First-time Jamaica Scorpions captain, Paul Palmer Jr has been relieved of his duties and dropped from the squad for their seventh round WICB First-Class League encounter fixture against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, starting today at Sabina Park.Opener Palmer, who has been experiencing a wretched run of the form with the bat, has been replaced by fellow opener and vice-captain, John Campbell.The new vice-captain is Barbados-born batsman, Kirk Edwards.The 24-year-old Palmer, a former Jamaica youth captain, has passed 50 just once in 12 innings, and has been one of several Scorpions batsmen who has failed to produce since the start of the season.Campbell led the Jamaica team in the recent WICB Super50 one-day tournament in January. Edwards is a former West Indies vice-captain.Palmer’s removal is one of three changes made by the Wavell Hinds-led national selection panel to a squad which lost to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes by 82 runs in Antigua last weekend.The other players omitted are experienced campaigners, wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr, and all-rounder David Bernard Jr.They have been replaced by wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton, who makes a return from studies, batsman Brandon King, and fast bowler Nicholson Gordon.The selection panel is completed by Wayne Lewis, Robert Haynes, Delroy Morgan, and Cleveland Davidson.Fourth and fifth place finishers over the past two seasons, the Scorpions, with just three wins and as many losses, are all but out of the championship race with four rounds of matches to go.They are third on 52 points, 30 behind second-place Barbados Pride, with runaway leaders and title-holders Guyana Jaguars on 101 points.UNCHANGED SQUADTrinidad, in the meantime, who are fourth in the standings with 40 points and are out of the running for the top prize, have named an unchanged squad for the game.The Jason Mohammed-captained unit, without their most established players, will look to batsman Narsingh Deonarine, all-rounder Rayad Emrit, and young off-spinning standout Jon-Ross Jagessar to lead their charge.They have recorded a win, three defeats, and two draws record to date.Jamaica Scorpions (from): John Campbell (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Sheldon Cottrell, Kirk Edwards, Nicholson Gordon, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas, Chadwick Walton.Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (from): Jason Mohammed (captain), Yannic Cariah, Narsingh Deonarine, Rayad Emrit, Kyle Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jon-Russ Jagessar, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Yannick Ottley, Marlon Richards, Jeremy Solozano.
Roiled by glitches in a new $95 million computerized payroll system that have left thousands of employees without checks, Los Angeles school officials said Wednesday that they will review the contracting process that led to the deal and might consider taking legal action against the suppliers. Problems with the system have left more than 10,000 employees without paychecks for two weeks, and Los Angeles Unified School District officials expect similar problems next month. And questions have been raised on the district’s choice of SAP Public Services for the system despite a history of problems at other schools, a more-expensive software bid and a potential political connection to the LAUSD. The lobbying firm Rose & Kindel represents SAP and also has a contract with the district for consulting and lobbying in Sacramento. It lobbied in 2005 for state legislation that allowed the district to use a less-stringent bidding process for major technology purchases. “One of the things we always do when a system is rolled out is … look for lessons learned. We have to go back and look at the history of procurement, certainly. … We’ll do our due diligence to see if it was a good deal,” said Superintendent David Brewer III. District officials have defended the contract award and say instead that the suppliers may have failed to adequately prepare for implementation. But some also are questioning the timing of legislation that allowed the LAUSD to award the contract to SAP. More flexibility In October 2005, Rose & Kindel lobbied for legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine on behalf of the district to provide more flexibility in selecting technology providers. SAP officials have said Rose & Kindel didn’t lobby for the legislation on behalf of SAP – and has not lobbied for SAP on anything before LAUSD officials because of the potential conflict. And LAUSD officials have said that because Rose & Kindel doesn’t lobby district officials on behalf of clients, there was no conflict between the firm’s lobbying for the district on the bill and having a Sacramento tie to SAP. The bill was signed into law Oct. 4, 2005. Later that day, SAP announced its contract with the LAUSD. “It certainly is strange in the sense that the reason for the legislation was we can’t go with the lowest bid because it wouldn’t perform as well as the highest bid,” said Bob Stern, director of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles. “And now it turns out the highest bid didn’t perform well at all.” Levine did not return a call for comment. So far, officials are aware of 10,000 LAUSD employees – out of more than 100,000 – who have been affected by the glitches, said Chuck Burbridge, district chief financial officer. Bus driver Benny Bernal, an 18-year LAUSD veteran and incoming vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 99, said his check was hundreds of dollars short. Bernal said other employees have told him the glitches have led to their accounts