The discovery of new deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities in the Southern Ocean and implications for biogeography

first_imgSince the first discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Galápagos Rift in 1977, numerous vent sites and endemic faunal assemblages have been found along mid-ocean ridges and back-arc basins at low to mid latitudes. These discoveries have suggested the existence of separate biogeographic provinces in the Atlantic and the North West Pacific, the existence of a province including the South West Pacific and Indian Ocean, and a separation of the North East Pacific, North East Pacific Rise, and South East Pacific Rise. The Southern Ocean is known to be a region of high deep-sea species diversity and centre of origin for the global deep-sea fauna. It has also been proposed as a gateway connecting hydrothermal vents in different oceans but is little explored because of extreme conditions. Since 2009 we have explored two segments of the East Scotia Ridge (ESR) in the Southern Ocean using a remotely operated vehicle. In each segment we located deep-sea hydrothermal vents hosting high-temperature black smokers up to 382.8°C and diffuse venting. The chemosynthetic ecosystems hosted by these vents are dominated by a new yeti crab (Kiwa n. sp.), stalked barnacles, limpets, peltospiroid gastropods, anemones, and a predatory sea star. Taxa abundant in vent ecosystems in other oceans, including polychaete worms (Siboglinidae), bathymodiolid mussels, and alvinocaridid shrimps, are absent from the ESR vents. These groups, except the Siboglinidae, possess planktotrophic larvae, rare in Antarctic marine invertebrates, suggesting that the environmental conditions of the Southern Ocean may act as a dispersal filter for vent taxa. Evidence from the distinctive fauna, the unique community structure, and multivariate analyses suggest that the Antarctic vent ecosystems represent a new vent biogeographic province. However, multivariate analyses of species present at the ESR and at other deep-sea hydrothermal vents globally indicate that vent biogeography is more complex than previously recognised.last_img read more

Uganda’s Lake Albert oil project still far from certain, despite Tullow sale

first_img Tullow Oil agreed to sell its stake in Uganda’s maiden oil development to Total for $575m (Credit: Twitter/Tullow Oil) The Lake Albert oil project in Uganda is “highly unlikely” to receive a final investment decision (FID) before the end of this year, despite last week’s agreement by Tullow Oil to sell its stake in the venture to Total.The unfolding oil market crisis, tax disputes with Ugandan authorities and local infrastructure limitations all present significant hurdles for the east African country’s first oil development to overcome, according to GlobalData’s upstream oil and gas analyst Conor Ward.Last week, a deal was struck for UK-based Tullow to offload its interest in the Lake Albert project, including the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) to French major Total for $575m, subject to shareholder approval.Ward said: “It is still expected that Uganda is unlikely to see first oil for a number of years as final FID has already seen multiple delays.“A major step has been taken toward the settlement of disputes in Uganda, however as this agreement is only ‘in principle’ it could be some time before a full agreement is reached.“With the current oil price environment and the Covid-19 outbreak, all project participants have reduced capital expenditure budgets, so it still remains highly unlikely that we see FID for these Ugandan projects this year.” Industry-wide budget cuts and FID deferrals mean Tullow Oil’s Lake Albert stake sale is unlikely to accelerate development of the maiden Uganda oil venture, says an analyst. Lake Albert oil project in Uganda has been troubled by local infrastructure issuesTullow Oil had been working in a partnership agreement with Total and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to develop the Lake Albert project, which is estimated to be able to produce up to 260,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) once fully operational from an expected total reserve of 1.7 billion barrels of oil.But infrastructure limitations in Uganda have contributed to delays in getting the country’s maiden oil venture up and running – with the logistics of developing a near-1.5mk-long oil pipeline proving particularly problematic.Ward added: “There were multiple delays to the associated multi-billion-dollar pipeline project — firstly due to disagreements with the construction route, and recently Total decided to suspend all works after termination of the farm-down agreement with Tullow.“The country’s lack of infrastructure still poses as a significant hurdle — the necessity for a new-build 1,445km pipeline requires significant investment before production can commence.“The pipeline is estimated to add around $3.5bn to the project. Total has said that it will look to drive down costs, which will be of utmost importance in the current economic climate as we estimate the break-even price to be more than $40 per barrel.”center_img Uganda sale brings welcome funds to struggling Tullow OilThe $575m sale price – $75m of which is contingent on an FID being made – represents a significant discount to the $900m figure that was touted for a previously-agreed sale to Total, but which fell through last year following a protracted tax dispute with the Ugandan government.Offloading its 33% share in the venture will alleviate some of the financial pressure on the Africa-focused oil producer, which has experienced a difficult time recently with a poor run of operational performances damaging both its balance sheet and investor confidence.Tullow’s executive chairwoman Dorothy Thompson said: “This deal is important for Tullow and forms the first step of our programme of portfolio management. It represents an excellent start towards our previously-announced target of raising in excess of $1bn to strengthen the balance sheet and secure a more conservative capital structure.”The firm’s financial struggles have been compounded by the onset of coronavirus this year, which has sent oil markets into meltdown with record-low levels of global demand and commodity prices in freefall.Oil producers across the board have made deep capital spending cuts in a bid to weather the storm, with Tullow itself revising down its spending plans for the year by more than 30% to $300m.Africa has been identified as a region likely to be heavily impacted by the financial prudence being exercised by oil companies, with many key projects dependent on a breakeven crude oil price of more than $45 per barrel – a far cry from the current value of benchmark commodity Brent crude, which is currently trading below $20 per barrel.FID deferrals are expected to be widespread across the continent, with analysts forecasting up to $10bn in capital spending being wiped out across Africa’s upstream activities this year alone.last_img read more

