first_imgDOHA, Qatar:World Championships and Olympic Games 110 metres hurdles medallist Hansle Parchment strongly believes that Jamaica, with Omar McLeod and himself leading the way, can wrestle supremacy in the sprint hurdles away from the Americans and Russians.The 25-year-old Parchment won bronze in the event at the 2012 Olympics, with American Aries Merritt, the world record holder, taking gold. Parchment came even closer at last year’s World Championships when he copped silver behind Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov, with McLeod, in his first senior competition final, placing sixth.Parchment now believes that Jamaica has the ammunition to conquer the field at the Rio Olympics later this year.”I feel we have the potential. We are two strong athletes and we are working towards our goals,” Parchment said. “It would be great for us to start to dominate hurdling, which we have never done before.”McLeod, 22, is also keen on a Jamaican dominance of the event. He also envisions himself and Parchment making history.”He (Parchment) is my big bro (brother). We always give each other pep talks before races, we warm up together and we run together,” McLeod shared. “So it is always exciting running with him, and I just want both of us to continue to make Jamaica proud and create a lot of history.”The two gave a glimpse into the future when they finished first and second in the opening Diamond League meet of the season.McLeod won in a world leading and season’s best time of 13.05 seconds, while Parchment, who, like his compatriot, was competing in his first Diamond League, clocked a season-best 13.10.Spain’s Orlando Ortega (13.12) was third, while 2013 World Champion, American David Oliver (13.16) was fourth, and Merritt was sixth in 13.37.unpredictableParchment has, however, warned against complacency. He stressed that the event is very unpredictable and it is just a matter of who executes better on the day.”The hurdles are very unpredictable, so sometimes we can’t tell who will win,” Parchment said. “It is early and I believe everyone is still in the transition phase. This is my second race, so we are really just getting started. It is a very good start so far; probably the best ever for me, so I am giving thanks for that.”McLeod, on the other hand, already has his sights set on winning the Diamond trophy for the event and achieving Olympics glory.”That is my aim (to win everything); that is my goal; especially with the Olympics,” McLeod said. “So I am really just taking it one step at a time and not jumping the gun too much. One race at a time and I know if I do that and go out there and have fun, the sky is the limit.”ryon.jones@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

first_imgIn spite of budgetary allocations totaling US$14 million between 2010 and 2014 for the renovation of the Executive Mansion, the project appears to have no end in sight and Lawmakers want to know why.  Therefore, a three-member Joint Committee comprising Public Works, Executive and Public Accounts, is expected to advise the 73-member Plenary of the House of Representatives on the status of the renovation of the Executive Mansion.The advisement of the Joint Committee will entail whether the delay on the renovation works is legitimate or not.The Executive Mansion, situated on Capitol Hill, Monrovia, is the official seat of the Liberian Presidency. It was constructed in 1964 under the regime of the late Liberian President William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman by 2,000 workers, including about a fifth of Monrovia’s labor force, and 150 foreign technicians.The imposing, eight-storey Mansion, which costs US$20 million, is equipped with a bomb shelter, an underground swimming pool, a private chapel, a trophy room, a cinema, an emergency power plant, water supply and sewage system, among others.But the Executive Mansion was damaged by fire in 2006, during Liberia’s 159th Independence Day celebration, in the presence of three West African leaders at a time when the then newly elected President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf switched on electricity to reach limited parts of the capital city.At the time, the cause of the fire at the Executive Mansion, according to South African forensic scientists, was an electrical fault.Following the fire outbreak at the Executive Mansion, the Government of Liberia (GOL) announced a closure of the Mansion, and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf relocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she has been performing her official functions since then.In the wake of the unfortunate incident, the National Legislature has over the fiscal periods appropriated the amounts of US$973,496 (2010/2011FY), US$1,230,078 (2011/2012FY), 2,000,000 (2012/2013FY) US$6, 466,667 (2013/ 2014FY) and US$6, 466,667 (2014/2015) for the renovation of the Mansion under the Public Sector Investment Plan and Technical Services budget of the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs.The total amount that has been allocated for the renovation of the Executive Mansion stands at US$14,933,334.A preliminary probe on the ruined Executive Mansion was made on Thursday, November 