The good life at City Hall

first_imgDear Editor,In spite of all of the repetitive declarations of being broke and bankrupt made by the Georgetown Municipality and claims of shortages of financial and other resources, it is clear that the Council is the place to be if you want to be financially rewarded, or as the boys in Guyana would say a “good place to make an extra dollar.”It is quite mind-boggling that whilst the lower ranked workers have to wait each month for their wages and salaries way past the official pay date, whilst pensioners have to wait for long periods to receive their monthly pension, and whilst recently retired persons are waiting for years for their gratuity, some Councillors and some senior officers constantly get extra perks.Examples of this would be the fact that Councillors get special and considerable emoluments when they sit on special committees such as the parking meters, in spite of being paid travelling and other allowances each month to attend all meetings. Councillors and some senior officers also get special payments for being around at events such as Mashramani Day.And then they have the per diems which are paid for both local (rural) and overseas travel which amounts to millions upon millions each year, with even the drivers that take them to places such as Suriname receiving spending money in US dollars. Special meals and overtime is the order of the day at City Hall, which sometimes amount to some persons getting almost twice their pay, with bodyguards and drivers having to wait outside gyms, restaurants, shopping malls, etc late into the night at the whims and fancies of the ‘Big Ones and their families’.I guess it is ‘the good life at City Hall’.Best regards,Sambu Jacobuslast_img read more

Iraq war touches home

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WESTLAKE VILLAGE – Last year, Anthony Melia returned to his alma mater, Thousand Oaks High School, proudly wearing his crisp uniform as a U.S. Marine. He would soon be sent off to fight for his country in Iraq, and he couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. “He talked of his excitement in serving his country,” said Teri Sanders, who has been Melia’s English teacher. “He was showing through his courageous actions what love is. He had a contagious smile that would light up a room.” Memories of that smile brought even the toughest of Marines to tears Monday as more than 1,000 people paid tribute to Melia, 20, who was killed Jan. 27 while fighting in Al Anbar province, becoming the first person from Thousand Oaks killed in the Iraq war. Residents lined the streets as a procession carried Melia’s body to Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village. There, his family and friends talked of his personal warmth and devotion to his community and his nation. “He was just an amazing, rare individual who did more in 20 years than many do in (long) lifetimes,” said Melia’s cousin Frank Melia Jr. “Anthony was a hero and he will never be forgotten. He provided us with an example of how to live. … He was a fearless warrior.” Anthony Melia’s fianc?e, Jaime Chunko, said he will be her true love forever. “I know he is still here with me – my guardian angel,” she said. His family was presented with a Purple Heart during the ceremony. Relatives said it was typical of Melia even as a small boy to show eagerness to protect his friends and family. He was still in his early teens on Sept. 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon convinced him that he wanted to join the U.S. military to help protect his country. Friends said he was known for speed and strength as a wide receiver and defensive back on the football team at Thousand Oaks High. Graduated in 2005, he joined the Marines at age 18. A lance corporal in the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, he was sent to Iraq on Sept. 13. He was shot to death in combat 4 1/2 months later. Further details have not been released. A police escort led Melia’s family in the procession through the streets of Thousand Oaks before the funeral Monday. Along the route, thousands of mourners – many waving flags – emerged from schools, homes, businesses and City Hall in Thousand Oaks. “They stopped what they were doing and came out to pay their respects for his service and his heroism,” Thousand Oaks Mayor Andrew Fox said. Thousand Oaks police Sgt. Jim Kenney, who helped lead the procession, said it was remarkable to see so many people lining the streets. “It was an honor for us,” he said about being in the funeral procession. As a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace,” Marines carried Melia’s casket into the church, where a series of photos showed his progression from athletic boy to heroic Marine. “I am overwhelmed with this outpouring of compassion,” said his grandfather, Charles Melia. Byron Sells Jr., a 17-year-old Westlake High School student and friend of Melia’s, called it a great tribute to his buddy. “He’s a very honored person in this community,” Sells said. “He will always be remembered in our hearts.” (805) 583-7602last_img read more


first_imgDonegal soccer star Seamus Coleman has become a huge favourite at Everton.And he is now officially a firm favorite with one particular fan – Dean Steflox.The Killybegs man was the latest Everton player to emerge Out of the Blue on Thursday – a campaign to surprise ordinary fans of the Merseyside club. Seamus headed to the Everton Two store in Liverpool city centre where he surprised Blues fan Dean with a free 2012/13 Season Ticket as part of the Club’s Stand Together campaign.Seamus was the second in a sequence of six appearances from Everton players which will occur Out of the Blue!Modest and down-to-earth Coleman said: “That was really good! It’s made my day seeing them so happy. What a great idea!”And Dean added: “Seamus is one of my favourite players and to get a Season Ticket for next season is a massive bonus. This is why Everton are the people’s club. Seamus has cemented his place back in the Everton squad and is a favourite to land a place in the Irish squad for this summer’s European Championships.  COLEMAN SHOCKS FAN WITH SURPRISE SEASON TICKET PRESENTATION was last modified: March 28th, 2012 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:evertonseamus colemanlast_img read more

Arnold calls for mayors’ support

first_img Alan Autry, the Republican mayor of Fresno and a supporter of Proposition 76, said the mayors opposing the measure were being pressured by labor unions. He said he had resigned from the league’s board over its refusal to endorse the measure. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger implored California’s mayors Thursday to support Proposition 76, a ballot measure intended to stabilize state finances and end deficit spending. He warned that if the measure fails to pass during the Nov. 8 special election, state lawmakers would likely raid local treasuries for funds to close the state’s persistent budget gap. “I’ve already been informed in Sacramento that that’s the very money they’re going to go after next year if they don’t have money,” Schwarzenegger told several hundred officials at the annual conference of the League of California Cities. “Remember, they can. The state can still borrow money.” Proposition. 76, dubbed the “Live Within Our Means Act” by supporters, would limit state spending to an average of the previous three years’ revenue. It would also give the governor new authority to initiate spending cuts and would repeal Proposition 98, a voter-approved funding guarantee to schools. Democrats and their allied labor unions, including the powerful California Teachers Association, have campaigned forcefully against the measure, saying it would slash education funding to unacceptable levels and give the governor too much say over spending decisions. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The governor, a Republican, has called Proposition 76 the centerpiece of his “year of reform” agenda, which also includes measures to strip lawmakers of the power to draw political boundaries and make it harder for teachers to win tenure. Recent public opinion polls show none winning majority support, with Proposition 76 in the weakest position of all. A poll released last month by the Public Policy Institute of California showed 63 percent of voters opposed to the measure and just 26 percent supporting it. The Schwarzenegger campaign team said its internal polls indicate the measure is in stronger shape. Mayors of several of California’s largest cities – Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Gavin Newsom of San Francisco and Jerry Brown of Oakland – jointly announced their opposition to Proposition 76, claiming it would slash funding for public safety and education. “The California State PTA and education groups statewide have expressed concerns about how this initiative will drain billions of dollars from our public schools,” Newsom said in a statement released by the Alliance for a Better California, a statewide coalition opposing Schwarzenegger’s reform measures. “I’m opposed to this initiative on every level because it hurts the priorities our community cares about most.” The statement by three of the state’s most visible Democratic mayors signaled a potential showdown looming for this Saturday, when the League of California Cities is expected to vote on whether to endorse Proposition 76. The league board has already voted to remain neutral on the measure, but supporters have pushed for a vote of the full membership. last_img read more