…calls for apologyThe Indian Action Committee (IAC) has said it is “shocked and outraged” by the insensitive ethnic remarks made by Education Minister Nicolette Henry in the National Assembly on Thursday, December 7, 2017 during her Budget Debate presentation.The IAC, in a statement, said it recognises that this Government minister has been in a controversial situation before, when she referred to ‘Phagwah’ as ‘Diwali’, but the organisation had at the time excused the minister’s lapse, given that she was new on the job, even though, as a Guyanese, she should have known the difference for many years.The IAC has said that in this instance, having watched and listened to the video of the minister’s comment, in which she said the following words: “I am not a ‘chhatri’ so I may not know when there is Diwali or Phagwah…”, this performance by Minister Henry is being viewed as one which demonstrates an arrogant disdain for things Indian, thus illustrating unbecoming behaviour on the part of a Government minister.The IAC says it strongly feels that Minister Henry is out of order, and has insulted more than half of the population of Guyana, who are persons of Indo-Guyanese origin.The IAC has said it cannot make any sensible connection in the minister’s usage of the term ‘chhatri’, on the one hand, and Phagwah and Diwali on the other hand, given that the term ‘chhatri’ refers to one of the main Hindu castes of India, and Phagwah and Diwali are distinct festivals of India, and are national holidays of Guyana.The IAC said it is “extremely bewildered by this statement of the Minister, given the fact that she was already embroiled in a controversy regarding the festivals of Phagwah and Diwali earlier in March this year, and the organisation, this time, will not excuse this Minister for her gross insult to Indo-Guyanese”.The IAC, in light of this uneducated outburst, has lost all confidence in Education Minister Henry, and is calling upon President Granger to ensure that she makes a public apology to all persons of Indo-Guyanese origin who have been insulted by her insensitive ethnic comment.
SACRAMENTO – California would become the first U.S. state to require instant background checks on buyers of handgun ammunition under a Los Angeles-sponsored anti-gang bill that cleared its first key hurdle Tuesday. The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved AB 362 – dubbed the “end the Wild West” measure – sponsored by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sheriff Lee Baca and Police Chief William Bratton. Assemblyman Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said his bill would make it more difficult to buy ammunition. “It’s time to put an end to this Wild West mentality,” he said. Violations would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000. The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. firstname.lastname@example.org (916) 447 9302 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The bill is supported by several gun-control advocates and opposed by organizations including the California Rifle and Pistol Association, which says the measure harasses businesses and customers. Supporters acknowledge implementation of instant background checks would take time and be costly. Under the measure, all handgun-ammunition buyers would have to provide identification to sellers, who would pass the information to the state. The Justice Department would run background checks and notify local law enforcement agencies if a felon or underage person purchased bullets. The bill also would require ammunition vendors to be licensed with the Justice Department; and ammunition sellers and employees to undergo background checks. AB 362 also would ban all Internet purchases of handgun ammunition in California.
THE Duchess of Cornwall spoke in Ulster Irish to the 220 pupils and their teachers during a visit to Ballyraine National School in Letterkenny.In an unplanned short speech in the assembly hall at the end of a tour of the school she began: “Cad é mar atá sibh?” (How are you?”.The Duchess said she and Prince Charles always looked forward to visiting Ireland and looked forward to returning again soon. “We love coming back to Ireland and are always surprised by the warmth of the welcome we get here and can’t wait to come back again,” she said.The Duchess had earlier watched a short musical production of ‘Chicken Licken’ before moving outside and going into the chicken coop to feed the school chickens.The coop had been renamed ‘Cluckingham Palace’.The Duchess also spent time meeting pupils of sixth class and some parents who are involved with the Pushkin Trust, a cross-border creative writing inititative founded by the Duchess of Abercorn who was also part of the visiting delegation. Isabelle Fisher (12) read from her piece on the after-effects of a hurricane.“The Duchess was so lovely. She told me I should keep writing and enter a competition in England and I might win it,” said Isabelle.Her teacher Donna McMullan said the visit by the Duchess had inspired her Year Six class.“The work of the Pushkin Trust has been invaluable in our school and to have the Duchess here today has been really exciting for everyone,” she said.Principal David Oliver said the Duchess had been impressed with the school’s organic herb and vegetable gardens.“We have been planning for the visit for weeks and I cannot thank the teachers and pupils enough for making the visit such a success,” said Mr Oliver. ROYAL VISIT: DUCHESS SPEAKS IN ULSTER IRISH AT BALLYRAINE NATIONAL SCHOOL was last modified: May 25th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ballerina National schooldonegalDUCHESS OF CORNWALL
