Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Despite no longer having Kyrie Irving at his side. Despite an injury-riddled season in which the Cavaliers’ roster morphed twice and despite being surrounded by a supporting cast that included rookies and just three holdovers from Cleveland teams he dragged to three straight NBA Finals, James played every game and powered through his 15th pro season like it was another helpless defender in the lane.By investing millions into maintaining his body and with a work ethic that has pushed him since childhood, James seems intent on challenging basketball’s natural cycle of aging.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownAt 33, and on the eve of making a run at his eighth straight Finals, James is not slowing down. He remains the game’s best all-around player, most dominant force. Still, the one to beat. Still, the player most capable of carrying a team to playoff victories. Still, the most likely player — sorry Messrs. Westbrook, Harden, Curry and Durant — to make a play that wins a game or a series.“It doesn’t seem like he gets old,” said Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown. “He just doesn’t go away.” Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Wizards’ Meeks suspended 25 games for positive drug test Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. While Cleveland’s season was highly irregular, James had another brilliant one.He averaged 27.5 points — his highest total since 2010 — and established career-highs in assists (9.1), rebounds (8.6) and played the full slate of games for the first time. He led the league in total points, minutes played, surpassed 30,000 career points, recorded 18 triple-doubles and was the league’s second-leading scorer in the fourth quarter (7.5 points).The three-time champion also extended his record of scoring at least 10 points to 873 games, a mark once owned by Michael Jordan (862), the player James has spent his entire adulthood being compared to and the one he has equaled on many measures.Jordan was not done at 33, winning three more titles. But his game aged differently. Jordan relied more on jumpers as he got older and ceded tough defensive assignments to other Bulls. James continues to take over games physically, particularly late, and he never hesitates to defend the opponents’ toughest scorers. And the Bulls never counted on their general to rebound or dish out assists as the Cavs lean on James.James has done it all amid a strange, soap-opera-like season for Cleveland, which endured injuries, illnesses, trades and tribulations from late last summer until early spring.ADVERTISEMENT Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina As far as Brown’s concerned, James is the new standard.“I don’t see any decline athletically and then watch it, the trend that he’s now shooting and making 3s, so you feel that he just keeps getting better,” Brown said before James scored 44 with 11 rebounds and 11 assists against the Sixers. “The fact that he can play that many minutes, that many games, seemingly not missing a beat. He is amazing.“In my opinion, he is the best player to have ever played our sport. And he just keeps getting better. And I say that with tremendous respect to lots of other people. That’s a hell of a comment that I don’t throw out recklessly. And I just feel like his body of work makes me feel very confident and comfortable saying that. He’s playing arguably his best basketball.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames “As the Land Turns is what I call it,” said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, who returned from an illness just last week.Following Wednesday’s regular-season finale, James stamped this as-yet-unfinished season a personal triumph.“It’s the best I’ve felt all season and I’ve got the numbers to back it up and I’ve got the wins to back it up as well,” he said. “I’ve just tried to be available to my teammates every single night and do everything that I could to win ball games. Either by scoring, by rebounding, by defending, by assisting, taking charges, whatever the case may be. Statistically it all speaks for itself.”While amassing those numbers, James has seemingly paused the aging process. Of course, it helps that he has a nutritionist, personal trainer, masseuse, cryogenic chamber and 21st century technology to keep him one step ahead of Father Time.Cavaliers forward Kendrick Perkins, who was drafted in 2003 after James, is awed by his friend’s commitment and dedication. Perkins was stunned to learn James invests upward of $2 million per year on his body.“It’s crazy. I watch how he takes care of his body, I watch how he gets treatment around the clock,” said Perkins. “But it shows and that’s why he’s able to do what he’s been doing at this age. Everybody will be like, ‘Man, ‘Bron got to be doing something,’ and I’m like, ‘No, he actually put in the groundwork and everything you see is because he sacrificed.’ It’s amazing to watch.”James isn’t done, not even close, and earlier this season he described re-writing the narrative that players in their early 30s have reached their prime.