Federation of Independent Agents reveals its latest expansion plans

first_imgHome » News » Associations & Bodies » Federation of Independent Agents reveals its latest expansion plans previous nextAssociations & BodiesFederation of Independent Agents reveals its latest expansion plansGraham Lock says his fledgling trade buying organisation will eventually have up to 400 non-competing members when it’s at full strength.Nigel Lewis26th June 20190983 Views Trade buying organisation The Federation of Independent Agents (FIA) has told The Negotiator that it is on track to have 100 member agents by the end of this year and hopes within five years to end up with between 350 and 400.Founded by former HouseNetwork CEO Graham Lock (pictured, above) earlier this year, the organisation is taking a ‘exclusive’ approach to estate agent recruitment and only admitting those which ‘have the right mindset’ and can attain the highest quality levels.The FIA also only allows one member agent per town or area and offers them the opportunity to collaborate with other members in a non-competing way. It also bars corporates, online agents and franchised branches.“It’s all about unearthing those like-minded agents that want to share and not just keep it all to themselves,” he says.“And we’ve turned down more agents now than we’ve accepted.”He says that he is not trying to grow to ‘1,200 members’ in the same way other attempts at a new association for independent agents tried to do.“I don’t think there are that many agents who can come up the mark and be eligible to join the FIA,” says Lock.Industry divisionHe also claims that the estate agency market is ‘visibly’ dividing as agents choose to either chase a low-fee model, which he thinks is a mistake, or up their game and try to charge a higher sales fee.“We have one member who’s already increased their fee from 1% to 1.25% by taking a ‘quality’ approach,” he says.Graham Lock Federation of Independent Agents June 26, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Belvoir is latest big estate agency chain to confirm its branches are open

first_imgHome » News » COVID-19 news » Belvoir is latest big estate agency chain to confirm its branches are open previous nextAgencies & PeopleBelvoir is latest big estate agency chain to confirm its branches are openCompany’s CEO Dorian Gonsalves tells The Negotiator that many branches are operating a ‘by appointment only’ policy.Nigel Lewis20th May 202001,050 Views Belvoir has told The Negotiator that its network of 170 offices have now opened but that many are restricting public access to their premises.The franchised agency giant is one of the first of the large corporate brands to reveal publicly that its branch network is up and running again just a week after the government announced that homes moves could go ahead again and that viewings were possible.“Yes, Belvoir offices are open, with some open on an appointment only basis to ensure social distancing guidelines are observed,” says Dorian Gonsalves, CEO of Belvoir (left).“Some property management functions are still being performed by staff working from home.”The group says it has been working hard to guide its franchisees and their staff on best practice in order to reopen their branches and has held several training webinars for over 1,000 agents in recent days.“Franchising is a mutually beneficial business model, and it is in the best interests of the franchisor to ensure that franchisees survive and thrive, which is why Belvoir’s continued investment in training has been a priority,” says Gonsalves.Belvoir is one of the estate agency PLCs to have survived the carnage on the stock exchange unscathed – it’s share price is has returned to the same £1.20-£1.25 per share range it held a year ago after initially sinking to 89p during the early weeks of the pandemic.Purplebricks, on the other hand, was at between £1.10 and £1.20p a share prior Coronavirus, but then dropped to 32p a share and has remained there since.coronavirus Belvoir Dorian Gonsalves May 20, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Holcomb Leads 12 Governors in Support of Pell Grant Flexibility

