More Water Shortages Hit Monrovia

first_imgFor the fifth time in less than three months, users of pipe-borne water connected to the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation’s (LWSC) lines must once again contend with the inconvenience of water shortages in Monrovia and its environs.During a weekend tour of some densely populated areas of Monrovia, hundreds of people were seen desperately searching for water.Officials of the LWSC are yet to provide any explanation as to why the people of Monrovia continue to encounter hardships in securing safe drinking water even when they are paying for it.The management of the LWSC has said on many occasions that pipe-borne water has been restored to several parts of greater Monrovia and its environs. In spite of these claims, access to water still remains an issue in these same areas.LWCS’s customers continue to argue that the provision of the water on a sustained basis cannot be over-emphasized.Despite many assurances from the LWSC’s managers and engineers that they are ready to meet consumers’ needs, the water corporation’s customers and other Liberians continue to experience water shortages on a regular basis.The affected residents told the Daily Observer that their hardship has continued with no practical solution from the LWSC’s management in sight.“As the Rainy Season is here, we need a reliable water source, so we can avoid water-borne diseases,” one business owner pleaded.As a result of the recurrent water shortages, the presence of wheelbarrow water carriers to various homes and businesses is on the rise again. In some cases, not all of these water carriers have access to the LWSC’s various water pumps.This creates a situation where people are forced to use water from unhygienic sources due to their desperate need.The water carriers often expose the water to unhealthy elements as they transport the water from its source to their customers across the city center.In encounters with some private water carriers during the weekend, they pointed out that getting safe drinking water from the LWSC’s hand pumps is a huge challenge due to the long distances of some of their locations in and around the city.One water carrier, Milton Bear Sackie of Slipway, said some of the kiosks containing these pumps are situated in crime-prone communities.He said going to these areas often poses a threat to their safety.Another water carrier, Mary B. Norton, told the Daily Observer the situations at the various kiosks could be described as a ‘real nightmare,’ owing to the number of carriers that turn out daily in search of safe drinking water.She said upgrading of the LWSC’s pipelines is critical to the provision of pipe-borne water to the people of Monrovia and other communities outside of the nation’s capital.During the weekend tour, several isolated communities in Duala, Brewerville and Waterside sounded urgent appeals to the LWSC management to establish water pumps in their areas.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Climate Change Office hosts 2nd NAP Workshop

first_imgThe Office of Climate Change (OCC) on Tuesday opened its second National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Workshop aimed at facilitating input for the review of the National Action Plan to reduce Guyana’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.The workshop will also facilitate the integration of climate change into new and existing policies and programmes regarding Guyana’s development.The one-day workshop, which targeted officers from Government agencies, was conducted under the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (JCCCP) and facilitated by consultants from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).Representatives of Government agencies, Ministries and civil society participating in the workshop held at the Pegasus HotelThe objective of the second workshop was to review the draft which was completed following the first workshop in October 2018.Head of the OCC, Janelle Christian, explained that this second consultancy process will ensure that the NAP is tailored to Guyana’s specific climate change concerns. This comes in the wake of the disclosure by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that there must be more ambition and efforts to reverse the effects of climate change.Christian noted that the activity is three-fold as it will look at strategies and other documents that would have been prepared in 2014 and 2016 and where the country is presently to determine if it must to be updated; to align these with the Government’s plans and the Green State Development Strategy and to update the actions outlined in the first draft (2018) in a realistic way.Head of the Office of Climate Change Janelle Christian“We want to assess and take stock to see if what we identified as priority back in 2015/2016 is still relevant, what it is that we… have done since then, and where we are going with respect to the new vision of the President…So we are crafting what are the priorities that we would like to be undertaken and this will be updated to include capacity building; who are the people we need to get the work done; what are the technologies that can be used and are needed. Once this is completed based on our inputs, there will be a process for public review and the document will be made accessible online so that the public can also have a say,” the Head of the OCC stated.She said it is crucial to gather a wide cross-section of representatives as they each have a unique perspective to bring to the table, particularly since the effects of climate change are not felt in the same way by every citizen.Meanwhile, National Focal Point at the UNDP, Astrid Lynch said the JCCCP programme aims to support countries in advancing the process of inclusive low emission, risk resilient development by improving energy security and integrating medium to long-term planning for adaptation to climate change within or aligned with improved development planning and budgeting processes.National Focal Point at the UNDP, Astrid Lynch“Towards achieving this aim, this is the second workshop under this initiative. Building on the invaluable feedback we received during the first workshop we, therefore, keenly look forward to receiving your input. It is hoped that at the end of the workshop, we can continue discussions on climate change, recognising that each of us have to play a critical role in climate change mitigation,” she said.The JCCCP programme aims to bring together policymakers, experts and representatives of communities to encourage policy innovation for climate technology incubation and diffusion.In so doing, the initiative aims to ensure that barriers to the implementation of climate resilient technologies are addressed and overcome in a participatory and efficient manner.last_img read more

