by Valerie Moniz
by Bambino Martins
Oft, when on my couch, I lie, in a pensive mood, I think of this and that and wonder, wonder WHY?
Why should not Iraq possess nuclear, biological and chemical weapons? Is it because Saddam Hussein lacks the moral character to use those weapons wisely?
Why should a CEO of a successful company be forced to resign if (s)he has an affair with an employee, on company time and in the company board-room?
Why should a Senator have been forced to resign because of inappropriate behavior with women working under him?
Charity covers a multitude of sins, but why does economic prosperity justify perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power?
If, someday, Andy calls home and says to his wife, Mandy: "Honey, I have just been promoted, given a pay raise and received a bonus. Our future couldn?t be brighter! I am going to Las Vegas to celebrate by indulging in some hanky-panky; I will see you in a few weeks!!", why should not Mandy respond with: "That?s dandy, Andy!!"
Why is it stupid to value moral character over economic prosperity?
Catastrophe or Chicken Little?
by Elvis J. Proenca
There are only 490 days to go to the year 2000. So, how and where are you planning to usher in the new millennium? Perhaps in Bethlehem where it all began, or on a Concorde flight around the globe, or maybe even in a $4000-a-night resort in Fiji! Why Fiji? Because this island paradise in the South Pacific will be the first to witness the dawn of the new millennium. And to some folks, $4000 is a small price to pay for the bragging rights of being the first on their block to experience such a historic moment. Imagine them rushing back to their hotels to call up cousin Hildebrand back home in Boise, Idaho (where of course it?s way past bedtime!)..."Gee, Hildy, I jes saw the noo millennium and it looks a lot like the ole one!" Hildy's reply, as she staggers back to bed, is not fit to print in a family magazine such as this.
My own plans to bring in the year 2000 are much more modest. I am scheduled to attend a grand family reunion in Goa. After all, what could be better than bringing in the 2000th year of the Lord with a bunch of relatives who haven't gotten along in the previous one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine!... But now it appears that this plan is in jeopardy. Why? Because of a pesky little bug that goes by the name Y2K. No, it is not a spacemate of R2D2! It is a potentially crippling computer glitch that will surface on January 1, 2000 and wreak havoc around the world. Y2K has been billed as the first major disaster to arrive exactly on schedule. Among the many problems that this fiendish monster will create is a prolonged breakdown in air traffic...thus putting the kaibash on my Goa trip! Knowing that misery loves company, I thought it prudent to share this information with any and all who may be planning to have a good time on New Year's Eve 1999! So be warned...beware...and read on!
What is this Y2K problem? It is a problem that was born back in the early days of computers. To conserve computer memory and save money, software writers coded dates using a two-digit year field instead of four....for instance "98" was used instead of "1998"...If this old code is not fixed, January 1, 2000 will register as 1/1/00 -- which the computer will read as 1900. That can cause major problems for businesses, for the government, and for you. For instance, your bank's computer would read your mortgage payment as 99 years overdue and initiate late payment penalties, even repossession proceedings! Your electric company computers would think that its generators were a century overdue for repair and shut them down, causing widespread power failures. The same would happen to computers that control air traffic systems, defense missiles, phone service, social security checks, company payrolls, supermarket supplies, hospital equipment, ATM machines, assembly lines.....you get the picture! A shutting down of life as we know it!
The headlines have been screaming "crisis" for quite some time now but, until recently, I for one had dismissed it as overblown hype by a sensationalist press looking for higher ratings. Why is it such a big deal to fix a few lines of faulty computer code? How can something from the ancient COBOL era be a problem for our modern day Java-men? Can the technology that created Viagra and boosted men (and some women) into space be stumped by a couple of missing digits? Is Y2K really a catastrophe waiting to happen or is it Chicken Little proclaiming that the sky is falling on our heads?
My skepticism turned to concern when I recently attended a presentation by Ed Yourdon, a software engineering consultant who is widely regarded as an expert on the Year 2000 problem. Ed's explanation of the immensity of this problem was simple, startling and quite believable. There are over 150 billion lines of computer code out there that need to be checked for the bug and fixed. This is time-consuming, costly, and boring work, and there is a scarcity of people who are qualified to do it. Ed estimates that even if all the qualified people are put on the job right away (this has not yet happened by the way), it would still be physically impossible to finish the work before December 31, 1999. He thinks we would be lucky if 75 percent of the computers in the US were fixed in time. The rest of the world is much further behind.
