Powell poised to extend ring success

first_imgThe Wray and Nephew Contender boxing series’ preliminary round was scheduled to end tonight with a fight that had all the ingredients for a classic battle between two experienced welterweights, Daniel Powell (11-0) and Miguel Antoine (17-4-1).However, a last-minute pullout by Antoine has changed the equation, as his replacement, Charwin Estwick, has a record of no wins and two losses.Powell and Estwick will fight for the final place in the quarter-finals tonight at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, starting at 9:30.Powell, whose father is Jamaican and flaunts his Jamaican roots, is 31 years old and has been a professional boxer since February 4, 2012. He has won eight fights by technical knockout, one by knockout and two on decision, but has not really met a quality opponent.Tonight is not going to be much different. Estwick, who is 38, was on the Contender roster last year and clashed with Richard Holmes on April 22. That fight went the distance, with one judge giving all six rounds to Holmes and the other two giving Estwick two rounds.Guyanese Estwick, who lives in Barbados, has not had a fight since then, while Powell had his last fight in June last year, so both men have been inactive recently.DEFENSIVE SKILLSEstwick showed in his fight here last year that he has good defensive skills. Against Holmes, who was trying for a knockout from the first round, he managed to tie up his opponent, shortened his range and made it difficult for him to land a knockout punch.It could turn out to be an interesting fight, with Powell trying for a knockout and Estwick using his defensive skills to frustrate his opponent.The winner tonight will join previous winners Holmes, Demarcus Coley, Tsetsi Davis, Revlon Lake, Michael Gardener, Ramel Lewis and Rashid Stevens in the quarter-finals. Four boxers will be seeded and they will draw their opponents for the next round.The winner of the series will, in addition to the title and belt, take home $2 million, the runner-up $500,000, third $250,000 and fourth $200,000.The fight will be broadcast live on TVJ.last_img read more

Bale’s brace powers Real to victory

first_imgMADRID (AP):With Karim Benzema out injured and Cristiano Ronaldo playing below expectations again, Gareth Bale came through and got the job done for Real Madrid.Bale scored a pair of goals just before half-time to lead Madrid to a 3-0 win over Leganes yesterday, securing the Spanish league lead for his team ahead of the city derby against Atletico Madrid.Alvaro Morata, replacing Benzema in the starting line-up, sealed Madrid’s fourth straight victory with a second-half goal at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.Madrid reached 27 points, two more than second-placed Barcelona, which defeated Sevilla 2-1 yesterday. Atletico, which lost 2-0 at Real Sociedad on Saturday, arecurrently third with 21 points from 11 matches.Madrid, unbeaten this season, play against Atletico at the Vicente Calderon on November 19, following the international break.”I’m pleased with the work everyone put in, not any player in particular,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “There will always be one who makes the difference, but the great thing today was the team.”Bale dominated the action from the start and was Madrid’s most dangerous forward throughout the match and his first goal came just as the crowd was growing impatient with the team’s lacklustre play.After a perfect long pass by Francisco “Isco” Alarcon in the 38th minute, Bale calmly found the net after his first attempt was stopped by the goalkeeper.Bale’s second came in first-half injury time after a free kick cross into the area. The ball was deflected towards Bale and he easily scored from just in front of the goal line.Bale also had two great scoring chances early in the second half, first with a close-range shot and then with a header, both requiring difficult saves by Leganes goalkeeper Jon Ander Serantes.TOP-FLIGHTBenzema was sidelined because of a knee ailment, and replacement Morata got Madrid’s third goal from inside the area after a pass by Toni Kroos in the 76th.Zidane brought back midfielder Luka Modric, who entered the match in the 62nd after being sidelined for almost a month following a surgical procedure on his knee.It was the fourth consecutive loss for Leganes, who were making their first-division debut at the Bernabeu. This is the team’s first time in the top-flight.Seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao were held to a 0-0 draw at Espanyol for their third straight game without a win in the league.Celta Vigo moved to eighth after coming from behind to beat Valencia 2-1 at home. Swedish forward John Guidetti scored Celta’s winner in the 77th.last_img read more

