Public urged to pay Household Charge to avoid Council funding cuts Previous articleCounty Council rejects gay marriage rights motionNext articleSearch of body of Tyrone teenager to resume in Monaghan today News Highland Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter Pinterest Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad also LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Twitter By News Highland – September 18, 2012 Google+ Google+ Facebook WhatsApp Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Facebook Fine Gael says the lack of discussion on the impact local government funding cuts may have on Donegal at this weeks meeting of the council means all Councillors recognise the importance of people paying the Household charge.It was anticipated that a debate would take place at the meeting on a report from the county manager on the impact a potential cut of 4 million euro would have on council services.After the county manager warned that cuts have already taken place, services most likely would be effected and budgets for the next five years could be reduced only Councillor Barry O’Neill spoke urging the public to pay the household charge.The official compliance rate in Donegal is 51% – if that doesn’t improve over 4 million euro will be lost from the budget.Councillor O’Neill drew this conclusion from the lack of input from other councillors:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/boneill.mp3[/podcast]Councillor Mick Quinn leads Sinn Fein on the council, he says his party never wanted this budget adopted in the first place:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/quinn.mp3[/podcast]
Prominent philosopher and academic A.C. Grayling has written to OUSU Vice-President for Women Sarah Pine defending his decision to speak at the Oxford Union following the arrest of President Ben Sullivan. Grayling’s letter is in response to the open letter written by Pine and Helena Dollimore of St. Hilda’s, which urged Sullivan to resign and speakers to cancel planned visits to the Union.Grayling’s letter stated, “I simply cannot, in all conscience, allow myself to act only on the basis of allegations and suspicions, or of conviction by the kangaroo court of opinion, or trial by press.”This statement comes after Julie Meyer, Eric Whitacre, and the Secretary General of Interpol all pulled out of scheduled speaking engagements at the Union, citing concerns about the society’s leadership after reading the open letter which argued that “Mr Sullivan should step aside while still under investigation.”Grayling wrote, “Because I am very much in sympathy with the motivations behind your call, it puts me in a difficult position! While wishing to support to the full the underlying concerns you have in view, there is the consideration that we have to take seriously that fundamental principle of the rule of law and the rights of individuals, namely, that all those accused of crimes are innocent until proved guilty.”He continued, “These words seem such a cliché, but they really are the bedrock of a system of protection of the innocent against the power of the state or mightier individuals; and when someone is found to be guilty of crimes it is most often, in our system, on the basis of sound evidence and good argument. I think it is a duty to respect these principles.“ The letter goes on to discuss what Grayling calls “trial by press”. He states, “I simply cannot, in all conscience, allow myself to act only on the basis of allegations and suspicions, or of conviction by the kangaroo court of opinion, or trial by press – the means too often employed even in our own society to condemn before the evidence and the arguments have been properly examined.” Grayling urged OUSU to reconsider their stance on the matter too, writing, “Indeed I very much wish that OUSU would be serious about this principle too – asking people to convict and punish someone before due process of law has taken its course is a bad direction to go in, and with great respect I urge you to reflect on that. You may of course know things about what lies behind the allegations in this current case, suggesting that there is real fire below the smoke – but even this would lie in the terrain of report and accusation until the matter has come to court.”He finished the letter by clarifying that his appearance at the Union “is in no way an expression of opinion either way about the current situation of the Union’s President, or of support or otherwise for the individual himself.”In response, Sarah Pine told Cherwell, “‘Helena and I acted from our personal perspectives and sense of justice. This isn’t an OUSU project. However, I am sure that my colleagues will be heartened to know that A.C. Grayling wishes them well.“In relation to his paragraphs on human rights, I think the International Police are right on this one, Secretary General Noble said earlier this week that, ‘I am the Secretary General of INTERPOL, a law professor and a former prosecutor who fiercely believes that a person is innocent until proven guilty. What should the head of a society like the Oxford Union do if he is under investigation for rape and attempted rape? In my view, he should be guided by the best interests of his organization. He should not be guided by his own interests. In this case my advice to Ben Sullivan would be either to resign or take a leave of absence.’ Noble’s a law professor and realises that innocent until proven guilty does not mean business as usual. I also believe it sends a strong message of disempowerment to women.”Professor Grayling’s talk, entitled ‘Arguing with the Gods’ went ahead without reference to either letter, the President’s arrest, or the ongoing unrest at the Union.
The Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) is offering two institutes this summer to help teachers understand the science, as well as the costs and benefits, of producing electricity using renewable energy. The goal is to give teachers the knowledge and hands-on experience they need to explore topics related to solar power and wind power with their students and have a greater understanding of current energy issues. The two 4-day institutes cost $300 each. A limited number of scholarships are available through VEEP. PVs Clean and Green is offered August 2 – 5 at the Learning Collaborative in Dummerston, VT. The focus will be on understanding how photovoltaic panels convert solar energy into electricity and how to use the VEEP PVs Activity Kit to facilitate guided explorations by students. Teachers will also gain experience using the online Renewable Energy Atlas (www.vtenergyatlas.com(link is external)) and tour the new LEED Platinum-certified photovoltaic-powered Field House at The Putney School. Speakers David Bilttersdorf of All Earth Renewables and Richard Dostis of Green Mountain Power will discuss current energy issues and developments in technology and legislation relating to renewable energy installations in Vermont. This institute is funded in part by a grant from the Blittersdorf Foundation. Wind Works is offered August 15 – 18 at Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington, VT. The focus will be on understanding how wind turbines convert wind energy into electricity and how to use the VEEP Wind Works Activity Kit to facilitate guided explorations by students. Teachers will also gain experience using the online Renewable Energy Atlas (www.vtenergyatlas.com(link is external)) and tour NRG Systems in Hinesburg, a LEED Gold-certified facility that uses wood pellets and photovoltaics for 95% of its energy needs. Speakers David Bilttersdorf of All Earth Renewables and Dorothy Schnure of Green Mountain Power will discuss current energy issues and developments in technology and legislation relating to renewable energy installations in Vermont. This institute is funded in part by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. Why is VEEP offering these institutes? According to Wendy McArdle, Managing Director of VEEP, “We see teacher training as the most efficient way of helping Vermont’s students become energy literate. VEEP will continue to do our popular 90-minute in-class energy presentations, but we can also train teachers who can then weave this topic into their curriculum throughout the year and, ideally, share their knowledge with colleagues. Topics relating to energy are in the news everyday: Vermont Yankee, the Lowell Wind Project, Smart Grid technology, Vermont’s new energy policy, and, of course, the price of gas! Teachers need to understand more about these topics and about how renewables energy options can play a role in our energy future. Our Summer Institutes are a great opportunity for teachers to explore one topic in depth while getting a general overview of many of the issues facing our state, our nation, and our world.” Both institutes, designed for teachers of students in grades 4 – 12, may be taken for professional development credit ($300) or college credit ($600). Limited scholarships are available. Registration and more information are available online at www.veep.org/2011-summer-institutes.html(link is external) About Vermont Energy Education Program:For more than 20 years, VEEP has been promoting energy literacy in schools and communities throughout Vermont. VEEP offers in-class presentations, teacher training programs, energy curricula, and assistance with school energy efficiency projects. Most of VEEP’s services are available at no charge. In 2010, VEEP reached 3,500+ students in 62 schools in all 14 counties in Vermont. VEEP is an independent program of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. For more information, visit www.veep.org(link is external)