City Hall workers to strike today

first_img…over non-payment of NIS, PAYE, Credit Union dues…although Municipality deducts $280M from wagesCity Hall may find itself in hot water today if workers decide to follow the advice of the Guyana Labour Union (GLU) and go on strike until monies are remitted to the Credit Union, the Guyana Revenue Authority and the National Insurance Scheme.City HallAt Monday’s statutory meeting, the City’s Welfare Officer, Wesley Adams, informed Councillors that the administration met with the Labour Department; the General Secretary of the GLU, Carvil Duncan; the Deputy Town Clerk and other staff representatives on February 5, 2018, where it was decided that the municipality would be given two weeks to begin addressing the issues.“This morning (Monday) a member of staff brought a notice to my attention in which Mr Duncan sent out this notice informing members of staff because of the failure of the (City Hall’s) administration to address the issues there will be a withdrawal of the workers’ service tomorrow (today) and they are required to meet at the Union Hall,” he related.Adams noted that many of the issues that were being brought to fore were being addressed.“The administration met with NIS as it relates to deduction and remittance and also the Credit Union. However, this afternoon (Monday), I met with some members of staff and I told them clearly, while it is their prerogative to go on strike because the administration is trying its utmost best, I think they should think clearly before they go on strike,” Adams added.The Council was also informed that although monies are being deducted from the workers’ wages and salaries for NIS, Union dues and PAYE, those monies are not remitted to the agencies.According to the City Treasurer, Ron McAlmont, the municipality owes the Credit Union over $26 million; NIS $127.4 million; and the GRA, $132 million. He explained that on Friday last, the Council would have made payments of $10.3 million and $10.4 million to the NIS and Credit Union respectively.Meanwhile, Town Clerk Royston King explained that the current financial status of City Hall should be taken into account when looking at the overall picture. He, however, noted that steps are already being put in place to address the issue in a timely fashion.With all of that being said, some Councillors were at a loss as to how monies could be deducted and not paid over to the entities. Councillor, Andrea Marks, said it is a “shame” that workers are being denied their benefits when they go to NIS because of the administration’s ineptitude. Meanwhile, Councillor Bishram Kuppen, called for a written report on the issue and for it to be addressed urgently by the Finance Committee.Finance Committee Chairman, Councillor Oscar Clarke, said the issue has been engaging the attention of the Committee and noted that with the current financial position of the municipality, had it gone ahead and made those payments, then workers would have been waiting longer periods for their wages and salaries.At an Extraordinary Statutory Meeting on November 14, 2017, Clarke had suggested that the municipality consider downsizing the number of staff since salaries account for 68 per cent of the Council’s revenue. That came in light of the cash strapped municipality failing to pay its workers’ their wages and salaries on time leading to protests.The chairman had suggested the Council should begin looking to reduce its 800 staff. He noted that the current financial state will remain if the Council continues to pay 68 per cent of its revenue for staffing.For quite a while now, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has been cash-strapped, and on multiple occasions, work around the city had to be halted, since the municipality was unable to pay workers. The City’s major garbage contractors – Cevons Waste Disposal and Puran Bros Disposal Service – were forced to withdraw their services after the administration was unable to pay over $300 million owed to them. This resulted in Cevons laying off a number of its employees and Central Government stepping in to pick up the tab. (Lakhram Bhagirat)last_img read more