Liverpool team news v Stoke: Striker ruled out for Anfield clash

first_img Brendan Rodgers has just one striker available It has been a difficult few weeks for Liverpool Football Club. A run of five matches without a victory in all competitions has dented both their Premier League and Champions League aspirations, while further injury to star striker Daniel Sturridge has heaped further pressure on boss Brendan Rodgers.The latest league defeat – 3-1 to Crystal Palace last time out – was the Merseysiders’ sixth of the domestic campaign, equalling the entire total of last season, and has seen them slip to 12th in the table.This weekend they welcome Stoke City to Anfield, knowing that only victory will do, but things aren’t looking good for Rodgers’ men.A midweek European draw with Ludogorets was further evidence of the Reds’ shaky defence, while confirmation that Mario Balotelli will once again miss out with a groin injury suffered on international duty, leaves them looking incredibly light in attack.Rickie Lambert has finally found his shooting boots, and he will need to be on form when he squares up to a physical Stoke defence that has conceded 15 times already this season.The real spotlight will be on Simon Mignolet though. The Liverpool goalkeeper was at fault for Ludogorets’ opening goal on Wednesday evening, leading to vociferous calls for him to be dropped.The Belgian has struggled to replicate the form of last season, and with must-win games coming thick and fast, Liverpool are not in any position to carry passengers.Liverpool fans, would you drop Mignolet this weekend? Comment below… 1last_img read more

Making work safe – Meet the team behind Donaghy Safety Training

first_imgThe name Neil Donaghy has been synonymous with Safe Pass training and health and safety in general for almost 20 years in Donegal.The second generation of Donaghy has brought new ideas and services to the business and has ensured that the Donaghy name stays at the forefront of health and safety in the north-west of Ireland.But where did it all start? And where is it headed? Neil DonaghyNeil DonaghyOriginally from Co. Derry, Neil’s path to construction health and safety saw him learn his trade from some of Ireland’s largest builders at the time, as a Foreman with McNamara Construction and subsequently a safety officer for P. Elliot and sons, Neil was involved in the delivery of some of Ireland’s most recognisable buildings.When approached to deliver a pilot one-day health and safety course by CIF and FAS, Neil grasped the opportunity and so Donaghy Safety Training was born. Since 1999 Neil and his wife Deirdre have provided unmatched service to the construction industry in theSince 1999 Neil and his wife Deirdre have provided unmatched service to the construction industry in the north-west and further afield. “The late 90’s and early 2000’s was an exciting and challenging time for construction in Ireland. The pace of construction had begun to rapidly increase and health and safety became real issues for contractors large and small. We wanted to make the same level of health and safety advice available to everyone and at a cost that everyone could afford,” he said.Darren DonaghyDarren DonaghyThe mantel is now passing to the younger generations and Neil’s son has added his considerable experience to the business.With a background in construction and hands-on experience on site as a Civil Engineer, Darren brings a depth of real construction knowledge that few health and safety advisors can offer.“Being able to relate to the problems that operatives have on site is our biggest advantage,” says Darren. “We always try to ensure that our solutions for clients are cost-effective and project sensitive – there is no bottomless pit of money in 99% of construction businesses” he adds. Darren is usually found where he is happiest – on site, ensuring that operatives are safe and that the environment they work in ensures they return home safely. His hands-on construction experience means that he understands the processes on site and can offer real-world advice and solutions to on-site problems.Donaghy Safety Training Limited has been involved in the delivery of key infrastructure projects, commercial developments and renewable energy projects ensuring timely and safe delivery on every project.“We engage with our clients early in the process and help them plan works to avoid costly delays and unforeseen outlays surrounding health and safety,” Darren explains. “If the client isn’t making money, neither are we and that arrangement just doesn’t work for either side”The Donaghys are ably supported by a strong team of employees and associates. The nine-strong team now serves the entire island of Ireland, Scotland and the greater United Kingdom. The family-run business is the biggest provider of health and safety training in the north-west and takes pride in its ability to provide a total one-stop health and safety shop.From Safe Pass to Plant Training and from Method Statements to Machinery Certification, Donaghy Safety Training does it all.“We owe our continued success to our team, they provide the service that our clients have come to expect and that’s what makes us so popular with clients old and new,” says Neil.And Darren agrees: “Our success is based on our people but also on having great clients to work with every day. We wouldn’t be the success we are without the loyal clients who support us.”Making work safe – Meet the team behind Donaghy Safety Training was last modified: October 13th, 2017 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:Darren DonaghyDonaghy Safety TrainingdonegalengineeringNeil Donaghysafetytraininglast_img read more

