Bill will transfer GAL program

first_img Bill will transfer GAL program Senior EditorA bill that transfers the state’s guardian ad litem program from the court system to an executive agency has passed the House Judiciary Committee. That panel also approved a bill revamping the process for trying residential construction defect cases, although some representatives said the measure has serious flaws.Rep. Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, sponsor of the HB 439 on the GAL system, said that while a gubernatorial blue ribbon panel found guardians indispensable to helping children caught up in court proceedings, the courts had not identified it as central to their functioning.Her bill would move the agency from the court system to the Justice Administration Commission, which now oversees accounting for the state’s public defenders and prosecutors. The program would be overseen by a director who would report to the governor.One major change was in staffing for the new statewide office. Rich’s bill originally mirrored Gov. Jeb Bush’s budget, which called from transferring 10 employees from the Office of the State Courts Administrator to the new statewide guardian office. Court officials opposed that, saying they have no more than two positions that support the guardian program and cutting 10 positions would require reducing support for other vital programs.Under Rich’s bill, as amended, there would be eight positions assigned to the new office, and no more than two would come from OSCA. The remainder would come from vacancies within GAL local operations.Lisa Goodner, deputy state courts administrator, said after the meeting that court officials are happy with that solution.Rich said the new program would oversee the 4,500 volunteer guardians and the GAL’s $23 million budget. It will also oversee the related attorney ad litem program, and provide for training and education.“It is critical that the guardian ad litem be given a home in this session in order to continue the program,” Rich said, adding the transfer to the JAC will produce uniformity and improve operations.The committee unanimously approved the bill. A similar measure, SB 1974, has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Skip Campbell, and has been referred to several committees, including the Senate Judiciary Committee.The construction defects bill came up as a proposed committee bill. It calls for giving contractors and subcontractors notice and an opportunity to fix construction defects on residential properties before filing a construction defect lawsuit.Despite criticism the bill was too one-sided, it passed, although Chair Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, said he would ask House leadership to refer it to another committee for further work. The bill was originally scheduled only for Judicial Committee review before going to the House floor.Representatives of the construction industry said it would save them money by giving them a chance to repair problems without having to pay legal fees to defend actions in courts. They said frequently the first they knew of a problem was when a lawsuit was filed.But Debra Zappi-Henley, representing the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, said the only area in tort law where the state requires presuit notification is in medical malpractice cases. And that was done only after extensive studies showed the public benefit, and no such research has been conducted for construction cases, she said.Rep. John Seiler, D-Pompano, said he could support the idea of notification with a chance to fix a problem, but added contractors themselves could address the problem by revising their construction contracts without resorting to any legislation.He also said the bill was stacked against homeowners victimized by shoddy construction. Each separate defect requires a separate notice, Seiler said, and homeowners with multiple defects could be swamped by the paperwork. He also said that the statute of limitations in some cases could expire while homeowners are pursuing the repairs and mediation under the bills procedures.In the case where a contractor does not intend to make the repairs, homeowners could be left with malfunctioning heating or aid conditioning for several months before they could seek a legal remedy.Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, agreed. He also noted the bill contained a provision making it a second degree misdemeanor to give a homeowner something of value to encourage them to file suit. That could be read, he said, that if someone invited neighbors over for dinner to discuss construction flaws, they had violated the law.Rep. Phillip Brutus, D-North Miami, said he would vote for the bill, but only because Kottkamp promised another committee would review it. The bill now requires homeowners to specify why they reject a proposal to fix a problem from a contractor, but the contractor does not have to detail why a homeowner-proposed settlement was rejected.Likewise, there are penalties for homeowners who reject a settlement offer and then fail to do substantially better in court, Brutus said, but none for contractors who do the same.“ “I think it’s good but, but in a bad fashion. We ought not to kill it but allow it to go forward and make it a better bill,” Brutus said.After the meeting, Kottkamp wrote to Speaker Johnnie Byrd requesting an additional committee reference, but as this News went to press, no action had been taken. Bill will transfer GAL program April 1, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Long Island Weather: Snow to Snarl Commute

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Snow plows clear the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.Long Island will see more snow Wednesday that will affect both Wednesday night and Thursday morning’s commutes.The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory that runs from 5 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday.Meteorologists forecast anywhere from two to five inches of snow accumulation, with the highest amounts across Eastern Long Island. Winds will be 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.There is a low probably that heavy snow banding could leave four to eight inches of snow.Officials warn that travel conditions may become hazardous due to reduced visibilities and snow-covered roads. The worst conditions will be from Wednesday evening during rush hour into the overnight, but drivers can also expect snowy roads during Thursday morning’s commute.The Long Island Rail Road is providing eight extra early-afternoon trains from Penn Station Wednesday for commuters who may want to leave early as a result of the winter storm. The trains will supplement the regular off-peak service and will depart from Penn between 2:09 p.m. and 3:48 p.m. on the Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington and Far Rockaway branches.The area will get a respite from snow from Thursday through to President’s Day Weekend with clear skies and warmer temperatures.last_img read more

