“Santa in the House”

first_imgDear Editor,If there was any doubt in the minds of the people of Guyana about where the country is and where it is headed, look no further than Saturday’s headlines of the self-proclaimed “nation’s newspaper”, the Chronicle.The sordid and serious circumstances surrounding the cover-up of the Exxon signing bonus were trumped (pun intended) by the pitiful attempt to divert attention by ridiculing the Leader of the Opposition with a story that more properly belongs in the comics section of the newspaper.The main story of the day (for any true journalist) was referenced in smaller print with the positive spin that the Exxon money was intended for ICJ legal fees, and that “…Trotman sees evil intention in leaking of letter.”The headline starkly highlights the danger of the resources of the Guyanese people funding what has historically, for many decades, been a propaganda arm of whichever party is in Government. This situation was equally reprehensible when the PNC was in power and when the PPP was in Government, and is no less so now that APNU holds the purse strings.The newspaper should be divested immediately. But to the matter at hand: The two principal players in this tragi-comedy, Raphael Trotman and Winston Jordan, continue to attempt to justify their duplicity by ridiculous deflection, semantics, and obfuscation that remove any doubt that they are patently unfit for the important positions that they hold, or for any Government position whatsoever. They seem unaware of the damage their breach of trust has caused, not only to the institution of Government, but also in the international community, to whom the country will no doubt be held up to ridicule.No, Mr Trotman, the evil intention is all yours. The person who leaked that letter deserves our thanks, and did this nation a huge service displaying the courage and wonderful patriotism so lacking in many, such as yourself, who pretend to represent us. As you so blithely said on Friday in Parliament: Let him or her be blamed!And you, Mr. Jordan, we are not children. Your pathetic remonstrations about the lack of specificity of questions on the issue and that: “Nobody asked me if the Government received a signing bonus; they had a specific figure attached to it, and my specific response is ‘no,’” would be laughable were it not for the damage you have done to our nation’s credibility.And by the way sir, the journalists did do their job in exposing this farce, the lies and the deception.Guyanese must no longer accept the justification that their side did it so our side should not be criticised when they betray the nation’s trust. I have no dog in this political fight, and may have to reimburse funds to many of my friends in the USA whom I naively convinced in 2015 that a change in government would see a new day of accountability and transparency in Guyana, so sadly lacking for many decades.Of course, I know that President Granger is extremely deliberate in his decision-making, so I look forward to Monday, after he has digested all the facts over the weekend, when he announces that he cannot justify keeping in his cabinet those involved in this stain on his government and the nation.Sincerely,Robert McRaelast_img read more

Bitter sweet Christmas

first_imgAs the Budget 2018 debate continues in the National Assembly, the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government will be hard pressed to defend its decision to send home thousands of sugar workers weeks before Christmas. Thousands of workers attached to the Skeldon factory and the East Demerara Estate (EDE) located in Enmore, East Coast Demerara have been issued termination letters by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). Not surprisingly the blame/unaware game has started. On Tuesday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon quickly pointed out that Cabinet was not aware of the decision to send home workers, and, as such, was taken by surprise when the decision was reported in the media. Minutes later, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder said it would make no sense to keep those estates in operation, and indicated that he is all supportive of the move to dismiss the workers, adding that Cabinet was not surprised. From these two most senior Government ministers’ responses, are Guyanese to believe that the APNU faction of Government is not aware of what the AFC section is doing? In colloquial language “left hand doesn’t know what right hand is doing?” Certainly, this smells of lack of communication and coordination within Cabinet. Guyanese has one coalition Government, not two sides of Government; but, disappointingly, it seems as if the reality is that there are two factions. However, as the Administration continues in confusion over who knew and who did not, thousands of workers have been left on the breadline. Just a few weeks ago, workers hung on to hope after the Government announced that the closure of the Rose Hall and Enmore estates would be pushed to sometime in 2018, but all hope was shattered over the past week when the workers received their redundancy letters. As a matter of fact, that hope had escalated when the Government itself had said that the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) which was established under the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) to manage the privatisation/divestment process of the GuySuCo is yet to carry out works at the Rose Hall Estate to determine the way forward with the factory. But according to letter that was leaked to the media, it was that very Special Purpose Unit that gave direct instructions to the sugar company to send the workers home. The correspondence read, “I write to inform you that after numerous and careful discussions among the SPU team, it was decided that extending the date for the transfer of the three estates, viz Skeldon, Rose Hall and East Demerara (Enmore) beyond 31st December, 2017 would not be practicable…the SPU team has decided that we would prefer to stick to the agreed date of 31st December, 2017. The extension of the date beyond 31st December, 2017 for the transfer of the three estates to the SPU would cause a lot of operational and financial issues and difficulties.” This begs the question of whether or not the SPU was given the authority to make independent decisions and give instructions that would directly affect the livelihood of thousands of Guyanese without having to inform Government. During presentation of the White Paper on the sugar industry back in May, the Agriculture Minister had said that even with major restructuring of the industry, GuySuCo is required to retain many of its workers for all operations on the merged estates, or factories; and those employees are to receive leased lands from the sugar company to engage in crops to be decided by both GuySuCo and the Ministry of Agriculture. Well, now that workers have been given the boot despite promises of being retained, we await to see if they would be given the land, as promised. 2017 will go down in our history books as a dark year for our sugar workers.last_img read more


