Scandal unseats mayor

first_imgIt turned out that former Mayor James Hahn’s political fate was sealed by three little words: “pay for play.” Accusations that surfaced in 2004 of backroom dealings and political shakedowns for campaign contributions led to a series of investigations – by county and federal grand juries, the city Ethics Commission and Controller Laura Chick – that proved too much for Hahn to overcome in 2005. The scandal resulted in a series of changes in how the city does business, including a ban on commissioners raising money for elected officials, tighter monitoring of contracts and a pledge by newly elected Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to keep paid lobbyists off city commissions. The original accusations were that the Airport Commission pressured contractors to make political contributions in order to win city contracts. Similar accusations soon swirled around the panels overseeing the Department of Water and Power and the Harbor Department. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake No indictments ever resulted from the investigations, but the damage was done politically for Hahn, who was slow to respond to the accusations. Eventually, one of his top aides and two commissioners resigned. The inquiries, however, did lead to other investigations and charges. Steve Sugerman, a former top executive with the public-relations firm of Fleishman-Hillard, pleaded guilty in July to three federal counts of wire fraud, admitting that he overbilled the city tens of thousands of dollars on a DWP contract. In a negotiated settlement, the firm agreed to repay the city $6 million. Sugerman also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against two other Fleishman executives, Doug Dowie and John Stoddard, who have pleaded not guilty to similar charges. In another case, real estate developer Mark Alan Abrams has been accused of laundering political contributions to Hahn and other city officials. He is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 6 for the setting of a preliminary hearing date. Abrams is one of the most prominent Hahn donors whose contributions became an issue. Over the years, he contributed more than $336,000 to Hahn campaigns. Abrams has paid fines and penalties of $270,000 to the city Ethics Commission. In another case involving money-laundering allegations, prominent attorney Pierce O’Donnell has pleaded not guilty to charges that he reimbursed workers and associates $25,500 for contributions to Hahn’s successful 2001 mayoral campaign. — Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 rick.orlov@dailynews.com160Want 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

School secretaries protest at Minister McHugh’s office in Letterkenny

first_imgSchool secretaries from all over the northwest staged a rally at the office of Education Minister Joe McHugh TD in Letterkenny on today (Sat). The rally took place as union FÛrsa prepare to reveal the result of a nationwide ballot for industrial action in its campaign for fair pay and working conditions for school secretaries.The ballot outcome will be announced on Monday, September 9th. The union balloted its members over the summer after education department officials refused to discuss proposals to overcome a two-tier pay system that leaves most earning just Ä12,500 a year, with irregular, short-term contracts that force them to sign on during the summer holidays and other school breaks.FÛrsa has mounted a campaign for pay justice for school secretaries, most of whom are very poorly paid and have irregular, short-term contracts.This, according to FÛrsa, is because of antiquated and discriminatory employment status, foisted upon school secretaries in 1978, which gives a minority directly-employed public service status, while the majority are employed by school management boards, which determine their pay and conditions. A number of speakers addressed the protest including FÛrsa President Ann Mc Gee. Minister Mc Hugh’s office was closed and the Minister, who was understood to be at another event in Letterkenny, didn’t meet with the protestors.Seeking equal pay and rights at the protest in support of school secretaries outside Minister for Education Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Ten years old Orla Hedigan supporting her mum at the Forsa protest in support of schoolm secretaries outside Minister for Education Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday. (Photos by Eoin Mc Garvey)Supporting school secretaries at the Forsa protest outside Minister for Education Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Councillor John O’Donnell, Kathleen Doherty, Anne Mc Gee, Forsa President and Barry Cunninghan, Forsa outside Minister for Education Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday in support of school secretaries.Forsa President Ann Mc Gee addressing the protest in support of school secretaries outside Education Minister Joe Mv Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Protestors outside Minister for Education Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Barry Cunningham from Forsa addressing the protest supporting school secretaries outside Education Minister Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Lynne O’Doherty and Jack Mc Monagle supporting the Forsa protest outside Education Minister Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Kathleen Doherty addressing the Forsa protest supporting school secretaries outside Minister for Education Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Protestors supporting school secretaries pictured outside the office of Minister for Education, Joe Mc Hugh TD in Letterkenny on Saturday.Representatives from Forsa, public representatives, school secretaries and their families pictured at the Forsa protest outside Minister for Education, Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Ann Mc Gee, Forsa President with Councillors Donal Coyle, Michael Mc Bride and John O’Donnell at the Forsa protest supporting school secretaries outside Minister or Education Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Pat O’Donnell, Glenties supporting his wife, a school secretary, at the protest by the Forsa union outside Minister Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.Protesting in support of school secretaries outside Minister for Education Joe Mc Hugh’s office in Letterkenny on Saturday.School secretaries protest at Minister McHugh’s office in Letterkenny was last modified: September 10th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