first_imgGovernor Eric J. Holcomb offered the following statement after leading a letter calling on Congress to provide flexibility in the Pell grant program which would support Indiana’s Next Level Jobs initiative. Eleven governors joined Gov. Holcomb in the effort.“Indiana has never been more focused on helping people obtain the skills they need to secure good jobs that fuel our state’s growing economy. Expanding the reach of federal Pell programs will help support education for incarcerated Hoosiers, adult learners, and high school students to help them obtain a quality credential beyond a high school diploma. This will go a long way in helping Indiana meet its goal for at least 60 percent of Hoosiers to have education and training beyond high school by 2025 — a goal directly aligned to future workforce needs. These federal changes recognize that states need more flexibility to target support to their unique populations, meet current workforce needs, and prepare for a rapidly changing future workforce and economy.”The letter is addressed to U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray. Chairman Alexander recently released a bipartisan package of legislation to reform higher education that included reform of the Pell program.Read about Gov. Holcomb’s workforce development initiative, Next Level Jobs, by clicking here. The letter is attached. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more


first_imgThe incident happened just after school let out and included other smaller fights as well.A police officer, alerted to a possible fight planned for after school near Palisades Avenue, saw the students gathering near the corner as fights spilled out into oncoming traffic.The school district issued a statement on April 6 regarding the event, saying that one student had been stabbed, but had not suffered serious injury.“The incident did not occur on school property and does not appear to have originated in the school,” the release said. “The Jersey City Police Department responded quickly and is investigating the incident. School staff is working with police in their investigation and in helping ensure student safety. Police have been, and will continue to be, visible and responsive in the area and have been on special patrols each day since the fight.”School officials said Dickinson High School has been working to develop programs to help address issues in the community that periodically impact on the school and lead to incidents like the one that occurred Monday.“The school has anti-violence student groups and anti-bullying programs as well as mentoring programs that develop student leadership and provide social, emotional and academic supports. The school is currently developing a program that will help students deal with conflicts constructively and which will also provide support to the larger community. The conflicts amongst students at Dickinson are part of larger issues facing the city as a whole. The District welcomes the opportunity to work with the City Council, the Jersey City Police Department and other concerned residents to help deescalate the violence that is impacting young people across the city.”Ten percent of future tax abatements to go to schoolsMayor Steven Fulop announced Wednesday that he signed an executive order that will dedicate 10 percent of the revenue from future property tax abatements to the Jersey City public schools, with the revenue being shared through an unrestricted transfer of funds at the end of each calendar year.“For the past four years, we worked on correcting the fiscal mismanagement and structural deficit that we inherited from past administrations, and were able to deliver four consecutive years of no tax increases and three consecutive credit upgrades,” said Mayor Fulop. “With the city’s fiscal house on solid footing, we believe now is the right time set the standard that tax abated properties contribute to the Board of Education to relieve the burden on all of our city taxpayers.”“The success of Jersey City can be seen in the growth of our school population, with families staying in Jersey City and educating their children in our public schools,” added Mayor Fulop. The administration analyzed a formula from Rutgers University that estimates the number of children expected per each tax abated high rise building, while also taking into account past examples in practice.Using the high end of that projection, 25 percent of the units would send children to the school system, which is a very high estimate. Using a formula that determines the amount of each abated project’s impact on city services, and factoring in 25 percent of the units using the schools, the city rounded upwards to 10 percent for the revenue to be shared with the public schools.The executive order also includes revenue on tax abated commercial hotel properties, even though those buildings do not contribute to the school population or add to its operating costs.Christ Hospital offers Lunch & Learn Program on Lung DiseaseCarePoint Health-Christ Hospital will offer a free program about dealing with lung disease as part of its Lunch & Learn Series on Wednesday, April 12 from noon to 1 p.m. at Christ Hospital.Join health care professionals for a free healthy lunch and learn about ways to manage diseases of the heart and lungs, such as congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The program will include information about proper nutrition and medications.Those wishing to attend should register by emailing [email protected] or [email protected] by April 10.Christ Hospital is located at 176 Palisade Ave., Jersey City.JCMC 2017 leader in LGBTQ healthcare equalityFor the fourth consecutive year, Jersey City Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, has been recognized as a 2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. This designation was reported in the 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), reflecting on a decade of progress in LGBTQ healthcare.According to a media release from the hospital, “Jersey City Medical Center earned top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrate a commitment to equitable, inclusive, and compassionate care for LGBTQ patients and their families, who often face significant challenges in securing the medical care they need and deserve.“To earn this recognition, RWJUH reached a set of LGBTQ-inclusive benchmarks from the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index, an annual survey that encourages equal care for the LGBTQ community Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to patients, visitors and employees.”A total of 590 healthcare facilities participated in the HEI 2017 survey, during which the HRC Foundation also researched policies at more than 900 non-participating hospitals.