first_imgAn tAire Stáit do Ghnóthaí Gaeltachta, Donnchadh Mac Fhionnlaoich T.D., ar chuairt chuig Ardoifig Údarás na Gaeltachta, Na Forbacha, Gaillimh le déanaí áit ar chas sé le fostaithe as Gaoth Dobhair – Micheál Ó Curráin, Aisling Ní Dhochartaigh agus Michelle Nic AoidhThe newly appointed Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Dinny McGinley T.D., on a recent visit to Údarás na Gaeltachta head office in Na Forbacha, Galway where he met with employees from Gaoth Dobhair – Micheál Ó Curráin, Aisling Ní Dhochartaigh and Michelle Nic Aoidh.DINNY MEETS GAOTH DOBHAIR STAFF AT UDARAS IN GALWAY was last modified: March 22nd, 2011 by gregShare 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

Courtois could leave Blues over sour relationship with coach Lollichon – reports

first_imgChelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois could leave Chelsea this summer after a deterioration in his relationship with Blues goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon.Courtois is unhappy with Lollichon’s training methods and isn’t enjoying working with the Frenchman, according the Daily Mail.Real Madrid, his former club Atletico Madrid and Paris St-Germain have all been linked with the Belgian who has ‘not got on all season’ with his specialist coach.   The Blues would demand a fee in the region of £50million for their stopper who became the club’s established No.1 following the departure of Petr Cech to London rivals Arsenal last summer.Despite the situation with Lollichon, Courtois remains keen to work under in-coming boss Antonio Conte.In-coming boss Conte will bring his own backroom staff, but Lollichon, who joined the Blues in 2007, is expected to stay. Courtois is the Blues’ established No.1 after the departure of Petr Cech 1last_img read more

Guild tackles reality and candyland

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “Mockingbird” is directed by TimBen Boydston, with Brian Watts as assistant director. The audience of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will experience the excitement and wonder of young Charlie Bucket (Jonah DiPaolo) as he visits the factory of chocolatier Willy Wonka. Charlie meets the strange and colorful little people who help Wonka create his amazing sweets while trying to overcome his own failings and win the ultimate prize. “Charlie” is directed by Ovington Michael Owston, with Tamarah Ashton acting as assistant director. Tickets to both productions range from $8 to $13 and are available by calling the guild box office at (661) 799-2702. The theater is at 24242 San Fernando Road, Newhall. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEWHALL – The Canyon Theatre Guild has two plays opening this weekend, one based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the other on a classic children’s book. “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be presented at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will be presented at 2 p.m. Saturdays and 6:30 p.m Sundays, both through Feb. 26. “To Kill a Mockingbird” tells the story of small-town Alabama lawyer and widower Atticus Finch and his two children in the Depression-era South. Finch, played by Michael Levine, risks everything to defend Tom Robinson (Parris James), a black man wrongfully accused of attacking a white woman. While Finch fights for Robinson’s life, his children Scout (Kaylin Mahoney) and Jem (Dante Belardinelli) learn the realities of racial prejudice. They also learn to overcome their fear of the unknown as personified by their mysterious neighbor, Arthur “Boo” Radley, played by John Candelaria. last_img read more

