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‘Limerick at tipping point- but not beyond point of no return’

first_imgTwitter Linkedin Outgoing Chamber president optimistic that new future will dawnFORWARD thinking and some radical reform will be crucial if Limerick and the Mid-West region are to avoid being left behind economically, the outgoing president of Limerick Chamber claimed at its Annual General Meeting this week. President, Kieran MacSweeney, however, remains optimistic that a new era will dawn for Limerick but that, in addition to this reform, a master-plan is required and needs to be driven by a new single authority for the city.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “I still believe that Limerick has significant challenges to overcome. Limerick city is, regrettably, still a commercial black-spot today and is challenged economically. Some would say it is at a tipping point and we must not allow challenges we now face to tip us beyond the point of no return”.  Limerick, he warned, needs a fresh, creative and vibrant master plan to bring all this and more together.“That master plan must capture and seek to maximise our strengths, in areas such as heritage, arts and culture; in our sporting success, on and off the field; in education; in industries such as technology, agriculture/agri food and medical devices”. What was needed, he told members, was to set the target of Limerick becoming THE location of choice to live, to work and socialise in on this side of the island – a location that can become a beacon for foreign direct investment both in the city centre and in its suburbs.“To make this happen, we need the courage, foresight and conviction to put the best interests of the city ahead of the selfish protection of the status quo. This will include some radical reform, even of institutions that were real drivers in another era but that, although well-intentioned, are past their sell-by date today and not necessarily giving Limerick and the Mid-West region the competitive edge it needs and deserves in these most challenging of times”. Mr MacSweeney recommended that responsibility for the master-plan should be tasked to a single economic and enterprise development function within the new single authority and would include holding the national agencies of IDA and Enterprise Ireland accountable for specific job creation targets for Limerick city. He added that job creation and enterprise support has remained the number one priority for the Chamber over the past year as evidenced by the creation of the National Franchise Centre which has already been responsible for the creation of 15 businesses and 20 jobs. A second cohort of 23 participants are developing their business plans to launch new businesses later this year. Local Government Reform, he continued, has been a key focus for the Chamber whose decision to take the lead on this subject has been a key factor in the Government’s decision to adopt the recommendations of the Brosnan report and appoint Denis Brosnan to oversee the implementation of the new single authority for Limerick city and county. The Chamber, he emphasised, has consistently been a strong voice for rates reduction in the city, but regretted the level of reduction this year.“We were the first to look for a 25% reduction. This level of reduction is now accepted as the level necessary for the city to be competitive. We are disappointed with this year’s rate reduction for the city but we take some heart from our recent meeting with Minister Phil Hogan and his commitment to reduce the rates in line with the current county rates”.Mr MacSweeney will be succeeded as president by Gordon Kearney. Head of Development at Limerick Institute of Technology Dr Fergal Barry, is the incoming vice president. Facebook WhatsApp Emailcenter_img NewsLocal News‘Limerick at tipping point- but not beyond point of no return’By admin – February 8, 2012 664 Previous article‘That’s Limerick’ DVD showcases city and countyNext articleArts briefs admin Advertisement Printlast_img read more


