Dear Editor,The approach used to brutally ‘kick out’ former Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran from his previous role on the Georgetown Municipality is certainly a serious blow to the democratic rights of the elected councillors. However, given that the objectivity he displayed during the past term conflicted with the irrational behaviour of most on the Council, one would have expected a natural challenge at these elections.There is no denying that most would be inclined to accept the results of such challenges, whenever they occur under conditions of transparency and without violation of people’s rights. According to unchallenged media reports, however, the ‘kick in the butt’ effected on the previous deputy was exercised in a shameful and most undemocratic manner. The occasion of the election for the mayor and deputy mayor was forcefully imbued with much vindictive, power drunk arrogance, exemplifying the partisan party paramountcy position of the PNC of old.Presiding over the proceedings of the rigged elections of the deputy mayor was the returned mayor herself. In a most undemocratic and vicious manner, she moved swiftly to silence any dissenting voice, even among the PNC-laden Council. Although persons stood to identify their intent of making nominations, no other was allowed under the seeming one-person judge, jury and executioner. The nomination of the Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran or other should have been allowed and put to a vote. The covering up of the sore in this case, however, would only serve to keep the infection locked inside.It is as clear as day follows night that the PNC racist elements wanted to get rid of the Indian Lionel Jaikarran. Objectivity is of no consequence to this group, (only) the need to send a strong message to any intruding elements of more intent than acceptable procedure. The undemocratic foul-play that took place must not be allowed to continue. Guyanese MUST rise up and be prepared to struggle against all forms of racism and rigged elections.This brutal assault on local democracy in the local government areas must be forcefully confronted. Mr. Bulkan’s attitude and his high-handed approach to governance in the RDCs and NDCs must now be vehemently opposed. The PNC party paramountcy is drilling deep holes in our people’s minds, evens as efforts (are being made) to impregnate our existing space with the suffocating culture of PNC darkest days.What is more disgraceful is the fact that Minister David Patterson was present when all the shenanigans were allowed to masquerade. Further, in several RDCs, the open racism and political directives by the Regional Executive Officers will have to be dealt with. As for functioning of the Local Government Commission, this must get into full operation. And the time is most opportune when the LGC must deal with the inept Town Clerk in Georgetown.We have also witnessed the Minister of Communities’ continued moves to undemocratically enforce and install chairmen and mayors to LAA areas that were tied during the 2018 internal elections.The minister has made an unconvincing effort to explain his undemocratic move by saying that the laws do not provide for by-elections, thus he has the authority to install persons of his choice for the statutory “elected” positions as Chairmen or Mayors of LAAs.With poor leadership, the LAAs where Bulkan has placed his cronies would continue to retrogress like the other Government sectors in this country. This is a clear case of politics before progress or development for the people, something that this dictatorial Government has been practising since it took office.The APNU-appointed political REOs, like the questionable Town Clerk of the Municipality of Georgetown, continue to follow the instructions of their masters to disintegrate and divide our society along racial lines. Bulkan sits back and does nothing to address the calls of the people for better services.The Town Clerk and the Mayor of Georgetown have become the least favoured couple in this country, with the entire city is calling for their replacement.Regards,Neil Kumar
If the Ebola Virus Disease, that is steadily engulfing Grand Bassa with over 21 confirmed deaths and about 50 confirmed cases, must be contained and eradicated from the county, there is a need for an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) to be constructed, stakeholders in the county have said.The Grand Bassa County task force on Ebola last week said with the situation in the county is steadily worsening, there is a need for central government and its numerous partners to ensure that an ETU is constructed and other supports provided for ensure immediate and effective responses.The county task force, through its chairperson, Dr. Joseph Kerkula, said in order for the virus to be contained and hopefully eradicated from the county, these structures need to be put into place and adequately supported for sustainability.Briefing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last week in the Port City of Buchanan, Dr. Kekula said that the referral system in the county is non-functional.President Sirleaf had gone on a daylong visit to the county to get first-hand information at the various health facilities about the Ebola situation in that part of the country.She said her visit was to acquaint herself with situation affecting those at the health centers and to identify with them.Grand Bassa is the sixth worst hit county after Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Lofa and Montserrado Counties in suspected, probable and confirmed