CSOs Pledge to Collaborate with LACC in Fighting Corruption

first_imgParticipants at the end of the two-day workshopin MonroviaCivil Society Organizations (CSOs) have pledged to collaborate with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in strengthening the fight against corruption, an LACC press release said Monday.Participants at a two-day workshop for civil society organizations said a strong partnership between CSOs and the LACC will go a long way in strengthening the corruption fight, which they noted continues to undermine national development.The workshop, held March 29-30, was aimed at enhancing partnership between the LACC and CSOs and to also make CSOs active participants in the fight against corruption.LACC’s Executive Chairperson, Cllr. James N. Verdier, stressed the need for partnership between the LACC, CSOs and the media in combating corruption. The LACC boss noted that CSOs and the media as watchdogs of society can help his commission fight corruption by exposing and raising public awareness about the existence and threat posed by corruption for which the Commission can hold both public and private institutions accountable.The workshop brought together over thirty (30) civil society organizations and was sponsored by the LACC and USAID/LPAC project.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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MPI defends hiring VIKAB as consultant

first_imgCorrective works at Kato School– says no other company responded Government has defended its decision to sole-source VIKAB Guyana Ltd to supervise corrective works that are to be undertaken on the edifice of the troubledKato Secondary SchoolKato Secondary School in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).The Trinidad-based consultancy firm has had a series of problems overseeing construction works on several local projects, including the rehabilitation of the Supenaam Stelling over a decade ago.The Public Infrastructure Ministry (MPI) has, however, sought to provide an insight as to how the supervisory contract got into the hands of the Trinidadian firm, saying on Sunday that VIKAB was the only company to respond when the bids for the consultancy service were closed.It was explained that at meeting back in February, representatives from the Ministries of Public Infrastructure, Indigenous People’s Affairs, Communities, Education, and Social Cohesion decided that the Kato Secondary School, which had several structural defects, should be repaired and completed.That meeting also decided that the contractor Kares Engineering Inc shouldThe architect examining a gaping hole on the second floor corridor of the Kato Secondary School during a visit last yearcomplete all corrective works on the school and bear the cost of the remedial works. The works will have to be subjected to strict supervision, and this was agreed to by the contractor.The Public Infrastructure Ministry was duly asked to recruit an independent supervisory consultant to oversee the project. In addition, an independent four-person committee comprising one member from the Guyana Association of Professional Engineers (GAPE), two from the Kato community and one from the region was ordered to provide periodic oversight, in addition to the independent supervisory Consultant.No responseThe Public Infrastructure Ministry pointed out that in its effort to recruit the supervisory consultant for the remedial works, the president of GAPE was approached for assistance in shortlisting the consultant and reviewing the proposed terms of reference.“Unfortunately, no response was received from that organisation, and as a consequence, six consultants were identified in a restrictive tendering method for the selection of the supervisory consultant,” the MPI said.It noted that this method was chosen in order to avoid any risks of time loss during the normal open-bidding procurement process. “This process is protracted and presents a challenge to meet the urgent growing intervention needs and disbursement targets for this project,” it stated.“The Ministry, through peer review and consultations with the Ministry of Education, is acquainted with the performance of the consultants who demonstrate the capacity, reserve resources, and availability to tender for these services. The consultants proposed were selected on the basis of having access to financial resources that would allow swift mobilization response to the project site, if awarded,” MPI added.The MPI also pointed out that the listed consultants possess the adequate experience of having similarly served in the remote regions of Guyana.RefusalIt was noted, too, that among the six proposed consultants was Rodrigues Architects Ltd. (RAL), the company which executed the independent technical audit of the New Kato Secondary School Complex last year. However, the company has asked not to be considered for the Supervisory Consultant position, since its representatives believe that the best interest of the project would be served by engaging another consultancy company.RAL reasoned that it wanted to avoid any objections or claims by Kares Engineering Inc., since its assessment was biased, thereby challenging the company’s integrity. It said these may lead to frustration in completing the corrective works.“Further, such claims may prejudice any future proceedings between the Government of Guyana and Kares Engineering Inc. for a satisfactory conclusion to the dispute… In the event that Kares Engineering Inc. is allowed to rectify the works, RAL did not have the necessary confidence or trust for a harmonious contractor/consultant relationship,” RAL has said to the MPI.Nevertheless, MPI outlined that, at the time of closing of bids at National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), on May 9, 2017 at 09:00h, there was no response from any of the listed consultants except Vikab Guyana Ltd. The company has notified the MPI of its willingness to participate if a one-week extension of time were given to facilitate submission of its proposals.According to the MPI, this request was granted and the VIKAB Guyana Ltd. submitted its financial and technical proposals.“The utilisation of the single source selection process is the most efficient method of procurement regarding this consultancy. Pursuing a process that allows for bidding, evaluation, etc, before award will, of course, delay agreement with the consultant; and with a scheduled opening date for the school set for September 2017 – the beginning of the new school year – expediency is important, hence the need for single source selection,” the MPI explained.Furthermore, it outlined that the financial proposal provided by the consultant is below the MPI’s estimation for these services; the daily rates are below that estimated to be “fair market rates” for local consultancy services in such remote Regions of Guyana. As such, the offer is deemed acceptable.Contract awardedAgainst this backdrop, the Public Infrastructure Ministry said, after the Evaluation Team had carefully examined all aspects of efficiency, economy, and the fair market price submitted by the consultant, the committee recommended to the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board that VIKAB Guyana Ltd be awarded the contract for providing supervisory service for completion of remedial works at the New Kato Secondary Schoo in Region 8 in the sum of Gy$29,229,410, and this recommendation was approved.The contract for construction of the Kato Secondary School was awarded in late 2012 to Kares Engineering Inc., and work commenced in 2013 with a completion date set for April 2015. However, the project was delayed on two other occasions.The technical audit conducted in February last year found that approximately 60 per cent of the project was defective, and another 30 per cent was just over the borderline. Only about 10 per cent of the project was structurally sound.Among the issues highlighted in the report was the prioritising of cost effectiveness over professional competence, and the use of inadequately qualified consultants for the project.During a media tour of the school back in August, architect Davendra Doodnauth of Rodrigues Architects pointed out numerous construction defects, including bad timber, exposed electrical outlets, cracking stairways, and exposed steel.It was estimated that remedial works on the Region Eight school could rack up a bill of more than $140 million.last_img read more