So, what does this mean for you and me and the rest of the New Year's Eve revelers. Picture this....It is 11:58 p.m. on December 31, 1999 and you are partying in true Goan style with a crowd of friends. It's time to
begin the countdown to the new year. You make a quick pit stop at the bar and then position yourself next to that buxom wench you've being eyeing all evening. As the lights dim, you want to be ready to plant a kiss that will be remembered for the next millennium!Ten..nine..eight.. the excitement mounts ...seven..six..five...voices rise in a frenzy...four..three..two..one..Happy N... All of a sudden the lights go off, the music dies down, and the house is plunged into total darkness and confusion. In the melee that follows, you find yourself kissing a big hairy guy with a mustache and an acute case of halitosis. As you recoil, you find that the room is turning cold...Not only are the lights out but the heater in on the blink too. "What is going on here?" asks a frightened voice in the darkness. The host offers to make some coffee, only to find the coffee-maker does not work. "Perhaps we should head on home" says another disappointed guest. You get into your Bronco, turn the key in the engine...and nothing happens! With a sinking feeling you realize that this marvel of modern technology is controlled by...you guessed it...another one of those infernal computers! Unless you can hitch a couple of horses to it, this Bronco is going nowhere. You walk back into the house to call a taxi...only to find that the phone is dead. Since its out of the question to walk the 30 miles home in this freezing winter weather, you decide to join the sleep-over in the basement!...Ladies and gentlemen, Y2K has come to town. Welcome to the new millennium!
This, of course, is just a hypothetical situation but some experts predict a shutdown that could last from a few days to several months. So what do we do? Some do's and dont's recommended by the experts.....Don't plan on traveling abroad because traffic control systems may be grounded...don't plan to have elective surgery since life support systems could conk out...do make a cash deposit into the Sealy Posturepedic since you may not be able to count on ATMs, banks, and credit cards...do keep a handy supply of canned food, candles, and propane gas for those long, cold winter nights.
Come to think of it, all of this sounds strangely familiar.
Power failures...traffic delays...cooking with gas cylinders...dead phones.
America may not be able to deal with these inconveniences but this is life
as usual in Goa! Heck, I may as well go to Goa after all. The fish is fresh.
Bullock carts still ply the roads. And I think the old firewood stove is
still functional. Yes, the old millennium is alive and well in Goa, and
I am definitely going. I'll be sure to send you a postcard from there.
The last time I checked, Indian mail still took 4 weeks to arrive in the
US Apparently, it has not yet been computerized
I am sure some of you will argue that these are doomsday
scenarios that will never come to pass. I sincerely hope you are right.
The skeptics among you will be interested in learning that Y2K is considered
serious enough to warrant investigation by a Presidential commission and
a House panel. A recent PBS story featured the concerns of Richard Grasso,
President of the New York Stock Exchange, noted economist Ed Yardeni, and
Skip Patterson of Bell Atlantic. Ed Yourdon's book on this topic is on
the best seller list. Speaker Newt Gingich and other public officials have
said that the government is behind in its efforts to deal with the problem.
Power companies that have performed tests to simulate the effects of Y2K
(they turned their clocks ahead to the year 2000) have found that their
plants shut down completely. Doesn't sound like Chicken Little to me. Seriously
though, the Goan community ought to think about how it can help its members
deal with this potential problem.
This recipe must be not only good for your taste buds,
but also be food for thought! Isn?t this what inspires Lino to write his
by Elina Cunha Gomes
1 chicken quartered (about 3 lb.)
1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
few drops of red food coloring
1 Tbs. Vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. worchestire sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup lemon juice
Remove the skin of the chicken and slash so that the paste will adhere to the chicken.
Prepare the paste by processing all remaining ingredients in a blender till finely chopped. Apply the paste to the chicken and let stand for 4 to 5 hours. Bake for 10 min. then broil for 10 min.
