Dr. Keith Whittington never expected to write on the topic of free speech. As Whittington introduced himself before his lecture on his new book, “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech,” on Thursday afternoon, he explained that he set aside projects more related to his specialty in constitutional interpretation to focus on an issue he could no longer ignore.“I think it’s critically important that we collectively think seriously about what it is we want universities to do and what that implies about how we ought to conduct ourselves on campuses and what we ought to tolerate and engage in on college campuses,” Whittington said.Whittington spoke as part of the Constitutional Studies’ effort to delve into American society’s conflicted attitude toward free speech and how it affects the conversations on college campuses. Whittington said that the issue of free speech is not a new one but that the American people have been grappling with its implications for as long as public opinion surveys have been used in research.“Regardless of what kind of audience you ask, whether it’s the mass public or lawyers or college students or the like, overwhelmingly Americans tend to say that they value free speech, they value the First Amendment, they value tolerance, they think all those things are very important,” he said. “But then when you start pressing them on, ‘Well, what about this particular example of speech that you find particularly repellent?’ well, then they start trying to carve out exceptions.”This dilemma, Whittington said, is part of the challenge of living in a liberal democracy, and it requires us to accept that supporting free speech means tolerating speech that is at times troubling. Whittington said this tolerance is especially important on college campuses, where the pursuit of knowledge is tantamount.“In the context of a university in particular, we’re particularly concerned with trying to press forward to better understand the world,” he said. “And pressing forward to better understand the world means leaving lots of space open for people to make mistakes, for people to ask hard questions, for people to come to uncomfortable answers in response to those hard questions. Universities lose a lot of their value if they can’t get to that anymore.”Throughout his lecture, Whittington discussed the importance of having an open environment conducive to what he called “robust intellectual inquiry,” which means issues of free speech and universities are intimately connected both for that reason and for the danger of allowing universities any power that could be used to suppress speech.“I think campus officials will do what they’ve always done, which is try to suppress speech they find particularly embarrassing and that they think might provoke public controversy and might draw unwanted news attention,” Whittington said. “That will stretch across a wide range of different conversations. That will sometimes mean silencing speakers on the right but also mean silencing speakers on the left. It will sometimes mean silencing minority speakers and sometimes it will mean silencing other kinds of speakers.”An attack on any kind of free speech, Whittington said, is an attack on all free speech; a speaker with views outside the norm can still have something to contribute to the conversation. Yet controversy for controversy’s sake, Whittington said, should never be the goal of inviting a speaker to campus.“When we’re making decisions about whom to invite to campus to speak, the goal should be neither to stack the deck with our closest allies nor to sprinkle in the most extreme provocateurs,” Whittington said. “The goal should be to make available to the campus community at large thoughtful representatives of serious ideas.”That responsibility to choose speakers wisely lies with both faculty and students since students deserve to have power over the debates in which they engage. Whittington said protest is a form of intellectual exploration and advocacy and that students have a right to protest, as long as their efforts do not destroy the free speech of others.“It’s perfectly reasonable to protest those ideas, to complain about those ideas, to have a public conversation about whether or not the given speaker has good ideas or bad ideas, whether or not it’s a good idea to invite a given speaker to campus and the like,” Whittington said. “But disruptions, disinvitations, tearing down signs, throwing out papers are all efforts to quash the communication of ideas and shut down the free exchange of ideas among students and others on the college campus rather than to advance that free exchange of ideas by advancing better ideas in their stead.”Ultimately, Whittington argued, university administration, faculty and students must allow themselves to be challenged in order to continue the debates integral to the purpose of the university.“If students are to prepare themselves to critically engage the wide range of perspectives and problems they will encounter in the world across their lifetimes, they must learn to grapple with and critically examine ideas they find difficult and offensive,” Whittington said. “ … Recognizing and respecting the principles of free speech is challenging, but there is no alternative if we are dedicated to pursue truth. And ultimately, to pursue truth is the noble and important mission of the modern American university.”Tags: Free speech, keith whittington
