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‘Underrepresentation Stalling Progress in Gr. Cape Mt. County’

first_imgA Grand Cape Mountainian son from Weada, Laar Clan, has said that it is a shame for Grand Cape Mount County, one of the five oldest counties in Liberia, to remain backward and underdeveloped while the other four counties are “progressing.”Mr. Jesse Zinnah Segbosaid the county’s backwardness is because of underrepresentation of the county in the National Legislature.Comparably, he said the growth and development inSinoe, Grand Bassa, Maryland and Montserrado Counties are better than Grand Cape Mount County.Historically, Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties were created as  counties in 1839;  followed by Sinoe and Grand Cape Mount Counties in 1843 and 1844 respectively and Maryland, in 1857.According to him, because of this “underdevelopment,” he has decided to become a senatorial aspirant for the coming Special Senatorial Election in which his representation in the Senate would help bring development to the county.Mr. Segbo declared his intension over the weekend after receiving a petition from the Friends of Jesse Association (FOJA) in a crowded rally held at Tahn Headquarters, Mana Clan, Gola Konneh District in Grand Cape Mount County.Mr. Segbo, a Master’s Degree holder in Public Administration with concentration in Public Policy urged citizens of the county to have someone put Grand Cape Mount on par with other counties in term of improved physical infrastructure, robust agriculture economy, amongst others in the county.According to the statement of petition on behalf of the people of GolaKonneh District, Laar, Mana and Darblo Clans, read by Jeffer Varney, Segbo was selected “after keen observation from past and present leaders, especially regarding the mismanagement of the county natural resources and the poor living conditions of the people.”“Whereas we are cognizant of the fact that GolaKonneh lacks basic services and the necessary infrastructure that provide for a better quality of life, our efforts here are aimed at highlighting areas that have long since been neglected, are in total disrepair and it becomes imperative at this juncture,” the petition said.It added: “As you may or may not be aware, these districts are rich in mineral deposits and other natural resources such as gold, diamond, iron ore etc., but our people have yet to benefit from these resources in any significant way and continue to suffer as a direct result of poor management and governance of these resources.”Paramount Chief William Boakai amongst others speakers, pledged their support to Mr. Segbo but urged him to serious.The former boss of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA), Albert Bropleh, who resides in Grand Cape Mount County, too, joined the Cape Mount citizens and urged them to Segbo as the “best person.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


Mrs. Clar Weah: Welcome to Football

first_imgCAF gives Mrs. Weah a challenging ambassador job which includes to prevail on her husband to support female soccer developmentThe recent appointment of First Lady Mrs. Clar Weah by the Confederation of African Football by the continental body as ‘Ambassador on Women Football’ is to ensure that women football in Africa and Liberia in particular, get additional momentum in its development on the continent.This suggests that through her influence, she could set the stage to motivate women in responsible positions across the continent to get material and all necessary support from the various governments in Africa, to improve the standard of the game.And for us in Liberia, Mrs. Weah’s appointment holds a promise of the good that could happen to female football. But the question is, where should CAF Ambassador Weah start her advocacy? Ok, since charity begins at home, we are hoping that Mrs. Weah will pay careful attention to female football in the country and recommend efforts for its improvement.Hence her office, if she should set up one, would do well to carefully review the female game in Liberia, with the help of the Liberia Football Association, to understand what to do next.For a fact, the Liberian female soccer has not been supported well by the Liberia Football Association. Despite promising women talents in the country, it is difficult to remember the last time the LFA provided assistance to the women to prepare for any of the female soccer tournaments that are organized by CAF. So, while CAF’s female tournaments are held every year in the various divisions, Liberia has not been able to prepare a team for any of them. This said report also affects all of the country’s youth soccer teams.In fact, at previous local games at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, female players are left to agonize over the fact that they decided to play the game. Their administrators, that is, owners of the clubs, have always dug deeper into their own pockets to provide basic necessities, like boots and incentives, to make the game more attractive for the players.However, there are people at the LFA who believe that Liberian football is improving because at least an official of the LFA has ascended to be a member of CAF’s Executive Committee. While there may be some truth in that, it is not the real true when we measure the LFA’s success on Liberia’s participation in CAF tournaments regarding its support to the female teams.Of course, while admittedly an LFA official’s ascension to CAF leadership is encouraging, how does it measure when Liberian female teams hardly participate in CAF tournaments? How are we happy to allow our girls to compete with their counterparts in CAF tournaments and delude ourselves that Liberian football is improving because one of us is part of the CAF Executive Committee?With all due respect, Mrs. Weah will have to make individual contacts with those whose sweat is sustaining the female soccer game. Yes, the owners of the female clubs and listen to their appeal.It is safe to suggest that CAF authorities saw the opportunity to draw Mrs. Weah in their fold, in order to help the female soccer sector because of her husband, President George Weah’s ascendancy to Liberia’s highest office. For President Weah’s ascendancy is a boost to world football.Before embarking on her terms of reference for CAF, regarding the continent, Mrs. Weah will have to deal with how to make the female soccer game more attractive and beneficial to the young women who are determined to make the game popular in Liberia?Mrs. Weah would also have to find out why Liberian female teams are not heard of whenever CAF’s female tournaments are held. That way she would understand why Liberia is always absent in such prestigious tournaments and as a consequence recommend the way forward.For the meantime we say welcome to women football and may we hope that your presence would empower one of the marginalized sectors of football development in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


