Twenty-six youths were on Monday urged by Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman to fall in love with their country as they embark on the second annual Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship Programme which kicked off at the Pegasus Hotel on Battery Road, Kingston, Georgetown.Minister Trotman is flanked by the excited participating youths and officials from the Ministry“Essentially, it is my hope that you fall in love with your country. Those of us who live in Georgetown only believe that Guyana is about a narrow strip of land. Those of you who live in the hinterland know that the real beauty is not only the coast, but also the hinterland — the savannahs, the mountains, the waterways, the animals,” the minister said.He also charged the apprentices to view the Natural Resources sector as a worthy endeavour, and pointed out that mining, forestry and oil industry are ‘healthy endeavours’.Twenty-six apprentices will participate in this year’s programme as compared to 14 last year. The programme kicked off on Monday and will wind down on August 30.A few participants from last year’s programme threw in a few words of advice for the new comers as they shared their experience.“Pictures could only say so much, (they) could only tell so much; but when you’re there originally, when you’re there fully and you actually see what it is like, it is even more breath-taking and nice. We went on a boat trip through the river, and we had caimans like swimming right alongside us… This experience, I am sure in this Apprenticeship Programme 2018, you will learn a lot and gain a lot of experience, and see a lot of places that most Guyanese can only dream about,” Noel Sukhai shared.The other participants of last year’s programme urged the new bunch to be bold and ask questions, so they can learn.This year’s excited team expressed their gratitude to the Minister and the sponsors for facilitating such a programme, as they noted how excited they are for the experience ahead.During this year’s Apprenticeship Programme, youths between the ages of 15 and 19 will get a first-hand glimpse of Guyana’s interior and other natural resources areas which will allow them to better choose a career among other benefits.The participants were selected using a strict criterion after the interested persons had submitted their applications.Several private sector entities have also sponsored the activity.
…workers hint at another protest actionAlthough workers attached to Aurora Gold Mine (AGM) had placed confidence in their employer to have them unionised, this conception was short-lived following a recent meeting. The workers informed Guyana Times that the company engaged the Labour Department and reportedly stated that its workers no longer require a union.A document was signed by workers in regards to their payments but they believe it is being used to peddle the misinformation that they do not want to be unionised.With these hindrances in meeting their demands, the miners have displayed no hesitation in resorting to another standoff.“I think we might be heading to another stand down here at AGM. Reasons being that the company gave all assurance that they will comply with the labour laws of this country as it relates to workers being represented by a union of their choice, yet [the company]…stated that the workers no longer want a union and some workers who are not management can’t be unionised,” the miner expressed.“We have over 300 signed forms from workers which amounts to well over 40 per cent of AGM staff. Outside of that, we signed a form for our pay statement and they’re using that to say that the workers signed a document stating that they don’t want a union. We have signed no such document,” he added.Workers of the mining company have long called for representation by a recognised union to fight for better wages and working conditions. Strike actions initiated earlier this year and was finally resolved after the Canadian-based company promised to meet demands.Presently, the workers stated that they still desire to be unionised and have inked their signatures to that effect.After operations were restored last month, workers were granted their second quarterly bonus and the company further committed towards progress on unionisation, compensation and other issues that were raised when the workers initiated strike actions.A letter was issued to employees granting the second quarterly bonus of 7.6 per cent on July 25, while asserting that the formula for the next bonus will be reviewed. However, most of these promises are yet to be fulfilled. Attempts to contact officials of AGM for a comment on the matter proved futile.