Intrawest and Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced a new strategic alliance that will put Sprint’s mobile devices, voice plans and air cards in the hands of Intrawest’s staff at Copper Mountain and Steamboat Resort in Colorado. The new three-year agreement also gives Sprint the exclusive rights to promote, advertise and market their wireless products and services at all of Intrawest’s mountain resorts in the United States, including Mountain Creek in New Jersey, Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont, Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia and at Intrawest’s three Colorado resorts (Copper, Steamboat and Winter Park Resort).”Effective and reliable communications are critical to the success of Intrawest’s business at our mountain resorts,” said Andy Wirth, senior vice president of sales & marketing at Intrawest. “Not only has Sprint continued to be at the cutting edge of communication technology, they’ve also been a longstanding supporter of skiing through their work with the U.S. Ski Team at many of our resorts. We’re proud of this strategic alliance and look forward to cooperatively developing more programs that benefit our guests with Sprint.”Sprint will also serve as a presenting-level sponsor and associate-level sponsor at several key events throughout the year at Copper Mountain, Steamboat and Winter Park. These event sponsorships will provide Sprint with the opportunity to educate and inform resort guests on the benefits of Sprint’s wireless products and services through on-site promotions, event signage, print collateral and an online presence on each resort’s website.”Sprint’s association with skiing and snowboarding has been a central part of our business strategy for several years and our partnership with Intrawest is further proof of that commitment,” said Steve Gaffney, Sprint’s director of sports and entertainment marketing. “Intrawest is recognized for its guest-friendly resorts and its progressive use of Sprint’s wireless technology will enable staff and guests to access information quickly, and communicate with voice, text or e-mail almost anywhere on the mountain using Sprint’s Now Network.”Skiers and snowboarders will also be able to get up-to-the-minute resort information, weather, snow conditions, traffic reports and more with Sprint’s SnowZone, a wireless application available exclusively to Sprint subscribers. SnowZone also allows subscribers to watch video highlights of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding during the season as well as the latest standings, results and team news.About IntrawestIntrawest is a leader in the development and management of experiential destination resorts. The Company has a network of resorts at North America’s most popular mountain destinations including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world. In addition, Intrawest markets and sells real estate at its resorts in North America. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and is a portfolio company owned primarily by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC. For more information, visit www.intrawest.com(link is external)About Sprint NextelSprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com(link is external).Source: Intrawest. VANCOUVER and OVERLAND PARK, KS, Oct. 20, 2009 /CNW/ —
Roanoke Boutique Hotel is a unique bed & breakfast,unlike other B&Bs in its form and function. “When I created the space, Idid not want it to feel like a Victorian B&B,” she explains. With a modern,rustic feel, it lacks the old-world Victorian décor, which typically dominatesthe B&B industry. “My house feels more like a New Orleans cottage than aNew England dollhouse, and that’s the way I like it,” Hailey smiles. RBH specifically targets outdoor enthusiaststo create a community of athletes to share knowledge and stories around thecommunal kitchen. “My vision for RBH was to host outdoorsy people, doingoutdoorsy things, and I’m so excited to see that vision come to life,” saysHailey. Rooms include breakfast served as early as 6 a.m., free parking, WiFi, and Netflix. Weekend rates typically start at $195 in peak season. Go to www.roanokeboutiquehotel.com to book or for more information. Owner/innkeeper Diane Hailey enjoys hosting outdoorenthusiasts of all types and specialties, “I have really enjoyed being part ofthe outdoor scene in Roanoke, and I’m excited to host Ironman and cyclingathletes year round.” “I’ve been an avid functional fitness and obstacle courseathlete for years, so I have some insight into what athletes are looking forwhen they travel,” says Hailey. Nutritious breakfasts, a quiet environment,comfortable beds, and safe equipment storage are always at the top of the listfor travelling athletes. Athletes from flat landscapes often take training“vacations” in the mountains to challenge themselves in elevation or train formountain events. Roanoke is among the top spots to book to get away from largermetropolitan areas and get in mileage around less traffic. Meeting the need forathletes in search of lodging is Roanoke Boutique Hotel (RBH). With itsDowntown location and gear-friendly spirit, more and more athletes are takingrefuge in this historic bed & breakfast, instead of a traditional hotel. Winning the bid for Ironman in 2020, Roanoke is making aname for itself as a sports mecca for the mid-Atlantic. Roanoke Boutique Hoteloffers healthy breakfasts with athletes in mind, respecting the training andnutritional needs of athletes.
