Stirring duel Unity is key Many years ago, the Government of Jamaica rescued racing when private individuals used the cash collected at Caymanas Park and off-track betting stations to finance personal ambitions instead of improving the product and the lifestyle of the participants. This noble gesture then followed the way of most government-run institutions. It lost money, ‘bigly’. Then Danny Melville was installed as the chairman of Caymanas Track Limited, and he along with a board that believed that the track belonged to them, produced a profit in the operations for the first time at last. That run of a decade plus unfortunately came to an end when Melville became a member of parliament, and after a few years, expressed his disillusionment with politics and resigned from the then ruling party. So, a “miffed” political party, disbanded the board of directors, and as they say, ‘racing was never the same again’. The promoting company lost money year after year after year. As the annual losses piled up, the Government of the day was forced to use public funds to prop up the industry that was supposedly to be the ‘sport of kings’. Inevitably, the Government smelled the coffee and decided to divest the promoting company. As usual, that process had hiccup after hiccup, and it wasn’t until a little less than two years ago that the promoting company was divested to Supreme Ventures, giving that company a virtual monopoly on the gambling dollar in Jamaica. This move was heralded by all in the industry, because with purse increases and infrastructure improvements in the pipeline, racing in Jamaica was on the move and glory days were coming! Then, eh-eh, reality set in. Making a profit in the promotion of racing needed a number of things to take place. The first is unity of the stakeholders. Everyone needed to be respected, communicated with, and made to feel as if their opinion mattered. The next is new bettors to increase the handle on the money bet on the product every race day. Another thing needed is more horses, and ultimately more race days. Another is improving conditions at the park for both the stakeholders, patrons and the occasional visitor, who just may like what he or she sees and returns. After more than $100 million of investment, racing was still losing money, ‘hand over fist’, and rumours began swirling around that the new promoters wanted to extricate themselves from the agreement with the Government. Payment of purses on time breathed some life into the sport. Weekly bingo to increase revenue failed miserably and the new tote system was turning off bettors, as it took some time for betting machine operators to understand the system. Things just didn’t look good. So, after much deliberation, the promoting company Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment limited (SVREL), the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) got together and planned a new initiative aimed at reviving interest in the sport. The Superstakes weekend was planned and executed. The weekend began with a pre-sale banquet on the Friday before the Superstakes on Saturday. At the banquet, prospective buyers from overseas were fÍted and plans for the weekend and, indeed the future were outlined by the president of TOBA, Howard Hamilton, and the Chairman of SVREL, Michael Bernard. On Superstakes day, more than $50 million was bet on 10 races and the public was regaled with a race meet to remember. The stirring stretch duel of Horse of the Year SHE’S A MANEATER and her three-time conqueror in 2018, WILL IN CHARGE, ending with a thrilling “head bob” defeat of the colt by the filly! Then on Sunday, the annual yearling sale in the car-park of Caymanas Park had 114 horses slated for sale. Eighteen were withdrawn for various reasons prior to the beginning of the sale and the remaining 96 were sold for more than $130 million. There were two horses that fetched over $5 million dollars each; four over $4 million; five, over $3 million;14 over $2 million and 35 yearlings fetched prices of over $1 million dollars. Prices ranged from $200,000 dollars to the record $5.1 million for lot number 45, a chestnut filly by the stallion Blue Pepsi Lodge out of the Graeme Hall mare, Rumble! Could this be the herald of things to come? Could this be the elusive ‘turning of the corner’ sought by the Windies Cricket team and indeed the racing fraternity? To the eyes of the veterans of the Industry: yes! This could be it, this MUST be it. The future looks bright. The cooperation seen in the promotion of last weekend by the named industry giants needs to be nurtured and improved. Racing can improve, must improve, if only all concerned put egos aside and COOPERATE. See you at the track!
