Something brown and smelly is coming from the kitchen tap

first_imgWATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Twitter Previous articleLimerick woman rescued from bridge over River ShannonNext articlePregnant Limerick mother died after hospital release Alan Jacques Print WhatsApp Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Email Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival TAGSAnti Austerity AllianceCllr Cian PrendivillefeaturedIrish WaterlimerickWater Charges center_img Linkedin Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Michael Mulcahy with a sample of the water from his tap in Kennedy Park.Picture: Keith WisemanMichael Mulcahy with a sample of the water from his tap in Kennedy Park.Picture: Keith Wiseman“THE smell off it was putrid, it was like faeces.”This was the description of the gunky water coming from the kitchen tap of Kennedy Park resident Michael Mulcahy this Tuesday afternoon.According to the 56-year-old, who lives on an invalidity pension at his home on the Galvone Road, this is the second time in less than a week that his tap water has turned this murky colour. He turned on his tap around midday and was overwhelmed by the “rancid” stink and pigmentation of the water.“This is not a joke. It happened last Thursday as well and about two months before that too. It is happening far too often. Something needs to be done about it.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “You should see the water in my tank in the attic. It is like brown shite. I also took a picture of a glass of water as it was coming out of the tap and it was filled with sediment. The stink off it was unbearable. It is just sickening. I certainly wouldn’t drink the water coming out of the taps.“I let the tap run for about ten minutes and the yellow colour eventually ran out of the water. I had clothes in the washing machine at the time and they were destroyed. The smell was disgusting. I had to put more washing powder in the machine and wash them all over again.Mr Mulcahy, who is opposed to water charges, said he didn’t call Irish Water to register his complaint as he feared this would be misconstrued as him signing up for the utility’s services.“I definitely have no intention of paying water charges. I am totally against them. The water up here is undrinkable and people are sick of the shite that is coming through the taps. It has to be a serious health hazard,”  he suggests.Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville is now urging anyone having difficulties with Irish Water, but who do not want to contact them directly, to get in touch with him.“I have contacted Irish Water and it seems that repairs were being carried out on the network in Kennedy Park that resulted in the water being contaminated. However, if water works leave the water undrinkable, the residents should at least be warned about this. It is not good enough for people to turn on their taps and find undrinkable, contaminated water,” he said.A statement from Irish Water said that they try to resolve all customer issues in a timely and efficient manner.“However, if we are not made aware of issues it makes investigating them difficult. Customers with any issues in relation to their water supply should contact our contact centre on 1890 278 278.“We are undertaking a national investment programme to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure. €340 million was invested in improving water and wastewater services in 2014 and over €363 million during 2015,” the statement concluded. NewsLocal NewsSomething brown and smelly is coming from the kitchen tapBy Alan Jacques – March 3, 2016 1029 Advertisement Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clashlast_img read more

Garden program employs autistic individuals

first_imgThe power of entrepreneurship has planted a new business in the local South Bend community called The Green Bridge Growers (GBG). The small business, co-founded by Saint Mary’s Justice Education professor Jan Pilarski, will sell local produce and offer employment to autistic individuals. Pilarski said she was personally affected by the hardships of autism when her son was unable to obtain a full-time job after graduating college. After witnessing others like her son, she began to see a social justice issue. “They are strong employees. The skills and opportunities for those with autism are not being used on the job,” Pilarski said. Innovation was needed to solve the problem, so Pilarski said she and her son decided to take action. Pilarski’s interest in sustainability and her son’s experience in organic farming provided the first step in creating GBG, she said. In collaboration with Notre Dame’s Science and Engineering Meet Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation master’s program, the GBG team began researching adequate and productive farming methods. Pilarski said GBG uses aquaponics, a different agricultural method in which growth must be maintained and monitored on a daily basis. “Aquaponics saves on hard labor,” she said. “It helps those with autism to work at the same level without creating physical stress on their bodies.” Typical farming tasks will be performed by the workers, who will seed the plants, transfer them as they grow and test them, she