Roraima Duke Lodge fetes veterans

first_imgAs dozens of Guyanese patriots of the Joint Services gathered to receive another unforgettable treat at the 10th annual Veterans’ Christmas Luncheon held at Roraima Duke Lodge, Kingston, the retired military men and women called for more respect from a nation which they have risked their lives all to serve and defend.Gerry Gouveia Sr greeting the veteransDuring the event, Captain Gerald Gouveia Jr, who hosted the event, said that the veterans’ luncheon has become an integral part of the Christmas tradition at Roraima Group of Companies and as such, it is committed to showing appreciation to the military men and women who made noble sacrifices for their country.“We at Roraima are always proud to give back to the community in which we serve and there are no better people than to give than the people who served us as Guyanese people”.It was highlighted that Captain Gerry Gouveia Sr served in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) for approximately 15 years and retired as a Major. This accomplishment inspired him to give back to military men and women who served the country.He highlighted that some of the veterans suffer from disabilities.“More needs to be done to help our veterans. They have served the nation with distinction and need not just be remembered but must be cared for”.According to Gouveia, the event has been a success over the past ten years; however, he is pleading with businesses and religious communities to engage in the luncheon which caters for veterans during the holiday season.The veterans present performed poems and shared stories with each other while enjoying the atmosphere.Veterans Welfare Officer and retired Staff Sergeant Beverly Somerset noted that this is one of the most exciting times of the year for the veterans since they look forward to it.“Before the date is presented by Roraima, the veterans call sometimes two or three weeks before to find out when it will be held. Many of them are very excited to attend because they do not get out often due to their physical condition. So, especially at this time of the year, they are eager to come out and enjoy themselves” Somerset stated.Somerset concluded that the veterans deserve all the love during the holiday and is, therefore, calling on the Guyanese population to show more respect.The veterans’ associations which participated in the Roraima Veterans Luncheon were the Guyana Veterans Legion and the Millicent Greaves Citizens Home.last_img read more


Vikings roll past Grossmont, remain undefeated in 2007

first_imgThe Vikings were able to keep pace with the state’s No. 1 team for most of the game thanks to Sarah Frudakis’ solid outing on the mound and with her solo home run, but Antelope Valley pulled away in the bottom of the 9th to get the extra innings win. Long Beach City hosts Palomar today in a doubleheader, the first game begins at 10 a.m. Women’s basketball CSUDH 56, San Bernardino 38 Brigayle Iglehart accounted for a game-high 21 points to go with four rebounds, four steals and three assists in 33 minutes of play and Alana Bailey had nine points, eight rebounds and three steals in the CCAA victory for Dominguez. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Freshman left fielder Michael Nesbitt capped the Chargers’ rally as he was able to drive catcher Bubba Ruddy in the bottom of the 10th inning with a single in the nonconference win over L.A. Valley College. Cypress was down three runs at one point but the Chargers’ bats came alive to score four unanswered runs. Cypress (5-0) hosts Oxnard for a 1 p.m. game. JC softball Antelope Valley 6, LBCC 5, (9) JC baseball Cypress 4, L.A. Valley 0 center_img Viking sophomore Naseri Tumanuvao recorded 15 kills and added seven digs in the nonconference win over Grossmont College to help the men’s volleyball team remain undefeated, 5-0, in their 2007 campaign with the 30-26, 30-24, 30-28. Sophomore middle blocker Brett Massetti had 10 kills and six blocks for Long Beach City College, who will travel to Golden West on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. nonconference matchup. last_img read more