27 after the reading of a formal communication addressed to that August Body by Grand Bassa County District # 4 Representative Jeh Byron Brown.His communication was read during the 24th day sitting of the Extraordinary Session of the House of Representatives. A motion for the acceptance of the Grand Bassa County lawmaker’s communication was filed by Nimba County Representative Worlea Saywah-Dunah.In an interview with legislative reporters at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia, Rep. Brown stated that the Mansion is not only the official home of the Liberian President, but it also hosts reception and accommodates foreign guests and dignitaries.The Capitol Building is the seat of the Legislature.Speaking further, Rep. Brown recalled that for over five years, the Liberian government has been using local hotels to host foreign guests and dignitaries entering into the country. This, he said, has caused a huge loss of money to the Liberian government.He asserted that the money was exclusively set aside by the Legislature not only for the renovation of the Executive Mansion, but also for the relocation of the offices of the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs.He termed as “unfair” to the Liberian people the prolonged delay in the rehabilitation of the Executive Mansion.The Grand Bassa lawmaker averred that the renovation contracts were given to the Chinese Company CNQC QINGJIAN International, Liberia Group Development Incorporated and others (whom he did not name) that were hired to carry out the work, but the work is yet to be accomplished.”In an effort to restore the physical structure and other important architecture of the building, this Legislative body has consistently placed money in the National Budget since the occurrence of the ill-fated event. I believe it will be an appreciated undertaking as a matter of fulfilling a crucial Legislative oversight, were we to inquire into the current state of the Executive Mansion with particular reference to the level of work that has been done in commensuration with the amount of financial resources that have been approved over the budget years,” the Liberty Party lawmaker stated.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgStudents plan to protest UG’s tuition increaseIn wake of the University of Guyana’s (UG) announcement of increased tuition fees for the academic year 2016/2017 by some five per cent, students have planned a number of activities to disturb the said increase.Today, the students plan to assemble at 09:00h at the junction of UG road and the line top, where they will proceed to UG by way of protest.In addition, a group of students will be waiting at the Admissions building on campus (Turkeyen) to secure a meeting with Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Ivelaw Griffith.On Tuesday, the students plan to assemble at Ministry of the Presidency at 09:00h while Cabinet meets to air their concerns.In efforts to give every student a chance to voice their concern, another protest will be held on Wednesday commencing at 17:00h, mainly targeting the working people. A petition signing will also be done on the same day.On Thursday at the Turkeyen Campus, President David Granger is expected to attend a commemorative ceremony around 16:00h. The students plan to line both sides of the roadway with placards leading to the campus where another group of students will be present at the ceremony in an effort to secure the President’s intervention.The concerned students are urging the public to support their actions since the country’s premier tertiary institution plays a vital role in the development sector.The Tuition increase announcement was made to students via email only a few days ago and just over a month into the semester. The email has caused a massive outburst of students, particularly on social media.The email coming out of the office of the Registrar reads, “The University administration informs the University Community that the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the University had approve the increase in tuition fees for 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 academic years.”It said the annual tuition fee for the 2016/2017 Academic year is now $168,000 instead of $160,000.The email went on to state that the University regretted any inconvenience caused and advised that all invoices will be amended accordingly. It said the difference without penalty becomes payable on or before November 15, 2016. The facilities fee remains unchanged.Registrar Dr Nigel Gravesande told Guyana Times that the decision for the five per cent increases was made back in 2014 by the council and that students were fully aware of this. However while the decision was made in 2014, it was never applied to the 2015/2016 academic year.“So last year students did not pay. Students will (now) pay five per cent 2016/2017 and another five per cent 2017/2018. The 2015/2016 was not applied. It is now being applied here,” the Registrar told  Guyana Times.Students took to facebook and other social media, protesting saying “enough is enough.” They say the University continues to hike fees while the institution and its infrastructure continue to deteriorate.The University has increased tuition fees even after it has also announced that students slated to attend graduation will be required to pay $10,000, while those who will not be attending will pay $5000.last_img read more