said. The system also requires precision and attention during inspection. In collaboration with the local community, Pilarski said GBG will be partnering with Hannah and Friends, a non-profit organization former by former Irish head coach Charlie Weis supporting and improving the lives of those with special needs. GBG will be adding a greenhouse to Hannah and Friends as a prototype, she said. This will provide an opportunity to test energy efficiency and growing methods while training autistic employees who are autistic, she said. GBG plans to build three 2,000 square foot greenhouses in the next three years. “We look forward to the expertise that Green Bridge will share with our staff and participants, teaching us to maintain the aquaponics system and creating hands-on learning opportunities for our participants” Katie Teitgen, staff member at Hannah and Friends, said. GBG is working on the construction of the prototype and will start with the instillation in May, according to Pilarski. The greenhouse will be completed by this summer and all proceeds will support further development of the greenhouse and other day program activities. Contact Christin Kloski at [email protected]last_img read more

Swimmers’ Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway

first_imgJAMES RIVERmilepost 63.9 Virginians have used the James River for so many utilitarian things that the river may not automatically come to mind when you’re looking for a swimming hole. But the section high in the Blue Ridge adjacent to the Parkway offers a variety of swimming hole goodies. A.T. hikers and locals have been known to jump from the James River Footbridge into the James’ depths, while more casual swimmers will enjoy floating a section of the river that parallels the Appalachian Trail below the bridge. If you’re really aggressive, you can hike the A.T. all the way to Matt’s Creek Shelter, where you’ll find more secluded, but smaller swimming holes on this tributary of the James.Jump In: Leaping from the James River Footbridge has become a rite of passage for A.T. thru-hikers. Couple an exhilarating jump with a sublime float downriver on an inner tube, and you’ve gotthe makings of a perfectsummer afternoon.DirectionsExit the parkway at milepost 63.9, then go west on Highway 501 for four miles, crossing the James. Park in the large A.T. parking area, and find the A.T. as it crosses the river via an old rail line that’s been converted to a footbridge.ARNOLD VALLEY POOLeast fork Elk Creekmilepost 71It’s hard to imagine a swimming hole prettier than the Arnold Valley Pool. Massive gray boulders surround the swimming hole on three sides, while a five-foot waterfall funnels the East Fork Elk into the deeper water. Some people slide the falls into the pool, and occasionally, you can find a rope swing dangling from a branch. Be careful of jumping, though, as rocks tend to lurk beneath the surface.DirectionsFrom Petite’s Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 71, drive west on the unmarked Forest Service Road 35, which twists down the mountain for several miles. Park right before the second small bridge over East Fork Elk. •Whee! Check out video and photos of cliff jumping at some of the Parkway’s best swimming holes here. The Blue Ridge Parkway is not just America’s most scenic mountain road; it’s also America’s longest trailhead. For 469 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway follows the ridgeline of the Southern Appalachians, connecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Along that stretch of two-lane blacktop are countless trails and backroads, some of which lead to ice-cold swimming holes. We’ve rounded up the best of these watery destinations scattered along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Strap on the water shoes and take a Parkway plunge.HAZEL RIVER FALLSHazel Riverskyline drive, milepost 33-34Hazel River Falls is a 30-foot falls cutting through the heart of a small, mossy cliffline. The pool isn’t huge or particularly deep, so jumping is out of the question, but the water is cold, crystal clear, and surrounded by a lush forest. The falls is actually split into two separate drops. Lower Hazel has a deeper swimming pool, while Upper Hazel sits next to a rock overhang that creates a natural shelter with a small cave ready to explore.DirectionsFrom Meadow Springs Parking Area on Skyline Drive between milepost 33 and 34, take the yellow blazed Hazel Mountain Trail, then go left on White Rocks Trail for .8 miles, where an unmarked trail will lead down to the Hazel River.RIP RAP HOLLOWskyline drive, milepost 90 Shenandoah National Park is full of swimming holes, and Rip Rap is one of the largest. You’re looking at a 3.5-mile hike to reach the ice-cold, 50-foot-wide hole, but remember: the longer the hike, the smaller the crowds. You’ll pass a 20-foot waterfall along the way, but the good swimming is further down where the trail crosses the creek. Rip Rap is a calm, greenish blue pool with a trickling rock slide feeding it. The hike alone is worth the effort; you’ll pass breathtaking waterfalls, mountain creeks, and cliffs.DirectionsPark at the Rip Rap trail parking, at milepost 90 along Skyline Drive. Take the A.T. for half a mile to the blue blazed Rip Rap Trail, then follow