Dear Editor,Every time one watches a press conference from the Granger Administration, one can easily conclude that some Ministers are part of a gang of talentless hicks and political hacks who are clueless as to what it really takes to run the affairs of a nation. If one reflects on the sugar issue as an example, Minister Noel Holder took the decision to shuts down four estates over a 12-month period (in his words “to cut the losses”), only to have Minister Jordan reopen two of them weeks after at an even great cost to the nation? Is this a joke?But what is even worse is that the largest portfolio in the Agriculture Ministry was ripped from the control of Holder and the Alliance For Change (AFC) poodles in the coalition who were promised the agriculture portfolio under the Cummingsburg Accord and placed firmly in the People’s National Congress (PNC) corner under Winston Jordan’s control. Whatever was the Cummingsburg Accord has now been smashed to smithereens and is now nothing but a sham. This very act hammered the last nail into the political coffin of the AFC; they are finished politically. Their only option now is to become PNC members en-mass, which I am told half of their leaders have already done. So much for the concept of a third party! The whole idea today is nothing but one big charade.If one considers the obstacle the Granger regime faces on this sugar issue, it now makes absolute sense that the better option all along was to pay the annual G$9 billion transfer from the Consolidated Fund and concomitantly take resolute and firm operational action to reduce the losses incrementally. This could have been achieved by actively eliminating the non-value added cost elements, attacking the rampant corruption in the Guyana Sugar Corporation at the managerial levels, consolidate the business where possible (merging Rose Hall and Albion as an example) and moving up the value chain (into ethanol, alcohol, more packaged sugar, agro-energy and possible refined sugar).Unfortunately, this course that the Granger regime took will only become more costly as the days go by and will hurt the taxpayers even more than the original path taken under the People’s Progressive Party. Now we are hearing that they need a loan of some G$30 billion just to keep the residual operation afloat over the next four years. What a disaster!When will President Granger spare the Guyanese people the indignity of listening to the confused positions of his competing Ministers and make a final and definitely pronouncement for the nation? After all, he should have some sort of vision for the sugar industry other than what passes for strategy today where his Government is responsible for the actively destroying of the assets in the sugar belt. I suspect if the President speaks decisively on the issue, he will spare the taxpayers the unending financial exposure and liability from this badly managed sugar issue.Regards,Sasenarine Singh
Officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) and Emergency Response Unit (ERU) yesterday besieged the residence of the ruling Unity Party’s (UP) chairman and senator of Grand Cape Mount County, Cllr. Varney Sherman, in the Presidential Task Force’s effort to ensure his appearance to answer to allegations of bribery made against him and several other public officials by Global Witness.The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) investigators went to Sherman’s residence with search and seizure warrants from the Ministry of Justice to search his home as well as his office, the Sherman and Sherman Law Firm.Countering the presence of the officers and LACC investigators, UP partisans converged at the residence, chanting slogans in an attempt to prevent Senator Sherman from being arrested and publicly disgraced.The UP partisans said there are many other cases of corruption involving officials that the government should go after and not Sherman alone.LNP spokesman, Sam Collins, informed partisans that the police were there to provide support to the ongoing Task Force investigation. Among UP partisans present at Sherman’s residence yesterday were Wilmot Paye, Secretary General; Amos Tweh, Youth Chair; James Davies, a strong UP partisan and close confidant of the President; and H. Prince Kamara, UP Coordinator in Grand Cape Mount County. “We have people who stole from government and still remain in top positions today. We have the John F. Kennedy saga that involves millions of dollars that the President has failed to speak about,” the UP partisans shouted.According to them, there are more allegations of criminal cases involving the President’s son while serving at the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).The partisans said the case died without Liberians getting a better understanding on the status of the money that vanished from NOCAL.