first_imgOne of the biggest surges in business is in the north with 58 per cent expecting an increase in work in 2015. Overall, the expected change for 2015 is nine per cent higher than the net change predicted for 2014.“This is welcome news because the construction industry is a strong indicator for the rest of the economy,” said Philip Hochstein, president, ICBA. “If our guys are busy, then we know our economy is doing well.”“In construction, excavators are the canary in the coal mine,” added Hochstein. “We are seeing that they are even more confident than last year. This bodes well for the entire industry. When there are holes in the ground, it means we’re building, growing and attracting investment to our province.”- Advertisement -The ICBA commissioned Sentis Market Research Ltd. to survey its members in November 2014.The survey also revealed that companies are largely looking to hire more tradespeople in order to meet the rising demand. Four times as many companies plan to add employees than to increase existing employee hours (42 per cent versus 10 per cent). This continues the trend from 2014 when 35 per cent were planning to hire and 8 per cent were planning to increase hours.last_img read more

first_img1 England captain Wayne Rooney Captain Wayne Rooney declared himself delighted with England’s performance as they beat Switzerland 2-0 in Euro 2016 qualifying.The match in Basle was their first of the campaign as they look to earn a place at the European Championship in France in two years time.And, following a dismal World Cup showing, Rooney praised his team-mates as their hard work in training under manager Roy Hodgson paid off on the pitch.The Manchester United forward told ITV: “We’ve put the work in, we worked on our defensive shape when we haven’t got the ball and then springing from defence into attack, which you see with the goals tonight. We’re pleased that the things we’ve worked on have paid off so it’s a happy performance for us.“We did well as a team and we took our chances. We caught them on the break with speed and Dan [Welbeck] got two great goals so I’m really delighted.”last_img read more

first_img0Shares0000Juventus all-but-sealed their eighth straight Serie A title after winning 2-1 at Napoli to go 16 points clear at the top © AFP / Alberto PIZZOLIROME, Italy, Mar 4 – Juventus closed all talk of a challenge to their Serie A dominance after coming through a second-half onslaught at Napoli to win 2-1 in an engrossing match that saw each side have a man sent off and stretch their lead at the top to a huge 16 points.Massimiliano Allegri’s unbeaten leaders have now as good as sealed their eighth straight Serie A title after a match that looked dead at half-time with Juve two goals and a man up, but sparked back into life when goalscorer Miralem Pjanic was sent off for handling a Napoli pass and picking up a second yellow card just after the break. “I fell asleep, I should have replaced Pjanic when he had the first card. He was at risk, but I didn’t expect him to handle,” said Allegri, whose future at Juve is uncertain after what will be five seasons in Turin.“I already said we’ll sit down to talk about this season and the next. I am very happy to be at Juventus.”Midfielder Pjanic swept home his free-kick opener in the 28th minute, which came immediately after Napoli were reduced to 10 men thanks to goalkeeper Alex Meret slicing down Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese nipped in to intercept a terrible Kevin Malcuit backpass.Emre Can added the second from a corner 11 minutes later after substitute David Ospina tipped away Pjanic’s stinging shot, but the Bosnian’s red card gave Napoli a glimmer of hope.They were back in the game in the 61st minute when Jose Callejon tapped home a pinpoint Lorenzo Insigne cross, and then piled the pressure on a suddenly creaking Juve, with Piotr Zielinski twice forcing fine saves from countryman Wojciech Szczesny.It looked as though the hosts were set to launch a final assault when they were given a penalty six minutes before the end for a controversial handball decision against Alex Sandro given by VAR, only for Insigne to crash his spot-kick against the post and let the champions off the hook.– Italy remembers Astori –Fans across Italy honoured deceased former Fiorentina captain Davide Astori, who died in his sleep on March 4 2018 ahead of a match at Udinese © AFP / MARCO BERTORELLOAs elsewhere across Serie A this weekend, play at the Stadio San Paolo stopped in the 13th minute to honour the memory of deceased former Italy international Davide Astori, with fans of both sides applauding the ex-Fiorentina captain, who died in his sleep aged just 31 on March 4 last year.Astori’s name was chanted by fans of AC Milan, where he came through as a youth player, during a 1-0 win over Sassuolo on Saturday that took Gennaro Gattuso’s side third and a point above Inter, who lost 2-1 at Cagliari amid a public contract dispute with absent star striker Mauro Icardi.But the most emotional scenes came during Fiorentina’s 3-1 defeat at Atalanta, who kept their hopes of Champions League football alive thanks to goals from Josip Ilicic, Alejandro Gomez and Robin Gosens.Atalanta playmaker Ilicic, who played alongside Astori at Fiorentina, broke down in tears when played stopped, while away fans held up “Astori” signs and the home fans showed appreciation for a player born and raised in the province of Bergamo, where the hosts are based.