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Datebook

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FRIDAY History of the African-American Experience exhibition, daily through March 2, 7:45 a.m.-5 p.m., Oviatt Library main lobby, California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St. Call (818) 677-2285. Daddy-Daughter Prom, 6:30 p.m., Encino Community Center, 4935 Balboa Blvd. Registration: Call (818) 995-1690. “What Stars Did the Dinosaurs See?” Trail to the Stars Hike, 7 p.m., Temescal Gateway Park, 15601 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Bring drink, jacket and flashlight. Parking fee: $5. Rain cancels. Call (310) 454-1395, Ext. 106. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail dnmetro@dailynews.com.last_img read more

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Rough road

first_imgIT would be easy to make a villain out of Circuit City. The electronics retailer last week announced a particularly Scrooge-like cost-cutting plan to lay off employees who made about $15 an hour – and only hiring them back if they would agree to accept a lot less. But Circuit City isn’t so much the culprit as a symptom of what ails the United States in general, and Los Angeles in particular – an ever-widening gap between rich and poor. On the same day that the retailer announced it was laying off nearly 3,400 employees across the country, a new study of tax data showed that income equality grew worse in 2005 (the last year for which complete information is available). The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans got their biggest boost in income since the 1920s. The other 90 percent actually saw their incomes drop slightly. Nowhere is this pressure felt stronger than in California, especially in Los Angeles, where white-collar jobs are increasingly being replaced by low-paid service jobs thanks to job-killing policies by the city’s leadership. And it’s not just the middle class that’s finding it harder to live in L.A. Some researchers say that even illegal immigrants are increasingly picking other cities and states as a U.S. destination. Californians struggling with mortgage, car payments, health insurance, food and clothing for their families don’t need a study to tell them that getting into – and staying in – the middle class is getting tougher. They are living it. And unless lawmakers abandon policies that reward the wealthy, chase away business, and further weaken the country’s few safety nets, they will create a deepening economic crisis for the shrinking middle class. 160Want 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

