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Hubert Lawrence | New track was the star at JC

first_img Feeling of optimism That’s all ahead. For now, the feeling of optimism is enough. The new track seemed to pull in extra entries and showed that the sport is alive and well in this country. In between meeting and greeting old acquaintances, the best thing I saw came in two boys 800 metres races. First, J’voughn Blake of Jamaica College sped twice around the red surface in one minute 53.8 seconds. His fans promise that he will break the Boys and Girls’ Championships Class Two record, which stands at one minute 51.26 seconds to Kimar Farquharson of Calabar. Fifteen minutes later, Farquharson blazed through his first lap in 51.5 seconds and hung tough to reach home in one minute 51.41 seconds. That’s not too dusty for the first week in January and, perhaps, Farquharson can get close to the 32-year-old Class One record of 1.48.84 by Sherwin Burgess of Vere. Jamaica is renowned for its sprinters and hurdlers. With shot putter O’Dayne Richards leading the way with bronze at the 2015 World Championships, this island is steadily becoming a throws powerhouse, with class performers in the shot and the discus. The horizontal jumps have moved forward, too. Perhaps, with Natoya Goule leading the way, Farquharson, Blake, Javauney James, Ackeen Colley, and Rayon Butler and 2015 World Youth finalist Leon ‘Rudisha’ Clarke can make an impact on the 800m. Someone should remind them that their heritage includes double Olympic silver medallist Arthur Wint, Olympic bronze medallist George Kerr, World Indoor champion Clive Terrelonge, Commonwealth champion Inez Turner, and 2008 Olympic finalist Kenia Sinclair. Better yet, while this wave of optimism lasts, someone should walk Terrelonge, Turner, Sinclair, and former world junior record holder Neville Myton around to the youngsters as inspiration. A face-to-face meeting with history might flip the switch for youngsters who run longer than one lap. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980. In some ways, the season opening meet at Jamaica College last Saturday was perfect for the times. As you know, 2019 is the first major championships season since the retirement of the incomparable Usain Bolt. Yet, at JC, the mood was buoyant and hopeful. Some of that joy is normal at the JC Invitational. For many, it’s like an extension of the festive season and provides a first chance to reunite with colleague track and field fans since the end of the previous campaign. On top of that, hard-core track fans get to watch their favourite sport live again. This year, that joy got spiked the way white rum spikes sorrel at Christmas with the unveiling of a nicely installed synthetic track. Fans and athletes poured in to watch the first action on the glowing red surface. The meet itself started late and ran late, but it was a day when the track was the star. Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Dr Warren Blake called it the gold standard in comparison to other recently laid tracks in the island. Accordingly, compliments have rained in from friend and foe alike. A proper lighting system will polish things off in time for a grand opening next month. It arrives just as work has begun on the track at the Stadium East field. Surely, Asheinheim Stadium and the Calabar High School track, installed in 2016, will be pressed into service soon. With good lighting, both venues could easily host Friday evening meets catering to the needs of the track and field fraternity. It isn’t hard to conceive of Friday distance carnivals or hurdles extravaganzas running from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s a good look.last_img read more

In US$6M PUP Case ‘MLME was not Part of 59 PUP Deeds Investigation’

