Christopher Neyor’s Open Letter to President Sirleaf

first_imgJune 13, 2014Her ExcellencyEllen Johnson SirleafPresidentRepublic of LiberiaMonrovia, LiberiaDear Madame President:I have been reliably informed of your venomous statement on more than one occasion that you will destroy me so that your son Robert A. Sirleaf can have an easy path to the Senate seat for Montserrado County and eventually to the Presidency of Liberia in the 2017 election to succeed you. Your threat to destroy me comes at a time when there are media reports of your son, Robert frantically trying to buy off all the Montserrado County’s senatorial candidates and promising cash for others to abandon their political parties to support his candidacy for Montserrado. Your threats to destroy me emanates from the fact that I have grass root support and I cannot be purchased even with Robert’s millions. Despite these threats, I will remain a formidable candidate for the senate race.I take your statement as a serious threat to my person because in our part of the world when a President with all the power of the State wants to destroy a citizen, the order is usually followed to the letter.  Destroying a citizen can take many forms including made up accidents, poison, fabrication of stories that attacks one’s integrity or loyalty to the State (sedition, terrorism, etc.) or any combination of these plus more. I know you and your son are capable of this because we have gone down that road before when including when he tried to frame me as anti-American and had me under 24hr surveillance when I was removed from NOCAL. Madame President, you swore in your oath of office as our President to uphold the constitution, which guarantees the protection of life, liberty and property of every citizen.Because of the seriousness I attach to your statement (which could be reason for impeachment in a non-imperial democracy), I am forced to issue this Open Letter to you so that our citizens and international friends can beware of how far you would go for one son to the detriment of your own administration and our country.I cannot fathom why you would come after me with such vengeance, Madame President, one who has considered you a mother, admired you, have membership in the same church with you, utilized his own resources and connections to support you politically and was a shining star in your first term. Is it because I am the son of another Liberian mother from the rank of the marginalized?I met with you on April 24 at your Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in presence of your Chief of Staff Dr. Edward McClain and informed you of my intent to honor petitions to contest the Montserrado County Senate seat in the October 2014 Special Senatorial Elections in order to help the National Legislature be more responsive to the critical issues of the country. You inquired why I wasn’t running for the Rivercess senate seat instead and I explained among other things that I was born and raised in Montserrado County to a father who came from Morweh in Rivercess and I was a registered voter in Montserrado. You stated it would be a difficult task for me but I told you that elections is about number and from survey, I had the number to win in the county. You told me then that others had approached you for the same seat and that you would do your own survey and see whom to support. I said that was fair enough for I was just informing you out of courtesy but not necessarily for your support.Since I left your office that day and began consultations with cross section of Montserrado citizens, you have been doing everything to undermine my participation in the election in favor of your son whom you did not reveal to me that he intended running for the same seat. You have been trying hard to coerce officials of your government who are supporting or sympathizing with my anticipated candidacy to work with your son instead even when some advised it would not be a good idea for your son to contest the Montserrado County senate seat.Madame President, democracy brings all qualified candidates into an election and the voters determine who they believe is the best candidate suited for a post. It would be a violation of the constitution and elections laws to coerce or entice support for your son to be elected senator. I am very much aware of your plan to have your son become “senator at all costs”, have him made President Pro Tempore of the Senate and then position him for the 2017 presidential election to succeed you. Your son, if he has given up his US citizenship and legally become a Liberian citizen again, is entitled to run for any position if qualified under our election laws but let the voters make the choice whom to support and elect. It would be a violation of your oath as President to misuse your office to make your son senator and eventually president of our country, especially when your own performance as President does not leave much to be desired now.I wonder why you harbor so much bitterness against me, Madame President. In addition to your remarks to destroy me, you have also stated emphatically that you will make sure I am NEVER elected senator of Montserrado County. Why Madame President? Is it because as CEO of NOCAL I refused to give in to you and your son Robert’s adventurism to exploit the oil resources for your own benefits? I think the public should get to know why you are so bend on “destroying” me and trying to legitimize the already unconstitutional power you have given to your son Mr. Robert Sirleaf.You are very much aware that I tutored you and Robert on fundamentals of oil and gas and informed you of the potential wealth of the emerging Liberia petroleum sector, the hard-to-resist temptation of millions of dollars demanding those of our citizens with the highest integrity in its management and advised you to give the sector more attention. From the time Robert was appointed to the Board of Directors of NOCAL in 2010 and he realized the millions involved, he started to position himself overnight as an oil and gas expert and instructing me on how we could make a lot of money. When I didn’t go along, he began to undermine and intimidate me as CEO as well as then Chairman of the Board Clemenceau Urey.When I started the reform process at NOCAL learning from the errors of most of the African oil-producing countries and formulating a foundation for empowering Liberians through lucrative local content participation in this new extractive sector, you know that Robert interjected that it was unwise politically to allow citizens to have money