Posts under "alaojwmw"

Citizens’ role in getting value for money

Posted in alaojwmw on January 14th, 2020

first_imgIt is unbelievable the quality of work that is being carried out by some contractors engaged in public infrastructure projects, most of which cost the treasury millions of dollars. All around the country, one can point to numerous examples of substandard work for which contractors were paid huge sums. In fact, in some cases, they were even overpaid.In many cases, very little action is taken against these errant contractors for not meeting their contractual obligations, resulting in them walking scotch free. In fact, some persons would even be shocked to learn that these same persons who have done poor work or left work incomplete were awarded additional contracts.Year after year, in his report, the Auditor General would highlight a number of examples of substandard or incomplete work in construction projects across the country — whether they be schools, hospitals, roads, bridges etc. His last year report was no different. In that report, the AG pointed to some instances where road projects were incomplete or left abandoned, even though contractors were already paid huge sums to do a proper job. Many have asked what actions are being taken against these contractors to recoup these monies, or what sort of systems have been put in place to ensure these contracting firms are debarred from bidding for future projects.Also, at a recent engagement between the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and regional officials, to address several irregularities which were cited in the Auditor General’s Report, PAC Chairman Irfaan Ali once again brought the said issue to the fore. Like many others, he lamented the fact that very little is being done to ensure contractors honour their obligations to the State.It was also pointed out at that meeting that, in the past, sums of money were overpaid to contractors in mobilisation fees – which is a fraction of the contractual cost that is paid to the contractor to get his/her equipment to the site where the project is to be implemented. In some cases, sums of money over the standard or required amount are paid to the contractor, and the works are still not completed.This certainly is unacceptable. And while tax payers have used different forums to complain previously, the relevant agencies have a duty to ensure that public monies are well spent and accounted for.From what is gathered, there are, from time to time, several lapses in the national procurement system, which need to be corrected urgently. For example, it is clear that there are poor monitoring and reporting mechanisms in place to ensure contracting firms carry out works as per contractual agreement. Also, there seems to be no strict policy to penalise and/or debar contractors for failing to meet their contractual obligations.The Ministry of Public Infrastructure had said that it is in the process of establishing a database which would keep a track record of the number of projects awarded to local contractors and their performance with respect to each. It would also be helpful if procuring entities keep a proper record of the performance of companies with regard to projects awarded. This could be used as an effective measure to better inform the process for selecting competent contractors to handle Government projects.The Public Procurement Commission (PPC) is in place, and it was hoped that the relevant mechanisms would have been put in place with the aim of ensuring these lapses are corrected. However, the PPC still needs to examine and implement effective measures for blacklisting, so that contractors who are consistently delinquent could face the requisite level of debarment. A contractor found to have a record of producing poor and incomplete work cannot, and should not, be awarded additional contracts.Citizens also have a role to play in ensuring that they get value for money. They should also be encouraged to provide the relevant feedback to the respective authorities in relation to how certain projects are progressing in their communities.last_img read more


Posted in alaojwmw on January 14th, 2020

first_img University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s hockey alumna and current head coach Vicky Sunohara was inducted into the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour as a sport legend on Friday, April 27. Sunohara is a true icon of Canadian hockey. After attending Northeastern University on a full athletic scholarship from 1988-90, she played for the University of Toronto and was an OWIAA all-star. She was named the OWIAA rookie of the year after leading the team to the provincial title in 1990-91 and went onto guide the Blues to another championship and an undefeated season. Sunohara was named a member of the national team in 1989-90. She is a three-time Olympic medalist for her efforts at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics and represented Canada at eight World Championships, winning seven gold and one silver.She represented Canada at several international hockey competitions, capturing 15 gold and three silver medals, finishing her career with 118 points in 164 games. For seven years, she served as an assistant captain of Team Canada. Story Links Sunohara retired from international competition in 2008 but continued to contribute to her sport. She served as team captain for the Brampton Canadette-Thunder in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League for 10 seasons, leading her team to one national and two provincial titles. In 2011, Vicky returned to her U of T home and is the current head coach of the Blues women’s hockey team. She has racked up a 154-72-24 overall coaching record in the past seven seasons.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more


Posted in alaojwmw on December 29th, 2019

first_imgDonegal soccer star Shay Given will give his opinion on how Ireland is going to do at Euro 2012 when he appears on RTE’s Late Late Show tonight.The Lifford man, the highest capped player on the team with 121 games to date, will be one of the main guests on the show.Shay’s family including dad Seamus are believed to be making the journey to Dublin for the show. A spokesman for RTE told Donegal Daily that host Ryan Tubridy is really looking forward to chatting with the affable goalkeeper.“Shay is an Irish hero and Ryan is a big fan.“Everyone knows that Shay is such a down-to-earth guy and a genuine hero to all Irish kids and soccer fans.“It’s a one on one interview and hopefully Shay will give us some insight into how he thinks we will do at Euro 2012,” said the spokesperson.  SHAY TO TELL ALL ON TONIGHT’S LATE LATE SHOW was last modified: May 18th, 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:Ryan TubridyShay GiovenThe Late Late Showlast_img read more

