GECOM chairmanship appealThe Court of Appeal on Friday granted an application to expedite the proceedings filed by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive Secretary, Zulfikar Mustapha, who is appealing the High Court ruling that upheld President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of Retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).At the first hearing on Wednesday, Mustapha’s legal team, led by Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall, had applied for the matter to be expedited given the importance of the case. As such, at Friday’s hearing, the Appeal Court panel, led by acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards, agreed with Nandlall that the matter was one of “national importance” and should be expedited.However, this was not before the court heard arguments from both parties.Attorney General Basil Williams argued that the hearing of the appeal should be postponed to after the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE), which were already set, and monies spent for preparations.However, Nandlall, a former Attorney General himself, dismissed those arguments, saying that the Local Government polls could always be rescheduled and pointing out that the Party’s paramount concern was to have the appeal determined way ahead of the 2020 General and Regional Elections so that there was sufficient time for further appeal at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) if necessary.After hearing the arguments of the two sides, Justice Cummings-Edwards set October 4 as the soonest possible date. During this time, the parties will have to file their submissions with regard to the appeal case and the acting Chancellor urged them “to observe the timelines”.The acting Chancellor in her ruling on the ‘expedite request’ said that “…a hearing of the appeal should be conducted in a relatively short space of time …This is not to say we are not mindful of other matters that are before us, but such matters of national importance have been dealt with before”.Shortly after the hearing, Nandlall told reporters that he was pleased with the court’s decision, since the matter could have been fixed at a much later date.Nandlall went on to say that he did not see any issue with the LGE being rescheduled if the court ruled in a particular way since December was initially earmarked for the Elections.On the other hand, AG Williams indicated to media operatives that he would be ready with his submissions, since they would be premised on the same arguments he proffered in court, stating that President Granger properly appointed the GECOM Chair and that Chief Justice Roxane George confirmed that appointment in her ruling last month.However, he was adamant that with November 12 already set as the date for the LGE this year, the appeal proceeding would not affect it.“We made our application on law, that is, when Mr Nandlall filed his action, an election date has not been announced. An election date is now announced and it means that the process has commenced and the courts really ought not to interfere with that process … The law tells you quite clearly, the court shouldn’t stop any election by an application made before the holding of the elections because of the volume of money and activities that would have already been spent and already undergone. It didn’t make sense; it would be more debilitating than progressing,” the AG pointed out.However, Attorney Nandlall contended that no monies were spent.After rejecting three lists of nominees submitted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, President Granger went ahead and unilaterally appointed Justice Patterson as Chairman of GECOM. This decision had been, and continues to be, the centre of contention.In fact, it was as a result of this that the PPP Executive Secretary approached the High Court to challenge the appointment. But on June 8, 2018, Chief Justice George had ruled that the Constitution of Guyana allowed for the President to unilaterally appoint someone to fill the position of GECOM Chair. As such, Mustapha earlier this month filed legal proceedings to appeal the High Court decision.