first_imgWalter Wisner, the Commissioner responsible for land administration at the Lands Commission, who testified on Tuesday in the ongoing US$6 million Private Use Permit (PUP) case, has clarified that his Commission did not involve the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), regarding the validation of 59 deeds that were investigated by them.The permit authorized logging companies to operate on 2.5 million hectares of farmland, of which 59 deeds  government is alleging were fraudulently issued to the company by Moses Wogbeh, dismissed Managing Director of theForestry Development Authority (FDA), along with other senior management and a senior surveyor of the MLME.Testifying at Criminal Court ‘C’ as prosecution’s fourth witness when he was asked by defense team, whether during his commission’s investigation of the 59 deeds, the Ministry played any role, according to  its statutory mandate, to conduct surveys and other land activities.Wisner, who was also vice chair on the  technical committee of the Presidential Special Independent Investigation Body (SIIB) whose investigation charged the defendants, replied, “We, the Land Commission was specifically clear as to what the SIIB  wanted us to do.  And as I had indicated and re-stated, the request was to authenticate the land records and deeds. We were asked to validate the records attached to the PUPs. We were not asked to deal with land issues.”He further explained, “The Land Commission received a special request from the SIIB to carry out a thorough vetting of records attached to 59 deeds that formed the basis for the awarding of the PUP contract to logging companies.”Furthered asked during cross examination to explain some of the responsibilities of the Commission, he said, ”the Commission was created to look into all lands related laws, with a view to reform them, and it is also delegated  with the authority to provide equal access to all citizens of Liberia.”More besides, he added, “It has the fundamental duty to provide security and to call together all ministries and agencies that do land business to deal with complex land issues in the country.”Asked whether all ministries he referred to include the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), he again said, ”I am speaking to the Act that created the Land Commission.  In case of complex land issues, all institutions that deal with land issues should be brought together to discuss complex land issues. So, obviously when there is a complex land issue the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy which deals with land surveys and other issues as related to their statutory mandate will be called upon to discuss complex land issues.Again asked how long it took  him to thoroughly review, search and validate the 59 deeds that were submitted to him by the PUPs investigator,  witness Wisner replied, “It took a long and sufficient time.”The defendants were charged for their individual roles in facilitating the wrongful and illegal issuance of sixty-one PUPs that authorized commercial logging operation on the 2.5 million hectares of farm land.The crimes for which they are being tried include economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, forgery or counterfeiting, obtaining and issuing deceptive writings and obstruction of government functions by public servants.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The Liberian Fallacy