“Hopefully I can break the mold, so when the next guy comes, he can still get $200 or $300 million and be 33 years old,” he said. “I’m serious. This is the mold I’m trying to break. It’s not just about me, it’s for the next crew. I want it all.”And what James wants, he usually gets.He has meticulously worked at his craft, refining his game, adding weapons. This season, James posted a career-high in 3-pointers, and according to Basketball-Reference.com , he made a higher percentage of shots from beyond 28 feet than any player — including Stephen Curry — since 2001. LATEST STORIES FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) jumps by Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) on his way to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla. At 33, an age when athletes are either eroding, completely washed up or staring retirement straight in the eyes, James is flourishing with zero signs of decline. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr., File)CLEVELAND — LeBron James emerged from a chaotic, complex season unscathed — better than ever.Still the NBA’s undisputed king.ADVERTISEMENT
Barely days after the World Health Organization (WHO) made the alarming prediction of 90,000 Liberian deaths from Ebola by mid-December contrary to credible reports on the ground indicating a slowing down of the virus, WHO yesterday made an incredible U-turn. WHO now agrees that the virus is waning in Liberia, supporting government officials’ position that progress in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease is being made.Commented journalist Alvin Worzi of the Daily Observer, “It shows we are making progress and what we need now are holding centers where those who are suspected of the virus can isolate themselves for the required period.” Liberians are pleased that sustained efforts coupled with preventive measures have resulted in our progress in the fight against Ebola and must be continued, Worzi said. In its editorial yesterday, the Daily Observer examined the implications of the alarming and apocalyptic predictions of not only the WHO but also the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Yale Scientists, reported by the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, which also warned that by mid-December 171,000 will be infected and 90,000 not might, but will die.“It would then suggest that we were doing nothing here,” said 22-year-old university student, James Kollie, who spoke to the Daily Observer yesterday.Mr. William K. Guyan, 66, told the Daily Observer that with the change of position, WHO is confirming what Liberian officials have said that progress is being made, noting, “It means we must continue the fight to defeat the virus.” Mr. Arthur Solomon, 38, a street vendor commented that “WHO’s reversal means that now they have correct information to agree with Liberian officials that their efforts are paying off.” “It’s also due to the effective global response, including tracing infected persons as well as those they might have come in contact with, that the WHO is able to calm the fears of Liberians by stating that infections are slowing down,” stated Richelieu Barclay, 42, of Monrovia.In a release yesterday, WHO’s Assistant Director General, Bruce Aylward, said he is confident the response to the virus is now gaining the upper hand, but warned against any suggestion that the crisis was over, the identical position of Liberian officials, including James Dorbor Jallah, head of Logistics at the Incident Management System. Aylward said the new number of cases globally was 13,703 and that the death toll, expected to be published yesterday, would probably exceed 5,000. The figure of 13,703 is a significant leap on the previous WHO situation report on Saturday, which showed cases rising above 10,000 for the first time to 10,141. But Dr. Aylward said that this increase was due to data being updated with old cases, rather than new cases being reported. Saturday’s situation report put the death toll at 4,922. Liberia’s Red Cross said its teams collected 117 bodies last week, down from a high of 315 in September. Treatment centers also have empty beds available for patients.The slowdown is real Dr Aylward said: “It appears that the trend is real in Liberia and there may indeed be a slowing.” “Do we feel confident that the response is now getting an upper hand on the virus? Yes, we are seeing a slowing rate of new cases, very definitely.” Dr Aylward said there had been “a huge effort to inform the population about the disease, to change the behaviors that put them at risk”. And he said there had been “a real step up in the work to put in place safe burials”. But Dr Aylward said the data was still being examined and cautioned against thinking the crisis was over. He said: “A slight decline in cases in a few days versus getting this thing closed out is a completely different ball game. It’s like saying your pet tiger is under control.” The vast majority of cases and deaths from the disease have been in three countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. On Wednesday, South Africa’s first black billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, donated $1m (£620,000) to Guinea to help the country fight Ebola. The mining magnate said he hopes the donation will assist with clinical management, social mobilization and other key steps in controlling the deadly virus. His donation was announced as the US welcomed the international aid effort. America’s UN envoy Samantha Power, who has been concluding her visit to the region, praised the efforts of Ebola-hit nations and foreign donors and urged them to continue to help. Her final stop was the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Accra, Ghana. She will now fly on to Brussels.A winnable war Meanwhile, a source at the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare told the Daily Observer late last night that nationwide, there are 279 confirmed cases, and urged Liberians and all to be vigilant in taking measures because, “it is a winnable war, if we continue the fight.