— over 0,000 raised for new Step by Step schoolFirst Lady, Sandra Granger on Friday encouraged donors and well-wishers of the Step by Step Foundation to continue to support the initiatives to build a new school for children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) even as $685,000 has been raised during activities held to mark Autism Month.The First Lady made this appeal in her address at the launch of the building fund for the new Step by Step School, held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.She recalled that when she was invited to become patron of the Foundation, she agreed without hesitation. She said she is extremely pleased at the support received from individuals and donors alike at the first major awareness and fundraising effort the ‘Light it up blue’ Autism Awareness Walk on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day.“When we first started our first exercise for autism awareness …I was struck by the fact that there were not only people there, companies were involved, but also some of the kids were there and I think it brought home to some of us who did not have dealings with children with special needs, particularly ASD, that they are people like us,” the First Lady said.She announced that the ‘Light it up blue walk’ alone netted $383,000 in proceeds.“I think it’s our first little step towards the foundation for the school and I am hoping that through corporate and private donations, large or small we will be able to commence the building of the school,” she said.Mrs Granger also said she is looking forward to more donations and further collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the school, noting particularly that linkages with the ministry will lead to earlier diagnoses and treatment for children affected by ASD.In giving a brief update on the Foundation’s progress, Dr Suraiya Ismail, Chair of the Executive Committee said the new school has a projected cost of $120M. The Foundation hopes to be able to accommodate 50-60 children, to provide training facilities for parents and training opportunities for Education Ministry teachers, among other plans.The Foundation has grown from five children to seventeen and plans are in train to enrol two more in September. It also now boasts seven tutors and the Ministry of Education has committed to providing teachers as needed.“Our growth was achieved through the generosity of many, many donors, from the private sector and from individuals too many to name,” Dr. Ismail said, adding that they are “extremely fortunate to have the patronage of the First Lady”.Meanwhile, in his address, Managing Director of Republic Bank said Richard Sammy,, “It is my pleasure to acknowledge the widespread enthusiasm and support for this cause.”He noted that a number of companies donated their products, purchased t-shirts and their staff members and other persons showed up, purchased t-shirts and participated in the ‘Light it up blue’ walk. Today, many individuals also made direct cash donations and, all combined, the efforts netted the sum of $685, 000.Caption: First Lady, Sandra Granger (centre) and Richard Sammy, Managing Director pay keen attention to Dr. Suraiya Ismail, Chair of the Step by Step Foundation as she makes a point, during a brief interaction before the start of the reception.
“All options on the table” – GCCI PresidentImplementation of the much panned parking meter project is imminent, but the private sector and civil society have indicated they would employ measures to resist the initiative.GCCI President Deodat IndarThis was on Sunday confirmed by recently elected President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar, who told Guyana Times there must be in-depth analysis before such a project could be accepted.“We are saying that the contract of this parking meter was not awarded properly. There were no studies done, no impact assessments…the entire thing should be wiped clean, and go back to the drawing board and make sure that they do proper analysis,” Indar observed.His comments follow the action of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown (M&CC) last week, voting to adopt the amended by-laws for the controversial parking meter project, thereby signalling that Guyanese will soon have to contend with paid parking once again.In its previous incarnation, the project was the subject of multiple court actions, including a case brought by the New Building Society (NBS) Limited and another by a private citizen against the legality of City Hall’s multiple-decade contract with Mexican company Smart City Solutions (SCS).Guyana Times on Sunday questioned the GCCI President on possible legal action that could be taken to prevent the initiative from returning, and Indar stressed: “All options are on the table.” He, however, cautioned that the private sector would first have to assess the amended by-laws before measures in regard to blocking could be initiated.