You may use the same recipe for chicken breasts cut into
strips -- as appetizers.
BON APPETIT GIGI
The Summer of ?98 is over and though the weather is still pleasant, the knowledge that Winter lurks in the wings is enough to bring a chill to one?s bones. But Winter can?t cool the warm memories we have of the Association picnics we celebrated wherein old acquaintances were renewed and new friendships forged. One event we came together for, even though it was not an Association event, was the September 5th mass celebrated by Cardinal Simon Pimenta, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Newark, NJ. At the social afterwards, the Association proudly presented the Cardinal with a check to be used for his favorite charities.
Since 1995, when the Association had to start from ground
zero, financially speaking, the Executive Committee and some member families
have been very frugal, sometimes even dipping into their own pockets for
phone calls and
other incidentals, as well as donation of prizes, just so the Association coffers could be built up. However, since our financial insecurity is now a thing of the past, we feel generous enough to start making charitable donations, which we have reported in the "Goan Connection". We also, feel it is time to "give back" to our faithful members, hence our decision to subsidize the July picnic. While you may have appreciated the low $5 ticket, please note that the actual cost was double that. We plan on continuing to subsidize future picnics, as long as it makes financial sense.
The next function on the agenda is our annual Holiday Dinner/Dance. Till then stay well, and warm and practice those intricate dance steps so that you can shine on the large dance floor of the Ukrainian Hall on Dec. 19, 1998!
President: Valerie Moniz
GOA AFTER LIBERATION
by Lino DaCunha Gomes
Our native land, Goa was a Portuguese colony for about 450 years. It was liberated by India on December 19, 1961 within two days in an almost bloodless coup. As a result of a plebiscite, Goa attained full Statehood in the Indian Union, on August 12, 1987, with Konkani as the official language.
Since the Liberation, Goa has undergone considerable development in the areas of banking, education, electrification, housing, industries, roadways, telecommunications, tourism, water supply etc. It is true that there are some gray areas which need attention. These issues will be addressed towards the conclusion of this article. To appreciate the improvements after the take-over, a brief review of the state of affairs prior to December 1961, is in order.
During the colonial occupation, the Portuguese government in Goa was a dictatorship under Salazar?s regime. All Members of the Legislative Assembly, Mayors, Judges and key public officials were appointed by the Government. The Governor-General had the power to veto any legislation enacted by the natives. There was no freedom of the press. The newspapers were censored prior to their circulation. There was no freedom of speech. Anyone who opposed the government ran the risk of suffering reprisals and even of being tried by a military tribunal.
During Portuguese domination, banking services were the monopoly of a Portuguese institution called Banco National Ultramarino which had branches only in four cities in Goa: Pangim, Margao, Mapusa and Vasco. Loans were granted upon mortgaging property or jewelry; thus only the wealthy could obtain loans and the peasants were out of luck. As far as education is concerned, there were Portuguese elementary schools. Secondary Portuguese education consisted of seven years of Lyceum. For obtaining a degree, the students had to study in Portugal. In Goa, there was just one medical school which was equivalent to the undergraduate diploma level. Seminaries in Rachol and in Saligao prepared young men for the priesthood. Additionally, there were private English schools, which provided education upto high school, affiliated to the University of Bombay, thanks to an understanding with the British and the subsequent Indian governments. For higher English education, students had to go to India. Industrial development was minimal. There were industries such as earthen roofing tiles, pharmaceutical products, food canning and a few cottage industries. These were predominantly family owned. One major industry, which commenced circa 1950, was limited to the extraction and export of iron and manganese ores. However, the foreign exchange resulting from the export of the ores was credited to the government coffer in Portugal.
The principal bridges which connected the Talukas (Concelhos) of Ilhas (Tiswadi), Ponda and Salcete were located at Banastarim and Borim. Concerning the highways, only the main roads were paved with asphalt. Electricity was available only in the four cities. Primary communication was maintained by telegrams. Telephones were available only in Pangim and that too in government offices and in homes of some high bracket people. Some who could afford radios would enjoy the sound of music during the evening appetized by "radio dinners". Public water supply was limited only to Pangim. In the rest of the territory, water was obtained from private wells.
