No additional support for athletes

first_img But like any other market-driven activity, those who are not top performers will have many sad stories to tell. The harsh reality is that some of these athletes need to man up by either lifting their performance levels, or facing the same reality that confronts a lot of people every day, the reality of surviving in the real world. My choice of economic assistance to the sport would be at the developmental level, at the preparatory and primary level and even the crucial Boys and Girls’ Championships level. The aim must be to ensure that the systems we currently have in place continue to produce top athletes for many generations to come. Infrastructural, medical and other support facilities apart, additionally, I would opt for a sprint academy and or a coaching academy. These are what would inspire my tears and cries for help. I say again without apology, Jamaica has a track and field programme that works; we were second in the world at the just-concluded World Championships for God’s sake. Let us preserve this legacy by investing in development while continuing to raise the bar for excellence. Unfortunately, in that quest for excellence, some will fall by the wayside. And those who fall understandably will cry. Those are the cries we are hearing now. harsh reality Emotional, irratio-nal, angry and in total denial are what lots of Jamaicans seem to become whenever anyone dares to question or criticise their sporting heroes, whether those criticisms are merited or not. It hit home to me first when I was critical of sprinter Asafa Powell for repeatedly failing to perform to his full potential on the big occasion. Even with the irrefutable facts of Powell’s failures staring them squarely in the face, I was labelled “bad-minded”, “grudgeful”, “wicked” and more by the emotional clan for daring to speak the truth. Fast-forward to my recent prediction that the American Justin Gatlin would beat Usain Bolt in the shorter sprint at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships. This was not a pie-in-the-sky prediction, the hard-cold facts were pointing to the imperious form of Gatlin relative to Bolt’s struggles for fitness and form. But again, the emotional daggers were drawn, this time I was the “traitor”, the “anti-Bolt”, the “anti-Jamaican”, who committed treason. Fast-forward further to here and now and the raging debate as to the merits and affordability of Jamaica offering more financial assistance to our track and field athletes. I dared again to swim against the emotional tide, by first asking the questions how much, if any, should merely being national representatives entitle our athletes to? Can Jamaica afford to give them what they think they are entitled to? I ventured even further out of the box to forthrightly disagree that merely being national representatives should entitle athletes to more direct financial help than nurses, teachers, policemen and other civil servants. After all, athletics, like everything else, is a chosen field where the people who are good enough earn a very good living, while the ones who are not good enough will struggle. I happen not to agree that Jamaica owes our struggling athletes any more help than we owe any other of our struggling citizens. For that principled stance , the emotional half-wits have now branded me “stupid”, “crazy”, “hype”, “irrational”, “disgraceful” and “classless”. Incapable of challenging the message, they have resorted to attacking the messenger. While the Government has announced the setting up of an assistance programme for the athletes, starting with the $40 million diverted from the planned welcome-home celebrations, I remain resolute and undaunted by all the platitudinous rantings. Top achievers such as Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell and others are among our top money earners in sports and, indeed, in Jamaica, more than ample proof that the sport rewards its top performers.last_img read more