cases. Grand Bassa has 29 suspected cases, 34 probable and 43 confirmed cases totaling 106.Dr. Kerkula stressed the need for the construction of an Ebola treatment and holding center in the county, due to the over-crowdedness of existing temporary treatment centers there.Dr. Kerkula, who is also the County Health Officer (CHO) for the county, also spoke of the inadequacy of ambulances in Grand Bassa. He named those among many other challenges facing the county, which he said is impeding the work of the task force.The Grand Bassa County task force boss pleaded with the Liberian President for the provision of four ambulances for the four districts for quick response to the Ebola crisis.He called for support to the burial team in terms of vehicles and other equipment to enhance the work of health workers.At least 21 persons have died from the deadly Ebola virus in the county, Dr. Kekula disclosed. There are 44 confirmed cases of the Ebola virus with Districts 1 and 2 being the most affected.The Grand Bassa CHO also pointed out that among the 21 deaths, sixteen died in various communities while six died in hospital. This situation, he stressed, indicates that the community structure needs to be strengthened and a robust contact tracing be put into place.Meanwhile President Sirleaf during her daylong visit, toured several parts of Grand Bassa County and health centers in the county, including Bokay Town, Dowein, Barclayville, the Diahn Pleh Holding Center near Compound #1, the Lloydsville Health Center and the St John Clinic in Fortsville.She also visited the St. Peter Claver Health Center, the former LAMCO Hospital, now the ArcelorMittal Health Center, and the Liberian Government Hospital, all in Buchanan.President Sirleaf lauded health workers for what she termed their “sacrificial services to humanity.” She promised that government would do everything possible to meet some of their immediate needs.She lauded the staff of the various health centers for their commitment at the time when the nation is facing its difficulties. In spite of these difficulties, President Sirleaf added, “Liberia will overcome the ongoing Ebola epidemic with the help of partners who are assisting the Liberian government and people.Meanwhile, the President has presented a brand new vehicle to the Liberian Government Hospital in Buchanan. The pick-up is to be used by authorities of the hospital as it continues to fight against the Ebola virus. The pick-up was made available by the Fula Community in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“It’s a collaborative organization that has grown from a few people to 1,000 affiliates,” Linsley said. “We bring leaders together to try to develop grass-roots solutions to basic problems.” Through Connect LA, for instance, 3,000 teenagers came together last October as part of Teenagers Make a Difference Day. Teens from various community centers and programs cleaned up parks, spruced up neighborhoods and fed the homeless. For its efforts in connecting those teens to Make A Difference Day, Connect LA is being honored today by USA Weekend, which is carried by the Daily News every Sunday. Known as the nation’s largest day of service, USA Weekend’s Make A Difference Day is held the fourth Saturday of each October, with more than 3 million volunteers participating. Aided by Connect LA, a group of teens was teamed up with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to aid the city’s homeless population. “The Parks Department played a huge part, because we had so many sites we could go to,” said Francisca Castillo, recreation coordinator for the Exposition Park Intergenerational Community Center. “My team cooked a full-course meal, and we went to the Downtown Women’s Center and ate with the women there.” Fourteen-year-old Lashanaye James, who participates in activities at the Exposition Park center, said she found volunteerism extremely rewarding. “Volunteering teaches you responsibility, which is good because you need to know that to go into the real world,” she said. “When we were (at the Downtown Women’s Center), I felt so good. We were part of a national movement, and many people don’t think that teens want to volunteer.” Lashanaye’s team received a cash award and an overall teen project prize from USA Weekend. “It gave the teens a sense of awareness and empowerment that they can actually make a difference in people’s lives, and what they say and do does not go unnoticed,” Castillo said. “It was a very powerful activity for the teens. Some of them teared up.” Teens will meet again in May to discuss other ways they would like to help the city. Homelessness, anti-drug campaigns, graffiti cleanup and recycling seem to top the list of ways they would like to contribute, Linsley said. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3664 Connect LA is among the volunteer agencies being honored by USA Weekend, in today’s newspaper, for its efforts on Make a Difference Day. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! They’d connected as volunteers, working in the nonprofit world before becoming friends. For Ellen Linsley and Marjorie Matsushita, the next, natural step was to connect all of Los Angeles. “We did it because we saw a need in the community to connect L.A.-based organizations in the area,” said Linsley. “We saw that resources and information were out there, but it wasn’t being shared.” In 1996, Linsley and Matsushita formed Connect LA, an umbrella organization that brings together various agencies and departments throughout Los Angeles County, all with the goal of bettering their communities.