With the exception of communal land called "Comunidades", which were established on an ancient Indian communal system, the remaining land was most privately owned. Generally, private estates had rice, coconuts or caju plantations which were looked after by peasants who lived in houses built by the landowners within their estates. The landlords, called "batkars" availed themselves of the labor of the peasants called "mundcars". The situation was similar to slavery which existed in some Western countries except that in Goa, it was a way of life since the peasants were looked after by the landlords.
When the shackles of suppression were sheared by India, Goans enjoyed instant political freedom bestowed by the greatest democratic nation in the world. However, in the beginning, there was some confusion. Whereas formerly, there was no freedom of speech; after liberation, the politicians barked at the top of their voices, but nobody listened.
Soon after the dust of confusion and excitement settled down, the democratic government of Goa, undertook an ambitious plan of development. During the last thirty-seven years, the principal improvements that materialized are described below:
Banking: In the cities there are more than 20 branches of Indian banks. Some are located even in remote villages. Loans are given to everyone, rich or poor, who satisfies the requirements of Indian banking regulations.
Buildings: Goan architects, who have returned to the motherland with foreign education, have made a tremendous contribution to the design of commercial and residential buildings. Construction of homes has spread everywhere, particularly along coastal lands. The well-to-do who have Goan connections, are building houses for investment or for their retirement. Consequently property values have sky rocketed tending to catch up with real estate values in Mumbai and in Hong Kong.
Education: Goa has a University comprising of colleges in Arts, Science, Agriculture, Architecture, Commerce, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, etc. These collages are spread in cities and in villages. Additionally, there are Institutes for Industrial Training, for Psychiatric and Human Behavior and many other disciplines. The Seminaries have been maintained. A new institution called the Kala Academy is located in Pangim and provides music and dancing lessons for the development of Indian and local culture (mando). Occasionally, performances are held for the public.
Electricity: Electric power is now available to industries and homes in cities and villages throughout the State. All major highways and secondary roads in the principal Talukas have fluorescent lighting.
Industries: According to a recent official list, there are 85 large and medium industries functioning currently. Basically, they cover the following categories: Automobile (tires, pressed parts, bulbs), alcoholic drinks (beer, wine liquor, whiskey), beverages, casting of alloys, computer hardware (floppy discs, printed circuit boards), chemicals (ammonia, oxygen, potassium permanganate); cotton yarn spindles; drilling and coring accessories; diamond cutting and polishing; electrical products (motors, generators, fans, washing machines, vacuum cleaners); electronics (AC capacitors); fiberglass products; fishing vessel (cereals); insecticides and pesticides; jewels; films (color negatives for cameras and cinema to graphic industry); food products bearings; lithium batteries; metal (machine tools, steel ingots, mild steel bars, rolled products) mine ores (low ash coke, low phosphate pig iron, iron ore concentrates, high carbon ferro manganese); ophtalmic lenses; pharmaceutical products; polyethylene foam; plastic goods; sanitary ware; ship building & dry dock; x-ray equipment. Most products are manufactured in Goa while some are assembled.
Land Reforms and Tenants Law: The peasants who lived in the landlords? properties now own the houses they occupied and also some land surrounding the dwellings. The people who cultivated the rice paddy fields now own those fields. The law also applies to coconut and caju plantations. The rents of apartments and shops cannot be raised. If the rental buildings need to be demolished or reconstructed, the tenants have to be compensated in kind.
Oceanography: The Government of Goa has installed in Dona Paula, a suburb of Pangim, one of four institutes established in India, with the collaboration of the United Nations to study various activities related to the oceans of the world, such as currents, fish life, ocean floors, oil drilling, winds and other phenomenon such as El Nino (child) which really speaking should be called El Gigante in view of the gigantic destruction it has created.
Rent Back System: Since the Tenants Law makes it difficult to evict a renter, developers have constructed resorts which are leased primarily to foreigners for a short period of time. The construction is financed by Goan residents who collect rent from the developer managing the resort.