Families blame authorities for tardy response

first_imgPirate attack in Suriname…lament lack of information…as search for 16 missing fishermen continuesThe Surinamese Government on Tuesday dispatched a helicopter to continue the search for the 16 fishermen who were thrown overboard during a horrific piracy attack last weekend.One of the four fishing boats sunk by the piratesHowever, relatives of the missing men believe the situation would not be the same had there been a timely response from the Dutch authorities.Five men, armed with guns and cutlasses, attacked four fishing boats and their 20 crew members late Friday evening into Saturday morning near the Wia Wia bank off of the Surinamese shore. Guyana Times understands the majority of the crew members are Guyanese.During the attack, the ruthless sea bandits mercilessly inflicted chop wounds on the crew men and ordered them to jump overboard but not before tying them up with boat anchors, batteries and other heavy items to anchor the men’s bodies underwater.Of the 20 fishermen in Friday’s incident, which has been described as one of the most horrific piracy attacks in recent history, only four were able to make their way to shore.Boat Captain Ramesh Sanicharran, called “Ravo”, one of the survivors, related to reporters what happened to him during the attack.“The looters them come and start to chop we up in the boat and say everybody gonna die. They chop me pon my hand, pon my head and they throw we in the water, everybody… They tie me neck with the anchor and when I reach down to the ground, I lose it and come up back, and for so far only me can meet shore… I don’t know what happen to the rest but I think two of them dead in the boat because they get bad chop,” the boat captain told reporters on Monday.However, reports coming out of the neighbouring country revealed that those two badly injured fishermen, who were spared being thrown overboard, survived and are receiving medical attention.Like most of his fellow colleagues, the Guyanese-born fisherman, originally from Good Hope, East Coast Demerara (ECD), has been living and working in the neighbouring country for a number of years, and according to him, there is little done by the Surinamese authorities to protect seamen.Meanwhile, another Guyanese, Joan Parris, is also in despair as she awaits news about her son, 21-year-old Glenroy Jones, who is missing. She too lamented about the lack of response of the Surinamese authorities in responding to the reports of piracy.“When we heard, we go at the station to report it, you know what they told us, they have to wait till somebody come from out at sea and report the matter, that’s foolish… Is another fishing boat had to load up their own fuel and go out there with 12 men to look to see if they find anybody… Even if them boys survived (the attack), I don’t think they would be alive up to now,” the woman noted.Parris went on to accuse the Surinamese Police of not being fully proactive in their response, since the victims are mostly Guyanese. “This Government isn’t doing anything cause is Guyanese people but is Guyanese people building their fishing industry, their shrimp industry and their prawns industry… No Dutch man ain’t going on that water top, is share Guyanese and they need to protect Guyanese,” she asserted.Also grieving is Tarmatie Ibrahim, who is pleading with the authorities to do all they can to get her husband, Danish Persad, back home with her and their two young sons.According to the woman, she last spoke with her husband, a boat Captain, on Friday evening sometime just before midnight and he told her he was returning home in a few days but instead she received the news of the attack. The couple has been living in Suriname for the past six years.Meanwhile, 50-year-old Ramnarin Singh, called “Harry”, originally for Better Hope, East Coast Demerara, is also missing and his relatives in Guyana are also looking for answers from the Surinamese authorities.The man’s niece, Nikieta, told Guyana Times on Tuesday that Singh and his wife have been living in Suriname for about 15 years and only two weeks ago he visited Guyana. The man’s worried niece said the family contacted the boat owner, but the woman did not give them any information.She noted that Singh’s brother has since travelled to Suriname to get some information about the incident.Meanwhile, the Surinamese Government in a statement on Tuesday afternoon said a helicopter has been dispatched to continue the three-day search with the hope of rescuing more of the missing fishermen or at least retrieve their bodies.“There are immediate searches, we are still working… I read that the actions have stopped, nothing is less true,” Suriname’s Minister of Justice and Police, Stuart Getrouw, said.The Dutch Coast Guard, military and Police Force are continuing the search with support from French Guiana. Nevertheless, the Justice and Police Minister assured that the necessary steps have been taken to ensure the safety of the fishermen in the future. This, he noted, includes, among other things, the installation of a GPS system and the creation of special organisations.Meanwhile, efforts to contact Guyana’s security officials on whether they are getting involved or have been contacted by their Surinamese counterparts have been futile. However, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge did confirm he is not aware of any contact made with his office by Suriname about this issue.According to reports from the neighbouring country, the sea bandits stole the fishermen’s catch, fuel, the boat engines as well as fish glue. They also hijacked one of the four boats and sank another one, while the two others were retrieved and taken back to shore.Local media in Suriname has since reported that one of the survivors has identified four of the five attackers to be Guyanese. He identified them by their ‘sea names’ as “Dick”, “Bolo”, “Crackhead” and “Sanbad”. The fifth perpetrator was a “dark-coloured” male unknown to the fishermen.Meanwhile, some fisherfolk on the Corentyne in Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) believe last weekend’s attack was a vendetta. Several persons operating out of the Number 66 Fishermen Coop told this publication on Tuesday that the Guyanese fishermen operating in Suriname have a rift amount themselves. This is as a result of the availability and accessibility of licences to operate in the waters of the Dutch nation. (Vahnu Manikchand)last_img read more