like that, especially when the 2011 elections was around the corner.You were fully aware that Robert began to portray himself as the de facto head of NOCAL and began soliciting huge amounts of money from individuals and companies with interest in acquisition of oil blocks. Some of these companies approached me and I brought those to your attention only for Robert to tell them not to pay attention to me because I was going to be removed after the 2011 elections and he was going to become Executive Chairman (which was later proven right). Oil blocks were promised to these people of which you are fully aware and millions was brought in irregularly for the campaign with cash brought in on private jets and taken to your home.I brought to your attention that $2 million had been offered to me in bribe with a request that I do not take certain executive action against an oil company. I quoted to you portion of my remarks when I took over NOCAL few months earlier that no amount of money would be big enough to make me betray you and our people. What I got out of that was your ridicule of me before the Petroleum Technical Committee in the Cabinet Room at your office that I was parading myself as the most perfect man in the government boasting that I could not take bribe. Justice Minister Christina Tah and your Legal Advisor Cllr Seward Cooper (now NOCAL Board Chairman) were among those at that meeting. They can bear witness. Most of those at that meeting told me later how shock they were with your characterization of me.Madam President, the interest and protection of the wealth of Liberia is more important to me than personal wealth. Far too long, Liberians have suffered from bad economic management of their natural resources and your administration, unfortunately, has not moved any further from the past. Unarguably, mismanagement of public resources is at the zenith during your administration.Out of desperation, Robert tried to wickedly tag me as anti-American following a speech I made to the Liberia Business Association that diversification in future allocation of oil blocks was in our long term economic interest, a strategy agreed to and promoted by even American advisers. There was nothing anti-American about that, realizing the United States is our closest friend, prime source of economic support and currently have about 80% of contracted oil blocks. I was glad that our international partners and Liberians did not buy into such mis-guarded and unsubstantiated propaganda.Robert got furious that the international watchdog Global Witness had referred to me as a “reformer” appointed by you to clean up NOCAL in its damaging report of September 2011 on corruption in the Liberian oil sector.  The credit was to you that you had seen it fit to finally appoint a reformer at NOCAL but that didn’t go down well for your son who sent his friend and one of your trusted ministers after me, instructing that I made untrue statements to Global Witness. I still have those ugly emails exchanges with that friend who is still a minister today.As your Energy Advisor, with your approval, I started quiet diplomacy with the Nigerian Government including then President Yar Adua’s office and the Petroleum Resources Minister to resume crude oil allocation to Liberia. The diplomacy continued when President Goodluck Jonathan took office. The convincing reason we gave to the Nigerians and later to the Kuwaiti was to use the proceeds from the allocation transaction to reduce the high cost of electricity in Liberia until we have in place more affordable power generation sources. Both for Nigeria and later Kuwait, when those sensitive negotiations I initiated and spearheaded was about to close, you put your son, Robert in charge of the closing as the Special Envoy. The Nigerian oil allocation intended to support lower electricity bill has been flowing now for years yet electricity cost in our country is the highest in the world. Not a penny from the allocation has gone to LEC fuel expenses and cost of power continues to be unaffordable to most of your citizens in areas where electricity is provided.Every time I met with you as head of NOCAL, your constant remark was we were sitting on tons of money in NOCAL bank accounts. I responded every time that the monies were earmarked for capacity building and social interventions like the projects we were doing around the country impacting the lives of our people. One of Robert’s closest confidants tried to convince me to take $4- 5 million out of NOCAL’s account to give you as campaign contribution. He intimated to me that all my colleagues were doing that but I told him they would have to account some day but I cannot even give it a thought to do such.Interestingly, I was the only head of a major state enterprise that was removed after your 2nd term inauguration though by all accounts you knew of my stand against corruption and my insistence on productive performance at NOCAL. It was not surprising when that same confidant of your son Robert came to me after my removal and said; “You see why I was telling you to give the old lady some money during the campaign?” The confidant is still alive and around.Despite all that, God has been good to me and the company I established after leaving NOCAL, the Morweh Energy Group, is doing well. Though I make no income internally, I bring in what I earn overseas and employ Liberians in my office and my home, give away to scholarships and other social causes and pay various taxes including office lease (Coast Guard), payroll and income taxes. For the past two years, you and your NPA MD have given me the runaround for port land my partners and I want to lease in Buchanan to build an oil and gas logistics base that will provide opportunities for Liberians and Liberian businesses to profitably participate in provision of goods and services to exploration drilling operations now going on in Liberia.Madame President, you know the value of a logistics base and the opportunities it provides to local citizens for business. I got at NOCAL three months before exploration drilling commenced and there was no preparation for a logistics base. I took you on one of the oilrigs where you noticed Ghanaians were providing catering and other services and I warned you that we had to do something about a logistics base. The highlight of your state visit to Angola in 2011 was a tour we made of the Luanda oil and gas logistics base. Since I left NOCAL, the initiative for a logistics base was stalled until I mobilized seven other Liberian investors and international expertise to