“As part of its commitment to promote LGBTQ health equity and access to care,” the hospital’s statement said, “Jersey City Medical Center has created several policies and programs addressing issues facing this community.”These include adding gender confirming surgery and hormonal drug therapy to its employee benefits plan; policies to ensure that same sex spouses are entitled to the same benefits as different sex spouses; a gender transitioning policy for any employee who would like to transition their gender, and LGBTQ training during new employee orientation.The hospital offers an LGBTQ webpage and provides same sex partners/spouses with equal visitation rights and the right to be designated as a medical decision maker. In addition, patients are assigned to a hospital room and use the restroom based on their gender identity. JCMC also has LGBTQ representation on various boards throughout the hospital and has hired an LGBTQ advocate for patients and employees. The medical center is also establishing a community advisory board.HCCC nursing program graduates rank in state’s top tenThe state Board of Nursing/National Council of State Boards of Nursing posting of pass rates for nursing school graduates who have taken the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) for the first time has shown that 93.75 percent of graduates of the CarePoint Health School of Nursing at Hudson County Community College passed first time out.A statement from CarePoint said this places the program in the top 10, both for passing rates among all New Jersey Registered Nursing programs and among all New Jersey associate-degree, Registered Nursing programs.NCLEX is a standardized test that each state board uses to determine whether or not a graduate is prepared for entry-level nursing. The NCLEX covers categories of patient needs such as: safe, effective care environment; health promotion and maintenance; psychological integrity; and physiological integrity.The CarePoint/HCCC Nursing Program offers an Associate of Science degree that prepares graduates to be eligible for the state licensure examination required for registered nurses. The college has scheduled an open house on Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the College’s Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk St. Jersey City.The $25 application fee will be waived for those who apply to the college at the event.Additional information about the HCCC Open House and the RSVP is available online at Joseph’s spring luncheon will be April 23St. Joseph’s (Jersey City) Rosary Society’s annual spring luncheon will be on Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Liberty House Restaurant, 10 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City. Tickets can be purchased by calling Maryann Greiner at (201) 653-0392 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $40 for an adult and $25 for children under 12. Lunch will include a salad, entree, dessert, soda, coffee and tea.County accepts grant for injury preventionThe Board of Freeholders at its March 22 meeting authorized the county to apply for and accept a $62,000 grant, if awarded, from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety for the 2018 Hudson County Safe Communities Project, to be administered by the Jersey City Medical Center Barnabas Health.The purpose of the grant is to partner with other agencies to support the development of injury prevention programs and services leading to a reduction in injuries and deaths resulting from motor vehicle and bicycle accidents.Christ Hospital Offering Lunch & Learn Program on Lung DiseaseCarePoint Health-Christ Hospital is offering a free program about dealing with lung disease as part of its Lunch & Learn Series on Wednesday, April 12 from noon to 1 p.m. at Christ Hospital.Join health care professionals for a free healthy lunch and learn about ways to manage diseases of the heart and lungs, such as congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The program will include information about proper nutrition and medications.Those wishing to attend should register by emailing [email protected] or [email protected] by April 10.Christ Hospital is located at 176 Palisade Ave., Jersey City.CarePoint Health hospitals recognizedJersey Magazine and Castle Connolly Group recently named all of the CarePoint Health hospitals among the top ten in the state of New Jersey, according to a press release from CarePoint.“CarePoint Health is the only system in Hudson County to have all of its hospitals named among the top ten in the state,” said the release. CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center was named number two overall in the state among hospitals with fewer than 350 beds and CarePoint Health-Hoboken University Medical Center was named number six in that category. CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital was named number eight among hospitals with more than 350 beds.  ”We are extremely proud that all CarePoint Health hospitals have been awarded such prestigious honors,” said Jeff Mandler, CEO of CarePoint Health. “We take great pride in providing excellence in healthcare, and to have all of our hospitals named among the top ten in New Jersey illustrates our commitment to providing the best care in the region.”“These rankings confirm what we see every day in the hospitals—that our physicians put the needs of their patients first and are committed to high quality, coordinated care,” said CarePoint Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nizar Kifaieh. “This recognition is particularly meaningful as it comes from our peers in the physician community.”CarePoint Health hospitals were also recognized as leaders in the treatment of breast cancer (Bayonne, Christ, Hoboken), prostate cancer (Bayonne, Christ, Hoboken), congestive heart failure (Bayonne, Christ, Hoboken), strokes (Christ, Hoboken), neurological disorders (Hoboken), and hip and knee repairs (Hoboken).CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center was rated No. 1 in the state for treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and congestive heart failure.Doctors were invited, directly and through a variety of means, to participate in an online survey that ran November to December 2016. More than 3,000 doctors throughout the state were reached by email and fax, including Castle Connolly-rated top doctors and physicians who participated in the online survey for Inside Jersey’s Top Hospitals 2016 feature. Dickinson brawl leaves one stabbing victimA brawl that apparently involved dozens of students at Dickinson High School on April 6 required the Jersey City police to use pepper spray, police officials said.last_img read more