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Read the full report and survey below. He conceded the poll revealed there are definitely public anxieties about the project impacts, but for many a better alternative is not obvious, and a certain degree of comfort has developed that construction is being handled with appropriate diligence. FORT ST.JOHN, B.C. – A new Abacus Data poll shows a large majority of BC residents supports, or at least is prepared to conditionally accept, the Site-C Dam project.The province wide telephone poll of one thousand people was conducted from April 15th to the 24th, and it found awareness of the project has reached a new high of 77%, while it remained stable in the north/northeast region at 90%.There was 73% province wide backing of the third dam on the Peace River, although 24% of those in that majority did cite support conditions.- Advertisement -Meantime in the north/northeast region the support number was 69%, with 22% citing qualifying circumstances.The province-wide project opposition identified in the poll is almost identical, to what it is in the north/northeast at 25% and 26% respectively. Create line chartsThis poll also found support for the project is dependent on public confidence, that parallel efforts are made to promote conservation that the project goes through a thorough and independent environmental review, and that efforts are made to listen and respond to local impact concerns.The survey results come on the heels of this week’s report that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency found in a late April inspection, that air quality monitors at the project site were not functioning, leading an enforcement officer to conclude, Hydro was not in compliance with the Environmental Assessment Act.Advertisement Create line chartsAbacus Data Chairman, Bruce Anderson, says what stood out for him is that 89% of those polled held the view the province will need more power in the future, and that, “A new dam is probably one of the best ways to meet the growing demand”.Advertisement
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “We don’t know specifically where he is. … Our information is he went to Sacramento,” said Deputy District Attorney Eric Ferguson of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. He doesn’t think there’s a law enforcement agency actively looking for Curtis in Northern California but the warrant in the system should appear if the man is pulled over. And if Curtis comes back to San Bernardino County, Ferguson said he will be arrested and face charges. Ferguson said Curtis was with the Marines when he met the girl. Curtis wasn’t a volunteer with the defunct JROTC, or Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, program at the high school but a friend of one of the instructors, according to Sandra Thorstenson, superintendent of the Whittier Union High School District. She said volunteers are fingerprinted and checked. Pioneer High, at 10800 E. Benavon St., is part of the Whittier Union High School District. WHITTIER – San Bernardino County prosecutors have an arrest warrant against a man for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl he met in the JROTC program at Pioneer High. The incident is believed to have happened March 24 during a district-approved trip to Joshua Tree National Park in Twentynine Palms. Prosecutors charged Ross Jay Curtis Jr., 22, of Sacramento with one felony count of unlawful sex with a minor on Oct. 16. The arrest warrant was issued Oct. 22. He couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday. There is no phone listing for Curtis or his mother in the Sacramento area. “That person was never approved to go. This individual is not connected to the school district at all,” she said Monday. She wasn’t aware of the charge filed or the arrest warrant against Curtis. Students have taken the trip in the past. Thorstenson said Curtis didn’t travel with the 40 students on the weekend trip but just showed up. “What’s unusual is he met the kids there,” she said. She said they found out Curtis was a friend of Sgt. 1st Class Felix Quintero, who ran the JROTC program at the high school with Capt. William Weber. “(Weber) wasn’t aware of the situation. Quintero told him nothing about this person joining the trip,” Thorstenson said. She said it wasn’t until May that the district found out what allegedly happened on the trip. The girl’s parents told them. Quintero was immediately placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation and he resigned later, she added. “The incident wasn’t reported for some time. My understanding is (the teen) reported it to the father,” Ferguson said. The sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station was notified of the alleged situation and took a courtesy report that was forwarded to their counterparts in San Bernardino County. While the alleged incident led to Quintero leaving, school officials said it wasn’t the reason for the district ending the program. Thorstenson said the five-year- old program for grades nine to 12 was disbanded in June due to low enrollment. The program needed 150 students but ended up with 40, she added. firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