Go back to the e-newsletterSereno Hotels has announced the grand opening of Il Sereno Lago di Como, the first new hotel on Lake Como in decades, designed by Milan-based architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. The all-suite hotel features 30 oversized suites, all with their own furnished terraces and lake views.Il Sereno is the third property to join the Sereno Hotels portfolio after Le Sereno Hotel & Villas in St. Barthélemy and Villa Pliniana, also located on Lake Como.Milan restaurateur and Michelin-starred chef, Andrea Berton, is at the helm of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Ristorante Berton Al Lago, featuring an exquisite menu inspired by the region. Rounding out the all-star team, acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc contributed his signature vertical botanical gardens throughout the property, including a spectacular “green sculpture” work of art.“We are thrilled to open the doors of the much-anticipated Il Sereno Lago di Como,” said Luis Contreras, Owner of Sereno Hotels. “This project has been a true labour of love between Sereno Hotels and Patricia Urquiola, and we are excited to introduce an entirely new design concept to Lake Como. We know devotees of Sereno Hotels and new guests alike will enjoy the exquisite design coupled with unparalleled attention to detail, amenities and relaxed service our brand is known for.”A new vision for Lake ComoIn keeping with the Sereno Hotels philosophy of opening intimate, design-driven hotels in highly desired destinations, Lake Como was selected for the site of Il Sereno, as the location has long seduced visitors with its natural beauty and dramatic vistas of the southern Italian Alps. Situated on a sunny promontory next to the village of Torno and surrounded by peaceful views of Lake Como’s natural beauty, lush gardens and idyllic small towns, Il Sereno’s location stretches approximately 450 feet along the lake’s eastern shore.Sereno Hotels partnered with Patricia Urquiola and her team at Studio Urquiola to bring to life the vision of creating a contemporary hotel with understated décor; a contrast to the classical designs that can be found around Lake Como. Urquiola and her team envisioned every facet of the hotel from the architecture to the interior design, which includes designing custom furniture, rugs, wall coverings, lamps, bathtubs and bathroom fixtures.Spectacular views of Lake Como and scenic mountain ranges greet guests in airy lounge areas that seamlessly integrate the interior and exterior of the accommodations. At the centre of the hotel, Urquiola designed a stunning, original stairwell that serves as one of many focal points around the property. Made with natural materials including walnut wood, the large steps are encased in bronze and effortlessly “float” as the lobby’s centrepiece. The dark and beautiful veins of the walnut wood complement the Ceppo di Grè stone found throughout the hotel. Guests will also find beautiful marble walls with bas-relief patterns that mimic the patterns found in the Venetian terrazzo floors of the restaurant.The hotel features just 30 spacious suites, each with its own waterfront terrace and unobstructed views of Lake Como.Modern and custom furnishings created by Urquiola complete the elegant and sophisticated design, with understated earthy tones of grey and walnut with touches of blue and green hues to incorporate the colours found in the surroundings of the iconic Italian lake. Suite amenities include robes and towels made by D. Porthault for Il Sereno and bath toiletries by Ex Voto Paris, a private bar, 24-hour room service, cutting-edge technology including complimentary Wi-Fi, cordless telephones, flat screen TVs and Bluetooth music systems. In-room spa services are also available. Starting rate for the suites is $825.“Sereno Hotels has perfected the art of providing luxury service in a relaxed manner and we look forward to introducing our brand of service to Lake Como,” said Samy Ghachem, Managing Director of Sereno Hotels. “Guests will have access to not only the best in design, amenities and cuisine, but will also find an attention to detail that is unrivalled.”Urquiola’s collaboration did not end with the physical aspects of the hotel. Lake Como has been producing the world’s finest silks for centuries and Urquiola also designed silk scarves, or foulards, that are produced locally for hotel staff uniforms; in addition to a custom design that will be available for guests.Embracing Lake Como’s natural beautyEqually as important as the interiors of the hotel are the immaculately designed exteriors and gardens. Guests can uncover hidden passageways along the garden for calm strolls and enjoy scenic walks to