr. Patil did not respond to calls from The Hindu.last_img read more

In UP, power supply still a dream for 1.3 crore households

first_img In the absence of power supply, most residents of Barinpurwa have solar panels, ranging from 20 to 100 watts, installed on their rooftops or in the open. Ranjeeta has a 40-watt solar panel, which cost her ₹4,500, installed on her roof. “I bought it 10 months ago. It serves basic needs but during foggy days and during the rains we have to live in darkness,” she said.While the Centre recently claimed that it had electrified the last inhabited village in the country, 3.13 crore households in India still live without electricity. The highest number of such households are in Uttar Pradesh, 1.33 crore.Only 56% households are electrified in the state, as per the Centre’s Saubhagya scheme portal. Only Jharkhand fares worse than UP, at 48%.The figure for Barabanki, where Barinpurwa is located, is below average, at 51%, but slightly better than districts like Jalaun, Jhansi and Lalitpur, all in Bundelkhand, which have only 25, 27 and 26% of households electrified even today.Last September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Saubhagya scheme to provide “last mile connectivity and service connections to all remaining households in both rural and urban areas to achieve universal household electrification” by December 31, 2018. The task in UP is clearly uphill. According to the state government, from October 2017 to March 2018, it gave out 15.88 lakh power connections under the scheme, out of which 8.77 lakh were handed out to poor families. Oil lamp is the popular source of light in Barinpurwa. | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt The market of Tiwaripur majra in Kolahda village where residents have installed solar panel in open area.  According to Saubhagya portal, 4.21 lakh households were electrified in UP in January, 5.41 lakh in February, 1.50 lakh in March and 2.45 lakh in April. Last year, the state also claimed to provide electricity to 61,000 majras and targets another 62 lakh in 2018.However, residents of Tiwaripur majra in Kolahda village are still without power. Shailendri Tiwari’s house is one of them. Electric wires pass through right outside her house, but the family still does not have a power connection.The poles supply power to the next hamlet as hers is still being surveyed by officials. “When the power department people came to install these poles, I asked them to connect it to my house, but they demanded ₹35,000 for the cables and transformer. Now, if I had that much money, wouldn’t I purchase a big solar roof?” asked Shailendri.Her family depends on tiny emergency lights, which are charged through a 20-watt solar panel. She does not use lamps as she is no longer entitled for kerosene. The lack of electric supply poses great challenges to her four daughters, all of whom are in school. The family has been regularly writing to the electricity department requesting electrification of their majra. On February 5, the department finally wrote back saying that the majra was still being surveyed under the ‘Power for All’ scheme, which was launched jointly by the Centre and state last April, and that the households would be electrified by December 2018.Executive engineer of the UP Power Corporation (Madhyanchal), Bhaskar, said the households still left to be electrified were being surveyed and on April 12 the work in his area had been deputed to Bajaj Electricals.“They are carrying out the door-to-door survey, finding out which village has households left behind. They will also do the electrification bit, be it fitting poles or putting up transformers,” said Bhaskar.UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma said he was confident of achieving the target of total electrification of the remaining households in the state by December as the infrastructure for Saubhagya scheme was ready on the ground.When the BJP came to power in UP, he said, the state had 1.87 crore un-electrified households, but in one year the BJP government gave out connections to 36 lakh people.“If you compare, the track record of the last 15 years comes to 6.5 lakh connections per year. While in one year, we have given out 36 lakh connections. You can estimate the speed at which we are working,” he said. Barinpurwa is a Dalit majra — majra being a hamlet — with a population of 250-300, within the Manodharpur gram sabha of Barabanki district. While the gram sabha is technically electrified, the residents of Barinpurva still have to rely on kerosene lamps to beat the darkness. Many of them have installed solar panels for basic power supply. The village is located barely 50 km from the capital of Uttar Pradesh.Durgesh Bari’s house, located at the entry to the majra, does not have a fan or a TV set as he has no power supply. There is not a single electric pole or transformer in the majra. While the kitchen is kept out of darkness by kerosene lamps, a 20-watt solar panel helps charge mobile phones and tiny emergency lights so that the children can study in the evening. And when that fails, the family relies on a shop at the village square to charge phones at a nominal fee though a generator.“Last year some people came with electric poles and dug pits too. The women were so excited they helped them dig. But before they could plant them in our majra, they took the poles back and installed them in the neighbouring majra, saying they had come here due to a clerical mistake,” said Durgesh, pointing to the dug-out patches outside his house. That was the closest the Dalit family, which farms 1.5 bigha land for survival, came to having a power connection.Sudha, Durgesh’s mother, said the going gets tough during peak summer when the heat makes life difficult under the tin roof without a fan. “When it gets unbearable, I run to the trees for shade,” she says.Moreover, the family has to utilise the kerosene frugally as the household only gets 2 litres per month in ration, added Sudha.last_img read more

Sports Illustrated, Headlines Today give away sports awards

first_imgThe world’s premier sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, and news channel Headlines Today, gave away sports awards in Bangalore on Thursday. Among the fourteen awards that were given away, Ramakant Achrekar, the coach of Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli, got the Lifetime Achievement Award. Somdev Devvarman bagged the Athlete of the Year Award. Besides his stellar performances in the Commonwealth Games and the Asiad, his consistent climb up the ATP charts definitely makes 2010 his year of reckoning.  The Sportskid of the Year Award went to Wasim Jaffer’s nephew Arman Jaffer, who scored 498 in 490 balls in the Giles Shield in December last year.  The Asiad Gold winning 4×400 meter relay quartet bagged the award for the Best Sporting Moment of the Year. Karnataka’s Ashwini Akunji received the award on behalf of her teammates. While Indian cricket coach Gary Kirsten got the Coach of the Year Award, Indian Test Team bagged the Team of the Year award, a fitting tribute to the team, which had climbed to the top of ICC Test ratings and stayed there despite all odds. The Sportsperson of the Year Award went to master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.last_img read more