The Football Hall Of Fame Has A Receiver Problem

Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, joining his longtime teammates Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith in Canton. As a key contributor to the Bills’ four Super Bowl berths in the 1990s,1The lasting memory of Reed’s career for many NFL fans may be his performance in this game — eight catches, 136 yards and three touchdowns — when he helped Buffalo mount the biggest comeback in NFL history. Reed is a qualified candidate for the game’s greatest individual honor. But while he was good, he wasn’t nearly as good as several other receivers the Hall has ignored. It’s not Reed’s fault — it’s the Hall’s. Canton hasn’t figured out how to best judge the careers of modern wide receivers.Even in a sport where an individual player’s statistics are contaminated by the strengths and weaknesses of his teammates, his coaches and countless other considerations, wide receiver performance is a particularly tough nut to crack. Raw numbers rarely offer enough to help us properly distinguish between pass-catchers, especially across eras, and statisticians haven’t always agreed on how best to correct biases in the data.Take Reed’s career as an example. It’s a glossy one — at the time he retired, he ranked third all time in catches, fourth in receiving yards and sixth in touchdown receptions. But it’s also one that was entangled with the great ensemble of offensive talent, and one that was a beneficiary of the dawn of the NFL’s passing explosion. Moreover, some advanced stats show that Reed’s on-field influence wasn’t what it appeared to be — the evidence is surprisingly mixed with regard to his actual effect on team passing efficiency.In recent years, the Hall of Fame’s selection committee has reacted to its wide-receiver dilemma either by ignoring the position or by disregarding advanced stats when the committee does deign to induct those who played it. (Until Reed and Cris Carter were tapped in the last two elections, the Hall had only taken seven receivers since 2000, a number that included the controversial selection of Lynn Swann.) But Reed and Carter’s inductions signal that the WR logjam has become too much to ignore — and the tide of qualified receivers is only going to keep surging.2Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss and Torry Holt are either on the ballot or coming soon. It’s time to re-evaluate how we judge Reed and his contemporaries statistically.Wide receivers are products of their eras. When the NFL opened up the passing game in 1978, enacting new rules to make pass-blocking easier and to eliminate downfield defensive contact with receivers, league-wide passing output spiked almost instantly. As a consequence, the numbers that once automatically signified greatness quickly became devalued. For example, using a simple ratio of league passing yards per game in one season compared to another,3If the average passing yards per game in 2013 was 1.4 times as many as in 1960, I would multiply a 1960 player’s stats by 1.4 to “convert” to the equivalent in 2013. Reed’s 1,312-yard campaign in 1989 would have been the equivalent of a mere 883 yards a dozen years prior. What was, at the time, the 22nd-highest single-season yardage total ever becomes the 324th.To appreciate a receiver’s true(r) talent isn’t just about adjusting to his era, though, it’s also about adjusting to his team. The degree to which a receiver’s team throws the ball relative to the league norm has an effect on his stats. It’s a point that sounds laughably obvious, but somehow isn’t often considered when judging pass-catchers: Teams that run more plays through the air give their receivers more opportunities to put up eye-popping numbers.For Reed, this wasn’t a major factor; his Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins threw about 3.5 percent less often than other teams in the league over the course of his career, which would only be enough to take 35 yards away from a 1,000-yard season. But it does matter for someone like Calvin Johnson, whose Detroit Lions have chucked the ball downfield 12 percent more often than average in a league that already generates 10 percent more aerial yards per game than the historical norm. How we treat this adjustment can make a huge difference in how a receiver is perceived statistically.I tried to solve this issue last August by developing a metric called True Receiving Yards (TRY) with Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com. (You can download the raw career TRY data, along with some other metrics I introduce later in this piece, on GitHub.) TRY attempts to boil down a receiver’s production4Including catches, raw yardage and touchdowns. into a single (yardage-like) number that adjusts for differences in schedule lengths, league-wide passing environments and team passing volumes.We initially scaled a player’s TRY in lockstep with the frequency with which his team passed relative to the league average. That downgraded Johnson’s 2012 production by 23 percent, because, despite him breaking the all-time single-season record for receiving yards that year, Detroit also broke the all-time record for pass attempts in a season.But it wasn’t as simple as that. Teams that pass heavily tend to do so for a reason. Namely, because they have a skilled quarterback and/or receivers. And so when Chase and I looked into it further, it became apparent that a 5 percent increase in team passing frequency didn’t necessarily lead to a 5 percent increase in individual receiving output. Instead, we found that it was more like a 2.5 percent increase — for any given increase in team passing volume, a player only saw half that increase in production.Our difficulty in pinning down the real effect of something so simple underscores just how ambiguous receiving stats can be. Complicating matters, receivers — unlike players at just about any other position — are competing with their own teammates for touches during a game, in real time. That makes them more like basketball players, and we know that a guy like Carmelo Anthony, who uses a lot of his team’s possessions, appears to exert an influence that goes beyond his personal stats. Having a receiver who commands extra attention seems like an obvious benefit to a team — but it’s difficult to prove that’s true.Not that it’s stopped statisticians from trying. The most commonly cited advanced receiving statistics are generated by Football Outsiders, whose Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) metric tracks a team’s passing success on plays where a given player was targeted by the quarterback as the intended receiver. Measuring performance on a per-opportunity basis is rooted in the traditions of baseball’s sabermetrics, where discrete events can easily be identified as opportunities for specific players. But football is much more fluid than baseball, so we run into a curious phenomenon: By getting an opportunity — even an unsuccessful one — a receiver could be demonstrating a positive in-game influence, if not simply by stretching the defense and opening up opportunities for teammates.Some of this phenomenon also is rooted in Bayes’ theorem. Since coaches and quarterbacks both have strong incentives to funnel targets to their most talented receivers, the very act of being targeted for a pass is evidence of a player’s quality as an offensive threat. Because of this, looking at per-target metrics like catch rate and DVOA may miss the bigger picture of a player’s full on-field value. Those metrics aren’t taking into account how a receiver is shaping the game even when he’s not directly involved in a successful play.And then there’s the matter of adjusting for the quality of a receiver’s teammates, and quantifying how much his conventional numbers truly lead to better team outcomes. A year ago, I took a very rudimentary step in that direction by computing With Or Without You (WOWY) scores for historical receivers. Essentially, WOWY measures whether all of the quarterbacks who played with a given receiver were more efficient5According to Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt (ANY/A) versus the league average. over their collective careers6After adjusting for aging effects. with him or without him. This is, in some ways, a more pertinent question to ask about a receiver — forget individual yardage, is he associated with a more efficient passing offense? But that question isn’t perfect either: It requires using an entire team’s passing-efficiency data, which can be noisy from season to season.Regardless, most of the usual suspects come out looking good by WOWY. For instance, Randy Moss, whose statistical sway over his quarterbacks was legendary, boasts a +1.1 WOWY,7Meaning the average True Receiving Yard gained in Moss’s career came on a pass from a QB whose ANY/A was 1.1 higher with Moss than without him. which ranks second only to Rod Smith’s8Whose influence on John Elway’s numbers was also very notable. among players with 10,000 career True Receiving Yards. And Tim Brown (the long-time Oakland Raiders receiver whom the committee did not select despite better individual receiving statistics than Reed) also ranks among the top WOWY receivers ever at +0.7.Reed’s WOWY, however, comes out tied for second-worst among players with 10,000 lifetime TRY. Despite his impressive raw (and adjusted) receiving numbers, he wasn’t associated with better play from his quarterbacks when they were throwing to him. How much of this merits a serious indictment of Reed as a player isn’t completely clear, but the Hall of Fame isn’t even having that discussion using new metrics.(Brown’s resume, on the other hand, was more impressive by every standard that doesn’t involve the postseason. And while 71 percent of Reed’s career yardage came on passes from Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, Brown put up his superior numbers with an aging Rich Gannon, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff George, Jay Schroeder and Vince Evans at quarterback.)Certainly the challenge of interpreting receiving data, especially across different eras of the game’s history, presents a daunting task to those seeking to fairly analyze Hall of Fame candidates. But the solution to the Hall’s wide receiver logjam isn’t to ignore the data entirely. It’s to dream up inventive ways of answering the pertinent questions about a player’s qualifications. Advanced analytics attempt to answer fundamental questions about a player’s actual on-field influence. Last I checked, that’s what’s supposed to put a player in the Hall of Fame. read more