construct the base upon lease of appropriate land at the Port of Buchanan from the NPA. Two years and counting, the land has not been granted though you tell me you support the project but then have your NPA head told to not do it. Yet millions of dollars are pumped into the Ghanaian economy for each oil well drilled in Liberia while our young people go unemployed, the education system is a “mess” according to you and people continue to live in unbelievable slums, most of them around Monrovia. This is just fundamentally wrong.You have confided to some that I think you are a fool to grant approval for this vital national project when I had badmouthed your son, referring to the time in a NOCAL Board meeting when he was insulting and I told him the truth that he knew nothing about the working of the oil business and he would be cause for you not having a good legacy. You rather let Ghanaians and Ghanaian companies benefit from jobs and contracts on oil rigs operating in Liberia using the Port of Takoradi as logistics base than having a Liberian spearhead the building of one here in Buchanan for the benefit of our economy because of your vindictiveness.You and your son, Robert have a complete stranglehold on the economy, depriving and punishing any Liberian who dare or desire to have an independent mind and who refuse to participate in looting the country of its resources. Closing the economy to perceived enemies is preventing job creation in Liberia!Had the House of Representatives not imposed a freeze on oil blocks, Robert would have sold all of our remaining oil blocks by now. I know as a fact that he has lined up companies most of who have contributed heavily to the Robert Sirleaf Foundation for award of oil blocks. In your interview with FrontpageAfrica, you even confirmed contributions made by companies to the Robert A. Sirleaf Foundation, while Robert was serving as Executive Chairman of NOCAL and Senior Advisor to the President of Liberia demonstrating how you and your son were trying to concentrate all the oil money into the hands of your family.One can understand why that new oil and gas act drafted by your son left out provisions for defined citizens participation and oil revenue management mechanism but emphasized only the giving away of oil blocks, exempting future awards from the Liberian PPCC law. Have you read the draft act?  It was a mockery when you openly praised your son for “completing his task” in “reforming” NOCAL with submission of the draft oil and gas act to the National Legislature just before his resignation from NOCAL due to public and international pressure. Robert resignation is also a joke because it is an open secret that he still calls the shot at NOCAL. Well, actually, he does at every agency where money and natural resources are involved including trying to give away Wologisi after the Western Cluster fiasco.The primary purpose of a government is to protect and empower its citizens but as President of our country, all I have experienced at close range with you is a selfish desire to protect and empower only your family where your son Robert Sirleaf and your sister Jan Barnard are given power our constitution does not assign to instigate appointments, dismissals and amass ill-begotten wealth. You are good at showing two faces, one to the international community where you have been awarded medals and accolades and degrees and the other to your people at home where you have shown disdain and manipulation and deception and malice. You have been unable to reconcile the country because of your history of vindictiveness and putting Liberians against each other.Why I am doing thisI am sure this open letter is shocking to you, knowing my quiet nature. I am not doing this because I just want to be Senator for Montserrado. I am prepared to withdraw from the race once I know we have a winning candidate who will not compromise the hopes and aspirations of the suffering people of Montserrado County…and you know that candidate is not the son you are trying hard to legitimize as your successor. The people of Montserrado deserve better and this is why I decided to get in the senate race to ensure that their interests are fully protected.I am writing this because our country and the international community need to know who you truly are from someone who knows you well, having interacted with you on many matters of state where your decision and actions betrayed the people’s trust. I am writing this because at such a time when so many Liberians are crying out for skills building and college graduates cannot find internships or meaningful employment, when roads to slum communities are almost impassable during this raining season, when there is massive budget shortfalls due to corruption and incompetence which you have admitted to, when so much is at stake for the country requiring the best of leadership to put us back on course, you have made a decision to spend most of your time to be Campaign Manager for your son, Robert to become a senator at all costI have prayed about this Open Letter to you and I have a sense of relief in my spirit that this is the right thing to do for the good of our country. You and I are members of the First United Methodist Church and serve on the Annual Conference Advance Committee. In keeping with Scripture, I brought your deceptive behavior to attention of our pastor and the bishop. The bishop spoke to you about my concerns but you downplayed it as usual, saying you had nothing against me.Madame President, this is not just against me, it is against the country. You uprooted from the government and around you those with the best integrity and competence to help you move our country further. John Morlu, Nagbalee Warner, Tiawon Gongloe, Alfred Brownell, Wilson Tarpeh and your own co-Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee are among those you have made enemies simply because they tell you the truth and will not betray their country and people to enjoy the spoils of corruption for a season.Sando Moore, Liberia’s foremost photojournalist, who hails from Bomi with you and was instrumental in your reelection was told by you not to attend your 2012 inauguration simply because he had a difference with your son Robert. It was just fundamentally wrong for a president to come down this low to prevent a Liberian and a top journalist from attending inauguration because of a disagreement with the president’s son. NOCAL’s ad in his IMAGE magazine was pulled down as a result.I fully understand the consequences of this Open Letter to you. I know you will