Colombia’s Armed Forces and National Police both have an excellent reputation for being effective and efficient in fighting global terrorism and domestic crime, Ortiz said. That reputation is why security officials from other countries seek training from Colombia’s military and police forces, he explained. “Colombia has played an increasingly prominent role in police training in Central America and has also built stronger ties with countries like Mexico, Peru and Chile through the Pacific Alliance,” Ortiz said. “There is nothing strange about Colombia looking to strengthen ties with both its existing Latin American partners as well as NATO member countries.” Colombia is not the only country whose security forces are known internationally. In recent years, the Armed Forces of Argentina and Chile have also provided support to NATO troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ortiz pointed out. Access to NATO technology When finalized, the agreement could give Colombian security officials access to advanced NATO technology, such as advanced computer simulations of maritime interdictions. Colombia and NATO have no training exercises or other activities scheduled. Colombian officials and NATO representatives will discuss the best way to maximize go forward with the accord, said Alexander Vershbow, NATO deputy secretary general. “We welcome Colombia’s interest in cooperating with NATO,” said Alexander Vershbow, NATO Deputy Secretary General. “While there is no immediate plan for establishing a formal partnership between the Alliance and Colombia, we are exploring the possibility of carrying out specific activities together.” The agreement will help Colombian security forces fight global terrorism, Pinzón said. “This agreement gives us the possibility to exchange information with an organization comprising the 28 most-recognized democracies in the world,” Pinzón said. “These countries can also gain access to Colombia’s experience in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.” International cooperation Access to advanced technology Colombia a ‘global player’ Colombia will not be able to become a member state of NATO because of its geographic location, Ortiz said. Colombia is a member of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which is similar to NATO, Ortiz said. “It´s quite straightforward really. A stronger alliance with NATO offers Colombia access to (NATO’s) computer simulations advanced technological development techniques and its best practices in relation to transparency, humanitarian operations and strengthening the army,” Ortiz said. “On the other hand Colombia offers a wealth of expertise in using combined military and police tactics to root out terrorists in both remote rural enclaves and urban jungles.” In addition to computer simulations, NATO has other technology that could be helpful to Colombian security forces. For example, in September 2013, NATO tested a device which stops the vehicles of suicide bombers before they reach their targets. The device uses a high-intensity electromagnetic beam to turn off engine vehicles. Testing of the device is scheduled to be completed in 2014, according to published reports. Colombia recently took an important step toward finalizing a cooperation agreement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) involving the sharing of intelligence to fight international terrorism. On Sept. 11, 2013, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón presented a bill to Congress to approve the ratification of the cooperation agreement. That accord was informally reached on June 25, 2013, when Colombia’s Defense Ministry signed the cooperation agreement with NATO. “If we can achieve peace, the army will be in a place where it will be able to distinguish itself internationally as well. We are already doing it on many fronts,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said after the accord was signed. The cooperation agreement was signed four months after Colombian security officials attended NATO’s annual Building Integrity conference, held in February 2013 in Monterrey, California. By Dialogo October 30, 2013 Over the past decade, Colombian security forces have provided training in how to battle global terrorism to officials in Afghanistan and countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and West Africa, according to Pinzón. Colombian security forces have trained more than 15,000 soldiers and police officers from more than 40 countries in how to fight drug trafficking and extortion and how to engage in maritime interdiction and jungle combat. The Colombian Armed Forces and National Police have earned a reputation for fighting terrorism, explained Roman Ortiz, the director of Decisive Points, a Colombian national security and defense affairs company. For decades, Colombian security forces have battled the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). “Colombia is now moving fast as a global player in exporting security know-how, built up through 50 years battling drug traffickers and organized crime groups,” Ortiz said. In October 2013, Colombia hosted a global conference in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and an General Assembly meeting of Interpol, in Cartagena. The primary threats faced by NATO countries include nuclear proliferation, terrorism, cyber-attacks, organized crime, drug trafficking, and the volatility within failed states, according to Carmen Romero, NATO Deputy Spokesperson. “No country or organisation can deal with these challenges on its own and that is why NATO is working with countries around the globe that share the same values and security concerns as NATO,” said Romero. “Colombia has strong expertise in counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency operations and we look forward to developing our dialogue with Bogota in these areas,” said Romero. Increasing prominence