DDTV – COUNTDOWN TO CLONES: MCGRATH -“IF WE PLAY TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY, THEN WE’LL WIN”

first_imgDDTV: Paddy McGrath is confident ahead of Donegal Ulster SFC final with Monaghan on Sunday but is wary of the challenge presented by Malachy O’Rourke’s side.McGrath feels that if Donegal can perform to the best of their ability then he has no doubt they can win on Sunday in Clones.However, the teak tough corner-back knows the threat posed by Monaghan and knows they need a huge performance if they’re going to be able to retain their Ulster SFC title. McGrath was speaking to Charlie Collins for Donegal TV as part of their preview on the Ulster SFC final.Collins also spoke to Darrach O’Connor who has been a peripheral figure this season due to injury problems.O’Connor started the All-Ireland final last year and enjoyed a superb debut season.However, injuries have meant he will start Sunday’s game on the bench but says he is focused and ready if he gets the call to go in to action. To watch both interviews simply click play on the video above.DDTV – COUNTDOWN TO CLONES: MCGRATH -“IF WE PLAY TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY, THEN WE’LL WIN” was last modified: July 13th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:donegal tvGAAnewsPaddy McGrathSportUlster SFClast_img read more

DONEGAL COMMONAGE FARMERS MAY NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR SFP GRANTS – McCONALOGUE

first_imgFianna Fáil TD for Donegal North East, Charlie McConalogue, says some commonage farmers in Donegal may not be eligible for the Single Farm Payment (SFP) from 2015 due to new regulations being imposed by the Minister for Agriculture.Charlie McConalogue TDThe Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed to Fianna Fáil that from 2015 on commonage farmers who do not put stock on the commonage will not be eligible for the Single Farm Payment.The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed to Fianna Fáil that from 2015 on commonage farmers who do not put stock on the commonage will not be eligible for the Single Farm Payment.This is because of the new rules defining an active farmer, which says that unlike farmers farming enclosed land, those farming semi-natural land will have to have a minimum stocking on that land. Deputy McConalogue described the situation as ridiculous.“Following the considerable problems in relation to the Glás Scheme, which may preclude many commonage owners in Donegal from participating in it, there is a further major challenge facing commonage farmers here from 2015 on.“This is a ridiculous rule because the net effect is that rather than an arrangement being arrived at between farmers on a hill whereby only some of the applicants for Area Based Payments use the hill, all applicants for Area Based Payments will now be required to put stock on the hill. It will reduce the economic benefit for those who traditionally used the hill up to now and force people, who for reasons of health or age might not feel that they could engage in farming, to put stock up on the hill.“This will not in any way improve either the agricultural or environmental condition of the hill but will act as another bureaucratic barrier for farmers.” He said he was now calling on the Minister for Agriculture at this late stage to revise this interpretation of the regulation and ensure that as long as a hill is stocked correctly and is kept in good agricultural environmental condition that the requirement for all farmers in Donegal to put stock on the hill would be removed.“There is no reason why a different and more onerous rule should apply to hill farmers in Donegal compared to low-land farmers.“There are many hills throughout the country where less than half of the farmers declaring commonage keep stock on the hill. It must further be noted that not only will these farmers no longer be eligible for payment of Single Farm Payment on their hill land but they also will not be eligible for payment on their enclosed land either.“The CAP Reform 2014 – 2020 is turning out to be a disaster for those living on marginal land with the Minister hell-bent on concentrating resources on the areas of prime land throughout the country.“This decision could lead to major environmental damage in the hills with the long term abandonment by a large number of farmers of farms in the west of Ireland. “It will also serve to accelerate depopulation and discourage farmers from maintaining an interest in agriculture in these areas.”DONEGAL COMMONAGE FARMERS MAY NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR SFP GRANTS – McCONALOGUE was last modified: July 30th, 2014 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:Deputy Carlie McConaloguedonegalsingle farm paymentlast_img read more