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Set free, Britons leave Iran for London

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Fifteen British sailors and marines held captive for nearly two weeks left Iran early Thursday aboard a commercial flight bound for London, ending a standoff a day after Iran’s president announced their surprise release. The British crew sat in business class on the British Airways flight that departed Mehrabad International Airport around 8:30 a.m. local time (1 a.m. EDT), an Associated Press reporter at the scene reported. They arrived at the airport in a convoy of black sedans about an hour earlier escorted by the elite Revolutionary Guards. British ambassador to Iran, Geoffrey Adams, who was at the airport, declined to comment. Before boarding, the sailors received gifts given to them on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s behalf, Iran’s state-run news agency, IRNA, reported. The hardline president’s announcement of their release Wednesday defused a growing confrontation between the two countries. In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed “profound relief” over the peaceful end to the 13-day crisis, telling the Iranian people that “we bear you no ill will.” The crisis had raised oil prices and fears of military conflict in the volatile region. The move to release the sailors suggested that Iran’s hardline leadership decided it had shown its strength but did not want to push the standoff too far. Iran did not get the main thing it sought – a public apology for entering Iranian waters. Britain, which said its crew was in Iraqi waters when seized, insists it never offered a quid pro quo, either, instead relying on quiet diplomacy. Syria, Iran’s close ally, said it played a role in winning the release. “Syria exercised a sort of quiet diplomacy to solve this problem and encourage dialogue between the two parties,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said in Damascus. The announcement of the release came hours after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with President Bashar Assad in Damascus, trying to show that a U.S. dialogue with Syria – rejected by the Bush administration – could bring benefits for the Middle East. The British sailors were not part of their talks, and it was not clear if the release was timed to coincide with her visit. Several British newspapers credited Blair’s foreign policy adviser Nigel Sheinwald and Iranian chief negotiator Ali Larijani with laying the groundwork for an agreement during telephone contacts that began Tuesday night. Larijani had gone on British TV on Monday and signaled that Tehran was looking for a diplomatic solution. British officials were told to pay close attention to Ahmadinejad’s press conference but were unsure the release would come until they heard his words, The Independent newspaper said. Ahmadinejad timed the announcement so as to make a dramatic splash, springing it halfway through a two-hour news conference. The president first gave a medal of honor to the commander of the Iranian coast guards who captured the Britons, and admonished London for sending a mother, Leading Seaman Faye Turney, on such a dangerous mission in the Persian Gulf. He said the British government was “not brave enough” to admit the crew had been in Iranian waters when it was captured. Ahmadinejad then declared that even though Iran had the right to put the Britons on trial, he had “pardoned” them to mark the March 30 birthday of the Prophet Muhammad and the coming Easter holiday. “This pardon is a gift to the British people,” he said. After the news conference, Iranian television showed a beaming Ahmadinejad on the steps of the presidential palace shaking hands with the Britons _ some towering over him. The men were decked out in business suits and Turney wore an Islamic head scarf. “Your people have been really kind to us, and we appreciate it very much,” one of the British men told Ahmadinejad in English. Another male service member said: “We are grateful for your forgiveness.” Ahmadinejad responded in Farsi, “You are welcome.” Three members of the crew were later interviewed on Iranian state-run television, apologizing for the alleged incursion into Iran’s waters and again thanking Ahmadinejad for their release. “I can understand why you’re insulted by the intrusion into the waters,” said Lt. Felix Carman, shown seated on a couch. “Thank you for letting us go and we apologize for our actions, but many thanks for having it in your hearts to let us go free,” Turney said. The breakthrough caught the British government by surprise. On Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett cautioned reporters not to expect a quick end to the standoff. The U.S. cautiously welcomed Iran’s announcement, though Vice President Dick Cheney said “it was unfortunate that they were ever taken in the first place.” During the standoff, Iran broadcast footage of Turney and some other crew members “confessing” they had entered Iranian waters. An infuriated Britain froze most bilateral contacts, prompting Tehran to roll back on a pledge to free Turney. Wednesday’s announcement led some analysts to conclude that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, decided the crisis had gone on long enough at a time when Tehran faces mounting pressure over its nuclear program. A day after the British were seized, the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment. During Ahmadinejad’s news conference, the hardline president said Britain had sent a letter to the Iranian Foreign Ministry pledging that entering Iranian waters “will not happen again.” Tehran had demanded an apology for the alleged entry into its waters. Britain’s Foreign Office would not give details about the letter but said its position was clear that the detained crew had been in Iraqi waters. Regardless of the territorial issue, the standoff showed that Tehran has ways to push back after the U.S. and Britain beefed up their military presence in the Persian Gulf this year. The U.S. has accused Iran of sending weapons to Shiite militias in Iraq. That led to speculation that the Iranians seized the Britons in retaliation for the detention of five Iranians by U.S. forces in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil in January. Iran denied any connection. Shortly before the announcement, Iranian state media reported that an Iranian envoy would be allowed to meet the five Iranians. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said American authorities were considering the request, although an international Red Cross team, including one Iranian, had visited the prisoners. Another Iranian diplomat, separately seized two months ago by uniformed gunmen in Iraq, was released and returned Tuesday to Tehran. Iran accused the Americans of abducting him, a charge the U.S. denied.last_img read more