The tourism body has partnered with one of the most luxurious hotels on the island, Half Moon in Montego Bay, to create the virtual cooking demonstrations. Open to both agents and consumers, the chefs and bartenders of the hotel will bring the real flavours of Jamaica into participants’ homes showing them how to make a bold Jamaican flavoured dishes. Also on offer is an exploration of ‘Chocolate Tea’. – Advertisement – This webinar will be followed by a ‘Jamaica – Off the Beaten Path’ webinar on Wednesday, November 11th at 15:30, which will uncover little known attractions in Jamaica providing agents with a deeper understanding of the island and its hidden gems. To get agents in the Christmas spirit, the sales team will host a ‘Christmas in Jamaica’ webinar on November 18th at 15:30.See how Christmas in Jamaica is celebrated – from traditional meals and music – to what travellers can expect and experience if they choose to celebrate the festive season on the island.Travel agents can register to attend the webinars using the following links: Cook Something Bold Today – here Jamaica – Off the Beaten Path – here Christmas in Jamaica – here OlderKitzbühel prepares for ski season with new Covid-19 measures The novelty of this hot beverage dates back to the 1600s when Sir Hans Sloane was introduced to cocoa as a drink in Jamaica, which he then brought back to England and was later used by Messrs Cadbury who manufactured chocolate using Sloane’s recipe.The first webinar will be held at 16:00 today and will be hosted by Half Moon’s executive chef, Klaus Frauenschlaeger; Half Moon’s executive pastry chef, Jillian Lindo; and the chef of Sugar Mill Restaurant, Christopher Golding.The first 50 people to register for the webinar will be sent a Jamaica Spice Kit which will include hot sauce, fish and jerk seasoning and Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee liqueur, aimed at encouraging participants to try the recipes shown at home.- Advertisement – NewerGermany and Sweden removed from UK quarantine safe list – Advertisement – The Jamaica Tourist Board has announced its latest webinar series, ‘Cook Something Bold Today’. The events will explore the cuisine of the island and highlight its enticing gastronomic experiences.- Advertisement –
Lanotte will make district best it can beI support Patricia Lanotte for election to the Niskayuna school board and ask the district’s voters to join me in voting for Pat on May 21.As a financial analyst, Pat understands budgets inside and out. She knows that a school board must track expenditures throughout the school year to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent appropriately for the education of our students.Pat understands the need for long-range planning. The educational and mental-health issues every school district faces are ongoing and require a multi-year vision with community input. How else can any community overcome the overwhelming obstacles that schools and families grapple with daily?Pat knows the issues and articulates pertinent questions and appropriate, sensible solutions. With her experience in business, in the military and as a former Niskayuna school board member, Pat has already made positive contributions to our district. She keeps the focus on serving all students.She’s committed to providing sufficient teaching and support staffing in our schools so that no child is overlooked or under-served. As Pat says, “It is my belief that as a community, we are no stronger than our most vulnerable child.” The Constitution is not racist documentChristopher Ognibene’s May 5 letter notes that Frederick Douglass once described the Constitution as “wicked” for its supposed racism. But he ignores the fact that Douglass later took quite a different view.In a July 5, 1852, oration, Douglass said that, in the Constitution, “there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing [slavery]; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a glorious liberty document…” He continued, “Take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.”That it took our country so long to get from 1789 to emancipation is a grievous wrong, but it does not indict the Constitution itself.The letter also perpetuates a common misunderstanding about the Constitution’s three-fifths clause.The purpose of this clause, while on its face hateful, was to prevent slave-holding states from claiming slaves as full persons, which would only have increased those states’ population numbers and thus their number of seats in the House of Representatives. The three-fifths compromise was devised to reduce the representation, and thus the power, of the pro-slavery faction.Jessica Hornik EvansAlplausMore from The Daily Gazette:Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census That name is fascism.Anthony J. SantoRotterdam With your support, Patricia Lanotte will work tirelessly on behalf of the community to help make our schools the best they can be.Please vote on Tuesday, May 21, at Niskayuna High School. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.Stephanie SchechterNiskayuna Greatness achieved by correcting courseThere are many slogans being bandied around in America today. Among the emptiest is “Make America Great Again.”Were we great when women were denied suffrage? When Jim Crow laws and less blatant forms of discrimination were common across the country? When American citizens of Japanese descent were interred in concentration camps during World War II?Did it make us great when our use of Agent Orange poisoned many Vietnamese and American soldiers and the environment of southeast Asia? The same can be asked about land mines, which are still causing death and injury in that area. Are we proud that we have used torture in defiance of the Geneva Accords?Do we look with pride at our destruction of Iraq and our justifying it with claims of non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction while looking the other way at the atrocities perpetrated by our friends, the Saudis? Tully has experience to address needsHaving worked with Kim Tully on Rosendale Elementary’s PTO board and parented with her on the sidelines of t-ball games and at publishing parties in classrooms, I have come to know her as the exact person the Niskayuna school district needs on its Board of Education.Kim has worked collaboratively with members of the PTO, community organizations and athletic groups, with the sole goal of bettering the lives of Niskayuna’s children. She unwaveringly supports opportunities that enhance students’ experiences in our schools, and she’s an advocate for strong academics, reliable mental health services and enrichment for all who attend school here.Kim’s already substantial work in our community will allow her to serve with a clear understanding of where our district thrives and where it can improve, and Kim is someone willing to take on what faces Niskayuna school district in its future.I think the absolute best leaders for our schools are educators themselves. As a certified teacher and director of educational advisement at Tully Rinckey PLLC, Kim will be able to address the district’s needs, challenges and goals in a way that sees all sides of an issue — certainly a unique perspective in this year’s election.It is for these and so many more reasons that I will be voting for Kim Tully to represent all of us on Niskayuna’s Board of Education.Jessica LaFexNiskayuna Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIsrael should honor Holocaust victimsAs I write this, it is Yom HaShoah, or Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. People of all countries around the world, especially Israel, have been advocating messages of tolerance, humanity and the overall theme of “never again.” Nothing that I disagree with.But as they advocate these messages, Israel directly contradicts itself with its treatment of Palestinians. Putting aside for now the details of Israel’s illegal settlements in Palestine, in the present conflict, thousands of Palestinians (not Hamas fighters, but citizens, including children) have been killed by the Israeli government in bombings on the Gaza Strip in schools, hospitals, houses, etc. or being shot by soldiers of the IDF.So many of those not killed have been maimed, especially by IDF snipers, which according to the diagnosis of doctors in Gaza was done intentionally.And as we speak, Palestinian children as young as 12 are being held in Israeli military detention centers for small crimes like throwing stones. And some Israeli politicians have called for a genocide of the Palestinians.I wish Israel would practice what it preaches to the world on Yom HaShoah. Its treatment of Palestinian civilians is a heinous insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust 70 years ago. And the idea that criticizing Israel for these war crimes is anti-Semitic is not only absurd, but also cheapens the charge of antisemitism. As a letter written by Holocaust survivors in response to the 2014 Gaza bombings said: “Never again must mean never again for anyone.”Matt OillGlenville Does it make us great to have a president who alienates long-standing allies, praises dictators and actually said he “fell in love” with one of the most cruel and absolute dictators in history?I hope the questions are rhetorical. True greatness lies in recognizing past errors and correcting course.To pursue greatness means seeking solutions to the problems that face not only our citizens, but the world’s citizens.National wealth should be used to provide a decent education, health care and child care for all Americans.Our relations with other nations must be governed by cooperation with those who share our values and goals. Greatness is a set of goals worth striving toward and includes grappling with climate change, eliminating nuclear weapons, insuring human rights and dignity for all, and preserving as much of our natural environment as possible.It will never be achieved by pandering to wealthy elites or shouts about “walls” to keep the “others” out.These tactics have a history as ugly as their name.
