By John BurtonSuper Storm Sandy was a bipartisan storm, displacing both Republican and Democratic mayors, whose homes were damaged it the storm’s wake.Like so many of their constituents, mayors of Sea Bright, Highlands, Little Silver and Oceanport saw their homes so damaged by last October’s storm they became displaced and three of them still have not returned.Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon and his family had to rely on relatives after the storm. But “I’m one of the lucky ones,” he insisted. His home was repaired sufficiently, allowing the Mahons to return right around last year’s holidays.The others aren’t so lucky.“My home is no longer my home,” said Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, as she looks toward a year out of her residence. Over the past year, while working on the overwhelming magnitude of issues her community faces following the storm’s devastating effects on the oceanfront community, Long and her family had to address dealing with their own situation.Like so many others in the community, they’ve been at odds with their insurance providers and have had to deal with government red tape, as they attempted to access the various programs intended to assist residents.“You live by the water, you know the risk, you buy a policy,” Long said. “I get it.“But then you’re told it won’t cover your home,” she added.According to Long, her policy should have allowed for $205,000. Instead the carrier is saying she is entitled to $5,000 for her home contents and $60,000 for damages. “My cheapest repair bill is $75,000. And that’s if I cut corners,” she said.“The cruel joke is they don’t give you enough to fix,” she charged.Long is currently waiting for the final determination for the state’s Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grant program before her family can make any final determination on what they’ll do.Mayor Frank Nolan, saw not only one, but two homes structurally damaged by the storm, his family’s and his mother-in-law’s, that he has been caring for. “I just paid my 12th rent payment,” on the rental his family has been using, after having spent approximately 17 days in a housing shelter at Henry Hudson Regional High School.Everything in both homes is being replaced as well as the other work that needs to be accomplished, which he said, “puts me in the same position as most of the downtown residents,” of Highlands, where about 1,250 of the approximately 1,500 homes were damaged to some degree.“It’s frustrating for me, it’s frustrating for everybody,” dealing with contractors, insurance adjusters and red tape. Nolan said he was ready to scream recently, when the windows and doors order arrived and were the wrong ones, causing another delay.Work is moving forward on Little Silver Mayor Robert Neff’s home, slowly but surely, Neff pointed out. Like others he’s had to replace everything in the family home and repair it from the flooding. “Between my wife, my kids and volunteers, I did much better than I might otherwise,” he noted, as everyone pitched in to help clean out the structure, filling two 1-ton dumpsters, to make way for the work.“We’re pretty grateful to be where we are a year from this because of all the help we had,” he said.Neff is very close to being back, hopefully within the week, he said. “It’s been a long year but we’re getting there,” he said.Nolan said he’s about “10 percent away” from returning home.For Long and her family, things remain up in the air. And this experience has caused her and her family to rethink some basic things.“It has certainly changed my relationship with the material world,” she said.“I’m certainly content to rent for the rest of my life,” she said.
By Liz SheehanSEA BRIGHT – A plan to pay for the rebuilding of the borough’s buildings destroyed by Super Storm Sandy, including the firehouse, police department, library and beach facility, may be in jeopardy.At the May 17 Borough Council meeting, Mayor Dina Long voted three times to break the ties on the 3-3 council votes, so that three bond issue ordinances could be introduced and presented for public hearing at the June 1 council meeting.But passage of the bonds requires that not less than two-thirds of the council approve them after the June 1 public hearing. These would mean four votes of approval from the six-member council.On Tuesday, only three members of six voted to introduce the bond ordinance and public hearing. Members Jack Keeler, Peggy Bills and John Lamia Jr., voted against introducing the bill. Members Charles Rooney III, Bryan Kelly and Marc Leckstein voted for it.Lamia said Wednesday that he was meeting with the Borough Administrator JosephVerruni the next day to discuss the details of the plans for the projects the bond issue would finance. “I didn’t have enough information yesterday,” he said, since a planned session on the issue was not held.Drawings show plans for the library and the beach facility.