David Meiland was intrigued by something he’d read in a Breaktime post at Fine Homebuilding magazine in which a Minnesota builder discussed plans for a heat-storing layer of sand 4 ft. thick below the house slab.PEX tubing would dump heat gathered by solar collectors into the insulated layer of sand in summer, and extract it during the winter. Although sand isn’t an ideal material for this type of system, it’s cheap and easy to work with.Anyone care to comment? Meiland asks in a recent Q&A.Sand is not the best optionThis idea isn’t new, writes J Chesnut. While Chestnut has heard architects discuss it many times, and despite the FHB poster’s experiences, he finds the sand-bed approach too complicated.“There are too many variables that can’t be modeled and analyzed as a system (as far as I know),” Chesnut says, “daily weather patterns, heat storage capacity of the bed, efficiency of capturing solar heat, the rate of thermal transfer, the heating design load, heat distribution, etc.“This strikes me as a ‘shooting from the hip’ approach.” Using Sand to Store Solar Energy Energy Solutions: Storing Heat in Walls with Phase-Change Materials Q&A: Higher solar heating fractions?Energy Efficient from the Ground Up (Fine Homebuilding)Zero Energy, Infinite Appeal (Fine Homebuilding) Video: DIY ICF House With Hydronic Floor RELATED MULTIMEDIA Given the vagaries of a sand-bed design, the house would probably need a back-up heat source capable of meeting the entire design heat load, a redundant second system that only adds to construction costs.“Intriguing idea,” adds GBA advisor Martin Holladay, “but the data don’t back up the theory. In short, when winter comes around, the sand isn’t warm enough to provide useful heat.“Building an insulated sand bed costs money — and the yield on the investment is nil or very low. Storing useful amounts of heat for more than three or four days is hard.”“We did this about 25 years ago,” writes Tom of American Solartechnics. “It works good for carrying a superinsulated structure for a week or so in the winter here in Maine. Seasonal storage is not realistic, but weekly storage is. This can even out sunny and cloudy days and is a decent tool with that realistic expectation in mind.”(American Solartechnics, as it turns out, is a company based in Searsport, Maine, that specializes in heat storage tanks and heat exchangers.)Rock or water storage more effectiveMike writes that seasonal heat storage has been practiced in Europe for some time, although designers there are more likely to use super-insulated tanks filled with water, or rock.Mark Klein says he’s built a number of homes that use high-mass solar thermal system, which can provide about half the space heating load and up to 95% of domestic hot water needs.But, he adds, these systems aren’t as responsive as large-tank based systems.Instead, Klein points to a project in Canada called the Drake Landing Solar Community. Eight hundred solar thermal collectors mounted on garage roof tops capture heat in a glycol solution, which is then piped to a number of bore holes in rock. Over the summer, the rock heats up. In winter, the heat is reclaimed and used to heat the 52 homes in the community.But this is no backyard project. The 144 bore holes are more than 120 feet deep and cover an area about 114 feet in diameter.This is a “district” system, as opposed to one designed for a single home.Store your energy on the grid“Long term thermal storage has never yet panned out in practice,” writes Kevin Dickson, but what does work is banking electrical energy on the utility’s grid with the help of grid-tied photovoltaic panels and net-metering.“You want to save all that extra solar energy from the summer and use it in the winter?” he says. “Get a PV system and put it on the grid. Then pull it off the grid. The grid stores it for you, not in BTUs or even kWhs, but in Dollars. Problem solved.”Holladay agrees. Grid-tied PV solves the two major drawbacks of solar thermal storage: first, that solar thermal generates the most heat precisely when people don’t need it; and second, there’s no effective way of storing it.“Grid-connected PV systems, on the other hand, give homeowners credit for 100% of the energy produced,” he says, “so they come out ahead.” Podcast: How Heat Moves Through HousesPodcast: Solar Thermal-Types, Cost, and Investment Advice RELATED ARTICLES
Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said the BJP-backed PC claim only hinted at “illegitimate means the two parties were planning to employ in J&K to cobble together the required numbers.”“Initially, the BJP claimed an alliance of the NC, PDP and Congress was on the directions of Pakistan. It was bizarre. The BJP’s bid to project the head of a two-MLA party as new chief minister only showed the party’s desperation and illegal design to break parties here. Unfortunately, the BJP was supporting a leader who started his political career with a gun in his hand against the state of India and whose family still preaches separatism. And they call it nationalism,” said Mr. Akhtar.Undemocratic, says SozSenior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz termed the Governor’s decision “unconstitutional and undemocratic.”“Ms. Mufti should approach the court as the Governor dissolved the Assembly at the behest of the Centre,” said Mr. Soz.Earlier, in an eventful day, arch rivals, the National Conference and the PDP, decided to join hands to form a unity government, with the Congress openly offering its support.“The move was made with the sole aim of safeguarding the special status of J&K, which is under threat,” said PDP leader Altaf Bukhari.Ms. Mufti said the move was also necessitated because “the Governor’s administration randomly was amending the laws concerning the special status of the State and the BJP had started engineering defections in other parties for furtherance of its political motives.”