First Nation chiefs meet with MP Bob Zimmer in Ottawa to discuss Site C

first_img“I was happy to meet with local Aboriginal leaders; I’ve met with them in the past and want to continue on meeting with them,” Zimmer concluded. “It doesn’t mean will always agree on issues but I look forward to more positive meeting in the future.” “I met them in my office yesterday; I met with the Chief from Moberly, Roland Willson, and we met for breakfast this morning to discuss Site C,” Zimmer explained. “…It was basically to voice their concerns they have that are in the report that the National Energy Board has done and voice their concerns about some of the impacts of the proposed project.”Chief Logan and Willson posted a controversial photo on Twitter moments after concluding with MP Zimmer – their middle finger pointed directly at Parliament with the caption “Treaty 8 Chiefs Logan and Willson salute Harpers office.”Treaty 8 Chiefs Logan and Willson salute Harpers office.— Liz Logan (@DeneWoman1) September 23, 2014Both Chief Logan and Willson were unavailable for comment in time for publication.- Advertisement -MP Zimmer was somewhat taken back by the photo as he says once their meeting concluded, he left the table with the feeling they’ve engaged in a productive conversation.Advertisement “I thought it was an interesting thing to do because I thought we had some good discussions,” Zimmer said. “We didn’t agree on everything …and even though that decision is forthcoming, the actions displayed were a little bit of a surprise.”Zimmer says he understands the environmental concerns of First Nation leaders and their supporters, but ultimately the federal government needs to base their decision on “what’s good for all Canadians.”“We want to have a project that meets environmental criteria especially and hopefully satisfy all stakeholders and constituents as best as possible,” Zimmer goes on to say. “…We hope we have a consensus support when that decision is made but we’ll see how that goes.”Zimmer says he looks forward to meeting with First Nation representatives in the future as the provincial and federal government are expected to release their decision on Site C within the next month.Advertisementlast_img read more


South America talents reshaping Major League Soccer

first_imgMore than 60 South American players will be sprinkled across MLS this year, many of whom are still in the early stages of their career, hoping to use the league as a stepping stone to bigger things.Miguel Almiron, the 24-year-old Paraguayan international striker, is preparing for a second season with expansion side Atlanta United after a successful debut campaign for the club in 2017.Almiron, who scored nine goals in 30 games, has attracted interest from several European clubs, with Inter Milan, Arsenal and Newcastle all reportedly monitoring his form in recent months.The Paraguayan has made no secret of his desire to use MLS as a springboard for an eventual move across the Atlantic.“It’s a bridge to Europe,” he told reporters at a recent media day in Los Angeles.Venezuelan forward Josef Martinez of Atlanta United heads the ball during a game against the New York Red Bulls, at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2017 © GETTY/AFP/File / Mike Zarrilli“The league is being watched so much around the world. My objective ever since I was at Lanus is to go to Europe.”Almiron’s strike partner at Atlanta, the 24-year-old Venezuelan international Josef Martinez, is similarly unambiguous about the long-term objective.“If you perform well here, you have a chance to go to Europe, so you welcome that opportunity,” Martinez said.Both Almiron and Martinez are developing under the tutelage of former Argentina and Barcelona manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who steered Atlanta to the playoffs last year in their maiden MLS campaign.– ‘Excellent opportunity’ –Martino was instrumental in securing the services of another rising South American talent, the 18-year-old Ezequiel Barco.Barco, who has made eight appearances for Argentina’s under-20s, joined Atlanta from Independiente in an MLS-record $15 million transfer last month.Barco’s capture represents something of a coup both for Atlanta and MLS. In previous eras, the young Argentine would almost certainly have headed directly to Europe rather than take a career detour in North America.Bob Bradley, the former United States and Swansea coach who will take the helm of expansion side Los Angeles FC in their debut season, said the South American influx indicates MLS is on the right trajectory.LAFC themselves are hoping to have recruited their own South American gem in the shape of 19-year-old Diego Rossi, who has joined from newly crowned Uruguay champions Penarol.“As MLS has grown, I think a lot of these young players realise that it’s an excellent opportunity to come and build a name, in some cases to use it as an opportunity to maybe move onto another league,” Bradley told AFP.“Or it can be simply because this is where they want to be. Anybody who has spent any time in South America knows there is amazing talent there. It’s no secret. For MLS to get these young players to come here, it shows that the league has moved in the right direction.”Federico Higuain, the elder brother of Juventus and Argentina star Gonzalo Higuain, says the arrival of young talents like Barco reflects the maturity of MLS, where Atlanta attracted an average crowd of 48,200 fans per game last season.“Around the world, people are looking at this league growing up very fast,” said Higuain, who has played for Columbus Crew since 2012.“Players want to come here. If anyone asks me about the league, I say ‘Yes, come. You will enjoy it and you will love it,” the 33-year-old added.Higuain also believes MLS provides a relative refuge from the pressure-cooker atmosphere of many domestic leagues in South America.“A good thing about the league is nobody bothers you,” Higuain said. “The pressure is a little bit lower. I’m not saying there is no pressure. But in other countries, the pressure is very crazy.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Miguel Almiron (R), the 24-year-old Paraguayan international striker, is preparing for a second season with the Atlanta United after a successful debut campaign for the club in 2017 © GETTY/AFP/File / Kevin C. CoxLOS ANGELES, United States, Feb 28 – A new generation of South American players will be on display as Major League Soccer kicks off its 2018 season this weekend, highlighting the growing attractiveness of the competition as a destination for emerging talent.More than a decade after David Beckham’s move to Los Angeles was followed by the arrival of several fading European stars, MLS teams are increasingly looking to South America to strengthen their rosters.last_img read more


