Cuban fighters dominate Pan Am Games boxing

first_imgBoxing powerhouse Cuba made it clear that they are the top nation in the sport in the Americas, and are still a potent force in world amateur boxing, when they won 10 medals in the recently concluded Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. They were in the finals of all the men’s boxing divisions, and ended up with six gold and four silver medals. They did not enter any female boxers.Host nation Canada also performed brilliantly and took home three gold and three bronze medals. The United States won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals to take third spot in the medal placing. Canada’s female boxers won two of the three gold medals that women competed for, while the highly favoured US team, won the other female gold medal.This performance by Cuba, made them the most successful nation in boxing since the Pan American Games started in 1951. To date, they have won 90 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze medals, for a total of 126. The US are second with 33 gold 32 silver and 41 bronze for a total of 106, while Argentina are third with 21 gold, 15 silver and 27 bronze for a total of 63.It was recognised from the start of the competition that Cuba was the team to beat, and from day one they started to mow down the opposition. In the finals, however, competition was very keen in the lower weight classes, and four of their highly rated boxers had to be satisfied with silver.They prevailed in the heavier weight classes and although well known heavyweight Erislandy SavÛn for example, had to work hard for his victory, he took the gold medal with a 2-1 verdict over Venezuela’ s Julio Deivi. It was another Cuba versus Venezuela clash in the super heavyweight division, and Cuba again prevailed as Lenier Pero defeated Edgar Munoz on points 2-1.Outstanding performancesFemale boxers again showed that they have a place in boxing in international games, by giving some outstanding performances. They are only allowed three weight classes, but their performances were excellent throughout, and strengthened the call by AIBA president C.K. Wu, for more places for women in boxing in the various games.All three female bouts drew rave reviews for their competitiveness, and Canada took two of the three gold medals. Cheered wildly by the home crowd, flyweight Mandy Bujold gave herself a birthday present, by defeating highly favoured American Marlen Esparza on points, while lightweight Caroline Veyre defeated Argentina’s Dayan Sanchez, also on points.In one of the other highlights of the competition, American Claressa Shields lived up to expectations and defeated Yenebier Guillen from the Dominican Republic, on points, to take the middleweight title.last_img read more

