Davis scores 40, leads the Pelicans past the Nuggets

first_imgView comments Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Though Denver got off to a fast start, New Orleans took the lead late in the first quarter and never trailed again.Davis scored 12 points as the Pelicans held a 37-35 lead after the first quarter. He wound up with 12 at halftime as his team clung to a 70-67 halftime lead and even though he had just four points in the third quarter, New Orleans took a 98-88 lead into the final period.The Nuggets got within seven points three times early in the fourth quarter, but Davis and Holiday scored four points each during an 8-0 run that gave New Orleans a 110-95 lead midway through the quarter.The closest Denver got after that was nine points.“It’s hard to stop him,” Jokic said of Davis. “He’s a really great player. We didn’t do a good job tonight.”TIP-INSNuggets: Denver was coming off a season-high point total in a 138-93 home victory against Atlanta on Monday. . The Nuggets outscored the Pelicans 58-82 in the paint.Pelicans: The Pelicans had four scorers in double figures by the middle of the second quarter. … Randle had all but six of the points and four of the rebounds that came from New Orleans’ bench. . Holiday went to the bench midway through the third quarter after committing his fourth foul.PAYTON OUT INDEFINITELYPelicans G Elfrid Payton will see a hand surgeon next week to get an evaluation of the broken little finger on his left hand that he sustained against the Knicks on Friday. It was Payton’s first game back in the lineup after missing nine straight due to a sprained right ankle. Davis’ assists tied a career-high and it was his seventh game with at least six assists this season. In his previous six seasons, he had just eight such games.“I just realized that a lot of teams are scouting for me,” Davis said. “They didn’t want me to go off I guess, so I’m just trying to find guys and guys are playing with a lot of confidence and making shots. They know and I know where they are going to be and they know where I like them to be.”The Pelicans made 31 of 34 free throws, and the Nuggets made 8 of 13.“I felt we were doing things that should’ve generated some more free throws,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “Obviously, the referees didn’t see it that way tonight. They saw them getting fouled quite a bit.”The Pelicans, who rallied from a 19-point deficit against the Knicks, had a much easier time against the Nuggets.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title MOST READ New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks the ball against Denver Nuggets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. The Pelicans won, 125-115. (AP Photo/Veronica Dominach)NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had 10 field goals for New Orleans against Denver on Saturday night. That’s not a bad total, but it doesn’t begin to tell the whole story about how he carried the Pelicans.Davis added 20-for-21 shooting from the free throw line and finished with 40 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Pelicans defeated the Nuggets 125-115 Saturday night.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Davis’ performance on Saturday followed a 43-point effort a night earlier in a win over New York.“It’s pretty hard to stop him, especially when he gets in a groove like that,” said Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who overcame foul trouble to finish with 19 points and match Davis’ assists. “We don’t think anyone can guard him in the first place.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissJulius Randle had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Nikola Mirotic had 20 points and 10 rebounds and E’Twaun Moore scored 13 for New Orleans, which won for the fifth time in six games.Nikola Jokic had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Gary Harris scored 24, Juancho Hernangomez had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Monte Morris came off the bench to add 13 and Jamal Murray had 11 for the Nuggets, who lost for the fifth time in six games. Harden nets 34, Rockets win 4th straight over Kings JOKIC COOLS OFFJokic leads the Nuggets with a scoring average of 17. 1 points per game, and he surpassed that in the first quarter. But after scoring 18 first-quarter points, Jokic cooled off. He finished with 25 points, the team-high, on 10-of-20 shooting and had 10 rebounds.UP NEXTNuggets: Denver visits Milwaukee on Monday.Pelicans: New Orleans hosts San Antonio on Monday.last_img read more

Read More
FLY Prexy Extols Senators

first_imgThe president of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), Augustine Tamba, has lauded the Liberian Senate for the passage of the National Youth Act, which was introduced at the Senate since August 2005. The Youth Act highlights the roles and responsibilities of the youth and how they can engage in activities that promote peace-building in the country.   The National Youth Act was passed by the Liberian Senate on Tuesday, October 7, following the reading of a communication from its committee chair on Youth and Sports, J. Jonathan Barney of Rivercess County.  The communication, which was dated October 3, recommended to that august body to “pass” the Bill, as it was in the interest of the youthful population of the country. Mr. Tamba, commenting further on the Bill, said the concurrence on the part of the senators signals a boost for the young people of the country, as well as a challenge to them to take on leadership roles that promote the future of youths.  In an interview with the Liberia News Agency after the passage of the Youth Act on Tuesday, Tamba indicated that the Act highlights the roles of youths, in ensuring that they take initiatives and promote the spirit of national service, volunteerism, and self-help activities, through equal opportunity, civil responsibility and active participation at all levels.  According to him, the youth of Liberia must see the passage of the Act as a major step forward in addressing the pressing issues confronting youth across the country, as they most often form part of the majority of vulnerable persons.  Tamba cited the high rate of pregnancy among youths between the ages 15 and 19, and unemployment as some of the urgent issues that need redress, as it sometimes exposes the group to danger, something, he said, the Act also seeks to address.  On September 9, 2013, the House of Representatives passed the Act following scrutiny of the document forwarded to the body by its committees on Youth and Sports and Judiciary.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More
Mass Dismissal Would Be ‘Unique’

