Communications director of Netball Jamaica (NJ), Wayne Lewis, has strongly supported the move by the Sunshine Girls coaching staff to dismiss three members of the team on Wednesday night. Goal attack Shanice Beckford and centre court players, Khadijah Williams and Nicole Dixon, were given marching orders for what has been deemed inappropriate behaviour. Lewis told The Gleaner that the management of NJ have are in full support of the decision of coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken to expel the trio from the team. “I am in full support of this, and other selectors that I have spoken to have similar views. They know that the girls have been giving problems and so the coach is free to make her decision,” said Lewis. Lewis, however, chided the media for its coverage of the issue. He said nothing unusual had taken place. “I don’t know that this is a big story because these things happen all the time,” Lewis said. Beckford told The Gleaner that she was shown the door by Allison-McCracken after she refused to restart a drill in training on Wednesday. “She told me to start over what I was doing and I said I can’t start over and so I dropped my weight and then she said you need to leave and don’t come back,” Beckford said. “She was raising her voice and I don’t like when people raise their voices at me, and she has been doing that from the first day she met us. I even told the manager to talk to her about it,” Beckford said. She added: “For me, she has been very disrespectful. She does not show us (players) any respect because from the first day this lady met us, she is going to tell us that the Scotland team can come and beat us now,” said Beckford. Williams said she has always carried out her functions in training and, therefore, she was surprised by Allison-McCracken’s decision to send her home. “She asked me if I will have exams all week next week and I said yes and she then said since I am not coming next week, then don’t come back until after the series against Barbados,” said Williams. “I am very surprised by this. I have always done my best because I am a person who can’t swim and since she has been coaching us, we have been in the pool a lot,” Williams said. Beckford and Williams have been members of the Sunshine Girls team for more than five years, while Dixon is one of the country’s rising stars. Englishwoman Allison-McCracken was appointed head coach of the Sunshine Girls in March. She has vowed to take number-four ranked Jamaica to the top of the ladder in world netball. The Sunshine Girls are currently preparing to host Barbados in a three-Test series. MEDIA CRITICISED
Dear Editor,After my last letter on security matters, a confidential source with strong ties to the APNU/AFC Administration, who will remain anonymous, called to plead with me not to be so critical of the Minister of Public Security.He said, “Harry, Khemraj (Ramjattan) means well, but he’s not being given the support. He’s not getting the money he’s asking for to improve the sector, and he sees money being wasted and unaccounted for in other ministries. They (APNU) want him to fail. They’re using him and (Prime Minister) Moses (Nagamootoo) as pit bulls to go after Jagdeo and his boys. Haven’t you noticed? It is the Indians in the AFC that they’re using to discredit the PPP; our hands are clean.”So, after pressing for an explanation, I was told that Granger is under pressure from the PNCR executives for giving all the important ministries to the AFC, but he can’t change that now without risking the breakup of the coalition. The APNU is hoping that Ramjattan will get frustrated by his many failures, and either resign on his own, or ask be reshuffled to another ministry.This year, $37.4 billion was budgeted for the security sector. This is a big increase from the $29.1 billion allocated last year. In addition, the Guyana Police Force recently received from the People’s Republic of China generous gifts of vehicles totalling US$2.6 million, and 200 bicycles (30 of which were given to the City Constabulary) valued at over US$145,000; plus the GPF received another US$20,000 worth of electronic equipment from the United States’ Government.So, in fact, the Ministry of Public Security should not be short of resources to put systems in place to reduce crime and to secure our prisons. The problem is that this administration is incapable of dealing with the management and leadership issues that exist in the sector.Then, on July 14, the state newspaper carried a bold headline that read, “Armed robberies down by 8%”. Another section of the media coverage of this story was slightly different. It read, “The Guyana Police Force has recorded 44 murders in the past six months. And with the exception of rape and gun robberies, serious crimes were down by five percent in comparison to the same period last year.”While other sections of the media reported a two percent increase in robbery under arms in which firearms were used (298 as against 304 this year), the state newspaper had the figures reversed to show a decline of 2 percent, to let the Government look good. Even so, all Guyanese are aware of the almost daily reports of gun-related robberies and other crimes that terrify businesses and communities; and whether it is +2 percent or -2 percent, no one believes those manufactured figures anymore. Shouldn’t rape and gun-related robberies form part of the “serious crime” category, to give us a true and accurate crime report from the Police? Who is manufacturing these crime statistics to give our citizens a false sense of security?I would wager that if an opinion poll were done today, only two persons would believe these statistics: The Minister of Public Security and the Acting Commissioner of Police. But oh, perhaps there is a third, Crime Chief Paul Williams, who seems willing to compromise his professionalism and integrity by defending an out-of-control Government minister. As this matter is still being investigated by the Police, I would hope the Crime Chief has the decency to recuse himself from any part of this ongoing investigation.Whatever marginal gains the Guyana Police Force is reporting on crime statistics, even if true, they are totally unacceptable to justify the huge amount of resources allocated to the security sector. We, the citizens of Guyana, demand results. And for the Government to say that crime was also high during the PPP tenure is equally unaccepted. They are the ones that gained office with all the answers to Guyana’s problems and the security experts the likes of former Police Commissioner Winston Felix and former Rear Admiral Gary Best; but crime has since gotten worse.With the inexperienced Ramjattan now left on his own to hang out to dry, it seems that my source’s information may be credible after all.Sincerely,Harry GillPPP Member of ParliamentMember of the Parliamentary OversightCommittee of the Security Sector