“This government has a lot of corruption cases, such as the disappearance of millions at NOCAL and Maritime to pursue, but it is not doing it. Why only this Global Witness report,” asked Darlington Williams, a UP partisan.The partisans were heard expressing frustration over how the party was being treated.“What is at hand now is a legal issue; so let the chairman, who represents the image of the party, submit himself to the legal process so that he can vindicate himself. This will bring some level of sanity to the party,” partisan Fofana Bangallie said.He indicated that Sherman’s alleged action is a disgrace not just to the party, but the entire country, and it creates a dark cloud over the party’s chances in 2017.The partisans accused President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of masterminding the day’s event in an effort to get at the party chairman, as it happened after his 2014 senatorial election. It can be recalled that Cllr. Sherman’s victory in the senatorial election was challenged, resulting in a delay of his certification as senator of Grand Cape Mount County. Cllr. Sherman had earlier refused to submit to the Special Presidential Task Force set up to probe the Global Witness Bribery Report.His house could not be searched in line with instructions in the warrant because partisans of the Unity Party prevented it from happening.Speaking at a press conference late yesterday afternoon, the head of the Special Presidential Task Force, Cllr. Fonati Koffa, said his team, in collaboration with LACC, is working within the confines of the law.Cllr. Koffa, who was also recently appointed by the President as Minister of State Without Portfolio, said the arrest and search warrants received from the Ministry of Justice are intended to bring in those implicated in the Global Witness Report.“We received two search warrants which we used today,” he said, “at the home of Cllr. Varney Sherman and at his law firm’s offices.” “Without fear or favor, we will arraign all accused persons who are not cooperating with our investigation panel and give them the opportunities to exonerate themselves.”Cllr. Koffa warned citizens against interfering with the investigation and vowed to have anyone interrupting the process bear the full weight of the law.The warning came as a result of reports of Unity Party partisans preventing LACC investigators and police from entering Sherman’s residence.“Make no mistake to interfere with the ongoing investigation as we will not relent to use law enforcement to deal with anyone who obstructs the process,” warned Koffa.For his part, the Chairman of LACC, Cllr. James Verdier, said LACC has not been sidelined in the investigation of the Global Witness Report, as has been speculated.The LACC Chairman said the Presidential Task Force and the Ministry of Justice are collaborating in the process to investigate those implicated in the Global Witness Report, clarifying that no one should question the Executive Power of the President to appoint a Task Force to investigate any case.“LACC is working along with the Task Force and the Ministry of Justice in the investigation of the Global Witness Report, but is not in conflict with them as it has been speculated,” Cllr. Verdier maintained.The LACC boss meanwhile said the interest in the Global Witness saga is due to the fact that it is at the heart of government’s struggle to tackle corruption.Cllr. Vardier clarified that the objective of the Commission is not a witch hunt.It may be recalled that Cllr. Varney Sherman and House Speaker Alex Tyler opted not to appear before the Task Force, saying it lacks the judicial authority to investigate them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Liberia UK based basketball star Saah Nimley (Photo Credit: Newcastle Eagles)Saah Nimley continues to prove his exceptional qualities for Newcastle Eagles in the British Basketball League (BBL) after the Liberian-born basketball star was named in the BBL ALL-Star Five – Week 2.Having been named in the week-one All-star Five, Nimley maintained his name in the All-Star Five. The 24-year-old once again proved another class after the Eagles defeated Manchester Giants 102-70.The point guard scored 17points with teammates Terry Martin and Jaysean Paige scoring 15points apiece.Nimley was joined in week-two All-Star Five by Neil Watson of Plymouth Raiders, Justin Robinson and Demonte Flannigan, both of London Lions and Tony Wroblicky of DBL Sharks Sheffield.The point guard was named in week-one All-Star Five after he showed his scoring and creative ability with 27 points – 3 points behind the game’s highest scorer Jaysean Paige – and 7 assists, as well as 4 rebounds and 2 steals against Leeds Force.The Eagles will this weekend host London Lions at the Sport Central as they search for their second home victory and third league victory.