first_img“There is nothing more dangerous for our collective wellbeing than ceding the assurance of our safety to men who take pleasure in our suffering.” These words were uttered by a Gola chief, my great, great grandfather during the wars with the settlers on the mighty Hills of Montserado. A coalition was formed between the Golas, Deis and the Bassas; they all had a common enemy, and to ensure their way of life was preserved, they came together to stand as one. As the story goes, it was the mightiest gathering of men that they had ever seen! I first heard these words from my grandfather who would tell us stories of wars as passed down through oral history – there were even sound effects and drumbeats to his storytelling. It was so evoking we could feel the chills and the cries of fighting men; in fact, he was so vivid sometimes we felt thrust in the middle of an active war! He called it the wars to stay righteous. Nevertheless, the wars we now face are no longer just amongst ourselves over petty differences, but against more cunning and much more powerful forces whose single aim is to always tower over us in our own homeland if we continue to cede and subordinate our interests to theirs.I could not wait every December to go up to the interior to spend every waking moment with the man; he knew Liberia better than any man. He understood the intricacies of politics, the importance of domestic social policies and sovereign positioning, even though he was uneducated and has not served a day in national diplomacy. Call me biased, but I believe our fathers have passed down wisdom that we continue to foolishly ignore to the detriment of us all. In fact, we think irrationally; and dangerously formulate fallacies that continue to put our country on paths that are sometimes irreversible!Moreover, I cannot fully understand why our current leadership and those before it continue to make the same mistakes, over and over again. Is there a rational reasoning for their mistaken beliefs? Maybe. But I will like to know. Have we ignored the lessons of history to the detriment of our children’s future? Have we ceded the assurance of our country’s wellbeing to foreign actors and expect proper care to be given to “Mama Liberia?” Let me remind you, however, that countries have interests, not friends! Learn this and develop; refuse and get stuck in present day Liberia! The argument that countries act in their best interests is not sometimes true or true when the time is right; it is always true. Always! Sovereign interest is the driving force behind every decision a responsible country makes with another country. Yes, even if the case appears to be strictly humanitarian! Ever heard the phrase soft power?It seems Liberia’s numerous administrations have failed to grasp this very basic concept of sovereign positioning. And their refusal or failure to adhere to this simple, but vitally important rule of governance has been one of the biggest reasons why our country is always taken for a ride, from conditional negotiations with foreign governments to lopsided agreements with profit-seeking multinationals, and being outmaneuvered by every Tom, Dick and hopefully Tamba, who claims to be a businessman. Liberia always gets the short end of the proverbial stick.Furthermore, and because we have not learnt to put our interests first above all else, we continuously make decisions that subordinate our interests to others while at the same time expecting others to be moral and equitable. News flash: The world doesn’t work that way. A country will have everything and still take the little that a poor country has – it is the way of mankind! Greed and self-interest are the driving forces. Only you can protect your interest. This brings me to the asinine beliefs that most officials of government and some regular citizens hold to be true, but flaw in every way:1. “The International Community will not let Liberia go back to war – they have invested too much here and will always come to our aid.” Nonsense!!! Open your ears. Relying on another country’s army to provide security for you when they have their own security issues is not just naïve, but dangerous dependency. The International Community’s stay in Liberia was not for Liberia alone, but rather to ensure security in the region. It doesn’t matter what lieutenants on the ground tell you, the United Nations cannot pay for our security in perpetuity; Liberia is not the only disorganized country in the world! They must take their services elsewhere. Let me remind you: We are a sovereign country; International Laws forbid them to always meddle in our business. Do you remember how long it took the International Community to get involved in our brutal civil war? Get your acts together or remain as is! Liberia must assume the responsibility of its sovereignty. Aren’t we sovereign? Or should Liberia be place under United Nations’ stewardship? 2. Agree to lop-sided deals with profit-seeking, multi-national corporations; foolishly believing they will behave responsibly, provide jobs for the population because they show you an embellished balance sheet of billions of dollars. Do not properly vet them, be very lazy and leave them to police themselves. My friends, these are not just dangerous fallacies but unconscionable decisions made by the most incompetent of officials. I am not going to spend a lot of time explaining how ridiculous such governance practice is, but rather remind you of the so-called $16 billion of investments brought in by this administration that were supposed to provide thousands of jobs. Those opportunistic outfits were left to their own devices. I am sure we all know where we stand after 10 years of total lies! Oh yeah, before I forget, 85% unemployment is where we are after all these years. There are a few things more dangerous than a population that is mostly unemployed and uneducated. This thinking is not just flaw, but creates serious sovereignty risks. 3. “Yes, I hold government position, but I am an American Citizen; my kids are all out of this God-forsaken country! I am educated and can get a high-paying job anywhere in the world. My passport is always ready; I will just steal as much as I can and go to the West and live in comfort!” There is only one thing I will say to such near-sighted kleptocrats. You are not Liberian because you were born in Liberia; you are Liberian because Liberia is born in you. Understand this: YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE LIBERIA! Let me inform our people of this one fact: there is not a single high-ranking official in the Republic of Liberia, the current president included, who was earning half of what s/he is earning in Liberia anywhere in the West! Not a single one. And here’s a wager: if any high-ranking official, from director level and above – this also includes the entire legislature, who can prove to Liberia that s/he was legally making more anywhere in the world than what s/he currently makes (inclusive of all benefits and “privileges”) in Liberia, I will personally donate LD$500,000 (US$6,000) to any charity of their choice in Liberia. Let me be clear, we will take the average of your income for the 5 years prior to assuming political office. I will only exempt Sen. George Weah if he invested his millions. There is a caveat, however. If you take up the challenge and cannot prove you made more, you must equally donate similar amount to a charity of my choice in Liberia. All the noise about leaving their high-paying jobs in the West is a complete fallacy. The reality is