Digital Vendor to Offer Magazines on Kindle

first_imgRELATED VIDEO: Nxtbook’s Kindle DemoNxtbook Media, a digital magazine vendor, recently announced that its customers will have the option to publish their content on Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader. Nxtbook says it is the first digital magazine producer to offer Kindle support.The Kindle has been both praised and criticized for its text-heavy, black-and-white display. Unlike the often flashy, oversized color presentation normally associated with digital magazines, Nxtbook intends to offer the magazines in text form. Digital magazines can be accessed from the Kindle through the device’s integrated browser. (The feature is listed  on the Kindle’s “Experimental” menu, something that Nxtbook hopes Amazon will eventually change.)Nxtbook also says that Kindle support will be offered at no additional cost to customers of Nxtbook Media’s Liberty program. A number of magazine publishers have already packaged their content for the Kindle. Last month, Newsweek released a collection of election coverage as an e-book series for the Kindle. In March, the Tribune company launched a pair of Kindle-specific magazines.last_img read more

Travis Scott Announces New Album Astroworld Release Date

first_img Facebook Astroworld is Scott’s first solo project since his 2016 LP, Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight, though he has worked on many collaborations since then. Earlier this year the rapper also released the track “Watch,” featuring Kanye West and Lil Uzi Vert.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more The GRAMMY-nominated rapper’s anticipated solo project is set to land on earth Aug. 3Renée FabianGRAMMYs Jul 30, 2018 – 3:26 pm Just hours after large golden heads of Travis Scott mysteriously appeared in Los Angeles, Houston and New York, the GRAMMY-nominated rapper announced his long-anticipated solo album, Astroworld, will land on earth Aug. 3.Scott broke the news via his Twitter account, complete with a trailer for the album with the subtitle “Stargazing.” The video, which was directed by Nabil, shows Scott wandering through a dystopian-looking world rife with snow and majestic planets. It’s both a little like this world and very much out of this world as he raps, “We propelling, on top with Ellen.” Twitter Travis Scott Announces ‘Astroworld’ Release Date travis-scott-announces-new-album-astroworld-release-datecenter_img Travis Scott Announces New Album ‘Astroworld’ Release Date Email News last_img read more

