Dear Editor,I noted in an article a few days ago, concerning the value of the refurbished convention centre to the tourism sector. In the same publication I also observed that visitors’ arrivals this year was almost 285,000. Coincidentally, an acquaintance of mine and many persons verily accuse President Jagdeo of not doing anything for Guyana. Today’s tourism’s performance is all due to the vision of, and the foundation laid by, President Jagdeo.The market segments identified for tourists were – visiting family and friends, nature, sport, conferences, heritage and yachtingAt the time of building the convention centre, 85 per cent of the market for conference tourism was for conferences of 500 delegates or less. The (Caribbean Community) Caricom Secretariat’s location in Guyana was another factor. Another consideration was accommodation.When I was given the tourism portfolio in June 2001, President Jagdeo tasked that a sector-leading hotel brand be delivered to the tourism sector. With only the Le Meridien (Pegasus), there was need for additional accommodation of international standards. That was the genesis of the Marriott. The Marriott Hotel was never built to shut down anybody, but to complement the existing stock of rooms. The first visit by the Marriott team was in May 1-4, 2006. Exactly three years later, Pegasus was sold to the current owners. Buddy’s coincidentally, started for World Cup 2007. Today, two internationally recognised brands (Marriott and Ramada) are here. The fruits of vision and action two decades earlier.The improvements at the Convention Centre are upgrades which, yes, will make us access the conference market better and is complemented with sufficient rooms.Back to the issue of reaping the fruits today after sowing seeds yesterday. The Guyana National Stadium has added immensely to the sport tourism, with Guyana so far being a host of three cricket world cups and constant inclusion in the CPL games. Vision and action laying that solid foundation.Recognising that modern infrastructure is also a necessity, the Jagdeo Administration embarked on the biggest local Public Private Partnership by making the Ogle Airport available to local operators and facilitating some CAPEX funding. Complimenting is the Timehri Airport expansion project. This, along with the marketing programmes of Government and the tourism stakeholders were recognised by the World Travel and Tourism which assessed Guyana most favourably on its tourism development indices.The foundation was strong, the journey is long, and credit must be given to the vision and action of the Jagdeo AdministrationYours Sincerely,Manzoor Nadir
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I recently found myself inescapably trapped in a traffic jam in Indianapolis. It wasn’t cars and trucks, but a sea of blue jackets that prevented me from moving. I was in a hurry to meet with some folks for an interview and was being temporarily delayed without any hope of moving. The reason: the National Anthem.I was riding up the escalator just outside of the arena prior to the start of a session. All of the televisions in the hallway featured a lone corduroy-clad FFA member singing a beautiful, respectful version of the National Anthem then switched to a picture of the flag. The escalator was packed with FFA members trying to get to their seats for the start of the Session and everyone (to a person) stopped in the places they were standing with their hand over their heart, respectfully watching the flag on the multiple televisions in the vicinity. The problem, of course, was that the disrespectful escalator kept relentlessly hauling the students to the next floor where they began to pile up all around me in a mass of patriotic FFA members. By the time the song was done, quite a crowd had amassed and there were FFA members falling all over each other, but almost no words broke the respectful silence.At the other sessions, I was amazed every time more than 50,000 teenagers and their advisors in one arena stood in complete silence between the pauses in the national anthem. It happened over and over again. I’d purposefully listen during the pause after “banner ye-et wa-ave.” Every time. Silence. Amazing.Then, after “home of the brave” thunderous applause and cheers of USA, USA, USA erupted from every corner of the formerly quiet arena. Also amazing.As always it was a real pleasure to see so many talented, hard working FFA members from around Ohio get recognized at the highest levels of competition. For example, Chrysta Beck of Pettisville was the American Star in Agriscience winner. She has worked extensively with poultry for her project.“It is pretty amazing. It is a lot of work and it feels good to be here,” Beck said. “My project ranged from general broiler production factors to in-egg injection of probiotics as an antibiotic alternative, so it was a wide range of the poultry industry to say the least. In my production factors I looked at different temperature ranges and I found the ideal temperature range to use in my facilities. I also found that probiotics may be a viable option for the poultry industry as we move forward to antibiotic free programs.”Beck is at Mississippi State University finishing up her undergrad degree with plans to eventually go to vet school and start a career in avian medicine and research. Beck’s passion for poultry and dedication to her work have served her well, but it hasn’t always been easy.“Don’t be afraid to try and go for it. If it is a passion of yours, look into it and work hard for it,” she said. “I have had many hypotheses that are not supported by the data I have collected. It is good to not get discouraged by that. The work will always go on.”It was not just Ohio’s students that were recognized. This state is also home to many talented advisors. Stephanie Jolliff, the FFA advisor for the Ridgemont Chapter was recognized for her years of student success as an Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher.“I have been blessed to have a career in ag education. For those looking into this profession, it is one of the greatest professions you can choose because you have the opportunity to mold and impact young people and really focus on how we provide transferrable skills. I have been at Ridgemont for 12 years and have been teaching for 21 years. I have a passion for ag education. I am working on my PhD right now with an interest in continuing to pursue the growth of agricultural education so we can continue to feed and clothe our growing population,” Jolliff said. “Every young person has amazing God given talents that I think it is our job to find and polish. Many times kids walk into our classrooms and don’t understand those hidden treasures they have within their heart. I think the beauty of ag teachers across the country is being able to connect with kids one on one, understand what their talents are, and then hone in on those through agricultural education and truly bolster the next leaders of our country.”She pointed out that the always-evolving FFA provides the framework for teachers to help student success.“Kids come out of FFA with a strong passion for work and change and a desire for things to be improved. That is what ag teachers do and why people teach ag,” Jolliff said. “At the heart of this is the structure of the FFA. The rigor, the content and the curriculum have continued to grow. If we look in the fields of agriculture and how a tractor has changed, that is really how ag education has transformed. We are producing good students but the technology and the tools have changed.”Even Ohio FFA alumni were showcased at the event. Honorary American Degrees were presented to Leah Amstutz of Columbus, Karen Cooley of Williamsfield and Andrew Muntz of Columbus. Mark Schweitzer, VP of investor relations for ADM and Liberty Benton FFA alum, was onstage at the National Convention in his role as the 2017 Chair for the National FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board.“We had $25.8 million generated in the last year. It was raised by the Sponsors’ Board made up of companies all across North America and individual donors. It will go into scholarships, education, leadership programs, and some of it will filter back into the state organizations. Giving back to the students is the real goal,” Schweitzer said. “For me agriculture is a career. It is a passion. If you walk out of here and this is not contagious to you, you’d better look in the mirror because something is wrong. If the future is in their capable hands, I’m comfortable. These students are motivated.“All of us may compete in some sectors of the business in the agricultural value chain, but we have common goal of creating a talent pipeline for the future. Everybody throws their hat in the ring and works hard to be able to raise those dollars to go back into these programs. Industry is stoked about what they can do with this organization.”In my experience of attending many years of the National FFA Convention, Schweitzer is right. It is impossible to not feel better about our state, our nation and our future during a visit to the event, even if you have to endure an occasional traffic jam.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The 82nd Ohio Ag Net Podcast, brought to you by AgriGold.Ty Higgins chats with Chillicothe farmer Brian Brown about his fast-growing YouTube channel where he shares with farmers and consumers alike the unfiltered view of agricultural life.Joel Penhorwood hears from another social media sensation, Jim Metzger who has reached a couple million views with the video of he and his brother hooking their pulling tractor “Alcoholic Harvester” up to the grain wagon and helping out with harvest.Matt Reese joins the conversation with Christmas tree farm antics and more in this Ohio Ag Net podcast.
She had hinted retirement after her stint here, but quickly said “never say never” at the post-game interview.Her fellow reinforcement, Khat Bell, said: “No, she’s not retiring. We’re coming back next year.”Bell added 16 points in winning her second straight title for the Blaze Spikers.But the imports got a lot help from local middle blocker Remy Palma, who dished out 14 points, including timely hits in the fourth set.“We are very happy with the outcome, this is all the fruit of our hard work,” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos in Filipino. “We had a great chemistry in the team and everyone wanted to win the title.”ADVERTISEMENT Labog’s double chess golds highlight NCR’s dominance Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Petron finally wrapped up the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title that has had its name on it all conference long.Encountering a stubborn stand by F2 Logistics, Petron scored a 26-24, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19 victory Saturday night at Filoil Flying V Centre for its sixth conference title, the most by any team in the six-year-old league.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue LATEST STORIES Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Petron looked on its way to a three-set win until F2, buoyed by an equally explosive pair of imports, clawed back to take the topsy-turvy third frame.Maria Jose Perez scored 27 points, while Lindsay Stalzer had 18 for the Cargo Movers.PLDT wound up third, while Cignal was fourth place.Meanwhile, the league will welcome a ninth member in Marinerang Pilipina when the All-Filipino Conference opens.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Blaze Spikers didn’t only successfully defend their title, they also highlighted it by winning 19 of the 20 matches they played overall, losing only in Game 1 of the title series to the Cargo Movers.Petron won 17 straight games to get to the title series, drawing parallelism to the franchise’s 2015 team that won the All-Filipino Cup via a 14-game sweep.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I can’t even believe it. This feels surreal,” said Petron import Stephanie Niemer, who dropped 31 points for her first PSL title.“I mean, we dropped the first game and in the second we gave it our all. Now in game 3 we gave it even more,” added Niemer. View comments