the trail for three miles as it drops in elevation.Hole Lotta Splash: The swimming hole in Shenandoah National Park’s White Oak Canyon is one of the hottest spots to cool off on summer weekends. To reach the swimming hole, park at the Cedar Run Trailhead along Skyline Drive and hike 1.7 miles to the falls. CAMPBELL CREEK GORGECampbell Creekmilepost 13.5The Mau-Har Trail is one of the Appalachian Trail’s blue-blazed side hikes that has become almost mandatory for thru-hikers because of its stunning beauty. The trail is steep and rugged, but passes through the Campbell Creek Gorge, which is packed with cascades and wading pools. The highlight of the gorge may be the 40-foot Campbell Creek Falls, but another, shorter falls farther down the gorge has better swimming. It drops over a rock ledge into a wide pool with good camping nearby. DirectionsPark at Reeds Gap at milepost 13.5. Take the A.T. south for 1.6 miles, then the blue-blazed Mau-Har Trail for two miles to the gorge.PANTHER FALLSPedlar Rivermilepost 46 It’s important not to wonder how Panther Falls got its name. Instead, focus on perfecting your cannonball. This small waterfall on the Pedlar River is flanked by two massive boulders ideal for jumping. The deep pool fed by the falls is almost completely surrounded by rock. Three potholes can be found above the falls, along with connected gentle slides. Soaking in one of the refreshingly frigid and smooth tubs can be a sublime juxtaposition to the adrenaline rush of rock jumping. DirectionsFrom the Parkway, go east on Highway 60, then take a quick right on Panther Falls Road and go for four miles. Park in the lot on the left and take the obvious hike down to the falls.STATON CREEK FALLSPedlar Rivermilepost 46Staton Creek Falls may not have the dramatic, vertical drop of other waterfalls in the Southern Appalachians, but it does have what every swimmer is looking for: options. This falls is actually a collection of separate cascades spanning 150 feet, most of which have their own distinct swimming holes beneath them. The largest pool sits at the bottom of the last 50-foot falls, there’s a deeper but smaller pool beneath the top cascade, and a lonely pothole sits in the middle, fed by the second cascade. The water tumbles over slick rocks, so footing is precarious at best.DirectionsFrom milepost 46, drive east on Highway 60, then north on Highway 605 for under two miles, then right on Highway 833 for one mile to the parking area at the falls.Lazy Days of Summer: Let the water do the work. Float the James River as it rolls through Shenandoah Valley.center_img HUNT FISH FALLSWilson Creekmilepost 311.1 The Wilson Creek area of North Carolina’s High Country is littered with falling water. There are so many options that it’s hard to pick one to highlight. We like Hunt Fish for its sheer beauty and swimming potential. Three wide and deep holes are separated by two 10-foot waterfalls: the first is a sheer vertical drop, and the second is a gradual slide. Squat granite cliffs line one side of the river and flat slabs perfect for sunbathing occupy the other. Swim, slide, sunbathe…Hunt Fish has it all. DirectionsTake the Parkway to Old Jonas Road at mile marker 311.1. Follow the gravel road as it drops from the parkway for two miles, then take FS 464 to the left for six miles (passing a church along the way) to the valley floor.  A parking lot on your left with a sign saying “Hunt Fish Falls” marks the spot. It’s a one-mile hike on trail 263 to the swimming hole.DUGGERS CREED FALLSDuggers Creekmilepost 316.4Forget about swimming laps at Duggers Creek Falls. This is more of a shower/soak than a swim. But the falls is such a neat pocket of water, it’s worth a trip. The 15-foot Duggers Creek Falls drops into a skinny, mossy slot canyon, forming a shallow pool sandwiched by sheer rock walls. An easy trail passes within view of the falls, but the slot canyon is so unique, it begs closer inspection. DirectionsAt mile post 316.4, take Linville Falls Road to the Linville Falls visitor center. The easy, half-mile Duggers Creek Trail starts in the parking lot and leads to the falls.CAROLINA HEMLOCKSSouth Toe Rivermilepost 344This could be the most family-friendly swimming hole on the Parkway. The South Toe River falls off Mount Mitchell, starting as a skinny mountain stream, then widening in the valley where Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area is located. The swimming hole sits on the edge of a campground and developed recreation area complete with a sandy beach. Large boulders and slabs line one side of the river, begging for relaxation, while a half-mile tubing run through chutes and slides keeps families entertained. There’s also a 15-foot deep pool for laps, and short rocks for jumping. DirectionsFrom milepost 344, take Highway 80 north for 5.5 miles to the Carolina Hemlocks Campground.WHALEBACKDavidson Rivermilepost 412Most people in this neck of the woods will head straight to Sliding Rock or Looking Glass Falls, but the locals go to Whaleback on the Davidson River above the fish hatchery. A massive slab of bedrock forms a horseshoe around a deep swimming hole. A small cascade tumbles into the green pool, which is surrounded by a lush hardwood forest. The pool—20 feet wide and twice as long—marks the spot