WATCH PHOTO: Ghana opponent Portugal have new kit for Brazil 2014

first_imgApparel giants Nike has introduced the first collection of the Portuguese national football squad kit which the team will wear at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.     Portugal will face Ghana, Germany and USA in Brazil in the World Cup.Meanwhile Portugal have been drawn along aside  with Armenia, Denmaugal rk, Serbia, and Albania—are in Group I of the qualification round for UEFA Euro 2016. Armenia and Portugal will face each other, for the Euro 2016 qualification, on November 14.last_img

AFCON: Guinea-Bissau aim to extend Leicester-like run

first_imgToday: Guinea-Bissau vs Gabon; Cameroon vs Burkina FasoLibreville, Gabon | AFP | Shock qualifiers Guinea-Bissau face hosts Gabon Saturday in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations opener, hoping to continue a Leicester City-like run in the competition.Traditional underachievers Leicester were the sensational winners of the 2015-2016 English Premier League, giving football minnows across the world belief that nothing is impossible.The west Africans were dismissed as ‘cannon fodder’ two years ago in an elimination group including former champions Zambia and Congo Brazzaville.But they finished first with a game to spare after back-to-back victories over Kenya and a thrilling triumph against Zambia in a packed Bissau stadium. Now, a rusty squad known as the ‘wild dogs’ whose last competitive match was four months ago, must raise their game to an even higher level in their Cup of Nations tournament debut.“We eliminated former champions Congo and Zambia and can perform even better. The squad will work ceaselessly to achieve good results,” promised coach Baciro Cande.“My squad comprises 23 proud professional footballers who are thinking only of bringing joy to the people of Guinea-Bissau.“The best way to achieve that is by winning matches and qualifying for the quarter-finals in our Africa Cup debut. While virtually all the Guinea-Bissau squad are unknown beyond the borders of the former Portuguese colony, Gabon boast a superstar in striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.The 27-year-old Borussia Dortmund goal machine, born in France to a Gabonese father and Spanish mother, has a particular desire to succeed in front of his home crowd.When Gabon co-hosted the 2012 Cup of Nations with Equatorial Guinea, they were eliminated by Mali in the quarter-finals on penalties.Only one spot-kick in the shootout was missed and the culprit was Aubameyang, whose father Pierre Aubame once captained the national team known as the Panthers.The striker wept as he left the Libreville pitch, saying “my people expected more from me. I am so disappointed to have let them down.”Gabon played competitively only twice last year — failing to score in World Cup draws with Morocco and Mali — leaving Spanish coach Jose-Antonio Camacho a tad apprehensive.The former Real Madrid and Spain handler took charge only last month after underperforming Portuguese Jorge Costa was axed.Depleted Cameroon face unpredictable Burkina Faso in the second match of an opening-day Group A double-header at the 40,000-seat Stade de l’Amitie in the Gabon capital.Eight of the Cameroon preliminary squad withdrew, including Liverpool defender Joel Matip and Schalke striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, saying their club careers took priority.“We are victims of blackmail,” lamented official Simon Lyonga, accusing European club managers of encouraging players to snub the 23-day African football festival.When the dust settled, Belgium-born coach Hugo Broos named regular Lorient scorer Benjamin Moukandjo as the new skipper of the Indomitable Lions.Predicting how the Burkinabe will perform under Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte is a hazardous task.No-hopers in 2013, they reached the final before losing narrowly to Nigeria. A couple of years later, they performed woefully, bowing out after the first round without a win.What the Stallions do possess is abundant Cup of Nations experience with the likes of defender Bakary Kone, midfielder and captain Charles Kabore and attacker Jonathan Pitroipa.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

Gumbel calls NBA Commissioner Stern a “modern plantation overseer”

first_imgThe league’s lockout has stretched on for more than 100 days, causing the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season and threatening to derail the entire year.“The NBA’s infamously egocentric commissioner seems more hell-bent lately on demeaning the players than solving his game’s labor impasse,” Gumbel said on the show. “Stern’s version of what has been going on behind closed doors has of course been disputed, but his efforts were typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys.”Shaun Powell, commentator for, criticized Gumbel’s claims, saying Stern is the “the last person” that should be given such a label.“So let’s get this straight: The only commissioner in sports who constantly pushed for and finally secured Black ownership within his league is somehow linked to a slave master?” Powell wrote. “David Stern, who made more Black men rich than anyone in history, lives in the Big House?”Gumbel has a history of stirring up controversy. In 2006, he made headlines when he criticized a lack of diversity at the Winter Olympics.“Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of Blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention,” he said.(Reprinted from the Afro American) (NNPA)—Bryant Gumbel, host of HBO’s “Real Sports” lashed out at NBA Commissioner David Stern for his treatment of players during the league’s ongoing lockout.According to NBC New York, Gumbel spoke out against Stern during the closing commentary of the Oct. 18 show, blaming Stern for the NBA’s current woes. BRYANT GUMBEL last_img read more