Earlier this week, the Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque revealed some shocking statistics when he disclosed that some 80 per cent of crimes in the Region are committed by youths. According to the SG, a recent study within the Region revealed that the majority of victims as well as perpetrators of crimes reported by the Police are young males 18 to 35 years old. More worrying is that the Ambassador also disclosed that according to a United Nations (UN) report, 80 per cent of prosecuted crimes are committed by youths between the ages of 19 and 29.This figure now begs the question as to what are we doing as a region and more so, as individual countries to deter our youths from the criminal world.Societies in general have taken pride in saying that children and youths are the future and possess the ability to redefine and change the socioeconomic dynamics of the modern world. While this is true – as a region, what kind of future will we have if 80 per cent of our young people are involved in criminal activities? This newspaper has always stated that there was doubt that young people possess the necessary creativity, talent, energy and drive, vision and outlook as well as transformational skills needed to confront some of the world’s most serious threats to existence as well as preservation of the environment.Here in Guyana, there are many social ills affecting citizens, especially the younger segment of the population. Locally, a perusal of the headlines in the daily newspapers supports this contention and more so, reveals violence levels not only in criminal activities but also in the school system.As Guyana Times has previously stated schools have been hard-pressed to find workable solutions to the various manifestations of violence among young people, which, for some time, have emerged as major detractions from the traditional business of schooling.There have been numerous accounts of the level of deviant behaviour occurring in schools. Teachers have long voiced their concerns in relation to their sense of powerlessness in the face of the increasing number and severity of the incidents which are occurring. In Guyana, our teachers have noted that children at astonishingly low levels in the system are demonstrating unprecedented levels of anger and aggression. In consultations aimed at finding possible solutions, many teachers have attributed the new rules limiting the use of corporal punishment in schools as a major contributory factor. Others have cited the absence of guidance counsellors, school welfare officers, social workers and a male presence in school. Whatever the reasons, as society we have a responsibility to the younger generation to guide them as they will eventually take over the reins of power and leadership.While the Government must play a crucial role in designing the relevant policies and putting in place the necessary legislative framework and other support mechanisms aimed at addressing crime and violence among young people, this burden must also be shared by other stakeholders too, inclusive of religious organisations, the Private Sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).Some breath of hope for young people in the Region was also addressed by the Caricom Secretary General when he said that the Crime Prevention National Plan and the Caricom Youth Development Action Plan are two of the main policy frameworks, which will guide the design and implementation of policy and programmes in Member States to address crime and violence from a prevention perspective through addressing the underlined social factors. This is welcome news, but as a region, we have to be mindful of not reaffirming, redefining and recommitting to these policies in a timely matter, not realising that the very young people who are to benefit from these policies can become delinquent adults before regional Governments finalise a paper declaration if we do not act quickly. The matter of young people in crime needs urgent attention which requires a comprehensive and collective effort regionally.
Ricks Institute Principal and Chief Administrative Officer, the Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay, says his administration is pleased to announce the resumption of school since its official closure during the 2013-2014 academic year due to the Ebola outbreak.The outbreak led to the closure of all schools in the country by the government.“While students and staff at Ricks are excited about the reopening of the school, the Ricks administration has been putting measures in place for the continuous fight against the deadly EVD during the school year and beyond,” Dr. Menjay told the Observer Education Desk.Ricks boarding students, he said, are scheduled to arrive on campus on March 1 and classes will resume on March 2. “No student will be allowed on campus after 5:30 p.m. Due to the Ebola menace, all students will be medically screened,” said Rev. Menjay. Meanwhile, each student has been advised to bring a gallon of chloride as well as his or her own bottle and hand sanitizer on campus. At the same time, Ricks has adjusted its school uniform policy while strengthening Ebola prevention measures.