they don’t want to go back to the West; most of them were living like third-class citizens and working from hand to mouth. In fact, most have nothing to go back to because they had nothing there to begin with. They all want to keep their cushioned jobs here in Liberia so they can continue their thieving ways, despite what they say. Have you ever heard a single one of them resign because they wanted to go back to the West? This fallacy is only in their heads; it’s a way to feel self-important. I only pray that our people smarten up soon so the chickens can come home to roost.4. “I rather give the government contract to a foreigner because they are easier to deal with; the foreigners always give me a cut (usually a US$5,000 on a US$1 million contract), deliver on time and now I am friends with them.” Really, idiot? Do you think you can get a $10 dog poop scooping contract in Lebanon, China or in any other country over the locals, even if the locals are less qualified than you? How can you hate yourself this much while at the same time believing someone else will love and respect you when you illegally awarded them a contract because they paid you table scraps? There are a few Liberians I will call nationally stupid. Such person is one of them. When kleptocracy and inferiority complex have a love child, the result is a Chinese suit-wearing official who believes himself part of self-proclaiming elites because they are giving him scraps. He disadvantages his countrymen to buy favors from a passerby. Such people hold the most dangerous fallacies of all. They do not just take food off the table of Liberian contractors, they stifle national development by denying Liberians the opportunity to sharpen their expertise and develop a locally-based firm that insures our money stays right here in our country. Have your disagreements with fellow Liberians, but always protect the national interest by protecting his interest. We are all in this together. Liberia must rise and only Liberians can do it! 5. “Every country is corrupt. Corruption will never stop in Liberia, at least not in our lifetime!” This is the biggest misbelief held to be true in Liberia. Let me put it this way, the easiest crime against the state to stop in Liberia is corruption for four reasons: (a) most Liberian government officials are way too unsophisticated to hide huge sums of money; any stolen monies can be easily traced; (b) the typical embezzler fears shame and ridicule more than he fears death; capitalize on this (c) most monies that are stolen are personally delivered to a waiting official to be allocated with little to no oversight; we always know who has the money – follow the money; (d) the vast majority of corrupt practices in Liberia are demanded bribes from the public. Set up an undercover investigative unit with secret cameras and actually prosecute without fear or favor. Be a leader, not friends or “society” buddies or Auntie Jenny’s first cousin six removed. Solution: suspend all jury trials for any stolen amount above US$5,000 (please no idiot should come tell me it’s against the constitution. Men wrote it; un-write it! Societies evolve, so too must our constitution); institute a court with 5 judges, strictly dedicated to hear corruption cases and nothing else. Confiscate all properties of those convicted and ensure lengthy jail time without presidential pardons. Make auditing any governmental entity national law, not even the president should have the power to interfere with the General Auditing Commission and other anti-graft entities. Give them all prosecutorial powers. Truly, and this is the most important one, allow the chips (laws) to fall where they may. Furthermore, where the laws are weak amend them to reflect current state of affairs. Corruption problem solved!!6. “If I leave the government officials alone and allow them to steal as much as they want and cause no problem or chaos, by demanding what is constitutionally required of them and what they have sworn to, I will live in peace and the government will leave me alone.” Complete lunacy!! Actually, the opposite is true. What will you prefer? A quick death or a very slow one over a short life span filled with pain and suffering for you and your generations? I personally prefer the former. A temporary civil uprising to hold public employees accountable and transparent is a duty of every citizen under our constitution. Exercise your rights and save us all the pain of a slow death as we have experienced for almost 200 years! Moreover, no government in history has ever changed to reflect the wishes of the people without being forced to do so. None!! Think the French Revolution; the United States’ “Give me death or liberty”, Kenyatta’s Mau Mau, South Africa’s removal of Apartheid, etc. Hungry people must not just think this but be fully willing to die for their national aspirations! There should be no compromising the rights to your God-given humanity and the opportunity to self-actualization! Understand this; government will not change for you. It’s a fallacy. You have to make them change.7. “God will leave the Heavens and come rescue me; He’s my deliverer, I will wait on Him!” You will be waiting a very long time. I am a Christian and a few members of my family are Muslims, and there is nowhere in the Bible or Koran where it states that God or Allah will come down and take care of your responsibilities for you. You are the only being who was not spoken into existence – you are way too complex and majestic for that! You needed more crafting. God got on his knees, molded you with his hands and blew breath (life, himself) into you. Yes, God is in you! Thereafter, He gave you dominion (overlord) over all things on earth. In essence, you are a god here on earth. You can literally do everything Christ did when he was with us. Use your mind. Want to walk over water? Build a bridge. Want to move mountains? Get a few bulldozers and clear a path. Got a new disease? Set up research institutions that’ll ensure it does not kill you and your countrymen. What am I trying to say? You have all the tools to do everything you want to do to make yourself as comfortable as God intended! Your reluctance to function as you have been designed coupled with your refusal to fully execute the dominion bestowed upon you discredits the very God that has so diligently made you! Why wait for God when He lives in you? Couple you faith with actions as the Holy Books instructed. In the end, our leadership must understand and appreciate the realities of governance. This responsibility cannot be delegated or outsourced to people with no stake in the wellbeing of Liberia. It doesn’t matter what your philosophy is on Liberia, or whether or not you plan to live in the country that made you who you are. The truth is, you cannot kill Mama Liberia; she was here long before you breast fed at her bosom and she will be here long after you are gone. She is way too mighty to be brought down by one wicked person. Remember this, you must be a king in your homeland for there is nowhere else you will be allowed to hold such lofty title. Let me conclude with wisdom from my grandfather: “The giant Dwalu Trees of the Gola Forest are not giants because they are tallest, they are giants because they ensure it remain so.” He continues, “They regulate how much water and sunlight are allowed on the forest floor below, thus ensuring the rest of the trees never get to their heights.” Liberians must be those giants in Liberia, not foreigners! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