No meetings of Linden M&TC in 2 months

first_imgLinden Town Clerk Jenella BowenLinden Mayor Carwyn HollandThe Mayor and Town Council (M&TC) of Linden, Region 10 has not been meeting for the past two months, and according to reports, this is as a result of Councillors simply not showing up for meetings.The most recent statutory meeting for the M&TC was cancelled on Wednesday and according to Mayor Carwyn Holland, “no one showed up”.When asked what was responsible for the Council not meeting, Holland refused to elaborate, only saying that the Council was “going through a process” involving the Town Clerk, Jenella Bowen, against whom it passed a no-confidence motion.He added that Councillors were anxiously awaiting the outcome of “the process” involving Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan.Holland further refused to respond to a question on the impact the lack of meetings would have on the Council’s work programmes and ultimately Lindeners, stating, “I will end this conversation here.”The Holland-led Town Council was only elected in March 2016, just six months ago, and already it has failed to meet for more than two months.The six-month-old Council has not been meeting despite being in the midst of a financial crunch. It recently asked central Government for a financial bailout, claiming it was facing a $200 million debt, which it inherited from the previous town administration, making it impossible to pay workers their gratuity and an increase in salaries, as well as pay for electricity and garbage disposal.“We need a bailout at the moment,” Holland said.Many Lindeners say that despite being saddled with this massive revenue crunch, the Holland-led Council was preoccupied with its battle to remove the Town Clerk, rather than carrying on with the business of the people of Linden.“I understand that they have a problem with the Town Clerk and whatsoever, but that don’t give them the right not to meet. We elect them to look after our affairs not to fight over one person,” a Lindener told Guyana Times.Another resident remarked, “It is bad they not meeting so long, if they said they waiting on the Minister to make a decision, then he need  to do so quick so things can move forward.”Other residents have lashed out at the Council over its continuous “bickering” and “fighting over one person”, calling on the Councillors to show maturity and get on with the town’s business.“I think the fight between the Mayor and some Councillors and the Town Clerk is because of politics, some Councillors don’t like her because they think she is PPP. But I don’t think that is sufficient reason for the Council not to meet. Some Councillors want to meet, but some Councillors don’t want to and their excuse is they will not attend any meeting where she is,” a source at the Linden Town Council told Guyana Times. Some Councillors and Bowen have been engaged in a bitter feud in recent months, with both sides trading blame for poor management.Holland had told a news conference that the Councillors wanted Bowen removed from her position even if it meant she had to be placed in a different capacity as he levelled accusations of late notices for meetings, tardiness in the production of minutes, unedited minutes, and inadequate steps taken to implement decisions to clean up the town,  among other allegations. Bowen had earlier accused Holland and his deputy of spending at least $500,000 of the Council’s money without approval.Minister Bulkan is expected to soon meet with Bowen before a decision is made on her future.last_img read more

NOCAL Contributes US$150,000 to Ebola Fund

first_imgThe National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has contributed US$150,000 to the Ebola Trust Fund to assist government in its effort to fight the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia.Making the presentation Thursday, Sept 4, at the company’s head office in Monrovia, the president and Chief Executive Officer of NOCAL, Dr. Randolph AKW McClain, said the donation was intended to support government’s initiatives to curb the spread of the virus.Dr. McClain spoke of the immeasurable human toll of the virus on families, its crippling effect on the economy and the additional burden on government’s efforts to provide the basic needed services for its people.The NOCAL president, on behalf of the company’s Board of Directors, management and staff, extended sympathy to families, who have lost loved ones to the virus and thanked health workers and other individuals and institutions for contributing to the effort to fight the Ebola epidemic.He urged citizens and other residents to play their part by contributing as well and adhering to the measures put in place by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and the National Ebola Task Force to help stop the spread of Ebola and save more lives, adding, “this fight will only succeed if we all join hands and work together to contain Ebola.”In response, the Deputy Minister of Finance for Fiscal Affairs, Dr. James F. Kollie, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, thanked the NOCAL family for the gesture, which he said represented the single largest contribution by any public or private local entity. He assured NOCAL that the funds would be used exclusively towards the fight against Ebola.Dr. Kollie said while government is seeking more funding and contributions are being made, each citizen and resident must take personal responsibility to ensure that the transmission of the virus is broken and brought under control.The September 4th contribution represents the latest significant contribution NOCAL has made towards the national effort to contain the spread of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.  Last week, NOCAL presented Personal Protective Equipment to the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, valued at more than US $84,000.00 (eighty-four thousand dollars). The company also presented several materials to a local Non-Governmental Organization, ‘Feed the Future’ in its effort to support the fight against Ebola.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Monetary donation given to children of slain Cops