Drivers strike hits MTA

Posted in alaojwmw on December 28th, 2019

first_imgBus drivers at a private company that runs four routes for the MTA have been staging a wildcat strike this week, affecting some service in the San Fernando Valley. Workers from Transportation Concepts Inc. joined Teamsters who have been picketing the company since August, when the company took over the routes from another firm and reduced the pay, a company official said Wednesday. More than a dozen of TCI’s nearly 95 drivers walked out Tuesday and Wednesday, requiring the firm to bring in replacements and turn some service over to another company, said Rich Rogers, TCI’s chief operating officer. “It took us by surprise,” Rogers said. “We’re doing everything we can to provide the service for the MTA.” 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 MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approved a new contract for the service last summer, allowing TCI to take over the routes from First Transit. During the transition, TCI admitted it failed to extend letters to some union drivers to apply for jobs, though other invitations were made. But drivers from Teamsters Local 848 had to take a pay cut from $14 per hour to $10 per hour to work for the new firm. Teamsters drivers have been protesting at the company site and at MTA meetings. A union official could not immediately be reached for comment. last_img read more

A new leader for A.V. High

Posted in alaojwmw on December 27th, 2019

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los Angeles“That’s the reason I applied and the reason why they are so dedicated. We feel we have some wonderful students here and they don’t get the recognition they deserve. We have smart students who are going places.” Lockhart took over as principal at Antelope Valley High on July 1 after serving a year there as assistant principal. She replaced Karen Patterson, who herself was hired three years ago after the school was ordered by the state to replace the school’s administrative team because of lagging test scores. Patterson now works in the district office. Prior to coming to Antelope Valley High School, Lockhart worked at Palmdale High School as a counselor for 10 years and then as vice principal for five years. Lockhart said she applied for Antelope Valley High’s principal job because she believes in the school. “I like the school. I enjoy the students and feel strongly we have very qualified staff. I thought in order to support them, I wanted to apply and see how it went,” she said. Lockhart said she will have no problem working with a trustee. “I’m looking forward to working with a trustee, who will be another person on campus who can help us with ideas and support,” she said. Board president Donita Winn said she sees Lockhart at football games standing on the sidelines wearing a high school letterman’s jacket that she got for playing clarinet in the band. Her car is in the high school parking lot sometimes until 6 or 7 at night, Winn added. “She was second in command. She knows a lot of what works and what needs to happen. She is very anxious to do right by the school,” Winn said. Lockhart graduated from Antelope Valley High in 1983 and then attended Antelope Valley College for two years. She got a bachelor’s degree in foods in business from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, and worked as a sales representative for cookie company Otis Spunkmeyer. After a few years she grew disenchanted with her work and realized she was on the wrong side of the business. “I worked with lots of little businesses, mom-and-pop restaurants, that were struggling,” Lockhart said. “Here I was the sales rep dictating that you need to maintain the product. I got connected to the people. I thought I should be in the people business.” She obtained her master’s in school counseling from the University of La Verne in 1990, and then a master’s in school administration from California State University, Los Angeles. “I love high school students. I do. It’s something about watching them go from kind of little kids to young adults, and getting to help that process has always been interesting to me,” Lockhart said. “I have a passion for education. I wanted to be a part of working with the next generation of people. They make a laugh and they make me cry. Most of the time they make me laugh,” she said. Lockhart is married to another Antelope Valley High School graduate, Steve Lockhart, who is a physical education teacher and head football coach at Eastside High School. The couple live in Palmdale and have two sons, ages 12 and 9. Lockhart said she would let her children attend Antelope Valley High, and if they did, they would go on to college. “Any kid can get out of school what they are willing to put in,” Lockhart said. (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – A third-generation graduate of Antelope Valley High School, Patricia Lockhart is taking over as principal of her alma mater at a particularly unsettling time. The school was hit by state sanctions because of declining test scores and assigned to a yet-to-be-named trustee who will have the authority to overrule administrators’ decisions. But Lockhart, who left a career in food sales to enter the more people-oriented field of school counseling, has nothing but praise for students and staff. “I feel like this is my school. I feel kind of protective of it. There’s a lot of alumni of Antelope Valley High School that work here. Teachers work here a long time and feel this is their school. They feel loyal to the school and feel great things can come and have come out of the school,” said Lockhart, 41. last_img read more

The Press Pass – Sunday, July 16

Posted in alaojwmw on December 27th, 2019

first_imgMatt Scott is joined by fellow journalists Charlie Wyett and Tony Evans, to cast their eyes over the main sporting stories.The trio discuss England Under-19s’ European Championship win, Wayne Rooney at Everton and the latest developments at Chelsea.Plus, the panel look at the recent transfers of Romelu Lukaku and Kyle Walker to Manchester United and Manchester City respectively, and much, much more… Listen above or click here to download the podcast from iTunes.last_img