Human Capital Index– Jamaica, T&T among countries ahead on indexIn terms of Human Capital Development, a World Bank Report has ranked Guyana at number 99 out of 157 other countries, with many of the benchmarks used considered basic Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The Human Capital Index is the first of its series from the World Bank. Ranging from 0 and 1, the index is measured in terms of the how well equipped the next generation would be to develop their nation when the benchmarks of complete education and full health are considered.In Guyana’s case, the index gave Guyana a value of 0.49. The highest ranked country in South America is Chile, which placed at number 45, with a value of 0.67. When it comes to the Caribbean, the highest ranked country is Trinidad andIrfaan AliTobago, which has been ranked at number 62, with a value of 0.61. Jamaica is next ranked.“An economy in which a child born today can expect to achieve complete education and full health will score a value of 1 on the index,” the report explains. “Lower and upper bounds indicate the range of uncertainty around the value of the HCI for each economy.No country scored such an overall value. According to the report, the closest to this pedestal was Singapore, with a value of 0.88. Countries were measured under three components: survival of children beyond the age of five; education, which speaks to the quantity and quality available; and the healthcare available to children.Explaining the methodology used, the report related that it followed information on the average child’s journey from birth to adulthood. It noted that in the poorest countries in the world, there is a significant risk that children will not survive to their fifth birthday.“Even if she does reach school age, there is a further risk that she does not start school, let alone complete the full cycle of 14 years of school from preschool to grade 12 that is the norm in rich countries.”“The time she does spend in school may translate unevenly into learning, depending on the quality of the teachers and schools she experiences. When she reaches age 18, she carries with her the lasting effects of poor health and nutrition in childhood that limits her physical and cognitive abilities as an adult.”In Guyana, the report rates the probability of a child surviving to the age of five at 0.97. It states that the expected years someone will spend in school is 12.1, with the learning adjusted years of school being 6.7. The adult survival rate has been put at 0.79.It was in August that Opposition parliamentarian Irfaan Ali had expressed concern over Guyana’s slide in the last three years on three other major international indices that measure the personal development of a country’s citizens.According to Ali, the statistics tell a story of a country that has been losing its international rankings when it comes to things like unemployment rates, education, and youth literacy.“Various international organisations, such as World Economic Forum, through a series of annual countries’ assessment, inadvertently espouse the axiom that ‘Guyana is in reverse mode’,” Ali had pointed out.“In 2017, the Global Human Capital Index, a report that ranks countries according to their effectiveness and level of human capital development, demoted Guyana below its 2015 global position of 79 by nine positions, surpassing frail economies.”He had also quoted from the 2016 Human Development Report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), noting that Guyana has also deteriorated globally by several places on the Human Development Index. Ali had pointed out that countries like Namibia have surpassed Guyana in the global rankings.
GIRLS WATER POLOSOUTHERN SECTION All games at 3:15 p.m. Division III wild card South Pasadena 10, Warren 5 Cerritos 7, Rowland 6 TUESDAYBOYS BASKETBALLL.A. CITY SECTION All games at 7 p.m. Invitational Division first round San Pedro at Reseda TODAYBOYS BASKETBALLSOUTHERN SECTION Division I-AA wild card Wilson 62, Torrance 47 El Segundo 40, Bellflower 39 Warren at Dana Hills Division IV-A first round Valley Christian 56, Milken Community 50 Division V-AA first round Woodcrest Christian 85, Avalon 59 GIRLS BASKETBALL L.A. CITY SECTION Invitational Division first round Santee at San Pedro BOYS SOCCER SOUTHERN SECTION Division I wild card Westlake 1, Cabrillo 0 Division IV wild card Lynwood 2, Artesia 0 Irvine 2, Norwalk 1 Division VI wild card St. Paul at Redlands Adventist GIRLS