SalayaAt the beginning of this year, Essar Group announced an investment worth USD 500 million in existing and new projects. The investment was assigned to Salaya Terminal, Vizag Terminal and the expansion of Hazira Terminal by another 1,100 m with mechanization.According to the port developer, the investment in its Salaya and Vizag terminal projects, both fully automated, has the potential to increase its revenues by 30 pct in the fiscal year 2018-19 on the back of third-party cargo growth.“Our recently commissioned 20-million-ton dry bulk terminal at Salaya is the first deep-draft terminal in the Saurashtra region, and has been designed to berth Capesize vessels with a vessel turnaround time of less than two days, thus offering a competitive advantage to the local industry for both exports and imports. The facility has already started catering to major industries of the region,” Agarwal said.Furthermore, the company has completed a USD 128 million expansion project at the Vizag Terminal, which almost doubled the terminal’s capacity totaling in 24 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA).The commissioning of an 8,000 TPH ship loader, resulted in cargo handling rate ranging between 70,000 to 120,000 tons per day (TPD), depending on the size of a ship, Agarwal noted.“This project has been undertaken in synchronization with operations, and the facility is already handling close to 10 million tons in a year. The performance is further expected to improve with enhanced operational parameters,” he pointed out.Presently, the overall port capacity of the group is 90 MMTPA, however, post completion of the Hazira expansion, the overall port capacity will increase to 110 MMTPA. Vizag Terminal, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh“Our state-of-the-art Hazira port terminal is strategically located within the industrial belt of Gujarat and has access to North India hinterland. As part of the capacity expansion project, cargo handling capability is being increased by additional 1,100 m waterfront in addition to existing 550 m waterfront. Of the 1,100 m waterfront, 600 m waterfront has been completed and balance works are underway along with mechanization. The facility caters to the Essar’s Hazira complex which houses steel, power and heavy engineering industry along with the other requirements of the region and trade. It has the capability to handle dry bulk, unit cargo, general cargo and liquid cargo,” he said.What is more, Essar Ports also plans to develop an LNG regasification facility in Hazira, in the west coast, and Haldia in the east coast of India.Internationally, Essar Ports has set sights on developing a coal terminal in Mozambique under a 30-year concession agreement with the Government of Mozambique inked last year.The terminal will have a nameplate capacity of 20 MMTPA and will be developed in two stages.“Mozambique has significant coal resources, mainly coking coal, which makes our project more interesting. Through this project, we aim to provide a credible end-to-end solution to the miners in Mozambique. The first phase is expected to have an investment of close to over USD 250 million over two years. The facility will be able to berth Supramax vessels and will provide the mechanized efficient operations in Beira Port. The project will entail rail reception facility, storage and loading of cargo on to the ship through mechanized means. The second phase of development will be undertaken post stabilization of Phase 1 of the project,” Agarwal said.Essar invested over USD 1.6 billion in the development of port terminal facilitiesSpeaking of Essar Ports key strategic objectives, Agarwal pointed to the completion of existing expansion projects within timelines and budget, as well as the increase in the share of third-party cargo to more than 40 pct of the total cargo handling portfolio.The terminal operator is also targeting an increase in overall cargo handling at the existing port facilities to a similar growth rate of 22 pct y-o-y as of the fiscal year 2018 and boosting profitability and return on capital employed.For the nine months ended December 31, 2017, the company registered a 16 percent cargo growth overall, compared to the same period last year.For the full year, the numbers depict a promising picture as well.“We expect that for FY 18 our traffic handling will be more than 36 million tons, registering a growth of 22 pct y-o-y with third-party traffic growing by more than 73 pct y-o-y,” he said.The fiscal year has also seen divestment of Vadinar Oil Terminal Facility (VOTL) for USD 2 billion, which has reduced the company’s cargo handling portfolio to dry bulk and general cargo.“The growth of this segment will be in line with the growth of the underlying business of steel, cement and power. With consumer demand being robust, these underlying business will have substantial growth in the coming year thereby increasing cargo volume to be handled at the port,” Agarwal continued.Essar Ports’ CEO stressed that mechanization and automation remain the key priority in its business.