Bengo cleared to play for Wakiso Giants

first_imgBengo in action for Wakiso Giants last year (file photo)WAKISO – Wakiso Giants have revoked the indefinite suspension handed to one of their star-players towards the end of last year.The Big league Money bags released a statement on 26th December announcing they had suspended Steven Bengo for indiscipline issues. They further explained that the former SC Villa, Express and KCCA FC play-maker had gone AWOL and absented himself from training for a while.However, barely a month after, they have now come out and cleared him to play again for the club.“He (Bengo) apologised and has been pardoned,” confirmed Wakiso Giants CEO, Sula Kamoga.Throughout his playing career, Bengo has had discipline issues only to be saved by his immense talent which is one of the many that have not been exploited to capacity.He has consistently clashed with his teammates, coaches and on a few occasion, fans. The suspension last month came as no surprise to many but hopefully he can now settle down and play the game he loves the most.Wakiso will be back in action on today (Tuesday) away to Kireka United in the Stanbic Uganda Cup and it remains to be seen whether Bengo will feature.They are currently leading the Elgon Group in the FUFA Biga League as they edge closer to promotion to the top tier at the first time of asking.Comments Tags: FUFA Big League 2018/19Kamoga SulaKireka Unitedstanbic uganda cupSteven Bengolast_img read more

How can Joe Pavelski be an All Star in today’s NHL?