DDTV: The come to Inishowen for the winter every year, from Arctic islands in the north Atlantic and Greenland. This video offers a glimpse of the spectacular, even in the worst of conditions. In driving rain and almost impossible visibility, some 700 Barnacle Geese were captured on film, with the music of Mary Black to match the scenes of rugged landscape and incredible migrant birds, after their extraordinary journey to these shores.Filmed by Lindsay Hodges Directed and made possible by Christine Cassidy , it was a day where the song’s line “I stood by your Atlantic sea and I sang a song for Ireland” has never been more moving or more spine-tingling. DDTV: THROUGH THE STORM, BARNACLE GEESE ARRIVE AT MALIN HEAD was last modified: November 14th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:barnacle geeseIrelandMalin Head
Re: “Celebrities compete to sway state” (Oct. 14): If one attends a movie, does that make them an actor? Apparently so. California actors are qualified to become politicians, if they played the part of a politician, read for the part of a politician or thought about reading for the role of a politician. Our current governor played the part of a fireman and that made him a comrade in arms with firefighters. Maybe we should have one more elected official, a real politician as the stunt double. They have a place for actors/politicians, the cutting-room floor. – Gary E. Skogen Littlerock And, a group must begin a fourth petition attempt to restore the cross to the county seal because not enough of us have the guts to stand up to three cowardly county supervisors. Note to all L.A. Jews: The ACLU will be after you next for the Department of Transportation’s accommodation of your High Holy Days when it comes to altering crosswalk signals. – Dink O’Neal Burbank Foxy maneuver Re: “Prop. 77: Races would be more competitive” (Oct. 14): Gerrymander: Arrangement of political districts to give one political party an unfair advantage in elections. According to Harrison Sheppard’s Oct. 13 article: “The California 23rd Congressional District is 200 miles long and 5 miles wide.” Until now redistricting has been the responsibility of the California Legislature, a predominantly Democrat group. Seems like the fox has been guarding the chickens. – William H. Link Northridge Extremists Re: “The rest of us” (Your Opinions, Oct. 14): Geri A. Mellgren-Kerwin seems to believe that I speak for only conservative extremists when I stated the idea that maybe the American people would rather have a conservative “imbecile as president” (for two terms) instead of another liberal extremist the likes of Al Gore or John Kerry. Well, Mellgren-Kerwin has omitted the fact that an American majority elected President Bush, not just conservative extremists. Of course when you’re as far to the left as she obviously is, anyone near the middle must surely look like a conservative extremist. – Scott Hewes Castaic Change from within Re: “Right to choose” (Your Opinion, Oct. 13): Extending the logic behind Bill Zelenka’s statement, “If you don’t believe in something, you should not be forced to pay for it,” how about the percentage of my taxes which fund the Defense Department and, by extension, the war in Iraq? What is the Defense share of our federal budget, somewhere around 50 percent? I would hope he would back me if I chose to withhold the correct percentage of my taxes, and specify to the IRS that my deduction is to be withheld from support for the war. However, I think the solution is for those public-employee union members who favor Prop. 75 ought to run for union leadership positions, and make the changes they seek from within, not seek the $70 million special-election route. This stinks. – Arnie Moore Sherman Oaks 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week No religious test? Re: “Bush defends injecting religion into Miers choice” (Oct. 13): Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution states, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust.” But Bush continues to pander dangerously to evangelical extremists about Harriet Miers’ as-yet unproven qualifications. No litmus test, huh, President Bush? – Mike Laskavy Oak Park State of society The Oct. 12 front page summarizes the sad state of society: Eric Boden is offered a plea-bargained sentence of less than one year. Note to cowardly Deputy D.A. Robert Foltz: Boden’s DUI actions killed a 7-month-old baby. L.A.’s archdiocese trickles out sanitized personnel records for some, but not all, of its priests/workers accused of pedophilia. Note to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony: The victims here were children.