SOCCER SOUTHERN SECTION Division III wild card Fullerton 7, Bellflower 1 Division IV wild card St. Joseph 1, El Rancho 0 Division V first round Arroyo 2, Lynwood 1 Division VI wild card CAMS at Azusa Calvary Chapel Downey 4, Oxford Academy 0 TODAYBOYS BASKETBALLL.A. CITY SECTION All games at 7 p.m. Championship Division first round Palisades at King-Drew Narbonne at Westchester GIRLS BASKETBALLSOUTHERN SECTION All games at 7:30 p.m. Division II-AA wild card Los Alamitos at St. Bonaventure GIRLS SOCCERL.A. CITY SECTION All games at 3 p.m. Championship Division first round South East at San Pedro Narbonne at Marshall Banning at Garfield Fairfax at South Gate Carson at Sylmar GIRLS WATER POLOSOUTHERN SECTION All games at 3:15 p.m. Division I first round Bell Gardens at Foothill Millikan at Irvine Mater Dei at Wilson El Toro at Los Alamitos Poly at Corona del Mar Division III first round Chino Hills at Downey FRIDAYBOYS BASKETBALLSOUTHERN SECTION All games at 7:30 p.m. Division I-AA first round Downey at Westlake Lakewood at Mayfair South Torrance/J. Serra winner at Compton La Mirada at Lawndale St. John Bosco at Gahr Servite/Verbum Dei winner at Dominguez North Torrance at Poly Jordan at Centennial Warren/Dana Hills winner at Artesia Division I-A first round Huntington Beach/Tustin winner at Los Alamitos Division IV-A second round Webb/L.A. Baptist winner at St. Anthony Division V-A second round Tarbut V’Torah/La Sierra Academy winner at L.A. Adventist GIRLS BASKETBALLL.A. CITY SECTION All games at 7 p.m. Championship Division first round Banning at Taft Eagle Rock at Carson King-Drew at L.A. Wilson BOYS SOCCERL.A. CITY SECTION All games at 3 p.m. Championship Division first round Banning at South East Huntington Park at Narbonne Carson at Bell San Pedro at Chatsworth Marshall at South Gate GIRLS SOCCERSOUTHERN SECTION All games at 3 p.m. Division I first round Chaminade at Los Alamitos Lakewood at El Toro Esperanza at Poly Trabuco Hills at Wilson Millikan at Mater Dei Division III first round Glenn at Sunny Hills Beverly Hills at La Mirada Corona Centennial at Mayfair Division V first round Beaumont at Downey Citrus Hills/Yucca Valley winner at Bell Gardens Warren at South Torrance Mountain View at Valley Christian Division VI first round Oxford Academy/Calvary Chapel Downey winner at Mary Star St. Matthias at St. Paul SATURDAYGIRLS BASKETBALLSOUTHERN SECTION All games at 7:30 p.m. Division I-AA first round Riverside Poly/Glendale winner at Poly Compton at Fullerton San Marcos at Lynwood Millikan at Santa Margarita Jordan at Bishop Montgomery JSerra at Wilson Sonora at Gahr Dominguez at Moorpark Division I-A first round Artesia at J.W. North Mayfair at Huntington Beach Palos Verdes at Cerritos El Toro at Glenn Division III-AA first round Savanna at St. Paul Mary Star at Jurupa Valley Division IV-AA first round Capistrano Valley Christian at St. Matthias St. Anthony at New Roads Desert Christian at Whitney Division V-AA first round Kern Valley at L.A. Adventist Division V-A first round CAMS at Pilibos BOYS SOCCERSOUTHERN SECTION All games at 3 p.m. Division I first round Schurr at Wilson Crespi/Quartz Hill winner at Millikan San Clemente at Los Alamitos Jordan at Royal Division III first round Santa Ynez/Crescenta Valley winner at Paramount Santa Fe at La Mirada Warren at El Rancho Saddleback/Norco winner at Bellflower Division V first round Valley Christian at La Puente Division VI first round Linfield Chr./Ontario Chr. winner at Avalon 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
“An (IRS) field revenue officer has more authority than the president of this country,” said Rozbruch. “They can freeze your bank account, freeze your retirement accounts. They can repossess your car … I’m talking about hardcore people who owe in excess of $75,000.” The point is, ignoring the IRS isn’t an option. So why do so many people do it? Fines on rise In 2006, the IRS fined 3.7 million taxpayers, up from 2.7 million in 2005, according to IRS data. The government took enforcement action in the form of liens on property against 630,000 taxpayers in the same period, up from 523,000 in 2005. The overwhelming majority of people in trouble with the IRS are in their situation because they have suffered or experienced something traumatic in their life, like an illness or loss of job, said Josh Baker, a spokesman for JK Harris & Co., a large tax representation firm with offices in Glendora, Ontario, Pasadena, Whittier and elsewhere. Barbara