Olympic 4x400m relay silver medallist Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, former sprint hurdler Trishana McGowan, and former sprinter-turned-bobsledder Carrie Russell were recently present at the Walker’s Place of Safety in Richmond Park, Kingston, to give Christmas gifts to children of the home. These gifts were all donations made by athletes of MVP, Akan and Sprintec Track clubs. A cake was also donated by MVP President Bruce James on behalf of his club. Books were also handed to the children, and organiser McGowan, a former MVP athlete, says that she giving them books is more important than toys because it is a more lasting gesture, as it allows them to develop a joy for learning. A JOY “A lot of the children here do go to school, so it’s needed,” McGowan says. “It’s always a joy just to watch children enjoy gifts. Even as adults, we enjoy gifts for birthdays or even Christmas.” Russell agrees with McGowan about the lasting effect of giving books as gifts. “I’m one of them who believes in education [being a trained teacher herself]. I normally get books. “I’ve been doing this for two years now. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but my mom and dad ensured that every Christmas, I always had something to look forward to, and it’s a good feeling to let these kids look forward to something too. McLaughlin-Whilby says that she and McGowan have been visiting the Walker’s Place of Safety since they were university students in 2010. She says that she just wants to put smiles on the children’s faces. “Last year, when we were speaking to the owner, she said some of them (the children) aren’t visited by their parents or families, so I’m always happy to bring a little joy into their lives” Grace Allen has been managing the home for 30 years and says the gifts are much appreciated. She says they help to make watching over the children easier, as sometimes they can be quite a handful. The home, which was founded in 1972, currently has 35 children ages 3 to 17 enrolled. – R.P.
Jagdeo/Granger meetings This month, President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo are expected to have a series of meetings to discuss several matters of national importance and it is expected that the reform of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) will be among the topics the two leaders will be deliberating on.The need for electoral reform, and Constitution reform as a whole, have long been highlighted and during its campaign trail leading up to the 2015 elections which got it into office, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition had committed to have these reforms. While the current Administration has come in for some criticism for not fulfilling this campaign promise, President Granger has assured that the issue of GECOM restructuring would be included on the agenda for upcoming talks with the Opposition Leader.According to the Head of State, GECOM is currently operating under the ‘Carter Formula’, which he said has exhausted its usefulness. The ‘Charter Formula’ refers to the composition of the Commission, which is comprised of six commissioners – three from the Opposition and three from Government – and a Chairman appointed by the President in “meaningful consultation” with the Opposition Leader.This method was devised by former United States President Jimmy Carter following the controversial 1992 elections.However, President Granger faced heavy criticism after he unilaterally appointed retired Justice James Patterson as the new GECOM Chairman last year after rejecting three lists of six nominees submitted by the Opposition Leader.This had once again reinforced the need for electoral reform, something which the Head of State recognises but told media operatives at his press conference on Friday that it would require consensus on both sides.“Yes we could consider the reform of GECOM, we are still working under the Carter formula which we generally agreed to have exhausted its usefulness. It’s like having a cricket match with one umpire from each team… it is not a formula for consensus, it’s almost a formula for gridlock. So there needs to be a change,” he posited.The President went on to note that while no proposal has been placed on the table as yet for these reforms, new rules will have to be established.“We will always come back to the situation in which the main parties would have either through consensus or through convention or through constitutional change be to made nominations and once those nominations come from political parties, you can anticipate certain consequences. So the reform of GECOM – just as you have at the Police Service Commission or the Public Service Commission – would depend on the nomination of human beings coming through the National Assembly and coming from political parties. So I’m in favour of reform but we must adopt the architecture, we must adopt the procedures which are in place for other constitutional commissions,” he asserted.According to the Head of State, the reform of GECOM is something which could be possible before the 2020 General and Regional Elections but, again, it would depend on the agreement of the two sides.However, while the need to end the practice of having political appointees as members of GECOM has been recognised, commentators and political activists have said that it is too late now for such reforms to be realised.For decades now, election observer groups – both internationally and regionally – have been insisting that while GECOM’s purpose for existence is to administer free and fair electoral processes, Guyana should consider reforms that would reduce or eliminate the politicised composition of the election body in order to ensure independence and impartiality.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In the opener, Alexandria Alvarado had three hits and an RBI for CSUN. MEN’S GOLF USC third, Pepperdine 14th: USC freshman Rory Hie finished in a tie for sixth place individually as the Trojans finished third in the team standings, 13 shots back of first-place Lamar, at the General Jim Hackler Championship at Myrtle Beach, S.C. Pepperdine junior Eric Shriver finished in a tie for eighth place individually as the Waves finished 14th in the 18-team event. The Cal State Northridge softball team split a nonconference doubleheader against visiting Tennessee-Martin on Monday, losing the opener 5-3 before coming back to beat the Skyhawks 2-0 in the nightcap. The Matadors’ Amanda Pitzenberger threw a two-hitter in the second game, striking out seven batters and walking two. Micah Putnam had an RBI for CSUN (8-8-1).