Win Chelsea v Bolton tickets

first_imgWest London Sport has teamed up with Thomas Cook Sport, official travel partner of Chelsea FC, to offer Blues fans the chance to win a pair of tickets to their next Premier League home game against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 25 February.André Villas-Boas will be hoping for all three points against the Trotters…and you could be at Stamford Bridge to watch all the action LIVE!We have five pairs of tickets to give away and to be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question:Which recent Chelsea signing previously played for Bolton?a. John Terryb. Gary Cahillc. Ashley ColeE-mail the correct answer to win@westlondonsport.comWinners will be randomly selected. The competition closes at 5pm on Monday, 13 February.Thomas Cook Sport is the UK’s leading sports tour operator and official travel partner of Chelsea FC, offering match breaks to Chelsea fans for the 2011/2012 season from £109 per person. This season, choose the winning tactic and book your 2011/12 match break by visiting www.thomascooksport.com or call the sales team on 0844 800 9900.You can also follow us on Twitter @thomascooksport and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/ThomasCookSportUK to keep up-to-date with all the latest competitions, special offers and news.Terms & Conditions1. The prize consists of two tickets (Chelsea end) to the game against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 25 February 2012, for five winners. Kick-off is at 15.00.2. The package does not include travel to or from the ground or any hospitality at the ground.3. Fans are reminded that tickets are in the Chelsea end and seats are amongst home supporters. Please be aware that any vocal or visual support for the opposition will result in ejection from the stadium without compensation.4. Entrants are reminded that tickets are issued subject to Chelsea FC Regulations and the Conditions of Entry relevant to those tickets.5. Competition open to all UK residents with the exception of employees of Thomas Cook Sport Ltd, Chelsea FC or Hatch Communications, their immediate families, agents or anyone else associated with the administration.6. No cash alternative will be offered.7. The competition closes on 13 February.8. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the promoter reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.9. The promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.10. All entrants must be willing to participate in publicity should they be a winner.11. We reserve the right at any time to cancel, modify or supersede the competition if, in our sole discretion, the competition is not capable of being conducted as specified in the competition rules.12. The promoter of this competition is either Thomas Cook Retail Limited, trading as Thomas Cook Sport or Airtrack (for UK departures), or Capitol Holdings Ltd, trading as Thomas Cook Sport (Ireland), for travel arrangements departing from the Republic of Ireland. Thomas Cook Retail Ltd registered office is The Thomas Cook Business Park, Coningsby Road, Peterborough PE3 8SB, and the company registration number is 00102630 England. Capitol Holdings Ltd registered office is 10B Beckett Way, Parkwest Business Park, Dublin 12, and company registration number is 163008. To discover more about Thomas Cook Sport, log on to www.thomascooksport.comlast_img read more

Good-Flying Cosmopolitan Pterosaur Found Earlier Than Thought

first_img(Visited 424 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A large pterosaur in Utah is 65 million Darwin Years older than thought, but was already built for flying.Very few pterosaurs are known from Triassic rock; this one is amazingly well preserved. What does evolutionary paleontologist Steven Brusatte think of it? He tells the BBC News,It’s a trifecta: a Triassic pterosaur from a new place, preserved in an immaculate way, and found in rocks from an environment that we didn’t think they lived in so early during their evolution. What this means is that pterosaurs were already geographically widespread and thriving in a variety of environments very early in their evolution.He says “in their evolution” twice, but the quote works just fine without that tacked-on prepositional phrase (also a presuppositional phrase). Nothing about this fossil suggests evolution. Phys.org says it was “built for flying.” Yet it is found in rocks 200 million Darwin Years old, 65 million years earlier than evolutionists had thought pterosaurs lived.Brusatte brings global warming into the discussion:The new species is most closely related to an Early Jurassic-aged British pterosaur, which means that these primitive pterosaur groups not only were widespread, but they survived the great extinction at the end of the Triassic, when volcanoes welled up through the cracks of the fracturing supercontinent Pangaea and caused a runaway global warming event that may be similar to what we’re experiencing today.Readers should note that Britain and Utah are on nearly opposite sides of the globe, some 5,000 miles apart. The only other Triassic pterosaur remains come from Greenland. Unlike most pterosaur fossils, which are usually scattered and delicate, this one was remarkably well preserved.Why is this pterosaur “primitive”? It could fly. It had a 1.5-meter wingspan. Achieving powered flight for a heavier-than-air creature that large requires many specialized traits. Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates capable of active flight, says Live Science, although insects were masters of flight, too. It’s the most complete skeleton of a pterosaur ever found, says Marlowe Hood in Phys.org:“Most pterosaurs bones look like road-kill,” Britt told AFP, noting that there are only 30-odd specimens worldwide from the Triassic period which lasted some 51 million years.By contrast, the new specimen comprises dozens of intact bones and teeth, along with an entire brain casing.Live Science says it sported 110 teeth, including 4 “wicked fangs”. It was found in 2014 in the “Saints and Sinners Quarry” in Utah.Abrupt appearance; fully formed; no evolution; now extinct. This is the pattern. Stephen Jay Gould’s “trade secret of paleontology” is now well known.last_img read more