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport An elite performance DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew View comments Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “These are games that now have significance as far as one team’s going one direction, and one going the other, possibly,” Nurse said.No doubt. Milwaukee starters Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon are all headed for free agency, although the Bucks can match offers for Brogdon. Nikola Mirotic is also a free agent this summer.The Raptors, meanwhile, have no bigger free agent than two-way star Kawhi Leonard, who can opt out of the final year of his deal. An NBA Finals berth, or better, in Leonard’s debut season north of the border would certainly be a boon to Toronto team President Masai Ujiri when free agency opens on June 30.MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks need a win to prolong their hopes of reaching the finals for the first time since 1974. Then a Western Conference team, Milwaukee lost to Boston in seven games. One season later, star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left for the Lakers, and the Bucks haven’t played for a ring since.Toronto won twice in its previous Eastern Conference finals appearance, taking Games 3 and 4 at home against Cleveland in 2016. After that, LeBron James and the Cavs showed their class in Games 5 and 6, outscoring the Raptors by a combined 64 points.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard looks to pass during the second half of Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals against the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Milwaukee. The Raptors won 105-99 to take a 3-2 lead in the series. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)TORONTO — There’s no escaping the reality of what’s at stake when the Toronto Raptors host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night.The surging Raptors have won three straight, putting them on the brink of the first NBA Finals berth in team history.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Antetokounmpo played 39 minutes in Game 5. He played 45 minutes before fouling out in Toronto’s double-overtime win in Game 3, but hasn’t topped 39 in any other game this postseason. His regular-season high was 42, in an overtime loss to the Knicks on Dec. 1.TURNOVER TURNAROUNDToronto trailed 16-4 after making its fourth turnover of the game with 7:55 left in the first quarter of Game 5. The Raptors had just two more turnovers the rest of the game, one each in the second and third quarters.MORE MIDDLETON?Middleton shot 2 for 9 in Game 5, the second time this series he has taken fewer than 10 shots. MIddleton has had 11 or more attempts in Milwaukee’s other 12 postseason games. Budenholzer said he didn’t mind the low shot total in Game 5, pointing to Middleton’s 10 assists.“The ball is in his hands, he’s making great decisions, he’s doing things that are really positive and really impactful,” Budenholzer said.Middleton had one 10-assist game in the regular season, against Miami on March 22.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Cleveland swept the Raptors out of the second round in each of the past two seasons, but LeBron’s departure from the East and Leonard’s arrival in Canada have helped put Toronto in its best position ever.With his team heading home in need of one more win to set up a finals showdown with Golden State, Nurse knows the Raptors still face a daunting task in Game 6.“As hard-fought as all these have been, and believe me, they have been, I expect this one to be the hardest fought of them all,” Nurse said.Here’s what to know before Game 6:NO LIMITSNurse won’t be worrying about how much playing time his stars log on Saturday night.“It’s a whatever-it-takes game,” he said. “It’s an unlimited-minutes night.”BREATHER BENEFITS?Budenholzer, on the other hand, said he sees value in keeping Antetokounmpo’s minutes below 40.“You need to be able to produce and perform, including in the fourth quarter, so I don’t feel any different about how much we use him,” Budenholzer said. The Bucks, who finished as the NBA’s top team in the regular season and once led this series 2-0, have no more room for error after their first three-game losing streak all season.These two teams have spent months trying to stay even-keeled, treating everything as just another game. That’s starting to get a lot tougher.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It’s an elimination game,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Friday. “It’s just a fact.”Raptors coach Nick Nurse added to that, suggesting the outcome of the series could have franchise-altering implications. MOST READ
APTN National NewsReeling from a recent spike in suicides and suicide attempts, a Vancouver Island First Nation took the drastic measure of calling a local state of emergency.Usually reserved for natural disasters, the community’s leadership is hoping the declaration spurs federal and provincial government action.Within weeks of each other, four people killed themselves by hanging.Since January, First Nations health care workers have received over 50 calls for help.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith travelled there and found a community desperately searching for answers.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan withdrew from consideration to become the agency’s permanent chief and will be replaced by Army Secretary Mark Esper, President Donald Trump announced Tuesday.“Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!”The surprise withdrawal concluded a bumpy and challenging tenure for Shanahan in the Pentagon’s top job. In recent weeks the administration offered no explanation why Shanahan’s nomination paperwork had not reached the Senate, according to Politico.During Shanahan’s tenure criticism had surfaced about his lack of military experience, his deep ties to his former employer Boeing and complaints that he permitted White House intervention in his chain of command.Shanahan’s surprise withdrawal also coincided with the publication of details that emerged of alleged domestic violence incidents involving Shanahan’s son and his then-wife that the FBI investigated as part of his background check.Shanahan has served as the Pentagon’s acting secretary since January after Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis resigned from the post in late December. Shanahan has served at the Pentagon since 2017, becoming an under secretary that year.DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando ADC AUTHOR