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Luka Milivojevic drove struggling Palace into a 13th minute lead from the penalty spot after Loris Karius fouled Wilfried Zaha.But Senegal winger Sadio Mane levelled four minutes after the break with a close-range finish.Despite having one of his quieter games of an incredible debut season at Liverpool, Salah proved the match winner as he smashed home in the 84th minute.Salah, who has 37 goals in 42 games in all competitions this term, has scored in the joint-most Premier League matches (21) in a single 38-match season.That ties the mark set by Robin van Persie in 2012-13 and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007-08.“I think the moment you see it is Mo (on the ball) you feel good. It was a very cool finish and long may that form continue,” Klopp said.“It is usual for us that we need to fight here, especially after a difficult start, but it makes it more special at the end.”Liverpool were unable to hold onto second place as United moved two points ahead of them at Old Trafford.Following on from his recent 12-minute press conference rant in defence of his reign, United manager Jose Mourinho wrote in his programme notes that United are a club “in a moment of transition”.United responded to Mourinho’s words as out-of-form midfielder Paul Pogba returned for the first time in four matches.Romelu Lukaku scored for United with a deflected strike from Sanchez’s pass in the fifth minute.Former Chelsea and Everton star Lukaku, who has netted in five times in his last six appearances, now has 100 career Premier League goals.Chile forward Sanchez bagged just his second goal since joining United from Arsenal in January in the 20th minute.The Premier League’s highest paid player had gone seven games without a goal until he finished off Jesse Lingard’s pass.– Happy Hammers –Later Saturday, Manchester City can restore their 16-point lead with victory at Everton which would then set up the chance to wrap up the title by defeating United next weekend.Marko Arnautovic lifted the gloom at West Ham as his double inspired a crucial 3-0 victory against relegation rivals Southampton.Hundreds of fans staged a march against West Ham’s co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan before kick-off in the aftermath of the crowd protests that marred their recent home defeat against Burnley.Amid a tense atmosphere that saw extra security measures to protect the owners, on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario eased the anxiety with a 13th minute opener for David Moyes’ side.Four minutes later, Arnautovic doubled West Ham’s lead and celebrated by shouting angrily towards Saints boss Mark Hughes, who fell out with the Austrian when they were together at Stoke.And Arnautovic ensured West Ham’s fans went home happy for once with a superb volley in first half stoppage-time.West Ham are five points above the relegation zone, while Southampton drop into the bottom three.West Bromwich Albion look certain to be relegated after Burnley’s 2-1 win at the Hawthorns handed the bottom club an eighth consecutive defeat.Ashley Barnes put Burnley ahead in the 22nd minute and Chris Wood struck against his old team after 73 minutes.Salomon Rondon got one back in the 83rd minute but Albion are 10 points from safety with just six games remaining.Leicester struck late in a 2-0 win at Brighton.Brighton striker Glenn Murray saw his penalty saved by Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Vicente Iborra headed home in the 83rd minute.Leicester had Wilfried Ndidi sent off for two bookings before Jamie Vardy grabbed the visitors’ second in stoppage-time.Ayoze Perez’s 80th minute goal gave Newcastle a 1-0 win against Huddersfield at St James’ Park.Jermain Defoe’s stoppage-time equaliser saved Bournemouth in their 2-2 draw at Watford.Watford scored through Kiko Femenia and Roberto Pereyra either side of Josh King’s leveller.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Dramatic winner: Liverpool’s Egyptian star Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the second goal© AFP Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 31 – Mohamed Salah was Liverpool’s hero yet again as the Egypt star clinched a dramatic 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, while Alexis Sanchez ended his Manchester United goal drought in a 2-0 victory over Swansea on Saturday.Despite the huge Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City looming on Wednesday, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp named his strongest side for the Premier League trip to south London.