where Cove Creek meets the Davidson River. Crowds are nonexistent during the week and minimal on weekends. DirectionsAt milepost 412, take Highway 276 south for several miles. Turn right on Forest Service Road 475. In three miles, park at the Cove Creek Group Camp and follow the obvious trail to Whaleback.GRAVEYARD FIELDSYellowstone Prongmilepost 419Directly adjacent to the Parkway, the Yellowstone Prong flows through a high-elevation valley that was decimated in the 1920s by extensive logging and a 25,000-acre wildfire. Today, blueberry and blackberry bushes dominate the landscape surrounding the trout stream. Graveyard Fields is one of the most popular destinations on the Parkway, but the three waterfalls on the Yellowstone Prong within the fields are worth the crowds. Second Falls is the easiest to get to, most crowded, and has the best swimming hole. Boulders line the base of the 70-foot falls, creating a picturesque pool. Hike downstream to Yellowstone Falls—a 100-foot slide—or trek 1.5 miles upstream to Upper Falls for more privacy.DirectionsGraveyard Fields is located next to the Parkway at milepost 418.8. Take the obvious trail from the parking area leading to Second Falls.FLAT LAUREL CREEKBlack Balsammilepost 420If the falls at Yellowstone Prong are too crowded for you, find one all to yourself on the Flat Laurel Creek. Flat Laurel Creek Falls is a half-mile series of cascades with a variety of plunge pools adjacent to the Flat Laurel Creek Trail, but more pools can be found if you’re willing to scramble and bushwhack down steep slopes. For the adventurous, long cascading waterfalls with shallow, but picturesque pools await. DirectionsAt milepost 420, take the paved Forest Service Road 816 to the Black Balsam Parking Lot and pick up Flat Laurel Creek which will drop 600 feet in 3.7 miles to Highway 215. •We have even more Southern Swimming Holes to tell you about!last_img read more

VIDEO: Cleveland Cavaliers Beat Golden State Warriors 93-89 To Win Their First NBA Title

first_imgFor the first time, the Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA champions. The Cavs defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 to win the title. It’s the city’s first major sports championship since the Browns won the NFL championship in 1964.”We made history tonight,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.Led by hometown star LeBron James, who won MVP honors for the third time in his career, the Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 game deficit and win the championship. James scored 27 points, collected 11 rebounds, delivered 11 assists, blocked three shots and had two steals.He was ably assisted by Cavs guard Kyrie Irving who scored 26 points including a 3-pointer with 53 seconds left, giving Cleveland a 92-89 lead. Then with just 10.6 seconds left, James made a free throw to make it 93-89. As those final seconds counted down on the giant scoreboard to that winning moment at 10:57 p.m. ET, thunderous screams erupted from the thousands who thronged Oracle Arena.Tears flowed freely among both fans and players, especially James, who two years ago promised to bring a title to his native Midwest state. “I gave everything that I had. I brought my heart, my blood, my sweat, my tears to this game,” James said during his postgame interview. “Cleveland, this is for you!”For the Warriors, Draymond Green collected 32 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists while and Stephen Curry scored 17 points, missing a crucial a 3-pointer in the final minute that would have tied the game.”It hurts, man,” Curry said of the loss.Meantime, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver echoed the sentiments of many Cleveland fans, “The curse is over.” Watch highlights of the game –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Sunday analysis: The controversial tenure of Eckert, leaves the city searching for answers

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (17) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +14 Vote up Vote down Wellingtonite · 218 weeks ago …very well written. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down paul · 218 weeks ago Eckert works for only one year and then gets $115K severance from Montrose County. Eckert then accepts Wellington job over Florence Job, accepting $20K less annual salary in Wellington over Florence, because wellington has better severance clause than Florence. Eckert then works for a little over one year in wellington and gets $100K Severance payment from Wellington. If Eckert put 1/2 as much effort into being a city manager, as he did setting himself up to get paid to not work by Montrose county and Wellington. He would have been an incredible city manager! Report Reply 2 replies · active 218 weeks ago +12 Vote up Vote down paul · 218 weeks ago Cueball: This is great story and information! I had heard all week it cost the City of Wellington $100,000 to terminate Eckert. I feel much better it was only $37,000 extra money paid to Eckert to terminate him immediately instead of allowing his contract to run till the end of 2016, based on what we know as of today. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago +15 Vote up Vote down John Munro · 218 weeks ago A very well written article, Tracy. I didn’t detect any favor in either direction, it seemed to be very well balanced, very un-political. Good journalism. Now; if maybe sometime down the line, if possible, we could get an interview with Mr. Eckert this whole episode would be complete. Keep up the good work, we all deserve it. Report Reply 1 reply · active 218 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Wes Smith · 218 weeks ago In your story posted October 18, 2014 about Roy accepting the job it detailed his contract. One of the items in this contract it was stated as follows “after the first six months the governing body will conduct a performance review on whether or not to provide the employee with a salary increase;” Was this 6 month review complied with? Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Guest · 218 weeks ago This might be the best reporting in the history of Wellington, Kansas. Good job. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago -2 Vote up Vote down Jeremy Davis · 218 weeks ago Great article. Only problem is not reporting the very, extreme decision making made by our council, and mayor without in my opinion any regard for the consequences. I’d love to show the amount of money wasted on things since this last election but every time I try and add them up my calculator says error. The cause…..not enough spaces for the amount I try to figure up. When you have to go to a bigger calculator to accomadate the very, Very.VERY high amount of wasted money this town throws away on dumb $#!+. I’m suprise there’s still room in the budget to pay someone $100,000 not to work. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago -2 Vote up Vote down Jeremy Davis · 218 weeks ago I would love for anyone to go and lookup (or download the pdf file like I did) and go through and look at where the city money actually goes. I went through the 300+ pages of the pdf file. Took me quite a long time as well and deduced that the average wasted money. Not money going to basic service but the budgeted amount each dept is alloted. I promise you. It is shocking. Wasteful. And quite literally benefit a very select few. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down ??? · 218 weeks ago I thought Sims and Newberry both had the title of Assistant under Gus?? Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Fedup215 78p · 218 weeks ago I too would like to see a comment from Roy. There are always two sides to every story. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council has had plenty of executive sessions over the years, but none of them were quite like the ones held on Friday, May 27, during a special meeting.Only the seven people alone in the room know what was specifically said in the closed room at the council chamber for an hour long private meeting that included a 30-minute and two 15-minute executive sessions. But has been described as “fraught with emotion.”Roy EckertWhen the council finally reconvened in open session, councilman Kip Etter uttered a motion never made in the history of the city of Wellington politics since switching to a city manager system over 50 years ago. He moved to terminate Wellington City Manager Roy Eckert’s contract immediately. It was seconded by Kelly Green Hawley.In order for the resolution to pass, the council needed two more votes to get a majority. It would get one. Bill Butts, the council newcomer who replaced B.J. Tracy last June, cast an affirmative vote. Jim Valentine, Jan Korte and Vince Wetta would vote against it. The vote then rested on the shoulders of Wellington Mayor Shelley Hansel.Shelley HanselA mayor in Wellington city council’s system, theoretically is the least powerful person on the board. He/she only votes occasionally and that is during a tie – and that happens rarely. But on this Friday afternoon, not only was the council deadlocked, but it came on what was the most controversial vote this council will probably ever make.She voted “yes.”And thus the tenure of Mr. Eckert, Wellington City Manager, had ended after a stormy 19 months. He was to leave at midnight that day.“It was not a matter of ‘if,’ it was a matter of when,” Wetta said the Saturday afterwards. “He is a nice guy and all that, but as far as being city manager is concerned, it was over.”Wetta said when it came down to it, he personally could not give $100,000 away with seven months left on his contract.“I have served on railroad boards and the state legislature for a number of years,” Wetta said. “This was by far the most difficult vote I ever cast.”Hansel would tell Newscow reporter James Jordan that she thought the seven months left on his contract would have made for an awkward working environment knowing his contract wouldn’t be renewed. The council had also contemplated taking action closer to the day of non-renewal. The council had 45 days before the his two year contract ended on Dec. 31. She said that wasn’t a good option either.In the end, the council majority voted to get it over with. Since then it has been both applauded and jeered.The Friday vote in some ways was two tiered. Not only did the council terminate Eckert, but it also chose not to take action on naming a replacement or even an interim. That could come Tuesday. The council has an executive session on its agenda