first_imgSAN JOSE — For his entire life, from high school to junior hockey, the NCAA and eventually the NHL, Joe Pavelski has overcome doubts about his size, speed and talent.He’s still doing it.At age 34, Pavelski isn’t merely playing in his 12th NHL season, he’s playing better than ever before — and doing it in a league that continues to grow faster and younger.The Sharks captain will be on the ice when the NHL All Star game is played Saturday at SAP Center, suiting up alongside the likes of Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Mikko Rantanen, proving that he can still produce against a generation of early-20 somethings that’s rewriting the rules of the game. “Joe’s story is exactly the same as it was when I coached him,” said P.K. O’Handley, who coached Pavelski from 2002-04 with the United States Hockey League’s Waterloo Blackhawks.“He’s facing the same questions. But you can’t question his IQ, his work ethic, his determination. Joe will do anything to win and that’s never changed.”​The roots of Pavelski’s drive and discipline can be traced back to his family home in Plover, Wisconsin, a town of roughly 12,000 that you might miss if you blink while driving through the middle of the state on Highway 51. Pavelski learned the value of hard work from his father, Mike Pavelski, who owns a local wallpaper business and supported his family on modest means.“I’ve got to assume that it all started there,” the Sharks’ captain said. “That was my first job, working with him at a young age if there was something I could do I’d help him out. I remember putting glue on the back of wallpaper and he’d hang it, just things like that. All of his customers respect him because he shows up and does a good job.”Pavelski took his father’s attention to detail and applied it to his passion for hockey, spending many pre-teen days by himself fine-tuning his skills at an outdoor rink near his childhood home. “Very quietly in his own mind, Joe had this determination even as a fourth grader that this was what he was going to do,” said Pavelski’s high school coach, Jack Stoskopf Jr. “You’d drive by the house and see him out there in the driveway shooting pucks by the hundreds while all the other kids his age were sleeping.”Without knowing it, Stoskopf stoked Pavelski’s fire during an Activity Day visit to his grade school. In an effort to encourage the students to be well-rounded individuals, the revered coach told the youngsters that only one in 10,000 kids that grow up playing hockey will ever reach the NHL.“I specifically remember saying that nobody in this gym is going to play in the NHL,” Stoskopf said recently. “When I went out to San Jose to see him play as a rookie, he reminded me of that story. He said, ‘I didn’t believe you. I didn’t believe that none of us could make it.’”“I just used that as ammo when I needed it,” Pavelski said.Once Pavelski joined his team, Stoskopf witnessed first-hand the traits that would come to prove his prediction wrong. This kid was always the first player at the rink, shooting pucks long before his teammates joined him on the ice. When the rink manager wasn’t around, Pavelski would stay on after practice, waiting for someone to kick him off the ice.Stoskopf also caught a glimpse of the leadership ability that ultimately would lead to Pavelski getting a ‘C’ stitched on his jersey at the NHL level. After he spent Pavelski’s sophomore year in retirement from coaching, Stoskopf received a surprise phone call at home during the summer.It was the Pavelski kid.“And he said, ‘I’m just wondering if you can come back and coach.’ He called me all on his own. I remember hanging the phone up and going, ‘Oh my God, are you kidding me?’” Stoskopf said.“He said, ‘We won’t be able to find a coach that provides the discipline that you provide — we need that discipline.’ He already knew what was needed to be successful at that age.”Together, Pavelski and Stoskopf led the SPASH (Stevens Point Area Senior High) Panthers to state title that season (2002).After that, the road to the NHL got even steeper. Pavelski’s deficiencies became glaringly obvious when he moved to Waterloo, Iowa for his senior year of high school to play for the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks. Competing in a more physical league against older, bigger players, Pavelski’s lack of size and speed started coming into question, concerns that would follow him into the NHL.“At first, I probably saw what everyone else did. His skating definitely needed help,” said O’Handley, the coach in Waterloo. “But that quickly evaporated.”Despite his obvious shortcomings, O’Handley soon noticed that Pavelski’s hockey IQ was “exceptional.” He could read plays, anticipate where the puck was going and find the open spots on the ice where goals are scored. Pavelski’s “hockey sense” is so developed, it continues to stand out at the NHL level.Though the league continues to get faster and faster, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer calls Pavelski’s lack of foot speed a “non-factor.”“He eliminates the speed issue by using his head as he moves around the ice,” the Sharks coach said. “Pav’s gift is his IQ. It’s like McDavid’s legs. I don’t think you can teach that — you’re born with that.”But Stoskopf is convinced that Pavelski’s hockey brain is a product of his physical deficiencies. He studies the game to compensate for his weaknesses. When Pavelski is on the bench, he isn’t resting; he’s analyzing the play on the ice. He’s studies tape, critiques his own play, looks for ways to improve.“It’s kind of like when someone can’t see very well, so their senses are better with hearing, touch and taste,” Stoskopf said. “Joe knew he wasn’t a great skater, so he had to be a good shooter, a good passer and his awareness always had to be key.”Pavelski’s mind, leadership and work ethic helped the Blackhawks capture the Clark Cup, the USHL’s championship trophy, in 2003-04, propelling him onto the University of Wisconsin, where he fulfilled another childhood dream by suiting up for the Badgers.At Wisconsin, Pavelski ramped up his off-ice training program, overhauling his work in the gym to address his flaws. When he arrived on campus, he lacked the strength to do more than five pull-ups in a row, fueling his desire to become a fitness fanatic.“He wasn’t a physical specimen by any means. He worked at it,” said Sharks strength and conditioning coach Mike Potenza, who held the same position at Wisconsin when Pavelski played for the Badgers.“He became a real student of it. He was very curious about how he could improve his fitness to compete at that level and beyond.”With Potenza’s help, Pavelski dissected his game to determine what he needed to do in the gym to address his weaknesses on the ice. He does heavy-aerobic circuits to improve his strength in the corners and in front of the net, areas where he needs to excel. His training also involves pedaling with high-wattage tension on the bike; jumping exercises to enhance his explosiveness; and core work to improve his strength on the puck.“He’s not the fastest, best skater, but what if he didn’t do all of that?” Potenza asked. “He’s not very fast from point A to point B, but in the corners, when he’s turning and he’s moving into positions where he can get shots off, he does get there quickly.”In college, the extra work paid off in the form of a national championship in 2005-06, setting the stage for Pavelski’s emergence with the Sharks less than a year later.Pavelski’s rags-to-riches is well documented: Drafted in the seventh round, No. 205 overall, in 2003; three-time All Star; two-time Olympian; 10 seasons of 20 or more goals; captain of the Sharks.Pavelski ability to excel in a rapidly-changing league also is the function of his devotion to being what John Wooden called, a perpetual learner. Similar to how he has molded his body to overcome his physical shortcomings, Pavelski puts in the work to give himself a mindset that’s geared toward success.He’s a devotee of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and the 10,000-hours rule, a theory that expertise derives from relentless practice. He’s also studied Geoffrey Colvin’s “Why Talent is Overrated,” buying into his ideas about “deliberate practice.”“It talks about how Michael Jordan really worked on specific things that he wanted to get better at,” Potenza said. “Jordan was a cutter and a slasher early in his career and then all of a sudden he became one of the best defensive players. Then, he’s got this 20-foot jump shot that he doesn’t miss.“Joe took those books to heart, made that part of his game.”To this day, Pavelski is still the first guy on the ice at Sharks practice. Anyone who shows up early, can see his deliberate practice at work. He practices spin moves in the slot, one-timers in the circle, deflections in front with Brent Burns snapping off wrist shots from the point.Pavelski estimates that he shoots “a few hundred” pucks before practice. By no coincidence he has 27 goals this season (ninth in the league), scoring in the dirty areas while many of the league’s young scorers operate with speed off the rush.”This level of commitment is what makes Pavelski such a great leader. His teammates see the extra work he puts in, the obstacles he has cleared to succeed in the NHL and it inspires them to do more.Tony Granato, the University of Wisconsin coach who played for the Sharks from 1996-2001, said his players benefit from Pavelski’s presence on campus when he trains there in the summer.“He’s the greatest role model you could have for your program,” Granato said. “Our guys get to watch him train in the summer, take something from him.”Now that Pavelski is recovered from a wrist injury that hindered him most of last season — his goal total (22) was the lowest it has been in a full season since 2010-11 — the question shifts to his future.Pavelski will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Sharks declined to make him an offer last summer when he became eligible for a contract extension and now, as the leading scorer on the league’s third-best scoring team, his stock is soaring.General manager Doug Wilson is looking at a complicated offseason with the contracts of Pavelski, Erik Karlsson and Joe Thornton set to expire and Timo Meier moving into restricted free agency. With an estimated $22 million available in cap space, can Wilson keep everyone on board and still give Pavelski the pay raise he’ll be due?Pavelski says he’ “hopeful” a deal can be reached. His No. 1 priority is winning a Stanley Cup and he leaves no doubt that he wants to finish his career with the Sharks.“All I’ve known is San Jose, and at the end of the day, that’s probably all I want to know. We’ll see where the chips fall,” Pavelski said. “We’ve built something pretty good here, but we still want to get to that next level and bring it home.”last_img read more