come after me with vengeance utilizing all the apparatuses of the State. I am prepared for all eventualities.I want you to succeed Madame President because when you succeed, the country succeeds, but it seems you don’t want yourself to succeed. For some strange and inexplicable reason, you take decisions that are inimical to your own government just to satisfy your son or your sister. You and your son Robert Sirleaf are driving our country down a cliff. Even your international supporters are gradually seeing that your governance is horrible and they are beginning to distance themselves from you.A leader should be all-powerful to do good but at the same time restrained from doing evil. The new Liberia we are trying to build on the blood of over quarter million of our fellow citizens who lost their lives in the civil upheaval is one where we do not sit and watch the country go down that path of destruction again. We must all speak out for in doing so, our country will be freeing itself of presidents who abuse our rights and misuse our resources for their own selfish interest.Madam President, you have the right as a mother to support your son for senator. But you do not have the right to threaten to destroy me or any other Liberian, or coerce anyone in the process. Your son must convince Liberians to vote for him on the merits not on the basis of using the power of the presidency to make him senator and then president at all cost. In this new Liberia, that is not going to happen. I do not take threats to my personhood lightly, especially coming from an all-powerful, imperial president. It is high time that vindictiveness is stopped!I pray that God softens your heart and you change course for your own good and that of the country. I will be watching. I have much more to publish including email you begged me to destroy when I was at NOCAL.Sincerely yours,ChristopherZeohn NeyorChristopher Z. NeyorFormer President & CEO, NOCALPresident & CEO, Morweh Energy GroupSenatorial Aspirant, Montserrado Countycc: African Union Mission, Monrovia      ECOWAS Representative Office, Monrovia      SRSG, UNMIL-Monrovia      US Embassy, Monrovia      Delegate of the European Commission, Monrovia      Embassy of Norway      The Liberia Council of Churches      The Moslem Council       National Traditional CouncilShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Small Example of a Promise Fulfilled’

first_imgIt might have cost a staggering US$8 million to have the much publicized Caldwell Bridge that connects the township to central Monrovia and other parts of Montserrado County via Bushrod Island, constructed into a modern two lane bridge. But President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told jubilant residents that the project is just a small example of a promise fulfilled.The President told the residents, who had defied all odds to attend the occasion, notably the heavy downpour of rain, that her government had promised them that they would transition from the hardships of commuting on dirt roads that become deplorable during the rainy season and a dilapidated one-lane bridge built since the 1940s to a modern one.She said the project which was completed with help from the World Bank, has finally made good her promise to them.President Sirleaf made the comments when she officially dedicated the bridge yesterday at a well attended ceremony. The dedication ends the first phase of the Caldwell road project. The road from Caldwell Junction to Louisiana has been paved with asphalt and street lights installed.The President, in a joyous mood, lauded the residents for their patience, dedication and commitment in waiting for the project to be implemented. “This project has been a long time coming and we want to tell you thank you for your patience, commitment and dedication because it could not have been possible without you,” President Sirleaf said to a cheering crowd.Speaking on behalf of the people of Caldwell, Commissioner Alexine Mendscole-Howard lauded President Sirleaf and partners. “We are grateful to God for what he has enabled you and the government to do for us.”The township was founded in 1825, but Commissioner Mendscole-Howard noted that the community has always been underdeveloped and in a deplorable condition, especially during and after the civil crisis. “But hope came for us when your government promised to provide us an asphalt paved road and a modern two-lane bridge which has transformed the outlook of our township,” the Commissioner told President Sirleaf.She added further, “This is one thing that we will never forget as people of Caldwell. You have brought relief to us, most especially the students and others, who used to struggle on this bad road through the mud to get to their schools and places of work,” she said.Outgoing World Bank Country Manager, Madam Inguna Dobraja, said in spite of the many challenges that were faced from the onset of the project implementation she was glad that it was finally completed.She said the financing of the bridge was part of a much larger transport program the World Bank is implementing together with the Liberian government. “Rebuilding dilapidated transport infrastructure is one of the development priorities of Liberia, she said, adding “and we fully stand behind the government in helping to implement these priorities.”She added that roads and bridges are important because they connect country and people; they increase access to market and they are essential in providing health and education services in remote areas. This new bridge and the approaching access roads, said Madam Dobraja, will provide primary access to some essential assets.She disclosed that she had promised she would not leave Liberia until the project was completed. “I’m glad that I have kept the promise I made to myself and my Liberian colleagues that I will not leave Liberia before walking over the Caldwell Bridge,” she said.The residents, prior to the arrival of the President in their township, had trooped in their numbers to witness the dedication of the bridge named the Jake Melton Bridge. Many held placards that expressed their appreciation to the President and her government.Many of the residents said that the completion of the Caldwell project is a clear indication that much could have come if the President had time in her favor and the people with the right attitudes (those that make things happen) around the President.The newly constructed Jake Melton Bridge is built over the Stockton Creek and is 110 and 13 meters in length and width, respectively. It was constructed by Chinese construction company China Henan International Cooperation Group Co., Ltd (CHICO) with consultancy provided by PHOENIX-G.A.S.H Engineer from Israel. Funds for the project were provided by the World Bank.The bridge also provides important primary access to the White Plains Water Treatment facility and the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Generation Plant. It also serves as a by-pass around Monrovia for the traffic connecting the Freeport intersection on Bushrod Island and the ever busy and congested commercial district of Red-Light.The Stockton Creek over which the bridge is erected is about 100 meters wide and flows from the Johnson Street area in Central Monrovia at its Southern end to the St. Paul River, at its northern end.According to the engineers, the area is flat at about five meters above sea level at its western bank and plus four meters at its eastern bank.