Mourinho looking for Carrick replacement

first_imgSpeaking about possible new recruits, the Portuguese said: “We need to sign a midfield player because we are going to lose Michael Carrick. Of course we need balance in the team and I said that months ago. You can accuse me of many things but you cannot say I lie to you.“When I don’t want to say things, I don’t say, but I don’t take you in other directions. So I told you we don’t want to sign any strikers or wingers, and yes we are looking for a midfield player.”21-year-old central midfielder Scott McTominay could be one to step into Carrick’s boots, although the Red Devils boss refused to give too much away about which direction the side might go.He added: “It depends what you understand by promotion. If for you, promotion is they train regularly with us, then they are promoted for a long time.“Scott McTominay didn’t arrive here from the Moon – before he trained with the first team. He trained with us last season, he came with us in pre-season. If that’s what you mean by promotion, the kids are promoted all the time.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Michael Carrick gave a rallying call after the bombing in ManchesterLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 18 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed the club are searching for a replacement for veteran midfielder Michael Carrick, who is retiring at the end of the season.The 36-year-old has already accepted an offer to join Mourinho’s coaching team at the end of 2017/18, bringing a conclusion to a glittering 12-year career at Old Trafford.last_img read more


Democratic activist Roberta Gillis succumbs to paralyzing stroke

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Roberta Gillis, an outspoken Democratic activist in Santa Clarita, died late Thursday night of complications from a stroke she suffered on her 69th birthday several weeks ago. Gillis, former president of the Santa Clarita Democratic Club, had been attempting to recover from the massive stroke that had paralyzed both sides of her body. The woman many credit with pulling strings behind the scenes took great pleasure in her unorthodox rise to power. She delighted in lunch meetings that yielded results at the polls on election day. On Friday, Sen. Art Torres, chairman of the California Democratic Party, grieved her passing. “There’s going to be a big void in the community with her gone,” Gutzeit said. “People don’t realize how much she was doing behind the scenes. She had her position and her ideas and she would ask for what she wanted with a smile on her face. I have to try to remember some of her lessons.” Gillis, who picked up a phone and convinced California Sen. Barbara Boxer to visit Santa Clarita for a fundraiser, also freely lent a hand to people who would not be casting any votes. She fed homeless people who lived along the Santa Clara River and volunteered at the seasonal homeless shelter. Gillis had nine siblings. She grew up apart from them because her parents, unable to feed their brood, placed her in an orphanage when she was 7. After escaping from Yugoslavia, she roamed to Italy, France and Germany, sleeping whereever she could, until entering the United States as a political refugee. She learned to speak English after landing in New York in 1962 at the age of 25. Bruce McFarland, president of the Democratic Alliance for Action in Santa Clarita, remained friends with Gillis after a split in the local Democratic organization. “We’ve always had a tumultuous relationship,” he said. “We agreed philosophically 95 percent of the time, but our tactics and approach were different. We both had a lot of respect for each other. “People did things because Roberta asked. She knew how to ask, how to persuade people, how to tweak them. She did favors for them whenever they asked, and she knew people all over the state and the country.” Gillis’ husband Ron is a trustee on the College of the Canyons board, and the couple was long regarded as a political one-two punch. On Friday, under dark rainy skies, a ray of light pierced her husband’s thoughts. “She was a beautiful lady,” he said. “She had humor that would totally disarm you, a smile that would light up your soul.” (661) 257-5255160Want 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 MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“Democrats have lost a strong and vibrant leader, one who always went the extra mile to help out with Democratic causes,” he said in a statement. “Her warm smile and generous spirit will be greatly missed.” A testament to the drive and win-win stratagems of the petite dealmaker is the esteem in which leaders on the other side of the fence also held her. “I always found Roberta to be a worthy adversary,” U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, said in a statement released Friday. “Competition makes us all better and competing in the marketplace of ideas is always a good thing.” McKeon attributed Gillis’ love of her adopted country to her birth in Yugoslavia, then a communist country, noting that she was “passionate about America and the democratic process.” One of Gillis’ most recent political success stories is Newhall County Water Board President Maria Gutzeit, for whom Gillis served as campaign manager. In the year and a half the two invested in the race, Gutzeit was inspired by Gillis’ charisma and determination. last_img read more



