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Dear Editor,Please allow me space to expound on the ramifications of the recent charges brought by SOCU against Messrs Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington for purported ‘misconduct in public office, contrary to public law’. The basis of the charges call every single Government decision since Independence into question. I aim to show clearly by using dubious ‘real estate’ values as the sole basis for land distribution value, SOCU and its United Kingdom adviser Dr. Sittlington have implicated every Government official ever involved in any transaction since 1966.Governments are not real estate sales offices, the value of land is not calculated solely on square footage. A Government must consider the benefits that accrue through sale or lease of land for whatever purpose: job creation, health benefits, economic activity, infrastructural development et al. The example most often cited in support of this type of land distribution is the United States Land grants to the railroad companies between1860 and 1900. “Building a railroad was an expensive venture. Private Banks, fearing the railroad companies would need a long time to pay off their debts, were reluctant to loan money to the companies. To remedy the situation, Congress provided assistance to the railroad companies in the form of land grants. The land grant railroads, receiving millions of acres of public land, sold the land to make money, built their railroads, and contributed to a more rapid settlement of the West. In the end, four out of the five transcontinental railroads were built with help from the federal government.” By SOCU definitions, this is an example of great corruption. I have no doubt Dr. Sam Sittlington has no idea of what Guyana’s economic position was during the post PNC years; having arrived post PPP, he must have assumed that Guyana was always economically stable and attractive to investors. Someone needs to educate the good doctor. SOCU has a mandate to find corruption; it needs to do just that, not engage in ‘political misconduct’, SOCU must build cases based on provable malfeasance, not wishful thinking.Editor, the further issue is that the institution of these charges by SOCU and the private charges laid by Anil Nandlall have created an atmosphere of uncertainty and doubt of the ability of any Government of Guyana to do business of any kind in any manner. The land deals referred to in the charges went out to public tender, is value not actually ascribed in what the top bidder is willing to pay? For someone to suggest that five acres of cow pasture in rural Georgetown is worth seventy-two million, three hundred and forty thousand dollars per acre is patently outlandish. I would be curious to know on what basis the Rodrigues & Associates valuation was made, on square footage or per kilogram? Could the present Administration be able to find anyone willing to pay this price even post-oil discovery? How can any investor now proceed with any business in a country that has a perpetually retroactive review as law? SOCU has made it impossible to invest in Guyana with any confidence. Should we be seeking the blessings of Her Majesty’s Government to ensure future decisions are ‘proper conduct’? Wither Independence?The People of Guyana are not amused by the actions of Government and Opposition. We know they have both gone far and above to provide representation in the House of Assembly of all Guyanese, from the intelligent to the downright ignorant. We have looked on with disgust as debates over important aspects of our governance have been waylaid by behaviour best left in fish markets, but we cannot continue to be silent as this new phase of charge and counter-charge is played out in the courtrooms and all media formats.Administration and Opposition need to start immediate dialogue and get us out of this quagmire in which the slippery slope of politically motivated charges has entrapped us. Country before Party must become the ethos for all.Our future depends on growth and development based on investment. For guidance, I offer the words of one of the Founding Fathers of The United States of America: “Capital is wayward and timid in lending itself to new undertakings, and the State ought to excite the confidence of capitalists, who are ever cautious and sagacious, by aiding them overcome the obstacles that lie in the way of all experiments.”… Alexander Hamilton (Chalmers Johnson, ‘’Introduction: The Idea of Industrial Policy,” in C. Johnson, ed., The Industrial Policy Debate (San Francisco, ICS Press, 1984), p. 17.)Sincerely,Robin Singh
As Guyana embarks on phase two of its relief efforts directed towards the hurricane-ravaged islands across the Caribbean region, the Government, in collaboration with private stakeholders, has launched a grand relief concert to raise funds for the impending ventures.Minister of State Joseph Harmon is joined by Social Protection Minister Amna Ally and other officials at the launch of the Hurricane Relief ConcertD’Urban Park has been listed as the official venue for the grand showcase, billed for November 11.The benefit concert will feature a number of regional and international artistes, backed by a solid line-up of local stars. Headlining the show will be Caribbean sensation Patrice Roberts, joined by Orlando Octave, best known for his Soca hit, titled “Single.”This initiative comes shortly after the Civil Defence Commission wrapped up the first phase of relief efforts, which saw the shipment of 11 containers comprising of food, clothing, medical supplies and other essential materials for the victims hit by the string of tropical cyclones.Adding to that, a total of 54 Guyanese were evacuated from the destruction which was left behind after five locally chartered flights were sent in to the islands to rescue countrymen from the ruins.Minister of State Joseph Harmon receiving the cheque from a representative of the BK Group of CompaniesWith that being completed, the country now turns its attention to assisting with the recovery and restoration ventures, and as such, this grand gesture was birthed to generate the necessary finances.Speaking at the launch of the Hurricane Relief Concert was CDC Preparedness and Response Manager Sean Welcome, who explained what prompted this national collaboration.