The comeback kid : Rajiv Maragh and his date with destiny

first_img NO GUARANTEES “Oh no, not again!” were the last words Jamaican Jockey Rajiv Maragh remembered muttering as he tumbled and fell hard from his mount in the fifth race at Belmont Park, New York, on July 10, 2015. Not far removed from a similar spill in October 2014, when another horse clipped the heels of his mount Wicked Strong in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and where he suffered a broken arm and was sidelined for six months, Maragh feared the worst as he lay motionless on the dirt of the famous racetrack. “They say many trauma victims have no memory of the incident following a near-death experience like mine,” Maragh said in a telephone interview from his New York home. “But I remember it all … from hitting the ground and where the horse fell on me … to being wheeled away in the ambulance and asking God just to get me safely to the hospital, where I felt was my best and only chance at survival.” He said that while he didn’t yet know the extent of his injuries, he felt like he was fighting to stay alive. “My lungs had collapsed and I was running out of air and couldn’t breathe,” Maragh explained. “I felt like I was going to pass out and was just praying for the ambulance to reach the hospital.” And in what has to be one of the biggest feel-good and comeback stories in sports for the latter part of the year into the first four months of 2017, Maragh made a remarkable return and one that could see him win one of sports’ biggest prizes and on horseracing’s biggest stage – the Kentucky Derby to be held today at Churchill Downs (racing’s Holy Grail), Louisville, Kentucky. Maragh, who made his long-awaited comeback in November of last year and finished fourth in the jockey’s standing at Aqueduct, New York, with nearly 50 victories and purse money in excess of US$2 million, booked his ticket two weeks ago to ride in the Kentucky Derby by romping the US$750,000 Wood Memorial with a horse by the name of Irish War Cry. It would be his fifth appearance in the world’s most prestigious race, having finished third in 2011 with Mucho Macho Man, and fourth in 2014 with Wicked Strong. The Wood Memorial was, however, such a convincing victory that many pundits are now giving Irish War Cry more than a fighting chance to give Maragh what no Caribbean or Jamaican rider has ever done – and that is to win what is considered the most famous and exciting two minutes in all of sports – the Kentucky Derby. For Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange, the Rajiv Maragh story is truly inspirational and also one that speaks of an indomitable spirit and having an unquenchable desire to succeed. “His exceptional story, which has seen him become one of the top riders in America, is the stuff of legends,” she pointed out. “But it’s his comeback – his amazing, courageous and incredible 16-month return from several broken vertebrae, a broken rib, and a punctured lung in a racing accident – that makes him stand out.” The minister added that Maragh embodies the Jamaican spirit: resilient, determined, always trying, and never accepting defeat. “I can’t wait to see him in the Kentucky Derby. He will ride one of the favourites in one of the world’s most anticipated races. I wish him the very best and, as a nation, we will cheer him on because he is already our champion. This year, we mark Jamaica 55 by celebrating Jamaicans at home and abroad. He is certainly one of those outstanding Jamaicans who we salute.” A winner of more than 1,700 races since he first got his jockey’s licence in 2003, Maragh is the son of former top-flight Jamaican jockey-turned-trainer Colin Maragh. A former student of Meadowbrook High School in St Andrew, he has also amassed nearly US$90 million in purse earnings, averaging a personal income of US$1 million per year. Maragh, who has also won four Breeders Cup races and has ridden in faraway places such as Dubai and Japan, is the only rider in the English-speaking Caribbean to have placed twice in the Kentucky Derby. The four Breeders Cup wins are also the most by a Caribbean rider. It was at the hospital, where he underwent every test imaginable, that Maragh finally learnt the severity of his injuries. X-rays showed that he had nine fractures of the spine, broken ribs and collapsed lungs. And while he miraculously wasn’t paralysed, there was not a doctor in the room that could or would guarantee him a full recovery. “The only thing on my mind was not wanting to die,” Maragh recalled. “I wasn’t like looking down the road or thinking whether I would ever get back on a horse. It was all about survival and not wanting to go out this way.” Maragh would, indeed, survive! However, what he was about to undergo for the next 16 months would not only break even the best and most strong-willed of men, but was also enough to convince even some of his most ardent supporters that he would never ride again. “For three months, through the fall of 2015, it had to be the lowest and most painful period of my life ever,” he noted. “I literally couldn’t do anything except lie on the couch and watch television. Just walking outside was a task and a half, as I couldn’t bend, stretch or lift.” Maragh said he is forever grateful to his wife, Angelina, who was there every step of the way through the rehabilitation process and who would not give him the time or space to be down on himself. “We were very close before, but I think we became even closer throughout that ordeal,” he noted. “She was, indeed, my inspiration and the one who had to put up with all my frustration and the pain I was feeling.” Maragh, however, pointed out that through it all, there was one thing he knew for a fact deep in his mind – and that he would get back to riding races again. RETURN TO TRACKlast_img read more

No disappointments for UP despite failing to get podium finish

first_imgCoco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set UP Pep squad performs during the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUniversity of the Philippines has always carried a reputation that it will always provide the “wow” that will linger in memory in the UAAP cheerdance competition.Being eight-time champions, the UP Pep Squad was expected to at least take the podium in its return after boycotting the event in Season 79 but expectations turned to dust as the dance troupe from Diliman finished in sixth place.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:02Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening07:01In front of hometown crowd, Carlos Yulo captures SEA Games gold02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson The highlight of UP’s routine came when the middle lift of the three-lift formation paid homage to 1987 flick Dirty Dancing when Patrick Swayze carried Jennifer Grey with the latter spreading out her limbs.Co-captain Thea Obanil said they weren’t disappointed when they failed to crack the top three, saying their performance was a tribute to the UP community.“We’re still happy even though we didn’t have a podium finish, we know that we gave it our best for the UP community,” said Obanil. “We’re happy with whatever that happened, in the end the community’s still there to support us even if we don’t get a podium finish.The love we have for the UP community will always be there and the UP community’s love for the UP Pep Squad will never wander.”ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set View comments Although UP Pep Squad sunk to their lowest finish in their storied history, the captains have no disappointment.“After all that time, it still feels great to perform for the UP community because they’re always there for us,” said co-captain Megan Mendoza Cabrera in Filipino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“Actually, we have a really relaxed feeling because we worked really hard and we gave our best. This team had been through so many setbacks, injuries, but at the end we’re still able to present.”UP scored 575.50 points of the possible 800 in a routine that relied more on dance than stunts. Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Funniest #UAAPCDC2017 tweets LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Liberia’s Seemingly Endless Plight