Garcia stopped filing taxes after she was laid off from her job as an accounting assistant at a manufacturing company in Torrance. She was jobless for about a year, living on about $30,000 she withdrew from her 401k account. “I just wanted to avoid filing my taxes, but then I was so intimidated I just let it go for five years,” she said. “I knew I would owe because of the penalty from the 401K … it was one of my Scarlett O’Hara moments of just saying, I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Her wakeup call came when she arrived home one day to find the calling card of an IRS agent stuck in her door. Like many taxpayers before her, Garcia had a negative experience in trying to deal directly with the IRS. She said the agents were abrupt and referred all her questions to written correspondence. Like Jennifer Jones, Garcia finally went to a resolution specialist and expects to finalize her ordeal this month. Innocent spouse As frustrating as these experiences are, it’s even worse when people run into problems through no fault of their own. Gib Poiry, a retired GTE executive from Westlake Village, was surprised to learn that his wife had taken half a million dollars out of her separate retirement account without his knowledge. Not only had she not told him about it, she kept the withdrawals secret from the IRS and the couple’s accountant. By the time Poiry received a notice from the IRS announcing an audit based on the failure to report the withdrawal, the tax penalties had ballooned to more than $100,000. “I had a very unpleasant conversation with the IRS. They said they would freeze my bank accounts unless this was resolved, including my Fidelity retirement accounts,” said Poiry. “I developed hypertension.” Eventually, he went to a tax specialist after failing to make headway with the IRS on his own. After he filed an IRS form called Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, Poiry’s debt was cleared. His wife’s estate did have to pay it all back. Get help Theoretically, individuals can resolve some of these tax problems themselves. But if the amount in question is of any size, it’s probably wise to seek professional help. “If it’s a big debt, you’re better off finding someone … who really knows the ins and outs,” said Mark Cook, a certified public accountant who makes his living doing taxes of big corporations, but found himself in over his head after a divorce left him with tax debt from his spouse. “If you had an issue with cancer, you would not go to a general practitioner. These guys are specialists in a very specific area.” Rozbruch of Tax Resolution Services said he charges between $2,000 to $4,000 to negotiate an installment plan, and $5,000 and up to complete an Offer in Compromise, which is an IRS process by which the government and taxpayers make a deal about what they are going to pay back. In looking for help, seek a professional with specific experience in tax resolution, not just in tax preparation. Tax resolution, like credit counseling and debt management, is a target for fraud, since it involves people who are already in a tense financial situation and vulnerable to scams that promise more than they can deliver. One quick way to weed out some of the con artists is to make sure a street address is listed on Web sites. The IRS warns against companies claiming that they can settle back taxes for pennies on the dollar, although a lot of reputable firms are able to do just that. Tax Resolution Services keeps a running total of its taxpayers debt and the settlement amounts, and the average settlement is 13 cents on the dollar. Still, it’s up to individuals to do their homework and check credentials. Advisers that would have the correct experience to resolve complex tax issues would be certified tax resolution specialists, CPAs or lawyers specializing in that area, or enrolled agents, who have to either pass an exam or show that they have qualifying experience as an IRS employee. Indeed, lots of tax cleanup people advertise the fact that they used to work for the IRS and so they have inside information that gives them an edge. Whether or not that’s true, it’s certainly not a requirement for resolving tax problems effectively. People who have been through a process with the IRS universally express how much relief they feel once it’s resolved, and how much they regret ever falling into the situation. “Once you’ve been audited in a case like this … from this point on, I’ll never try to take advantage on my taxes,” said Gib Poiry. “I don’t ever want to go through that again.