PRIVATE INFORMATION on hundreds of Donegal people may now have been leaked following a security breach at Letterkenny’s Department of Social Protection.The Deputy Director of the DATA Protection Commission has confirmed to donegaldaily.com that this is the biggest investigation his department has ever undertaken.The massive probe was sparked after a civil servant passed on sensitive material to a private investigator who then passed it on to a number of financial institutions. Mr.Gary Davis of the DPC confirmed to us that TWO private investigators and a number of financial institutions are now being examined as part of their investigation.“This is the biggest investigation we have undertaken. We can confirm it involves one individual passing on information to a private investigator whom we believe passed on this information to a number of third parties. “The investigation is still ongoing so we are limited to what we can say at the moment. I can confirm that two private investigators and a number of financial institutions have been visited as part of our investigation process,” he said.Although Mr.Davis would not be drawn on how many people’s information was accessed and passed on to the private investigator, it is believed to run into hundreds. He added that possible prosecutions arising out of the probe was a matter for the Gardai to decide upon.The civil servant, who worked at Government buildings at Oliver Plunkett Road, was caught when Gardai raided the home of the private detective.Detectives found the confidential details of a number of people at the PI’s office during the raid.The details were then cross-referenced with Government employees who had accessed all these people’s records and a match was found.A full investigation into the details of the information passed on is currently being processed by DATA protection chiefs. The Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is investigating suspicions the private investigator was using the information to send reports to a number of leading insurance companies.The Government employee at the centre of the probe has not been seen at his office in Letterkenny for a number of weeks and has now officially been suspended.The DPC’s investigation was sparked following an internal probe in the Department of Social Protection.Managers at the Letterkenny Department discovered the civil servant was accessing records of people he had no apparent business with. The department checked these to his phone logs, which showed he had contacted a number linked to the private investigator.Last night a source at the Department of Social Protection in Letterkenny said yesterday’s shocking revelations on donegaldaily.com was the talk of the Department.“It had been rumoured that something had happened and that somebody had been suspended but to see it in black and white was shocking.“It’s a valuable lesson for all of us that the information we have access to is highly sensitive and we must protect it.“The public has a right to expect that information stored on them remains confidential,” he said.A spokesperson for the Department of Social Protection in Letterkenny would not comment on the matter as an investigation into the incident had been launched.EndsREVEALED: DONEGAL CIVIL SERVANT AT CENTRE OF ‘BIGGEST EVER’ PROBE INTO PERSONAL DETAIL LEAKS was last modified: January 26th, 2011 by StephenShare 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)
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – The Antelope Valley Chapter of the International Test and Evaluation Association awarded a $5,000 science and technology grant to Lancaster High School’s robotics program. A formal presentation will occur during the 10th annual ITEA Instrumentation Workshop to be held May 1-4 at the Essex House Convention Center in Lancaster. ITEA’s Antelope Valley chapter is headquartered at Edwards Air Force Base and is composed of test professionals from government and industry. It awards grants annually to local schools for funding science and technology oriented programs. The local chapter has provided more then $60,000 in grants in recent years to high schools including Tehachapi, Mojave, Lancaster, Rosamond, Desert, Quartz Hill and Desert Christian. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Grant applications are solicited each fall by the ITEA chapter from the local high schools. Lancaster High’s robotics program is a three-time winner. The robotics program is to stimulate students’ interest in science, math and technology while designing, building and manufacturing a robot with the assistance of volunteer engineers from local industry. For further information on the ITEA grant application process or for information on joining the ITEA organization, visit www.iteaavchapter.org.