first_imgProvisional figures from the HSE show a 200% increase in the number of VTEC E.coli infections notified in Ireland during the first half of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. This increase comes on top of continual increased incidence rates since 2005.Two hundred and twelve cases were reported nationally in the first six months of 2012 compared with 69 cases for the same period last year.  29 of the cases this year were reported in the North West region (Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim), according to Dr. Anthony Breslin, Public Health Specialist, HSE North West.“VTEC is a germ that can cause infection if swallowed and usually causes a mild illness. Most people recover completely without any problems. However, VTEC produces a toxin that may damage the bowel wall causing severe bloody diarrhoea. In about 5-8% of cases the infection causes a life-threatening complication called haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). In HUS the red blood cells are destroyed and kidney failure occurs. Up to 9% of people who develop HUS following VTEC infection die. HUS is more likely to occur in children aged under 5 and the elderly. “Part of this year’s increase is explained by improved sensitivity of laboratory testing methods and most cases have occurred in rural areas.“Nationally, eight outbreaks involving childcare facilities have been reported and 56% of cases were in children under the age of 5 years. There were 13 cases of VTEC associated HUS,” Dr. Breslin said.The public can help to prevent the spread of VTEC by:Careful hand washing. Hands should be washed after handling animals, after using the toilet, after helping others use the toilet or changing nappies, before eating, and before and after preparing food. Young children should be assisted and supervised when washing their hands  Well water supplies should be chlorinated or ultraviolet treated before using for drinking, preparing food and brushing teeth. VTEC is killed by heat. Meat (especially minced meat and burgers) that could be contaminated with VTEC should be fully cooked. Children and the elderly, who are particularly susceptible to HUS should avoid raw or rare meat and unpasteurised dairy products.  Raw vegetables and fruit should be peeled or washed in drinking water. Anyone with diarrhoea should stay away from work, school and especially childcare facilities and food premises until the diarrhoea has stopped for at least 48 hours. Childcare workers and crèche owners need to ensure that they have in place policies and practices which are adequate to prevent transmission of VTEC. The HSE has initiated a multi-agency group comprising of the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and Food, the HSE, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, safefood, Teagasc, the Environmental Protection Agency and local authorities to look at both short term and medium term actions to deal with this problem.  Actions will include the roll out of awareness campaigns for the public, farming communities and childcare facilities as well as on-going liaison with these groups. HEALTH: HUGE INCREASE IN E.COLI INFECTIONS was last modified: July 27th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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)last_img read more