for its first regular June meeting.But today at this writing, the city has no city manager. Hansel told Newscow that Jason Newberry, the assistant city manager, was to handle the day-to-day operations until then.This is unchartered territory for the city of Wellington. How it ends is anybody’s guess.The contractWhen the Wellington City Council voted to fire Eckert it was basically choosing between two scenarios:1) Pay him a $100,000 severance package as stipulated by his employment agreement;2) Discontinue paying him for the remainder of his contract. That would have cost the city $57,692 for 30 weeks of salary, $3,500 in car allowance, $700 in cell phone expenses (not including his health insurance premiums) in 15  bi-weekly payments.Sumner Newscow has obtained the employee agreement (found here) of Eckert signed on Oct. 22, 2014 by himself along with former Wellington Mayor Roger Stallbaumer, acting in behalf of that city council.The agreement commenced on Nov. 10, 2014 the beginning of Eckert’s employment and would have ended on Dec. 31, 2016, as a two-year contract. Had the council done nothing, it would have been automatically renewed until Dec. 31, 2018.According to termination clause on page 3 of the agreement:“termination shall occur when the majority of the governing body votes to terminate the employee at a duly authorized public meeting.”But in doing so, according to the contract stipulations, the city of Wellington would pay Eckert one year salary, since he did not resign or was terminated due to disciplinary reasons.The alternative to the quick termination was to keep Eckert on the payroll until Dec. 31. He was paid $3,846.16 bi-weekly for a $100,000 a year salary. With 15 payments left on his contract, that equated to $57,692 in salary alone. Combine the other amenities in his contract and the city would have paid $63,392 not including health insurance payments. So even though, Wellington paid Eckert $100,000 in severance, the net cost to the city at minimum is less than $37,000.Of course, that all depends what the council does next when hiring a new city manager. If it names a city manager soon, then it would be paying for two city managers until Eckert’s severance is paid out.The issue of severanceThe City of Wellington is no different than most municipal governments its size or larger or for that matter a CEO serving a private corporation. A severance package is used by the company as a contract incentive while at the same time protecting the employee from wrongful termination.The hope is, the severance package will never be used. And it hasn’t in the case of the City of Wellington. The city government has never fired a city manager. Most have resigned for other career opportunities. There was one exception. In 1987, a council did exercise its option not to renew the contract of city manager Craig Hubler, who was told on April 22, 1987 that the city of Wellington would exercise its 60-day option to terminate the employment agreement. He worked until June 22, 1987. He did not get severance pay.But when Eckert signed his two-year contract, he had a one-year severance pay package it was the largest ever offered in the City’s history. Former Wellington City Manager Gus Collins had a six months severance package.This did not come by accident.The severance package was one of the key negotiating points in bringing Eckert to Wellington.Before accepting the job at Wellington, Eckert had been county administrator at Montrose County, Colo. In late April 2014, when his tenure came to an end after his resignation, the Montrose County Commissioners provided Eckert a severance package of $115,000.When Eckert applied for the city manager in Wellington, he was one of three candidates left in an exhaustive interviewing process that had lasted for six months. He was not Wellington’s first choice. But after the first candidate turned down Wellington’s offer, Eckert was offered the job at $95,000 annual salary as well as a $500 car and $100 monthly cell phone allowance.But Eckert had sent Stallbaumer a letter, also turning the council down. At the time, he thought the council should wait another seven months before hiring a city manager until after the city election. He was also concerned with the high property taxes in Kansas and the housing situation in Wellington.In the meantime, Eckert had been offered a job for $120,000 a year from a municipality in Florence, Ore., a coastal town of 8,466 people in the west-central part of the state, $25,000 more than what Wellington was offering.But Eckert turned that council down as well. According to a statement issued by the Florence City Hall on Oct. 11 in the Siusaw News it stated:“The council has offered Mr. Eckert what they believed to have been a very fair compensation package but could not meet his requirement for a severance clause.”Florence had offered a six-month severance package and an additional month for every year he served thereafter.The Wellington City Council, hoping to get someone hired soon, upped the ante and offered Eckert a $100,000 a year contract with a 12-month severance pay package instead of six. Eckert would accept.In other words, Eckert accepted a contract paying him less money than Florence, Ore. but getting twice the severance pay package.Suffice