“Our vision of technology is that of an enabler for better customer service, low cost of operations, improved efficiencies, environmentally conscious/eco-friendly operations and better controls,” he pointed out.“Modern ports, in addition to features like the deep draft and sufficient storage space, need to have a high level of mechanization and automation to handle bigger ships to achieve economies of scale and faster turnaround of vessels.”Interview conducted by Jasmina Ovcina Mandra, Editor, World Maritime News; Image Courtesy: Essar Ports Hazira Port, IndiaVolumes at Indian cargo ports have been on a growth trajectory over the past decade, with a 5.7 pct compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in traffic recorded during the 2007-2017 period.The major ports in India handled 499.41 million tons of cargo during the period from April to December 2017, marking a growth of 3.64 pct year-on-year.The highest growth was registered by Cochin Port, followed by Paradip, Kolkata, New Mangalore and JNPT, data from India’s Ministry of Shipping shows.However, there are numerous challenges for the country’s ports moving ahead.Rajiv Agarwal, CEO & Managing Director of Essar Ports“Projects in India are prone to higher implementation risk in terms of high financing cost, commodity risk, non-flexibility in contracts, delay in securing various approvals, land acquisition issues and issues in hinterland connectivity for evacuation of cargo. This has led to a reduced interest of private sector participation in recent years,” Rajiv Agarwal, CEO & Managing Director of Essar Ports, one of the largest private port developers and operators in India, said in an interview with World Maritime News.Agarwal explained that it is necessary to equitably share risks in order to spur the growth in the port sector, boost investor confidence and private sector investment. Furthermore, it is necessary to modernize facilities and expedite the decision-making process.For this to become a reality it is required to ensure access to low cost and long-term funding solutions for the infrastructure sector, simplify approval process and provide flexibility to concessionaires under contracts, Agarwal added.Other issues that need to be addressed are a tax exemption for import of capital equipment for development, flexibility with the Concessioning Authority when dealing with various contracts under stress along with reservation of land for port and connectivity projects and simplifying land acquisition process, he continued.
The Batesville Bulldogs Boys Soccer Teams earned shutout wins against The Jac-Cen-Del Eagles.The Varsity score was 1-0 and The JV score was 4-0.Batesville vs JCD Varsity Soccer (9-4)The Bulldogs junior varsity boys soccer team played their fourth game of the season on Thursday evening at Jac-Cen-Del. Batesville was heading into the game looking to bounce back from their poor performance in their previous game. In the early minutes, Jac-Cen-Del applied intense pressure on the Batesville defense. The Eagles were able to split the Bulldog center backs multiple times, but Batesville goalkeeper Ian Yorn stepped up to stop the Eagles scoring chances. It took roughly 15 minutes before the Bulldogs were able to slow the Jac-Cen-Del momentum and begin controlling possession. With 16 minutes remaining in the first half, Ethan Grossman was able to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first. The Bulldogs continued to maintain possession in midfield and created another goal scoring opportunity minutes later. Garrett Wagner sent in a cross from the left side that was finished on a one time shot by Justin Puente. Thefirst half ended with the Bulldogs in front, 2-0.In the second half the Bulldogs built on the possession they established in the first half. Batesville’s midfield controlled the ball and created mutliple scoring opportunites by playing good passing combinations. Justin Puente scored his second goal of the game ten minutes.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coaches Chris Fox and Josh Meyer.
The nativity scene on the courthouse lawn has drawn scrutiny. (Image: Freedom from Religion Foundation)BROOKVILLE, Ind. – A rally in favor of a nativity scene on the Franklin County Courthouse Square is scheduled for noon on Saturday.The display has sparked controversy in recent years as the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent letters to county officials demanding the nativity scene be removed from the courthouse lawn.County Commissioners have disregarded the requests as many residents have supported its location.According to the Brookville Democrat, there will be Christmas Carols, speeches and free food.