ND8 holds fundraiser at Five Guys

first_imgND8, a student group fighting poverty in the Third World, hoped to lure students away from the dining halls Wednesday and over to Eddy Street to support a fundraising event held at Five Guys. Ten percent of proceeds from sales between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. benefitted Second Chance, a Toledo, Ohio based organization supporting the victims of domestic sex trafficking. Sophomore Erin Hattler, ND8 co-president, said the organization aims to combat trafficking through advocacy. “Second Chance is a social service program that provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic sex trafficking and prostitution, specializing in women and children,” Hattler said. “It focuses on raising community awareness, and trying to end exploitation through advocacy, securing resources for treatment and training for first responders.” Sophomore John Gibbons, co-president of ND8, said the group chose Second Chance because it directly addresses the challenges that trap victims in the cycle of trafficking. “Often, victims of sex trafficking are likely to go back into sex trafficking because they don’t know what else to do, and there aren’t enough resources devoted to helping them,” Gibbons said. “Second Chance provides a place where they can get away from everything, eventually brining them back to society and something of a normal life.” Bill Purcell, associate director for Catholic Social Tradition and Practice at the Center for Social Concerns, came to eat at Five Guys to support ND8’s efforts. “Our whole family came to support the work against human trafficking, which often gets hidden in today’s society,” Purcell said. “This was a great way to benefit the local community’s economy, to get something to eat and to help the universal problem of human trafficking.” Freshman Erin O’Brien confessed to having dual motives for eating dinner at Five Guys. “It’s for a good cause and a good excuse to go get great food off campus,” she said. Hesburgh Library librarian Elizabeth Van Jacob brought her daughter Jemma to Five Guys in support of the event. Jemma, a student at John Adams High School, said she was glad to see the issue being addressed. “While studying through home schooling a few years ago, I read about this issue,” Jemma Van Jacob said. “It’s good to act locally to tackle this issue.” Elizabeth Van Jacob said the gravity of the problem demands attention. “I can’t believe that this issue is still going on and that it’s going on in the United States,” Elizabeth said. “This affects a lot of adolescent girls and boys, and we are completely opposed to this sort of violence.”last_img read more


Six Medals for BiH on EC in Zurich

first_imgThe Youth karate national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina has won six medals (one gold, two silver and three bronze) at the 42th European Championship for cadets, juniors and younger seniors (U21) which took place in Zurich.The gold medal was won by the cadet Hamza Čajić in category up to 70 kg,  the silver medals were won by the cadet Faruk Sijerčić (up to 52 kg) and the junior Ajla Mahmutović (up to 53 kg).Delfina Tadić (up to 59 kg), youngest senior Ena Gljiva (up to 68 kg) and Anes Čongo (up to 75 kg) won bronze medals.At the European Championship in Zurich, 46 karate teams from the Old Continent took participation. Karate team from BiH won eight place in the rankings of countries medalists.(Source: Nezavisne.com/ photo klix)last_img


Arsenal host Man Utd in FA Cup 4th round

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | The FA Cup’s two most successful ever sides will meet in the fourth round as Arsenal host Manchester United in the last 32.Premier League champions Manchester City are at home to Burnley, while Tottenham face a tough trip to Crystal Palace.Holders Chelsea have an easier task with Sheffield Wednesday or Luton to travel to Stamford Bridge.Wolves’ reward for beating Liverpool 2-1 on Monday is a trip to either Shrewsbury or Stoke.The ties will be played between January 25th and 28th.Draw in full:Swansea v GillinghamAFC Wimbledon v West HamShrewsbury or Stoke v WolvesMillwall v EvertonBrighton v West Brom Bristol City v BoltonAccrington v Derby or SouthamptonDoncaster v OldhamChelsea v Sheffield Wednesday or LutonNewcastle or Blackburn v WatfordMiddlesbrough v NewportManchester City v BurnleyBarnet v BrentfordPortsmouth v QPRArsenal v Manchester UnitedCrystal Palace v TottenhamShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more


BracketRacket: ‘You want to skip steps but you can’t.’