Sanchez takes part in Arsenal open training session with future still unclear

Posted in alaojwmw on December 27th, 2019

first_img Alexis Sanchez is back in training with Arsenal 1 Alexis Sanchez joined his Arsenal team-mates for a training session at the Emirates Stadium as speculation over his future rumbles on.The Chile international only returned to pre-season on Tuesday after being handed an extended break following the Confederations Cup.Sanchez was due back to Arsenal’s London Colney training centre on Sunday but was ill and instead travelled back to begin work on Tuesday.The 28-year-old is reportedly wanted by the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain and has less than one year to run on his current contract with the Gunners.Manager Arsene Wenger appears relaxed about the situation and even suggested it was “ideal” to have the likes of Sanchez, as well as team-mates Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs, running down their contracts as they have to play well to earn fresh terms.Arsenal fans will be concerned, however, that even if Sanchez stays, the former Barcelona forward may leave for nothing next summer.He hit 30 goals for Arsenal last season but cut a frustrated figure at times as hopes of a Premier League title faded with a poor run of results which coincided with a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League.The torrid spell led to Arsenal missing out on a top-four finish and instead Wenger’s side will play in the Europa League during the forthcoming campaign.No Champions League football, as well as the lure of a potentially more lucrative contract elsewhere, might tempt Sanchez to leave – but Wenger is expected to dig his heels in.The 67-year-old Arsenal boss, who signed his own new contract after the FA Cup final victory in May, was set to address the media on Thursday afternoon to preview Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Chelsea, and was likely to be once again asked about Sanchez’s future.last_img read more

£150m? No chance! Spurs star Alli NOT for sale as City and Barca consider move

Posted in alaojwmw on December 27th, 2019

first_imgDele Alli is not for sale, even if Barcelona or Manchester City offer Tottenham £150million for him, the club have warned. Alli scored Spurs’ opening goal of the season against Newcastle on Sunday and is being tracked by Europe’s top clubs. City and Barca are tracking the 21-year-old and could move before the transfer window shuts in 14 days’ time, according to The Sun.  Barcelona sold Neymar to PSG for a world record £198m earlier this summer and Kylian Mbappe could also be heading to the French capital for £160m. But while Spurs chairman Daniel Levy believes Alli is one of the world’s top young talents – he will not be sold at any price. Tottenham remain the only club in the top flight yet to sign a player this summer, but hope to complete a £40m deal for Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez. 1 Alli scored Tottenham’s first goal of the season in the victory over Newcastle last_img read more

VIDEO: Matt Tootle busts out SLUG celebration in Notts County win

Posted in alaojwmw on December 27th, 2019

first_img We have an explanation, but this is just weird…. 1 Notts County forması giyen Matthew Tootle’ın ilginç gol sevinci 🐟— (@Bilyoner) September 24, 2017center_img There is no end to the creativity behind goal celebrations.But Notts County’s Matt Tootle’s liking for pulling off an impression of a slug is one of the game’s strangest.Scoring in his side’s 4-1 win over Lincoln City in League Two, Tootle busted out his now infamous party trick.Apparently the move came about following a less than successful karaoke performance on a team night out.We have an explanation, but this is just weird….last_img read more

LAUSD arrogance

Posted in alaojwmw on December 26th, 2019

first_img“LIKE pulling teeth” – that’s how state Sen. Richard Alarc n describes working with the Los Angeles Unified School District, and he should know. The Van Nuys Democrat, who’s authored legislation to reduce the number of high school dropouts, sought detailed data from the district for his research. But the officials – always desperate to hide the extent of their failures – declined, citing students’ privacy concerns. While that might sound like a legitimate objection, there’s just one problem: Alarc n wasn’t asking for the students’ names. Still, district officials said, they can’t give that information out. It’s so detailed that someone could theoretically pore through the data and identify specific students within the 700,000-student behemoth. Romero also asked whether the district violated state open-meetings law when its superintendent-search committee met in private and without advance public notice. Finally, she wants to know why the district thinks it can get away with ignoring public-records requests. Whether the LAUSD has broken any laws will be up to prosecutors to determine. But clearly, it’s been contemptuous of the public trust. There’s an important debate going on about the future of education in L.A. Yet rather than engage that debate, the district is fighting every step of the way. The strategy isn’t working. The LAUSD’s arrogant attitude and conduct are only fueling public discontent.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 MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Sure. Meanwhile, Alarc n isn’t the only legislator who’s found extracting information from the LAUSD to be about as much fun as a trip to the dentist. When state Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, sought data about how much taxpayer money the LAUSD is spending to fight Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s reform efforts, the district balked again. So Romero got mad, and did what any other sensible person in her position would do: She notified the authorities. In a letter sent to the district attorney and the state attorney general, Romero asked that prosecutors look into whether the district is misspending public funds on politics by shipping busloads of handpicked parents to Sacramento to lobby against LAUSD reform. last_img read more