“All Ricks Institute students are required to wear blue jeans/ long skirt and long sleeve, buttoned down solid color shirts. There will be no skinny jeans and stripy shirts,” Dr. Menjay declared.Also, dark colored tennis shoes and black or brown belts will be accepted as part of the uniform. Solid white or maroon shirts are reserved for 12th graders.Meanwhile, all teachers and administrative staff are required to wear long sleeve shirts and trousers or skirts as part of the Ebola preventive measures. “The temperature of students in the dorms will be tested twice a day, while commuting or day students will be tested prior to entering campus each morning. Teachers and other staff are required to undergo temperature tests,” the new policy states.According to Dr. Menjay, the decision to adjust its uniform policy was the administration’s way of remaining sensitive and proactive in the collective fight against the deadly Ebola virus. “Since blue jeans are easily accessible or owned by students, parents do not need to worry about securing extra money to purchase blue jeans.”Ricks Institute, a grade school from K to 12 Grade, is a learning and faith community of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, Inc. (LBMEC).HistoryRicks Institute, formerly called “Zodokai Mission,” began through the generous contribution of Mr. Moses U. Ricks, a Liberian Baptist farmer from Clay Ashland, Liberia. Mr. Ricks donated the highest amount of US$500 which was used to purchase the property where the institution is currently located, about 1000 plus acres of land. The campus is located in the beautiful and scenic area of Virginia, about 16 miles east of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. The Ricks campus has limitless space for expansion. Designed as a co-educational residential campus, the school’s boarding facilities have the capacity, once in full operation, of hosting about 620 students as well as housing for staff and faculties. Ricks academic level runs from kindergarten through Grade 12th.Since academic year 2007-2008, Ricks Institute restarted both the boarding school and the day school (with students from the nearby community and villages.) The school attracts students from all over Liberia and beyond. The school, in 2010, reopened its elementary boy’s dormitory.According to Dr. Menjay, the school has renovated and subsequently reopened its elementary girls’ dormitory. “As Ricks aims to resurrect from the ashes of destruction, looting, bloodshed and pains, it is in desperate need of financial assistance” since the civil war that ravaged its facilities.“We believe that Ricks Institute, although scarred by immense struggles, has again under our administration, become a beacon of realized hope and possibilities for Liberia through providing holistic educational opportunities for young lives, which in turn will provide future [service] to Liberia and the society beyond.”Meanwhile, many other schools in and around Monrovia, including faith-based and privately-owned as well as government-run institutions are gradually reopening their doors for academic activities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…for PNCHow quickly we forget. Yesterday was 9/11, but although 25 Guyanese perished on that fateful day in 2001 when the World Trade Centre was brought down, not a peep was heard here on their behalf. Surely they all had relatives and friends who’re still around? Or what about the government. Surely if they can remember the Cubana tragedy, they can remember 9/11. But when you think about it, it’s not really the people’s fault, is it?The equivalent of our Twin Towers – our Constitution and its supremacy were brought low since June 18 when our final Appellate Court, the CCJ ruled on the NCM, issued its consequential orders based on its powers of Judicial Review, but the PNC refused to obey. If the New York Twin Towers destruction shocked the entire American nation, what else can we expect of the Guyanese people when the entire edifice on which their nation stands has been detonated.While the Guyanese might not be constitutional scholars, their reaction to the flagrant disrespect shown by Granger and the PNC to the Constitution and the Courts comes out of their own grounded experience with “the law”. If at any time, an ordinary Guyanese breaks the law – even in a matter as small as smoking a spliff – and he’s brought in front of the courts, he knows what’s in store for him, when the orders of the Court are handed down. He’s thrown into the lockups to serve a sentence as laid down by the law.But for Granger and the PNC Cabinet, however, even though the Constitution says they must resign, and the Courts have said they must resign, they’re still enjoying their offices and perks. The people know that “something is wrong in the state of Guyana,!” They intuitively know that once you destroy the constitutional order, it’s like cutting a limb you’re sitting on, while you’d over a mass of bubbling lava.We’ve all gone along with the laws of Guyana and when we break those laws we are punished. But now the people are beginning to sense that maybe they also can get away with with unlawful behaviours – just like Granger and PNC cohorts. But unlike Granger and company, they’re deeply troubled at the prospects of anarchy being loosened upon their world. They’re on their own in their predicament. And it’s for this reason they’re fixated on their choices between the devil and the deep blue sea. With no thought for those who perished on 9/11But the day of judgement is nigh upon Granger and his myrmidons. Time longer than twine, and elections will throw them into the lava of oblivion.