“This is the biggest expense that Sea Bright has ever had,” Lamia said. “It’s going to affect our future.” He said that the bonds would be a heavy debt to place on a town with 1,200 residents.He said that Keeler had researched projects in other towns and found some that would be less costly than what was planned for the borough.Lamia said the council members were told that the bonds would have an effect on the interest rate on future borrowing, making the rates increase.He said the time between Tuesday’s vote and the June 1 public hearing would give him time to learn more about the proposed bonds and the project.“I am still on the fence” about supporting the bond issue, he said.Keeler and Bills could not be reached for comment on the bond issue.“I don’t know if this town will get this opportunity again,” Rooney said, referring to the funds that would come from FEMA to replace the buildings lost in Sandy.He said voting for the bonds “was the biggest vote” council members would ever make.“We need these buildings,” he said.“Why are you telling us now?” he asked of the council members who voted against the introduction of the bond issues. “Where have you been for the last two years?” he asked, while the plans were being formed for the replacement of the lost buildings. “It’s very, very upsetting,” he said.Rooney questioned what “Plan B” was for the council members who voted not to introduce the bonds.None of the council members gave a reason for their votes on the matter at the meeting.Rooney said that the town had not increased taxes since Sandy.The increase in taxes projected for the bonds is 2 cents per $100 of assessed value, according to a presentation on the bonds made by Kelly at a previous council meeting.The bond issues include an issue with a principal of $3,942,500 to be used for the construction of a Municipal Complex, for police, fire and emergency use. This facility will also be financed by “$2,750,000, expected to be received as a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” and $1,000,000 from insurance.The second bond issue would be for a principal of $1,486,750 to construct a beach facility with $1,450,000 expected to be received from FEMA and $185,000 from insurance for the construction of the building.The third bond would be for $332,500 for the construction of a community center which would also be financed by an expected $900,000 from FEMA and $150,000 from insurance.The borough is also counting on revenues from its new metered parking system and the end of the requirement to lease facilities to replace those lost as a result of Sandy to pay for the bond issues.
11 February 2013After struggling with injuries, Richard Sterne had to wait four years to add to his five previous European Tour victories, but he won his sixth in style, romping to a seven-shot victory in the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club on Sunday.Heading into the event, which is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, it was clear that Sterne’s game was on the up. The previous week he had finished runner-up to Stephen Gallagher in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Before that, he tied for seventh in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.Back in South Africa, he was on song from start to finish of the Joburg Open, winning the event with a tournament record total of 27-under-par 260.It was the largest winning margin in the history of the event and, in relation to par, Sterne’s commanding victory was the second lowest winning total in the history of the European Tour.ExemptionImportantly, the win also secured him a place in the 2014 Volvo Golf Champions, as well as a European Tour exemption until the end of 2014.His last European Tour win had been in the South African Open in December 2008. Thanks to back-to-back victories then, he reached a ranking of 29th in the world. Injuries, though, played havoc with his game in 2010 and 2011, when he competed in only 10 tournaments.“I didn’t think I was going to be out for so long, but six months became a year and then almost two,” he told the European Tour.“After all the hard work and the time out with injury, I did wonder whether I was ever going to win again. At one point the pain was so bad that I even wondered if I’d ever play golf again. But now I know I can.South African influence“The only thing that kept me going was all the other South Africans. They kept winning a lot of events and I believed that if they could do it then I could.”Sterne’s first wire-to-wire victory of his career consisted of rounds of 63, 65, 68 and 64. His remarkable performance included one eagle, 26 birdies and only one dropped shot.He previously won the Joburg Open in 2008 and follows Charl Schwartzel as a two-time winner. Schwartzel placed second this time around, ending on 20-under-par 267.The world number 16 was returning to action after a six-week break, following victories by 11 shots in the Thailand Golf Championship and by 12 shots in the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Clearly the rest hadn’t hurt his game.Pushed Sterne hardTrevor Fisher junior pushed Sterne hard through the first three rounds and shared the lead heading into the last 18 holes on 19-under-par 196 after rounds of 66, 62 and 68. Unfortunately for him, he struggled in the last round, posting a 73.He began brilliantly, with an eagle three on the first hole, but three birdies could not undo the damage done by four bogeys and a double-bogey.George Coetzee has not yet won on the European Tour, but his time is surely not that far away. He ended in a share of third with Felipe Aguilar and Ricardo Santos on 19-under 268.LEADERBOARD 260 Richard Sterne (RSA) (-27) 63, 65, 68, 64267 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) (-20) 68, 65, 68, 66268 Felipe Aguilar (Chi) (-19) 67, 66, 68, 67268 George Coetzee (RSA) (-19) 67, 64, 70, 67268 Ricardo Santos (Por) (-19) 70, 65, 69, 64269 Thomas Aiken (RSA) (-18) 67, 70, 66, 66269 Trevor Fisher jnr (RSA) (-18) 66, 62, 68, 73269 Keith Horne (RSA) (-18) 67, 66, 71, 65 Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
