Hubert Lawrence: Why we run the races

first_img Wins in the college men’s discus and the high-school section by Pan-Am Fedrick Dacres of the University of the West Indies and Munro’s Kino Dunkley suggested good things for the future. With the University of Technology (UTech) having an off year, the G.C. Foster College men stepped confidently into the breach with a 4×100 win. Spare a thought for Rayan Holmes of Edwin Allen. Pulled from the start of the Champs 400-metre hurdles final through illness, Holmes redeemed himself with victory in the same event on the last day of the 122-year-old event. The boys’ 4x800m was as enthralling as Holmes’ success was heartwarming. St Jago, winners in the girls’ long jump, through Tissana Hickling, held off STETHS in 7: 33.71 seconds. It was the first win by the school in the 4x800m since 1990. For all of that, and the win by Jamaica’s men in the USA versus the World 4x100m, pride of place goes to JC. Their dominating 4x400m win was a shock. In a meet where most things went with the form book, here was one time where predictions crashed and burned. – HUBERT LAWRENCE has made notes at track side since 1980. OFF YEAR Most things ran according to the script last weekend at the 122nd Penn Relays. Big wins for Edwin Allen High, Kingston College (KC) and St Jago High were predicted by many. There was, however, one event staged inside the chilly Franklin Field venue that proved why we actually run the races. Jamaica College (JC) arrived there as one of the favourites for the Championship boys 4×100 metres, but flubbed the second baton change. Perhaps pressure had been applied by a high-speed second leg by Akeem Bloomfield for KC. The national junior 400-metre record holder helped his school to equal the meet record set by Calabar at 39.63 seconds in bright conditions last year. Hopes for a JC track victory seemed to end there. Calabar and KC held the high cards for the 4x400m, with the impressive TC Williams High School a clear and present danger. Bloomfield was withdrawn due to the threat of injury, and remarkably, a businesslike JC quartet ran the field off its feet in the final. Calabar, the winner at Boys and Girls’ Championships, got an urgent anchor leg out of wonder boy Christopher Taylor. Noah Lyles, runner-up to Taylor at the 2015 World Youth Championships, zoomed his team forward. It was all in vain as Maleik Smith, 200-metre sprinter Michael Campbell, Devaughn Baker and Phillip Lemonios produced a big surprise. Just third at Champs in 3:15.06, the Old Hope Road school blasted that season’s best down to 3:12.34. Though Baker gave them a decisive advantage on the third leg, his team had no baton carries as quick as those by Taylor and Lyles. Smart team running did the trick instead. With the Philly chill slowing sprinters all weekend, the improvement by JC from 3:15.06 at Champs to 3:12.34 at Penns is no mean feat. By contrast, Calabar clocked 3:09.77 seconds at Champs and 3:13.09 on the new track at Franklin Field. The rest of the high-school competition ran to the script, with the JC pair of Clayton Brown and O’Brien Wasome taking the high and triple jumps, respectively, and with Shanice Love of Excelsior High continuing a great season, with a national junior record in the discus.last_img read more

Is this the new PNC tactic?

first_imgDear Editor,General Elections must be held in Guyana, I repeat, General Elections is mandated for this nation by March 31, 2019, and true to form, the PNC and their thug machinery are coming up with these what I would call, new tactics. Well, it is not a totally new exercise because the moment elections are to be held in this country, there is bound to be a sudden upsurge in crime and criminal activity of some sort from the well-known PNC machinery and ‘blame it on The PPP/C’ sort of thing.This is a known strategy of theirs. Criminal activities of a certain kind destined to create fear and instability at election time are bound to show up in Guyana, period! We have grown accustomed to these things.Anytime the PNC has to face the electorate, things of this nature surfaces; the only thing this time is that they seem to have adopted another strategy, that is, trying to put PPP or PPP/C persons in the criminal spotlight. Trying to put the blame on the PPP for the instability in society and divert people’s attention from the real issue at hand, which is an imminent election. Hence, we question claims that the niece of a Former PPP Member of Parliament is planning to bomb the University of Guyana.It is rather odd that a student of the said institution would want to blow it up. The timing and the person who is said to have made those calls are highly suspect incidents that call for the most careful scrutiny ever. And even if we are tempted to believe this, the timing of this bomb threat has given them away. Why when an election is due would you get such a threat and from a PPP person? Who would want to believe this? All of the events leading up to this story has a PNC copyrighted script written all over it.They are trying their utmost to hang on to power while emasculating the Constitution and creating panic and confusion at the same time.What is even more revealing is the fact that her full name, Sheliza Jaferally, relation to a former PPP/C Member of Parliament as well as her photograph are splashed in bold all across the Government mouthpiece, Guyana Chronicle. This is pure bullyism. It shows how desperate these people are at diversionary tactics.In the first place, persons who have committed the most dastardly of deeds, even murder, are not treated this way so this latest bomb threat by a harmless student speaks volumes of the desperation campaign the PNC are waging at this time.So the PNC in their bid to hang on to power is pressing the panic button, bringing back the fear factor in society just before another election.Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more