…before year end?Your Eyewitness is confused …and so are a host of Guyanese who, as described above, are simultaneously in a state of shock at the lawlessness of the Granger brigade. Last we had heard from the GECOM Secretariat was that elections were going being pushed back till next March, 2020. But after the Opposition Leader and his team sat down with GECOM, one of his team reported it’ll be before year end.Now, what’s going on here?? The Secretariat’s supposed to be working for GECOM, no? Or is it, under the new Chair, they’re now working for the Secretariat?? And exactly who in the Secretariat is making the pronouncements. We know who’s making the announcements. But that’s neither here nor there. The CEO of the Secretariat Lowenfield is reportedly sick. Has the tensions of being pulled in one direction and then the other given him “the big one” like Fred Sandford?But he should know that GECOM only proposes and its the President who disposes when it comes to elections dates.And he don’t give a hoot!!,..for Caribbean Airlines??For years, CAL has ensure that Guyanese know that there ain’t no “friendly skies” for us, as far as getting to NY -Region 11 – for us.But their day of Judgement is arriving with Jet Blue!!
By: Kizzy ColemanA village transcending expectations in terms of development, Leonora, West Coast Demerara, formerly called Plantation Leonora is situated in Region 3 (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).Leonora Police StationLeonora Secondary SchoolA now thriving village with modern establishments, Leonora can be described as one of the most exciting villages in Guyana.Neighboured by Anna Catherina and Stewartville, Leonora is a clear standout.There are a number of villages in Guyana with great historical significance, and Leonora is among them.The name Leonora is derived from the Dutch who were once occupants of this country.Leonora Synthetic Race TrackIt originated from the names of two Dutch children, a boy named Leon and girl, Nora.Leonora encompasses an area of five square miles, and was once part of the Parish of St Luke.Being a close-knit community, the three leading religions (Christianity, Hinduism and Islamism) are practiced without prejudice.HistoryVisiting Leonora, the older folks were eager to delve into the history of their now modernised village.Tales were told of the old estate, the workers, and the logies.The Leonora estate which was closed down in December 1986, was ran by various proprietors, attorneys and administrators.The labour force on the estate was supplied by indentured labourers brought to then British Guiana by various countries, including India.These workers were all housed in logies that were divided into two rooms. These logies were poorly made insanitary houses built close to the estate so the workers could have easy access to plantations and for the owners to have easy access to the workers.The majority of the workers laboured in the cane fields from early morning till night—every day.Apart from the estate location in those days, Leonora was comprised of Groenveldt and pasture lands. These two areas stretched mainly along the public road, and away from the sugar estate. The rest of land that made up the area of Leonora was used for pasture, rice plots and limited farmlands. As time went by, the estate allowed some of the labourers to cultivate rice on the plots and to do limited farming.With development in the community today, those rice plots have been turned into thriving housing schemes.Leonora todayEntering Leonora today oh, how things have changed. The village has been made into one of the most developed on the WCD.Leonora is home to one of the leading hospitals in the country, the Leonora Cottage Hospital. It also houses many schools, a Magistrate Court, Fire Station, Police Station, Market and now the newly built Synthetic Race Track, the first ever in Guyana.Costing $1.084 billion, Guyana’s first Synthetic Track and Field facility was officially opened in April of 2015.Since the opening there have been major activities hosted in Leonora. It is the hope that one day Olympians will excel on the track as Guyana hopes to host the Olympics in the future.Walking around the community, excited and smiling faces could be seen as the people of the community are ready and waiting to welcome all who visit.