Dear Editor,In March this year, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) made an incredibly bold and outlandish statement in a vain attempt to remove the fear and dishonesty which is inherent in the People’s National Congress (PNC)-run elections from the minds of the Guyanese people, especially the voting population. A Department of Public Information release had stated that GECOM has as one of its priorities the “tightening up on the slippage that would cause the elections process” to be perceived as flawed in the past.This past is still fresh in the minds of the Guyanese populace and the fear still relevant since the fake Statements of Poll of the 2015 General Election are yet to be determined. Many Guyanese can vividly recall the blatant and barefaced rigging of the General Elections under the PNC from 1968 to 1985. These rigged elections were in 1968, 1973, 1980 and 1985 and there was the massively rigged Referendum in 1978, all of which bear testimony to the innate ability of the PNC to hold fraudulent elections fully backed by GECOM.In addition, the ascension of retired Justice Patterson to the chairmanship of GECOM is also done by a ‘rigged process’; likewise the employment discrimination of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GECOM which can be seen as a further step to set the stage for the rigging of elections in this country. Let us now look at the electoral process leading to the Local Government Elections (LGE) to be held on November 12.There has been evidence surfacing in many People’s Progressive Party supported areas of fraudulent activities by the Alliance For Change (AFC) and the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and this is not about gerrymandering, it is the use of faked and forged signatures to support the nominations of their candidates. It was reported that areas affected were Crabwood Creek, Corriverton, Fifty One Good Hope, Whim, Bloomfield, Number 63, Berbice; and La Grange, La Jalousie and Canal Polder, West Bank Demerara. Some blatant cases occurred at Number 51/Good Hope and Whim Village – the birth place of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo. At Whim Village 51 persons disputed that they signed the backers list and swore to affidavits attesting that fact. At Number 51/Good Hope, 18 persons claimed they never signed the AFC’s backers list, nine persons lived abroad, one woman is dead and one could not read and write but yet purportedly signed the list, affidavits were also signed to that effect. In Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) alone, 151 disputed persons’ names appeared on various backers’ lists. What is supposed to be GECOM’s role in the above scenario? Should GECOM allow these candidates who were fraudulently backed to contest the LGE in their constituencies?Instead of GECOM decisively addressing the case of the fraudulent lists a farcical comedy played out. The CEO, Keith Lowenfield, had stated that once affidavits for each individual was produced, the fraudulent ‘errors’ will be corrected. However, the DECO, Roxanne Myers, had issued instructions to the Returning Officers that the persons should bring the affidavits in person, contrary to the original statement that the leader or deputy leader of the List can submit the sworn affidavits. It was claimed that the CEO never passed on this instruction in writing to the Returning Officers. Conveniently, at the 11th hour, the CEO went missing in action! Is this not a clear indication that GECOM is not acting in the best interest of the electorate but in the interest of the ruling party?It was only last Monday that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo revealed there were already several instances of electoral fraud for the 2018 LGE and he cited that as many as 42 out of 80 Local Authority Areas were affected by these fraudulent backers’ lists.It is imperative to note that the Carter Centre Election Report had recommended that Government must continue to strengthen the professionalism and independence of GECOM to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. Unfortunately, from what has transpired and the fact that the coalition Government has remained deafeningly silent, is a clear indication that this recommendation has been aborted like so many others and will never see the light of day.A final question: If GECOM has silently given approval to these fraudulent lists, what can we expect during the electoral process? The LGE electoral process is already ‘perceived as flawed’ Chairman!Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC Councillor Region Six