“We are against the parking meters, and we will be working with others, including the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) and other civil society groups to mount resistance towards the implementation of parking meters,” he noted.Guyana Times understands that operatives within the private sector will be meeting this week to determine their options and craft plans for advocacy against parking meters.When City Councillors had voted on the measure, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green had restricted them from discussing the contract and concessionaire. People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Councillor Bishram Kuppen had argued that since the by-laws are linked to the contract with Smart City Solutions, the council was attempting to move forward with a contract the legality of which was still under question.Kuppen told all the councillors present that if they support the amended by-laws, they in essence were forcing the citizenry of Georgetown to accept an illegal 40-year contract.Additionally, Councillor Malcolm Ferreira had called for the decision to be put on hold until all court issues regarding the controversial project had been addressed.People’s National Congress Councillors Akeem Peter, Winston Harding, Yvonne Ferguson, Welton Clarke, Oscar Clarke, Noelle Chow-Chee, Heston Bostwick, James Samuels, Trichria Richards, Lyndon Hilliman, Ivelaw Henry and Mayor Chase-Green, along with Team Benschop’s Jameel Rasul, voted to adopt the By-laws.Councillors Kuppen and Sharma voted against, and Ferreira and the PNC’s Carlyle Goring abstained.Meanwhile, former Deputy Mayors Lionel Jaikaran and Sherod Duncan – both of the Alliance For Change (AFC) — refused to participate in the process.Following a 14-day public display, the adopted by-laws will be forwarded to Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan for his approval; and if given, the by-laws would be gazetted.Under the new agreement, persons will be paying $150 per hour, and $800 for eight hours of parking in the city. Residents of the city would, however, be issued with a restricted residential pass for free parking from 17:00h-19:00h Monday to Friday, while parking will be free on Saturdays.When the project was first implemented in 2017, it attracted sustained protests for several weeks, and was eventually suspended by the Communities Minister.While it is expected that the Private Sector will receive support for their position on the Parking Meters Project, it is being argued that it is worrying the same type of support was not given to thousands of protesting sugar workers who were thrown on the breadline after Government’s decision to close three estates and dismiss over 5000 sugar workers.One public commentator, in an invited comment, said that it was unfortunate that there were a few isolated groups championing the cause of the sugar workers from the business and Private Sector Commission (PSC) while countless others, who were not directly affected by the move to shut down the industry, stood and watched from the sidelines.“Now that everybody knows that their business will be negatively affected if City Hall reintroduces the project, every man is on board to lobby and fight to resist the Project. Our sugar workers deserved better. The parking meters project and our collective response should be an eye opener for many people,” the commentator said.
– Advertisement -The Fort St. John RCMP and the Charlie Lake Fire Department are investigating a suspicious house fire on Charlie Lake Crescent. Photo: A home in Charlie Lake has been completely destroyed by fire – Adam Reaburn/Energeticcity.ca The fire broke out shortly before 10pm on Saturday and Charlie Lake Fire Chief Al Pinkerton says the call came in as a structure fire.[asset|aid=3119|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=d002326df4a52b3963fdcd96beb0817c-Al Pinkerton_1_Pub.mp3] At one point fire crews from both Fort St. John and Charlie Lake were on scene to fight the fire.Neighbours say the house was a rental property that is currently unoccupied. The cause of the fire, that destroyed the home, is still under investigation.If you have any photos or video of the fire, email email@example.com
The Wendell Meusa Chess Foundation is continuing to push its agenda of spreading the game of chess among the younger generation; as such, the Foundation is set to host a chess camp over the next few weeks. The camp is aimed at teaching young minds the importance of problem solving, critical thinking, planning, assessing, sportsmanship, and patience.The camp will take on two courses which are formulated for beginners and advanced players.The introductory course will cater to players who are new to the sport or those who are not well versed as yet. The course is expected to cover the history of chess, the chessboard and pieces, algebraic notation (chess language) and the basic principles of play.On the other hand, the advanced course has been formulated to suit those players who are already established and aspiring chess players. As such, more intense training sessions will be offered to deepen their understanding of the game, building on game skills and techniques thus covering more advanced ideas. Additionally, they will focus on tactics, strategy, middle game planning, and endgame techniques.The camp will also provide opportunities to practise these skills in a variety of activities and workshops with classmates under the observation of the chess Instructors. The participants will be trained according to the World Chess Federation (FIDE) TRG 2018 Syllabus and Russia Training Manual.In anticipation of the upcoming camp, a ‘Kids Chess Tournament’ will be staged this weekend from 09:00h to 16:00h. The first-, second- and third-place finishers will be rewarded while the Best Under-10 and Under-14 Boys and Girls and the youngest boy and girl will receive special prizes. The tournament will also assist local junior players with improving their or attaining FIDE rankings.The camp will run from July 9 to August 3 at the American University of Peace Studies located on Sheriff Street. Interested person can contact 231 -1284 or 664 -0124 for more information or uplift forms at the University, Oasis Café or the National Sports Commission.