DONEGAL PEN BOYS WRITE ANOTHER CHAPTER ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS

first_imgDonegal Pens brothers Ronan and Conor Mc GarveyThe McGarvey brothers of Donegal Pens have just made a major investment in their business taking it to a new level.Not to be beaten by the refusal of funding from state agencies due to their young age, the Loughanure boys have taken a huge step to further their business.Ronan, 17, and Conor, 14, travelled to the UK where they spent “quite a lot” of their hard earned cash on a new laser engraving system. The boys had been outsourcing their engraving work since last year but decided that it was time to look at in-house engraving.The newly installed Mantech laser machine now allows them to laser engrave names, messages, logos, etc on the wood part of their handmade pens. In addition to that they can also engrave glass, marble, tile, ceramics, aluminium, leather and many other materials. They have even personalised the flutes for the Mullaghduff marching band.The new system is one of just four from the long established UK based Mantech company’s laser systems that is operating in Ireland and the boys are excited about the new addition to their business.“We explored this option for quite some time but the price of some of the basic laser systems we looked at exceeded €12,000 and that just wasn’t within our budget. We were put in touch with Mantech UK and travelled over to see their high end equipment and soon realised it was what we needed. “We underwent onsite training at their facility, and following some negotiations on price, we returned to Loughanure with the new system for somewhat less than €12,000,” said Conor.The boys looked at several machine options and finally went with a model that can both engrave and cut a variety of materials. It has an engraving bed size of 600 x 400mm that will allow them to carry out many other projects in addition to engraving their pens.They were fortunate to secure a very large corporate order for pens recently and decided they would reinvest the proceeds and put it towards the funds required for the new system.“It was a huge sum of money to be handing over but we decided that we would take the plunge and add a new dimension to our business. Unfortunately our age restricts us from receiving any grant aid or financial support which we feel is ridiculous. It’s not much of an incentive for young entrepreneurs when funding agencies won’t entertain you because “you’re too young” but that isn’t going to stop us in trying to bring Donegal Pens to a new level,” said Ronan.It took a bit of time for the boys to get accustomed to the new equipment but they have finally ironed out all the issues and are now up and running with the latest addition to their business. “So far we’ve had a lot of enquiries and orders for both personal and corporate gifts. The fact that we can engrave company logos etc is a huge bonus as businesses like to use our pens as corporate gifts. Our options for engraving and cutting are basically unlimited so we are excited about this new chapter for Donegal Pens,” added Conor.Donegal Pens are now stocked in just under forty outlets in Ireland and three in Germany, and the new engraving option is also available on www.donegalpens.comDONEGAL PEN BOYS WRITE ANOTHER CHAPTER ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS was last modified: July 20th, 2014 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:DONEGAL PENSengraving systemlast_img read more