Bolstering Your Balance Sheet with Your Tax Refund

first_imgYou could use your refund to start building your emergency savings fund or increase an existing emergency fund. This strategy may help you avoid landing in credit-card debt if you have an emergency. Adding funds to an emergency savings fund would increase your assets on your balance sheet.U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Ma, Jae-sang By Dr. Martie GillenAccording to the IRS, refunds to taxpayers averaged about $3,200 over the past two years and over 92% of the refunds were direct deposited into the taxpayers account. Use this as an opportunity to bolster your personal balance sheet.You could use the refund to pay off debt. For example, you could pay off credit card debt. Paying off credit card debt with your refund would decrease your liabilities on your balance sheet. You could use your refund to boost your retirement savings. For example, you could contribute to a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. In 2016, the total amount you may be eligible to contribute to either a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA is $5,500. People 50 and over can contribute an additional $1,000 for a total of $6,500. Keep in mind that you can only contribute to a Roth IRA if you have earned income and your income is below a certain threshold. If you work and your spouse does not, you can also contribute to a Roth IRA in his or her name if your joint income is within the limits. Adding funds to an IRA or Roth IRA would increase your assets on your balance sheet.You could use your refund to build a college fund for your children. For example, you could use the refund to contribute to a 529 account. Adding funds to a 529 account would increase your assets on your balance sheet.Lastly, if your refund was substantial, consider giving yourself an immediate raise by adjusting your tax withholding to increase your take-home pay rather than waiting all year to receive a refund next year. You can adjust your withholdings by updating your W-4 at any time during the year. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator to help you determine the adjustments.last_img read more