State winemaking legend Ernest Gallo dead at 97

first_imgBERKELEY – Ernest Gallo, who parlayed $5,900 and a wine recipe from a public library into the world’s largest winemaking empire, died Tuesday at his home in Modesto. He was 97. “He passed away peacefully this afternoon surrounded by his family,” said Susan Hensley, vice president of public relations for E.&J. Gallo Winery. Gallo, who would have been 98 on March 18, was born near Modesto, a then-sleepy San Joaquin Valley town about 80 miles east of San Francisco. He and his late brother and business partner, Julio, grew up working in the vineyard owned by their immigrant father who came to America from Italy’s famed winemaking region of Piedmont. They founded the E.&J. Gallo Winery in 1933, at the end of Prohibition, when they were still mourning the murder-suicide deaths of their parents. Ernest and Julio rented a ramshackle building, and everybody in the family pitched in to make ordinary wine for 50 cents a gallon – half the going price. The Gallos made $30,000 the first year. It grew to become the world’s largest wine company by volume, a title since taken by Constellation Brands of New York. But Gallo remains second, selling an estimated 75 million cases under more than 40 labels. “My brother Julio and I worked to improve the quality of wines from California and to put fine wine on American dinner tables at a price people could afford,” Gallo told The Modesto Bee on his 90th birthday. “We also worked to improve the reputation of California wines here and overseas.” Ernest directed sales, devised marketing strategies and kept a short leash on distribution. Julio, who died in 1993, made the wine. Gallo was no less tough on the people who worked for him as on those he battled for business. He also demanded total loyalty from his employees. In 1986, when he learned that two longtime Gallo executives were secretly planning to buy a winery of their own, he fired them on the spot. Gallo was a courtly man who affected Old World manners. But in business he was tenacious, shrewd, aggressive, and secretive. 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

This is how Liverpool plan to beat Basel tonight

first_imgLiverpool v Basel in the Champions League is live on talkSPORT on Tuesday 9 December 2014. Steam it live here.It’s win or bust for Liverpool against Basel in the Champions League and the Reds are planning on reviving memories of the great European nights in front of the Kop to see themselves over the line.The Reds certainly have a history of pulling big results out of the bag when they need it at Anfield…Liverpool 3 Olympiakos 1, Champions League group stage, 8 December 2004The situation: Liverpool were third in the group going into their final game, with the Greeks’ top. The Reds needed a two-goal win to qualify ahead of Olympiakos, but were losing 1-0 at half-time. Goals from Florent Sinama Pongolle and Neil Mellor gave the home side hope, then this happened in the 86th minute…Liverpool 2 Roma 0, Champions League second group stage, 19 March 2002The situation: After five games of the (old) second group stage, Liverpool had drawn four and lost one, leaving them rock bottom of Group B. Incredibly, they retained a chance of reaching the quarter-finals, knowing that a two goal victory against the Italian champions would see them through. On an emotional night at Anfield, when manager Gerard Houllier returned to the bench for the first time since major heart surgery, the Reds roared past Roma.Liverpool 3 Auxerre 0, UEFA Cup second round, 6 November 1991The situation: Fielding an 18-year-old debutant Jamie Redknapp in midfield for the first leg, Graeme Souness’ Liverpool crashed to a comprehensive 2-0 defeat in France. This was the Reds’ first season back in Europe since being banned by UEFA following the 1985 Heysel Stadium disaster, and not even in their dominant years had they overturned a two-goal deficit in a second leg. Goals from Jan Molby, Mike Marsh and Mark Walters helped Liverpool make history at Anfield.Liverpool 3 Saint-Etienne 1, European Cup quarter-final, 16 March 1977The situation: A 1-0 defeat in the away leg against the 1975 runners up left Liverpool in a precarious position, but an early Kevin Keegan goal put them right back in the tie. An away goal for the French champions on 51 minutes left Liverpool needing two more goals to progress, and a thunderous Kop roared the Reds on to one of the most famous victories in the club’s history. The Kop plan to roar Liverpool to more European glory 1last_img read more

