Koker attendant sleeps as river water floods GT communities

first_img– City Council launches investigationBy Shemuel FanfairResidents of Alexander Village and Riverview, Ruimveldt, are counting their losses after their properties were flooded owing to the negligence of a koker attendant who reportedly slept and left the sluice open.Guyana Times met with affected persons on Wednesday who were calling for compensation to be paid out to them over the damage to equipment and household goods they suffered. This publication was told that the Riverview koker door was left open for more than two hours after the time it should have been closed.It was explained that the door was meant to be closed at 22:00h Tuesday, but the sluice attendant reportedly slept away and was only awakened when residents realised the water was rushing into their yards and homes.“Many nights, I does wake them up because I live in here and I know the tide and if I see they lapsing, I does go and wake them,” expressed a Riverview man, whose newly-purchased $125,000 refrigerator stopped working on Wednesday morning.Workers at Riverview, Ruimveldt were clearing bush and clogged drains following the overnight floodingResidents said the attendant and others attempted to battle the waters just after midnight, but this was too late and water kept on gushing in. The situation got worse as high tide came in around 03:00h Wednesday.“Water was still inside the fridge; the bottom cupboard get wet, and I had to lose a day’s pay to ensure my things dem secure,” city hotel chef Trevor Spencer told this newspaper.The Riverview shop owner who is popularly known as Ziko told Guyana Times that Wednesday’s flooding was not the first such incident, recalling that several months ago issues at the koker caused flooding in the area. During the morning hours on Wednesday, workers, presumably attached to the city, were seen clearing access drains in the area. Residents noted that poor drainage contributed to the flooding, adding that the drains were not regularly cleared.“De water can’t run nowhere,” a man in the community relayed.Many students were kept away from school, and Alexander Village residents said flooding there was compounded by a backdam canal which was not cleaned for over five years.The backdam canal at Alexander Village which residents said has not been cleaned in over five years“It’s not fair that everything you working for hard and investing in just getting damaged every time there is flooding. You cleaning, but it ain’t make no sense because it is the same thing happening all the time,” an Alexander Village resident disclosed.Meanwhile, Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase Green was on site and reportedly told Riverview residents that someone from City Hall would check with them to assess their losses. She revealed that City Hall would launch a probe into the flood situation.“We’re going to have an emergency meeting, have an investigation and move forward. I am waiting on my engineer and the other men on the floor to tell me exactly what happened, but I can see actual damage,” she noted.However, just before lunch, residents said they were still waiting on the assessment team, adding that they were promised disinfectant fluid to wash their premises with. One woman, a teacher from the Riverview area, however, indicated that disinfectant fluid was not enough to compensate for the losses they suffered. She further related that her daughter’s books, toys and the family computer were all destroyed in the intense overnight flooding.The residents are calling for the City Council to address immediately their concerns.last_img read more

New era in health care?

first_imgNearly two years after President Bush signed into law the most sweeping change in Medicare’s history, beneficiaries can begin signing up today for coverage of their prescription drugs.Despite recent polls showing widespread confusion about how the benefit will work and concern coverage choices are too complicated, administration officials say they are confident the drug program will catch on.By the time the open enrollment period ends next May 15, beneficiaries will have a better understanding of the program and “those polls will change,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt.“This is the beginning of a new era in Medicare,” Leavitt said. “We will slowly build understanding.”Administration officials stress there is no need for beneficiaries to hastily enroll. The drug benefit will not take effect until Jan. 1, and beneficiaries can continue signing up until May 15 without paying a penalty. But those eligible and do not sign up by then will pay a 1 percent a month penalty when they do enroll. The next enrollment period after May 15 will be in November 2006.With the enrollment period about to begin and beneficiaries being flooded with information from Medicare and dozens of prescription drug providers, interest in the program is quickly growing.Several local senior centers have been holding information sessions to help seniors navigate the maze.The West Covina Senior Center had workshops in June and October, and will hold a health fair 9 to 11:30 a.m. today with representatives from various HMOs, the Social Security administration and the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program. In addition to the workshops, the center has two social workers who can answer questions.“We’ve attempted to be proactive because we knew the seniors would need help,” said Vanessa Carter, the senior center’s director.“It’s very complex legislation,” she said. “But there’s also been a campaign to get the info out.”Carter said she’s gotten good attendance at the workshops, but she didn’t know any seniors eager to sign up.Carol Wacker of Covina, a regular volunteer at the West Covina Senior Center, is already enrolled in an HMO so won’t sign up for the Medicare program, she said.But she’s heard the buzz around the senior center, and it hasn’t been too favorable for the new benefits.“It is too complicated for the average senior to comprehend,” said Wacker, 76, a retired Mt. San Antonio College secretary and avid tap and hula dancer, as she enjoyed a cup of bread pudding during the center’s daily senior lunch. “If you have this much income, you pay this much. If you have that much, you pay this. You have copayments, discounts…“It’s especially confusing for the foreign-speaking ones, unless they have a younger adult to explain it.”At the Whittier Senior Center, staff may have to cancel a session scheduled for Wednesday morning because not enough seniors have signed up.“The seniors seem to be kind of blase about it,” said Ruri Pierre, community services supervisor. “They say, `Oh, I’ll figure it out.’ Nobody’s panicking; they’re weighing their options.”Pierre said they need 25 seniors to have the workshop, sponsored by the Center for Health Care Rights, and 10 have signed up. Any seniors interested in attending should RSVP to the Whittier Senior Citizens Center, (562) 464-3370.Advocates of a drug benefit for the elderly had lobbied for years to expand the program within Medicare, but when Congress finally acted, it tossed the benefit to the private sector with a hefty government subsidy. The result is that beneficiaries must enroll in private plans – not in Medicare directly – for the prescription drug benefit known as Medicare Part D.In virtually every state, beneficiaries are confronted with more than 40 competing drug plans, many of them different options offered by the same company. It’s like deciding which cell phone service to buy from competing companies and then selecting a particular calling plan within the chosen company.A survey conducted by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that 37 percent of beneficiaries said they do not plan to enroll in a plan; 43 percent were undecided and only 20 percent said they planned to enroll for the drug benefit.A study of the prices scheduled to be charged under the drug law for the top 25 most commonly prescribed medications used by the elderly found that the drug benefit will result in average savings of 20 percent on brand name drugs bought at a retail pharmacy and 27 percent through a mail order pharmacy.For generic drugs, the savings are 44 percent for retail and 64 percent for mail order. The study, based on filings with the Medicare program, was conducted by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the national trade organization representing pharmacy benefit managers. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img