first_imgThe deadly Ebola outbreak which began in Guinea, north of her border with Liberia, brought to light not only a fracturable nation that is barely picking up the pieces from decades of serious internal hostility but a forsaken society perforated by a century of poverty, disease, illiteracy and culture of breach of trust in Government.The former Grain Coast, renamed Liberia after her founding and independence –from the Latin word that means freedom, was sponsored in the early 19th century by a band of white American humanitarians. The images of torments and afflictions of African descendants enslaved in America appeared unbearable to them. In their view, the family of humanity that binds every human race had been dishonored. In response to such humanitarian shame, came a rescue mission to help Diasporas who wanted to return to their ancestors’ homeland.If their raw ambition was the courage that propelled these freed people of color to make the long journey back to Africa, the reasons that justified this pilgrimage appeared even more compelling. In their statement of belief, for instance, they explained that what they went through in the New World was compared to the hell in the spirit world. And that although some of them were blessed to be free in hell, while still in hell, their dream for equality and true freedom could not be fully exercised or realized in the land of enslavement.Thanks to President Lincoln who not only brought an end to the disease  for human chattel by another human in the New World but who also himself earlier realized the uncertain future for black people even in post slavery era. In one of his brain-storming debates, Lincoln appeared to recommend an uncompelled resettlement of all African Americans back to Africa where he reasoned, they would enjoy an uninterrupted equality in their ancestors’ homeland without the fear of being devalued.The noble quest for the formation of the first black civilization in West Africa was well underway precisely half a century before Lincoln’s emancipation for all slaves was realized in the Union. In Liberia’s Independence Declaration, she presented herself as a free society that had met the basic demands to be deserved the right to statehood, including the recognition and respect that came with it.Britain, the fading colonial hegemony at the time was quick to extend a hand of warm welcome to Liberia into the community of free nations. But the United States, an emerging hegemony, under whose bosom Liberia came to being, readily declined open support or recognition. The United States’ uninvolved or astringed relation with Liberia was a 19th century mindset held by European Americans and the rest of the colonial world  that black humans were incapable of self determination. What gave them such an idea was evident from how Africans lived in pre-historic Africa and what they discovered and saw, developed the concept of human possession, thereafter. But the central reasons that had caused Liberia to fall behind in every aspect of national progress, derived from her founders.After 1847, no importance was given to the concept of integration of all tribal communities under which the founders had curved out for themselves. This error became the first deadly virus that was planted in the foundation of Liberia. In Captivity, the founding fathers explained about the opprobrium inflicted to their existence in America. In freedom, they had not learned a lesson from a state of working under extreme duress. If they didn’t learn the blessing of compassion in captivity, it was difficult how they were in wait to share the blessing of their enlightenment amongst “uncultured” tribal countrymen. By the same token, physical and mental detention by force in America didn’t allow them the privilege to toy with the sense of self-reliance or self determination. The result was setting themselves up for failure –an inherent pitfall that led to three major outcries for change in Liberia –civil disobedience demonstration of 1979, Coup d’ tat in 1980 and a bloody Civil War, starting from 1989. The Americo-Liberians’, as they are passionately referred to in Liberia, ran aground the dreams and aspirations of a successful statehood. It literally collapsed under the preference for class discrimination in Liberia. They failed to guarantee social justice and equality for all Liberians. The once lost African race that had traveled thousands of miles to regain its rightful homeland had returned to become the masters.For nearly over a century and a half, the settlers in Liberia exploited their indigenous Liberians. They conspired with foreign investors to exploit and explore the abundant natural wealth of Liberia and ignored even the very basic human necessities –education, shelter, and a good health delivery system that is currently at the center of this Ebola outbreak. Greater infrastructural development never had the chance to beautify the great former Grain Coast.Instead, the country’s ruling class established fat foreign bank accounts abroad, in particular, America where they banked almost all their savings they had embezzled from the public coffer. They sent their relatives and associates to the United States and Great Britain for better education and left their nation’s scholarly and cultural sectors literally underfunded. Our founders saw the former Grain Coast, the land that nurtured them back to human restoration, only as a vacation hangout, and America as their loyal homeland. This is why Liberia is still underdeveloped, undernourished and poverty-stricken after a century and a half. They never outlived their infatuation about America because they had already been programmed to act and be American.Their reunion with their ancestors’ homeland had become meaningless. Between Liberia and America, African Americans in Liberia were neither here, nor there. They, indeed, had developed the problem of identity. Can history blame them? The answer is no, because of what our people went through in America for centuries. But if history seeks to exonerate them, then the reasons that inspired some of our lost race in America to make such historic voyage back to Africa was in vain.As Liberians hope for the best in their time of national tragedy and prepare for the worst in the wake of the Ebola outbreak, America and the world are watching with concern once again. But behind that concern is an injured society and people being paraded on the world stage in shame as infected patients and death from the Ebola epidemic take their toll weekly –including scenery in Monrovia of public squalors and tenement housing of the worst type, displayed on the world news in America, Europe and Asia Thanks largely to the Americans in Liberia who were there when the virus broke out. What is different this time as Liberians jostled for cover from this most recent national tragedy is that the contagious nature of this virus and the speed at which it is spreading, has alarmed not only the world of an Ebola ravaged Liberia but has embarrassed the privileged few and officials who often flee for cover in the face of national emergency. This time around, this segment of society is forced to remain and bear the nightmare with average Liberians who are often the victims of national humiliation throughout history. If a century and half of government by a few, a decade of government by militarism, a decade of a vile cruel civil war and an Ebola ravaged Liberia are not enough, what will it take to inspire a sense of national pride and citizenship  in Liberians everywhere? Andrew Kofi Robinson is a Liberian political writer residing in the United States and author of “Republican Bigotry Towards Obama in America.” he can be reached at Ak610robinson@gmail.com or 706 267 4053.                                          Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