Man United to move for Chelsea star, Liverpool want Dortmund sensation? GOSSIP

first_imgHere are the top transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers…Liverpool are keen to land Borussia Dortmund sensation Christian Pulisic this summer. Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp wants to be reunited with the exciting winger after signing him when in charge at Dortmund. (Daily Star)Jose Mourinho is eyeing a reunion with Willian at Manchester United. The 28-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea under Antonio Conte this season. Mourinho is a huge fan of the Brazilian and snapped him up at the start of his second spell in charge of the Blues. (Daily Star)Adnan Januzaj wants to stay in England when he is shown the exit door by Manchester United this summer. The 22-year-old Belgian ace is facing the axe by Jose Mourinho after failing to establish himself at Old Trafford. (The Sun)Chelsea are ready to steal a march on Manchester United in the race to sign £25m-rated Belgium sensation Youri Tielemans. Chelsea are weighing up a bid as soon as the transfer window opens after sending a scout to watch him against Manchester United this week. (Daily Express)Karim Benzema is once again being lined up by Arsenal – and could replace Alexis Sanchez this summer. Benzema is being considered by the Gunners as they prepare for Chilean star Sanchez’s probable exit from the Emirates. (Don Balon)Glen Johnson is close to signing a new contract at Stoke, after Mark Hughes moved to prevent the defender leaving on a free transfer. Johnson is in advanced talks over a one-year deal and expected to sign in the next few days, despite interest from Premier League rivals West Ham and Crystal Palace. (Daily Telegraph)West Bromwich Albion and Celtic are set to fight it out to sign the KAS Eupen forward Henry Onyekuru. Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has stayed on the trail of the 19-year-old ever since he had a £1million bid for the teenager rejected in January. Celtic plan a new approach this summer but will have to fight off rival interest from Albion. (Daily Mirror)Dimitar Berbatov has revealed he held talks over a move to Sunderland. The former Manchester United and Tottenham striker has been without a club since he left Greek side PAOK in 2016. (The Sun)last_img read more

Manchester United transfer news: Henrikh Mkhitaryan rejects Inter Milan

first_img The midfielder has fallen out of favour with Jose Mourinho 1 Henrikh Mkhitaryan has rejected the chance to leave Manchester United for Inter Milan.The midfielder has fallen drastically out of favour with Jose Mourinho and looked set for a move away from Old Trafford this month.Inter were keen to land the 28-year-old on loan having watched him multiple times this season.However, the Armenian looks set to spurn their advances.According to Sky Italia, Mkhitaryan has no desire to move to the San Siro.Former club Borussia Dortmund are said to still be keen in bringing him back to the Westfalenstadion.last_img read more

Groundwater ruling marks boundaries

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Komar was appointed to hear the case by the Judicial Council of California. The boundaries of the groundwater basin generally lie at the foothills of two mountain ranges in the western part of the Antelope Valley and meander through Edwards Air Force Base eastward toward the county line. Komar is overseeing the 7-year-old court case involving about a half-dozen lawsuits filed on behalf of two Kern County farming companies and a Los Angeles County waterworks district. The litigation stems from lawsuits filed by Diamond Farming Co. and Wm. Bolthouse Farms Inc., in 1999 and 2001, against Antelope Valley water districts and government agencies. The companies were seeking priority rights to the water beneath their Antelope Valley farmland. In 2004, Los Angeles County jumped into the fray, saying, with population growing and farm irrigation up 40 percent over five years, that Antelope Valley’s underground water supply is declining. Ruling against the federal government, a judge has decided that the groundwater basin will serve as the geographic boundary in a case that could place limits on how much well water can be pumped annually from Antelope Valley’s dwindling aquifer. The federal government favored broadening the litigation to take in the watershed area, which would include mountain streams that feed into the basin, in order to have a comprehensive adjudication and avoid the government from being subject to piecemeal litigation. “We always felt that extending the case beyond what is the groundwater basin was not necessary and also contrary to existing law for the way this is traditionally done,” Principal Deputy County Counsel Fred Pfaeffle said. Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice said they were reviewing the ruling by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Jack Komar, which came after three days of hearings in October. County officials filed complaints calling for adjudication, or a judicial determination of the groundwater rights of public and private parties in the Antelope Valley. Pfaeffle said the intent is to not serve the smaller landowners and water users but to give them the opportunity to participate in the lawsuit by a mechanism similar to a class action where they don’t have to hire an attorney. “There’s always the hope that all major users of water will agree to an out-of-court physical solution and institute measures to save our water basin from degradation,” Pfaeffle said. Management of water is needed because users of water in the Antelope Valley are taking out basin water at a faster rate than it can be recharged, Pfaeffle said. “The rights claimed in the watershed must be such that without adjudicating those rights in the instant action, the United States (and other parties) would be subject to further, separate litigation regarding other claims of right affecting their rights to water within the aquifer. It should not be a potential claim based on some theoretical future conduct, but rather an actual claim based upon an existing right,” Komar wrote. “The focus of this comprehensive litigation is the determination of rights to water that is within the ground water basin. And the watershed is not part of the aquifer within the ground water basin,” Komar wrote. But to the extent that any other identified parties outside the boundaries of the groundwater basin make a claim to groundbasin water, or who claim a right to control basin recharge water from the watershed, they may be joined as parties either through a motion to amend a complaint or by cross-complaint. “These boundaries are established for purposes of ensuring that the most reasonably inclusive boundaries will be used to ensure a complete and final adjudication of rights to the ground water,” Komar wrote. “As the litigation in this case progresses certain geographical areas, upon further evidence, may appear to lack any real connection to the Antelope Valley aquifer and such areas may ultimately be excluded. Other areas may be added as evidence establishes a claim adverse to the rights of the other parties involved in this groundwater adjudication,” the ruling said. 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