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Education Ministry, GTU relations improve

first_imgPresident of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) Mark Lyte on Thursday said the relationship between his union and the Education Ministry (MoE) has improved tremendously and has credited the leadership of the MoE for this new disposition.Lyte noted that although the relationship has improved, there are still issues to be addressed by the Union and the MoE. It is against this backdrop that he advocated for a closer cordial relationship between the MoE and the GTU.The union President said the union remains committed as a partner in the education process. “We understand our role here in Guyana. Our children’s future lies squarely at the feet of the teachers and the MoE”.Deputy Chief Education Officer (Administration) (left) seated next to GTU President Mark Lyte who participated in the REDOs retreatDuring a presentation at the Regional Education Officers retreat in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) in Madhia, Lyte said that being invited to present at the forum is testimony to the improved relationship between his body and the Education Ministry.During his presentation to REDOs, an educator himself, Lyte said “your goals for education in the various regions/education districts cannot be achieved without the teachers you manage”. It was at this juncture that the GTU President said the ‘we vs you’ relationship that previously existed between the GTU and the MoE has no business in the education system.Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief Education Officer (Administration) Ingrid Trotman said that it is now a policy of the MoE to have GTU officers present at functions hosted by the Ministry. She said this is important since the GTU plays a very important role in the education delivery process.Trotman also revealed that her Ministry will ensure that monthly meetings with the GTU and her body are held so that there can be information sharing between the two parties so that the children benefit in a meaningful way.last_img read more

Wrestling: Meet complaints issue for Mission

first_img“That’s a Mission League issue under their offices,” Wigod said. “They decide who goes to CIF, and they structure how their league champion is determined. We’re not involved in that in any way.” League coaches considered filing a complaint to try and strip Crespi of its fifth straight league title and sanction Odman for weighing in his wrestlers before the rest of the teams arrived for Saturday’s dual meet-style competition. Chaminade of West Hills coach Dan Peiffer, Harvard-Westlake of Studio City’s Gary Bairos, Brentwood of Los Angeles’ Richard Ramos and Mission Hills’ Lou Carmona speculated that Crespi’s wrestlers might not have made weight. Odman weighed in his team a second time in an attempt to quiet criticism, but coaches still had doubts because some said Odman did not make the results of the extra weigh-in available. Crespi’s coach said he hid nothing from the rest of the coaches. “I was the meet manager and I am the league administrator and they had no right to look over one of my shoulders,” said Odman, whose team takes on Santiago of Garden Grove at 11 a.m. Saturday in the opening round of the Div. VI dual meet championships at Elsinore High in Wildomar. “If I would have known my rights I’ve would have squashed it. The fact that I entertained it was my fault. I just wanted the kids to wrestle. I wouldn’t have had the second weigh-in as a courtesy.” Carmona said he was not pleased with the second weigh-in because it happened after the scales were supposed to be closed at 11 a.m., an hour before the start of the meet. But the Warriors’ coach was most upset about two of his wrestlers having to go to the hospital with season-ending injuries. Crespi also had a wrestler sent to the hospital Saturday. Despite the uncertainties, all coaches agreed to proceed with the meet, and Crespi clinched the league title after a coaches meeting to determine if the meet should take place. “I’m a fly on the wall right now,” Carmona said. “I’m focusing on what’s in front of, not what’s going on. “I’m upset, but I don’t want to sound like the guy pushing this thing. Mike (Odman) will have to answer to other people.” Chaminade’s athletic director said Peiffer talked to him about the issue and will be discussing it Feb. 15 at the Mission League Athletic Directors’ meeting. Harvard-Westlake athletic director for communications Terry Barnum said the school has not been contacted regarding any protests, and at this time doesn’t have any plans to initiate a complaint about the issue. “This is not a CIF issue,” Odman said. “When I talked to (CIF), they thought it was preposterous. “The moment (the other coaches) agreed to wrestle, they lost their grounds for a complaint. What’s done is done. I did exactly what our league contract said. If the Mission League doesn’t trust me then they can get a new rep. I got nothing to hide. These wrestling rivalries are for real. And I tell you this, it’s lonely at the top.” Mission League coaches agree in changing the league finals into a bracket format to determine CIF qualifiers instead of a 5-way dual meet format. The team league champion then would be determined by its regular season dualmeet record. Marmonte League co-champs have it tough: Royal of Simi Valley will seek another Southern Section dual-meet championship, this time in Div. II after the Marmonte League was realigned this offseason. But the No. 4-ranked Highlanders might have to face top-ranked Laguna Hills in the semifinals after being drawn into the same part of the bracket as the