FIFA agrees to publish Garcia report into World Cup corruption

first_img1 FIFA’s executive committee has unanimously agreed to publish an “appropriate” form of the Garcia report into allegations of World Cup bidding corruption.Officials at a meeting in Morocco agreed to the proposal without a vote being taken – but nothing will be published until the ethics committee charges against three FIFA ExCo members have been dealt with.American lawyer Michael Garcia produced a 430-page report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, won by Russia and Qatar respectively, but only a disputed summary has been published.He quit on Wednesday as FIFA’s ethics investigator after losing his appeal challenging the findings to clear Russia and Qatar to host the World Cups.The FIFA ExCo was given a presentation by Domenico Scala, the head of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, who suggested the report should be published in an “appropriate form” – with all names and other details redacted.This was agreed to by the members without a vote – and avoided a vote on German member Theo Zwanziger’s proposal to change the ethics code rules which would allow full and immediate publication.Britain’s FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce, from Northern Ireland, welcomed the move.“I am pleased the the FIFA executive committee decided without a vote to publish this report,” he said.“It shows that people at FIFA at the moment do desire transparency and the sooner we can get on with talking about the game of football that we all love, the better.”It is also understood that FIFA’s ExCo appointed Zurich-based Swiss lawyer Cornel Borbely to replace Garcia in an acting capacity. Borbely had been Garcia’s deputy and took charge of the investigation into the Russian and American bids. FIFA agrees to publish Garcia report into World Cup corruption last_img read more