Gardai are investigating a raid on a premises in Letterkenny in which thousands of euro worth of equipment was taken.The raid took place on the premises at the New Link Road overnight on Friday.Workers who arrived at the plant on Saturday morning discovered the robbery. It is understood that thousands of euro of tools and other machinery was taken during the raid.Gardai say a large vehicle would have been used to transport the tools and other property.Gardai have not yet named the premises at the centre of the raid. LARGE AMOUNT OF EQUIPMENT STOLEN IN LETTERKENNY ROBBERY was last modified: February 16th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalletterkennyNew Link Roadraidrobbery
Ambulance service workers at Letterkenny University Hospital have announced plans to begin strike action this December. SIPTU members in the National Ambulance Service based in Letterkenny have said they will begin a campaign of industrial action on Saturday, 9th December, at 1.00 a.m.Members have stressed that the safety of patients at LUH will not be negatively affected by the action. The campaign has been organised in response to claims of a management failure to implement a Rights Commissioner recommendation.SIPTU Sector Organiser, Martin O’Rourke, said “Our members are undertaking this industrial action very reluctantly. However, they believe they have been left with no other option due to the failure of management to implement a Rights Commissioner recommendation issued two years ago in relation to compensatory leave following emergency calls.”“The management position is neither acceptable or reasonable. In relation to this dispute our members have followed best practice and agreed procedures. They won their case but management have simply refused to fully implement the resulting recommendation.“The initial phase of industrial action has been carefully selected to ensure patient safety is not compromised. This decision is a clear demonstration of the professionalism and commitment of our members to serving the public.” He added: “SIPTU representatives remain available to engage in meaningful negotiations with management to achieve a resolution to this dispute.” Breaking: Letterkenny ambulance personnel announce strike action was last modified: December 2nd, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ambulanceLetterkenny University HospitalSIPTU
Louise Barnes is springing ahead with fantastic culinary qualifications from the Springboard programme at LYIT (Letterkenny Institute of Technology).Ahead of the new term, Donegal Daily spoke with Louise from Carlow, who now lives in Killea and set to graduate from LYIT soon with a Level 6 Certificate in Culinary Skills.As a stay-at-home mum, returning as a mature student was daunting for Louise, but she soon settled in with her fellow students and came to love her studies. Now, she has gained an appetite for further education and is keen to share her positive experience of Springboard+. Louise explains what inspired her step into education: “My two children are finishing school in two years’ time. I wanted to do something to upskill after many years out of work and education. “I wanted to build up my computer skills and meet people. The Certificate in Culinary Skills was a good fit for me because it’s local in Killybegs and there are great facilities.”Springboard+ is designed to provide free higher education places to jobseekers and, more recently, includes homemakers, those in employment and self-employed people who want to upskill to meet skill shortages in the labour market. Twelve Springboard programmes are awarded by LYIT at certificate, degree and post-graduate level from the schools of Business, Computing and Tourism. Places are free of charge to many Springboard participants. In the case of those in employment, level 6 courses remain free and there is a cost of just 10% of fees for level 7-9 courses. As Louise was a homemaker, she was eligible to study for free as a ‘Returner’.“I didn’t have to spend a penny,” said Louise. “Everything was provided, from my ingredients to my uniform and safety shoes.“Anybody can now take advantage of Springboard, which is excellent.”Louise said she enjoyed the delivery, pace and social aspects of the programme, which was delivered part-time on four mornings each week. This suited her best as a mother, while there is also an option to study full-time on two days each week.Louise praised the high standard of education at the school: “I found the lecturers were so helpful and pleasant. They answered all queries and made sure we took our time to get the skills right. “I thoroughly enjoyed baking in the first semester and savoury cooking in the second. There were very varied subjects, including computing.”The primary focus of the programme is to prepare graduates for a variety of roles in food preparation in food related businesses. Louise