“Governor Malik’s [earlier] decision not to dissolve the Assembly till 2020 kept the options of horse trading open. It was a serious situation,” said Congress president G.A. Mir.The sudden decision to form the government came just a day after a senior PDP leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baigh publicly supported Mr. Lone and the BJP-backed third front, triggering hectic political parleys among the three parties.“The BJP had started engineering defections in other parties for furtherance of its political motives. The three parties came together to stop horse trading too,” said Ms. Mufti.PDP’s Bukhari is emerging as a consensus candidate to lead the alliance as of now.Senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said these parties were worried because their ground was slipping in the State, as reflected in the recent elections.“This alliance is coming together on the directions of Pakistan. Meetings were happening in Dubai too. Even the Hurriyat is onboard for this,” said Mr. Gupta. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday dissolved the State Assembly, as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Conference (PC) separately staked claim to form a government after day-long political drama.“Governor Malik has passed an order in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by clause (b) of subsection (2) of Section 53 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir to dissolve the Legislative Assembly,” read a Raj Bhavan communique.Earlier, two parties, the PDP and the PC, after daylong political wrangling, wrote to the Raj Bhavan on email and WhatsApp to stake claim to form the government, as the Governor’s official fax failed to respond.Former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, in the letter, claimed that she had the support of 15 MLAs from National Conference and 12 MLAs of the Congress, in addition to her 29 MLAs, putting the total number at 56.The Assembly has 87 members and any party would require 44 MLAs’ support to form a government.On the other hand, PC chief Sajad Lone, who has two MLAs, claimed the support of 25 MLAs of the BJP and 18 more MLAs.National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah cried foul over the Governor’s decision. “The NC has been pressing for Assembly dissolution for five months now. It can’t be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba’s letter staking claim the order to dissolve the Assembly suddenly appears,” said Mr. Abdullah.Also Read J&K Assembly dissolved: as it happened
New Zealand cricketers are bearing the burnt of their disastrous tour of India as they have been issued a warning by their Players’ Association to either perform or get ready for a less pay package.Heath Mills, general manager of the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association (NZCPA), said the leading players are all on annual contracts and if they play well they will be rewarded or else they must be ready to drop down the pecking order with an associated cut in salary.”If they don’t perform during the year they will slide down the rankings and get paid less money. It’s as simple as that and it’s happened over the last few years under our system,” Mills was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald on Tuesday.The top 20 players receive a basic salary before match payments. It ranges from the No 1 ranked player getting USD 177,000 down to the bottom three players who receive USD 72,000. The numbers drop USD 6000 with each ranking spot.”To suggest they don’t get a pay cut shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the professional-sport contracting environment. It’s a volatile environment and these guys will be feeling it on a whole host of fronts,” added Mills.Mills also said that poor performance may just limit their other playing opportunities like the T20 tournaments around the world, and even the sponsors could take a dimmer view of backing an under-achieving player.However, he admitted that the players do not need to be reminded that they significantly require to raise their game that was expected of them by the nation’s cricket loving public and stakeholders.advertisement”What they all say to me is ‘we’ve let the country down.That’s what they carry every day and they need to be accountable for that and need to rectify it,” said the boss of the players’ association.”Rest assured, however badly I or other stakeholders may be feeling, for the players it’s 20 times worse. There’s no need to remind them; they know they’ve got a lot of work to do.”During their tour of India, New Zealand lost the Test series 0-1 and the five-match ODI series 0-5. Earlier, they suffered a 0-4 whitewash in the ODI series against Bangladesh as well.Mills also said it was time to find ways to help the players get back to the level “we know they can perform at”.- With PTI inputs
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has mourned the death of wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh, and said Indian wrestling has lost a guide and mentor.IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, in a condolence message, said Dara Singh raised wrestling’s profile with his impeccable demeanour, both on and off the arena, and added glamour quotient to it.”Indian wrestling in ’50s and ’60s was synonymous with Dara Singh and he gave a new dimension and direction to the sport which then it was confined only to rural India,” said Malhotra.He said Dara Singh’s rise to the fame also attracted rural youths to the sport and gave them a sense of self-belief.Dara Singh, 83, died at his residence in Mumbai early Thursday morning after a brief illness.