A company director, who crashed a hire car, was fined for no insurance and banned from driving, after the car hire company voided his insurance policy. Mark Gill, 37, of Annagh, Clonmany, was charged with no insurance and failing to produce his insurance following a single vehicle collision at Carrickafoden, Carn, on December 14, 2015. Mr. Gill was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report the accident before Carn Court last Tuesday week.However, Judge Paul Kelly dismissed these charges after the court heard that Gill contacted the car hire company and moved the car just 50 yards from the scene of the original collision.The Clonmany man was not present, however the case proceeded in his absence, with his solicitor contesting the charges.Garda Paul Lyons told the court gardaí received a report that a vehicle collided with a ditch and a telegraph pole at Carrickafoden, Carn on December 14, 2015, at 2am. He said they were told that wires from the telegraph pole were hanging low on the road.Gda. Lyons said they went to the scene and found the telegraph pole broken in half. He said the wires had been tied back into the ditch at that stage. He also found the suspected vehicle involved 50 yards away at the side of the road.‘I saw a black Mercedes Benz about 50 yards down the road, parked on a private lane,” said Gda. Lyons.“It was missing a wheel – this indicated it was quite a violent collision. There was extensive damage to the front passenger side of the vehicle, but we were unable to locate anyone from the vehicle. We removed it from the scene at 4.20am.”Gda. Lyons said he carried out enquiries and learned that the vehicle was a hire vehicle from a Budget Car Hire in Belfast. He said he contacted Mark Hill on December 23 and asked him to make a statement about the road traffic collision.“He told me his mother was in hospital but he would attend the garda station after he visited her, but he failed to appear at the station.“On January 11, 2016, I spoke with Mr. Gill again and asked him to come to the station but he said he was in England working and wouldn’t return until January 22. I asked him to produce his insurance on this date. When I contacted him again on January 22, I couldn’t get an answer. I contacted him several times over that weekend but he didn’t answer.”Hannah Carlin, Manager of Budget Avis Car Hire in Belfast told the court that Mr. Gill contacted her company to tell her about the accident.She said Mr. Gill hired the car, a black Mercedes Benz A Class, from Belfast Airport on December 10.“He said he was driving the car and was in an accident. He said he didn’t know what happened but that he hit a telegraph pole. He said there was a passenger who was badly hurt but at the end of the conversation he stated that there may not have been a passenger on with him after all,” explained Ms. Carlin.“He didn’t make a huge amount of sense. He said he was back at work in England. I told him the vehicle was not to be taken out of Northern Ireland. He told me he was living in Strabane and would come back to me with an address. I tried to contact him by phone again but to no avail.”Defence solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn asked Ms. Carlin if his client, Mr. Gill, was insured when he left Belfast. She told the court he had purchases collision damage and theft protection waiver from them but that this only covered him within Northern Ireland.“He invalidated the terms of the rental agreement by taking the car out of Northern Ireland. Cross Border travel is subject to an extra fee and you must get permission,” Ms. Carlin told the court.“If he had the accident in Northern Ireland he would have been covered but he invalidated that.”Mr. MacLochlainn argued that there was no evidence that his client was driving the car. He also said that 50 yards down the road did not count for leaving the scene, adding that he contacted the hire company the following day.Garda Inspector David Murphy said he believed if the car had not lost a wheel in the collision Mr. Gill ‘wouldn’t have been seen for dust’.He said the Clonmany man was continually evasive and ‘never made himself available’ for Gardaí.“Everyone knows when you are involved in a road traffic collision there is an onus on you to report it to gardaí,” said Insp. Murphy.“Every opportunity was given to him to speak with gardaí but Garda Lyons was met with a lack of co-operation every time.”Judge Paul Kelly said he believed there was ‘overwhelming circumstantial evidence’that unmistakingly gives rise to the conclusion that Mr. Gill was driving the vehicle.“He had a conversation with Ms. Carlin about the collision, he had an opportunity to give evidence and refute what she says but he’s not here,” said Judge Kelly.Judge Kelly said he would dismiss the failing to remain at the scene as the car was only 50 yards away and the failing to report the accident charge.“He did contact the hire company the following day, although not in an entirely satisfactory way, but I will dismiss that charge – that just leaves the no insurance charge.”Mr. MacLochlainn argued that this insurance policy was not voided when his client crossed the border, however Judge Kelly disagreed.“I disagree entirely. I’m satisfied that the charge has been proven based on Ms. Carlin’s evidence,” he added.Insp. Murphy then told the court that Mr. Gill had previous convictions for having no licence, no insurance and no tax in 2008 and more for having no insurance displayed and no tax in 2011.Mr. MacLochlainn said he was told that his client, who is a company director of a plant hire business in Scotland with two children, had no previous convictions.Judge Kelly fined Gill €500 and banned him from driving for two years given that his last conviction for no insurance was nine years ago.Normally a second no insurance conviction is an automatic four year driving ban, however if the previous conviction is more than three years ago a Judge has discretion to reduce the length of the ban.Man who crashed hire car into telegraph pole banned from driving and fined was last modified: July 6th, 2017 by StephenShare 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:clonmanycourtcrashdonegalhire carInishowen