UL’s Nimba Students Let Down at Fundraiser

first_imgMr. David who admonished them to eschew laziness and learn to work hard for what they want.On April 29, students from Nimba County at the University of Liberia (UL) yawned in disappointment when most of their special invited guests did not show up to help raise much needed funds for them.Students listening to Mr. David (right), who admonished them to eschew laziness and learn to work hard for what they wantThe students are in desperate need of a minimum of US$11,000 to pay their fees because the UL Student Union (ULSU) that usually provides financial aid to disadvantaged students including those from Nimba County is not in the position to do so.The ULSU financial aid scheme was halted when the UL administration realized that the student group had not met up with its financial obligations for the past two semesters. Delinquent students, whose tuition fees could not be settled by ULSU, are now compelled to pay the amount owed the university including fees for this semester.“We have more than 2000 students from that county whose fees have not been paid, but need to be in school. We want you, the county authority, and other well-meaning Nimbaians to allow the future of this county to enroll, as many of them are yet to settle their financial obligations with the university,” Nimba University Student Association (NUSA) Education Chairperson, D. Sheraton Menubay, said.In spite of the appeal, it was frustrating to the huge number of Nimba students that converged at the fundraising program that most of their lawmakers, aspirants, and other invitees did not show up.Those who showed up were the county’s district #9 Representative Matinokay Tingban, the County Development Superintendent, Mapherson David, and Wuo Dolo, a prominent Nimbaian.In his keynote address, Mapherson David blamed the low attendance on poor planning on the part of the student leadership.“Your mind is set at getting big names instead of those who have been in the struggle and will respond to your call, failing to know that those with big names will always disappoint you or only make pledges that cannot be fulfilled,” he added.Mr. David informed the students that the county’s coffer where allotments are made to support the students is currently empty. Nevertheless, he said the county administration is going to explore other avenues to possibly help the students when the administration has access to finance. He meanwhile presented L$5,000 as his initial contribution to the fundraising project. He then advised the students to eschew laziness and learn to work hard for what they want.Mr. Dolo, who works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, contributed US$25 with the advice that students should desist from violence and be serious with their academic activities.Meanwhile, Representative Tingban informed the students that he is aware of their plights; and therefore, has a scholarship program in Montserrado (Monrovia) and Nimba counties for the students.He contributed L$50,000 to the fund drive – L$10,000 presented on the spot with the balance L$40,000 to be collected anytime this week.NUSA president Andrew Z. Freeman expressed gratitude to the students for the turnout, and his disappointment with his county’s lawmakers and other kinsmen who promised to attend the fundraiser.He said although they received responses from most of the people they invited, they, however, did not receive any representative or word from them, except for district #8 aspirant V. Doolakeh Taryor, who sent a representative. Taryor’s representative gave L$3,000 as his contribution to the students.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Impasse deepens between RUSAL, bauxite unions