UPN, The WB join as spinoff

first_img Though it sounds like it refers to a country-music channel, The CW’s name comes from the initials of both companies – CBS and Warner Bros. “We couldn’t name it The WC for obvious reasons,” Moonves joked. (WC is British slang for toilet.) Both executives admitted that the financial woes of their current networks, which were never able to grow beyond niche audiences of younger viewers, made The CW an enticing proposition. “UPN was approaching profitability, but the long-range plans looked far better with this entity than where we are right now,” Moonves said. “Down the road, this is much better than keeping UPN alive the way it was.” “The WB had kicked into profitability for one or two years,” Meyer added. “But we saw down the line a challenged landscape for keeping small networks alive, and we were just afraid we were going to be forced to program less original programming, and that wasn’t a prescription for building a long-term successful asset. With the formation of this new network, we create long-term, viable, highly rated programming assets, which is in all of our interests.” Shows produced for The CW will be jointly owned by both companies’ production arms. As with other networks, outside studios will also sell programming to The CW. While many hailed the merger, others were less sanguine about it. Paul Levinson, chairman of the department of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York, questioned The CW’s dedication to diverse programming – while UPN airs a number of shows aimed at African-Americans, The WB’s lineup has often featured a paucity of minority characters. “One of the things at stake in mergers is, will diversity, independent decisions and creativity in programming suffer?” said Levinson. “What almost always happens over the long run in these things is there’s a reduction in diversity and independence of programming. Looking at this long-range, based on previous mergers in history, it’s not a particularly good thing for consumers or for the future of network TV.” Bob Thompson, founding director of Syracuse University’s Center for the Study of Popular Television, found fault with many aspects of the merger, beginning with the name: “It sounds like a railroad on a Monopoly board,” he said. “It’s an interesting idea, and if it’s done well and they’re lucky, it could work,” Thompson added. “But you’re taking two branded networks that have spent untold money promoting their distinctive identities, and in less than eight months, they won’t be able to capitalize on that at all.” Moreover, he added, “You have two networks with pretty weak schedules, and adding them together is not going to solve their problems. They’re still in the same boat – they need new hits to generate enthusiasm with audiences. And … they have so little in development between the two of them.” Valerie Kuklenski contributed to this story. David Kronke, (818) 713-3638 david.kronke@dailynews.com CHANNEL SURFING When the WB and UPN programming is merged in September to become The CW network, it will air locally on KTLA (Channel 5) (currently the WB affiliate). KCOP (Channel 13) (currently the UPN affiliate) is expected to revert to an independent station offering syndicated fare. The CW will offer a combination of programming for both networks, including the reality shows “America’s Next Top Model” and “Beauty and the Geek,” hit dramas including “Gilmore Girls,” “Smallville,” “Supernatural” and “Veronica Mars,” comedies like “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Girlfriends” and “Reba” as well as the popular WWE’s “Smackdown.” Channel 13 currently runs the syndicated shows “The Tyra Banks Show,” “Seinfeld” and “The Crosby Show.” It is expected to add to those. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “Both The WB and UPN would’ve needed more pilots on their own than the new network, where we’ll have hit shows from both combined on one schedule,” The WB’s spokesman Brad Turrell said while in a plane over Missouri. “There will be a couple of hours that need to be filled, but not much more. We can do the normal number of pilots, perhaps even less.” As he spoke, he said he was sitting next to The CW’s new entertainment president, Ostroff, who was reading a pilot script The WB was hoping to produce. Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of the CBS Corp., who came up with the idea of a merger along with Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, said the move “offers immediate upgrades and advantages to all key constituencies we serve – audiences, affiliates and advertisers.” Though both broadcast networks struggled to achieve profitability, Meyer said, “there’s a very good chance that The CW will be profitable right from the get-go. We have not determined how many employees will be winding up where, but it will operate on a more cost-efficient basis.” Many in the industry were caught off-guard by the announcement, which was made in New York City. WB’s Turrell said that only six people at the network knew the announcement was forthcoming. The mere possibility of such a merger was only broached two months ago, according to CBS spokesman Chris Ender. “The talks originated at a dinner that Mr. Moonves and Mr. Meyer had around Thanksgiving,” Ender said. Moonves and Meyer are longtime friends; before coming to CBS, Moonves headed up Warner Bros. Television’s production arm. “In the course of conversation, it came up as a topic, and talks soon became more heated and advanced.” UPN and The WB, the youngest and most troubled television networks, threw lifelines to each other Tuesday, announcing they will merge in September to create The CW. CBS, which owns UPN, and Warner Bros. Entertainment will each own half of the new network. Tribune Broadcasting, which had lost money from owning a piece of The WB, will no longer be a partner. Sixteen major-market Tribune stations will carry the new network, including KTLA (Channel 5) in L.A., as will 12 CBS-owned stations in major markets, accounting for coverage in 48 percent of the country. Other UPN and WB affiliates that pick up The CW will give the new network coverage of 95 percent of the country. When it launches in September, the new network will follow The WB’s scheduling model, offering 13 hours of prime-time programming (presently UPN only offers 10), as well as a two-hour block of repeats on Sunday afternoons and children’s programming on Saturday mornings. The CW’s schedule will combine the most successful series of both UPN and The WB, as well as new programming. Dawn Ostroff, president of UPN Entertainment, will head up the new network. The fates of WB executives Garth Ancier and David Janollari were not immediately clear. UPN and The WB had a few successful programs, such as “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Gilmore Girls,” but both also had gaping holes in their schedules that were often filled with repeats, so the merger automatically promises a stronger schedule. Shows like “America’s Next Top Model,” “Smallville” and “WWE’s Smackdown” are likely to be mates in September. On the other hand, TV production companies will feel the impact immediately, as fewer new prospective series will be given pilot orders as the current development season proceeds. last_img read more

COUNCIL WARNS THAT ROADS ARE STILL ICY

first_imgDonegal County Council has warned of slippy roads in many parts of the county.According to the council’s Winter Weather website, ice has formed on many roads.“Ice formed on many roads. Drivers should take care,” warns the website.  COUNCIL WARNS THAT ROADS ARE STILL ICY was last modified: December 13th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