On Saturday, March 28 the Liberian YMCA in collaboration with Y Care International, through funding from Comic Relief UK, is expected to distribute the amount of US$26,250 as a “re-start capital” to 175 women of West Point.The beneficiaries are mainly market women, including female heads of households and female Ebola survivors.The donation is a part of a project called ‘Saving Lives and Restoring Livelihoods in West Point.’The Coordinator of the Project, Jerry Paye, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview yesterday that the ‘restart grant’ is an economic revitalization assistance intended to address the impact of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on women and their families.Accordingly, the women were selected from the Slum Development Project, the Red Cross Women’s Training Integration Project (WIN) and from vulnerable people of the township, particularly female-headed households and Ebola survivors.Mr. Paye disclosed that the grant fund would be supervised in order to ensure it improves the lives of the beneficiaries and their families.Meanwhile, the six-month anti Ebola campaign involving the recruitment and temporary employment of forty residents every week to clean the township’s seven communities under the Food for Work scheme (FFW) is expected to windup this weekend.Each volunteer will receive a 25k bag of rice, a gallon of cooking oil, half dozen tins of sardines and 50 pieces of vita cubes. The uninterrupted cleaning campaign, which began in October 2014, is one of YMCA’s initiatives to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).Besides the FFW scheme, the YMCA has also engaged in a rigorous public awareness and sensitization campaign against the pandemic.The YMCA’s peer educators informed the West Pointers about how the Ebola is transmitted and cautioned them against risky behavior.They also encouraged the West Pointers to practice careful hygiene, for example, frequently washing their hands with soap and water or ashes or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoiding contact with blood and body fluids.Leaflets and posters about the prevention of the virus are also distributed and posted on houses, shops and other places.The Liberian YMCA moreover provide food support to single mothers, sick and disabled persons, Ebola survivors including the Star of the Sea Clinic in West Point, as well as financial support to the office of the Township Commissioner.West Point, the largest and most densely populated slum community in Monrovia, is home to over 100,000 people. The township is headed by a commissioner and is located on a peninsula, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean between the Mesurrado and St. Paul Rivers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) has awarded to Rong-An Inc and R.L. Sukhram two lots of Barama Company Limited’s former concessions, totalling more than 800,000 hectares.The move comes after Malaysia-owned Barama announced in 2016 that it would not be seeking a renewal of its 25-year-old forest concession agreement with Government, and would be scaling back its operations.According to the Natural Resources Ministry, a decision has been taken, in tandem with input from the GFC, to divide the former Barama Company Limited concession into four parcels, each approximating 400,000 hectares.There are questions about how many Barama workers will benefit“The ministry advertised two of those parcels as State Forest Exploratory Permits, which means that there is a three-year process of assessment prior to commercial full-scale harvesting. The third parcel was identified for conservation and research, while the fourth was identified for small concession allocation of areas 20,000 acres and less,” the Ministry stated on Saturday.“Parcel 1 is a forest area of size 417,809.23 (hectares) and is located in the Essequibo region (North West, Mazaruni-Potaro District). Parcel 2 is a forest area of size 432,262.59 (hectares) and is located in the Essequibo region (North West, Mazaruni Potaro District).”According to the Natural Resources Ministry (MNRE), the concessions are located in Northwest Guyana in Region One in the Barima-Waini, and Region Seven in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni sub-regions. The ministry has said the concession areas both have a high occurrence of a number of high-value commercial timber species, including Baromalli, Greenheart, Purpleheart, Mora, Wallaba, Crabwood and Kabukalli.“Parcels 1 and 2 were opened for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for the period ending February 10, 2017. These were advertised in the local media as well as in the international publications ‘Development Business’ and ‘The Economist’, and placed on several websites.“Ten submissions were made at this deadline, some for both parcels while others were for one or the other. These firms were invited to submit State Forest Exploratory Permit (SFEP) applications, pay the non-refundable fee, and complete a Business Plan Summary by April 28, 2017.”The release said that at the deadline of April 28, 2017, five applications were received from the following entities: Chemtech (Trinidadian firm) for Parcel 1, R.L. Sukhram and Sons Sawmill for Parcel 2; Rong-An Inc. for both Parcels 1 and 2; Forlene and Sons for Parcel 2; and ACE Resources (Canadian firm) for both parcels.“Following the receipt of applications, the Technical Sub-Committee of the GFC Board of Directors conducted a full review of each application. The review of the Technical Sub-Committee concluded that Parcel 1 should be issued to Rong-An Inc., and for Parcel 2 to be issued to R.L. Sukhram and Sons Sawmill, for a three-year period commencing July 2017 to July 2020.”Following this process, a recommendation was made to the full Board of Directors, and the 129th Meeting, held on June 27, 2017, approved Parcel 1 to be allocated to Rong-An Inc., and for Parcel 2 to be allocated to R.L. Sukhram and Sons. This decision was approved by the full Board and has been implemented by the GFC, the MNRE said.The MNRE expressed optimism that awarding of the two parcels would result in benefits to the forestry sector, including a total investment of US$9.5 million by 2020 and a total of 524 new jobs being created when the operations are at full scale.Barama had announced the scaling back of its operations in October last year, but the company is reportedly still deciding whether it is profitable to continue its sawmilling and veneering and plywood manufacturing here.According to reports, Government’s slothfulness in reviewing the renewal of the contract was the main reason behind Barama’s decision to leave the market.