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Fort St. John heading into “difficult situation” with physician shortage

first_img“[Mayor Lori Ackerman] has said herself, ‘any time, any day, if I’m here and you want me to meet the physician, I’ll do that,’” says Morris. “It takes a coordinated effort, and I think our community is motivated to provide that. Our physicians themselves, if there’s someone coming up they will organize getting together for a dinner to welcome somebody.” While efforts like the Northern Medical Program at UNBC and other incentives to bring up doctors have been successful, Northern Health maintains finding employers that will stay long-term and become part of the community is more important. Northeast Chief Operating Officer Betty Morris says while the situation isn’t critical yet, the city is facing the realities of a physician shortage. “I think we’re heading into a difficult situation in that it is more difficult to get a family practice physician if you don’t have one,” she says. “It’s not dire at this point, because there’s still access to care, but if you’re new to this community and you want a GP, then it is more difficult, absolutely.” Morris says the greatest concern right now is the burden of the number of patients on the physicians the city does have. Residents without a family doctor can still access health care through walk-in clinics, but the worry is that the emergency room will fill up with non-emergency patients. – Advertisement -“One of the things we don’t want to happen is that it drives up the emergency room visits, because then what that means in the sick people are waiting longer. They’re going to wait longer because we have a line of people who aren’t sick.” Northern Health is currently recruiting four General Practitioners for Fort St. John, along with a number of specialists. The process is a lengthy one, which can be helped by incentives from the provincial government and B.C. Medical Association. It often involves bringing prospects up for a visit, with the help from many different members of the community. Advertisementlast_img read more

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Rejuvenated Real Madrid eye fifth prize of 2017