7 July 2015The Cape Town Nu World Festival, previously known as Cape Town World Music Festival, will bring a taste of Africa to Cape Town City Hall 17 and 18 July, Nelson Mandela International Day weekend.It is the third year of the festival, and it promises people a unique experience, which will inspire, unite and educate by representing South Africa (and beyond) in a journey of musical discovery.The theme this year is “Wild & Wise”. According to event organisers Beanstalk, this interesting juxtaposition of old and new, of the knowing and naive, will bring some exciting collaborations, pairing local music legends with fresh, up-and-coming artists.Over the two days, three stages will cater to a diverse audience. There will be a seated stage for more intimate performances, a main arena for larger acts, and a late night DJ stage playing beats from all over Africa and the world.There will also be a number of TED-style talks and a yet-to-be revealed programme of workshops led by the participating artists and a few industry leaders, as well as fringe events set to take place all over the city.The talks start on Saturday, 17 June at 2pm, and the official website will carry more details. Get a taste of what will be on offer:The festival is backed by the city of Cape Town. This time around, explains Cape Town Magazine, the online entertainment and culture hub for the Mother City, “the fiesta aims to showcase far more Afrocentric acts so audiences can expect a unique journey that covers everything from roots, electronic and traditional styles to modern, plus all the tunes in between”.The headline acts include Simphiwe Dana, rapper Riky Rick, Austrian beatmaker Dunkelbunt, as well as Congolese singer and musician Kanda Bongo Man. The line- up is:Simphiwe DanaMajoziKanda Bonga Man (DRC)Dunkelbunt (Austria)Paul WaxonRiky RickBateleurMoussa Dialla Trio (Mali/Denmark)Zuko CollectiveThris & Blackfoot PhoenixNative YoungCard on SpokesMookomba (Zimbabwe)Elemotho (Namibia)FantasmaAero ManyeloVukazithatheToby2ShoesOzlem Bulut (Turkey/Austria)Spoek VS Spoko (DJ Set)Tcheka & Derek GripperTickets are available online via Webtickets and at Cape Town Nu World Festival, as well as at some Pick n Pay branches. Events kick off at 5pm on 17 July.Watch Ricky Ross’s official Boss Zonke music video to get a taste of what is to come:The term “Nu World”, Ma’or Harris, the festival director and co-owner of events management company Beanstalk, told Mail & Guardian newspaper, was used to describe reinventing as well as “to avoid trying to put a label on new styles of music, culture and entertainment”.It was first held as the Cape Town World Music Festival in 2012, and again in 2014. This year, with a new name and brand, it is the third outing.“Our offering this year will be far more diverse and Afrocentric,” Harris told Mail & Guardian. “The calibre of music will increase, the festival layout will be more accommodating with a larger, dedicated seated stage and an outdoor electronic stage.”The other events the company runs include Balkanology, Nu World Eve parties, Jozi Craft Beer Fest and the Nu World stages at Rocking the Daisies and Oppikoppi that they curate and run.SAinfo reporter
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham boss Pochettino: Liverpool have title advantage playing at Anfieldby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino fears new stadium delays will wreck their title bid.He feels Anfield gives Liverpool the advantage as his second-place side battle for glory.Liverpool beat Newcastle 4-0 at home on Boxing Day and Poch said: “I saw the highlights, the Anfield crowd are desperate to win and are showing their support to the team.“Anfield was amazing, every game Liverpool are at Anfield is a party and that sometimes makes a difference.”Pochettino and his players are still having to play matches at Wembley as their new £850million stadium — which was supposed to open in September — is not yet finished.Pochettino said: “We cannot ask more from our fans, they are doing a fantastic job. The circumstances of this period in the club, we need to be strong and we cannot complain.“It’s not easy to get to Wembley on public transport, it’s not easy.“Our fans tried to raise the atmosphere but in a 90,000 stadium we’re limited to 51,000. We had 45,000.“That is why when I was asked before, ‘Do you want to move into our new stadium as soon as it is ready?'”I said ‘Of course, as soon as possible,’ because it’s going to be a massive boost for the team. It’s going to be a place where the fans can help the team achieve more. There is no doubt.”