first_imgThe Guyana Police Force’s (GPF’s) Fallen Heroes Foundation is continuing to financially support the families of Police Officers killed in the line of duty, giving the beneficiaries another disbursement on Friday.Cheques totalling almost $900,000 were handed over to the families of nine slain Police Officers at the Police Officers’ Mess Annex, Eve Leary. The money is to assist with the welfare and/or schooling expenses of children under 18 years of those fallen heroes.Currently, the Foundation is catering for 20 children.The establishment of the Fallen Heroes Foundation was the brainchild of PolicePolice Commissioner Seelall Persaud and Members of the Fallen Heroes Foundation along with the families of the slain officersCommissioner Seelall Persaud, who at the simple presentation ceremony highlighted the importance of the organisation as well as the need for increased donations to the Foundation.“We are not sure what will happen in the future. We would like to see that the number of children that are being taken care of doesn’t increase but there is no guarantee, life doesn’t offer those guarantee. Then the level of assistance they provide, there are opportunities to improve on that if they can acquire more funding,” Persaud noted.The Top Cop is hoping that by highlighting the work of the Foundation, there will be increased donations. In fact, he added that upon his retirement in April, he will get more involved in the work of the Foundation, trying to raise funds to expand its support to the beneficiaries.The Fallen Heroes Foundation was established in 2015 and according to Chairman, Pastor Raphael Massiah, an assessment is done on each family to determine their needs.“Each family is quite different so every year we do an assessment to determine the particular needs… things like school fees, uniform, we look at footwear, lesson fees and so on. We have even made a contribution of a laptop to one child who was writing CXC but did not have that kind of resource so it depends on the peculiarities that we find in a family that will determine the amount that is given,” the Chairman explained.The financial assistance is given to the families quarterly. The money is raised through public donations as well as monthly contributions by ranks of the Police Force. In order to maintain transparency and accountability, audits have been conducted for the years 2015 and 2016. The auditing of the 2017 financial books will be done in the near future.While the Foundation is an independent body from the Force itself, the Commissioner is nevertheless kept abreast of its work.Speaking with reporters after receiving her cheque, Enola Pantlitz said the money comes in handy to care for her two children. “For me, I’m grateful for the money because it’s helping out a lot with the school fees and so forth,” said the widow. Her husband, Sherwayne Pantlitz was killed in 2013 during a standoff at Middle Street, Georgetown, during which miner Derrick Kanhai, shot and killed two officers and two civilians.Meanwhile, the wife of Sergeant Constable Leonard La Rose, who was fatally stabbed while arresting a rape suspect in the North-West District in 2016, also related how helpful the assistance has been to care for four of her five children who are in school.“It has helped me a great lot and I’m grateful and thankful for the assistance… (I use the money) to purchase their school books and whatever things are needed, I will use it to buy,” she stated.At the end of 2016, the Guyana Police Force has disclosed that some 64 Police Officers were killed in the line of fire since 1913, with nine of them having lost their lives from 2010 to then.However, adding to that is 39-year-old Police Corporal 16825 Balgrave Bartholomew of Itaballi, Mazaruni, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), who drowned while on patrol duty on January 30 last year.It was reported that the officer along with his colleagues were returning from patrol duty along the Ekeruku River when the wooden boat they were in began to take in water from the bow and quickly sank. The two other occupants managed to swim to shore, but Corporal Bartholomew unfortunately could not.last_img read more

Phone card vendor robbed, murdered

first_imgA 37-year-old phone card vendor was on Tuesday evening shot dead by a bandit in front of his home in what seems to be a robbery.Dead is Ron Mansfield of Lot 772 Westminster, West Bank Demerara (WBD). Reports are Mansfield had just returned home on his motorcycle, when he was approached by a young man. A single gunshot was heard, and the perpetrator then fled the scene with a bag, which contained the man’s earnings for the day, phone cards and other documents.When Guyana Times visited the scene on Wednesday, his wife explained that her husband returned home at about 20:30h after he would have finished selling his phone cards. She said she heard the sound of the motorcycle after which their twoDead: Ron Mansfieldchildren – ages 13 and 15 – opened the door for their father.“I was in my bedroom, I heard the motorcycle came in and the children went to open the door for him. He was going to get some water, so they went to give the bottle to him,” she recalled.However, the woman related that as her husband went to his motorcycle, which was parked in front of the yard, he was confronted by a lone gunman.“I don’t know when he went out back if the person run him but he ended up till over at the neighbour’s entrance. So it’s either someone run him or they had a scuffle but whatever happened, it resulted in a gunshot…,” she explained.After hearing the gunshot, she explained that the children started to scream and on rushing outside, she saw her husband lying on the ground bleeding from his chest.The perpetrator was in the process of making his escape with the bag.“The sound of the gunshot is what alerted me to go outside and of course, the screams of the children. I run outside and when I ran, I saw that this person was running away. What I can say is that it is a slim person, young male, not an old person but I can’t give a detailed description because it was pretty dark,” she recollected.Mansfield was picked up and rushed to the West Demerara Regional Hospital but succumbed to his injuries while on the way.It was related that the now dead man has been in that type of business for aboutThe dead man’s motorcyclefive years. However, in the nine years that the family has resided in that area, the family explained that there are frequent incidences of crime and other criminal activities.“There is a lot of heightened robberies and crime within the area. It just never came to my doorstep until last night.”The man leaves to mourn his wife, two children and other relatives.No arrests have been made.last_img read more