first_imgConnecticut head coach Kevin Ollie cuts the netting on the rim after his team defeating Michigan State 60-54 during a regional final at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 30, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Welcome back to BracketRacket, the one-stop shopping place for all your offbeat NCAA tournament needs. In today’s edition, coach Cal keeps going back to the future, Florida beats Dayton (again!) in some kind of parallel universe, UConn wins but loses face, and tourists enjoy a rare moment of consensus in New York. Without further ado:WE DON’T REBUILD AT KENTUCKY, WE … ACTUALLY, WE DO REBUILD. EVERY YEAR.If “The John Calipari Finishing School for NBA Prospects — Sponsored by the University of Kentucky(TM)” sent out a newsletter to high-school recruits, the latest might read something like this.“This year’s class is having a slam-bang time at the NCAA tournament. We’re going to the Final Four — again! — and preparations are already underway for a reunion at this summer’s NBA draft. But enough about this year’s team, since many of them won’t be around by the time you arrive in the fall. Can’t wait to see you in Lexington!”Say what you want about coach Cal, but the man has nerves of steel. Around this time last year, the Wildcats’ season ended with a loss to Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT and worse, the cupboard was practically bare. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky’s best player went down during the season with a devastating knee injury, and was already rehabbing to go pro.So Calipari simply did what he’s always done: start over.He recruited circles around every other coach in the game, bringing in six McDonald’s All-Americans and trying to coach ’em up fast enough to deliver a happy meal by tournament time. There were chills and spills along the way, but after Kentucky held on to beat Michigan in the Midwest regional final Sunday, Calipari took a brief, but well-deserved bow.“The whole thing about building a team, especially young guys, is it’s a process and you cannot skip steps. You want to skip steps,” he said emphatically, “but you can’t.”You can building a program, though.Take nothing away from Calipari’s in-season work, but it pales in comparison to his abilities as a talent scout. In his four previous seasons at Kentucky, he’s already put 17 players in the NBA, with another handful set to join them this June. He’s the only coach to send three No. 1 overall picks to the pros, the only coach to have five players taken in the first round in the same year (2010), and the only one to squeeze six in since the league cut the draft to two rounds.And he’s showing no signs of slowing down.Plenty of Kentucky fans took a break Saturday between the Wildcats’ wins in the tournament to take in the Indiana High School Class 4A boys basketball state championship game. The kid to watch turned out to be Indianapolis Arsenal Tech’s 6-foot-10 Trey Lyles, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lock up a state title.Lyles is already committed to Kentucky, which if nothing else means coach Cal saved himself some postage.___ART IMITATING LIFE, OR MAYBE JUST THE NCAA TOURNAMENTIt’s a miracle no one thought of it before.OK, you probably did. More than once, too. Maybe you and a few pals even went down to the basement, found a Nerf ball and taped a mini-backboard to the wall. Maybe you even filmed it.But get it on air?These guys did: (via YouTube.com): http://bit.ly/1ogFgmn .They’re part of the WCJB-TV crew at an ABC affiliate in Gainesville, Florida. Barred from showing highlights of Florida’s win over Dayton — non-CBS stations can’t until the day after the game — anchor Zach Aldridge, meteorologist Mike Gismondi and two other guys from the station re-enacted the Gators’ triumph, from the pre-game locker room huddle to the postgame celebration.“I can’t air any of it without breaking the law and every other rule and regulation known to TV,” Aldridge says in the run-up to the clip. “But I want to show you the next-best thing.”You might be selling yourself short, Zach. It was actually more entertaining than the real thing.___THANKS, I NEEDED THATIn what’s threatening to become a postgame tradition, UConn’s coach and players have begun exchanging celebratory slaps. Not the usual high- or low-five variety, but slaps upside the head.Coach Kevin Ollie started it after UConn’s upset win over Iowa State, finishing up an interview on the court and then, as he walked by Terrence Samuel, delivering the chuck here (via YouTube.com): http://bit.ly/1dIQrzp . It was — pardon the expression — a hit with the team.Deciding one good turn deserved another, Ollie gathered his Huskies around him for the postgame interview after upsetting Michigan State on Sunday and wanted confirmation he wasn’t dreaming. Naturally, the task fell to Samuel, who delivered here (via The Big Lead): http://bit.ly/1dIS9kkBracketRacket just made UConn its pick to win it all.Not because the Huskies are the best team still standing, but because we’d like to see how many of them would still be standing by the end.___CELEBRITY ALUMS OF THE DAYInstead of going mano-a-mano, our next two combatants traded blows via the video board at Madison Square Garden.During a second-half timeout in that same UConn-Michigan State game, former Spartan and 2000 national champion Mateen Cleaves turned up on the screen and got a rousing cheer from the green-and-white-clad fans in the crowd of 19,499. A few seconds later, the camera found former Husky and 1999 national champion Richard Hamilton.With much more of the crowd in his corner, Hamilton escalated the battle by raising his arms and imploring the UConn fans to cheer even louder. Then back to Cleaves, who recovered nicely by matching the arm-raising gesture and for good measure, started “popping” the Michigan State shirt he was wearing. Back came Hamilton, popping his shirt and the place went up for grabs.Mindful that the timeout was coming to an end, the board operator finally went to a split screen showing both Cleaves and Hamilton. Judging by the ovation, we’re scoring it a draw.___STAT OF THE DAYSTATS notes that if three of the Final Four teams wind up blanketed by confetti a week from Monday, they won’t need a refresher course to act like they’ve been there before. In fact, five of the past 10 national championships have been won by either Connecticut (2004, 2011), Florida (2006, 2007) or Kentucky (2012). The exception is Wisconsin. The Badgers’ last — and only — title dates back to 1941.___QUOTE OF THE DAY“We got 16 of the most out-of-body turnovers known to mankind, to be honest.” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo explaining the Spartans’ self-inflicted wounds against UConn.___SUNDAY’S RESULTSRegional FinalsMIDWESTAt IndianapolisKentucky 75, Michigan 72EASTAt New York CityUConn 60, Michigan State 54FINAL FOURSaturday, April 5SemifinalsAt Arlington, TexasUConn (30-8) vs. Florida (36-2), 6:09 p.m. EDTKentucky (28-10) vs. Wisconsin (30-7), 8:49 p.m.NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPMonday, April 7Semifinal winners, 9:10 p.m.last_img read more