President Motlanthe’s new cabinet

first_imgSouth Africa’s Houses of Parliament. (Image: South African Tourism) South African President Kgalema Motlanthe. (Image: Passia)Mary AlexanderKgalema Motlanthe was sworn in as South Africa’s third post-apartheid president yesterday, after receiving 269 of the 360 votes cast by members of parliament. The opposition Democratic Alliance’s candidate Joe Seremane received 50 votes, while 41 ballots were spoiled. Former speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete was appointed deputy president.Motlanthe then announced his new cabinet, with 10 ministers appointed to new posts. Significantly, Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel was reappointed to his position following his resignation on Tuesday. Manuel’s retention is seen as a clear indication that the new administration has no plans to change its economic policies.Grabbing more headlines was the replacement of controversial former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang with Barbara Hogan, with the former being appointed minister in the presidency. Tshabalala-Msimang has been widely slammed for her failure to adequately respond to South Africa’s HIV/Aids pandemic, while Hogan has been an outspoken critic of the health ministry’s policies on the disease. Hogan is also said to be a close confidante of Motlanthe.In his first speech to parliament as president, Motlanthe gave the assurance that his administration would not deviate from existing ANC policies.“The policies of this government are clear,” he said.“They are based on the 2004 Manifesto of the African National Congress, enhanced by the decisions of both the ANC’s Policy Conference as well as its 52nd National Conference held in Polokwane in December 2007.“Mine is not the desire to deviate from what is working. It is not for me to reinvent policy. Nor do I intend to reshape either Cabinet or the public service.“We will not allow that the work of government be interrupted. We will not allow the stability of our democratic order to be compromised.”Motlanthe’s election comes after former president Thabo Mbeki resigned on Sunday 21 September, following a request by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) that he do so the day before. The new president will lead the South Africa until the next elections, scheduled for April 2009.The 10 new Cabinet ministers are:Defence: Charles NqakulaJustice and Constitutional Development: Enver SurtyHealth: Barbara HoganSafety and Security: Nathi MthethwaPublic Enterprises: Brigitte MabandlaPublic Works: Geoff DoidgeIntelligence: Siyabonga CweleThe Presidency: Manto Tshabalala-MsimangProvincial and Local Government: Sicelo ShicekaPublic Service and Administration: Richard BaloyiThose who retained their positions are:Finance: Trevor ManuelSocial Development: Zola SkweyiyaEducation: Naledi PandorLabour: Membathisi MdladlanaCorrectional Services: Ngconde BalfourHousing: Lindiwe SisuluArts and Culture: Pallo JordanSport and Recreation: Makhenkesi StofileEnvironmental Affairs and Tourism: Marthinus van SchalkwykWater Affairs and Forestry: Lindiwe HendricksMinerals and Energy: Buyelwa SonjicaHome Affairs: Noziviwe Mapisa-NqakulaForeign Affairs: Nkosazana-Dlamini ZumaTransport: Jeff RadebeCommunications: Ivy Matsepe-CasaburriTrade and Industry: Mandisi MphalwaScience and Technology: Mosibudi MangenaAgriculture and Land Affairs: Lulu XingwanaDo you have queries or comments about his article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesMotlanthe to be acting presidentMbeki resigns as SA presidentGovernment in South AfricaSouth Africa’s ConstitutionSouth Africa’s political partiesUseful linksPresidency of South Africa Parliament of South AfricaSouth African Government Onlinelast_img read more