first_img…as company refuses to meet with workers’ union it claims is “unrecognised”…workers will continue to block river – unionsThe Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU) and other major trade union representatives were met with grave disappointment on Monday when they turned up for a meeting with representatives of the Labour Department and aluminium company, RUSAL.RUSAL representatives leaving the office of the Labour Department on MondayInstead of being able to start discussions with the aim of resolving the issue of the 90 workers being dismissed by the company, the team of trade union leaders were met with the news that RUSAL had requested not to meet with them unless President of GBGWU Lincoln Lewis was absent from the meeting.Both RUSAL and the union representatives were invited to that meeting by the Labour Department. Based on the insistence of the RUSAL representatives not to meet with Lewis, the Department of Labour held a meeting with the RUSAL representatives before meeting with the union representatives separately.This created uproar amongst the trade union representatives, which also led to Lewis, who is also General Secretary of the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC), issuing a staunch reminder to the company that they are obligated to abide by the laws of Guyana.Lewis argued that RUSAL cannot choose whom they want to speak with and when. “We have a problem with RUSAL. The problem is they come now to tell this union who must lead it, who must speak on behalf of it. The next thing they might come in Guyana and do is tell us who is the President of this country,” Lewis told media operatives. The trade unionist said that it is time that Government stands up and demands that the company respect the laws or they will treat workers worse.Meanwhile, President of GTUC Coretta McDonald said she believes it was disrespectful for the company to decide whom it wants as part of a union delegation. She said the Department of Labour should not have met with the company separately, which shows grave disrespect.Left to right: GTUC President Coretta McDonald; GBGWU President and GTUC General Secretary Lincoln Lewis; a union representative, and GAWU General Secretary Seepaul Narine following the meeting at the Department of Labour on MondayMcDonald said RUSAL had requested that workers unblock the upper Berbice River. At present, barrels and other objects are lined across the Berbice River, preventing bauxite-carrying barges from passing. The company, she said, has promised to reinstate workers once that is done.But the GTUC President noted that since 2009, there was no Collective Bargaining Agreement in place and there are tonnes of unresolved issues. “So, the union position is, we need to sit at the table, workers representatives and management, iron out our issues, after which, we will move to the next step. And they are not willing to do that,” she explained.No unblockingMcDonald said the company is more interested in getting the river unblocked because they are spending close to $1 million per day, yet they are not prepared to give the workers more than one per cent.“Seventeen days would have passed…but they are not prepared to use those monies. But we will continue to block the river until they decide that they will recognise the union, and they are going to sit and talk with the representatives of the union regardless, whoever is there,” she said.Junior Minister of Social Protection Keith Scott, who holds responsibility for the labour sector said that they both will have to finally meet. He maintained that in industrial relation practices, the two parties involved in any dispute must meet, and he believes they will meet at some point.“While we encourage investment, we have to maintain a stable investment climate which we have been doing. It doesn’t matter who threatened who or not, our country comes first and that is the priority,” Scott said.But Lewis feels that the Minister should invoke provisions of the labour laws and force the union and RUSAL to go to arbitration. He said that the blocking of the river could be used to appoint an arbitration tribunal and under the Collective Labour Agreement, it says that either party can request the matter to go to arbitration.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said recently that Government is geared at taking action against the company even if it means having the company shut down its operations in Guyana. In the meantime, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is conducting a technical and legal assessment of all of RUSAL’S operations.Sixty-one workers were fired by the Russian-owned company after they protested a one per cent salary increase, which they said was agreed to by Government. Following a meeting with Government, RUSAL refused to reinstate the workers and subsequently dismissed 30 more persons from the department in order to temporarily close it as a result of the strike actions.On Thursday, union leaders in Guyana took to the streets to stage a picketing exercise in front of RUSAL’S headquarters in Queenstown, Georgetown. The leaders called on Government to take action against the foreign enterprise, citing that it had violated laws of Guyana and the rights of workers.OppositionLast week, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said that under the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Administration, a similar matter had arisen, and the then Administration managed to save the jobs that were at risk.Jagdeo added, “we took back the company that was private to the treasury, brought it back, renationalised it and kept it going until we found a replacement…we worked hard to protect those workers there so our track record is important”.According to him, not only are private and foreign companies taking advantage of workers but Government Ministers are doing the same while making specific reference to the 7000 sacked sugar workers who had to go to the Judiciary to get their legally entitled severance payments.The Opposition Leader added that the then PPP Administration exhausted every effort to ensure that workers’ rights are protected, especially with the passing of several laws which mandated severance payments among others.Jagdeo pointed out that he has been lending Government advice which seems to be of no use.last_img read more