Many answers to the pollution crisis

first_imgIt’s the same story this year as it was last year. And the year before: the air pollution is killing us. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even pointed out that a hundred thousand under-five children in India died from air pollution in 2016. If this isn’t an emergency, I,It’s the same story this year as it was last year. And the year before: the air pollution is killing us. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even pointed out that a hundred thousand under-five children in India died from air pollution in 2016. If this isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is, except for active war, bombing and the end of water. What should India do?We need a broader, systems approach. The stubble burning crisis is a case in point. I’ve been meeting dozens of farmers and agricultural labourers over the past five weeks, often in their burning fields, asking what gives. Of the many solutions they proposed, the big one is the need for a shift in Punjab’s farming. It is not viable to grow a water-guzzling crop like rice, suck up the depleted water tables and then struggle with the stubble. Until this shift takes place, farmers will ask for better MSPs to incentivise the cultivation of hand-threshed varieties, where the stubble is not bruised by machines and can be fed to cattle; using MNREGA for labour to remove stubble because labour is too expensive in Punjab for most farmers to hire farm hands; and a re-think on sowing dates.Then there’s Delhi, which often grabs the headlines as the most polluted city in the world. Let’s not fall into this trap and stay so focussed on the capital. According to analysis by urbanemissions.info, a non-profit that focuses on making data and science on air pollution accessible, India has 134 air monitoring devices, though it needs 4,000. It is likely that several industrial belts and coal mining areas fare much worse than Delhi. Let’s measure and address the pollution away from the spotlight , where so many of our fellow-citizens suffer.advertisementWe speak of the metro systems in Kolkata and Delhi, or buses and trains. Safe, reliable public transport, not run on existing dirty fuels, in every city can be a game changer. This is where money has to be pumped in. And goading the public to use it is key too, including by refusing to register private vehicles for five years in 100 non-attainment cities listed by the government for consistently falling below the standards. Electric vehicles could be an exception.The waste issue is also much more complex than it seems. Solutions here are driven by managing the condition of urban workers. Tested solutions exist for security guards and the homeless-key people who burn waste in the winter. These range from warm kits and better kiosks to decent housing in the medium-term and decent, safe night shelters at once. Monetary Incentives and land for local composting are key to preventing organic waste from burning at landfills as are local material recovery facilities. In India, it’s the poor that recycle waste. Ensuring their masterplan space and supporting them as legitimate enterprises are part of the fight against air pollution. Construction emits significant dust. Even when it is stopped, the malba pollutes. Every construction or demolition activity should prepay waste handling fees per tonne, with a municipality appointed contractor paid to pick up the malba for recycling. We need an urban re-jig, both in terms of land use and local financial incentives. Can the Swachh Bharat Mission also help us with swachh saans?People and their lifestyles matter. We saw the suicidal actions of many on Diwali night, as fireworks went up endlessly. How can you first create illness and then expect Lakshmi to visit you? In many cities, we see traffic jams of private vehicles and polluting trucks driving through unchecked. Our industries still pollute extensively. Our coal plants are slow to upgrade and reduce emissions, postponing deadlines. India is in an emergency, but seems shrouded in disbelief. Our government must become a stronger administrator and aggressively push implementation. It’s time to stop all sporting events and outdoor events when it’s polluted, stop any trees being cut and parks destroyed. We need the National Clean Air Plan of the government rolled out with milestones and targets. We need tough love all around.(Bharti Chaturvedi is Founder and Director, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group)last_img read more