12 Small Businesses Featured Today on ThurstonTalk

first_imgFacebook70Tweet0Pin0 Today we celebrate small business.  We loaded 12 articles about outstanding local businesses on our social media page.  Whether you share your hard-earned dollars with one of these shops this holiday season or pick a different one, we applaud you for shopping small.  Because at ThurstonTalk, we believe in community and our community is full of fantastic small businesses that deserve our attention.  Cheers!Mud Bay CoffeeDowntown Olympia shopsBon Lemon and Spruce Skin & Wax ShoppeHartley JewelersEastside Big Tom’sDreesBuck’s Fifth AvenueCaptain Little Toy StoreOlympia SupplySimple ClothIron RabbitDirty Dave’s Pizza ParlorMetroWhen you find a great gift, share it with us on social media using #shopsmalloly.  Know a small business that you think is worthy of a profile, drop us a note at [email protected]last_img read more

SJV Defends Handling of Coach Dismissal

first_img“Hey Chris (Schuster), this is coach Charlie, dog. I’m telling you right now, today, in the sum- mertime, before we’ve even started a game yet, right, we are going to blitz every (expletive) play until your guy comes out the game. So don’t bring him to the game.” By Chris Rotolo |HOLMDEL – The president of Saint John Vianney High School called the public perception of how his office handled the dismissal of a former assistant football coach “ridiculous.”Last week, reports first arose from the Asbury Park Press about former Lancers Offensive Coordinator Charlie Rogers and a profanity-laced voicemail the ex-NFL Pro Bowler left Aug. 25 for Chris Schuster, the parent of a youth football player whose son left the Matawan American Youth Football League (AYF) team Rogers headed.Though the Lancers’ varsity football program has no affiliation with Matawan AYF,Saint John Vianney released a statement Sept. 7 announcing Rogers’ firing the previous day, and school president Joseph F. Deroba said the timeline of events is misleading.“The assumption is we knew about this for three weeks before making a decision. It’s ridiculous. Anyone who knows us knows that would never happen,” Deroba said in a Sept. 11 interview with The Two River Times.Deroba said he and Saint John Vianney officials first heard about the voicemail when the story broke Sept. 6, and proceeded to act swiftly but justly.“Once we found out what happened we took the time to have him come in and say his piece. There’s a thing called due process that we had to consider. Mr. Rogers deserved to be heard and 24 hours after hearing him out we decided to part ways,” Deroba said. “Mr. Rogers was very professional about it. He was apologetic and classy about the whole thing.”Deroba said Rogers’ acceptance of the consequences aligned with the upstanding character the former Matawan High School football star displayed while on campus.“I was at numerous practices all summer long and never once did I hear a foul word from any of our coaches, including Mr. Rogers. The kids on the team, their parents, for the most part they seemed to like him. He seemed to care for them. And I never heard that language all summer long. I’m not saying everyone is an angel.”According to reports, on the 44-second voicemail left by Rogers, the former Lancers’ coach can be heard referring to Schuster’s son, who had recently left Matawan AYF to play for St. Bart’s, an East Brunswick-based football program. “You know I’m pissed off about this (expletive) right here. And I’m telling you, I swear to God, we are going to blitz, we don’t care if we give up a badge or not, we’re blitzing everybody. We are blitz- ing every single (expletive) play. And (inaudible) that it’s a bad (expletive) move, and I don’t like it, and it’s a stupid move and we are going to blitz every single (expletive) play. Hang that (expletive) up. Every play!”Schuster was the acting president of Matawan AYF, but stepped down from his post when the organization failed to take immediate action against Rogers. However, at a Sept. 6 executive meeting of Jersey Shore AYF, Rogers was suspended indefinitely from holding any position within New Jersey AYF.Deroba said at a Catholic school like Saint John Vianney, actions like this have a consequence, “but this doesn’t make Mr. Rogers a bad person.”“He messed up, we all do. He made mistakes like we all do. But there are consequences. The consequences would be the same for me or anyone else at this school,” Deroba added. “You can’t represent a Catholic high school when you act like that.”Following Rogers’ firing, Saint John Vianney traveled to local rival Rumson-Fair Haven for a Sept. 7 meeting, and dropped a lopsided 43-6 decision to the Bulldogs.This article was first published in the Sept. 13-20, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2016)–In tight quarters at the rail turning for home, veteran Holy Lute proved best in Friday’s second division of the Grade III, $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes under Jamie Theriot, as he negotiated 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s newly installed hillside turf course in 1:11.23. Trained by Jim Cassidy and owned by Class Racing Stable, the 6-year-old horse by Midnight Lute notched his second win in a row and won with authority over course specialist Boozer.A neck winner of a five furlong turf allowance at Del Mar Aug. 31, Holy Lute was off at 10-1 in a field of 11 three year olds and up and paid $23.40, $9.00 and $7.60.“I knew if this horse had a good break, a clean trip, he’d run well,” said Cassidy. “It was a little awkward at the start, but it turned out very well. More than likely, I’d say the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Nov. 5 at Santa Anita) is where we’re headed.”In his ninth try over the course, Holy Lute notched his second win to go with four seconds. Holy Lute improved his overall mark to 27-6-6-3 and with the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $507,332.“He ran phenomenal today,” said Theriot. “I told Jim he would run big. I told him I’d be very disappointed if he didn’t, but he did.”Boozer and third place finisher Guns Loaded survived a claim of foul for interference in mid-stretch by the rider of second choice Ohio, with Boozer securing the place by a head.Ridden by Gary Stevens, Boozer was off at 5-1 and paid $6.80 and $4.00.“He ran great, my horse ran great,” said Stevens before it was announced that the stewards ruled there would be no change to the original order of finish.Guns Loaded, the narrow 3-1 favorite with Rafael Bejarano, paid $4.60 to show.Fractions on the race were 21.38, 43.14 and 1:05.31.First post time for a blockbuster 11-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. –30–last_img read more

