Powerline project is approved with stipulationsThe state’s Public Service Board has approved Vermont Electric Power Co.s proposed $130 million Northwest Reliability Project. The project will include the construction of over 64 miles of new and larger powerlines, spanning from West Rutland to New Haven, and along the western edge of the state to South Burlington.The board has required that VELCO make some changes to this route, asking that they bury the powerlines for 1.4 miles through Shelbourne, despite the additional $3.4 million it will likely cost the company. Many people are worried about scenery blockage and the impact these new structures will have on their businesses.
Guyana-Mexico rice dealThe promised rice deal between Guyana and the North American Spanish-speaking country of Mexico is yet to become a reality, as Guyana awaits the completion of a Pest Risk Assessment currently being carried out by that country.Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) General Manager Nizam Hassan told Guyana Times on Wednesday that the Board had already played its part in this Risk Assessment, which he believed would create brighter prospects for rice farmers. He said Guyana has already submitted the necessary information to Mexico for it to carry out the analysis. It is now awaiting the results.Hassan disclosed further, however, that Guyana still has another hurdle to cross after the analysis. “We have been told that the Pest Risk Assessment is under review by SENASICA (the Mexican Government agency responsible for such activity) and that the next step will be to submit it to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for potential comments.”Last year, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo publicly announced that Government was moving in the direction of securing a rice deal with Mexico. This was a few months after the lucrative rice deal with Venezuela came to an abrupt end. It was noted that the relationship between Guyana and Venezuela became extremely tense and further deteriorated after the A Partnership for National Unity /Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government made a decision not to allow the Venezuelan State-owned airline Conviasa Airlines to land in Guyana over the non-payment of its bond. As time progressed, the two countries drifted from the cordial relations they were sharing for a number of years to bilateral talks breaking down. The rice industry in Guyana is suffering even more since the deal with that country was by far the most profitable.In earlier reports, Rice Producers Association (RPA) General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj had disclosed that there was no progress on the Mexican deal since the collapse of the lucrative Venezuelan deal. According to Seeraj, “There were promises of Guyana selling into the Mexican market as to replace, if not by value, by volume, the Venezuelan market, but we are still awaiting some progress of that arrangement with Mexico.”Seeraj had also highlighted that the proposed rice deal with Mexico might not even be a lucrative one. He said the RPA was not too optimistic about that market becoming a reality, and even if it did, it may not be at a competitive price, as the United States supplied about 95 per cent of the rice sold to Mexico at very economical prices.“Mexico is also very close to the US so there are a lot of logistical advantages over a country like Guyana that is way down in South America.”He reminded that Mexico and the US were also part of the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), a trading bloc protected by protocols involving taxes on imports for extra-regional sources. Guyana, he said, can be classified as an extra-regional source taking into consideration NAFTA.
This story originally appeared on PCMag Reporter Racial discrimination at Facebook is real,’ wrote Mark Luckie, a former company strategic partner manager, who published a post on Tuesday calling out the discrimination issues occurring at the social network. Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Facebook is failing to stop discrimination against black employees and black users, an ex-staffer claims.”Facebook has a black people problem,” says Mark Luckie, a former Facebook strategic partner manager, who resigned earlier this month.On Tuesday, Luckie, who is black, went public with his criticisms by posting the internal memo he sent to Facebook staffers before he left. His memo calls out the social network for mistakenly taking down posts by black users speaking out against racism and offering little recourse. He also claims that “racial discrimination at Facebook is real.””I’ve heard far too many stories from black employees of a colleague or manager calling them ‘hostile’ or ‘aggressive’ for simply sharing their thoughts in a manner not dissimilar from their non-black team members,” Luckie added.Luckie was employed at Facebook for over year, and said that a few black staffers were even dissuaded by their managers from doing “Black stuff.” Meanwhile, many other black employees can recount stories of “being aggressively accosted” by Facebook’s own campus security, he said.Nearly every week while I was at Facebook, I had one or more black employees lamenting to me the issues I discussed, seeking advice for how to counter it. The discriminatory experience was not limited to me as anyone who has been #blackatwork can tell you.— Mark S. Luckie (@marksluckie) November 27, 2018Another problem at Facebook is the lack of diversity, he said. Luckie pointed to the company’s population of black employees, which stands at almost 4 percent and has been growing, but isn’t large enough to fully reflect Facebook’s black user base.”There is often more diversity in Keynote presentations than the teams who present them,” Luckie wrote. “In some buildings, there are more ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters than there are actual black people. Facebook can’t claim that it is connecting communities if those communities aren’t represented proportionately in its staffing.”In response to Luckie’s memo, Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison said, “We’ve been working diligently to increase the range of perspectives among those who build our products and serve the people who use them throughout the world.””We want to fully support all employees when there are issues reported,” Harrison added. “We are going to keep doing all we can to be a truly inclusive company.”Luckie is speaking out about his former employer as the tech industry has been trying to address diversity in the workplace. The biggest companies in Silicon Valley are largely staffed by white and Asian employees. And many staffers tend to lean liberal. In August, a separate Facebook employee called out the company for its “intolerant” culture against conservative ideas, and later resigned.Meanwhile, Facebook’s struggles to moderate content have faced criticism from across the globe. For instance, civil society groups in Myanmar have accused Facebook of failing to hire enough Burmese-language speaking content moderaters to stop hate speech from flooding the platform and igniting ethnic violence in the country.Luckie’s memo, however, said the “disenfranchisement of underrepresented voices” at Facebook wasn’t necessarily intentional. “Certainly, these aren’t the experiences of all black employees,” he added. “But these issues are so widespread that they should be an ongoing cause for concern.” Guest Writer 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Image credit: via PC Mag Facebook November 28, 2018 3 min read –shares Michael Kan Add to Queue Former Staffer Calls Out Facebook’s ‘Black People Problem’ Next Article