“This situation has taken over a huge part of us this week. Tomorrow we will close to his family as we have been for the last year,” said Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli.Gian Piero Gasperini’s flamboyant Atalanta are six points behind fourth-placed Inter Milan after winning the second spectacular clash with Fiorentina in a matter of days after their thrilling 3-3 Coppa Italia semi-final draw midweek.They are level on 41 points with Lazio, 3-0 winners over Roma in Saturday’s Rome derby, and Torino, who beat rock-bottom Chievo by the same score on Sunday.Two points further back are Sampdoria, thanks to 36-year-old Fabio Quagliarella joining Ronaldo at the top of the scoring charts with 19 goals following a brace in his side’s 2-1 win at struggling SPAL.“I don’t feel like anyone special,” said modest Quagliarella after the match.“I’m not the star man, I’m part of a team that works towards a single objective, everyone is useful and no-one is indispensible.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_imgALHAMBRA – A 19-year-old Rosemead man was ordered Friday to stand trial for the murder of an El Monte man and the attempted murder of another man. After a four-day preliminary hearing, Alhambra Superior Court Judge Frederick R. Rotenberg determined he had heard sufficient testimony and evidence to hold defendant David Do for trial on murder and attempted-murder charges. Also facing the same charges stemming from the drive-by shooting in December is 19-year-old Garrett Quon of San Gabriel, although Deputy District Attorney Martin Bean has said that authorities believe Do was the triggerman. Quon is scheduled to appear in the Alhambra courthouse on Thursday, when he will receive a date for his preliminary hearing. Both men have pleaded not guilty and remain held without bail. Before his trial, Do will be arraigned Sept. 24 in Pasadena Superior Court. He is charged in the murder of 18-year-old Nhi Gip of El Monte and the attempted murder of another man, age 19, whose name was being withheld by authorities to protect him from retaliation. The wounded man spent more than a month in the hospital recovering after being shot three times. He testified against Do at the defendant’s preliminary hearing and also identified Do in court as the gunman. Authorities believe the shooting was related to a rivalry between Asian gangs. Several witnesses testified in court that they saw Do riding in the front passenger seat of a white car that pulled up to a group of teens at a coffee shop in the 300 block of Valley Boulevard about 11:30 p.m. Dec. 1. The witnesses testified they saw Do lean out of the car’s window and yell to the crowd, asking which gang they belonged to. The wounded 19-year-old yelled back that he did not belong to a gang, he testified. Seconds later, shots rang out, hitting Gip and the other man. Gip died at the scene, investigators have said. An 18-year-old Rosemead woman who witnessed the shooting – and whose name also was withheld – testified that she heard a male voice yell, “Wah Ching,” the name of an Asian gang, just before shots were fired. molly.okeon@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4496160Want 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_img Prosecutors recommended a sentence but Dawson sealed the plea agreement. The judge said he was concerned that he read many of the plea deal’s details in newspapers before any documents were filed with his court. Nothing was mentioned in court about restitution. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said the ordeal has been “embarrassing and painful.” “Someone we expected to operate with the highest integrity let us down in a very public way. Wal-Mart has high ethical standards and the way we handled this matter makes it clear that every associate will be held to these standards with no exception,” Williams said. Coughlin retired as Wal-Mart vice chairman last year and gave up his spot on the company board in March after Wal-Mart referred him to prosecutors. The matter was taken up by a grand jury in Fort Smith. In November, former Coughlin subordinate Robert E. Hey Jr. agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and testify for the government in return for parole instead of prison time. Besides giving the case to federal prosecutors, Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart filed suit last year to end Coughlin’s multimillion-dollar retirement agreement and to recover money. However, that lawsuit was dismissed by an Arkansas judge who said both sides had signed a pledge as part of Coughlin’s retirement deal not to pursue any claims against each other for any reasons. Wal-Mart has said it will appeal the dismissal of its lawsuit to the Arkansas Supreme