SYLMAR – The rows of quaint town houses of the Dronfield Villas used to be a nice place to live. But now they’re covered in tags: Astoria Garden Locos, Langdon Street, San Fer. And, increasingly, “For Sale” signs. In the past few years, three street gangs have claimed the sprawling, 64-unit complex on Dronfield as their turf. They tag their slogans on every wall – even the trees get defaced. They sling drugs in its gardens and have sex next to its pool. Used crack pipes mar the lawns, next to soiled condoms and empty beer cans. “We have reports of an ex-gang member renting a garage to a current member who’s bringing in girls to run some sort of prostitution ring,” Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. John Artes said. “Kids are playing nearby. It’s bad. Really bad.” And so police plan to sweep through the area Saturday to put a stop to the gangsters’ shenanigans. But instead of batons and riot gear, they’ll advance with outstretched hands. Uniting cops with local churches, schools, parks and service groups, the San Fernando Valley Coalition on Gangs aims to deputize the community to fight the gangsters who oppress it. “The residents are afraid,” said Senior Lead Officer Charles Chacon, who’s responsible for the area. “They see the gang member activities, and they’re afraid that if they say anything, their families will be retaliated against. “This was broken a long time ago, and nobody did anything about it.” The problematic complex sits directly across the litter-strewn street from Sylmar High School. There’s a church around the corner and a retirement home not far away. Its broken gates allow gangs and taggers to pass freely from street to street. In the past three years, property and gang crimes have all trended up in the Dronfield Villas and surrounding area. Though there hasn’t been a homicide in the first 10 months of the year, Capt. Jorge Villegas grimly noted it’s on track to record 60 violent crimes in 2007, 10 more than the previous year. Spray paint appears on outside walls almost daily, only to get painted over by graffiti abatement crews, then hit again. The walls inside have become a running message board for the gangs, with faraway neighborhood rivalries re-enacted on brick. “People got worried – they’re trying to sell their houses, but no one wants to buy because there’s all those kids around there,” said Carlos Rodriguez, a nearby resident who works with service agency Communities in Schools and serves as a member of the Sylmar Youth Task Force. “Putting a little more emphasis on the people who live there will empower them.” Chacon was unable to estimate how many residents actually live in the complex – previous search warrants have sometimes turned up 15 people crammed into two-bedroom units. Garages serve as impromptu lodgings – and, in one case, an alleged brothel. The homeowners association, usually the first line of defense against neighbors who bring in blight, generally attracts no more than a handful of members to its meetings. When the complex’s water was shut off recently because of delinquent tenants, Chacon said the association had to divert its repair fund to an emergency payment to get the taps turned back on. “I’m afraid there could be a shooting, and my kids could be in the middle,” said Amanda Cruz, who’s active in the HOA with her husband, Alberto. “Every day, there’s guys out front drinking beer … but it could change if the parents step up and act like parents.” This weekend’s event aims to give them the tools to do that. At 8a.m., hundreds of volunteers with the San Fernando Valley Faith Coalition will meet nearby and clean up the entire area patrolled by the LAPD’s Mission Division. They’ll then circle back to Dronfield, which the city will shut down between Astoria and Raven streets. Organizers will host a street fair with 15 community-based groups. Volunteers will go door-to-door to ask residents what they need, then direct them to the appropriate agencies. The city’s Recreation and Parks Department will offer sports programs. Communities in Schools will bring gang interventionists and job-development workers. Police will try to address crime complaints. “This will be a crucial time. We could stem a tide here,” said the Rev. Bob Managbanag, pastor of Sylmar Light and Life Christian Fellowship. “If we don’t have enough schools and activities for them, this will be a run-down, inner-city battleground. We have no choice. We have to do this.” He’s gotten so worried about the area that he’s led his congregation in drive-by prayers, loading worshippers into cars and cruising the neighborhood to encourage divine intervention. The church is also trying to expand its educational programs to include preschool and after-school programs to attend to the needs of nearby working parents. As he prepped residents recently for the cleanup, Chacon toured through the complex with Officer Gonzalo Lara, a gang cop who tracks the rival cliques that have taken up residence within. The pair happened upon a group of young men camped out on the lawn, sipping beers and listening to music in the middle of the afternoon. “Hey, you guys aren’t drinking in public, are you?” Chacon asked one. “It’s just one beer,” complained a man in a “Girls Gone Wild” T-shirt. “You mind emptying that out for me?” Chacon said. “I wouldn’t want you to get a real expensive ticket for drinking in public.” As the men grumbled and deposited their drinks onto the lawn, Chacon and Lara thanked them and moved on. “Our job is to arrest people – take criminals and put them in jail,” Lara said. “But we want a different approach. “We want to open options for people. If we don’t clean this up, it goes to the next building, then the next. Soon, everything looks this way.” —————————————— For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