the historic Villa Pliniana nearby. At the centre of the hotel’s main garden sits a lakefront freshwater infinity pool surrounded by a broad sundeck and bar where guests can relax or enjoy light bites and refreshments. Adjacent to the pool is a small beach that offers guests direct access to the lake.Further amplifying the beauty of the lush green surroundings, Il Sereno features breathtaking botanical works of art designed by acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc. Il Sereno is the first property where Blanc has created three distinct art pieces in one setting; two vertical gardens and one green sculpture. Entitled “Le Mirroir Vert du Lac“, “Le Canyon” and “Les Racines Echasees“, each piece boasts thousands of plant species. Located on the main façade of the hotel, Le Mirroir Vert du Lac is an eye-catching focal point from the hotel’s terraces, and is visible to visitors across the lake. Featuring over 2000 plant types, Le Mirroir was inspired by the both the colours and movement of the water. In collaboration with designer Patricia Urquiola, Blanc also created Le Canyon to evoke the dramatic and vertical topography of the hotel’s rugged surroundings as part of the entrance to Il Sereno with nearly 3000 different plants. Seamlessly attached to Le Canyon, Les Racines Echasees sprawls from the garden floor in front of the reception area patio and rises more than 10 metres in the air to emulate aerial roots as seen in Mangroves and Banyan Trees and includes over 1000 individual plants.In the grand tradition of guests travelling and experiencing Lake Como via boat, Il Sereno commissioned three custom Cantiere Ernesto Riva boats from the namesake family that has been building boats by hand in the nearby town of Laglio since 1771. Il Sereno guests will be able to travel to other destinations on the lake via two Jettos or the grand Vaporina del Lago which features interiors designed by Patricia Urquiola.Lakefront cuisine with a viewAt the helm of Ristorante Berton Al Lago, celebrated Milan-based chef Andrea Berton presents modern Italian cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere for breakfast, lunch and dinner.With more than 27 years of industry experience, Berton is a well-known and respected restaurateur who has won four Michelin stars across three restaurants in Milan. The approachable yet refined menu he created at Ristorante Berton Al Lago encompasses the crossroads of the distinct regions near Lake Como including: the lake with its fish and aromatic herbs, the mountains of Valtellina known for its incredible wines, cheeses and meats, and the nearby Pianura Padana, known for its risotto and other fantastic ingredients.Patricia Urquiola’s design for the sunny, indoor-outdoor space utilises the same local stones used in the façade of the hotel to create the restaurant tables and creative uses of the traditional Venetian Terrazzo and Travertine stone are found throughout. The restaurant has a large outdoor terrace right on the lake, in addition to a section that is built over the water inside the centuries-old boat house and foundation over which the new Il Sereno was built. At the centre of the restaurant is a dramatic and intricate stairwell, solidifying the restaurant as a visual experience as well as culinary.The prime location of the restaurant at Il Sereno Lago di Como will allow guests to relax and bask in natural light as late as 10pm in the summer months. Ristorante Berton Al Lago is open seven days a week, between 7am to 10pm. The restaurant is open to both hotel and outside guests and it is easily accessible by car or boat. Valet parking is available for cars and boats.Neighbour Villa PlinianaIn addition, Sereno Hotels has acquired Villa Pliniana, a 16th-century Italian palazzo set on the waterfront of Lake Como, and host to past guests such as Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon and Lord Byron. Sereno Hotels signed a long term lease for Villa Pliniana, which opened on 1 March 2016. Villa Pliniana, featuring 19 bedrooms, luxurious events halls, vast gardens and Sereno Hotels’ services will become Lake Como’s premier luxury destination and will also be available to host exclusive weddings and group events. Exuding Italian charm and romance, Villa Pliniana is located in the village of Torno, less than 900 metres from the hotel group’s Il Sereno, Lago di Como.“We are thrilled to add Villa Pliniana to Il Sereno, Lago di Como less than a mile away and to its sister property in St Barth’s,” said Luis Contreras, Owner of Sereno Hotels. “Villa Pliniana is the perfect complement to Il Sereno, where our guests can now enjoy both the newest and the oldest great buildings in Lake Como.”Contreras continues, “A 500-year-old villa that sleeps 39 on an seven-hectare waterfront estate, the most unbelievable views, an incredible history and Sereno Hotels’ services; I have no doubt that Villa Pliniana is the most special lodging in Lake Como, offering guests an irreplaceable experience for memorable weddings and special events.”Go back to the e-newsletterIl Sereno Lago di ComoIl Sereno Lago di ComoIl Sereno Lago di ComoIl Sereno Lago di ComoVilla PlinianaVilla PlinianaVilla PlinianaVilla Pliniana