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818)713-3662 If you can’t pay what you owe: File anyway, it will avoid ‘failure to file’ penalties. If you miss the deadline (April 17 this year since April 16 is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia), don’t panic. The late filing penalty is 5% a month up to a max of 25% and after 5 you are capped at 25%. If you are a wage-earner, and have misplaced your W-2 forms and can’t get copies from your employer, IRS can often provide you with the information by August. Sources: IRS, Daily News research. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS Most people are a little bit scared of the IRS. Tax specialists say IRS field revenue officers have been instructed to be in the field three out of five days to make house visits. However, taxpayers do not have to let a field representative enter their home. See more rights at the California State Board of Equalization Web site: http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub70.pdf 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! No taxes, no wedding She held off marrying her longtime boyfriend, because she thought her secret would come out in the process. She didn’t tell family about the predicament. She stopped opening letters from the Internal Revenue Service. Finally, Jones contacted Michael Rozbruch, a tax resolution specialist in Encino, when the IRS said it would begin garnishing her wages to pay her debt. Rozbruch’s firm, Tax Resolution Services, spent three years negotiating with the Feds. In the end, Jones settled her $70,000 debt for $3,200. “It’s like this fairy-tale ending to this completely wacky story,” she said. Tax mistakes don’t have to ruin your life. But they can if you let them, which usually happens to taxpayers who bury their head in the sand instead of seeking help. That’s the worst thing consumers can do, say experts, because there’s no creditor like the IRS. One spring back in the late 1990s, Jennifer Jones decided she wasn’t going to file a tax return. “I had changed my withholding and took the maximum, and I knew I was going to owe,” said Jones, an executive assistant at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. “I thought I would just pay late that year.” But procrastination became a habit for Jones, and by 2002, she owed the government $70,000 in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.
An autopsy conducted Monday determined that Clary had died of blunt-force injuries to her head, officials said. Clary taught at Valencia High since 1999, when she transferred from Saugus High, said Principal Paul Priesz. In addition to traditional academic subjects, Clary also taught her students to become self-sufficient. She also took them on field trips – to Disneyland, to see “The Lion King” and to a Dodgers game. “Travis became a Dodger fan because of her,” said Penny Young, the teen’s mother. alex.dobuzinskis @dailynews.com (661) 257-5253 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VALENCIA – LaWana Clary’s special-needs students at Valencia High had been scheduled to visit Olvera Street on Monday – one of many field trips their teacher planned for the school year. Instead, the teens spent their first day back from spring break meeting with grief counselors and making cards and a poster for the family of their beloved Mrs. Clary, who was found bludgeoned to death last week in her Castaic home. For Travis Young, 16, and other special-needs students, the 51-year-old educator was like a second mom. “I started to cry,” Travis said after he learned of Clary’s death. “I think she’s a good teacher.” And student Jeffrey Krinkel, 18, drew inspiration from his teacher as he worked on the poster the class created for Clary’s family. On it, he drew a flower and a bird – explaining that Clary had smelled like a flower and was friendly like a pet bird. “I felt happy she was gone to heaven,” he said. Aides in Clary’s special-education class recalled that Clary was a Dodgers season-ticket holder and loved visiting Hawaii and Yosemite National Park. “(She) loved getting in touch with earth; she loved God,” said Vicki Stewart, who described Clary as a friend as well as a co-worker. Clary’s body was discovered about 5:20 p.m. Thursday by her husband, Dave Clary, 38, said authorities, who declined Monday to release any information on their homicide investigation.