Jon Miller, June 27

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are about half done harvesting the wheat. The first 80 acres of wheat we did was extremely wet but we ran it anyway. It seems like that freeze in May maybe affected how it matured but didn’t really affect the yield. We had some a little above 30% moisture. Most of it ran between 25% and 30% in that field. Then we had that rain last week and got anywhere from two to three inches on about all of our fields. We started with wheat again then on Saturday and the moisture was still in the upper 20s. The lowest was about 18% yesterday.We got between a quarter- and a half-inch overnight. We may start mowing straw this afternoon and running wheat again later today. The second half should go faster and it looks like we have a good forecast this week.The first couple of wheat loads had decent test weight and quality. The yield was better than expected after that cold snap we had this spring and the bale count on the first 80 acres has been extremely high. It seems like the variety we are in now is about 10 bushels below the earlier wheat we harvested. I think overall the yield ought to be above average and if the quality stays it should be a decent year for wheat.We were losing yield on the corn before we got that rain. Even though we had two or three inches, it came so fast that a lot of it ran off. We’ll take anything we can get as dry as we were. On some of the lighter banks the corn was turning a whitish purple. It was curled tight before that rain came through.We were able to plant our first double-crop beans last week and the first 25 acres are already out of the ground. The calendar is still on our side, but if it hadn’t rained, planting double-crops would be questionable for some of our fields.So far, weed control has been OK but we are finding a lot of little marestail coming up in the wheat. We are planting some Liberty beans for double-crops to help control the marestail after the wheat.last_img read more

Ind vs Eng: India wait for miracle turnaround

first_imgAn injury-ravaged Team India is gearing up for the third ODI against England at The Oval on Friday, still looking for that elusive win which would lift the sagging morale of the battle-weary side.Trailing 0-1 in the five-match series after being whitewashed 0-4 in the Tests, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men have reasons to feel fatalistic ahead of the day-night encounter.The visitors are worried on the count of lack of bowling firepower in their ranks and are resigned to the fact England would chase down any total they can rustle up in remaining one-dayers.Dhoni laid himself bare to media after losing the second one-dayer at Rose Bowl on Tuesday, fretting about the sameness of his fast bowlers and their general lack of pace.”If it doesn’t swing, we struggle. Most of our bowlers are in the 120-130 kmph range and it becomes very difficult,” or words to similar effect was Dhoni’s lament and Friday could just make his worst fears come true.The pitch at The Oval offers bounce but no sideways movement and the gentle pace of Indian seamers could turn out to be fodder for England batsmen.Dhoni concedes Praveen Kumar is not his best option in death overs and he is forced to keep Munaf Patel a lot towards the end than in the initial overs.If India can’t strike early, it is a given that the rest of the overs would be savaged by the in-form England batsmen.A similar thing occurred in the second one-dayer where India ran up a decent total but were powerless to stop England from romping home with seven wickets to spare.advertisementThe crushing dominance was evident when England were 100 up on the board with 10 full overs yet to be completed.As if this was not enough, India is also worried on the count of fifth bowler’s quota — a job Yuvraj Singh used to do with such aplomb in the past.In the rain-hit second match, it fell on Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina to do the job but it would be beyond them to remain useful over a stretch of 10 overs.That makes the inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja a strong possibility. The Gujarat all-rounder is a useful left-arm spinner and can add up a decent package with his notable fielding and batting.His inclusion would almost surely bring the aspirations of Manoj Tiwary for the rest of the series to a premature end.Ironically, India’s batting showed little effect of downturn despite losing so many stalwarts up the order.Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane have been startlingly good up the order. Virat Kohli has shown good intent and Suresh Raina is laying about the bowling with a streak of vengeance.Thus England could sense a killing in the rest of the matches. The pitches at the remaining three venues are unlikely to help seam and swing.Indians might be a depleted lot but England would take immense delight in prevailing over the visitors and ending the summer in style.England wouldn’t take their foot off the pedal for it’s a good practice opportunity for them to iron out their one-day follies. For one, they are not seen as particularly adventurous in initial overs. The issue was met squarely by England openers in the second one-dayer.Another issue is their rather timid approach in death overs. The hosts would be keen to sort this out too.England have largely been an orthodox unit in one-day cricket. They are now bringing in a new set of players who can resort to unorthodox tactics.Men like Craig Kieswetter and Ben Stokes are being primed for such roles. Their bowling in death overs has received a boost with the arrival of Jade Dernbach.It being a day-night fixture, both sides would be keen to win the toss and bat first. Luck has been seen as an important ingredient in Dhoni’s extraordinary record as a Test captain.It hasn’t shown up by his side on this tour so far. For a starter, it could help him by flipping the coin in his favour on Friday.Squads:England: Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Ben Stokes, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, RP Singh, Vinay Kumar, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Parthiv Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Varun Aaron.The match will start at 5.30 p.m (IST)advertisementlast_img read more