Senior MenThe senior men had mixed fortunes over the last week. On Wednesday last Letterkenny Gaels were the visitors and both the reserves and seniors recorded home victories. Then on Sunday past table toppers Milford were made the journey to Pairc Aodh Rua unfortunately the Milford men left with the points on this occasion. The reserves were well beaten on a scoreline of Red Hughs 1-7 Milford 0-19The seniors had a first half to forget and struggled to get to grips with the Milford lads. To add more misery the Reds were reduced to 14 men before the break and Milford took full advantage scoring the only goal of the game shortly after.The halftime score Red Hughs 0-2 Milford 1-5 A more determined second half display from the Reds seen them holding the Milford men to only 2 points in the second half. But unfortunately the damage was done in the opening 30 minutes and the gap proved too big to close. The Final score Red Hughs 0-6 Milford 1-7Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Ryan Kelly who once again dislocated his shoulder.Minor BoysThe minor boys played Burt away on Monday evening in their second group game of the championship. The lads put in a spirited performance and rued some missed chances. With the Burt lads short on numbers they played 13 aside which didn’t suit the Red Hughs lads. The final score was Red Hughs 3-8 Burt 2-12They now play Carndonagh at home on Wednesday evening with a 7.30pm throw in. A victory is a must for the lads to progress to the quarter final so come out and give them a bit of support.Under 14 BoysThe young lads played Buncranna in the division 2 league final in Convoy on Sunday evening. The boys put up a good fight in the first half but the Buncranna lads were a more physically stronger team and over powered the Reds lads as the game went on. Great credit to the boys they never gave up and kept going right to the last whistle. They have now qualified for the all County semifinal. Date and venue t.b.cUnder 12 BoysThe under 12 boys qualified for the final of their league after defeating Cloghaneely on Saturday past. The young lads now play in the final on Wednesday evening venue t.b.c. Keep an eye on facebook for details.Lotto & 100+Club Results 10/07/15Numbers Drawn 3,2,8,1,4,7,6,52 Winners Matched 3 NumbersKathleen Browne Letterkenny & Colm Mc Nulty Tiernisk Castlefinreceive €25 EachNext weeks Jackpot is €5,500 This weeks winner of the 100+ Club was Number 96 Micheal Mc Glinchey CronalaghyThanks to everyone for your continued support.Ulster Final TicketsTickets for ulster final will be given out from 8.30pm to 9pm on Tuesday the 14th July. Tickets must be paid for on collection. GAA NEWS: RED HUGHS WISH PLAYER RYAN KELLY A SPEEDY RECOVERY AFTER NASTY SHOULDER INJURY was last modified: July 14th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:GAANoticesRED HUGHS.Sport
A few more volunteers are needed for Nov. 7 in the Principal for a Day program sponsored by the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation. The event pairs business and community leaders with school administrators for an inside look at local education, culminating with a luncheon for all participants. This year’s guest speaker will be Xueting Ma, a teacher from Xi’an, China, who is part of an exchange program with Saugus High School. The luncheon program this year will focus on the student exchange between Santa Clarita and China, with a look at how the interaction affects both education and business. Last-minute slots are available to shadow both principals and superintendents. For a donation of $300, executives can shadow Beverly Silsbee, superintendent of the Castaic Union School District, or Superintendent Judy Fish of the Saugus Union School District. A donation of $275 would pair an executive with Assistant Superintendent Kathy Wright of the Sulphur Springs School District. 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 MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Elementary school principals still open to being paired – for a $150 donation – include Paul Martinson, Bouquet Canyon; Dianne Saunders, Cedarcreek; Christine Hamlin, Mountainview; Cory Pak, Rosedell; and Deborah Bohn, Skyblue Mesa. “Our goal is to have every principal in the valley shadowed,” said event chairman Dan Goetz. “This event will offer a new perspective on the challenges and accomplishments of our local public schools.” Reservations can be made by calling Felicia Scorse at the Chamber of Commerce, (661) 702-6977, or by visiting the Education Foundation’s Web site at www.scvcef.org. Proceeds from the event help to fund the Education Foundation’s teacher-grants program, which this year awarded $40,000 to support education across the Santa Clarita Valley. The foundation also awarded $5,500 this year in scholarships to graduating seniors.