Govt living off of past investment initiatives – Jagdeo

first_img… has done little to create new jobs, investmentsThe parliamentary Opposition is contending that after being in office for over two years, the coalition Government has done little to create new jobs as it inherited most of the major job creating investments currently in place.Opposition Leader, Bharrat JagdeoOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo took a swing at the Government when he questioned what new jobs were being created by the Administration, noting that most major investments currently contributing to Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creating jobs were brought in under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).“Almost every single (investment they have,) they’ve inherited. This Government has done nothing new to create jobs since it took office. After criticising us for selling out the land on the public road at Liliendaal, we see now a major construction activity going on there (Movietown),” Jagdeo said at a recent press conference.“And after criticising us about the land policy in relation to the Marriott Hotel, there’s a structure there today that this Government enjoys. And Teleperformance started under the PPP. And now the latest thing is Qualfon campus. That land was given by the PPP to Qualfon to construct that facility, as a result of which you got a US$5 million investment and a thousand Guyanese will be employed there. What have they done?”Jagdeo pointed to the recent investment conferences in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom that have been attended by President David Granger, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin and other senior officials.“The President goes off on investment conferences, not a single investment. We’ve had investment conferences to Miami, Canada, London; (and) nothing materialises out of these frequent visits abroad. They’re living off of past investments and past flows, not creating new values or new jobs.” The Opposition Leader added that two of the thriving gold fields along with the oil and gas sector investments were all negotiated under the PPP Administration.“What have they done? They’ve not done anything. They have no plans for the future because when you ask them, they’re still working on plans for the future. This is their third year in office,” Jagdeo asked.InvestmentsDespite Guyana’s abundance of natural resources and acres of arable farm lands, the dire state of foreign direct investments in Guyana is one that even Minister Gaskin has acknowledged.During the recent Heads of Mission conference in Guyana, Gaskin had told the gathering that Guyana had no investment opportunities to offer for the time being. He had noted that while the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) is promoting Guyana’s image, GO-Invest faces challenges.“Investors generally want to know what specific projects we have for them to invest in. And we have none. And therefore we tend to lose the interest of the investor because there are other countries competing for those limited investment funds that have tangible investment projects to offer,” he said.“So the truth is that right now we’re not speaking a language that investors are looking to hear. You may have noticed that for the most part investors are looking for some kind of partnership with the Government. That is their preference because it gives them the confidence and security they are looking for. This is especially so for foreign investors including Diaspora investors,” the Minister had added.JobsLast year, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) revealed in its annual report that unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean reached 8.1 per cent in 2016. This, ILO had said, represented the highest unemployment rate in a decade. And due to slow growth forecasts for 2017, the organisation had warned of a potential increase in the job less.Since the rate was 1.5 per cent higher than the rate in 2015, they had adjudged that some five million people had joined the ranks of the unemployed.There is no updated data at present on the rate of unemployment specific to Guyana. However, the Government has plans to conduct a Labour Force Survey in the second quarter of 2017.last_img read more