Hawks. Coach Richard Carrillo’s team will face Alta Loma in the opening round at 11 a.m. Saturday at North Torrance High. The Highlanders split the league title with Thousand Oaks. The Lancers might not have it easy, either. Coach Kerry Lane’s team drew Rancho Cucamonga, ranked No. 7 in Div. V, and with a win it could face North Torrance, the No. 2 team. Thousand Oaks reached the second round in Div. V last year, where it was eliminated by Cajon of San Bernardino. Highland could meet Morro Bay: Highland of Palmdale drew the No. 2 seed in the Div. V dual meet championships and will face Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates. The Bulldogs, who won their 13th Golden League title in the past 15 years and are ranked No. 2 in the division, could face their toughest task against Morro Bay, the No. 3 team, in the semis before a possible showdown with top-seeded Bishop Amat of La Puente. League runner-up Quartz Hill opens its run at a dual meet title against Canyon Springs of Moreno Valley and it only gets tougher if the Rebels were to advance. Coach Trevor Leach’s team drew into the top part of the bracket featuring Loara of Anaheim the No. 4 team and Bishop Amat. “We can’t go in scared against any opponent,” Leach said. “We hope our technique is sound. A lot of times you think about who you are facing but our kids have begun to get past that and have begun to emerge.” (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Complaints that Crespi of Encino coach and Mission League administrator Mike Odman broke regulations at last weekend’s CIF qualifying meet might not make it to the Southern Section’s office. That’s because the issue should be resolved by the league, according to the Section’s assistant commissioner and wrestling administrator, Rob Wigod. last_img read more

Ronaldo can’t beat Uruguay on his own, warns Portugal coach

first_img“We have to play as a team. If Ronaldo plays alone we will lose,” Santos told reporters at the Fisht Stadium, where the Portugal skipper scored a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw with Spain during the group phase.“We have to be strong as a team, as strong as Uruguay. It is difficult to play on your own. Even if he scores three goals, he has a team working for him.”Santos, though, also warned his side of the quality throughout the Uruguay ranks, from skipper Diego Godin at the back to Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez up front.“Their central defenders play for Atletico Madrid, who won the Europa League. In midfield they have one who plays for Juventus and one for Inter.“Their strikers play for Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. Three of those sides won the league in their countries.“It is true, though, that when both teams cancel each other out, that is where the individuals come to the fore.“I hope my team can be as strong as Uruguay, and that Cristiano can then make the difference.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo at Portugal’s training session on Friday before they headed to Sochi for their World Cup tie against Uruguay © AFP / Francisco LEONGSOCHI, Russian Federation, Jun 29 – Cristiano Ronaldo cannot beat Uruguay all by himself. That is the message from Portugal coach Fernando Santos to his team ahead of Saturday’s World Cup last-16 clash in Sochi.Ronaldo has scored four times in Russia but Portugal have already shown that they can win without him — they beat France in the Euro 2016 final despite losing the Real Madrid man to injury early on.last_img read more

Jackson may scrap up-tempo offense

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“A lot of teams are playing guys they know are going to play. They’re running their rotations and experimenting with one or two players. We’re not at that level yet. There’s time. There’s a week ahead. We still have three games.” The Lakers face the Utah Jazz tonight at the Honda Center and again Thursday in San Diego. They play the Sacramento Kings on Friday in Las Vegas, and then it’s almost show time. Opening night is Oct. 30 against the Houston Rockets. It’s been difficult to gauge the Lakers’ potential. Injuries have made it impossible for Jackson to use his anticipated player rotations. Lineups have been patchwork, with some veterans playing limited minutes. What’s more, Jackson has attempted to install an up-tempo offense as an option to the triangle. Jackson has had only limited success with it, acknowledging he might scrap it altogether if he doesn’t get the results he wants. “Oh, we’re really happy there’s only a week left,” Jackson said with a chuckle. “(Training camp) has kind of been like kissing your sister. I thought we were taking a couple of steps forward, then we took one back (in a 112-96 loss to the Clippers).” By Elliott Teaford STAFF WRITER Heading into the final week of training camp, the Lakers are still very much a work in progress. “We’re still experimenting,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after a loss to the Clippers dropped them to 2-3 in exhibition games. The Lakers had 22 turnovers, including seven by Kobe Bryant in only 16 minutes. Jackson seemed more concerned than Bryant, who had four turnovers in 21 minutes the night before in a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. “Oh, it just can’t be like that,” Jackson said when asked about Bryant’s turnovers. “You can’t defend turnovers. That’s basically the rule. You can defend good shots or second opportunities, but you can’t defend turnovers. It just puts you in jeopardy. “We’re working through it, seeing how our lineups work.” Bryant chalked up the turnovers to the makeshift lineups necessitated by injuries and Jackson’s tinkering, plus the change in the offensive strategy. Bryant is averaging 12.8 points and 4.4 assists, but also 5.2 turnovers in 20.4 minutes in exhibition play. “Stop experimenting,” Bryant said when asked how to cut down on the turnovers. “In the preseason, we experiment to see who can do what. If you’re going to try something and see who can do what, you do it in the preseason.” Odds and ends Luke Walton sat out practice because of a strained right hip suffered in Saturday’s game against Charlotte. He said he was uncertain whether he could play tonight against Utah. … Chris Mihm also did not participate in the workout, suffering from general soreness after playing Saturday and Sunday. … Lamar Odom is set to have his final doctor’s examination on his surgically repaired left shoulder this week, but it remains unclear if he’ll be cleared to play on opening night. Odom’s surgery was his second in as many offseasons to repair a torn labrum. … Asked about the Lakers’ many injuries, Jackson said: “Overall, we were in better shape than last year. Last year, we had Kobe and Kwame (Brown) out at this point.” … The Lakers have 14 players on the roster with guaranteed contracts for the season, one shy of the NBA limit. Jackson said he would prefer to stick with 14, which means free agents Elton Brown, Andre Patterson, Coby Karl and Larry Turner might be looking for work next week. elliott.teaford@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Taking out ‘gas rage’