Court. According to information that was filed with the plea, Coughlin specifically admitted to: Falsifying a travel expense voucher to pay $700 allegedly for travel and meeting expenses, but which was actually for the care of Coughlin’s hunting dogs. Using a false invoice for $6,500 to pay for a private hunting lease. Using a false expense statement to cover $2,695 for upgrades to his 1999 Ford truck, which he claimed as reimbursement for meeting expenses. Using fraudulently obtained gift cards to pay for a cooler, two cases of Smirnoff, two cases of Miller Lite beer, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a carton of tequila, and other items from a Sam’s club in Joplin, Mo. Using a false invoice to receive a check for $3,100 that was cashed and the funds provided back to Coughlin for his personal use. Filing a false tax return. No mention was made in court of Coughlin’s claim that he used money obtained from Wal-Mart to pay for anti-union activism. Wal-Mart has said there is no such project. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FORT SMITH, Ark. – A former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vice chairman who was a protege of founder Sam Walton pleaded guilty to fraud and tax charges Tuesday, admitting that he stole money, gift cards and merchandise from the world’s largest retailer. Tom Coughlin, 57, faces a maximum of 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. He also could be fined $1.35 million. The judge ordered a presentencing report that will take up to 14 weeks to prepare. Wal-Mart lawyers referred Coughlin to federal prosecutors after discovering that Coughlin had embezzled money from the company and used expense vouchers to buy products as varied as snakeskin boots, hunting trips and Bloody Mary mix. They estimated losses at up to $500,000. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card In federal court, Coughlin spoke only when he was asked questions by U.S. District Judge Robert Dawson. Afterward, defense lawyers issued a statement in which Coughlin accepted responsibility for “serious personal mistakes in judgment.” “This was not an easy decision. I regret the embarrassment this matter has caused my family and friends and I thank them for their support, love and friendship,” Coughlin said in the statement. In documents filed with the court, Coughlin specifically admitted defrauding the company to pay for the care of his hunting dogs, lease a private hunting area, upgrade his pickup truck, buy liquor and a cooler, and receive $3,100 in cash. As the company vice chairman, Coughlin received a base salary of $1.03 million in his final year with the company. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last April said Coughlin also received $3.09 million in bonuses and other income in fiscal 2005. Coughlin held about $20 million in Wal-Mart stock, according to an SEC filing last February. The former executive said his guilty plea was in the best interest of his family, friends and community. He remained a Wal-Mart cheerleader, asking associates “to pull together in fulfilling Sam Walton’s dream of creating the world’s greatest retailer.” last_img read more

first_imgPictured at the launch of ‘Letterkenny Community Hub’ are Letterkenny Community Centre Staff and Chairperson;(left to right):), Ruth Cleary, Liam O’Donnell (Centre Manager), Gerry McDevitt (Chairperson), Lorraine McGettigan, Maureen TeaseLetterkenny Community Centre has launched ‘Letterkenny Community Hub’, a space for people to come together to collaborate and develop their ideas for start‐up organisations with community, not‐for‐profit and charitable aims. The Hub will provide a dedicated meeting and training space for community groups who are in their infancy in a purposefully renovated space on the grounds of Letterkenny Community Centre.To assist in building the capacity of these groups, Letterkenny Community Hub will signpost groups to information, development and training supports through partnerships with Donegal Local Development Company’s SICAP and Tús Programmes, Donegal Volunteer Centre, Donegal Education Training Board’s Community Education Support Programme, and through the continued support of the Department of Social Protection’s Community Employment Programme. Speaking at the launch of Letterkenny Community Hub, Chairperson of Letterkenny Community Centre, Gerry McDevitt, said that, “Over the years we have seen many successful initiatives in Letterkenny which have supported social inclusion aiding those in need in our communities, and acting to promote a vibrant community through employment, education, enterprise, health and tourism related activities.“The contribution of these activities is visible all around us and in the volunteerism and activism evident in Letterkenny’s sports clubs, residents’ associations, community development groups, and charities that work to help the homeless, the hungry, the sick, older people and those with disabilities. Many of these activities started with small groups of people coming together with ideas that grew into really worthwhile projects.