The girls D2 bracket is another that might cause some hard feelings today. Ayala was a lock, based on its CIF title win on Saturday night, and earned the No. 2 seed. Norco lost its CIF championship game to Miller (No. 2 seed in D1), but still got the state’s No. 3 seed over Colony – which beat Norco head-to-head earlier in the season – and Diamond Ranch, the defending CIF champion that dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Norco in the semifinals. That means the high school career of Diamond Ranch star Nina Earl is over despite leading the Panthers to a 27-2 season. Other matchups on Tuesday will include: No. 5 seed Norco boys at No. 4 San Diego Scripps Ranch (D2); No. 6 seed Ontario Christian boys at No. 3 seed Bakersfield Garces (D4); No. 15 Los Angeles Dorsey girls at No. 2 Miller (D1); No. 12 Perris at No. 5 Etiwanda girls (D1); No. 11 Victorville Silverado girls at No. 6 Fresno Clovis West (D1); No. 7 Sanger at No. 2 Ayala girls (D2) and No. 3 Norco girls at No. 6 San Diego Mt. Carmel (D2). 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Here’s the rundown: For the boys, Kaiser (Division I), Norco (D2) and Ontario Christian (D4) made the cut; the girls are represented by Etiwanda (D1), Silverado (D1), Miller (D1), Norco (D2) and Ayala (D2). Kaiser’s inclusion will probably raise the most eyebrows around the area. The Cats finished 18-13 and lost the CIF-SS D4AA title game to Ontario Christian. But now, Kaiser is headed to the state DI playoffs over teams like Etiwanda (22-8), which won the much tougher Baseline League and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the D1A bracket by eventual champion Los Alamitos – a 49-47 defeat. Kaiser is the No. 16 seed and travels to No. 1 Los Angeles Fairfax in the first round. CIF-State divisions are based purely on enrollment. CIF-Southern Section divisions use a different criteria, including league strength. Kaiser boys in. Etiwanda boys out. Norco girls in. Diamond Ranch and Colony girls out. Some were mild surprises; others were much bigger. But expected or not, those were the results of the CIF-State basketball tournament brackets released on Sunday afternoon. Eight local schools earned bids into the state tournament, which begins Tuesday. Three area teams will host first-round playoff games at 7 p.m. that night.
Asked about Freeman’s comments during a separate event outside Parker Center, the mayor said his intervention and prevention plan is the best chance to curb the growing problem of gang violence. “We gleaned the best practices from around the country,” he said. “Nobody is arguing there is anything new here, but it’s the first time that we are coordinating. “People are going to have these questions and should ask these questions. But we are putting $16 million – where we don’t have very much money in our budget – where for the first time we are coordinating with intervention, prevention, suppression and not (just) leading with suppression.” In a 40-page report that outlines his strategy, Villaraigosa lists dozens of programs, including those designed to provide a combination of prevention, intervention and services. There also is information from a 2003 Department of Justice Department program that targets a high-poverty, low-income neighborhood in Boyle Heights. Police Commissioner Alan Skobin called the mayor’s plan an “important first step” in what will likely be a long process in curbing gang violence. “What’s different is that there’s an enhanced focus and prioritization … Anytime you focus on a problem you are going to get better results,” he said. “We have budget constraints and personnel constraints. You cannot turn around in one week or one month what was put together in decades – the programs and the gang problem.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818)713-3741 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa found himself defending his week-old gang-reduction plan Tuesday after a Police Commission member questioned its scope and effectiveness. The plan was included in the mayor’s State of the City address and includes the delineation of eight gang-reduction zones, the creation of 10,000 youth jobs and the appointment of a high-level administrator to coordinate anti-gang operations. But Police Commissioner Shelley Freeman complained that the plan relies heavily on existing intervention programs, with funding coming from federal and state grants that often have strings attached. “It feels like we are doing a lot the same,” she said. “Many of these programs have been in existence for a very long time, some of them are new. But most of these programs have been going on for many years and I would argue that some of them work and some of them don’t work.”