Migrant laws in the works

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventAssemblywoman Audra Strickland, R-Westlake Village, has authored the tuition bill, AB 2053, which would delete current law allowing students who have graduated after attending high school in California for at least three years to receive resident tuition rates, regardless of their legal residency. Given the state’s limited financial resources, she said, it needs to put priority on those who have legal residence first. “I’m a teacher and I wholeheartedly support people getting an education to improve their lives and to get a better job,” But I believe that the privilege of state tuition should be solely available for those who are obeying the law and are legal residents of the state of California.” Democrats have opposed similar efforts in the past. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles, opposes the Strickland bill. Cedillo also opposes it and has proposed his own bill, SB 160, which would allow undocumented students who currently qualify for resident tuition rates to also qualify for scholarships, which they currently do not. “We should be trying to nurture and develop the talent in California,” Cedillo said. “We shouldn’t be trying to send students out of California. \ has had this effect of creating a brain drain in the past.” SACRAMENTO – Even as the national debate rages over illegal immigration, California legislators are weighing bills that take aim at the issue on fronts ranging from such public benefits as driver licenses and in-state tuition rates to better investigation of the citizenship status of state prison inmates. Many of the bills are authored by Republican legislators looking to reduce public benefits to undocumented immigrants and investigate what they cost the state in resources and infrastructure. One bill would eliminate in-state discounted tuition rates for undocumented immigrants to attend community colleges and the California State University system. Another would allow the governor to declare a state of emergency based on illegal immigration. And another would have the state do a more thorough job investigating the citizenship status of those in prison. Democrats have opposed most of the efforts, and some are looking at expanding benefits for illegal immigrants, such as Sen. Gil Cedillo’s effort to once again pass legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain California driver licenses. Cedillo also is trying again to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain California driver licenses. State law did allow that practice previously, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger persuaded the Legislature to repeal the law, saying he would agree to reauthorize it if security concerns are addressed. Cedillo has twice persuaded the Legislature to pass the bill with language to address the security concerns, but Schwarzenegger vetoed both, still citing security and the need for more details to be worked out at the national level first. The same bill is again working its way through the Legislature, and Schwarzenegger has not given any indication he has changed his position. Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, had proposed a bill earlier this year that would require the state corrections system to do a better job investigating the immigration status of prisoners. Currently, the state does an inadequate job documenting which prisoners are illegal immigrants, and therefore has trouble obtaining federal funds meant to reimburse states for the costs of illegal immigration, Blakeslee said. That would also allow the state to turn those prisoners over to the federal government for deportation after their sentences end, he added. The bill was killed in the Public Safety Committee by Democrats, who cited legal concerns and said it was redundant because the state already had programs to identify illegal immigrants in the prisons. Blakeslee is now hoping to persuade Schwarzenegger to put a similar version of his bill in effect through executive order. Strickland said. ” harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com (916) 446-6723160Want 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

Everton preparing £21m summer bid for Anderlecht wonderkid Youri Tielemans

first_img1 Everton have set aside £21million in order to tie up a deal for Anderlecht star Youri Tielemans.The 19-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in European football and clubs are queuing up to land him this summer.Monaco have been heavily linked with the midfielder, but he has also attracted the interest of Atletico Madrid and Tottenham.Everton are keen on Tielemans too and now, according to Sport/Voetbal Magazine, they are ready to show their intent with a bid of €25m [£21m].The Toffees have been tracking the teenager for nearly a year and boss Ronald Koeman is desperate to get his man this summer.Despite being only 19, Tielemans has already represented Belgium three times at senior level and made over 170 appearances for Anderlecht.The Belgian club are well aware of the mounting interest in their prized asset, but they will only sell if a suitable offer is made as the midfielder is unlikely to demand a move away from his boyhood club. In-demand Anderlecht wonderkid Youri Tielemans last_img read more