Roads, Bridges and Railway: Major roads connecting the Talukas have been widened in critical areas. New roads have been constructed. All main and secondary roads in the principal Talukas have been paved with asphalt. Two bridges have been constructed over the Mandovi river spanning Betim and Pangim. Also a bridge over the Zuari River spans Agassaim and Cortalim. The new Konkan Railway line running from North to South across Goa is now in operation.
Sports: A new sports stadium has been constructed in the suburbs of Margao. Goa has emerged as a major center of soccer since recently the Salgaoncar Club captured India?s most prestigious trophy. This year Goa will set a new trend as five of its soccer clubs, namely, Dempo, Churchill Brothers, Salgoancar, Sesa and Vasco have recently turned professional. In fact, as reported in India Abroad, Dempo Sports Club has recruited two renowned Brazilian players, Anderson Ribeiro and Joao Soares, from Rio. Dempo has also hired Francis Gonsalves, a Brazilian coach from Bangu.
Telecommunication: Telephones are now available to private individuals who can dial anyone on this Earth. Thanks to the Internet, the latest global unifier, the computer screens in Goa have opened windows to the world. Local papers have listed Internet?s most popular facility in Goa as: WWW, E-mail, FTP and Telnet. To link from Goa, one has to connect with the node at the Department of Telecom located at Altinho, Pangim.
Tourism: The beautiful beaches, water falls, temples, cathedral and churches have attracted visitors from all over the world. At present there are four 5-star deluxe resorts: Fort Aguada in Sinquerim, Cidade de Goa in Dona Paula, Ramada in Varca and Leela Beach in Cavelossim. The 5-star hotels are: Golden Tulip in Uttorde, Holiday Inn in Cavelossim, Beach Resort in Majorda and Sarover Park Plaza in Bagmalo. The remaining "star" categories list 20 hotels. Hundreds of Guest Houses all over Goa, in four major classifications A to D are listed in 119 pages of the Accommodation Directory issued by the Government Office of Tourism.
Transportation: Some in the middle class now own cars, a luxury which very few could afford formerly. A large majority travel in scooters and motorcycles which go a long way on only a few liters of gasoline. Consequently people do not congest in the cities but live in villages and commute to work.
Water Supply: Presently, water supplied by the government is available in all the cities and in some suburban areas. Elsewhere, water is obtained from private wells.
Earlier, it was stated that there are some gray areas which need to be addressed. In our judgment, these are aesthetics, city traffic, land development and sanitation.
Aesthetics: With the exception of brand new buildings, the older ones give the appearance that they have not been painted for ages. The situation creates a bad impression on tourists. During the Portuguese occupation, all buildings, public and private, had to be painted once a year after the monsoon season. An inexpensive paint was prepared by using baked clam shells to which some dye was added. At present, at least in Pangim, the city notifies the property owner, each year, for enforcement of the ordinance; but nobody pays any attention.
City Traffic; In all four cities, the traffic is unbearable. Pedestrians, bovines and canines get on the street making it difficult for motorized traffic to move. Cities do not have adequate side-walks and the police have no control on the animals some of which are considered holy.
Land Development: The entire land in Goa has been defined as agricultural. Anyone wishing to construct a building has to apply for a variance which is normally granted unless the land is usable for agricultural purposes. However, some developers have constructed residential buildings in existing rice field. One such complex erected in two phases exists in Mapusa opposite the Police Station. This is absolutely incredible. Another aspect which needs attention is the zoning in residential areas. Homes have been constructed with narrow streets with the result that when cars are parked on both side, a third car can hardly pass. This is the case, at least in Dona Paula, near the water tower.
Sanitation: With the exception of Pangim, there are no sewage treatment plants elsewhere. Public urinals are practically non-existent. Sewage is treated mostly in privately owned septic tanks which have limitations since the leaching beds can get clogged. In addition, the effluent can contaminate ground water. Garbage collection is an insurmountable problem in the cities which have provided circular concrete dumpsters. Since plastic bags are not available, garbage is dumped directly into the bins and cannot be totally removed for ultimate disposal. Consequently bovines and canines flock to these bins. The scene is pathetic.