Mayor’s Update: Aquatics Center Pool to Reopen ‘Any Day’

first_imgThe pool at the Ocean City Aquatics and Fitness Center is closed during repairs of a flooded pump.The following is an update from Mayor Jay Gillian regarding the pool at the Ocean City Aquatics and Fitness Center, which closed last week after pump equipment was flooded and damaged.The original estimate for repair time was three to six weeks.At the Chamber of Commerce Business Summit on Wednesday, Community Services Director Mike Allegretto said the pool would be open by Saturday.The city-owned facility is home to the Ocean City High School varsity swimming programs, the C-Cerpants club team, the Sting Rays Special Olympics team, lap swimmers and a host of other programs. Dear Friends:I would like to update everyone on the status of the pool at the Aquatic and Fitness Center.  Last week we had an emergency issue with the filter system involving a large tank, pump and the associated piping.  The pool unfortunately had to be closed for safety reasons.We have now secured the tank, and will be making the necessary repairs to the pump and piping.  We are optimistic that if all goes well, the pool will be ready any day now.As much as I do not like to have one of our City amenities closed, the safety and health of our guests is of utmost importance to me.  I appreciate your patience and understanding, and apologize for any poor information you may have received related to the closure of the pool.  I can tell you the City team members, along with our outside contractors, are pushing to get this issue resolved as soon as possible.Warm regards,Jay A. Gillian Mayorlast_img read more

Benefit Scheduled To Aid Teudy And Halley Lukens-Martinez Family

first_imgLife took a sudden, unexpected and tragic turn for Ocean City’s Lukens-Martinez family last July when Teudy Martinez suffered a traumatic injury when he was swimming, and leaving him a quadriplegic.If the accident weren’t devastating enough it its own right, it occurred just two weeks before the birth of Teudy and wife Halley’s second child.Needless to say, treatment, rehabilitation and the everyday challenges of life have been very difficult for the young family.Green Tech Energy Services, the firm where Teudy worked as an electrician is sponsoring “Teudy’s Road to Recovery,” will be an event night of fun food and fellowship for the benefit of the family. It takes place Saturday March 25th from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Bellmawr Fire Hall, 29 Lewis Avenue, Bellmawr, Camden County.Teudy has made steady progress in his recovery but still has a long road ahead. Much additional treatment and equipment is needed.Download (PDF, 187KB)Ocean City is a town with a big heart. It is hoped the community will respond and reach out to help this fine local family at a time of need.For the standard ticket price of $35 per person, attendees will receive dinner, beer and wine and well drinks. There will also be a silent auction of goods and services, DJ and dancing.Special VIP tickets for $60 per person include a pre-party, hors d’oeuvres, and round-trip transportation to the event from the O.C. Surf CaféTickets for the event are available at the OC Surf Café, 7th St. Surf Shop, Peace of Wood, Arlene’s on Asbury, and Yianni’s Café.   It is hoped that people who cannot make the event will still consider a donation, which could be left at any of the locations where tickets are sold.last_img read more