Take Time to See Great Moments in History

first_imgShare This!June 20 is National American Eagle Day, and we’d be remiss not to mention Magic Kingdom’s most patriotic eagle–Sam, the American Eagle. Yes, this noble bird has taken his rightful place as a guardian of the sacred trust of American history in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square.If you’re a fan of the Muppets, I can almost guarantee you were reading that last sentence in Sam’s voice. It’s okay. Me too.And while this isn’t a presentation with the same gravitas as the nearby Hall of Presidents or the other bits of Americana at Disney parks (like the show at The American Adventure in Epcot or Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in Disneyland), the catchy humor and audience participation means that your kids will more likely be willing to watch the show instead of asking how much longer before they can leave. And who knows–maybe they’ll learn something, too.With shows about American history topics like the ride of Paul Revere or the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the Muppets tell a “truth-inspired” version of historical events. It’s the Muppets, so expect tasteful humor with their signature reinterpretations.Shows run from around 11:00 a.m. through around 5:00 p.m. every 35-40 minutes and last about 10 minutes. The show is standing room only, but because it takes place on the upper windows near the Hall of Presidents, you don’t have to worry about trying to find a place where your view won’t be blocked by the crowd. Simply check your times guide, arrive 5 minutes or so before showtime, and enjoy.Are you a fan of this show? Which retelling of historical events by the Muppets is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Grassroots football alive and kicking

first_imgYoung footballers in Six Hundred training in their dusty field. Thabo Mosethle mentors young footballers in his team. NWU’s Khulu Nsibanyoni coaching the boys. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Johan Govea Director NWU Soccer Institute +27 18 389 2483  RELATED ARTICLES• Boost for school football • Centre for South Africa’s future football stars • Alex to host Football for Hope • Football frenzy as Liverpool FC tour South Africa • Football in South Africa Bongani NkosiA few years ago, less than five to be precise, I was a village boy with an incalculable passion for playing football, or iDiski as we call it in South Africa’s black communities, and used to dribble with flair.I played on various fields around my home village of Tweefontein, located in the former KwaNdebele homeland in Mpumalanga province. All the fields were gravel, rough and dusty, and most of us played barefoot.In fact the fields have not changed, they are still not grassy, and there’s no sign they will change any time soon. But what has changed is that I no longer play football on them – I have moved to the city of Johannesburg, some 100km from my home.Memories of the days I used to model my playing style on Siyabonga Nomvethe, at that time a darting and goal-banging striker for my favourite team Kaizer Chiefs, came flooding back when I visited North West province recently.It’s the young footballers of Six Hundred, a district outside Mafikeng, who reminded me of the years which shaped me, the years during which many of us nurtured dreams of becoming top football stars like Benni McCarthy.It’s truly amazing how many youngsters in villages live for football during their school years, and yet so few go on to play professionally.As I drove into Six Hundred in the afternoon, the interest in football was unmistakable. Alongside fellow journalists and officials of the North West University Soccer Institute, we passed a number of pebbly fields buzzing with primary and secondary school boys – clear proof that grassroots football in South Africa is alive and kicking.Gateway to bigger thingsOur destination was the training session of local team ACS Savagers, which practise and play their home matches on the dusty field we visited. The field is right in the middle of the village and surrounded by some of the players’ homes.This is where Thabo Mosethle, a teacher at Letsatsing Science High School in Mafikeng, nurtures young football talent. “Players here are passionate, they want to go somewhere,” he said. “The passion for football is there in each and every village in Six Hundred.”He coaches more than 60 boys in different age groups. “I have many dreams for these boys,” Mosethle said. “One of them is to see some playing in major leagues, maybe the Vodacom League or NFD (National First Division) or PSL (Premier Soccer League).”One of his protégés will play for a Vodacom League side in Rustenburg this season, he said. “I’ll monitor his movements to see how he fares.” Rustenburg is also in North West, about 160km from Mafikeng.Mosethle, also a football mentor at Letsatsing, merged three teams from the village to form ACS Savagers. They used to compete against each other as Alfa FC, Cameroon FC and Swallows FC, hence the acronym ACS.They now play in the local league of the Mafikeng Local Football Association (Malfa). Successful performance under Malfa could be start of big things for ACS and the village.Being Malfa champions could promote them to a regional league, which is then promoted to the provincial Vodacom League.The Vodacom League is a gateway to the NFD league, whose victors go through to the elite PSL – where South African footballers make millions of rands annually.Mosethle does realise what needs to be done to achieve this, and gives his all to his team, including financial support. “I’m the owner, a sponsor, a coach and everything to this team,” he said with an excited expression on his face.‘You don’t know who’s watching’Football experts and students of the North West University Soccer Institute help ACS and other teams in surrounding villages with training, as part of their community outreach programme.“From day one our students go to communities to run coaching clinics,” said the institute’s director Johan Govea.Professional trainers at the university, such as Khulu Nsibanyoni, expose ACS players to different methods of playing football, Mosethle added.An ardent footballer himself, Mosethle is fully aware of the opportunities the institute could provide for his players. Three players he’s mentored, two from ACS and another from Letsatsing school, have already made it into the academy, which offers fully paid scholarships.“I always tell them: ‘you don’t know who’s watching you’. At least some of my players have got scholarships at the university,” Mosethle said.last_img read more