District working to help rural residents after flood

first_imgSome families have just begun to be reconnected after extreme flooding around the Chetwynd area cut off their access to the outside world.The Peace River Regional District is currently dealing with the Provincial Emergency Program, but the Program’s mandate is to help people’s whose permanent residence has been harmed, only, says Area E Director Tim Caton.- Advertisement -However, that means that residents with cottages in some of the hardest hit areas, like Moberly Lake, may have problems getting assistance. However Caton says the District is trying to convince the Province the damage caused was from a one in 100-year flood event and, thus, the Province should provide assistance.Caton says he has heard unconfirmed reports that Moberly Lake water levels rose 7.5 feet. He says some residents who have lived along the lake for decades say they have never seen the water that high. Although the water level has begun to drop, he says it’s receding very slowly and it could still be days before some people can return to their properties.He also adds there were approximately nine families west of Chetwynd near Highway 97 that were completely cut off since Saturday and have just recently regained basic road access.The District is urging anyone affected by the flood, no matter how minimal the damage, to contact the Emergency Operations Center at 250-784-3200.Advertisementlast_img read more

With runoffs set, school partnership likely in works

first_img“That may be a possibility for an opportunity for not only the mayor but for other people who have great proposals to propose something to the district and have us take it on as a pilot,” Canter said. “I think it’s important that we clean the slate … We both know that we’re better off together than we are apart. I feel very strongly that today is a new day and that today we will begin the walk together to create the kind of partnerships that I know we can so that all kids succeed.” Villaraigosa said at a Wednesday morning news conference that he hopes to get a cluster of schools to oversee and – regardless of the results of the May runoff – wants to partner with the district. “I think the school board and I are clear that a partnership is inevitable. We’ve got to figure out what it looks like,” he said. “I fully expect a tough campaign … Regardless of that, you’re going to see my effort and I think an effort on their part to work together.” Canter said Villaraigosa called several board members Tuesday and struck a collaborative tone. “He said, `Consider this an olive branch,’ and he said `I want to meet with you and I want to start fresh,”‘ Canter said. “I said I’ve been waiting for this since the day I became president and I’m there any time that you want to meet so I’m looking forward to starting the conversation again and working together.” Brewer echoed Canter’s openness for collaboration and said that even if the mayor gets his slate elected to the board, he doesn’t believe it will be divisive. “I think there’s going to be collaboration. With or without (legislation), it does not matter to this superintendent. I get along with the mayor, I get along with the board,” Brewer said. “I just look forward to working with whomever the people of Los Angeles elect.” The cooperative comments come after an election campaign in which 11 candidates raised more than $4 million vying for four seats on the school board. While the mayor’s slate fared well, it was far from a resounding victory. Yolie Flores Aguilar captured the District 5 seat, but his other two candidates – Richard Vladovic and Tamar Galatzan – are headed for runoffs. And with incumbent Marguerite LaMotte’s victory over charter leader Johnathan Williams – considered an ally of the mayor’s – Villaraigosa now needs Vladovic to win the South Gate seat and Galatzan to prevail over incumbent Jon Lauritzen for the San Fernando Valley seat if he is to secure a majority of four votes on the school board. Although he said he is looking forward to a new partnership with the district, Villaraigosa will continue to aggressively support Galatzan – a campaign into which his Partnership for Community Excellence committee poured more than $1.13 million. Galatzan captured 44 percent of the vote and Lauritzen 40 percent in an election that drew less than 10 percent of the city’s voters. Louis Pugliese, who said Wednesday that he has not yet decided which of the two candidates he’ll support, got 16 percent of the vote. Lauritzen has called Pugliese, and Mike Trujillo, Galatzan’s campaign manager, said they look forward to meeting with him. In the South Gate race for District 7, the mayoral-backed candidate, Vladovic, won 46 percent of the vote, while opponent Neal Kleiner got 33 percent. Former California Teachers Association employee Jesus Escandon got 22 percent of the vote, and said Wednesday that he would encourage his supporters to vote for Kleiner. United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy said it’s possible that union membership might decide to endorse a candidate in that runoff. “I think everybody is tired of this struggle,” he said. naush.boghossian @dailynews.com (818) 713-3722 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Unified School District officials heralded a new era of collaboration Wednesday, even as they braced for a bruising and costly school board runoff in just eight weeks. With a measured primary win by the mayor in his bid to gain influence on the school board, both sides quickly began finessing collaboration with aggressive pushes for their own candidates to prevail in May. And in a post-election nod to the mayor, LAUSD school board President Marlene Canter said the board is now considering offering Villaraigosa his own long-sought cluster of low-performing schools to oversee. Canter said the move comes after Villaraigosa offered a pre-election “olive branch” to school board members in private phone calls. And she said she hopes to begin discussions with the board soon on an “innovation district” developed with Superintendent David Brewer III. last_img