“I’m calm and I think it’s the way to be,” he told MUTV. “It’s an important match, the first half of a knockout match if you want to say that. It’s important to be calm and to be ready for the dimension of the game, but controlling emotions because it’s a game where we have to be at the top of our level.“It’s a really difficult stadium to play at because it’s a stadium where the fans love the knock-out competition. They are called a knockout team because they are normally very successful, in the domestic cups also and especially in the Europa League.“The crowd plays the game, they don’t come here just to watch, they come here to play the game and put lots of pressure on the opponent and the referee’s decisions.“I said before that any team which reaches the quarter-finals has a chance. I never thought I was going to win it with Inter or Porto before reaching the quarter-finals and it’s when you reach the quarter finals that you have the feeling that anything can happen.“Nothing will change, the dynamic is nothing will change. The normal tendencies of some clubs are in this moment more ready to win it. But I think when you reach the quarter-finals, that’s when any team can feel that anything can happen. So I think this step from going to the last 16 to eight teams is always an important step.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Jose Mourinho spoke to the press at Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Tuesday eveningMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Feb 21 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes it’s an important step to make the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, but he is calm ahead of the Sevilla clash. The Red Devils will travel to Spain for the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday, and Mourinho is eager to start well as he eyes a place in the quarter-finals.
Tottenham’s ‘perfect blend’ has made them Premier League title contenders, Chris Hughton tells talkSPORT
Club legend Chris Hughton believes the current Tottenham side’s ‘perfect blend’ has given the club their best ever chance to win the Premier League title this season.Spurs beat Norwich 3-0 on Tuesday to move up to third in the table – above rivals Arsenal – and to within five points of leaders Leicester City.It’s been a great season for the north Londoners, who have suffered just three defeats all season, have the best defensive record in the top flight and also boast one of the league’s most lethal goalscorers – Harry Kane.The 22-year-old took his tally for the season up to 15 league goals with a double against the Canaries this week, and former defender Hughton believes the balance and harmony within the Spurs squad makes them one of the favourites for the crown.“Tottenham have the perfect blend,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“In Harry Kane they’ve got a striker as good as any in the Premier League, they’ve got creative players and Dele Alli, who has been a massive plus for them, can chip in with goals as well.“Spurs are a club’s and supporter’s dream. They’ve managed to bring through a lot of good young players who have established themselves in the team, they’ve cleared out the deadwood from the squad and it’s starting to show – they’ve got faith in what they’re doing.“This is probably the best opportunity they’ve ever had to win the Premier League.“They’ve got a great squad which is good enough to sustain what they’ve achieve so far this season.“But of course it is a tough ask [to win the league] because of the quality around them.”
2 2 West Ham would be a good fit for Aaron Ramsey, according to former Arsenal defender Lauren.Gunners midfielder Ramsey, 27, saw a four-year contract offer withdrawn by the north London club in September. Lauren during his Arsenal days Now the Welshman looks set to leave the Emirates when his contract expires next summer.He has been linked with moves to Bayern Munich and Juventus, but Lauren, who played for Arsenal between 2000 and 2007, thinks Ramsey should remain in London.The 41-year-old told Sky Sports: “He wants to play. The club are looking at other ways but as a player you have to find your own way.“If you don’t have the first-team shirt you have to go elsewhere. If I was him I would stay in London because he knows the city. Aaron Ramsey has lost his place in the Arsenal team this season “Somewhere like West Ham would fit him. It would give him the leadership he needs and he is based in London so I think he has to stay at a London club.”Ramsey, who joined Arsenal for £5million from Cardiff in 2008, is the club’s longest-serving player.