British Royals touch down in SA

first_img3 November 2011The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Rosemary, arrived in South Africa on Wednesday afternoon for a four-day visit at the personal invitation of President Jacob Zuma.The Prince was greeted by a military guard of honour – and a stunning amber sunset – as he touched down under blue skies at Waterkloof Air Force Base near Pretoria on Wednesday.His Royal Highness was met on arrival by British High Commissioner in South Africa Nicola Brewer, who introduced him to South African Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and South Africa’s Chief of State Protocol Vusi Bruce KolwaneThe Duchess arrived separately in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning. Together, the royal couple will attend engagements in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Kwazulu-Natal and Cape Town before leaving after a church service on Sunday.The royal tour will go to townships, community programmes, a nature reserve and sustainability projects, giving special attention to sustainability issues in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Durban from 28 November.It will also focus on the issues of trade and investment, jobs and development, education and disadvantaged youth, and shared heritage and conservation of traditional livelihoods and wildlife, particularly the work of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Prince Charles recently became president of WWF UK.The Prince will not be meeting President Jacob Zuma, who is attending the G20 Summit in Cannes, France.The Prince of Wales visited South Africa in 1997 when he introduced his son, Prince Harry, to southern Africa. His last official visit to Tanzania was in 1984.This is the Duchess of Cornwall’s first official visit to southern Africa, though she has visited privately. She has never visited Tanzania.SAinfo reporter BuaNewslast_img read more

Flurry of Web 2.0 Business Activity

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Very Start-Up 2.0 and I feel privileged to have seen that 🙂A whole lot more is happening, including a bunch of new Web 2.0 services debuted at the conference. TechCrunch and ZDNet both have extensive coverage. The ones getting most buzz in the hallways of the conference are Zimbra and Orb. richard macmanus weblogsinc bought by AOL for between $20-35 million.SocialText (the wiki company) is returning to open source.PubSub has announced an open source structured blogging initiative.Flock, the social browser, is expanding their beta. I went along with Mike and Fred from TechCrunch to check out their office, which is literally in a garage in Palo Alto. Mike has a great photo of one of the developers asleep there! 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#business#web last_img read more