first_imgLOS ANGELES (AP) Tempers are rising along with gas prices. Gas stations across the country report that drivers are taking out their “gas rage” against big oil by yelling at clerks and cashiers and sometimes driving off without paying. “Everyone is suffering at the same time,” said Sam Shirazie, a clerk at a Chevron station east of downtown Los Angeles. “If I could help to reduce that pain, I would.” No detailed statistics are kept on incidents of gas rage. But the National Association of Convenience Stores said anecdotal evidence indicates they have increased since prices began climbing in February. Employees of Fleming Corp., which operates 14 gas stations in Kansas and Missouri, have heard everything from “just a mumble-grumble kind of thing to a cheap shot or blaming the clerk for world oil prices,” owner Ed Roitz said. Division manager Ron Davis hears complaints firsthand. “Out of all our customers, probably 1 percent does the loudest squealing,” he said. “I don’t want to repeat some of it. They’ll talk about the blankety-blank oil companies.” The convenience stores association advises store owners to ensure that employees understand the costs associated with gas, and encourages them to explain to customers that in some cases they aren’t making any profits despite the soaring price of fuel. Retailers make about two-thirds of their profits from items inside the store, he said. But “don’t dismiss customer complaints because we’re in the customer service business, and anytime you don’t address customer complaints, they’ll go somewhere else,” association spokesman Jeff Lenard said. Steve Grosse is trying humor to defuse tempers. At his Shell station in Manhattan Beach, he replaced the price of three grades of gas with the words “arm,” “leg” and “first born.” In Los Angeles, Chevron station co-owner Anthony Sinai has started giving free sodas to customers who pump $20 worth of gas. He wants to avoid a repeat of an incident last year in which an upset customer threw a cup of coffee at a female clerk and knocked over display items. Consumers might finally be getting at least a temporary break at the pump. The latest figures released May 21 by the Lundberg Survey indicate the nationwide average price of self-serve regular fell about 1.45 cents in the previous two weeks, to $2.93 a gallon the first dip since the Feb. 24 price of $2.24 began to climb. Convenience stores that sell gas are responsible for three-quarters of all gas sales in the United States, Lenard said. But only 3 percent of those stations are owned by oil companies. Sinai said most of his steady customers understand that he makes just a few cents per gallon and that gas prices are controlled by market forces far beyond his control. “When I explain that to people, they’re just totally surprised because they expect us to make a lot more money,” he said. Police in Los Angeles and San Diego the city with the highest gas prices in the nation haven’t noticed any violent trends toward gas station workers. But there have been gas-related crimes around the nation. In Austin, Texas, a man was arrested this month on suspicion of stealing hundreds of gallons of fuel from underground tanks while posing as a parking lot cleaner. He sold the gas from his driveway, police said. In Fond du Lac, Wis., the number of reported cases of customers driving off without paying for gas doubled to 100 in the first four months of this year compared with the first four months of 2005, police Maj. Kevin Lemke said. “We’ve talked to a lot of the (station) owners that are having problems and made some suggestions like maybe they need to start thinking about pre-pay,” Lemke said. “But in a small community like Fond du Lac, they don’t want to inconvenience even their good customers because of a few bad customers.” Retailers in other areas have had the same problem with pre-pay, the convenience store association said. Gasoline theft cost the industry an estimated $237 million in 2004, the most recent year for which statistics are available, according to the group. Some retailers have installed security cameras, increased employee monitoring of pumps and advised workers to greet customers to take away their feeling of anonymity. An incident last August prompted gasoline industry groups to tell workers not to risk lives by trying to stop drive-offs. In Fort Payne, Ala., station owner Husain “Tony” Caddi, 54, was killed while grabbing the vehicle of a man trying to drive away without paying for $52 worth of gas. The driver, Alvin Dwight Benefield, 42, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL athlete Caitriona Jennings has won the Flora Women’s Mini-Marathon.The 30-year-old Letterkenny native crossed the line in an unofficial time of 35m29s. She was sixth in the race in 2010.Over 40,000 women took part in the race, with many running and walking the 10km south Dublin course for charitable causes. Said Catriona: “The conditions were perfect – it was a bit windy on the way out for the first 5km but that kind of kept the pace fairly even.“I felt really comfortable, I didn’t want to think too far ahead but the girls were just dropping off and I thought the pace was fine so I stuck with it.“I run with Sportsworld in Terenure. The training for this has been up and down because I was injured. I had an Achilles problem in January which kind of lingered until around April so I didn’t think I’d have enough training coming back in here.“This is probably my first big win – I was sixth here last year and fifth the previous year so I really wanted to make amends and I’m delighted it’s paid off. Third time lucky. It’s not my fastest time. I think it was just outside my personal best, but not too far.” LETTERKENNY ATHLETE WINS FLORA MINI MARATHON was last modified: June 7th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:catriona jenningsletterkennylast_img read more

Seven hurt in China Eastern turbulence