0Shares0000Liverpool beat off competition from Manchester City to sign Van Dijk from Southampton for £75 million ($106 million) in January © AFP / Paul ELLISMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Apr 9 – Virgil van Dijk has lived up to his billing as the world’s most expensive defender in his short Liverpool career, but shutting out a desperate Manchester City in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday could be his biggest test yet.Runaway Premier League leaders City could line up with the most expensive defence ever assembled for their rescue mission, but they may regret letting Van Dijk get away if they fail in their mammoth task to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit. Liverpool beat off competition from City to sign Van Dijk for £75 million ($106 million) in January from Southampton, six months after their first attempt to land the Dutchman failed.Jurgen Klopp was much-criticised early in the campaign for refusing to splash out on a back-up option to Van Dijk as Liverpool’s chances of challenging City for the title vanished quickly due to defensive deficiencies.However, Klopp’s patience to get his prime target has been rewarded as Van Dijk has spearheaded a turnaround in Liverpool’s ability to keep opponents at bay.“What we need at Liverpool are these kind of players who are leaders,” said Klopp recently on Van Dijk’s influence.The Dutch captain will be examined to the full at the Etihad, though, where Liverpool lost 5-0 earlier in the season.“They have so much quality, they are going to win the league that’s pretty clear, that’s not for no reason,” said Van Dijk on Tuesday.“We feel we are in a great moment at the moment and I think we can make it difficult for any team in the world.“But we still need to show it, be ready for a fight, ready for a big game.”Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk attends a training session at Melwood in Manchester, north west England on April 9, 2018, the eve of his side’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City © AFP / Paul ELLISKlopp’s men were also thrashed 4-1 by Tottenham and involved in thrilling 3-3 draws at Arsenal and Sevilla as they were routinely torn apart on their toughest travels before Van Dijk’s arrival.Often overshadowed by the prolific front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane at the other end of the field, Liverpool’s improvement at the back, though, is not down to Van Dijk alone.All those early-season collapses on the road also came prior to Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold establishing themselves as Klopp’s first-choice full-backs.– Bargain solutions –Despite their more illustrious history, Liverpool struggle to compete financially with Abu-Dhabi backed City’s budget.Even Van Dijk’s signing was financed by the £142 million sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January.But Liverpool have proved far more adept at finding bargain solutions.City spent over £130 million on full-backs alone last summer in buying Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo.By contrast, Robertson was a £10 million pick-up from Hull City, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, whilst Alexander-Arnold has been at the club since the age of six.“We know as a team we can defend very well,” added Van Dijk. “Pretty compact as you could see in the second half against them (in the first leg.)”Alexander-Arnold was constantly targeted by City up against the pace and trickery of £37 million German international Leroy Sane.Yet, rather than being intimidated by the opposition, or the frenzied atmosphere of Anfield on a big European night, the 19-year-old right-back produced the performance of his career to date in nullifying Sane and winning man-of-the-match.“It’s really pretty rare that Sane had pretty much nothing for finishing, making goals, stuff like that,” said Klopp afterwards. “It was outstandingly good, to be honest.”Patience was also key with Robertson. The Scot found himself sidelined for the majority of the first half of the season until an injury to Alberto Moreno in December handed him a run in the side.Five-time European Cup winners, Liverpool have waited a decade to get back into the Champions League semi-finals. But as Van Dijk shows, good things come to those who wait.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)
Brazilian international midfielder Fred joined United from Shakhtar Donetsk for a reported fee of just over £50 million on Tuesday.United are aiming to close the gap on Manchester City, who won the Premier League by a record 19 points from their local rivals.Despite only making his senior Porto debut in February, Dalot has been hailed by United manager Jose Mourinho, who made his name as a coach with Porto, as the best full-back in Europe of his age.“Diogo is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club,” Mourinho said in United’s statement.“He has all the attributes that a full-back needs: physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality, combined with a Porto Academy mentality which prepares players for the maturity they need at the professional level.“In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe and we all believe he has a bright future ahead of him at Manchester United.”Dalot’s best position is at right-back, although he has at times deputised at left-back, including in a 0-0 draw away to Liverpool in the second leg of the Portuguese champions’ Champions League last 16 tie in March.Full-back has been a problem position for United with Mourinho using converted wingers Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, both 32, as regulars in his defence over the past year.“Joining Manchester United is an unbelievable opportunity for me,” said Dalot. “The chance of coming to the biggest club in the world is something I just couldn’t turn down.“I’m excited about working with Jose Mourinho and learning everything I can from such a successful coach. I am looking forward to playing alongside the fantastic players in the squad.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester United have strengthened their defence with Porto’s Diogo Dalot, pictured on the left © AFP/File / Francisco LEONGLONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 6 – Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot became Manchester United’s second major signing in two days the English giants announced on Wednesday after securing a 22 million euro (£19 million) move from Porto.Dalot, 19, has signed “a five-year contract, with an option to extend for a further year”, United said in a statement.