first_imgA proposal by the Liberian Government through the Civil Service Agency (CSA) to dismiss or reduce by approximately 44,000 civil servants without “unique benefits and timing” has been dismissed by a member of the Public Servants Reform Sector Committee.The reason might have stemmed from the widely publicized dismissal of civil servants amidst the ongoing Ebola health crisis.The Director General of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), Oblayon Blayon Nyemah, clarified that the terms “dismissals or redundancies” of civil servants should rather be “rightsizing,”—meaning rightsizing the right people at the right time.He made the assertions yesterday during the kickoff of the training of 24 newly recruited Directors at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), during the start of the strategic leadership and management initiative in the public sector.Mr. Nyemah said LIPA, Civil Service Agency (CSA), and the Governance Reform (GR) are brainstorming to expeditiously “rightsize” civil servants to keep them from being detrimental to the society.But he failed to state when the government would implement the “unique rightsizing” of civil servants. “It’s important to reform the public sector, but there should be a unique approach in which all the parties involved are satisfied, and that is what we are working on,” the LIPA boss said.Some political pundits believe that the change of terminology from downsizing to rightsizing is due to the fact that downsizing is a reactive process, meaning it is a depressing, destructive process.“Being put in the position of having to lay people off is not pleasant for any manager. When you are coping with downsizing, it can appear that your time and effort is nonproductive. Downsizing can be disruptive to ongoing operations because people need to spend time undoing and redoing things that used to work,” Mr. Daniel Gray of Stephen Tolbert Estate said.While other pundits believe that although the phrase “rightsizing” has been used in some organizations as a euphemism for “downsizing” to make it seem more pleasant than it is, they are not the same thing.“Rightsizing is proactive and needs to be a constant part of the process of managing an organization,” Elijah Konah of Freeport argued.However, the National Legislature recently rejected the proposal for the “rightsizing” of civil servants in the midst of the Ebola crisis.  But the Executive Branch, through CSA Director General George Werner, earlier clarified that the laying off of thousands of government workers with the aim of maintaining an “efficient, effective and small size public service” is just a proposal.Mr. Werner said the proposed workforce reduction “was presented to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Cabinet, but was not endorsed or approved.”“We need a civil service that is professional and operates within a rational pay system. What this will do is improve wages because there are many government employees that are not providing the services they are being paid for,” Werner said.Established in 1969, LIPA is the government’s center for capacity building of civil servants and the institutions at which they work.Speaking to the newly recruited directors at the MFPD, the LIPA boss said they should be proud of the continuous capacity building and should act accordingly as principal Directors, the highest-ranking civil servants.On behalf the directors, the Aspiring Director for Communication, Zoegar Jaynes, said the newly recruited directors are all employees of the former Ministry of Finance but were recently recruited through a competitive vetting process to improve the newly established MFDP.He said the training was in compliance with their responsibility to be aware of the public sector as it relates to the Code of Conduct, the Public Financial Management Law and Regulations, Public Procurement Law and Management and Effective Organizational Communication and Time Management as well as Introduction to Public Sector Reforms, Civil Service Standing Order and Public Administration, amongst others.The Directors have been classified into four groups: Departments of Fiscal Affairs, Administration, Economic Management and Budget & Planning.The Department of Fiscal Affairs has nine distinct operational offices to include, Directors of Non-Tax Revenue, Indirect Taxation, Modeling &Forecast, Direct Taxes, Fiscal Decentralization, Financial Approval, Treasury Services, Financial Regulations and Accounting Services. The Department of Budget & Development Planning has the second largest operational squad, namely the Directors of Budget Policy & Coordination, Social and Community Services, Economic Services, Public Administration Services, Regional & Sectoral Services, Public Investment, Monitoring & Evaluation and Planning, Development & Coordination.Others include the Directors of Administration, Human Resource, Budget and Finance Integrity, which are under the Department of Administration; while the Directors of Aid Management, Economic Policy and Microeconomics and Financial Policy are part of the Department of Economic Management.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More
UL Alumni Give Back To Alma Mater