Gor tactical, technical show impresses Koeman

first_img0Shares0000Everton manager Ronald Koeman.PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluDAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, July 14- Everton manager Ronald Koeman was left full of praise of Kenyan Premier League leaders Gor Mahia after they pushed them to the line before winning 2-1 in a pre-season friendly match in Tanzania on Thursday.Koeman was impressed by what Gor Mahia offered especially in the first half, saying it was a very tough game and one that’s ideal to kick start their pre-season preparation. “I think it was a good game and also a difficult game. Our opponents today did really a good job to make the match difficult by working hard. They dropped a bit in the second half and we were a better team at that time. Overall I am happy with the performance, this was first friendly,:“Physically they were stronger because they are in competition while we have just begun pre-season. I was impressed not just by individuals but the whole team because they worked very hard and most of the time we failed to find our free man in midfield,” the former Barcelona midfielder noted.Wayne Rooney and team warming up.PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluEverton were forced to work hard by Gor especially in the first half when both sides fielded their strongest 11 with Ernest Wendo completely denying them space in midfield before he pulled his groin.Koeman said they found it easier in the second half because of a drop in temperature as well as a wet ground which was watered at half time, and he also attributed their improved performance to Gor’s decision not to play high in the field.The tactician is confident the Gor friendly which was their first this pre-season will spring them into a good season especially as they start their Europa League qualifiers in two weeks’ time as well as campaign to win trophies this season.Wayne Rooney takes on Kenneth Muguna and Ernest Wendo in a friendly match at the Dar National Stadium.Meanwhile, the manager has tipped Wayne Rooney to succeed in his Everton return, having scored in his first match for the club on Thursday. He says Rooney’s title winning mentality and hard work will be vital for the side’s hunt for trophies this season.“Wayne is still one of the best players in his position. He is a winner and knows how to win titles that’s what we want in the team. It is also a great experience for the young boys to play alongside him,”“Today he showed that his quality is still there with goal had a great performance. He is a player who will take us to greater heights if he keeps fitness. He is key player for Everton,” Koeman noted.The team has been busy in the transfer market with Davy Klaasen, defender Michael Keane, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and striker Sandro Ramirez among those who have already settled in at Merseyside.Koeman says he is happy with what he has brought in and targets one or two more players before calling it a wrap and focusing on the new season. He is also pleased with the young players in the squad, five of who were in the England team that won the Under-20 World Cup.The manager says for him it is not about age but the performance and says he will give them a chance in the team if they prove their worth.Everton FC manager Ronald Koeman stands infront of a shield of police officers. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluAt the same time, the future of midfielder Ross Barkley continues to remain bleak with Koeman saying he is prepared for anything with the player entangled in a transfer tussle. Tottenham Hotspur is interested and the English international is keen on moving.He was not included in the trip to Tanzania, raising further speculation.“At the moment it is not a clear situation with him. He is not fit that is why he didn’t travel. Everybody knows his situation and we will see what will happen,” the Dutchman further said.After leaving Tanzania, the team will travel to Netherlands where they will pitch camp for another pre-season friendly with FC Twente.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