Getting around Joburg on a minibus taxi can be daunting for newbies. But once you know your short right from your after robot, and your Diepsloot from your Orange Farm, it’s the fastest, most popular and often the cheapest way to get where you want to go. Minibus taxis are by far the most popular – and are often the cheapest – form of public transport in South Africa, used mainly by the urban and rural poor. (Image: Arrive Alive) • Sanlam Cape Town Marathon goes silver • South Africa’s tourism improves • Rugby’s full story: the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum • The artist at work: Mbongeni Buthelezi makes beauty out of waste • World falls in love with South African baby elephant Ray MaotaMinibus taxis are by far the most popular – and are often the cheapest – form of public transport in South Africa, used mainly by the urban and rural poor.In Johannesburg, using a taxi can be bewildering, and even frightening, if you are not from the city of gold. Here’s a quick guide to ease your way.To board a taxi in the city of Johannesburg, you must first get to the appropriate taxi rank. Here, hundreds of minibus taxis converge to ferry commuters to their various destinations in and out of Gauteng province, and even across the border to neighbouring countries.The Johannesburg CBD has four major taxi ranks: Noord Street Taxi Rank, Bree Street Taxi Rank, Wanderers Taxi Rank and Faraday Taxi Rank. At any of the four, you can get a taxi to anywhere in Gauteng, while some also cater for taxis beyond the province.Noord Street is by far the largest and busiest rank in the middle of the city. As you approach the rank, especially during peak hours, you are swarmed by hordes of hurrying commuters. You are also confronted by hawkers peddling a variety of goods, ranging from foodstuff to clothing and anything else in-between.The taxi ranks are the easiest part of your journey to navigate as there is signage and you stand in queues to board a taxi to your destination. It’s when you are not at a taxi rank that you have to be fluent in taxi sign language – there are no written signs; it’s all done by a complicated series of hand signals. And South African minibus taxis stop wherever they are needed along whatever road they are driving. They do not have designated stops; you simply have to flag one down – using the correct hand signal, of course.A language like no otherEvery day thousands of hands stretch out along commuter routes across Gauteng speaking a silent language of taxi hand signals. According to artist Susan Woolf, taxi hand signs are a shared language, learned by imitation and word of mouth.Woolf is a recognised expert in Gauteng taxi hand signs, or what is really the Gauteng dialect of what has been called South Africa’s 12th official language. She spent many years of research and artistic production focusing on the signals, documenting and deciphering them. Along the way, she has created a lexicon for blind people to comfortably use this mode of transport.“They are basic gestures tied to narrative threads that swirl through community life connecting today with history and folklore,” says Woolf.They are complex, she adds. They often have an indexical aspect in that they “point to” the place to which they refer and often use the gestural shape of a pointing finger, or a finger or hand in motion towards the place indicated. But some of the signs have iconic features of resemblance, such as the shape of the orange for T Junction, Orange Farm or KwaThema, all places in Gauteng; others have symbolic arbitrary, purely conventional qualities.Signs and destinationsAccording to Woolf, a taxi hand sign may refer to a place that has retained its indigenous name but it may just as easily refer to an event associated with it, or a physical attribute of the place, or even a shopping mall that is the main feature of a place.There are two basic signs that commuters in Johannesburg. One is the index figure pointing up, which means town; the other is the index figure pointing down, meaning local. This takes you anywhere within the suburb you are in.The KwaThema taxi hand sign is performed showing two flat hands, palms together, resting on the left side of the person’s face.The taxi hand sign to Kliptown is one hand waving left to right in front of their faces and the other hand waves up and down, to ask the taxi to slow down.The sign to Orange Farm is directly descriptive of its name. With a forward pointing hand, all four fingers and the thumb are bent upwards as if to hold an orange.The taxi sign to Diepsloot is acted out with one hand in a sequence of hand postures, dipping downwards and then upwards in a forward movement several times.If you want to get to Fourways, in Johannesburg, just hold up your hand with four fingers exposed and your thumb tucked in.Taxi lingoBut it’s not only the hand signals that are important. There are also phrases you’ll need to understand, such as “short right”, “short left”, “after robot” and “dankie”.They might sound confusing but they are literal meanings of where the passenger wants to alight.Short right means you want to get off at the next street to the right and vice-versa with short left.After robot means you want to get off after the next traffic light the taxi goes through.Here, or dankie, which actually means “thank you” in Afrikaans, has been the subject of many squabbles between driver and passenger. Many taxi drivers feel it’s too ambiguous. They prefer a passenger to be specific, for example “after robot”.