Some sold on idea of ‘Seinfeld’ Festivus

first_imgMILWAUKEE — Kevin Campanella hates buying and receiving Christmas presents that he says inevitably disappoint. This year, no such worries. Campanella plans to seek “serenity now” by celebrating Festivus, a wacky holiday popularized in a 1997 “Seinfeld” episode. Billed as “Festivus for the rest of us,” the holiday celebrated by the Costanza clan on Dec. 23 features an airing of grievances and feats of strength in which a guest must pin the host before the party ends. In protest of Christmas’ commercialism, character Frank Costanza puts up an unadorned aluminum pole instead of a tree. The metal, he says admiringly, has a “very high strength-to-weight ratio.” “I just always loved that episode,” said Campanella, 28, a landscaper from Warwick, R.I. “But it’s not so much about the show — I think the idea of Festivus is a good idea.” So does The Wagner Companies. The Milwaukee-based maker of hand-railing components is bringing back its line of Festivus poles for the holiday season. The company had plenty of metal rails on hand already and launched the product last year on a whim. “We did it mainly as a lark. We never looked at it as a tremendous moneymaking scheme,” said Tony Leto, the firm’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “But in many ways, Festivus is taking on a life of its own.” Wagner, which made $15 million last year from products including handrail brackets and pipe elbows, earned only a few thousand dollars from Festivus pole sales. Leto said the company received some media publicity upon launch of the poles but he credits bloggers with strong “Seinfeld” loyalties for spreading the news far and wide. Wagner sold about 250 poles in 2005, with around 100 sales coming from the firm’s 120 employees. This season, it sold about 300 poles by mid-December and was on pace to sell twice that number by Saturday, said Leto, whose claim to fame is that he shared a drama class with Jerry Seinfeld at Queens College in New York. Wagner offers a 6-foot Festivus pole for $38 and a 2-foot-8-inch tabletop model for $30. The setup is simple: a hollow pipe, 1.9 inches in diameter, inserted into a collapsible aluminum base. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, a “Seinfeld” fanatic who claims to have seen every episode eight times, proudly displayed one of the company’s poles last year at the governor’s mansion in Madison. But Doyle said he will donate the pole to the Wisconsin Historical Museum after reports that “Seinfeld” co-star Michael Richards used racial slurs during a standup comedy routine last month. Leto said he hoped the Richards incident wouldn’t affect his company’s sales. “Fans know it was a Costanza holiday, not a Kramer holiday,” he said, referring to characters played by Jerry Stiller and Richards. “Anyway, Kramer eventually rejects the holiday at the end of the episode.” Gabriel Morales, 32, of Atlanta, said Richards’ tirade didn’t keep him from ordering a Festivus pole earlier this month. “You know, people make mistakes, they say stupid things,” said Morales, an information technology analyst who held his Festivus party early this year to coincide with a monthly dinner club. “No one at the party really cared about that either.” The “Seinfeld” Festivus episode developed from series writer Dan O’Keefe’s childhood experiences. His father invented the holiday in the 1960s. “As a kid, we’d come home and there’d be weird decorations,” said the 30-something O’Keefe. “There was the playing of strange German and Italian pop music from the ’50s. And the airing of grievances was a real thing.” Instead of a pole, his family celebration featured a clock and a bag. (O’Keefe said his father won’t say what they symbolized.) Wagner’s Leto acknowledged the irony of making money off a holiday that celebrates anti-commercialism. But the company is having too much fun with the holiday to stop now, he said. O’Keefe doesn’t begrudge Wagner’s commercial efforts. “It sounds to me like they’re making a good living — good for them,” O’Keefe said. “It’s just this joke holiday on a TV show. If they want to make a buck on it, go for it.” Or, as Seinfeld might say, not that there’s anything wrong with that. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d see160Want 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

Chelsea fans produce banner pleading with Hazard to stay at final game of season

first_img NBCSN 2 The Chelsea fans made a banner with a message for their star man Chelsea fans sent a very clear message to Eden Hazard at their final game of the season on Sunday.The Blues’ travelling support at Leicester produced a banner prior to kick-off that simply read: “Eden Hazard bleeds blue. Chelsea is your home.” 2center_img Hazard started on the bench at the King Power Stadium after playing 120 minutes in the side’s Europa League semi-final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.Maurizio Sarri’s men were taken all the way to penalties, emerging victorious with Hazard netting the winner.Despite being among the substitutes, he will have undoubtedly seen the banner which was on show for all to see and picked up by TV cameras. Eden Hazard was seen warming up, but didn’t start the game Hazard has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid on several occasions during his time at Stamford Bridge, though the transfer now seems inevitable to go through this summer.The Belgian has just one year left on his Blues contract and, at 29 years of age, is expected to depart the club and join up with Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu.last_img read more