GOP has OK knights, but it needs a Hillary-slayer

first_imgMajor grumbling among conservatives about the Republican field. So many candidates, so many flaws. Rudy Giuliani, abortion apostate. Mitt Romney, flip-flopper. John McCain, Mr. Amnesty. Fred Thompson, lazy boy. Where is the paragon? Where is Ronald Reagan? Well, what about Reagan? This president, renowned for his naps, granted amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants in the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill. As governor of California, he signed the most liberal abortion-legalization bill in America, then flip-flopped and became an abortion foe. What did he do about it as president? Gave us Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, the two swing votes that upheld and enshrined Roe v. Wade for the last quarter-century. The point is not to denigrate Reagan but to bring a little realism to the gauzy idol worship that fuels today’s discontent. And to argue that in 2007 we have, by any reasonable historical standard, a fine Republican field: One of the great big-city mayors of the past century; a former governor of extraordinary executive talent; a war hero, highly principled and deeply schooled in national security; and a former senator with impeccable conservative credentials. So why all the angst? If you’d like to share just a bit of my serenity, have a look at last Sunday’s Republican debate in Orlando. It was a feisty affair, the candidates lustily bashing one another’s ideological deficiencies – Mike Huckabee called it a “demolition derby” – and yet strangely enough, the entire field did well. As for Thompson, he is a paradox, too. He’s been around forever – since Watergate – and yet is mostly a blank slate. Can anybody remember anything of significance he achieved in his eight years in the Senate? Nonetheless, he helped himself in Orlando, showing that while he can be appealingly amiable and affable – a Reaganesque quality that should not be underestimated when people decide who they want in their living rooms for the next four years – he can be tough, as demonstrated by his opening salvo at Giuliani’s social liberalism. Yes, I know. I’ve left out Huckabee, whom some of my colleagues are aggressively trying to promote to the first tier. I refuse to go along. Huckabee is funny, well-spoken and gave a preacher’s stemwinder that wowed the religious right gathering in Washington last Saturday. But whatever foreign policy he has is naive and unconvincing. In wartime, that is a disqualification for commander in chief. So no more gnashing of teeth. Republicans have 41/2 good presidential candidates. All five would make fine Cabinet members: Romney at Treasury, Thompson at Justice, McCain at Defense, Giuliani at Homeland Security, Huckabee at Interior. All the team needs now is to pick a captain who can beat Hillary. Charles Krauthammer’s e-mail address is letters@charleskrauthammer.com.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 MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.McCain won the night by acclamation with a brilliant attack on Hillary that not so subtly highlighted his own unique qualification for the presidency. Citing his record on controlling spending, he ridiculed Hillary’s proposed $1 million earmark for a Woodstock museum. He didn’t make it to Woodstock, McCain explained. He was “tied up at the time.” How do you beat that? McCain’s message is plain: Sure, I’m old, worn and broke. But we’re at war. Who has more experience in, fewer illusions about, and greater understanding of war – and an unyielding commitment to win the one we are fighting right now? Giuliani was his usual energetic, tough-guy self. He fended off attacks on his social liberalism with a few good volleys of his own – at Thompson, for example, for being a tort-loving accessory to the trial lawyers – and by making the fair point that he delivers a conservatism of results. His message? I drove the varmints out of New York City – with their pornography, their crime and their hookers (well, a fair number, at least). Turn me loose on the world. Romney’s debate performance was as steady and solid and stolid as ever, becoming particularly enthusiastic when talking about the things he’s done: build a business, rescue the Winter Olympics, govern the most liberal state in the Union. He got especially animated talking about his Massachusetts health-care reform, achieved by working with an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature. His message? I’m a doer, a problem solver, a uniter. Yet when Romney simultaneously insists that he represents the purest of the pure – “the Republican wing of the Republican Party” – he presents the paradox of a technocrat running as an ideologue. Figuring that running as a sane Ross Perot doesn’t quite enrapture the Republican primary electorate, he is trying also to be the authentic Reagan conservative, filling the ideological slot George Allen forfeited when he lost his Senate race last year. It’s an odd fit that all of Romney’s smoothness and intelligence has yet to convincingly achieve. last_img read more