Windows broken at Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre

first_imgSeveral windows have been broken at the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre in Dawson Creek.In the early morning hours of Monday December 28th, 2009, the Dawson Creek RCMP responded to a mischief compliant at the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre.  On arrival, it was established that many of the exterior windows had been broken.  Damage is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars.The Dawson Creek RCMP are asking that anyone with information regarding this crime to contact the Detachment at 250-784-3700 or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. – Advertisement –last_img

Motorcyclist killed after slamming into lorry

first_img– pillion rider stableA popular motorcyclist, Devon Hopkinson, also known as “Wild Buck” was killed just after midnight on Thursday after his motorcycle collided with a motor lorry in the vicinity of Pearl on the East Bank of Demerara.Dead: Devon HopkinsonReports are that Hopkinson, 33, of Lot 31 Railway Line, Kitty, Georgetown, was returning home around 12:45h when tragedy struck.According to the police, the driver of the motor lorry and trailer was attempting to turn into a lumberyard when Hopkinson failed to stop and crashed his motorcycle CD 7536 into the truck.Hopkinson, as well as his female pillion rider, was picked up and rushed to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre where he later succumbed to his injuries.His reputed wife, Lesa Kellman, told Guyana Times that she received a call from a woman who informed her of the accident. According to her, the now dead man went to “check up” on their house in Soesdyke, EBD.Kellman explained that as she arrived at the medical facility, she saw her husband’s wounds and realised that he was in pain. According to her, he tried speaking to her but was unable to due to his condition.A few minutes later, Kellman said, she was informed that he did not make it. In the meanwhile, the pillion rider was treated and discharged from the facility.The dead man’s wife said she was told by the young woman that the truck driver did not indicate that he was turning.“The girl stated that when they were coming down, the truck was turning to go into the sawmill but he did not put on his indicator so by time he realise the truck was turning, for he to pull brakes he didn’t make it in time and collide with the truck,” she explained.On the other hand, the now dead man was seen partying at the Soesdyke Junction. In addition, he was seen riding towards the house that he purportedly went to check. As he was making his way back to the Soesdyke Junction, he was reportedly seen doing “stunts”.On this note, it is believed that the man might have been speeding along the East Bank roadway when the accident occurred.Hopkinson was a mechanic and a father of five. He leaves to mourn his young children aged four and two years old with Kellman. His youngest child is just two months old.The dead man’s mother, Lorna Atkinson, is calling for justice for her son’s death. She said her son was a very experienced and careful rider as he has been riding since the age of 18.A breathalyser test was conducted on the driver of the motor lorry, a 36-year old resident of Kuru-Kuru, Soesdyke Linden Highway, and it proved that he was over the prescribed limit of alcohol consumption.He is presently in Police custody assisting with the investigation.last_img read more