For the Los Angeles City Council, this year has been filled with trying to establish its independence as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was distracted by personal problems. In the power vacuum – and emboldened by voter approval of a term-limit extension that gives current members some job security with the ability to seek a third term – council members took several steps to try to boost their relevance amid a skeptical electorate. “This was a great year for the City Council,” Council President Eric Garcetti said. “The council became a more strategic body this year and talked about issues in a more proactive way.” At the center of that activism, Garcetti believes, was the first-ever daylong retreat this summer where the council decided to devote more time to key issues – crime, transportation, the environment – at its meetings. The measure would continue the city’s telephone users’ tax, but if it fails it will mean an annual loss of some $270 million to the city’s general fund. While that may not sound like much in a $6.8 billion budget, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and council members say it is critical to maintaining city services in the year ahead. Voter reaction to the measure also could be key to other tax proposals and proposed rate increases. Proposed rate hikes by the Department of Water and Power have been put on hold until after the Feb. 5 vote on Measure S. And a proposal by Councilwoman Janice Hahn to set a city parcel tax to pay for anti-gang programs is now scheduled for November. There also has been talk of a parcel tax or some other levy to pay for transportation programs. Councilwoman Jan Perry said she plans to play an active role in the campaign for Measure S and will align herself with the League of Women Voters to try to get an objective message to voters. “Where I think this City Council has matured is, we are willing to speak up and be independent,” Perry said. “We might not be successful, but we are providing another voice for the mayor to listen to.” Most of the council’s opposition to the mayor has been on issues such as a lawsuit settlement with former Firefighter Tennie Pierce. The mayor vetoed an initial deal, only to see the discrimination lawsuit later settled by the council. Perry also has been at odds with the city’s policy on affordable housing and the treatment of the homeless. “Where I get frustrated is, I don’t see the affordable housing go throughout the city,” Perry said. “There are some districts where there is not one affordable project in the works.” Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who has announced plans to run for City Controller in two years, said she believes the council this year began laying out an aggressive agenda on which it will have to deliver in 2008. “I think this council put in motion a number of issues that we will deal with this year,” Greuel said. “We had more focus on issues like gangs and transportation and this is the year we will begin to really make decisions on what we can do.” Greuel also believes the competition between the mayor and the council benefits the public. “It’s important to have a debate on what we’re doing and where we’re going,” Greuel said. “We may not always agree, but everyone is looking at what we can do to improve service to the public.” email@example.com 213-978-0390160Want 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 MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson So far, however, council sessions have produced few specific new policies and instead have relied on department heads telling council members what many already know. At the same time, the council has found itself pulled in directions that have infuriated critics, adopting resolutions far beyond its power – such as condemning the Iraq war or banning fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles. “People look at things like that and wonder what we’re doing down here,” Councilman Tom LaBonge said. “But the reality is that this council is concerned about a lot of things. “Service to the public remains our top priority. That’s why you see us working on issues like traffic and street repair and potholes. That’s what our job is.” But how well Angelenos believe the council has been able to deliver on those issues could be decided early this year as voters take on Measure S.