“Letterkenny Community Centre itself started in this way with a group of committed volunteers who were driven with the mission and vision to provide social, health, community and leisure activities and facilities for the people of our community. To this end Letterkenny Community Hub ensures that we give back the support to others that we ourselves received from the community through the years since our inception in 1974”.If you have an idea which can enhance the lives of others and are interested in using Letterkenny Community Hub as a community start‐up space, request an expression of interest form via email at letterkennycommunityhub@gmail.com or via reception at Letterkenny Community Centre. For further enquiries, contact Ruth Cleary at Letterkenny Community Centre on (074) 9122761.Letterkenny Community Centre also want to hear from organisations or individuals who are in a position to support or partner with the centre in the development of this new and exciting initiative.CAPTION – Pictured at the launch of ‘Letterkenny Community Hub’ are Letterkenny Community Centre Staff and Chairperson;(left to right):), Ruth Cleary, Liam O’Donnell (Centre Manager), Gerry McDevitt (Chairperson), Lorraine McGettigan, Maureen TeaseLETTERKENNY COMMUNITY CENTRE OFFERS FREE SPACE FOR START-UP GROUPS was last modified: February 26th, 2016 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:donegalLETTERKENNY COMMUNITY CENTREThe Hublast_img read more

first_imgRe: “Enron execs Skilling, Lay convicted of conspiracy” (May 26): I was delighted to hear of the guilty verdicts for Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. These men destroyed people’s lives and now must pay the price. I hope that the appeal process fails and that they spend what’s left of their pathetic lives in the state penitentiary, not some cozy federal institution, though we all know that won’t happen. I say throw them in there with the murderers and rapists. They should both be reminded that you get what you deserve in life, not what you can get away with. – Mauricio W. Muraro AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Sun Valley Chipping in Re: “Stars come out for farmers” (May 25): So Mr. Laura Dern (Ben Harper)laments that he doesn’t have “super, deep, stupid, dough” to buy the land outright from its legal owner – who, by the way, originally lost it to the city through eminent domain. Perhaps he can ask his wife (or Darryl Hannah), next time she’s at one of those award shows, to ask her colleagues if they would be willing to chip in. I know all those limos cost around $100 per hour and I’m pretty sure that each woman’s designer gown cost more than my car and the jewelry costs more than my house. I guess it just depends on one’s definition of “super, deep, stupid … .” – Mark A. Overturf Reseda Give it a try Re: “And a raise?” (Your Opinions, May 25): Tim O’Brien would love to have one of those highly-paid teaching jobs? What’s stopping him? All he has to do is go to college for five years. Then, during his two months off, he can work on his master’s degree so he can move up the salary schedule enough to earn that cushy salary. But he’ll have to contribute 8 percent of his salary to help fund that great pension plan. LAUSD teachers received a total pay raise of 7 percent over the last five years. Fourteen percent for this year sounds about right to me. – Michael R. Thorpe Glendale Bring him on I just examined my official sample ballot for the coming June 6 election. It does not list any Democratic candidates presumably because I am a registered Republican. My memory tells me that I had a choice of candidates in all parties in the past. Did we change our voting system? I totally despise President George W. Bush and intend to vote against any candidate who may be on his side. Please explain. – Joseph P. Gleason Woodland Hills Just peachy Re: “Mayor resurrects office to assist immigrants regardless of status” (May 24): So now the mayor is reviving an office to get municipal services to immigrants with the Office of Immigrant Affairs. Isn’t that just wonderful! Why don’t we just give them all jobs, houses and cars and be done with it? Has Villaraigosa ever looked up the word “illegal”? It means “against the law.” My taxpayer money is going for this? – Barbara Thunell Canoga Park Holden responds Re: “Major disappointment” (May 19): I served on the City Council for 16 years, from 1987 to 2003. I have firsthand knowledge that on any given day eight members of the council with the concurrence of the mayor can spend that money any way they choose. The trash hike is nothing more than an illegal tax because the right to vote on the issue has been denied the people. Your editorial is correct; this tax hike was not needed to hire 1,000 additional police officers. Everybody knows there’s a slush-fund buried in the city’s budget. The mayor and the council working together are aware that general managers request positions within their departments and have no intentions on filling those positions during the budgetary year. If the council has the will to be fair, they can easily find $400 million-plus in hidden unfilled positions and other hidden fat in the budget, then use that money to hire more police officers. – Nate Holden Former City Councilman Los Angeles160Want 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