Report: State’s children suffer

first_imgKatherine McLane, a spokeswoman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said the governor has always believed the education system needs major improvements – but not just adding more money to the budget. “We are investing record amounts of money in our schools – where are the record results?” McLane said. “Fully half of our entire budget goes to education _ making sure our kids learn in clean, safe schools, rewarding hard-working teachers who take on tough assignments, improving vocational education and supplying core-subject textbooks for students. Still, much remains to be done to fix the system.” Earlier this year Schwarzenegger made several proposals to change the education system, including instituting a merit-pay system for teachers and tenure reform. The merit pay plan was later withdrawn, while voters rejected his tenure proposal. But education leaders remain angry at the governor for what they believe was a broken promise to fully fund education in this year’s budget. Schwarzenegger has said he increased education spending by $3 billion this year, but the Education Coalition, made up of teachers unions and other groups, has said the governor still underfunded education by another $3 billion over the past two years. The California Teachers Association and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell have a pending suit against the governor, alleging that he broke state law in shortchanging education by $3 billion over two years. The case is still in its early stages and the first major hearing is not expected until early next year. A spokeswoman for O’Connell said he generally agrees with Children Now’s report. “Superintendent O’Connell agrees with the observations and recommendations in this report,” said spokeswoman Hilary McLean. “He has strongly believed that we need to invest more in our schools, address the need to close the achievement gap and improve overall student achievement. “Providing quality preschool for all students is an important element, and increasing investment in our K-12 system is critical.” Among its recommendations, Children Now urged the creation of free, publicly funded preschool for all California 4-year-olds. Earlier this month, Hollywood director Rob Reiner announced he had collected more than 1 million signatures to place an initiative on the ballot in June to raise taxes on wealthy residents to fund preschool for all California children. But beyond education, Children Now also gave the state near-failing grades for economic and food security, noting that one in five children in the state lives in poverty. “There is no question that too many children in Los Angeles County and throughout California live in families that struggle to meet their daily needs,” said Phil Ansell, director of program and policy for the county Department of Public Social Services. The organization gave the state a mix of B’s and C’s for such issues as dental insurance and access – estimating about 18 percent have no dental insurance – and after-school and early-education programs. The state’s grade of D for childhood obesity came as the report noted that 28 percent of fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders are overweight. “The D is a charitable grade for a problem that continues to get worse,” said county Health Officer Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding. “It’s already a terrible epidemic. There is no magic bullet to cure the problem of obesity. One thing I’d like to see is labeling of all fast foods so people know when they order how many calories and how much fat they are getting.” Meanwhile Tuesday, another children’s advocacy group graded state legislators’ voting records on children’s issues this year. The Children’s Advocacy Institute of the University of San Diego School of Law tracked voting records on 20 bills aimed at improving children’s lives, including 11 signed by the governor. (213)974-8985160Want 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 MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Despite efforts to promote fitness and healthier foods, the number of obese children in the San Fernando Valley and statewide has soared over the past three years, alarming experts who predict a health crisis if drastic measures are not taken. Estimates are that more than 800,000 children in the state lack health insurance – nearly 235,000 in Los Angeles County alone – and education, state and local officials continue to wrestle over funding for schools as dropout rates and student performance continue to sag. Lempert noted that while California’s education spending is near the bottom nationally, the state spends well above the national average on general government services, welfare and other social programs, health care and the criminal justice system. And despite the state’s low overall spending on education, Lempert noted a recent Palo Alto-based EdSource report that found the state paid its teachers the highest salaries in the nation at $56,283 in 2002-03 – 23 percent above the national average of $45,891. “According to the U.S. Census, we have the highest-paid public employees in the nation,” said Kris Vosburgh, executive director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “Sacramento does not do a good job of setting priorities. The majority of the Legislature tends to put the well-being of public employees over that of the recipients of government services.” Despite all the talk about children coming first, California has failed to meet many of the basic health and education needs of its 10.5 million children, with education spending ranking 44th in the nation, obesity soaring and economic and food security faltering, according to a report to be released today. The report card by the national nonpartisan, nonprofit Children Now assesses a variety of issues related to children’s well-being and gives the state Ds for its K-12 education, childhood obesity and family economic security. The report comes amid heightened attention to children’s health and education issues and gives the state’s highest grade – a B+ – in infant health. “The overall message is that kids are not faring well,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now’s state office in Oakland. “What we are finding is there is a lot of rhetoric given to making kids a top priority, but what this report shows is that the needs of kids are not being given attention they need.” last_img read more