Help wanted in gulf area

first_imgThere is no shortage of work these days for Bay Ltd., which specializes in repairing offshore oil and gas platforms. The trouble is, the same hurricanes that slammed the Gulf of Mexico’s energy infrastructure and created this extra business also upended the company’s southern Louisiana work force. “If we had more people, we could definitely get more work,” said Mark Comeaux, manager of Bay’s fabrication plant in Belle Chasse, La., just south of New Orleans. Comeaux, who lost half of his 80-person crew after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, said employees either moved away or they found better-paying blue-collar jobs once federal reconstruction funds began flowing to the region. Enough work, not enough workers – a familiar refrain among companies supporting the gulf’s oil and gas industry. It underscores one of several major problems the industry faces as it struggles to rebuild a complex web of platforms, pipelines and processing plants before the next hurricane season arrives. With demand outstripping supply for everything from inspection and repair crews to supply ships to power tools, the price for all of these things is going up. Also on the rise are wait times for some much-needed oil field services and equipment as competing oil and gas producers sign longer than usual contracts in order to avoid finding themselves at the back of the line. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “There’s so much work down here for diving it’s unbelievable,” said Jeff Sikut, president of Avondale, La.-based J&J Diving, an underwater pipeline inspection and repair company that is turning away two to three potential new customers a day. Sikut said he’d love to hire an additional 50 divers and take on additional work, but the available labor pool is extremely shallow and those who would consider relocating to southern Louisiana often cannot find reasonably priced housing. Labor and housing isn’t all that’s scarce. Sikut said projects have been slowed by the shortage of hydraulic and pneumatic tools – a byproduct of soaring construction demand throughout the gulf – as well as a tight market for the jet pumps that are used to move sand in order to bury pipelines. Even when all the best crews and equipment are available, it is slow going. “There are boats sunk everywhere. Platforms were mangled, and the pipelines look like spaghetti,” Sikut said. To be sure, oil and gas producers have made significant progress in restoring production in spite of these challenges. “The impression we’re getting from our members is that it’s going even better than expected,” said Larry Wall, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge-based Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. Still, about a quarter of the gulf’s daily oil output, and one-fifth of its natural gas output, remains off-line and the pace of progress is expected to slow in the months ahead, a trend that could keep upward pressure on energy prices. The region’s daily output of oil and natural gas is not anticipated to reach pre-hurricane levels until next summer. It could be at least two years before all of the damaged energy infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico is fixed, those involved in the recovery effort say. Todd Hornbeck, chairman and founder of Covington, La.-based Hornbeck Offshore Inc., believes that if current weather patterns persist and more oil and natural-gas drilling occurs in the gulf – a region he called “hurricane alley” – the industry may find itself in a “perpetual repair cycle.” However, Hornbeck said the current labor crunch shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is partly a reflection of the industry’s history of boom and bust cycles, whereby employees laid off during periods of low energy prices move on to other skilled professions and do not return. About 110 of the gulf’s roughly 4,000 production platforms were destroyed by Katrina and Rita and some may never be rebuilt, industry and government officials said. “There were a fair number of those platforms that were destroyed that were very low producers, so if they do not come online it doesn’t mean we cannot get back to a pre-hurricane level,” said Gary Strasburg, a spokesman at the Minerals Management Service. Yet even the platforms that are eventually rebuilt will not all be in place by the middle of next year. Instead, in order to get back to pre-hurricane levels by then, the industry is relying on the addition of one major platform that was under construction prior to Katrina and Rita – BP’s Thunder Horse. Once up-and-running in the second half of 2006, Thunder Horse will have the capacity to produce as much as 250,000 barrels per day of oil and 200 million cubic feet a day of natural gas. It is equivalent to more than half of the region’s daily oil production still off-line, and almost 10 percent of the daily natural-gas production off-line. Another very important platform for the region is Royal Dutch Shell Group’s Mars platform, which was producing 130,000 barrels per day of oil and 150 million cubic feet a day of natural gas pre-Katrina. Mars, which suffered extensive damage, is expected to resume operations in the second half of 2006. Restoring oil and natural-gas production to pre-hurricane levels isn’t simply a matter of repairing and rebuilding platforms. About 150 pipelines that gather and transport oil and natural gas from offshore wells were damaged by the back-to-back storms, according to federal statistics. That is 50 percent more pipeline damage than Hurricane Ivan caused in the summer of 2004. London-based BP says its daily output was down by 135,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter and it expects to be down 160,000 in the fourth quarter, in large part because of problems with pipelines. Another key bottleneck exists onshore, in the form of damaged natural-gas processing plants. Dominion Resources had been pumping 435 million cubic feet of natural gas per day before Katrina and is now producing slightly more than that, but still 15 percent short of its goal of 525 million cubic feet by now, due to the processing shortfall, said spokesman Dan Donovan. Gas Daily, a trade publication, reported late last month that nine plants with 5.7 billion cubic feet of processing capacity remained shut down because of storm damage. The Minerals Management Service, a division of the Interior Department that regularly gathers such information from the industry, is expected to release a comprehensive update on the region’s recovery before the end of the year, a spokesman said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more