said gaining her HACCP certificate was a valuable part of this, as it is required by all employers in the food industry. Work placement is a key advantage on the course, helping students to put their skills into practice in the fast-paced culinary sector. There are 400 hours of work placement arranged with local employers throughout the year. Louise enjoyed the flexibility of the placements and the guidance provided by the LYIT’s in-house work experience co-ordinator. “We were very well-trained to go out and work as assistants in the kitchens,” said Louise. “The college are excellent at helping your arrange placements and we soon saw there are jobs out there. Everybody who got a placement sees there is a change of getting long-term employment.”Louise has gained a great personal drive from embracing the Certificate in Culinary Skills programme. Now that she has almost completed the course, she is considering further studies in Hospitality and Tourism at the Killybegs Campus.If you wish to follow in the same footsteps as Louise, a new Springboard funded Culinary Skills course begins 10th September 2018 at LYIT. Applications are being accepted until the 24th of August 2018.Click here to find out more about Springboard Offerings for 2018/2019.For all your springboard queries e-mail email@example.com or call 074-9186177. To check eligibility for a free Springboard course click here: https://www.lyit.ie/Study-at-LYIT/Find-a-course/Springboard-CoursesLouise learns the recipe to upskilling with Springboard+ at LYIT was last modified: July 12th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:careersCertificate in Culinary Skillsculinary skillsjobsKillybegs CampusLYITspringboard
Minibus taxis are by far the most commonform of public transport in South Africa.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) Catching a minibus taxi is one of the cheapest ways of getting around in South Africa – and a great way to get to know the country and its people.The first African Fifa World Cup is due to kick off in June 2010 and football fans from around the world are gearing up to head here.The government and 2010 local organising committee have been working to develop a world-class transport system (PDF, 91 KB) that will allow visitors to follow their teams from city to city.Fans will have a number of transport options. The first is the recently launched Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system, which will run in four of the nine host cities: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria/Tshwane and Port Elizabeth. These state-of-the-art buses will be available every three minutes in peak times and every 10 minutes in off-peak periods, from 5am until midnight.Another option is the Gautrain – a mass rapid transit railway system that will eventually run between Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport. In 2010, only the route between Johannesburg and the airport will be operational.There’s also the park-and-ride system for visitors with vehicles. Areas will be set up where people can park their cars and jump into a bus or minibus taxi, which will take them to and from the stadium.The adventure beginsBut for a truly African experience, and for those on a tight budget, minibus taxis – or just taxis, as they are known in South Africa – would be the first choice. Not only will they get you around town quickly (too quickly for some), they’ll bring you up close to the country’s vibrant mix of cultures and people.A Johannesburg taxi driver’s clientele will range from a hot-shot businesswoman working in Sandton, the commercial hub of the city, to an old sangoma (traditional healer) from Soweto, South Africa’s largest township, in the south.You hop in, and the adventure begins. On the one side there may be young women sharing the latest celebrity gossip, and on the other an old man complaining about moral degeneration. While all this is going on, the music system will be pumping out the latest kwaito or hip hop beats, keeping all the heads bobbing. Those who travel the same route quickly get to know each other well, and one commuter will be able to tell you exactly what’s going on in another’s life.Having grown up in a township, I’ve been taking taxis all my life to get anywhere and everywhere. But for me, taxi-travelling has never been particularly easy, let alone comfortable. The drivers are highly skilled and experienced, but notoriously reckless in the traffic. The vehicles can also be overloaded and unsafe.The Department of Transport is aware of this, and has implemented a R7.7-billion (US$1-billion) taxi recapitalisation programme, aiming to replace up to 80% of the country’s taxi fleet by 2010.Owners who want to exit the industry or buy new vehicles are offered R50 000 ($6 720) for each unroadworthy minibus taxi that they send to accredited agencies for scrapping. New