it to say, Eckert has now made $215,000 since April 2014 by not working – $115,000 severance pay from Montrose, and $100,000 from Wellington.The stormy tenureFrom the onset, one could safely say, Eckert’s tenure had been a stormy one – not completely his fault.It wasn’t too much later that he found himself engulfed in the Wellington Housing Authority controversy between the board and then Wheat Capital Manor Executive Director Melissa Hamlin. He would remove the WHA board President.It was soon thereafter that Wellington Finance Advisor John Haas had announced during a work sessionthat too much money was taken out of the utility reserve fund during the Collins year and it needed to be replenished in order for the city of Wellington to not affect its bond rating.The Wellington Council, which brought in three new members in April’s election and replace another member in June, would eventually have to raise utility fees as well as property taxes to the chagrin of the taxing community.Arguably, though, Eckert’s biggest issues involved personnel (see story here). Eckert moved city employees like pawns. Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields was moved to finance director; Carol Mericle was moved in to replace him as clerk. Jason Newberry was made an assistant to the city manager – a new position that would cost city taxpayers $70,460 a year. Secretaries were moved and offices were changed. The funds going to the city manager’s office was upped by $38,032.Eckert was also having issues with both the Wellington Fire and Police Department after implementing a salary freeze and not delivering on promises for new equipment.As one city employee, who wished not to be identified, would put it about Eckert.“They (the council) did not see the near daily occurrence of indecision, lack of leadership, disorganization, etc. that other staff experienced.”One of the more troubling aspects with Eckert, many found, was his inconsistent leadership style.According to one individual not on the current council:Very early on, with the hospital situation, (Eckert) commented several times in public meetings, that he didn’t know how bad the situation was.  He absolutely did know as it was a specific item he was briefed on – just as we did with the other applicant, the first choice.  They were briefed and given full information on the SRMC issue, the status of the utility fund, the raw water issue and other issues that the city was facing.” Then there was the golf sprinkler crisis that developed this February in which the council was told the sprinkler system was no longer functional and needed and its computer needed to be replaced immediately. The council voted for the purchase, without a bidding process. Some have accused Eckert for a lack of leadership throughout the ordeal.None of the council members, contacted by Sumner Newscow said it was one specific thing that Eckert did that led to his dismissal but a collection of things. Council woman Green Hawley stated it came down to very poor job evaluations and general disappointment in leadership and control.The council’s actions If the council can be accused of one wrongdoing, it would be nor performing a performance evaluation when it was supposed to.As stipulated in the Eckert agreement:“The Employer shall annually review the performance of the Employee subject to a process, form, criteria, and format for the evaluation which shall be mutually agreed upon by the Employer and Employee. The process, at a minimum, shall include the opportunity for both parties to: 1) prepare a written evaluation, 2) meet and discuss the evaluation, and 3) present a written summary of the evaluation results.”However, there was no performance review made last December, the first year anniversary of his employment.Eventually on May 16, 18 months after Eckert was hired, the council had its first performance review. And according to Hansel, the evaluations were terrible.Eleven days later, the council was faced with the prospect of doing one of three things:1) Doing nothing and letting Eckert’s contract renew until December 2018;2) Not renewing his contract effectively making him a lame duck city manager until Dec. 31;3) Terminating Eckert immediately.The split council would ultimately decide to terminate a city manager immediately.There has been much speculation why the first performance review, was not made in a timely fashion. Many felt this was a white elephant scenario in which the council knew the issue of Eckert was looming but chose to ignore it for as long as possible for both financial and public relation reasons.Nevertheless, history will reflect that once the first performance review was made, Eckert did not survive it.Now comes the ramification of the Council’s May 27 decision – looking for a replacement.Collins resigned in April 2014. One can argue, that search for his permanent replacement is still ongoing.Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

European defeat fires up Tottenham’s Pochettino for next season