Jerusalem: Israeli vote results on Friday confirmed a deadlock in the country’s general election and put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party as the second-largest, leaving him with a tough battle to extend his long tenure in office. The near-complete official results from Tuesday’s election gave ex-military chief Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White alliance the most seats, with 33 out of parliament’s 120. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud won 31 seats, but neither had an obvious path to a majority coalition. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportIn a stark admission on Thursday, Netanyahu acknowledged he was unable to form a right-wing coalition as he hoped and called on Gantz to join him in a unity government instead. Gantz responded by saying he would have to be prime minister in a unity government since Blue and White was the largest party. The standoff has even raised the possibility of yet another election — which would be the third to be held in a year following April polls that also ended inconclusively. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsIsraeli President Reuven Rivlin plans to begin consultations with all parties voted into parliament on Sunday to decide who to choose to try to form a government. Major developments were not expected before then, particularly with the Sabbath, or weekly Jewish day of rest, beginning at sundown Friday. Final results will be published on Wednesday and there could be changes before then, Israel’s election committee said. The committee said the results did not include 14 polling stations where verifications were still ongoing. Israeli media said more than 99 percent of the votes had been counted. The third-largest total was for the mainly Arab Joint List alliance, which won 13 seats. Its strong showing opened the possibility that its leader Ayman Odeh could become the country’s first Arab opposition chief if Likud and Blue and White form a unity government. A number of analysts attributed the Joint List breakthrough to anger with Netanyahu over actions and rhetoric seen as demonising the country’s Arab population helping spur turnout. Following the Joint List, the country’s two main ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, won nine and eight seats respectively. Ex-defence minister Avigdor Lieberman’s nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party also won eight seats, and he could potentially play a kingmaker role. He has called for a unity government between his party, Likud and Blue and White, excluding the ultra-Orthodox parties, which he accuses of seeking to force religious law onto the country’s secular population. On Friday, he said he had not spoken to either Netanyahu or Gantz yet and did not plan to do so until next week. He laid out his requirements for joining a coalition, including a demand for legislation to have the ultra-Orthodox perform mandatory military service like most Jewish Israelis. Lieberman’s refusal to budge on that issue caused coalition talks to fail after the April election. “We will not accept any less than that even at the cost of sitting in the opposition,” he said of his list of demands, which included other issues related to religion and state. But the main focus in the coming days will be on Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister but who is facing potential corruption charges in the weeks ahead. He was widely seen as hoping to have the new parliament grant him immunity from prosecution, but that may now be impossible even if he does manage to remain premier. “During the elections, I called for the establishment of a right-wing government,” Netanyahu said in a video message on Thursday. “But unfortunately the election results show that this is not possible.”
New Delhi: A woman journalist suffered injuries on her face and hand after she was attacked by two bike-borne robbers in broad daylight who dragged her out an auto-rickshaw snatched her phone and managed to flee.The incident occurred on Sunday near Chittaranjan Park in New Delhi when the journalist, Joymala Bagchi, who works for ANI, was travelling in an auto-rickshaw. Bagchi suffered a fracture in her jaw and got stitches on her chin. She also suffered injuries on her hand. Bagchi was profusely bleeding when the locals came to her rescue. She was later taken to a nearby hospital by Delhi Police and later shifted to AIIMS. “We have received a complaint and have registered a case against the accused persons under Section 394 – for voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery,” said Atul Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South). P3
Paris: Former French president Jacques Chirac, a centre-right career politician who served as head of state from 1995 to 2007, has died, his family told AFP on Thursday. He was 86. “President Jacques Chirac died this morning surrounded by his family, peacefully,” his son-in-law Frederic Salat-Baroux told AFP.