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 MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonJust last week the Booths say they were told they will be getting a trailer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that they will be able to live in on their property for 18 months while, like so many other families, they attempt to rebuild their home. This Christmas, though, Booth, her husband and their four children – a fifth child is on the way – will live in her father-in-law’s small two-room house. And, she says, the family will give thanks for the small things she once took for granted: a Christmas tree, ornaments and gifts for the children, the latter donated by well-wishers. Booth and her husband also are giving thanks for a few big things: Individual donations that allowed them to buy a truck to reopen their business – and only source of income – Booth’s Pump and Crane Service. “I know that my kids, my husband and me, and hopefully a generation of my family to come, will always remember this and will always try to do what has been done for us, forever,” the Ramona woman said. “I think that makes it all worth it, maybe. There has to be something positive that comes out of all of this, right?” For a few hours at the Happiest Place on Earth, Nichole Booth set aside the reality of a life devastated by the wildfires that swept through Southern California in the fall. At Disneyland there were no telephone calls to government agencies about loans, grants and other funds to help her family rebuild the home and business they lost to one of October’s disastrous blazes. There were no worries about how to care for a daughter paralyzed by brain tumors who survives on life support. For just a few hours, Booth got her simple Christmas wish: “A day with complete peace and no guilt and no worrying.” In the months since her family members ran for their lives, taking only what they could carry, they have begun the long, slow process of rebuilding.
WHITTIER – It’s everywhere you look: on street signs, fences, etched into storefront windows. The amount of graffiti in Whittier has nearly doubled over the past year, officials say, straining the city’s manpower and resources while chalking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Police blame the increase in graffiti on gang members, tagging crews and casual taggers. But officials say they are not sure why the vandalism has increased so dramatically from 2004 to the present. “We see it in the alleys, on sidewalks, telephone poles, on businesses, fences,” said resident Rosie Seelt, a member of the Uptown Neighborhood Watch. “In the last year, it’s gotten a lot worse.” Whittier earmarks $300,000 annually to its Public Works Department for graffiti removal, but the department broke its budget last year trying to remove all of it, department Director David Mochizuki said. “We did over 4,000 more (graffiti removals) than we usually do in the last year,” said Jeff Smith, the department’s street maintenance supervisor. In Uptown, vandals using etching cream and other tools to scratch their monikers into store windows are costing business owners thousands, said Larry Trujillo, manager of the Whittier Uptown Business Association. “It got really bad around Thanksgiving,” he said. “We’ve had a major problem. Everything in Uptown is mom-and-pop (owned), and they can’t afford to replace an $800 or $1,200 window.” City and police officials are trying to fight back, beyond simply removing scrawlings. Police are testing security cameras in Uptown Whittier to see whether they can be used to catch vandals. Mayor Greg Nordbak recently proposed a Citizen Action Committee to come up with fresh ideas to fight graffiti. The council will discuss the committee’s formation at its Jan. 24 meeting. “It’s getting horrible,” said Nordbak. “Something needs to be done about it. It’s out of control.” Police have formed a graffiti-abatement task force, assigning officers to specifically look for and cite people making graffiti or possessing spray paint, etching cream and other tagging implements, police spokesman Jason Zuhlke said. Anyone caught causing $400 or more in graffiti damage could face felony charges, he added. “It’s a no-holds-barred approach. We’re taking a very aggressive posture toward these people we’re detaining. If we see they have intent or tools to vandalize, they are at least getting citations,” he said. City officials also are meeting with business owners about ways they can protect their store windows, City Manager Steve Helvey said. “Our graffiti removal crews respond the same day or next day,” Helvey said. “We keep it off, and wish we could find a way to do something else. For some kids, this is fun for them. I’m sure they get a big kick out of it. It creates so much destruction and I’m not sure what the point is. I don’t quite get it.” email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!