Julian Weigl Borussia Dortmund starlet Julian Weigl has rubbished speculation linking him with a move to Manchester City.The 20-year-old is tipped for a big future by many in Germany and Europe’s top clubs are already making enquires.Barcelona and Manchester City are at the front of the queue for the midfielder, but Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen.However, Weigl has cooled any exit talk and instead reiterated his desire to stay at the Westfalenstadion.“I really don’t plan on leaving Borussia. It’s just not an issue for me,” Weigl told Bild.“I can only stress that I am under contract at BVB until 2019, and I still want to achieve a lot with this club.” 1
QUARTZ HILL – The German-American School Association (GASA) is opening a school in the Antelope Valley to offer classes in German to children ages 4 to 16. Serving the Antelope Valley, the Santa Clarita area and eastern Kern County, the classes will be held Saturday mornings in Quartz Hill during the school year. The first day of classes is Sept. 16. Tuition is $4.40 an hour. Call (661) 810-6268 and leave a message for further information and to receive a registration packet. For more information, visit www.germanschool4kids.org/default.htmh. Parents seeking a social support network for their children as they learn German can turn to Kern Kinder, in which children, and their parents meet with their peers and participate in activities. Groups meet and events take place in varied locations throughout the Kern County and the Antelope Valley and beyond. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesFor information, call (661) 810-6268 or visit home.earthlink.net/~kernkinder/.
Bob Haueter, local aide to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, will take over as U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s deputy chief in the congressman’s Santa Clarita office. Haueter replaces Scott Wilke, who resigned recently to pursue a career as a lobbyist. He is expected to take his new position in mid-January. Haueter has served as Antonovich’s senior deputy for the last six years with responsibility for federal legislation, airports, the California Coastal Commission and community affairs in the Santa Clarita Valley. Prior to that he was chief of staff to the California State Assembly Republican leader. “Bob knows California and, more importantly, he knows the 25th District,” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, said in a statement. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’ 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The skyline of Lagos, Nigeria’s major city and economic hub.Brand South Africa’s research shows South Africa perceived positively in Nigeria and KenyaJohannesburg, Thursday 18 September 2014 – Brand South Africa today released the findings of its Africa research programme to a range of stakeholders and the media at its offices in Houghton.Brand South Africa has, for the first time, conducted primary research in Nigeria and Kenya to assess the perceptions of South Africa and our citizens. This will be followed by research in Ghana later this year.In the first of a series of reports, Brand South Africa released the results of interviews with a range of respondents including diplomats, businesspeople, citizens, policy makers and artists. The pilot study has yielded the following outcomes:Respondents in Nigeria and Kenya follow South African domestic events very closely and are very well informed about South Africa.Respondents equally view themselves as having contributed to South Africa’s freedom due to the material support the citizens of both Nigeria and Kenya contributed to our struggle for liberation.South Africans are viewed as liberal and open in nature. By implication South Africa is seen as welcoming and open. However, South Africans are also viewed as aggressive and domineering in their business relations in these countries.The respondents, particularly in Kenya, also indicated that South Africans should be more nuanced in their business entry strategy when considering expansion into Kenya. They felt that South African corporate entities do not take sufficient notice of particular market conditions and the needs of the market.In Nigeria, however, contrary to popular view, respondents suggested that they view the management practices of South Africans very positively and wish to take lessons from the way in which South African corporate entities are run.South African culture including music and arts is viewed very positively amongst respondents in Nigeria and Kenya.Although the first in a series, Brand South Africa’s research has indicated that South Africa and its citizens enjoy strong brand appeal and positive associations.However the research does have implications for the bilateral people to people interactions since relations – political or social – are actually build by people as representatives of their various institutions. One of the strongest outcomes is that there should be a stronger awareness that South Africans are part of Africa.The South African nation brand according to Brand South Africa’s research in Kenya and Nigeria About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing – because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates to individuals, NGOs to government, churches to schools, young to not so young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.There are numerous opportunities, big and small, for each and every South African to make a positive difference in the communities in which they live and operate. Play Your Part encourages them to act on these opportunities.The campaign is driven by Brand South Africa.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Boitumelo MpeteTel: +27 11 712 5007Mobile: +27 (0) 82 358 9047Email: email@example.com