BOOKIES MAKE NAOMH CONAILL FAVOURITES FOR COUNTY SENIOR TITLE

first_imgBOOKIES BoyleSports have made made Naomh Conaill favourites to win this Sunday’s Senior Football Championship.The Glenties-based side take on reigning county champions at Mac Cumhaill Park (4pm throw-in).However the bookmaker has practically written off the chances of a Donegal club side going on to All-Ireland glory. They’ve made Naomh Conaill 66/1 for the All-Ireland – and St Eunan’s are complete outsiders at 80/1.Corofin are 5/2 favourites to lift the All-Ireland.All Ireland Club Football Outright 2015/2016 – Outright BettingCorofin 5/2 St Vincents 7/2Crossmaglen Rangers 7/1Portlaoise 14/1Ballyboden St Endas 14/1St Oliver Plunketts 14/1 Castlehaven 16/1Slaughtneil 16/1St Lomans Mullingar 20/1Na Fianna Dublin 25/1 Castlebar 25/1Kilcoo 25/1Nemo Rangers 25/1Dingle 25/1Breaffy 33/1St Judes 33/1Emmet Og 33/1Trillick St Macartans 40/1Scotstown 40/1St Patricks (Louth) 40/1Navan O’Mahonys 40/1Rathmore 50/1Killarney Legion 50/1Naomh Conaill 66/1Athy 66/1Sarsfields 66/1Cargin 80/1St Eunans 80/1BOOKIES MAKE NAOMH CONAILL FAVOURITES FOR COUNTY SENIOR TITLE was last modified: October 13th, 2015 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:BookiesGAANaomh ConailloddsSt Eunanslast_img read more

Google Versus Microsoft: The Battle for the K-12 Cloud Contract

first_imgNorth versus South. Rural versus urban. Add to those delineations now, as schools and government agencies across the U.S. move to the cloud, Google versus Microsoft. On the surface, at least, it’s a public relations battle. Google announces one state or school district has adopted its cloud offerings; and then it’s Microsoft’s turn to respond with a new list of cloud clients. Google touts 10 millionApps for Education users. Microsoft touts 15 million for its Live@edu.Oregon Goes Google, Portland Public Schools Goes MicrosoftIn this light, today’s announcement by Microsoft seems like a veritable coup. On the list of the 16 new cloud computing agreements it has signed is the Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of Oregon with more than 46,000 students. Oregon, if you recall, was the first state to “go Google” in April 2010. Of course, “going Google” doesn’t mean that – presto, change-o – every student, teacher, and administrator in a school, district, or state are suddenly up and running on Google Apps for Education or even that they will be someday. Rather, the Oregon Department of Education now gives schools and districts the option to pursue their own IT solutions and doesn’t force them to go with one particular contractor.A Difficult Choice, A Difficult Move Nick Jwayad, chief information officer at Portland Public Schools said that the decision to move to Microsoft’s Live@edu “wasn’t easy by any stretch.” He said the district weighed its options carefully, listing the things he said made Microsoft’s service more appealing: security, support and synergy.To be clear, this isn’t an abandonment of Google Apps for Edu. The school district is moving away from an on-premise Novell environment towards what Jwayad describes as a “Microsoft-centric” infrastructure. Microsoft, he told me, was the “product-of-choice,” as, among other things, the Portland Public Schools plans to provision email accounts to students for the first time.When Jwayad described to me of the school district’s decision to “go Microsoft,” he made it sound like a technological one. That’s not too surprising. He’s the CIO, after all. And as I learned when I attended a K-12 summit for Oregon school district tech coordinators, sponsored by Google, the challenges around moving schools, students, teachers, administrators to the cloud – whether it’s Google’s or Microsoft’s – can be pretty daunting. Today’s announcement from Portland Public Schools will mean that the district will have migrated to Live@edu by the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year. The challenges for school districts migrating to the cloud include the infrastructure. There are the policies (COPPA and FERPA). There are the parents. There are the permissions. And of course, there are the teachers and students, who now not only want email (let’s pretend, for the sake of argument here that the kids want email) but demand a whole suite of online products and services where they can easily communicate and collaborate – in the classroom and at home.It’s not an easy move nor necessarily a cheap move (despite the promises of eventual cost savings). It may be a technological move (“to the cloud!”). And as Paul Nelson, an ed-tech specialist for Oregon’s Northwest Regional ESD (a Google district), once told me, it’s a cultural move, one requiring district, administrator, and teacher buy-in. In the face of all these challenges – despite the PR from Microsoft and from Google – migration to the cloud is a slow move for most schools.Photo credits: Flickr user Hans Splinter Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… audrey watters Tags:#Google#Government#Microsoft#NYT#web Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more