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Mauricio PochettinoSingapore, Singapore | AFP | Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said Friday that last month’s Champions League final defeat has made him more determined to succeed at the club, after the conclusion of another solid campaign.Pochettino said he was keen to continue with the five-year “project” that has seen Tottenham establish themselves in the Premier League top four and finally move into their new stadium after a series of delays.“After the final the feeling wasn’t great, to finish like this. I am not a person who wants to avoid the problem. I love a big challenge,” the 47-year-old Argentine told reporters as he looked back at the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in Madrid.“In the last week, we started to train and look forward to another season. We are still far away from where we expect to be, so it’s not just my challenge, but everyone’s challenge,” he said in Singapore ahead of Sunday’s pre-season friendly against Italian giants Juventus.“You need to be a man and try to move on from the Champions League final, create some atmosphere and excitement to fight for big things.“We cannot forget we came from that period of building our stadium, lodge and the training ground.“The holiday was so tough for myself, difficult to move on from the final. We shared three fantastic weeks and it was the best atmosphere in five years and it was a shame to end the way it did. “We deserved to win, to be better than a great team like Liverpool.”Pochettino had been linked to some of Europe’s leading clubs last season, but a move now seems to be off the table.Sitting next to Pochettino, England striker Harry Kane echoed his manager’s sentiments about being brave as the club hope to improve on their fourth-place finish after briefly flirting with a title challenge to champions Manchester City and runners-up Liverpool.“We know it was there for the taking and it’s something we have to deal with over the summer,” Kane said of the Champions League final defeat.“With everything last season I think we did extremely well. I haven’t watched the game again.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Leafs living through a nightmare season

first_imgNelson has lost five straight and 12 of 14 games dating back to October 31.In other words, November was a nightmare of the worst kind.And December hasn’t started out much better with four consecutive defeats.And the upcoming schedule isn’t very kind to the Leafs — in Fruitvale Friday to face the Murdoch Division-leading Nitehawks before returning home Saturday against the Osoyoos Coyotes, who just happen to lead the Okanagan Division with a 21-5-0-0-1 record.Revolving door keeps revolvingAs with any losing team there are changes.The latest to be shown the door are forwards Brendan Smith and Nick Novin.McLellan wouldn’t get into specifics, saying there were “off-ice issues” that led to the departure of the two players.Also sent packing was forward Tyler Garcia, traded, McLellan said, to a junior team in the United States.Leafs captain, Rayce Miller, is also not with the Leafs at this time.However, Miller is back home in Arizona to nurse a bad back that has been plaguing the former 27-goal scorer for most of the season.Injuries continue to haunt the LeafsMcLellan said his club is starting to see some players return to the lineup.Back on defence is Dash Thompson along with Andy Fitzpatrick on the forward line — both have been sorely missed in the lineup.However, defenceman Max Daerendinger and forward Austin Lindsay remain on the IR with Lindsay back home seeing a specialist for an injury that happened against Summerland Steam. Ever have one of those days when you wake up, get out of bed and kick the bedpost with your foot?Then bang your head into the door to the bathroom you thought was open.Walking into the kitchen you trip over the cat and drive your knee into the kitchen cabinet.When you get to work the boss gives you an ear full even before the first cup of coffee is finished.Now multiply that feeling ten-fold and you have a clear indication what life is like inside the Nelson Leafs dressing room.What could go wrong is going wrong as the once-mighty, and proud, Heritage City franchise.“Internally, we’re fine,” confessed Nelson Leafs coach and GM Dave McLellan when asked about the mood of the club.“It’s a old cliché, but I thought we were the better team the other night (in Grand Forks). We just had an untimely goal that hurt us.”“We need to get healthier,” McLellan added. “We’ve got guys coming off the shelf . . . we’ve got new guys in the lineup that don’t know our system who cost us a goal.”For those keeping score at home Nelson watched a 3-1 lead vanish faster than the lear jet in a David Copperfield magic show to Grand Forks in a 4-3 loss to the Border Bruins.What’s worse is the Leafs, which have toyed with the Bruins for years, are now on the other end of the Yo-Yo.The woes of the Green and White have been well documented.last_img read more

Fraser, Strohman power Wolves to Junior Bomber Invitational Title

first_imgLiam Fraser and Kyle Strohmann combined for 40 points to lead the Grand Forks Wolves to a 65-53 victory over Stanley Humphries Rockers of Castlegar in the final of the Bomber Junior Boy’s Invitational Saturday at the L.V. Rogers Hangar.Strohman, playing most of the game in foul trouble, finished with a game-high 23 points while Fraser, lights out from behind the three-point line, had 17 including five threes.last_img