first_imgSeven people were taken to hospital  after sustaining injuries on a China Eastern jet approaching Sydney Airport hit turbulence on Tuesday afternoon.Flight MU777 from Kunming in South-west China was operating a new service to Sydney Airport which launched last week .  Reports suggested that about 10 people were initially treated by paramedics at the airport gate .Sydney Airport tweeted that emergency services were on site to treat the passengers after the flight encountered turbulence upon landing.A  NSW Ambulance spokesman described the injuries as minor with  three patients treated for neck pain, one for back pain, one for a jaw laceration, one  for a wrist injury and another for minor  head injury.All seven were taken to Sydney hospitals.ABC radio reported that some passengers may not have had their seat belts fastened.last_img read more

ReadWrite DeathWatch: AMD

first_imgIntel’s success and a shrinking PC market have seriously hurt the No. 2 chipmaker. Does it have enough fight left to reinvent itself? The ProblemAMD has pointed to a number of temporary and very correctable issues that have contributed to its current troubles. For example, a glut of Llano chips on the market is dampening demand for upcoming products. While that certainly doesn’t help, AMD’s real problems are simpler and more intractable:AMD is a PC company. Intel is winning the PC war And the PC pie is getting smaller.In its PC CPU space (still the company’s bread and butter), AMD has dropped the ball. Bulldozer was a massive disappointment, Intel has strung together a couple of clear winners with Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge, and the performance crown won’t be leaving Santa Clara any time soon.Could AMD fight its way back to desktop dominance? Maybe, if Intel stumbles and AMD knocks it out of the park – but at what cost? These days, hard drives, graphics processors or other components are more likely to be the performance bottleneck – so the CPU maters less than it used to.Worse, the PC market is shrinking fast. Just ask Intel, which lost its shirt on miserable ultrabook sales. Tablets are already 22% of non-phone device sales and growing, while laptop and desktop shipments can’t keep up. A losing position in a legacy market market isn’t much to build on.This is neither a secret nor a surprise. AMD management has seen it coming for some time. It just haven’t reacted fast enough. In AMD’s latest earnings report, CEO Rory Read acknowledged that “It is clear that the trends we knew would re-shape the industry are happening at a much faster pace than we anticipated. As a result, we must accelerate our strategic initiatives to position AMD to take advantage of these shifts and put in place a lower-cost business model. Our restructuring efforts are designed to simplify our product development cycles, reduce our breakeven [sic] point and enable us to fund differentiated product roadmaps and strategic breakaway opportunities.”In other words, AMD needs to do something new, and fast.The PrognosisAMD can’t – and shouldn’t – abandon its CPU business unless it finds a serious buyer, but it will almost certainly focus elsewhere, looking to its embedded products for growth. It looks like the company will try to crack the mobile handset market, as well, but based on the beating TI took before recently calling off the mobile charge, that could be an expensive, low-probability gamble.As others have pointed out, selling AMD outright would open a very large, well-funded can of worms and could fan the flames of a legal war. Still, discrete pieces of the company’s intellectual property could generate lots of cash. The BasicsIn 1982, Advanced Micro Devices cut a deal with Intel to provide secondary manufacturing services for IBM. Under the terms of the agreement, AMD could manufacture Intel’s 8088 chip, which IBM used for the now-legendary IBM PC. The agreement created a rivalry that would last through more than a decade of court challenges, as AMD continued to manufacture low-priced chips based on Intel’s designs.In the mid-1990s, AMD began to find its own identity with the K5 processor, a Windows-compatible chip based on in-house designs. The K5’s low price gained it some acceptance from PC manufacturers and hobbyists building budget systems. In 1997, AMD released the much more powerful and successful K6 chip, which offered a substantial performance edge for the money over Intel’s Pentium II. The K6 created major demand in both the budget and gaming sectors, and its price/performance advantage made AMD a solid second option for PC owners. AMD strengthened that reputation at the high end when it merged with graphics processing specialist ATI Technologies in 2006, adding Nvidia to its list of competitors. For much of the early-to-mid 2000s, AMD was the go-to for high-end gaming systems, both custom-built and vendor-sourced. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#Deathwatch#Intel#microprocessors Can This Company Be Saved?There’s only one way AMD gets out of this more-or-less intact. If a large enough company with substantial legal resources and a presence in the PC, tablet and smartphone markets wanted to diversify its hardware options, AMD would be a relatively cheap and easy way to do it. Unfortunately, there are only two potential buyers who meet those criteria, so there aren’t a lot of options.Updates On Previous DeathwatchesSharp: Sharp has had to turn away applicants from its early retirement program after receiving many more applicants than expected. It will add a $311 million charge this quarter as a result.To see more ReadWrite DeathWatches, check out the ReadWrite DeathWatch Series, which collects them all, the most recent first.Chip image courtesy User:ZyMOS.   cormac fostercenter_img Related Posts When it acquired ATI, AMD was on top of the world, with a market cap topping $18 billion. But the realities of the integration softened the joy, the recession of 2008 took a toll, and 2012 has been brutal. Last fall, AMD laid off 12% of its workforce on lower-than-expected numbers. This year, it’s cutting another 15% after losing $137 million in the third quarter. As of November 20, AMD’s stock has tumbled more than 75% in just six months. A Reuters article recently revealed that AMD has enlisted the services of JPMorgan Chase & Co to “explore options” that could include a sale of all or part of the company. Officers have downplayed the significance of the bank’s work, stating that AMD is “not actively pursuing a sale of the company or significant assets at this time.” But they haven’t pulled it off the table, either. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more