The long-awaited coastguard station for Killybegs is officially on the way.Minister of State at the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Dinny McGinley, said work on the station will begin next Spring.Minister McGinley was given the news that the Office of Public Works has given the go-ahead for the station by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar this afternoon. “I am delighted that this vital community service has been approved by Minister Varadkar. Construction is expected to commence next spring.“The entire north west coast had been lobbying for this for many years and I am delighted that the Minister has given approval for this coast guard station.“This service will benefit the entire fishing fleet of the North West,” said Minister McGinley.KILLYBEGS COASTGUARD STATION GETS GREEN LIGHT – WORK BEGINS IN SPRING was last modified: December 4th, 2011 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) Tags:Dinny McGinleyKillybegs Coastguard Station
A very poignant mass will be held in West Donegal on Friday week to remember the tragic loss of four students in 1972.The mass will be celebrated in St Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, Annagry on Friday, July 13th at 10am to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the drowning of the students who were attending Irish colleges in the Annagry Parish and who tragically lost their lives while swimming at Mullaghderg beach in July 1972.The students, Catherine Carroll, Máire Grae, Susan O’Reilly and Bernadette Mc Cabe, from Loch an Iuir and Annagry Irish colleges were on a day out at Mullaghderg beach when the tragedy occurred on July 13th. Michael and Eilis Grae, parents of Máire Grae (a granddaughter of Loughanure writer Niall Ó Donaill) have also arranged to have a plaque unveiled at Mullaghderg following the Mass.Relatives of the other victims will also be in attendance and there is an open invitation for the community to attend the Mass and unveiling service. MASS AND PLAQUE TO COMMEMORATE DROWNING OF FOUR STUDENTS was last modified: July 5th, 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) Tags:AnnagrydrowningFOUR STUDENTSST MARYS STAR OF THE STAR
Full Schedule Roster Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats ESPN 1350 The Valley On ESPN 3 Listen Live Watch Live Photo Gallery Box Score (PDF) Story Links Box Score (HTML) Next Game: Illinois State 1/17/2016 – 6:00 PM DES MOINES, Iowa – A 14-0 scoring run to start the third quarter helped the Drake University women’s basketball defeat the Indiana State Sycamores, 80-55, on Friday night at the Knapp Center in front of 2,153 fans. Drake (11-5, 4-1 MVC) rebounded from poor shooting (34.4 percent) in the first two quarters to shoot 54.8 percent in the final two while making six three-pointers and a perfect 11-of-11 free throws. For the game, the Bulldogs totaled a 44.4 (28-of-63) percent shooting mark from the field, 36.4 (8-of-22) percent from 3-point range and a stellar 88.9 (16-of-18) percent total from the free throw line.Drake was lead in scoring by junior Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo) who tallied a game-high 20 points along with pulling down 10 rebounds, handing out six assists and nabbing two steals. Sophomore Maddy Dean (Jordan, Minn.) added 14 points and was followed by freshman Nicole Miller (Walker, Iowa) and junior Cortni Rush (Mason City, Iowa) with 11 points each. Rush’s point total is a season-high, which included shooting 3-of-5 from three-point range and hitting 4-of-6 field goals. Indiana State (6-9, 2-2 MVC) was led by Rhagen Smith and Cierra Ceazer who totaled 12 and 10 points, respectively. Kelsey Dirks added 10 rebounds for the Sycamores who after making 42.3 percent of their shots in the first two quarters ended the night at just 32.8 percent from the floor. Drake, who led just 29-27 at halftime, ripped off 14 unanswered points out of halftime and total 33 points in the entire quarter as the Bulldogs recorded more points in third then both the first and second periods combined. Later Drake would lead by as many as 24 points as the Bulldogs cruised to their fourth straight win. “After halftime I think everyone on the team knew we needed to regroup and come out with a lot of energy,” said Wendell. “We wanted to push the tempo and get back to our style of play.” Wendell opened the game with a deep three to give Drake an early 3-0 lead. However, the Bulldogs missed their next eight shots with several attempts rolling out of the rim. Indiana State capitalized on Drake’s tough luck as the Sycamores led by as many as seven points. The Bulldogs battled back to claim a 29-27 halftime lead after making five of their final six shots. Drake will close the weekend on Sunday, Jan. 17 at the Knapp Center against Illinois State. The contest will begin at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on The Valley on ESPN3. Print Friendly Version
ST Eunan’s ladies landed the County Minor C Championship in convincing fashion with a well-worked win over Naomh Muire at Red Hughs GAA grounds this morning.Grainne Gallagher was the star of the show as she hit four of Eunan’s six goals in the 6-05 to 0-03 win.Sara Boyle and Naomi McMenamin hit the other goals. The entry fee to the double header was worth it just to see Eunan’s keeper Aisling Nee dive full stretch to turn a Naomh Muire penalty away.The Annagry girls came up short on the day for whom Saoirse Bonner had an excellent performance. LADIES FOOTBALL: ‘COMPLETE’ ST EUNAN’S PERFORMANCE SEES MINOR GIRLS TO FINAL WIN was last modified: September 19th, 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:ChampionsLadies FootballSt Eunan’s Minors