Chivas USA needs to connect with fans

first_imgChivas USA is one of the best teams in MLS, playing attractive and effective soccer in what is arguably the nation’s best soccer specific stadium. The young team boasts some of American soccer’s most notable rising stars, including goalkeeper Brad Guzan, U.S. international defender Jonathan Bornstein and Maykel Galindo, one of MLS’ top scorers. The franchise is a spinoff of Mexico’s most beloved club team, CD Guadalajara, with a massive potential fan base in a nation where Latinos represent the fastest-growing ethnic group. Yet despite ticket prices that start at just $14, Chivas USA elicits little passion beyond a small cadre of hard-core fans. Hunter, who has received an ownership interest in the club, is the newly hired president and CEO. He will attempt to succeed where predecessor Javier Leon failed and connect with Mexican-American and general soccer fans alike. “Good marketing transcends all languages and cultures,” Hunter said. “We’ve got to be people’s team of choice.” Hunter is no soccer neophyte. A member of the MLS board of directors, he helped formulate the designated player rule that brought the likes of Beckham and Blanco to MLS. He is also the chair of the MLS Business Development Committee, which forged initiatives to allow corporate sponsorship on team jerseys and the guaranteed airing of every MLS game on local television. But it’s his track record of selling tickets and marketing franchises that most attracts Chivas USA. During Hunter’s six years as president of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona became an unlikely hockey hotbed with the team selling 94 percent of its seats during its first four seasons. Before that he was with the Colorado Avalanche, a team that was among the NHL’s top 10 worldwide in apparel sales and sold 12,000 season tickets in fewer than six weeks. Hunter knows how to sell tickets, teams and sports. Now he must sell Chivas USA, a team few care about in a fringe sport fighting for visibility in a crowded marketplace. “We want to win and we want to sell tickets,” he said. “If we do that, everything else will fall into place.” He plans to double Chivas USA’s sales staff to about 20 account executives. He will aim for group sales – a grass roots strategy that has worked for AEG – to introduce church and community groups and AYSO teams to the franchise. And he will boost the club’s largely moribund advertising and marketing efforts to get Chivas USA on soccer fans’ radar screen. It is, he concedes, an uphill battle. Instead of extending a valuable brand, Chivas USA has managed to dilute it. An iconic trademark, invested with meaning and passion to millions, today means virtually nothing to almost everyone. In its first year, Chivas USA sought to replicate its mother club’s success – CD Guadalajara is beloved for its policy of playing only Mexicans – by importing Mexicans en masse. But Chivas USA failed to understand that second-rate Mexicans who couldn’t make it at home were unlikely to succeed in the increasingly competitive MLS. The result was a pitiful 4-22-6 record in its debut season that made the team the laughingstock of MLS. In 2006, Chivas USA reversed course, focused on better players rather than Mexican players and improved to 10-9-13 under respected coach Bob Bradley. This year, under new coach Preki, the team has achieved even greater on-field success. But the decision to cut costs and dump popular and expensive – if low-achieving – players such as Paco Palencia has contributed to the franchise’s failure to capture fans’ imagination. Hunter plans to loosen the purse strings and perhaps sign a big-name star as a designated player as soon as next season. Whether that’s a star familiar to its target audience that follows the Mexican league or someone like the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan – who could make a good team better – and speaks Spanish too, remains to be seen. No team is better positioned to exploit the nation’s changing demographics, in the sport most likely to benefit from the growth in the Latino population. But after marketing missteps to a demanding futbol-savvy audience, Chivas USA can ill afford more mistakes. “These are very knowledgeable fans,” Hunter said. “It’s time for us to go back out and convince them to give us a try again.” Or Chivas USA may not have another chance. nick.green@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The 3-year-old team averages crowds of roughly 12,000, the second lowest attendance in the league. Chivas USA has no recognizable names in an era when the cachet of star power on the level of a David Beckham or a Cuauhtemoc Blanco is becoming increasingly apparent. And Chivas USA games provoke little publicity, no buzz and few celebrity fans to distinguish it from intrastadium rivals the Galaxy. The Goats are the Clippers of MLS. Into this environment has stepped Shawn Hunter, 44, who for the last five years has directed the sports empire of Galaxy and Home Depot Center owner Anschutz Entertainment Group, overseeing its events and 11 teams worldwide. last_img read more

Senior Calendar

first_img160Want 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 MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsMonday: Turkey marsala, cauliflower, carrots. Tuesday: Hearty beef stew, five-way vegetable mix, carrots. Wednesday: Glazed chicken, baby lima beans, cauliflower. Thursday: Salisbury steak, carrots, five-way vegetable mix. Friday: Shrimp creole, baby lima beans, peas and carrots. Lunch is served at noon weekdays at the Simi Valley Senior Citizens Center, 3900 Avenida Simi. Suggested donation is $5, or $2.25 for those 60 and older. Reservations must be made 48 hours in advance by calling (805) 583-6365. Lunch is served to Moorpark seniors at noon weekdays in the Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave. Suggested donation is $2.25. For information, call (805) 517-6261. All meals are served with whole-grain bread, salad, yogurt, cottage cheese or cheese stick, fruit and low-fat milk. Here is this week’s menu: last_img read more

EFL Cup: First round draw to be held on Friday in Bangkok

first_img Manchester United beat Southampton to win this year’s EFL Cup 1 The first round draw for next season’s Carabao Cup will be made in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday.Newly-relegated Sunderland will be one of 70 clubs in the first round draw of the League Cup with Hull and Middlesbrough among those joining the competition in round two.Thai energy drinks brand Carabao signed an £18million, three-year deal with the EFL to become the competition’s title sponsor earlier this year.The first round draw will be seeded and regionalised to reduce travelling time for supporters.This year’s final saw Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 at Wembley in February.last_img