“A decision was taken for us to have a second phase in regard to our relief efforts, and this phase intends to target the reconstruction. We recognize that in order to achieve this, we need an activity that will bring in the sort of financial support that will allow us as a people to make a tangible donation towards the effort,” the CDC Manager outlined.And welcoming the initiative, Minister of State Joseph Harmon noted that such ventures exemplify Guyana’s commitment to regional integration.Harmon extended an invitation to the general public to play their part in assisting their affected Caribbean neighbours by supporting the relief and recovery mission.In doing so, he relayed, “I want to commend the organisers of this event, and I am pleased to be part of the official launching of this Hurricane Relief Concert.”Minister Harmon, also the National Disaster Coordinator, further said, “We are going to fill D’Urban Park. We are going to bring people from all across the region to ensure that we get a real lively concert, and the proceeds from that concert will reach down to the benefit of those citizens who were affected by the hurricanes.”Continuing on that note was Douglas Slater, CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for Human Development, who applauded the efforts undertaken by Guyanese in lending a helping hand to those affected by hurricanes throughout the region.“We are all in this together. It is really heartwarming to see our CARICOM neighbours stepping up to the plate. So, on behalf of the Secretary General and the committee at the CARICOM Secretariat, we thank you for you expression of solidarity and support, and we wish the concert every success that it deserves,” expressed the Assistant Secretary General.Tickets to the Hurricane Relief Concert, dubbed “the biggest event of the month”, are tagged at $1000, with all proceeds to be directed towards the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the hurricane-affected Caribbean nations.Among the private entities which have already thrown their support behind this initiative are the BK Group of Companies, and the Agri Parts Machinery & Services. At the launch of the concert, each of these companies plugged a cheque worth $2million in ensuring the successful event of the charitable undertaking.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – The federal receiver who controls California’s inmate health-care system said Friday that he is ordering salary increases for nearly 1,500 prison doctors and nurses. Robert Sillen said the raises are needed to fill vacancies in a medical system so bad that some inmates die of neglect or malpractice. He will give doctors raises of 8percent to 20percent next month – to about $250,000 for many physicians. Top medical administrators will earn as much as $285,000. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco authorized Sillen to raise doctors’ salaries to as high as $300,000. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Henderson gave Sillen broad powers in April 2006 to improve inmate medical care after ruling that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had failed to improve a system so poor that it violates the constitutional rights of the system’s 173,000 inmates. It’s the second pay increase for doctors ordered by Sillen this year. Sillen said the first bump, in March, didn’t do enough to trim a 39 percent vacancy rate. He has been able to fill only 226 of the corrections system’s 370 physician posts. The doctors’ raises will cost the state an estimated $10 million to $12 million annually once all the positions are filled in the 33 adult prisons, said Sillen’s spokeswoman, Rachael Kagan. The raises come as the state faces a projected $10 billion budget deficit. H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the state Department of Finance, said the state can pay this year’s raises out of a $125 million contingency fund set aside for Sillen’s needs. But the new cost will have to be added to future budget deficit calculations as the state tries to trim spending or increase revenue, Palmer said.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsAsked how he knew Death Row was struggling then, he answered, “The magazines told me that and the records,” referring to releases by the label.Knight didn’t answer a number of questions and repeatedly conferred with an accountant. He said he had never seen a profit and loss statement but had reviewed income tax returns.Bankruptcy documents filed on April 20 showed Knight had no income this year from employment or operation of a business. His bank account contained just $11, and he owned clothing worth $1,000, furniture and appliances valued at $2,000, and jewelry worth $25,000, according to the records. His biggest asset was listed as unspecified publishing/copyrights worth $4.4 million. However, the Internal Revenue Service had placed a lien on that intellectual property to cover taxes of $11.3 million, the records showed.The proceedings were set to resume on June 23.Knight’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection on April 4 staved off a move by the court to appoint someone to take control of the record label and his assets. He also avoided a criminal contempt citation for failing to show up at state court hearings. LOS ANGELES – Rap music mogul Suge Knight testified Friday that his Death Row Records struggled after he was jailed several times and hit with a $107 million judgment in a case by a couple claiming they helped start the label. Knight answered questions about his business at a federal bankruptcy hearing intended to give his creditors a chance to ask about his assets and his debts of more than $100 million.Testifying in a near mumble, Knight told a bankruptcy trustee that his incarceration handicapped the label that had topped the charts in the 1990s with artists such as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur. Knight said he wasn’t involved in the business while in jail. The federal filing halted the state court action in which former couple Lydia and Michael Harris are trying to collect the $107 million judgment from Knight. They claim they helped found Death Row.Michael Harris, an imprisoned drug dealer serving a 28-year sentence at San Quentin Prison, is claiming half of the $107 million as community property in his divorce from Lydia Harris.On Friday, Knight testified that he had reached an agreement with Lydia Harris.Harris told reporters she had received a $1 million payment but had not agreed to settle the matter.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
“One of the traditions was that Bill and Lila made the place a community center where people could come and visit,” said Sue, who has been living at the station since early May. “We wanted to return to that tradition of caring for people and caring for the animals.” In fact, Thursday around 5 p.m., four cabin owners were sitting on the porch of the station, drinking cold beverages and socializing, Sue mentioned. The station owners are organizing a rededication party for July 8 and 9 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Deb Burgess said the two-day event is free and will include live bluegrass, country and rock music, storytellers, a chili cookoff and booths in which the artists among cabin owners can sell their work. The 82 cabins in the Chantry Flat area range in cost from about $25,000 to $50,000, Sue noted. She said prices stay low because owners often have to walk more than an hour just to get to their cabins. “We have a huge range of people from survivalists to artists to people who just want solitude,” she said. “A lot of the cabins have been handed down for three generations – people just won’t let go of them.” And for good reason, says cabin owner Beth Farajian. She and her husband, Arlen, have owned their cabin since 1978, and she said their three sons practically grew up there. “It’s like stepping out of time and space,” she said. “You live in the city, you come up here, and, if you only spend one night up here, you feel like you’ve been on an extended vacation. You come back refreshed and ready to start all over again.” While life in the wilderness is enjoyable for the pack station owners and workers, it certainly isn’t easy. It is Sue’s job to oversee the day-to-day operation of the pack station, including running the store, making sure it is stocked and cleaned and troubleshooting with the animals, Sue said. Her daughter and another station employee handle packing everything from propane tanks to building materials to food and water onto the animals to take to and from the cabins. “A real crisis here is when animals hurt themselves, not being 10 minutes late leaving with the pack train,” she said. “It’s a matter of realizing that you are stepping back in time, so things happen slower.” Those interested in learning more about the Adams’ Pack Station and the surrounding cabins are invited to call the station at (626) 447-7356. email@example.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4496160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The 70-year-old pack station is a key component in caring for the 80-plus cabins that sit just above Sierra Madre and Arcadia. Cabin owners are not permitted to live full-time in the tiny historic buildings, which lack modern plumbing and electricity. Each cabin has an outhouse, and propane is used to cook meals. Recently, the pack station has been struggling due to road closures in the area. But Sue, 68, said she and Deb, 48, who has a home in Lakewood, are determined to revitalize the station and bring it back to its roots. To begin with, the women are rededicating the building formerly known as the We Um Attaxxum Pack Station in honor of its original owners, Bill and Lila Adams. Bill died in September 2004 at the age of 84, and Lila now lives with the couple’s daughter in Oklahoma. • Photo Gallery: 07/01: Adams’ Pack Station SIERRA MADRE – The only pack station left in Southern California has new owners, one of whom is now a tenant. Mother-and-daughter team Sue and Deb Burgess closed escrow on the Adams’ Pack Station in the Chantry Flat area of Angeles National Forest on April 1, according to Sue. The building cost them $200,000 and was purchased under the auspices of their privately owned Burcon Outfitters Inc. Sue now lives at the pack station, and Deb comes every few days to help pack up the horses, mules and donkeys that carry food, water and propane to cabin owners.
“It’s what makes the game beautiful,” JetHawks manager Brett Butler said of Uggla’s ascension. Uggla is arguably the most popular JetHawk since Lancaster began its affiliation with the Diamondbacks in 2001. He played 225 (40 percent) of his 568 minor league games in a JetHawks uniform and local fans got to see the boyish-faced Uggla go through some wild ups and downs. After being selected by Arizona in the 11th round of the 2001 draft out of the University of Memphis, Uggla struggled in his first year of pro ball in 2002, batting .228 the first half at Lancaster, and then hitting just .199 at low-A South Bend (Ind.) He had a breakout year for the JetHawks in 2003, batting .290 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs. Uggla was assigned to Lancaster midway through the 2004 season after a slow start at Double-A El Paso, helping lead the JetHawks to their first California League championship series appearance. Uggla batted .297 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs at Double-A Tennessee last season. He never appeared in a Triple-A game. He is among three former JetHawks who were named to the all-star game. Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon Webb (2001) and Colorado Rockies closer Brian Fuentes (1998) are the others. “He was always the guy who came out and worked every day and put in the time to get there,” Mashore said. “It didn’t have anything to do with me. We put in our time in the cage, but he figured it out. We put him on the right track and he was able to take it and put it to use for himself. The bottom line is every guy’s to go out there and put what we’re talking about into play and make it work. Some guys are able to do that and some aren’t, but he was one of the guys that was able to do that.” “Tremendous honor”: JetHawks outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will play for the World team in Sunday’s Futures Game, a minor league elite-prospect showcase. Gonzalez, a 20-year-old Venezuelan, is batting .324 with 13 homers and 74 RBIs. “To be selected to the Futures Game is a tremendous honor,” Butler said. “He is a special player and I think everybody at that game’s going to see it.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3607160Want 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 MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Uggla isn’t the only all-star with whom Reynolds has a connection. New York Mets all-star third baseman David Wright has been a close friend of Reynolds since he was 8. “It’s definitely cool to see Uggs up there,” Reynolds said. “It makes me think that I can do it too because he’s one of the best up there. “It’s not like Barry Bonds and (Albert) Pujols.” Unlike the vast majority of his all-star counterparts who were heralded high-round draft picks, Uggla was at best a midlevel prospect who came out of nowhere his rookie season with Florida, which snagged him from the JetHawks parent Arizona Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 draft in the offseason. Uggla is among the Marlins leaders in each Triple Crown category, batting .306 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs. LANCASTER – Major league all-star games are usually viewed by low-level minor leaguers much the way typical fans do in their living room. Although it is nice to see such a dazzling display of talent, usually there isn’t much of a connection to the players. Tuesday’s all-star game in Pittsburgh will be viewed differently from a JetHawks standpoint. The selection of Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, a former JetHawk who spent parts of three seasons in Lancaster and is just a year removed from his playing days in the Antelope Valley, has brought the event closer to home. Uggla played briefly with JetHawks utilityman Mark Reynolds at the end of the 2004 season, and played for hitting coach Damon Mashore for two years (in Lancaster in 2003, and at Double-A El Paso, Texas in 2004).
PALMDALE – Smoking will be banned in three of Palmdale’s newest recreation facilities, and prohibitions elsewhere are in the works. Smoking will be banned effective Aug. 19 at the Marie Kerr Park amphitheater and the park’s Best of the West softball complex and at the DryTown Water Park. City staffers are devising a comprehensive plan for the City Council’s review that will designate what other park areas or city facilities will be smoke-free. “As a former smoker, I know that smoking does affect other people,” said Mayor Jim Ledford. “As the effects of secondhand smoking are becoming better known, the public is looking at agencies, such as cities, to protect them.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The city’s action does not go far enough, said Xavier Flores, executive director of Pueblo y Salud, a nonprofit group pushing for tighter tobacco and alcohol regulations. The city should have enacted a complete ban on smoking in city facilities, Flores said, citing recent health reports such as the American Cancer Society estimate of 1 billion tobacco-related deaths this century and a UCLA report of high asthma rates among Antelope Valley children. “It’s a step in the right direction, but we had hoped they would have taken a bigger step,” Flores said. “The council has every reason to implement the most far-reaching policies and regulations, but they are being timid.” Councilman Tom Lackey also favored an outright ban. “If we say we don’t want smoke, let’s mean it and say no smoking,” Lackey said. Ultimately, a complete ban might be enacted sometime down the line, city officials said. The City Council viewed the new regulations as part of a transition phase. “We can’t go cold turkey,” said Councilman Mike Dispenza. “We need to start weaning people away from smoking.” Councilman Steve Hofbauer said an outright ban would be difficult to enforce. An outright ban could also cause problems with cleaning up cigarette butts tossed on the ground because there are no ashcans. “They’ll just try to sneak it,” Hofbauer said. “I think you have to give people an option.” Hofbauer cites the city’s transportation center as an example of how designated smoking areas can work well. Having a designated smoking site has kept cigarette-butt litter down to a minimum and keeps smoke away from the nonsmokers, he said. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Oppenheimer has enlisted experts, including Eugene Gierson, breast cancer surgeon; Bernard Raskin, skin cancer expert and dermatologist; and Richard Gaynes, former director of medical photography from the Medical Center of Tarzana. Oppenheimer has taught the class for 28 years. It has received the Public Education Award from the American Cancer Society. Interested community members are invited to attend the course, which starts Sept. 5 and will be held Mondays from 6 to 7:40 p.m. in the university’s Eucalyptus Hall, Room 2132.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesMoorpark College philosophy professor Janice Daurio earned the college’s 10th annual Distinguished Faculty Chair award earlier this month. Daurio has taught at Moorpark for 10 years. Faculty members make the nominations, and a board of past winners and the Faculty Senate selects the recipient based on excellence in teaching and service to the college and community. Daurio will take a sabbatical during the fall semester to write a book, tentatively titled, “Faith and Reason: Applying Critical Thinking to Popular Ideas About Religion.” California State University, Northridge, professor Steven Oppenheimer is offering a Biology of Cancer class this fall for students as well as members of the community. “This course helps people understand a disease that’s often misunderstood,” Oppenheimer said. “I open it up to the community as a public service because of the fear and interest in the disease.” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed three San Fernando Valley residents to state posts. Chad Charton, 22, of Northridge will join the Student Aid Commission. Charton, an undergraduate at California State University, Northridge, has been a marketing representative for FMS Financial Partners since 2002. Charton was also president and chief executive officer of CSUN Associated Students. D. Timothy Daze, 57, of Woodland Hills will join the California Board of Pharmacy. Daze has been a Los Angeles deputy city attorney since 2002 and previously was an attorney in private practice. He also was general counsel of Burbank Aeronautical Corp. Diane Fazzi, 44, of La Ca¤ada, will join the Advisory Commission on Special Education. Fazzi has been a faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles, since 1992 and chairwoman of the division of special education and counseling there since 2004. She was previously an adjunct faculty member at CSULA from 1989 to 1992, a teacher at the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind from 1988 to 1989 and a special education teacher for the Los Angeles County Office of Education from 1986 to 1988.
Watching a rugby match can raise as many questions about the sport as it can answer.Aside from ‘how long must they spend in the gym?’ and ‘how much did that hurt?’, many wonder what kind of diets professional tacklers have to stick to in order to perform to the highest level.For Glasgow Warriors’ Nick Grigg, that would be recipes straight from a Jamie Oliver cookbook.The New-Zealand born Scottish international will make his senior professional debut on Friday as the Warriors travel to Wales to take on Cardiff Blues and will see the challenge as just another stepping stone since he swapped a job with the council in Wellington for crisp evenings at Scotstoun. Speaking to the media Grigg said: “I’ve become more of an individual now that I’ve made such a leap over to another country by myself and had to adapt to life.“I’ve got a flatmate, James, who helps me out with cooking and stuff like that.”When asked if kitchen skills were perhaps not in his repertoire, the centre chuckled: “I’ve been using Jamie Oliver’s thirty-minute meals at least once a week.“They take me about an hour and a half, but I still get them done.” Gregor Townsend’s men have enjoyed a perfect start to the season, sweeping Connacht aside before recording an impressive home victory over Leinster.And Grigg is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the first team as they bid for another successful season.“I like a bit of nerves before the game,” he revealed. “It helps me get up and bring a lot of energy to the game.“We’ve been preparing really well throughout the week and we know that it’s going to be a tough game and that they are going to bring a lot of speed and attacking width throughout the game.“We’ve managed that in defensive training, so it should be good.”As good as his homemade mustard chicken, with dauphinoise potatoes and black forest affogato? Only time will tell.