first_imgMadrid trail Barca by eight points at the top of La Liga and finished second to Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League group, which proved costly as they were paired with free-spending Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster last 16 tie on Monday.However, traces of the Madrid that swept aside the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona in the spring and summer were back as Real hit five past Sevilla before half-time in a 5-0 rout on Saturday.Until then Madrid had lacked the same killer instinct as last season with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scoring a combined total of just six times in La Liga, while Gareth Bale has made just one brief appearance as a substitute since September.Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane (C) has warned against complacency and thinking ahead to a potential final with Brazilian giants Gremio in the Club World Cup © AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE“We are improving in every sense,” said Zidane after thrashing Sevilla. “If you play well, you will create more chances. We created plenty of chances.”Ronaldo scored twice at the weekend to celebrate picking up his fifth Ballon d’Or in style and his return to form is timely, as Madrid face Barcelona in their final game of the year on December 23 once their work in the Middle East this week is done.“It is a reward just to be here,” said Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. “We have the opportunity to defend our title.“We are preparing with plenty of desire and excitement. After a great game against Sevilla we are very motivated and our confidence is very high.”– Tactical switch –Real’s return to form coincided with a change of tactics from Zidane as the pace of Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez on the wings produced an instant impact.However, if the Spanish duo are to keep their places then the French coach has to bench two of his preferred midfield diamond of Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Isco.After missing out at the weekend, Casemiro and Isco are expected to feature on Wednesday when Real take on local side Al Jazira, who have already dealt with Oceania’s Auckland City and Asian champions Urawa Red Diamonds to reach the last four.“We don’t just play as Jazira now, we play for the UAE,” Al Jazira coach Ali Mabkhout told FIFA.com.“We know Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world and this is incentive for all the players.”Yet, after the scare of falling behind to Kashima Antlers in last year’s final before a Ronaldo hat-trick won the competition in extra-time, Zidane warned against complacency and thinking ahead to a potential final with Brazilian giants Gremio on Saturday.The newly crowned South American champions take on Mexican side Pachuca in the other semi-final on Friday.“Everyone thinks the game on Wednesday will be easy, but it won’t,” added Zidane.“We need to think about Wednesday and doing things right to try and win this trophy once again.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Real Madrid will be looking to a fifth trophy in 2017 at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi having won La Liga, the Champions League, UEFA and Spanish Super Cup © AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACEMADRID, Spain, Dec 12 – Real Madrid can round off the most successful year in the club’s already glorious history by claiming a fifth trophy in 2017 at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi this week.They won La Liga, the Champions League, UEFA and Spanish Super Cup in a thrilling fashion after hitting top form in a four-month spell between April and August, but since then the European champions have faded, understandably fatigued by a heavy schedule.last_img read more

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Liverpool line-up v Tottenham: £20m man to return and Sturridge to start?

first_imgLiverpool welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Tuesday evening in a pivotal clash between two Champions League hopefuls.Just two places and four points separate the sides in the race for qualification to Europe’s premier competition and defeat for either could prove costly.Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho face a battle to be fit, but summer signing Adam Lallana is in line for a recall after missing Saturday’s Merseyside derby.However, Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva, who has been a key figure for Brendan Rodgers in recent weeks, is facing a spell on the sidelines with a thigh problem.Will Rodgers hand star striker Daniel Sturridge a first start following his return from injury and will Lallana return to the starting XI? talkSPORT takes a look…Possible Liverpool line-up v Tottenham:GoalkeeperSimon Mignolet has looked much more comfortable in recent weeks, and he followed up his impressive displays against Chelsea, West Ham and Bolton with a clean sheet at Everton on Saturday.DefenceEmre Can, Martin Skrtel, and Mamadou Sakho have developed a strong partnership as part of Rodgers’ 3-4-3 system and will continue at the back.MidfieldJordan Ibe’s impressive performance in the Merseyside derby, in just his second Premier League start, should see the 19-year-old retain his place.Steven Gerrard played the full 90 minutes on the weekend, as well as the full game at Stamford Bridge in the Capital One Cup the previous Tuesday, and Rodgers may feel the need to rest his skipper.Lucas’ absence should pave the way for Joe Allen to come into the side and the pressure is on the Welshman to respond to his critics.AttackSterling and Lallana should operate on the right and left wing respectively, as long as they can prove their fitness.Given the importance of Coutinho, Rodgers may resist the temptation to risk the Brazilian.Sturridge has scored once in three substitutes appearances following five months on the sidelines, and the England international could make his first start in such a crucial game.Liverpool fans, how do you think you’ll line-up against Tottenham? Comment below… Liverpool welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Tuesday evening in a pivotal clash between two Champions League hopefuls. 1last_img read more

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PICTURE SPECIAL: WERE YOU A FACE IN THE CROWD AT MacCUMHAILL PARK?

