first_imgThe decision by the Local Government Commission (LGC) to establish a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the affairs of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council since its election to office back in 2016 and even before is a most welcomed development.For years, citizens have been complaining about the mismanagement of the capital city and the fact that those who sit at the helm of power in Georgetown appear to be pursuing their own personal interests at the expense of taxpayers.While some have been venting their frustration in the mass media via letters and news articles, others have boldly taken the struggle for transparency and accountability at City Hall to social media and the streets in the form of picketing exercises and protest action.The bottom line is that residents of this once prestigious Garden City are tired of the continued corruption, high-handedness and indifference displayed by their elected representatives. They feel betrayed after being encouraged to vote in 2016’s historic elections, which no doubt saw the return of local democracy after a 20-year hiatus.And while many may not admit it, it is those very same parties – the Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) that engineered this return of local democracy within Local Authority Areas that are guilty of some of the most egregious infractions and wrongdoing. This is not to say that others like the Good Green Guyana party headed by former Mayor Hamilton Green and the People’s Progressive Party are not without blame for their infamous roles in ushering in the demise of Georgetown over the years.But this year, the situation reached the boiling point with workers, union leaders and citizens having to remind those in power that various aspects of the work programme, projects and initiatives being pursued by the current batch of Councillors and administrators were not part of the bargaining chip or the glowing manifestos presented two years ago.Residents wanted cleaner streets, better roads, newly-refurbished or constructed bridges, street lights, efficient garbage collection and disposal services, enhanced social and human services, and a reduction in taxes. While addressing the need for better building codes, better parking facilities and added areas of revenue for the city was important; they were not at the top of the list. And somehow the Council missed this and misread the mood of the people.Maybe the Patricia Chase Green-headed body believed that the AFC and APNU could do no wrong in the city because that is where its largest constituency resided and there would always be apathy on the part of residents. Surely, it knows now that any sympathy that residents had for the Council’s decision-making policies is gone with the wind.Hopefully, the CoI headed by Justice Cecil Kennard will reveal just how frustrated residents and workers of the Council are with the Council. It must invite businesses and all other stakeholders to appear and share their experiences with the Commission.Also, it is important that the CoI also give the embattled Town Clerk Royston King and his subordinate officers, the opportunity to reply to all allegations and presentations made by the residents and stakeholders. This is the only way natural justice could be guaranteed.The process must be fair, free, and open. It must not be seen as political or politically driven; therefore, the PPP must avoid getting too intimately involved. It must not escape that opposition party that there are sections of the citizenry in Georgetown who believe that the move to establish a CoI is an election ploy being directed by the Central Government and the coalition parties so that it appears that they are in tune with the concerns of the populace ahead of the Local Government Elections (LGE) polls which could deliver a blow to APNU and the AFC.Finally, Justice Kennard must seek to acquaint himself with the reports that were produced by previous CoIs under the PPP that recommended the dismissal of several officials who were shamefully stealing blatantly from the city’s treasury and poorly administrating the affairs of Georgetown. The LGC cannot allow the findings of this CoI to be wasted or thrown by the way-side. It has a mandate to act decisively and must not take direction, political or otherwise, from Central Government on what to implement and who to dismiss.Let the chips fall where they may.last_img read more

first_img…an ass?In Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist”, when the henpecked Mr Bumble is told by a lawyer in court that he’s responsible for his wife’s actions, “for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction,” he indignantly retorted, “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass — an idiot.” The point, of course, is that the law cannot be applied in a formulaic manner, but must take into consideration the concrete circumstances in question.And when the law doesn’t even specify a formula but the court willfully concocts and dogmatically applies one in a nationally groundbreaking case, it simply makes the law into an ass to the Nth degree! And this is exactly what transpired in our Appellate Court, posing a grave danger to our democracy by undermining a pivotal institution.And that’s what the Appellate Court did when two of its members chose to overturn the decision of the Chief Justice in the High Court – that in an Assembly of 65 members, the “majority” is 33. Now bear in mind that the Article of the Constitution being interpreted was Art 106 (6), which says quite simply and clearly: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”The Article talks of a “majority” – as indeed the entire constitution does — and in no way, shape or form is ever qualified or distinguished into a “simple” or “absolute” majority. So to pass bills, including Budgets or the AML/CFT Bill, all it took was a majority, which over the last four years was the 33 seats of the APNU/AFC coalition.In fact, when the PPP moved the NCM, Amna Ally screamed, “Bring it on!! We have the needed 33-seat majority!!”When the Government – as appellants to the Speaker’s ruling that the NCM was validly passed – raised the distinction, the Chief Justice did note that, in parliamentary democracies, a “simple majority” is the majority of the members of the Assembly PRESENT and voting, while an “absolute majority” demands a majority of ALL the members of the assembly. So in India’s lower house, for instance, with 645 members, the “absolute majority” is 273 – the greater of two portions.In the NCM, here in Guyana on Dec 21, 2018, since all the 65 members were present and voted, then the “simple majority” and “absolute majority” were one and the same.So what do you say when 2 Appellate Justices INSERTED into Art 106 (6) the need for not just an ABSOLUTE majority, but one that demanded rounding off HALF BODIES and then making them whole??That the law is an ass? …going to be exploited?As the Opposition Leader pointed out, when the Chief Justice in the High Court ruled that the President and Cabinet should’ve resigned on Dec 31, and that the Government would end on March 21, the PNC-led Government blithely went along as if nothing had changed. They just thumbed their noses at the Court and the ruling by renaming the Cabinet meetings as “plenary” meetings.The Opposition Leader wondered, after the Appellate Court shock ruling, whether the Government would now NOT call elections. Of course they won’t!! He’d thrown them into panic mode with the successful NCM, because of their plans for gaming the elections machinery – read the GECOM head; the Dep CEO, and 90 per cent of the Secretariat from the PNC’s “constituency”.Now the pressure’s off they’ll get to work on the voters list – a nip here and a tuck there will go a long way to “fixing” their majority. Especially when they now have to “get” 34 seats!!…now making the courts a laughing stock?After the Appellate Court’s thunderbolt, even ordinary folks started mocking them. They wanted to know whether their 2-1 decision was a “majority” by their “rule”.Dividing 3 by 2 gives 1.5; rounding it upwards gives 2, and then adding 1 requires 3 votes!!last_img read more

first_img1 Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria in action against Manchester City Every summer there are a few shock signings and this one would probably take the biscuit if it were to happen.Following reports Angel di Maria is unhappy with life at Manchester United, their rivals Manchester City have, incredibly, emerged as one of a trio of sides targeting the player, according to the Sunday Times.Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are the other teams interested in his services but, after learning of the news City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, is monitoring the situation, Red Devils fans couldn’t help but mock the thought of selling him to their enemies.You can see the best of the reaction below…last_img read more

first_imgDONEGAL’S Shane McLaughlin will go head-to-head with Cork teenager Kelly Mongan on The Voice on Sunday – and will perform The Zutons number ‘Valerie’, RTE has announced.McFly will be the special musical guests on the night, performing Shine a Light and Love is Easy.The show will again be broadcast on Sunday, April 7 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, with the results included in the two-hour programme. Sunday’s show will see two singers from each team perform. Their final scores will be a combination of viewers’ votes and coaches’ marks. However, the coaches cannot mark their own acts.The four highest placed acts (votes and marks combined) will go through to the next round, with the singer with the most votes from the remaining four also making it through.The singers and songs for Sunday are:Team Jamelia Dylan Powell, (19), Galway – Bastille PompeiiKeith Hanley, (19), Cork – Mary Mary ShacklesTeam KianShane McLaughlin, (28), Donegal – The Zutons ValerieKelly Mongan, (18), Cork – Elton John Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word Team SharonTammy Browne, (30), Kildare – Katy Perry I Kissed a GirlAoife McLoughlin, (29), Limerick – Alicia Keys Girl on FireTeam Bressie Katy Anna Mohan, (18), Louth – Muse StarlightAndrew Mann, (33), Dublin – INXS Never Tear Us ApartSHANE READY TO TAKE ON KELLY ON THE VOICE OF IRELAND was last modified: April 6th, 2013 by BrendaShare 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)last_img read more

first_img 10 10 8. Jorge Sampaoli – Sevilla – The 56-year-old Argentinian has finally been handed the chance to impress in Europe after a stint managing Chile’s national team. He has been likened to compatriot and popular manager Marcelo Bielsa for his demanding style. Should he triumph as Unai Emery’s successor at LaLiga outfit Sevilla, Arsenal could be the next option and an excellent move for both parties. 5. Massimiliano Allegri – Juventus – A winner of three Serie A titles and two Coppa Italias since 2011, Allegri is quietly going about his business in making his name as a top manager. He played a key role in the rise of Sassuolo, helping them to promotion from Serie C, before moving on to Cagliari, AC Milan and then the Old Lady. With the Italian giants winning the last five titles, success in the Champions League is the main task for Allegri. Could the challenge of Arsenal and the Premier League lure him to the Emirates? 10 7. Carlo Ancelotti – Bayern Munich – The Italian has unfinished business in the Premier League after just two years as Chelsea boss. Having won it before, the 57-year-old would know what it takes to bring the Premier League trophy back to north London. Currently at Bayern Munich, Ancelotti may be tempted back for the challenge of the Premier League after a year or two in Germany. 9. Laurent Blanc – unattached – The French boss was unfortunate to leave his role at PSG in the summer. He was linked with the England vacancy to replace Roy Hodgson after winning four Ligue 1 titles with Bordeaux (one) and PSG (three) and two Coupe de France trophies, but he failed to crack the Champions League and that is ultimately what cost him the job in the French capital. The 50-year-old played under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, so he will have learned valuable managerial skills before retiring as a player and is 28/1 to be Arsenal’s next manager. 10 10 10. Thomas Tuchel – Borussia Dortmund – The German has a similar career path to Jurgen Klopp – continuing the good work at Mainz before taking over at Borussia Dortmund in 2015…could he be heading to the Premier League next? The 43-year-old has maintained the pressing style in Dortmund, increasing the emphasis on possession while adding flexibility to his side’s formation game-by-game. With Bayern dominating in the Bundesliga, the lure of a new project with a club of Arsenal’s size could tempt Tuchel to London. 4. Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams or Thierry Henry – Arsene Wenger takes a step back and is replaced by an Arsenal legend, who then guides the club to a first Premier League triumph in over a decade – surely an Arsenal fan’s dream scenario. The three above, all captains of the club in the past, have played a part in some of the club’s most historic campaigns, but their managerial experiences are varied and, to date, none have particularly impressed. Vieira is the most promising, as current boss of New York City, but is very much earmarked for the Man City job in future. Adams is also employed abroad, as head of youth development at Chongqing Lifan, and has never really impressed as a head coach, while Henry is assistant manager to Roberto Martinez for Belgium’s national team. Meanwhile, former Arsenal player Anders Limpar has tipped Dutch legend Dennis Bergkamp for the job, according to the Evening Standard. At this stage, the dream of a Gunners legend returning to become manager, as George Graham did, is just that… a dream. 10 10 10 10 6. Steve Bould – Arsenal – The 53-year-old spent 11 years at Arsenal as a player, making over 350 appearances, and he then worked for over a decade coaching in the Gunners’ academy before succeeding Pat Rice as Wenger’s assistant. Now in his fourth year under the Frenchman, Bould could be well prepared to take over the reins without much disruption in north London. 1. Eddie Howe – Bournemouth – One of the names linked with the England post in the summer, Howe is one of the nation’s greatest managerial prospects. He may only be 38, but Howe already has eight years’ experience as a boss. He has won three promotions on the south coast, taking the club to the Premier League and making the Cherries into a competitive top-flight outfit. It will be interesting to see if he can make the step up to the very top of the game. Wenger undoubtedly trusts Howe, having allowed Jack Wilshere to move to Dean Court on loan for the season. 2. Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid – The Argentinian is probably Gunners fans’ preferred option. The passionate 46-year-old knows how to get the very best out of his players, demanding 100% in every game. He has firmly stamped his own authority on the side, to make Los Rojiblancos play a style of football that competes with Spain’s big two, in Real Madrid and Barcelona. 3. Joachim Low – Germany – The World Cup winner may want to try his hand at club football in the near future. The 56-year-old intends to remain in charge for the 2018 World Cup at least, which could coincide with Wenger’s departure should he extend his current contract. Other than Stuttgart and Fenerbahce, Low is yet to manage a big club, but under his guidance the Gunners will surely be within a sniff of the Premier League title. 10 Reports on Wednesday suggest Arsenal are lining up Eddie Howe to succeed Arsene Wenger at the Emirates.The highly-rated Bournemouth manager, 38, is the latest name to be mentioned for the post – with Wenger yet to extend his current deal which runs out next summer. The Sun claims the 66-year-old French boss could move upstairs, stating Howe is, like Wenger, ‘passionate, principled, articulate?.?.?.?and addicted to the job’.It will be interesting to see if the Gunners follow Manchester United’s route with replacing their legendary manager with a promising British boss. David Moyes was handed an opportunity but was never really given the chance to succeed at Old Trafford.LISTEN: Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn insists Arsenal-linked Eddie Howe has ‘unfinished business’ at club and is going nowhereClub legends, some of Europe’s top bosses and more have been linked – mascot Gunnersaurus (400/1) is shorter odds than high-profile fan Piers Morgan (500/1). talkSPORT has taken a look at some of the best candidates to carry on Wenger’s good work in north London. Click the right arrow, above, to see who could be on the list of managers being eyed up by Arsenal chiefs.READ MORE: Ray Parlour says Arsenal job ‘too soon’ for Eddie Howe and backs Diego Simeone to succeed Arsene Wenger?last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 240 and Up Singles dance, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Sunday at Lancaster Elks Lodge, 240 E. Ave. K, Lancaster. Admission: $5 members, $7 nonmembers. Call (661) 949-9467. Life Figure Sessions, 2:30-5:30 p.m. the second Sunday of each month at Cedar Centre Hall, 44857 Cedar Ave. Cost: $5; students with ID admitted free. Teen Care and Support Group, for teens who have lost a family member or friend, will meet, 6:30 p.m. at Desert Vineyard Christian School, 1011 E. Ave. I, Room 302, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-2777. Revealing Truth, a meditation and spiritual discussion, 4:45-6:15 p.m. Call (661) 723-9967. Antelope Valley Chess Club will meet, 1-5 p.m. at American Legion Post 771, 39463 10th St. E., Palmdale. Call (661) 726-1323. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.sava-na.org. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 5-6 p.m. at 44960 Cedar Ave., Lancaster. Call (661) 789-5806. MONDAY Beyond the Light, a socialization and support group for young adults ages 17 to 25 with mental health issues, will meet, noon-1 p.m. at Transitional Youth Services, 104 E. Ave. K-4, Lancaster. Call Bill Slocum at (661) 947-1595. Jazzercise classes, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at George Lane Park, 5520 W. Ave. L-8, Quartz Hill. Call (661) 722-7780. Dance Groove will offer ballroom and Latin dance lessons, 6-8:30 p.m. at Dance Groove Studio, 43631 10th St. W., Lancaster. Cost: $5 per person. Call (661) 948-9101. Co-Dependents Anonymous Step Study will meet, 6-7 p.m. at Antelope Valley Hospital, multipurpose meeting room, second floor, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 944-4927. 12-Step Recovery Groups for alcohol and drug addiction, co-dependency, relationship addiction, overeating, fear and anxiety issues, will meet, 7 p.m. at Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 1011 E. Ave. I, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-2777. The Palmdale Elks Lodge, 2705 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale, will host bingo, 5:30 p.m. The grill will be open. Call (661) 947-2027. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 6-7 p.m. at Lancaster United Methodist Church, 918 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 722-0393. Co-Dependents Anonymous will host a 12-step recovery program, 7:30-9 p.m., at Antelope Valley Hospital, multipurpose meeting room, second floor, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 944-4927 or (661) 946-5846. Grief Recovery Outreach Group will meet, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700 or visit www.frf.av.org. Adult Anger Management Group will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700. The Highs and Lows, a support group for those diagnosed with manic depression or related disorders, will meet, 7-9 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Master, 725 E. Ave. J, Lancaster. Al-Anon will have a discussion, 7 p.m. at 51st Street West and Avenue K, Lancaster. Child care provided. Call (661) 274-9353 or (800) 344-2666. Early-bird bingo games will begin at 6 p.m. with regular games beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Elks Lodge, 2705 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale. Call (661) 947-2027. Early bird bingo games will begin at 6:30 p.m. with regular games beginning at 7 p.m. at Paraclete High School, 42145 30th St. W., Lancaster. Call (661) 943-3255, Monday evenings: (661) 943-1017. Billiard Gang for seniors will meet, 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Flex and stretch, a workout for seniors, 8-9 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Bring a floor mat and hand weights. Call (661) 267-5551. Parent support group will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 1529 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite 203, Palmdale. The facilitated group is for parents who need help coping with family issues. Call (661) 266-8700. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 6 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38530 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 273-1016. Expectant parents can tour the Antelope Valley Hospital obstetrics department, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster, and get information on what to expect during hospitalization, at sessions starting at 6 p.m. Visitors meet in the main lobby. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or log on to the Web site at www.sava-na.org. TUESDAY J&J Social and Travel Club weekly league bowling, 6-8 p.m. at Sands Bowl, 43323 Sierra Highway, Lancaster. Call (661) 267-2586. Lupus International Support Group meets, 6:30-8 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in Palmdale. Information and location: Danielle Duffey at (888) 532-2322, Ext. 4. Business Network International B2 Bombers chapter will meet, 12:15 p.m. at Eduardo’s restaurant, 819 W. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale. Call (661) 609-1288 or e-mail audmill@qnet.com. The organization’s Web site is at www.bni-scav.com. Prostate Cancer Support Group meets, 12:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at Lutheran Church of the Master, 725 E. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call Susan Baker at (661) 273-2200. Toddler story time for children ages 2-6, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble, 39228 10th St. W., Palmdale. Call (661) 272-9134. Celebrate Discovery, a Christian-based 12-step program, will meet, 6:30 p.m. at Palmdale United Methodist Church, 39055 10th St. W., Palmdale. Call (661) 947-3103. Jazzercise classes, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at George Lane Park, 5520 W. Ave. L-8 in Quartz Hill. Call (661) 722-7780. Lupus International Support Group meets, 6:30-8 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in Palmdale. Call Danielle Duffey at (888) 532-2322, Ext. 4. Successful Anger Management course, 7-9 p.m. in Lancaster. Call (661) 538-1846. Sand Creek Orators, Toastmaster International meets, 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at Hummel Hall, 2200 20th St. W., Rosamond. Call Miik Miller at (661) 256-0328. Caregiver Support Group will meet, 5:30-7 p.m. in Conference Room 1 at Lancaster Community Hospital in Lancaster. Sponsored by ProCare Hospice. Call (661) 951-1146. Tears in My Heart Support Group will meet, 10:30 a.m.-noon and 5:30-7:30 p.m. at ProCare Hospice, 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. Rocketeers Toastmasters meets, 1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Call Pam Raneri at (661) 275-5287. Pancho Barnes Composite Squadron 49, Civil Air Patrol, will meet, 6-8:30 p.m. at Rosamond Sky Park, 4171 Knox Ave., Rosamond. Call (760) 373-5771. Antelope Valley Archaeology Club will meet, 9:30-11 a.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5656. Grief Support Group will meet, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Hoffmann Hospice, 1832 W. Ave. K, Suite D-1. Call (661) 948-8801. Toastmasters Sand Creek Orators Club meets, 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 2500 Orange St., Rosamond. Call Miik Miller at (661) 256-0328. Snyders Dance Groove meets, 6-8:30 p.m. the first and second Tuesdays of each month at the Antelope Valley Senior Center, 777 W. Jackman St., Lancaster. Cost: $2. Call (661) 609-6510. Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meets, 9-11:30 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month for brunch, speakers and crafts at Central Christian Church, 3131 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Cost: $6 per meeting, plus $2 per child for child care. Scholarships are available. Call (661) 945-7902. 12-Step Recovery Group for alcohol and drug addiction will meet, 7 p.m. at Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 1011 E. Ave. I, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-2777.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TODAY Nicotine Anonymous will meet, 8-9 p.m. at Seventh-day Adventist Church, 43824 30th St. W., Lancaster. Call (661) 946-7606. Buklod ng Pagkakaisa (Bond of Unity) seniors’ social hour, 4-7 p.m. the first Sunday of each month at the Antelope Valley Senior Center, 777 W. Jackman St., Lancaster. Meetings feature films, talks, singalongs, talent shows and dancing. Call (661) 723-7876 or (661) 726-5309. Costume Figure Sessions, 2:30-5:30 p.m. the fourth Sunday of each month at Cedar Centre Hall, 44857 Cedar Ave. Cost: $5; students with identification are admitted free. last_img read more

first_img Watch Ronaldinho’s goal below… Ronaldinho showed his incredible skills in the Indian Futsal League by scoring an amazing solo goal.The Brazil legend, 37, currently turns out for Delhi Dragons and he has started the 2017 season in fine form.After grabbing a brace on the opening day, he went one better and netted a hat-trick against Bengaluru Royals on Wednesday – and one of the goals was rather impressive.After flicking the ball through the opposition keeper’s legs, he capped the move with a no-look finish.You can see the goal below… 1last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmatesBut then there are all those people who have legitimate complaints and legitimate concerns and don’t have the big bucks to buy private access to their public servants the way lobbyists, developers, billionaires and others with influence do. The injustice escalated dramatically Tuesday when Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg arrived. An elderly woman was frantically making her plea to the council when Council President Eric Garcetti abruptly cut her off and turned the podium over to Goldberg, with the 60-second rule suspended. Seen by many as a key figure in ruining the schools and the city during her public service as a school board member and a former councilwoman, Goldberg had absolutely nothing to say about city business. She was there to deliver a diatribe about the need to weaken the state’s “three strikes, you’re out” law so career criminals don’t have to spend their lives in prison. Offering odious proof that the public is nothing but an obstruction at City Hall, Garcetti justified giving Goldberg the time of five citizens by saying it’s just a courtesy to “a fellow elected official.” In other words, elected officials merit courtesy and a soapbox to say whatever they want; ordinary people get discourtesy and can’t even say what they believe about city issues. Nor was it the last indignity served up during that meeting. More than 75 people came to protest the trash fee increase proposed to pay for hiring new cops although few, if any, cops are actually being hired. TUESDAY was a typical day for the Los Angeles City Council. The first meeting of the week was, as usual, jammed with important issues that needed discussion and action: A proposed trash fee increase to raise LAPD funding, a $1 billion low-income housing bond, a hearing on the power blackouts across the city. Tuesday was a typical day for the council in another respect, too. It was another day that the group of elected officials showed its contempt for the public by making it just about impossible for citizens to be heard. The disrespect started early in the meeting, during the public hearing. Under the council’s new rules, ordinary people – taxpayers, residents, workers, business people – get only one minute apiece to exercise their right to free speech. That’s only 60 seconds – the length of a TV ad. The council did this because, as the nation’s highest paid city officials, its members are too important to waste their time listening to the incessant chatter of the masses. It’s true that some of the regular speakers are confused, and perhaps mentally impaired; others are irritating and weird gadflies. Many of these people waited 31/2 hours to be heard, and when it came time to claim their minute to speak, Council President pro tem Wendy Greuel, a do-gooder like Garcetti, granted them a collective 15 minutes – or 12 seconds each – to make their case. Showing some sense of shame, she later added five more minutes, having made the point: We don’t have time for you little people. How can the council pretend to be running a democracy when it doesn’t even pretend to listen to the people? This is precisely why the body exists, not for attending schmooze events or glad-handing big contributors. Council members were elected to hold public meetings to discuss and debate municipal policy and to – and this is the big one – represent the people. It’s hard to do that effectively when you’re too busy trying to keep them quiet.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgMONTREAL – A young man in a black trench coat and a Mohawk haircut opened fire Wednesday at a Montreal college, slaying a woman and wounding at least 19 other people before police shot and killed him, witnesses and authorities said. Police dismissed suggestions that terrorism played a role in the lunch-hour attack at Dawson College, where scores of panicked students fled into the streets after the shooting began. Some had clothes stained with blood. Others cried and clung to each other. Two nearby shopping centers and a child-care center also were evacuated. “I was terrified. The guy was shooting at people randomly. He didn’t care – he was just shooting at everybody,” said student Devansh Smri Vastava. “There were cops firing. It was so crazy.” Witnesses said the attacker started firing outside on campus before he walked in the front door. Much of the shooting was in the second-floor cafeteria, where students dropped to the floor and lay in terror. At times the gunman hid behind vending machines before emerging to take aim. At one point he shot at a teenager who tried to photograph him with his cell phone. Teachers ran through the halls, telling everyone to get out of the building. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possiblePolice rushed to the scene and hid behind a wall as they exchanged fire with the gunman, whose back was against a vending machine, said student Andrea Barone, a witness. Barone said the officers proceeded cautiously because many students were trapped near the assailant. The gunman yelled “Get back! Get back!” every time an officer tried to move closer, added Barone, who said the assailant eventually fell in a hail of police gunfire. The attacker’s bloody body, covered in a yellow sheet, later lay next to a police cruiser near an entrance to a school building. Police Sgt. Francois Dore said the attacker was a 25-year-old man from the Montreal area, but he did not provide a name or any further details about the man. Dore said the man’s car was still at the school and that police were searching his apartment. Police spokesman Ean Lafreniere said there was just one gunman. Although police initially suggested that the gunman had killed himself, Police Director Yvan DeLorme later said at a news conference that “based on current information, the suspect was killed by police.” Police with guns drawn stood behind a police cruiser as a SWAT team swarmed the 12-acre campus. Montreal General Hospital officials said 11 people were admitted, including eight in critical condition. Nine others were taken to two other hospitals. One young woman later died, a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the victim’s family had not yet been notified.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“\ told me they’re still looking for a concessionaire to run it, but I know of at least six people who turned in an application, including myself,” said Leal, who volunteered at the old track for 12 years before it closed in mid-2004. “I don’t care who runs it, I just want to see it open,” he added. Leal said part of the problem might be that the county is asking for 15 percent of the gross profits from the concession, an amount he says is untenable in a sport where profits typically barely cover operating costs. “This is not a money-making thing,” Leal said. Kaye Michelson, spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said 15 percent of the gross from the concession “is something we can negotiate.” The major problem in reopening the facility is finding a qualified entity to run it, she said. “We decided to bring in an outside company with the experience,” she said. Questionnaires were sent by county officials to several candidates recommended by the American Bicycle Association BMX, the main sanctioning body for BMX racing in the country, Michelson said. WHITTIER NARROWS – For Roland Leal, the sport of bicycle motocross racing – also known as BMX – is a family affair. Three of Leal’s four children love the sport so much, they dream of participating in professional-level competitions. BMX racing is similar to motocross motorcycle racing but does not use motorized bikes and riders traverse only once around the track in each race. But the closing two years years ago of the nearest BMX track at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area has put a big dent in the Leals’ aspirations. Now the Whittier residents have to drive to the next nearest tracks, which are in Bellflower and Orange. Both, however, are open only intermittently. Leal, 52, said he doesn’t understand why the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation still has not reopened the Whittier Narrows BMX concession – two years after the county completed more than $1 million in improvements at the facility. Parks officials now are assessing two applicants who responded to the query. County officials hope to reopen the track by the beginning of next year, Michelson said. “Our goal is to have this beautiful, specialized facility, and we are very excited and looking forward to opening it back up to the community,” she said. But the track’s closure has affected some area bicycle shops that specialize in BMX equipment. Some shops sponsor BMX racing teams, whose members lost access to a racing surface where they could both practice and race when the Whittier Narrows track closed. Ron Patterson, manager of Pat’s 605 Cyclery in Norwalk, said the closing nearly “wiped out” the sport for kids in the area. Mike Franze, owner of Fullerton Bicycles in Fullerton, also found his business declined. “The more kids ride, the more they need repairs and equipment so it has affected my business,” Franze said. “But it also had an affect on the involvement of kids from the surrounding neighborhoods in BMX. Some customers and I have been trying to promote BMX as a way to combat obesity.” pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more