government regulations dictate that minibus taxis must be fitted with seatbelts for each passenger, have rollover bars, a type-two braking system and commercially rated tyres of sizes 185R or 195R. Some R353.5-million ($47.5-million) has been paid out in scrapping allowances, allowing taxi owners to revamp their ageing fleets with newer, safer vehicles.Taxis are widely used in South Africa, with 65% of public transport commuters relying on them daily, as they’re convenient and cheap – an inter-city trip usually costs less than R10 ($1.30). Drivers run set routes, but often pick up and drop off commuters anywhere in between.Knowing the right hand signals and lingo when stopping and boarding a minibus taxi is key to a successful journey.Getting the signs rightIn the small town of Howick in KwaZulu-Natal province, where I grew up, only two signs were used to flag down a taxi. You pointed your index finger upwards to signal for a taxi to Pietermaritzburg, the nearest city, or you pointed down to indicate you wanted a ride back home to Howick. When you were ready to get off the taxi, you just said “bus stop” and the driver would let you out at the next stop.When I moved to the biggest city in the country, Johannesburg, life got a bit complicated. First, I had to get used to the local sign: a downwards-pointing index finger. This indicates that you’re staying in the general area, just needing to go a little distance further. To get to any other area, you have to master quite a complex hand-sign system (PDF, 2 MB).To get to Johannesburg CBD from the northern suburbs, you point your index finger upwards – this will tell a driver to take you to the bustling south or west side of the city. Putting out all five fingers, like a high-five, says you want to travel further north in Johannesburg, or east.As you make your way to the outer-lying areas and the townships, the signs become more elaborate. To get to a point called “stop twelve” in the affluent suburb of Kyalami, north of Johannesburg, you have to diagonally cross your arms in front of you. The crossed arms resemble a road sign the taxis pass just before the pick-up point. If you don’t signal, the driver won’t stop.For residents of Diepsloot, a small township north-west of Johannesburg, stopping a taxi is a bit easier. Due to the bumpy roads there, commuters dip one hand up and down in a wave-like motion to say they need a ride.To go to Randburg, also north-west of the city centre, your choice of sign is dependent on where you’re coming from. If you’re in central Johannesburg, pointing your hand straight up is good enough. But if you’re outside the local mall in Cresta, a little to the west of Randburg, you have to make poking gestures with your index finger over your opposite shoulder, to signal for a taxi to Randburg. Simply put, commuters have to point backwards, showing where Randburg is in relation to the mall.Residents of Dobsonville in Soweto who need to travel to Leratong hospital in Kagiso, a neighboring township, need to make a similar poking movement, but with a slight scoop of the hand before pointing behind – the logic here is also based on location.To head to Fourways, just north of Sandton, simply hold out all four fingers with your thumb folded into your palm. To get to the large township of Thembisa, east of Johannesburg, make a “T” by putting one hand horizontally and the other vertically underneath it. Going by taxi to Cosmo City, west of Johannesburg, is easy: simply hold out your hand in a semi-circle to make the “C” sign.Now you’re on, but how do you get off?Once you’re on the taxi, it’s very important to know what to say to get off, how to say it and when to say it. You can get off just about anywhere along the route; there are no official stops. Before getting the taxi to stop, look out for nearby road or landmarks you name, loudly, for the sake of the driver. For example, shout “stop sign” 10 seconds before the sign, and the driver will make a plan. But don’t shout too early or too late, because chances are you’ll miss the drop-off point.The other popular phrase is “after robot”, which means, of course, that you want to get off after the traffic lights, keeping in mind there’s no phrase that indicates you want to get off before the robot. If the robot is red and the taxi stationary, you are expected to get off there and then – in this case the taxi won’t stop again “after robot”. How you say this phrase is important: it must be loud and deep, pronounced “uf-dah robot”.The two leading phrases used by taxi commuters is “shot’ left driver” and “shot’ right driver”, indicating left or right. Again, you must be loud, but not as deep, pronounced with a sense of excitement in the voice.Get all this right, and you’re in for a ride of your life. Catching a taxi will take you on an audacious African journey not to be experienced anywhere else in the world.