first_imgCallum and Elle enjoy the Donegal Game on Sunday. Photo Brian McDaidA LAST-gasp Michael Murphy rescued a point for Donegal against Meath in their Division 2 clash in Ballybofey.Brian McDaid from the Cristeph Gallery was there to capture the faces in the crowd.Rory Brogan Meabh and John Mc Glinchey from Raphoe pictured at the game todayBobby Mc Memamin with his grandson Rohan at the game in Ballybofey on Sunday Photo Brian McDaid/Cristeph  Were you at the game.Donegal fans at the game on Sunday in Ballybofey. Photos Brian McDaid/Cristeph Amanda and Michael Blaney from Fanad pictured at the Donegal Game on Sunday.. Photo Brian McDaid Joe Devine and Conal Duggan from Letterkenny pictured in Ballybofey for the Donegal game. Photo Brian McDaid/Cristeph Cathal and Donna Dorrian from Killygordan at the game on Sunday. Photo Brian McDaid  Paul Blaney at the Donegal game on Sunday. Photo Brian McDaidSylvester and Leo Clancey supporting Donegal with Eoin and Brian Colleely from Meath at the game in Ballybofey. Photo Brian McDaidGetting ready for the game on Sunday.John James, Charlie Collins Damien Carr. Brendan O Donnell, Shuan Byrne, Micheal Gillespie,Barney Gallagher, Eddie Walsh and Willie Doherty. Photo Brian McDaid/CristephNiamh , Ben, Paul, Emee and Loraine Mc Daid from Carndonagh pictured at the game in Balllybofey. Co. Chairman Sean Dunnion Joyce Mc Mullen and John Friel pictured at the game in Ballybofey on Sunday.Christy Toye One of Donegal’s best players in the game against Meath. Photo Brian McDaid  PICTURE SPECIAL: WERE YOU A FACE IN THE CROWD AT MacCUMHAILL PARK? was last modified: March 9th, 2014 by John2Share 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:BallybofeyBrian McDaidDonegal v MeathMACCUMHAILL PARKpicture speciallast_img read more

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What’s in a name? Irony in an L.A. moniker

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Well, the Los Angeles stretch of Interstate 10 has been named the Rosa Parks Freeway. That’s right. The heroine of the civil-rights movement. The woman who became a symbol of integration. The icon, small in stature, who stood up to oppression. Rosa Parks died last month peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her family at the age of 92. The Senate unanimously passed a resolution that allowed her to lie in repose at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. – the first woman shown that honor. How do we celebrate her legacy in the City of Angels? The answer: Ironically. My question: What would have been wrong with dubbing the 5 Freeway, or any other freeway in this city, after Rosa? This naming of the 10 after Rosa Parks is like naming a brand of crop pesticide after Cesar Chavez, renaming the Hooters chain after Gloria Steinem, naming a home for single mothers after Margaret Sanger, or naming a smart-bomb after Ghandi. Yes, it’s an honor to have things named after you – but not just anything. President George W. Bush may equate dissent with disloyalty, but the same is not true of those who can be called Angelenos. Complaining about Los Angeles is actually a citywide pastime. It’s a bonding ritual for the residents. Go to any bar, restaurant or public event and yell at the top of your lungs, “This city is retarded!” Watch all within earshot nod their heads in agreement and then quickly go back to talking about themselves. A city undefended against critics? That’s part of its charm. It’s the glue that binds us as we sit alone in traffic. With that all being said, someone needs to point out the following: This city has a race chasm. It’s called the 10 Freeway. It has commonly been observed that that freeway is the racial divide for the city’s black residents. This city is racially segregated. Speaking of things that don’t fit with their namesake, there will eventually be a library named after George W. Bush. Let’s just say that there probably won’t be a lot of books there – you know, things we normally associate with libraries. I know it’s a cheap shot, but note that I have the decency not to go after his wife. As a city we already have a host of problems. The traffic, the smog, the language barriers, the economic gaps, the housing cost comparable to that for a condo on the lunar surface. We have issues, and we have plenty of people willing to point them out (I’m including myself). My point being: We don’t have to work hard to give our dissenters/residents fodder. So the next time you’re crawling along the segregation line of Los Angeles, named after a woman who personified protesting against segregation, go ahead and yell out, “This city is retarded.” Those aren’t what you would call “fighting words.”— Tina Dupuy is a stand-up comic and a writer living in Los Angeles. She’s the author of the blog www.sardonicsideshow.com.160Want 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

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