The Goa government is aware of these problems and has taken measures to remedy the situation. Last year, a delegation headed by the Chief Minister of Goa toured Singapore, Bangkok, Malaysia and Macao. The trip was very profitable, since it provided an opportunity to see how those cities handled the problems. We understand that salient features of the Singapore Police Force Act were in the process of being enforced in Pangim and later in other cities. Spitting, smoking, urinating and throwing garbage in public places will be prohibited with stringent fines as well as imprisonment for offenders. We are also aware that incinerators have been considered to burn the garbage.
WHIZ KID STUFF
What number does not change in value when multiplied by any other number?
What number does not change the value of another number when the two numbers are multiplied by each other?
What number does not change the value of another number when that other number is divided by the first number?
Any number can be divided by any other number except by
What number when added to or subtracted from another number, does not change the value of that other number?
What number does not change in value, even if the sign in front of it is changed from positive to negative?
THE ROTH IRA:
Retirement Saving at its Best
by Felix Menezes, EQ Financial Consultants
The newly enacted Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 could have a dramatic impact on the way Americans and (Goans) save for retirement, buy and sell investments, sell their homes and pay for higher education. The most significant development is the creation of the new, non-deductible Roth IRA, named after Senate Finance Committee Chairman, William Roth.
The Roth IRA allows married taxpayers, filing jointly, to each contribute the lesser of $2000 or 100% of earned income to a Roth Retirement Account. This amount is further reduced by the amount of contributions made to any other IRA other than a rollover IRA. Households with adjusted gross incomes of $150,000 or less are eligible to make the full contributions. Contributions are proportionately reduced for married taxpayers, filing jointly, with incomes between $150,000 and $160,000. For single taxpayers, the applicable income limit is $95,000, with contribution limits phased out for those with incomes between $95,000 and $110,000. For married taxpayers, filing separately, no contributions are permitted. These income thresholds are considerably higher than those set for the traditional, deductible IRA?s available today.
While contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible, the truly extraordinary benefit is that qualified withdrawals are completely tax-free, provided the IRA is held for 5 or more years and withdrawals fit one of the following requirements: distributions are made after age 59 1/2, are made after the death or disability of the account holder, are made for a first-time home purchase (subject to a maximum of $10,000).
For those who have traditional and tax deductible IRA?s with Adjusted Gross Incomes less than $100,000 can convert to the Roth IRA. 1998 offers a special opportunity to convert to a Roth IRA. Conversions that take place on or before Dec. 31, 1998, will be included in income on a pro rata basis over the 4-year tax period beginning in 1998.
There are no mandatory withdrawals beginning at age 701/2 and besides you can continue contributing to the Roth IRA past age 701/2, as long as you continue to earn income. The Roth IRA is truly the retirement vehicle of the future. With its higher adjusted income limitations and tax free retirement income withdrawals, the Roth IRA is a savings vehicle everyone, concerned about building a comfortable retirement be it in Florida or the Golden Sands of Our Beloved GOA, should strongly consider.
OF SPECIAL INTEREST
(by Anon. from a Church Bulletin)
To do the work of Christ is not a complicated thing.
It is really quite simple.
It means to be faithful in little things, for to be faithful in little things is a big thing.
It means to do one?s task, no matter how humble it may be, not only thoroughly but also joyfully.
It means to make oneself available, yet never seek the limelight.
It means to make oneself useful, without seeking to push oneself.
It means to strive to remain calm amid the hustle and bustle of life.
It means to carry one?s own burden, without, as far as possible, becoming a burden to others.
In other words, it means to be at one?s post, helpful and faithful, loyal and constant.
As Mother Teresa said:
We can do no great things --
Only little things with great love.
You can do what I can't do.
I can do what you can't do.
Together we can do something
Beautiful for God.
What: Holiday Ball
When: December 19, 1998
Where: Ukrainian Hall in
The new Chief Minister of Goa is Dr. Wilfred De Souza.
WHIZ KID STUFF
1. Zero 2. One 3. One 4. Zero 5. Zero 6. Zero
At a recent meeting of the Goan Association of New Jersey,
Inc., it was decided to introduce a 5-year membership at $60 per family.
You may also get a two-year family membership at $27 or a yearly membership
Plan ahead and save!
The hardest thing in life is to decide which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn.