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Face the people or face the music

By on January 17, 2020

first_imgDear Editor,Regarding a letter written by Dr David Hinds dated March 4, 2019, and captioned “We have been in a permanent state of constitutional crisis since 1953,” I looked for a solution in this missive but there was none to be found. His missive comes across as offering an excuse for the bully actions from the People’s National Congress (PNC)-led coalition today.What Dr Hinds is not telling the nation is that all sides have suffered because the human social development in Guyana has been extremely uneven over the years. More so, under the undemocratic Burnham regime and now clear for all to see, under Granger. He chooses to not assign the word evil to these periods but was quick to assign that word to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) rule. That position is most unhelpful since it lacks honesty and integrity. All of our people are suffering from actions taken by all sides, Dr Hinds, and there may be shades of evil in all camps.In this letter Editor, I am paying particular emphasis from a strictly economic viewpoint rather than the political viewpoint, because politics has never put bread on people’s tables. While there is a myth being peddled by some social commentators that Indo-Guyanese are wealthy, when one disaggregates the facts, the evidence paints a very different picture. This fallacy has fuelled a PNC-led strategy of racial supremacy designed to reward mainly the friends and family and party members from the PNC with the top jobs, contracts, and other state benefits. These PNC policies continue to get buttressed by people like Dr Hinds as we can see in this letter of his where he can only assign evil to the PPP in the fourth paragraph. He sees nothing wrong with the PNC-ed coalition employing 85 per cent of the newly hired heads of department from one group and 16 of the 17 Permanent Secretaries from the same group. Such racist actions by a government are not evil in Dr Hinds’ books. It is people like Dr Hinds who continue to do the most harm to Guyana by continuing to provide academic cover for the misguided policy of this ethnically supremacist PNC-led Government who has done very little to economically empower all since May 2015.No one will dispute the fact that the majority of the top 200 richest families in Guyana are Indo-Guyanese families. But they are not an accurate representation of the demographic framework of the nation. Guyana has some 72,000 Indo-Guyanese families, so by no stretch of any imagination, can 200 families constitute the majority. Actually, the latest poverty statistics reveal that some 22,000 Indo-Guyanese families do live in poverty compared to 15,000 Afro-Guyanese families and 9000 Amerindian families. So clearly, the Constitution, the Judiciary, the several Executive governments have not worked for these people at the bottom of the economic barrel. But what is clear is that since Team Granger came to power, some 3000 more Indo-Guyanese families have slipped into poverty especially on the sugar estates and therefore all this academic gibberish from Dr Hinds illustrates that we are not committed to the solutions but rather prefer to kick the bucket down the road by meddling with the problem using academic cover.This PNC-led Government has enough time to implement constitutional reform that would have provided a solution to this nation of minorities but chooses not to act. So how can the PPP be blamed for this?The PNC had their chance to fix Guyana constitutionally and they deliberately choose ethnic supremacy as their tool of the rule rather than a model that socially, economically and politically empowered all. That is inexcusable. Time for a change is here again and the PNC, unfortunately, has now lost that moral right to the hot seat. Delaying the inevitable will just make their chances at the next polls less good, every day after March 21, 2019. Their choices are simple face the people for face the music.Sincerely,Sasenarine Singhlast_img read more

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UPDATE: CSEC Top Students 2018

By on January 12, 2020

first_imgElectronic Document Preparation & Management Office Administration 80 Caribbean History 99.35 78.6 Biology 98.57 2018 86.57 Geography 47.81 Portuguese 68.45 89.53 57.99 14 4 4 44.45 Family & Resource Management Subjects with declined performance Grades I to III 3 52.92 2017 92.62 89.77 15 43.39 7 Subject Integrated Science 2017 8 Physics 1 10 9 94.75 11 Subjects with stable performance Grades I to III  Technical Drawing 97.95 CSEC MAY/JUNE 2018Individual candidate performancesA list of candidates who have secured Grade Ones in eight or more subjects was requested from the Caribbean Examinations Council.  In response to our request, a list of two hundred and thirty three (233) candidates was received.Of these, thirty nine (39) candidates secured twelve (12) Grades One or more.  These candidates are listed below:School                                   Name                                     Results obtainedQueen’s College                Christian Pile                        19 OnesAnna Regina Secondary     Shakira Bholo                      18 Ones         2 twosISA Islamic                       Salma Majeed                      18 OnesQueen’s College                Areeb Ali                              17 Ones         3 twos     1 threeAnna Regina Secondary    Camecia De La Cruz              17 Ones         2 twos      1 threeQueens’ College                  Haema Dasrath                    17 Ones         1 two        1 threeQueen’s College                  Aarti Hooblall                       17 Ones        3 twosQueen’s College                  Reseda Hack                       15 Ones         3 twos      1 threeQueen’s College                  Leshanna Bindah               15 Ones         2 twos     2 threesQueen’s College                  Reseda Hack                     15 Ones         3 twos      1 threeQueen’s College                  Yashoda Samaroo               15 Ones         2 twosAnna Regina            Secondary     Begum Baksh             15 Ones         1 twoJ C Chandisingh Sec         Darshanie Jadubir               15 Ones         1 twoQueen’s College                  Reseda Hack                        15 Ones         1 twoAnna Regina            Secondary     Vishal Narine              14 Ones         1 twoQueen’s College                  Krystal Cummings               14 Ones         4 twosSkeldon Line Path Sec       Yugeeta Kumar                    14 Ones         2 twosQueen’s College                  Sushmita Mangru                14 Ones         1 twoSt Stanislaus College         Sherlock Langevine               14 OnesQueen’s College                  Kirsten Caesar                     13 Ones         4 twosSkeldon Line Path Sec       Pravena Bhoge                    13 Ones         3 twosBerbice High                         Renee Bisnauth                  13 Ones         2 twosQueen’s College                  Navindra Persaud               13 Ones         2 twosQueen’s College                  Daniel Baldeo-Thorne        13 Ones         1 twoQueen’s College                  Shania Smith                     13 OnesSaraswati Vidya Niketan    Jasmattie Parbhu                 13 OnesQueen’s College                 Jaishree Persaud                12 Ones         4 twos      1 threeQueen’s College                 Ansonette Thomas              12 Ones         3 twos      1 threeSkeldon Line Path Sec       Sarveena Persaud              12 Ones         3 twos      1 threeAbram’s Zuil Secondary     Lariel Narain                         12 Ones         3 twos      1 threeAnna Regina Secondary     Alexander Westford             12 Ones         3 twosSaraswati Vidya Niketan    Jayaram Sanasie                 12 Ones         3 twosMae’s Secondary                 Sayyid AAbidi                       12 Ones         2 twosQueen’s College                  Brandon Chanderban        12 Ones         2 twosQueen’s College                  Mikayla De Freitas               12 Ones         1 two         1 threeMackenzie High                   Zoe Sills                                12 Ones         1 twoQueen’s College                  Trisha Heeralall                    12 Ones         1 twoSaraswati Vidya Niketan    Rowena Gordon                  12 Ones         1 twoSaraswati Vidya Niketan    Ryan Ramkirath                   12 Ones         1 twoSkeldon Line Path Sec       Melisa Rama                         12 OnesThe Bishops’ High               Krista Bhagwandin              12 OnesThe ‘top’ two hundred and thirty three (233) candidates are from the following schools:Region                      School                                               No of candidates1                                  North West Secondary                                012                                  Anna Regina Secondary                              13Abrams’s Zuil Secondary                            02Cottonfield Secondary                                01Aurora Secondary                                      01Total                                                  173                                  West Demerara                                          04                                    Zeeburg Secondary                                     02Leguan Secondary                                      02Essequibo Islands Secondary                       01Saraswati Vidya Niketan                              12Total                                                  21 89.64 10 67.14 58.08 64.4 12 39.23 4                                  President’s College                                     09Diamond Secondary                                   03Bygeval Secondary                                     01Hope Secondary                                          01Hindu College                                              02Apex                                                          02Institute of Business Education                    05Camille’s Institute                                       03Total                                                  26Region                      School                                               No of candidates5                                  Rosignol Secondary                                               05Fraser’s Educational Institute                                 02Total                                                  076                                  J C Chandisingh Secondary                     05Skeldon Line Path Secondary                  05Berbice High                                            03New Amsterdam Multilateral                    02                                                Total                                                  157                                  Three Miles Secondary                               0110                                Mackenzie High                                         05G/town                       Queen’s College                                          52The Bishops’ High                                      21St Stanislaus College                                 20St Rose’s High                                           11St Joseph’s High                                        09Central High                                              02Richard Ishmael Secondary                        01Mae’s Secondary                                       05Marian Academy                                        09ISA Islamic School                                      09New Guyana School                                   01Total                                               140 66.27 Music 8 81.52 55.35 63.9 7 2017 81.48 72.19 No. 83.04 4 56.73 85.17 89.06 98.57 85.42 78.69 1 96.69 11 Agricultural Science DA 97.25 71.72 13 2 2018 96.75 Visual Arts Industrial Technology (Mechanical) Theatre Arts Physical Education & Sports Spanish 16 44.45 54.57 66.28 5 Subject 56.4 6 5 Chemistry 5 Mathematics Agricultural Science SA No. 12 61.98 92.37 No. 83.65 88.74 2018 Industrial Technology (Electrical) 72.49 28.57 Human & Social Biology 84.2 96.4 59.12 2 100 Economics French 70.03 Principles of Business 76.31 71.55 71.94 68.61 100 3 49.1 99.92 97.5 80.12 English A 7 6 76.8 74.49 Principles of Accounts Social Studies Textiles Clothing & Fashion CXC – CARIBBEAN SECONDARY EDUCATION CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION – MAY/JUNE 2018 REPORT ON PRELIMINARY RESULTSA total of 12,269 candidates were registered for 2018 CSEC, compared to 12,684 registered for 2017. Subject entries for 2018 were 69,194. An analysis of the 2018 results revealed that the overall pass rate at the General and Technical proficiencies for Grades One to Three was 69.1%. The overall pass rate has improved from 2017 where a pass rate of 63.68% was attained.Improved performance was evident in 16 subjects, constant in 7 subjects and declined in 12 subjects. Outstanding performances were noted in 7 subjects where 90% and over gained acceptable Grades (Gr 1 – 3). Some subjects with outstanding performances were Agricultural Science (Double Award) with 96.14%, Information Technology with 97.5%, Religious Education with 96.69%, Physical Education & Sports with 99.92% and Industrial Technology – Mechanical with 98.57%.Mathematics and EnglishGrades One to Three passes in both English A and English B improved in 2018. English A recorded a pass rate of 67.14% in 2018 and 57.99% in 2017. English B pass rate in 2018 is 78.6% as compared to 44.45% in 2017. Mathematics also improved with a pass rate of 43.39% in 2018 as compared to 39.23% in 2017. Additional Mathematics remained constant with a pass rate 68.45% in 2018 to 68.61% in 2017.SciencesThere were improvements and declines in the Grades One to Three passes in the science subjects this year. Improvements were noted in the pass rate for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Biology moved from 61.98% in 2017 to 63.9% in 2018. Chemistry recorded a pass rate of 56.41% in 2018 as against 47.81% in 2017. In 2018 Physics recorded a pass rate for 66.27%, in 2017 the pass rate was 52.92%. Agricultural Science (Double Award) and Agricultural Science (Single Award) both recorded declined performances. Agricultural Science (Double Award) moved from 98.57% in 2017 to 96.14% in 2018. Agricultural Science (Single Award) moved from 92.37% in 2017 to 86.57% in 2018.Human and Social Biology achieved acceptable grades this year with a pass rate of 72.49%. The pass rate for this subject has improved from 2017 where a pass rate of 55.35% was attained. Integrated Science recorded a decline in pass rate from 59.21% in 2017 to 49.1% in 2018.BusinessImproved performance was noted in Office Administration with a pass rate of 84.2% in 2018 as against 80.12% in 2017. Principles of Accounts moved from 76.8% in 2017 to 74.49% in 2018. A decline was noted in the performances of Economics and Principles of Business. Electronic Documentation Preparation and Management attained constant performance with a pass rate of 97.95% in 2018 as compared to 97.25% in 2017.Humanities and Expressive Arts   Religious Education and Caribbean History recorded constant performances in 2018 as compared to 2017. Religious Education attained a pass rate of 96.69% in 2018 and 96.75% in 2017. Caribbean History gained a pass rate of 71.94% in 2018 and 71.72% in 2017. An improved performance was noted in the pass rate for Geography from 56.73% in 2017 to 72.19% in 2018.The performance in Theatre Arts remained constant with a pass rate of 99.35% in 2018 and 100% in 2017. 50% of the entries for Visual Arts achieved acceptable grades.TVET SubjectsThe Technical and Vocational Education cluster of subjects recorded mixed performances in 2018. Textile, Clothing and Fashion improved from 69.49% in 2017 to 81.48% in 2018, Family and Resource Management recorded constant performance with a pass rate of 85.42% in 2017 and 85.17% in 2018. A decline in performance was noted in Food Nutrition & Health with a pass rate of 91.16% in 2017 to 89.06% in 2018.Industrial Technology Building, Electrical and Mechanical all secured pass rates of over 85% in 2018.Modern LanguagesPortuguese was written for the first time in 2017 and attained a pass rate of 83.04% , a decline was evident in 2018 with a pass rate of 71.55%. Over 60% of the entries for Spanish and French gained acceptable grades in 2018. Spanish moved from 58.08% in 2017 to 64.4% in 2018.CXC – CARIBBEAN SECONDARY EDUCATION CERTIFICATE EXAMINATIONMAY/JUNE 2018REPORT ON PRELIMINARY RESULTS Outstanding Performance (90% and over Grades One – Three) Subject                                                                                  %                     Agricultural Science (Double Award)                                      96.14Information Technology                                                        97.5Religious Education                                                               96.69Theatre Arts                                                                         99.35Electronic Document Preparation & Management                   97.95Physical Education & Sports                                                  99.92Industrial Technology Mechanical                                           98.57Subjects with improved performance Grades I to III  Food, Nutrition & Health 6 1 Religious Education 9 English B 3 Additional Mathematics Information Technology 50 87.86 85.62 99.01 Industrial Technology (Building) 91.16 Subject 2 69.49last_img read more

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Huskies need win tonight to keep season alive

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first_imgWith their backs fully against the wall the Fort St. John Huskies will try to stay alive tonight in the NWJHL playoffs as they take on the North Peace Navigators tonight at 8 p.m. at the North Peace Arena. The team will be looking for a strong effort and smart play as the story of the series has been turnovers in the neutral zone.Last time out it appeared as though the Huskies and Navigators were destined for overtime, however a power play goal with 30 seconds left in regulation lifted Peace River to a 4-3 win, and 3-0 lead in the series.Should the series be extended to a fifth game that will go down Wednesday night in Peace River at 8 p.m.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Temple weeds out ‘Tree of Life’

By on January 11, 2020
first_imgThe temple’s assets were seized, as were Rubin’s. He, his 18-year-old son and another man were charged with one count each of selling or transporting marijuana and one count of possessing marijuana for sale. “They were trying to set it up under the guise of a religious right and then be able to sidestep marijuana laws,” Maiberger said. “The deal was for a $100 initiation fee and $100 annual fee, you could buy all the pot you wanted for quote-unquote `religious purpose.’ That’s bull—-.” Rubin, however, continues to distribute marijuana six days a week to the temple’s members – there are more than 400 who have paid the initiation and annual dues – for a “requested donation” of $60 for an eighth of an ounce. He continues to burn marijuana as a sacrament at Friday night services and preaches on the weekends – Old Testament on Saturdays, New Testament on Sundays, always at 4:20. His defense relies on his insistence that God wants people to enjoy cannabis – for recreation, religion and industry – and his belief that federal and state laws protect his religious practices. “It’s not a laughable argument,” said Eugene Volokh, a UCLA School of Law professor and religious freedom expert. “It’s just an uphill argument.” Temple 420 would need to demonstrate that its beliefs are sincere and that marijuana use is not the foundation of the religion but part of a broader ethical system, Volokh said. Also, the organization would need to prove that its practices don’t come at the expense of a compelling government interest. “But it’s not open and shut,” Volokh said. In 1996, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Rastafarians, who believe marijuana is a sacrament, could use federal law to defend their use of the drug, but not to defend distribution or possession with the intent to distribute. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a small religious group in New Mexico could use a hallucinogenic drug in its services. Groups often opposed to each other – from the American Civil Liberties Union to the National Association of Evangelicals – had supported O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal in its defense against the government. But the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, cited in the Rasta and O Centro cases, doesn’t apply at the state level, and that’s where the charges against Rubin will be heard. California has not passed a law similar to the federal one, and the state Supreme Court has not clearly defined whether the state constitution provides greater religious protection than the First Amendment. And, of course, there are plenty of Temple 420 skeptics. “I would inherently be suspect … of someone attempting to use the Bible as a justification of their desire to smoke marijuana,” said Brad Dacus, founder and president of the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defender of Christian values. “It’s not unusual for people to try to use religion as a pretext for purposes of carrying out their pleasures.” Temple 420’s tenets stem from Rubin’s Jewish childhood, conversion to Christianity and experience taking peyote in American-Indian sweat lodges. A pro-pot Republican partial to dark suits and red ties, Rubin hangs the American flag behind his podium and gushes about Ronald Reagan. He has been a marijuana activist since his days at UCLA in the early ’90s. A “roper” – who believes hemp is a medicinal marvel and a panacea for fiber, food and fuel shortages – and a “doper,” Rubin was dubbed “Hollywood’s Wizard of Weed” by High Times magazine and was a consultant on Showtime’s hit “Weeds” for two seasons. While undergoing a family crisis three years ago, Rubin began studying the Bible and, he claims, God revealed to him cannabis’ status as the tree of life. Last year, after the Supreme Court ruled on O Centro, Rubin reasoned he could openly practice his new beliefs, which he describes as “Judeo-Christian” and “Bible based.” In August, Scott Linden, a Pasadena attorney who has helped open several medical-marijuana dispensaries in the San Fernando Valley, filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office that registered Temple 420 as a religious corporation. The organization, however, did not file for tax-exempt status, said Franchise Tax Board spokesman Patrick Hill. Religious services began Aug. 26, and Craig Roberts, who added the X to his name after studying Malcolm X and changed his last name back to that of his Jewish grandfather, started going by “reverend.” Rubin did not attend a seminary but was ordained in 1990 by the Universal Life Church, an interfaith organization that offers “Free Instant Online Ordination.” “Using sacrament as a way to elevate my spirituality blew me out,” said temple member Evan Goding, 29, of Orange, who drives to Hollywood each week with his Jewish girlfriend. “I was like, no way. It just clicked. It made so much sense. “I’ve always believed that the world as a whole would be better if most people would just try marijuana. It brings out the better in people. And I’m sorry it’s not legal; I’m sorry I can’t use it for my religious beliefs without being persecuted.” Temple 420 is located in a strip mall at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, next door to an H&R Block and across the street from a Christian Science Church. Fifteen to 30 people stop by most days to pick up pot, said the cashier, who wouldn’t give his name. Rubin gets his stash from the same guys who sell it to medical-marijuana dispensaries, but he charges about 20 percent less per eighth of an ounce. Income goes to pay salaries and support the temple, he said. He insists he turns away about half the people who try to join; new members must sign an agreement professing, among other things, that “the God of the Bible created cannabis … for the healing of all nations.” “There are six medical-marijuana clubs within walking distance of here,” Rubin said. “If you’re a liar, you don’t need to come here. Pretend you are sick.” But it is clear some of Temple 420’s members aren’t interested in the religious services. The sanctuary seats about 40. Some members have never attended. “For me, it was worth it,” David Donahue, 37, of West Hollywood said of joining the temple. “If I didn’t get it through him, I would get it through one of my friends’ dealers – and I don’t know anyone here. “Two hundred bucks, to some people, it’s a lot. It’s a lot to me, don’t get me wrong. But we pay for convenience.” brad.greenberg@dailynews.com (818) 713-3634160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But what really sets it apart – and the reason Rubin will be in court Friday – is the temple’s use of marijuana as a religious sacrament. “I am willing to preach the Bible and go to jail if it means getting my message out there,” the 41-year-old Panorama City man said. And he knows how strange that sounds. “I’m a Jewish kid from Beverly Hills who went to UCLA. I could have been a lawyer making $250 an hour like the rest of my friends, or a TV producer. Instead, I’m teaching the Bible, selling weed on Hollywood Boulevard, facing seven years in jail – of course I’m crazy.” The temple’s problems actually began as a poisoning investigation performed by homicide detectives. One day last fall, a delivery driver and a security guard were given baked goods from Temple 420, said police spokesman Kevin Maiberger. Both became violently ill and almost died. No charges came of that, but a few weeks later, on Nov. 3, an undercover officer joined Temple 420. Five days later, at 4:20 p.m., police raided it. HOLLYWOOD – The Rev. Craig X Rubin read aloud a passage from 1 Kings as the sun set and his congregation prepared for the Sabbath. Flicking a lighter to the lone candle atop the podium, Rubin burned a bud of marijuana on the flame. He puffed it out, walked to each of the eight members sitting in the pews and waved the smoldering cannabis around them. This, Rubin proclaims, carries the prayers of Temple 420 to God. That’s the God of Isaac and of Jesus, because members are Christians and Jews. That makes the congregation Rubin founded last summer unique. last_img

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Browns finally find way to tackle Jamal Lewis

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first_imgJamal Lewis is heading north without leaving the AFC North. The free agent running back and former 2,000-yard rusher for Baltimore agreed to a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. “We are pleased to add Jamal Lewis to our team,” Browns general manager Phil Savage said in a statement. “He is a proven NFL back who brings a toughness and demeanor to the game that his teammates and our fans will appreciate.” Lewis was released last week in a salary-cap move by Baltimore, which elected not to pay its career rushing leader a $5million roster bonus. He’ll now try to boost the Browns, who were last in the league in rushing in 2006. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons were talking to 35-year-old wide receiver Joe Horn, who was cut last week by their NFC South rivals in New Orleans. ESPN.com quoted unnamed team sources as saying the Falcons reached agreement with the outspoken receiver, but the Falcons denied it. In other moves: The 6-foot-3, 257-pound Graham grew up in Denver and attended the University of Colorado. His father, Tom Graham, played linebacker for the Broncos from 1972 to 1974. The Broncos also signed veteran backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey to a two-year contract, according to The Denver Post. Ramsey is expected to make $4million to $5 million for the life of the contract, the paper reported. Green Bay released 36-year-old fullback William Henderson, leaving Brett Favre as the only member of the 1996 Super Bowl championship team still playing for the Packers. Baltimore released 350-pound guard Edwin Mulitalo, who missed most of last season with a torn triceps. Washington released kicker John Hall, a 10-year veteran who missed most of last season with a leg injury. Pittsburgh re-signed running back Najeh Davenport, who backed up Willie Parker after being signed last September. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img With the Ravens reportedly interested in acquiring Buffalo running back Willis McGahee, Lewis decided to look elsewhere and found a fit with the Browns – the team he torched for an NFL-record 295 yards in 2003. He rushed for 2,066 yards, the second-highest total in league history, that year. With Lewis on board, the Browns must decide what to do with incumbent Reuben Droughns. They owe Droughns a $1.75 million roster bonus later this month. Daniel Graham became the latest addition to the Denver Broncos, one of the most active teams so far this offseason. The Broncos agreed Wednesday with the former New England tight end on a five-year, $30 million deal that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. A team spokesman said he could not comment. The deal was disclosed by a person familiar with the deal who requested anonymity because it had not yet been signed. last_img read more

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Families cross globe to adopt

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SANTA CLARITA – Heard the one about the traffic engineer who has no car? Punch line: Why? Because his wife needs the family minivan to cart around their two biological kids, two adopted daughters from war-torn Liberia and soon, in the remaining empty seat, an adopted son from Uganda. Shades of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Santa Clarita? No. Ian Pari, a senior traffic engineer for the city, and his wife, Cheryl, who home-schools the kids, are among a growing number of local couples who eschew a suburban manse brimming with goodies in favor of sharing their possessions and following religious beliefs that call for helping those less fortunate. Their neighborhood pals include blended siblings in the Stewart household nearby. Kayla and Chad Stewart, both 37, had four biological children, all girls, before they adopted twins Matthew and Mark, now 6, from Liberia four years ago. “They were only 11pounds (Matthew) and 18pounds (Mark) when they came to us,” Kayla Stewart said. For comparison, she notes U.S. babies 2monthsold weigh 11pounds. “About a year and a half after Matthew and Mark were with us – they told me to sit down first – the adoption agency called,” she continued. “One day, they found out (the boys) had a brother, and three weeks later they found out there were more.” That was two years ago, and those youngsters are now 9 and 7. Chad Stewart, a digital animator with Sony Pictures Imageworks in Culver City, will travel to Liberia in the coming days to meet the boys’ biological father. `Missing pieces’ “My plan is to try to fill out the missing pieces of the story for my boys,” Chad Stewart said. “When they’re older, to try to give them some answers: what their mom was like – she died the day after the twins were born – what their dad is like, the history of when they were there, the events going on around them.” The record will be mainly audio, but Stewart will bring an MP3 recorder and a digital camera with some video capacity. He plans to write a book detailing the trip. An armful of vaccinations has prepared his body for the experience, but his mind is another matter. “The farthest I’ve been out of the country is Niagara Falls or Tijuana,” he said. According to the CIA World Factbook, Liberia was settled in the 1800s by slaves freed from the United States and experienced political upheaval, dictatorial rule, revolt and civil war. It notes the “security situation is still volatile, and the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country remains sluggish.” At last, a brother The Paris daughters were escorted to the United States by a Liberian pastor who works for Angels Haven Outreach, the local nonprofit agency that assists with international adoptions. The Paris plan to travel to Uganda on April28 to appear in court and handle the logistics for the safe passage of Jay – known as J.J. – a 31/2-year-old boy found abandoned on the road and taken to an orphanage when he was about 7weeks old. “I’m excited about it,” Daniel Pari said. “I won’t be the only boy. I can teach him different things.” Alison chimed in, “(Yeah), how to make armpit noises!” Someday, Jlatu and Armie can tell J.J. about how their dad died from cholera and their mom, unable to care for them, put them up for adoption. The two boys will share a bedroom, and the three girls share a room in the three-bedroom home. To emphasize the bonds of family life, the Paris have simplified their schedule, eliminating cable-TV service in favor of watching videos and DVDs and casting off sports and clubs, except for an after-school Bible study program at a local elementary school. Daniel’s favorite pastime is whittling, and the girls’ favorite is universal. “We’ll spend a whole Saturday just doing hair,” said Cheryl, 40. Armie recalled life before Valencia, when she could not sleep over at her grandma’s house because the roof had so many holes. “It rained a lot,” she said. “We had to use buckets over our heads.” The girls saved their traveling outfits from Liberia, sewed by the great-grandmother. “Jlati’s fits me.” The cost of caring for the children over a lifetime is borne by the adoptive families, but the cost to adopt the sisters was about $20,000. Ian Pari said the U.S. government provides a generous income tax credit for adoptive families, but they must spend the money first. He likened the nine- to 12-month lead time before the kids arrived to viewing an ultrasound. “You have the photos, but you don’t have the kid,” he said. judy.orourke@dailynews.com (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “In the Old Testament, God talks about caring for orphans. There are a lot of orphans in the world,” said Ian Pari, 44. “Through personal meditation and prayer … my reasons for not wanting to adopt – selfish reasons, I didn’t want my lifestyle to be impacted – once I put those thoughts aside, I thought `We have so much to share.”‘ The couple talked 20 years ago about how many biological kids they desired: two. If they wanted more, they would adopt someday. After becoming born-again Christians in the late 1990s and finding their kids were self-sufficient, their desire to adopt and the pool of prospective adoptees grew a lot larger. Some ask why an international adoption. “I have limited resources, have a certain income, my house is only so big, where are orphans in the greatest need?” Pari said. “Without question, it’s the continent of Africa.” When orphaned sisters Armie, pronounced Ah-mee, now 5, and Jlatu, now 7, stepped off a plane in Los Angeles after a 36-hour flight three years ago, they were culture-shocked and ill. Their intestines were riddled with roughly a dozen parasites, and Jlatu had an eye condition that untreated could have left her blind. The girls are now bouncy and blended into their new family, which includes Alison, 15, and Daniel, 12.

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Black Friday in Fort St. John this Friday

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first_imgListen to Moose FM between 4pm and 8pm on Friday November 28 to hear about even more deals at the participating businesses.This year these business are participating and staying open late:Computer Emporium8 Seconds Western WearArctic SpasDeesta Hair DesignMerwin OpticalNeedful ThingsMarcy’s Bright IdeasMarc JosephSystems Sound Source – Advertisement –last_img

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Secretive boss demands silence from workers

By on January 3, 2020

first_imgPrince, a 38-year-old native of Holland, Mich., started Blackwater with a few commando buddies from the Navy, using millions of dollars he inherited from his family’s auto-parts fortune. For its headquarters, he chose a tiny community called Moyock, on a remote, empty stretch of North Carolina swampland. A year after leaving the Navy in 1996, he founded Blackwater primarily as a training center for law enforcement. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, Blackwater expanded to become the largest of the State Department’s three private security contractors. Since 2001, it has earned more than $1 billion in federal contracts. The company first drew attention in 2004, after four Blackwater contractors were killed while escorting a convoy through the Iraqi city of Fallujah. When the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigated that incident earlier this year, Prince sent Blackwater’s attorney to represent his company. A few months later, he grew uncomfortable on stage as photographers snapped his photo at a technology conference in suburban Raleigh. Conference officials later asked the photographers not to publish the photos. By Mike Baker THE ASSOCIATED PRESS RALEIGH, N.C. – Since founding Blackwater USA a decade ago, Erik Prince has gone to great lengths to avoid attention, trying to prevent photographers from taking his picture and demanding that his contractors never speak with reporters. The veil of secrecy was lifted Tuesday as the former Navy SEAL was called to Congress to defend his security company against allegations it covered up the killings of Iraqi civilians. When in public, he often uses his hand to shield his face from cameras. Former and current colleagues demur when asked about him, not willing to betray Prince’s loyalty or annoy the secretive leader. “He’s trying to run a business and run it professionally under strenuous conditions,” said Scott Traudt of Cohort International, a Lebanon, N.H.-based competitor. “Realistically, there’s ongoing projects by (terrorist groups) to collect data on private contractors.” Prince’s family has long-standing ties to the GOP in Michigan, where his sister, Betsy DeVos, once served as chair of the state Republican Party. “We strive to perfection,” Prince told the the House committee Tuesday, noting that 30 contractors have died working for Blackwater.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

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GAA NEWS: LETTERKENNY GAELS SEEK NEW MANAGERS

By on December 27, 2019

first_imgLETTERKENNY GAELS CLUB NOTESApplications are invited in writing for our Reserves, Under 21 and Minor Football Team Manager Posts. Written applications must be lodged with Jim McGlynn, Club Secretary by email or post not later than Friday, 8th January 2016. Further Information is available on our Club Website, Facebook and Twitter.There are still remaining Donegal GAA Yearbooks available which can be purchased by contacting 087 2931458. Priced at only €10 these 212 page glossy publications include full coverage of all things GAA in the county and also a comprehensive review of the season at Letterkenny Gaels. The annual Presentation Buffett took place last Tuesday night in the Arena 7. The Club Person of the Year was awarded to James Frain while presentations were made to the following players:Senior Players of the Year: Darren Hunter and Kevin Kilkenny, Reserve Player of the Year: Bobby Carey, Most Improved Player of the Year: Sean McDonagh, Under 21 Player of the Year: Conor McBrearty, Minor Players of the Year: Shane Graham and Cormac Cannon. For a full review and photos of the night please see our Club Facebook.The club AGM has been rescheduled for Saturday 16th January at 6pm in our Club Room at the Glebe. All club members are asked to make every effort to attend.Tickets for the GAA National Draw are now on sale. This is a great way of raising much needed funds for the club. Tickets priced at €10 are available from club members. For details of prizes see Letterkenny Gaels Facebook page.Camogie training and the winter league for u-8 & u-10 teams resumes on 29th of January from 6-6.45pm at the LYIT. U-12 camogie and girls circuits will also resume on 29th from 7-8pm. New members always welcome. Contact 086 8163505 for more details. Hurling training for u-6 to u-13’s resumes on Monday 25th January from 6-7pm at the Aura. All welcome. Please note change of time and venue. Contact 086 8405785 for more details.Underage football will resume on Friday 5th February at 6pm for u-6 at Woodlands NS and u-8 in the Aura at 7.30pm.Underage football presentation night will be on Saturday 30th January in the Gaels Club Room.For regular club updates and photos see our club web page, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @LetterkennyGaelGAA NEWS: LETTERKENNY GAELS SEEK NEW MANAGERS was last modified: January 5th, 2016 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:Letterkenny Gaels noteslast_img read more

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DONEGAL AND TYRONE CHAMBERS UNITE TO PROMOTE ACCESSABILITY

By on December 25, 2019

first_imgThree Chambers of Commerce in the North West have come together to promote accessibility in Donegal and Strabane.The heads of the Chambers in Letterkenny, Ballybofey / Stranorlar and Strabane have come out in support of the Change a Little, Change a Lot Accessibility Awards. The awards programme encourages organisations make little changes to their work practices and working environment under four headings: access to information, built environment, communication and attitudes and awareness.Funding for this project has been provided by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme, secured by Co-operation and Working Together’s (CAWT) Community Awareness Programme.Toni Forrester CEO of Letterkenny Chamber says improving access is a smart business move.“This is a wonderful initiative rewarding businesses who make small changes to improve accessibility. The free support package from ADAPT will help organisations to get involved, even those who feel they have little or no additional financial resources to spend in this area. We will certainly be encouraging our members to participate.” Charlie Ferry is Chairman of Ballybofey Stranorlar Chamber of Commerce. He says the importance of accessibility just makes business sense given that 12% of the population has a disability.“Organisations who are committed to looking after all their customers including those with disabilities will be honoured through this campaign and we are delighted to be on board.”Declan Hughes, Chairman of Strabane Chamber of Commerce is inviting their members to get involved.“We are asking our members to consider entering under one of the eight categories which are transport, health, education, housing, retail, industry and hospitality. Winners will be rewarded with a free marketing package from Media Box, which promises to provide free media profiling to award winning organizations in this difficult time.The Change a Little, Change a Lot Accessibility Awards programme is open to businesses, non-profit and statutory organisations based in the Strabane District Council area and in adjoining border areas within Donegal County Council’s remit including Killea, Carrigans, St. Johnston, Newtowncunningham, Manorcunningham, Raphoe, Convoy, Castlefinn, Killygordon, Lifford, Letterkenny, Drumkeen, Ballybofey, Stranorlar and Cloghan.An independent Advisory Committee will decide on the allocation of all Awards. This programme will run until May, so organizations are encouraged to enter now and make those changes which will ultimately create a win-win situation for all involved. At the end of the Campaign, eight Change a Little, Change a Lot Accessibility Awards Category Winners will be chosen and one overall Change a Little, Change a Lot Accessibility Award Winner will be announced at a Gala Awards Ceremony on 30th May 2013. For more information on the awards log onto www.changealittlechangealot.com or find them on facebook and twitter. You can also contact Media Box on 00353 74-9168478 or email Joanne@mediabox.ieDONEGAL AND TYRONE CHAMBERS UNITE TO PROMOTE ACCESSABILITY was last modified: October 9th, 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)last_img read more

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