President Ian Tostenson says Stats Canada shows sales in March jumped six per cent over the same month last year, even though nationally they inched up only point two per cent between February and March, with only five provinces registering any increase at all.“We’re seeing a lot of tourism increases in Vancouver and Vancouver Island, which is helping immensely, coupled with good weather,” Tostenson said.“The weather has just been incredible.”That incredible beverage drinking weather included Fort St. John’s, with the airport station posting double digit highs on six different days –including 13.3 C on March 13….and only five below zero highs, with the coldest being -7.7 C on the third.Advertisement The average high for the month was 4.8 C, nearly 10 degrees warmer than the March average of -4.6 C. Although still well removed from the local airport weather office record amount of 80.3 millimeters set on June 27 1965, this is the 61st anniversary of one of the largest one-day precipitation totals in this area.It was on this day in 1954 that the station posted 55.6 millimeters of rain, just 10 millimeters less than Environment Canada’s official average amount for the full month of June.Nothing like that amount is anticipated today, but the airport station, with 20 millimeters last Friday the main reason, is now back on pace to equal the monthly average of 65.6 mm.- Advertisement -It recorded 33.2 millimeters through the first half of the month ending a midnight this morning, and is now also ahead of last year’s pace.The 2014 total for the first 15 days of June was only 23.4 mm, and the station finished the month with a total well below the monthly norm at 37.2 mm.There is now only one week left in what has been for many in BC a mild spring, and among the beneficiaries has been the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association.Advertisement
That took his goal tally for the tournament to three — two behind England talisman Harry Kane and one behind Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku.Messi and Ronaldo, captain of the Portugal side beaten 2-1 by Uruguay, also on Saturday, had been on a quarter-final collision course but the closest they will now come to each other in Russia is the airport departure lounge.While they have set goal records tumbling both in Europe and Spain year after year, amazingly neither has ever been able to find the net in a World Cup knockout match in a combined 14 games.For all Messi’s brilliance at club level with Barcelona, it appears the 2014 final defeat to Germany is the closest he will ever come to winning the World Cup.Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, a European champion with Portugal two years ago, will be 37 by the time the next global showpiece rolls around — meaning it is unlikely he will improve on a run to the semi-finals in 2006.– Mbappe leads the charge –With the exits of the pair, both five-time world players of the year, confirmed on the same day, the stage is clear for a handful of young, hungry pretenders to seize the spotlight.France forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates his second goal against Argentina © AFP / Luis AcostaLeading the charge is the 19-year-old Mbappe, who achieved a feat no player had accomplished in 60 years, becoming the first teenager to score twice in a World Cup match since a 17-year-old Pele in 1958.“I’m very happy, and it’s flattering to be compared to a great player like Pele,” said Mbappe, born a few months after France won the 1998 World Cup.“But he’s in another category. Still, it’s great to join the list of players that have achieved such feats.”The Paris Saint-Germain striker, who as a child had posters of Ronaldo plastered across his bedroom wall, has three goals in three starts in Russia.He finds himself trailing England striker Kane in the race for the Golden Boot, but his terrorising of the Argentina defence underlined his growing menace. He’s not so much as arriving as arrived.After four straight seasons with 20 or more goals in the Premier League, Kane is now demonstrating his ability on the biggest stage of all, leading England’s attack and captaining the side.England forward Harry Kane is leading the race for the World Cup’s Golden Boot © AFP / Martin BERNETTIHe struck twice in an opening win over Tunisia before bagging a hat-trick in his next outing and is the key figure for a youthful England side.“It’s going well, there’s still a long way to go, the most important thing is winning games,” said the 24-year-old Tottenham star.Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez described Kane as an “emblematic player” ahead of their meeting with England in the last 16 on Tuesday.Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku is also enjoying a breakout World Cup campaign, answering his critics in resounding style after a disappointing campaign in Brazil four years ago.The 25-year-old scored twice in successive matches in Group G, the first player from any nation to do so at the tournament since Diego Maradona in 1986.He is Belgium’s record scorer with 40 goals in 71 appearances and will be central to their hopes as Roberto Martinez attempts to finally get the best out of a golden generation.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lionel Messi (left) and Cristiano Ronaldo are heading home from the World Cup in Russia © AFP / Roman KRUCHININ, Adrian DENNISMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jul 1 – Step aside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo… there is a new group of kids on the block ready to seize the limelight and form the next generation of global megastars.French teenager Kylian Mbappe announced himself in dramatic fashion on Saturday, overshadowing Messi as France beat Argentina 4-3 in the World Cup last 16.