Ocean City ‘Pleasantly Surprised’ by 2020 Beach Tag Sales

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEEach summer, tourists and residents flock to Ocean City to bask on the sunny beaches, swim in the surf and stroll the Boardwalk.But this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the official kickoff to the summer season started a bit slower. Gov. Phil Murphy had lifted the coronavirus restrictions and reopened beaches for sunbathing, but some vacationers opted to wait and see.Ocean City extended the discounted price for beach tags through June, from $25 for a seasonal tag to $20. The end of the discounted rate is typically the end of May.When people decided to head to the beach, they bought up the daily and seasonal tags. June ended up being a banner month for tag sales, Ocean City’s Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato said back in July.On Wednesday, Donato said despite the pandemic, the unofficial season-ending total for beach tag sales was $3.83 million for 2020. This compares to $4.03 million in 2019, a banner summer and one of the best since 2016, partly because of near-perfect weather.“Although we were down about $200k this year compared to 2019, we were pleasantly surprised with the results given the impacts that COVID has had on peoples’ travel plans this year and the late start that our sales got off to given the uncertainty of the opening of the beaches and Boardwalk as we entered the early part of the summer,” Donato said.The beaches continued to be a major attraction for the summer crowds.By mid-May when Murphy officially lifted restrictions to allow sunbathing on the state’s beaches, people were flocking to Ocean City, Donato said.“Once it was announced that beaches would be open and operating normally for the most part, we saw crowds representative of a normal summer,” he explained. “Going to the beach was the perfect outdoor outlet for those who were looking to enjoy some fresh air.”Beach tag revenue covers the cost of keeping the beaches clean, employing lifeguards, hiring summer police officers, and paying for the city’s share of beach replenishment projects in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.In all, Ocean City normally reaps about $4 million in beach tax revenue each year.Ocean City annually leads all New Jersey shore towns in beach tag sales because of its sheer size. The city’s 7-mile-long beachfront is much bigger than neighboring towns, allowing it to handle enormous crowds.Throughout this summer, city officials remained vigilant in their message urging visitors to adhere to the governor’s executive orders and follow safety protocols to lessen the spread of the coronavirus, including maintaining six feet of separation between strangers, wearing face coverings and using hand sanitizer.Signs posted along the Boardwalk and at beach ends reminded people to follow the safety guidelines. Messages were played over the loudspeaker on the Boardwalk about the importance of social distancing. Hand sanitizing stations were installed in the city and on the Boardwalk.The city gave out face masks to anyone who needed them at the welcome centers in town and at the Music Pier.The Boardwalk buzzes on a busy August afternoon with people either wearing face masks or social distancing. People flocked to Ocean City to get away from the pandemic fears and enjoy the outdoors, while maintaining social distancing.last_img read more

Guatemalan Minister Denies Possibility of Agreement with Gangs

first_imgBy Dialogo January 28, 2013 The Guatemalan government is open to a rapprochement with gang members that are willing to renounce to violence, although they will not seek a pact with gang leaders, Guatemalan Minister of Interior Mauricio López stated on January 24. “To consider a pact between government and gang leaders is out of the question,” the minister, who added that President Otto Pérez’ statements issued on January 23 in Davos, Switzerland were misrepresented, told the press. Pérez said that they are “looking for a different way to deal with them [gangs], and we do not reject the option of seeking a dialog in order to stop this [violence],” in Davos, where the Guatemalan head of state is participating in the World Economic Forum. However, the president discarded the model used in El Salvador, where gang leaders decreed a truce, after which the average daily rate of violent deaths was reduced from 15 to five nationwide. López clarified that Pérez’s proposal does not imply a pact with the gangs, but with the organizations that are working on rehabilitation with these groups. “If there are social groups working with gangs for their recovery or with gangs that are willing to quit these activities and are facilitating actions for others to leave that activity, the government does not disapprove of that, and it may even support talks among these groups,” he highlighted. Last year, Pérez categorically rejected imitating the Salvadoran model because he considers gangs to be criminal groups, and the government cannot approach organizations operating outside the law. It’s good to fight crime with Dialogo, and save those people who want to leave behind the evil ways of the gangs, without forgetting that they are organized structures and many times they search for the weak spot of our governments in order to try and damage the structure in a different way; that’s why the words of president Otto Perez are exact and real: the government cannot try to get close to organizations that go against the law.last_img read more