NFL seeks right answer for marijuana use

first_imgIn this Oct. 24, 1993, file photo, New York Jets defensive lineman Marvin Washington (97) tackles Buffalo Bills’ Thurman Thomas (34) in the third quarter of a football game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)Marijuana is casting an ever-thickening haze across NFL locker rooms, and it’s not simply because more players are using it.As attitudes toward the drug soften, and science slowly teases out marijuana’s possible benefits for concussions and other injuries, the NFL is reaching a critical point in navigating its tenuous relationship with what is recognized as the analgesic of choice for many of its players.“It’s not, let’s go smoke a joint,” retired NFL defensive lineman Marvin Washington said. “It’s, what if you could take something that helps you heal faster from a concussion, that prevents your equilibrium from being off for two weeks and your eyesight for being off for four weeks?”One challenge the NFL faces is how to bring marijuana into the game as a pain reliever without condoning its use as a recreational drug. And facing a lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of former players complaining about the effects of prescription painkillers they say were pushed on them by team trainers and doctors, the NFL is looking for other ways to help players deal with the pain from a violent game.A Gallup poll last year found 58 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. That’s already happened in Colorado and Washington — the states that are home of last season’s Super Bowl teams.The World Anti-Doping Agency has said it does not need to catch out-of-competition marijuana users. And at least one high-profile coach, Pete Carroll of the champion Seahawks, publicly said he’d like to see the NFL study whether marijuana can help players.There are no hard numbers on how many NFL players are using marijuana, but anecdotal evidence, including the arrest or league discipline of no fewer than a dozen players for pot over the past 18 months, suggests use is becoming more common.Washington Redskins defensive back Ryan Clark didn’t want to pinpoint the number of current NFL players who smoke pot but said, “I know a lot of guys who don’t regularly smoke marijuana who would use it during the season.”Washington wouldn’t put a specific number on it but said he, too, knew his share of players who weren’t shy about lighting up when he was in the league, including one guy “who just hated the pain pills they were giving out at the time.” Another longtime defensive lineman, Marcellus Wiley, estimates half the players in the average NFL locker room were using it by the time he shut down his career in 2006.“They are leaning on it to cope with the pain,” said Wiley, who played defensive line in the league for 10 seasons. “They are leaning on it to cope with the anxiety of the game.”The NFL is fighting lawsuits on two fronts — concussions and painkillers — both of which, some argue, could be positively influenced if marijuana were better tolerated by the league.The science, however, is slow-moving and expensive and might not ever be conclusive, says behavioral psychologist Ryan Vandrey, who studies marijuana use at John Hopkins. Marijuana may work better for some people, while narcotics and other painkillers might be better for others.“Different medicines work differently from person to person,” Vandrey said. “There’s pretty good science that shows marijuana does have pain relieving properties. Whether it’s a better pain reliever than the other things available has never been evaluated.”Washington, who is part of the concussion lawsuit, is working with a bio-pharmaceutical and phyto-medical company called KannaLife Sciences that recently received licensing from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a drug to treat concussions using derivatives from medical marijuana.last_img read more