0Shares0000Lille’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe on the mark at Caen © AFP / CHARLY TRIBALLEAUPARIS, France, Jan 12 – Lille were quick out of the blocks after the Ligue 1 winter break on Friday, overcoming a late sending off to beat Caen 3-1 and consolidate second place behind Paris Saint-Germain.Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe was at the heart of this 11th league success of the season, scoring in the eighth minute and setting up Rafael Leao and Brazilian Luiz Araujo to complete a cosy win. Pepe’s 13th goal of the campaign drew him level in the Ligue 1 scoring charts with PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.Caen got a late consolation five minutes into time added on from their Chad striker Casimir Ninga.Lille finished a man down with Zeki Celik’s foul on Ninga when the Caen striker was faced with an open goal with seven minutes of regulation time remaining.Lille took to the pitch in Normandy without France under-21 international left-back Fode Ballo-Toure, who signed for Thierry Henry’s strugglers Monaco on Thursday.The game was moved forward 24 hours as local authorities prepare for the ninth weekend of the ‘yellow vest’ movement protests.Lille are now on 37 points, 10 adrift of champions PSG who are at Amiens on Saturday, hoping to bounce back after their shock League Cup loss to Guingamp in midweek.Also dumped out of the League Cup this week were Lyon, who later Friday were held 1-1 at home by Reims.Pablo Chavarria put the visitors into the lead in the first half, with Bertrand Traore wrongfooting Reims keeper Edouard Mendy on 70 minutes to level.Lyon remain in third, four points behind Lille, with a game in hand.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Babelgum users will make the first selection, whittling each category down to 10 films starting in February. The jury will reduce the number to three, with Lee making the final selection. Winners will be announced in April. Babelgum said it would not accept offensive material – and Lee acknowledged that it would be tricky defining what that meant. Lee said he expected nudity would be ruled out. Otherwise, films must be in English or have English-language subtitles and not exceed 45 minutes. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Spike Lee said Saturday the Internet has provided so many opportunities for young filmmakers to showcase their work, there are no more excuses. “I was from the prehistoric age. If you have a film and you’re talented and someone is not seeing it, it’s your fault,” the director said at a news conference announcing the creation of a new online film festival. Lee will head the jury of the film festival organized by Babelgum, an Internet company that streams videos online for free. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the Venice Film Festival. Filmmakers who have had their work accepted at other film festivals from January 2007 through next February can begin making their submissions Sept. 15 by uploading their films onto Babelgum’s Web site, organizers said. Winners will receive $20,000.
Stephan El Shaarawy, linked to Arsenal and Liverpool, will sign for Monaco permanently at the end of the season.The Italy international joined the French club on loan in the summer from AC Milan after growing restless at the Serie A side.Now, according to Tuttosport, that move is set to be made permanent at the end of the season after El Shaarawy triggered a clause in his contract.The 22-year-old has now played over 10 times for Monaco and as such they are obliged to complete a deal at the end of the season.The Ligue 1 side will reportedly pay Milan around £10m for the player. 1 Stephan El Shaarawy
This latest controversy creates a double dose of distrust. Not only will taxpayers view the agency with increasing uncertainty, but events held in cooperation with the DCFS to raise funds for foster children might also come to be viewed with suspicion. Corporate and individual donations could wane. This is more than just outrageous; it’s a crime against children. And county officials ought to treat it as such. The money trail ought to provide evidence of fraud and theft of public funds. The agency must send a clear message that people who take funds that were meant for some of the most vulnerable people in our society will be dealt with severely.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 MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre In June, a grand jury blasted the DCFS for not funding an abuse-prevention program despite rising fears about the safety of children in foster homes. In August, an audit found that the agency had lax oversight of a $177 million services and supplies budget. The audit released this week is certain to increase doubts about the agency’s ability to do its job. A study of DCFS procurement operations found that tens of thousands of dollars that were supposed to go to children and foster parents to buy necessities such as food and clothing were misused. Instead, the funds went toward buying gift cards for nonessential goods and services from businesses such as the Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s, Glenn Ivy Hot Springs-Spa, Starbucks and Red Lobster. Many of these cards were given to DCFS employees, mentors and volunteers. DCFS funds were also tapped to pay for 160 tickets to a musical play, at a cost of $14,000. Only 53 of these tickets went to children, auditors found. The audit discovered that one DCFS office spent more than $200,000 on entertainment since March. IN another shameful episode for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, an audit released this week found that employees usurped money meant for foster children and spent it on personal entertainment. In response, county officials said the employees involved will be subject to discipline. But that’s not enough. Not by a long shot. Those who misused these funds should be fired at the very least. Perhaps even prosecuted. Discipline in this troubled agency charged with protecting children hasn’t seemed to work very well. This is just the latest disturbing headline in the past few years about the DCFS. In 2005, more than 900 children under DCFS care ran away from their foster homes.