being overdrawn, rent checks delayed and mortgage payments missed. “I found this system was used in other states and has failed,” Bernal said. “Obviously they were aware of it, and I want an answer as to who made the final decision and what are we going to do to hold these people accountable,” he said. Prepared to pay The district has set up a service center for employees who have questions or need emergency funds. Officials are also contacting employees’ banks and expect district funds to pay any fees the glitches caused employees to incur, including overdraft and insufficient-fund charges. While district officials said they don’t yet have an estimate of how much it will cost, Bernal said redoing employees’ timecards in the transportation department takes three hours per driver and totals about $75,000 a day. Touted as a key to cutting inefficiencies, fraud and bureaucracy, the new payroll system is set to be completely operational by 2008. But it has been riddled with problems at other educational institutions. Last year, the faculty union sued the nine Los Angeles community colleges over delays and incorrect paychecks. College officials blamed their new SAP system. LAUSD school board member David Tokofsky said the board will consider whether to sue SAP and Deloitte Consulting, the company hired to implement the system. “When there’s a crash, often the responsibility is on all the parties, and we’ve heard a lot about L.A. Unified’s fault,” he said. “But what we haven’t seen in explicit terms yet is SAP and Deloitte’s responsibilities, contractually and institutionally.” Deloitte Consulting received an 18-month, $55 million contract – the largest chunk in the new system’s $95 million contract – because of the firm’s familiarity with SAP implementation, Tokofsky said. SAP Public Services did not return a call. Deloitte spokeswoman Christine Brodeur said in a written statement that Deloitte will continue to work with the district on the issue. Nationwide problems School board candidate Tamar Galatzan, who’s challenging incumbent Jon Lauritzen, said in a letter to Lauritzen on Tuesday that the system has had problems around the country, including San Bernardino City Unified and Minneapolis public schools. She called on the school board to ask the district’s inspector general to audit the contracts awarded for the new system. “Los Angeles Unified has a history of undertaking expensive projects only to abandon them, squandering taxpayer dollars,” she said. Burbridge said the LAUSD conducted a lengthy evaluation process in which more than 100 people reviewed the software and consultants before choosing SAP. “We thought we were aware of the challenges, and we were hopeful we’d have a better experience than these other school districts,” Burbridge said. “However, at the end of the day, there are only so many payroll systems that are large enough to accommodate 100,000 employees, and sometimes you have to hold your nose and say yes, there are challenges with this. We thought we chose the best one.” firstname.lastname@example.org (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!
Salah has looked slightly off the pace during the first half-dozen games of the season Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has offered a sarcastic response to questions over the form of star man Mohamed Salah.Speaking at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Southampton, the Reds boss insisted there are no concerns over the Egyptian ace’s performances. Salah has two goals from six Liverpool appearances this season 3 Salah has actually only scored one less goal than he managed by the same point last season, when he had three from six games.And when informed of this fact, Klopp replied sarcastically: “Wow that is a crisis!“Nobody remembers that. It is really not a problem.”Asked whether part of the problem was that Salah was expected to repeat the form which saw him break the Premier League scoring record last season, Klopp added: “Of course, of course everyone expects that, that is clear.“We don’t expect that. We want him to score as often as possible. It is completely normal everyone expects that.” But Klopp insists Salah is in ‘good shape’ and that suggestions his form has gone ‘backwards’ since last season are nonsense.“The defensive side the last two games were outstanding, perfect,” said the Liverpool boss on Friday.“It is so important in these games especially [referencing the Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain, where he ran tirelessly but again failed to score].“That says everything about him that he is really ready to work for the team in these moments.“It is a completely normal for an offensive player when you have times that you don’t score. He is still a threat, made fantastic situations in both our last games. He is in a good shape.“Finishing is something you can never take for granted.” In fact, the German argued that Salah’s contribution has been ‘outstanding’ in the early stages of the season and defended the forward, saying the expectation on him to perform has skyrocketed after his brilliant debut campaign for Liverpool.Salah was crowned Player of the Year as he scored 44 goals last season, form which has seen him make the final-three for ‘The Best’ FIFA award, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric.But he has found the net only twice so far this season, and has now gone three games without scoring – his joint longest dry spell since joining the Reds.There are also fears over his fitness and that he still hasn’t fully recovered from the shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final back in May. Mohamed Salah won the Premier League Golden Boot last season with 32 goals 3 3