Vienna: Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) grappled Tuesday with the fallout from heavy losses in Sunday’s elections as its scandal-hit former leader said he was bowing out of politics. The man at the centre of scandals which have dogged the party over the summer, disgraced former vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, announced Tuesday “a total withdrawal from politics and public life” — but this may not be enough to stem the instability at the heart of the party. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportStrache, who led the FPOe for 14 years, was forced to quit all his posts in May over the so-called “Ibiza-gate” tapes, which showed him appearing to offer public contracts to a woman he believed was a Russian oligarch’s niece in return for campaign help. That affair put an end to the FPOe’s coalition with the centre-right People’s Party (OeVP) of Sebastian Kurz. In the days leading up to Sunday’s election, another scandal broke, this time involving Strache’s alleged misuse of party money. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsAll this led to a stinging rebuke from voters, who sent the FPOe plummeting to 16 percent, down almost 10 points from their 2017 results. Strache said on Tuesday that he considered his membership of the party suspended and wanted to “avoid at all costs… any splits within the FPOe”. His announcement was seen as an attempt to pre-empt an election post-mortem meeting of the FPOe’s national executive on Tuesday. New leader Norbert Hofer said after the meeting that the party was indeed suspending Strache, and added: “If the allegations of the past few days aren’t refuted, he will be expelled.” Last week prosecutors confirmed they were investigating Strache’s expenses and had questioned his former bodyguard and his former office manager “on the suspicion… of submitting fake receipts” costing the party more than 5,000 euros ( 5,500). Strache again on Tuesday vehemently protested his innocence and insisted that he had been the target of a shadowy conspiracy. The party had previously also enthusiastically echoed this idea and some voices inside the party say its main mistake in the campaign was not being aggressive enough. “Instead of closing ranks we let this attack destabilise the party,” controversial artist and FPOe member Odin Wiesinger told AFP. “We made too many useless concessions to our opponents,” he added. But since Sunday’s poll debacle, many others have had the knives out for Strache. “The problem is home-made,” the leader of the FPOe in the Tyrol region, Markus Abwerzger, told Oe1 radio. “It’s not some foreign intelligence agency or the media who have got us into this situation but we ourselves,” he said, calling on the party to stop playing the victim. Some had speculated that Strache would split off from the FPOe to form his own party.
Taipei: Five bodies have been recovered from under a collapsed bridge in Taiwan, rescuers said Wednesday, as the search continued for the last person missing after the structure smashed onto fishing boats moored underneath. Taiwan’s National Fire Agency said the deceased were fishing workers from Indonesia and the Philippines whose bodies were found in waters near two damaged boats late Tuesday and earlier Wednesday. “The search and rescue mission continues,” transport minister Lin Chia-lung told reporters, adding evidence was being collected for an investigation. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe Philippines labour ministry confirmed that two of its nationals were killed while one remained missing and five others were injured in the incident. The ministry pledged assistance to the affected workers and their families. Dramatic CCTV footage captured the moment the 140-metre (460-foot) long single-arch bridge came crashing down early on Tuesday morning in Nanfangao, on Taiwan’s east coast. In the video, a vertical cable at the centre of the bridge’s steel arch suddenly snaps. The road then collapses into the water, crashing down on three fishing boats as a petrol tanker, which nearly made it across, also plunged into the water. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsTwelve people were injured, including six Filipino and three Indonesian fishing workers, the Taiwanese driver of the petrol tanker, and two coastguard personnel. The petrol tanker burst into flames at some point after it hit the water, sending a thick plume of black smoke into the air. The local landmark was completed in 1998 and spanned a small fishing port. It was featured in a number of TV dramas and commercials. Taiwan was skirted by a typhoon on Monday night, which brought heavy rains and strong winds to parts of the east coast. But at the time of the bridge collapse, the weather was fine. Taiwan has a huge fishing industry and many of those who work on its boats are low-paid migrant workers from countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. Previous serious bridge incidents in Taiwan have mostly been related to typhoons.