Westworld will return in 2020 HBO confirms

first_img1:20 HBO’s Westworld premiered in 2016 and it’s based on the 1973 movie of the same name. The HBO show is led by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and stars Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson and Luke Hemsworth. Westworld season 2, named The Door, earned six Emmy nominations, including a win for Thandie Newton for outstanding supporting actress, and two best actor nods (for Wright and Harris).Westworld is also known for its viral ARG-style marketing for the series, including code-breaking games and Easter eggs and hidden clues in trailers, subreddits, social media and so many more places. (The marketing for season 2 even earned the series a Webby award nomination for best integrated campaign.)The second season is now out on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD, with special features exclusive to the physical release. Last season’s interactive Alexa game that lets you be a host was nominated for multiple Webby awards this year.Originally published April 15, 12:07 p.m. PT. Update, 1:47 p.m. PT: Adds HBO confirmation. TV and Movies Westworld vs. real world: Could robot theme parks be… Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: 3 Tags HBO Westworld, everyone’s favorite nightmare-inducing AI drama, will return next year, HBO has confirmed. The channel provided its original calendar of upcoming premieres to The Hollywood Reporter, which published it Monday. Westworld is definitely coming back in 2020 alongside new seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Insecure, plus the launch of Stephen King’s The Outsider.Read more: In HBO’s Westworld Awakening VR game you play a host stalked by a serial killerSeason 3 casting news is also continuing to come out about Westworld: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) will join the third season, and Lena Waithe confirmed this weekend that she will too. Comments Westworldlast_img read more

Shahid Kapoor–Mira Rajput to Vivek Oberoi–Priyanka 5 celebs who opted for an

first_imgIn an industry where people fall in love at the drop of a hat, few Bollywood celebs left it at their parents to find a perfect match for them.Shahid Kapoor – Mira Rajput: Shahid Kapoor’s love-life off-screen generated the same amount of buzz as his romances onscreen. From a well-known madly-in-love saga with Kareena Kapoor, a passionate affair with Priyanka Chopra to a hush-hush link-up with Sonakshi Sinha and Vidya Balan; Shahid has been there, done that.But at last, Shahid found his soulmate in a much younger Mira Rajput through his parents. The couple met through Radha Soami Satsang Beas of which both the families were a part of.”I wanted a solid home because my parents separated when I was quite young. I am a big supporter of arranged marriages. It’s simple, really. You start with zero expectations and once you hit it off, every day is better than the previous one and all the highs come in the course of marriage. In romantic relationships, you reach the peak of your romance before marriage. And then you are left thinking where all the love went and why everything has become so mundane. So I feel the graph in an arranged marriage is better in the long term,” Shahid had said on Koffee with Karan.Vivek Oberoi – Priyanka Alva: After a bitter break-up with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vivek Oberoi waited for a long time before finding love again in Priyanka Alva. Vivek’s parents and Priyanka’s parents knew each other and wanted the friendship to change into a relationship.Talking about Priyanka, Vivek had said, “My wife, Priyanka, was a business management graduate from London. Priyanka has been very understanding and supportive. It is very unusual for a bride to be this practical and understanding about my career. She is really a lovely girl and means a lot to me. I thank Karnataka for giving me their most beautiful daughter.”Madhuri Dixit – Shriram Nene: The Dhak Dhak girl broke a million hearts when she decided to tie-the-knot with US-based heart surgeon Shriram Nene.Talking about the first time they met, Madhuri had said, “It was very wonderful because I was very surprised to know that he didn’t know that I am an actress and I work in Hindi films. He was really not aware of all that. So, it was wonderful.”Dr Nene also spoke about Dixit and said, “We strike the right balance. She has always been grounded. I am the dreamer and adventurer. She has taught me patience and I have taught her organisation.”Neil Nitin Mukesh – Rukimini: Neil Nitin Mukesh surprised everyone when he announced his marriage with Rukmini Sahay. The couple had a grand wedding in Udaipur followed by a lavish reception in Mumbai.Talking about the wedding, Neil had said, “There’s nothing shocking about it. Sometimes we overlook things, which our parents don’t and it’s coming together of two families. And when you look into detailing, it makes more sense. It’s a strong foundation.”Nikitin Dheer – Kratika Sengar: Nikitin and Kritika’s marriage was also arranged by their families. Kratika Sengar was working on My Father GodFather with Nikitin Dheer’s father Pankaj Dheer and used to visit their home quite often.Talking about their match, Kratika said, “It is an arranged-cum-love marriage. I was shooting for Nikitin’s father Pankaj Dheer’s directorial debut film, My Father Godfather. Nikitin’s father then decided to approach my parents and that is how Nikitin and I met. I bonded really well with Pankaj’s uncle and Nikitin, and we eventually started liking each other.”last_img read more

The Israel of God Bible Study Class Church Picnic

first_imgThe Israel of God Bible Study Class Church picnic is on September 3rd. The event is opened to the public from 11 am to 6 pm. There will be free food, games, fun and fellowship. Call Darren Goodwin at 301-351-8627 or by email at good5927@verizon.net for more information.last_img