first_imgIn a commendable act of humanitarian gesture and giving back to one’s alma mater, at least 50 alumni of the University of Liberia jumpstarted the campaign to give the UL a facelift by giving more than US$4,000.00 and pledging more than 200 gallons of oil paint. Making remarks at the launch, UL President, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, lauded the Alumni Association for the gesture and recounted the many contributions the Association has made to the institutions since he took over as president.“When we came on board, one of the first things we did was to challenge the University of Liberia Alumni Association, ULAA, to partner with us in the provision of scholarships, which it responded favorably. If the Alumni Association can respond positively when we were in ‘intensive care,’ I have no doubt that it can do even more; we are grateful to you,” he said.He named the provision of scholarships, primarily to its members and students, some of whom are in other parts of the world, including Connecticut, USA.Serving as the chief launcher, Alumnus and current Minister of Defense, Mr. Brownie J. Samukai, a member of the Class of 1984, said the UL had a profound impact on his young life for which he will always be internally grateful. “That’s why we want to come back every time to this school,” he said. “The four years I spent here were the best time of my life.”Other notable alumni who came to the aid of their alma mater were Banker John B. S. Davies, Class of 1998, President and CEO of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI); Counselor David A. B. Jallah, Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law; Mr. David Farhart, former Minister of Finance; Dr. Eugene Shannon, former Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy; Mr. Thomas Doe Nah, Executive Director of the Center Transparency and Accountability International (CENTAL); Mrs. Atty. Nedia S. Kamara, who also represented her husband, Mr. Boima S. Kamara, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank; and Senior Economist, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., among others.The Administration of the University of Liberia, in collaboration with the UL Alumni Association (ULAA), recently launched the campaign to paint some of the infrastructure on the campuses of the University. The program was held in the UL Park on the Capitol Hill Campus of the institution, a release signed by Mr. Norris Tweah, vice president, University Relations said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More
GoL’s Passive, Indifferent Attitude Toward Liberian-owned Businesses

first_imgAs mentioned in last Friday’s Editorial, the government of Liberia’s passivity and indifference toward Liberian-owned businesses started not with this administration but long before.This is, unfortunately, one of the legacies of President William V. S. Tubman’s Open Door Policy. It was a policy that gave great encouragement to foreign businesses and business people, including very generous investment incentives such as duty free privileges and extensive tax holidays.Take for example the rubber industry; several of the foreign rubber companies still enjoy some of these privileges but not a single Liberian rubber company. This includes the biggest of them all, Morris American Rubber Company, commonly known as “Morris Farm”. Started in the 1930s by Harry Morris, it is the biggest employer among all the Liberian rubber farms. And, currently run by his son Bill Morris, it is the only Liberian rubber planter that is processing its own product for export. Morris American does not have to sell to Firestone. Yet it enjoys none of the privileges extended to some of the foreign companies.In her meeting with Liberian entrepreneurs last week, President Sirleaf heard some constructive criticisms. Madam Isatu Gbegbe Noubibous told the President that all too frequently Liberian businesses are “sidelined” in the GoL bidding process, in favor of foreign businesses. Even if Liberian businesses win GoL bids of any scale, there is yet another hurdle. The Government of Liberia has been notorious for its history of bad debt, especially in the current administration. It has become so bad that some business people have disclosed to the Daily Observer that they no longer do business with the Liberian government. Even a local bank a couple of years ago issued an unofficial in-house policy that there were to be no loans given to government officials. This is bad news and suggests two things. First, if the people running the Liberian government have such bad credit as individuals, what is there to convince anyone else that the government as a whole is credible for business? Second, it is not as though the President doesn’t know what is happening. Remember Liberia’s debt-waiver program with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund? President Sirleaf knew exactly what needed to be done to win back Liberia’s credibility with those international partners. Is it that much more difficult for the Liberian government to win back its credibility with its own people? Is President Sirleaf simply going to treat the plight of Liberian business people with lip service? Whole day, “We hear you; we will take your concerns into consideration,” she says. But then the breakfast club jumps in the way and sways all the opportunities in favor of their foreign friends. It is not really about the money, Madam President. It is about Respect. Many of your lieutenants do not respect themselves enough to even respect the offices entrusted to their care. They insult the integrity of their positions and therefore insult the Liberian People. It is about Justice. How many corrupt officials has this government successfully prosecuted? They either abscond, are let off on judicial technicalities or are asked to resign. It is about Patriotism, for goodness sake! We know of NO other nationality that prefers foreigners before their own nationals. Sanitation entrepreneur George Howe told the President that the banks are reluctant to lend Liberians the sufficient amounts these entrepreneurs need to move their businesses forward. In Liberia, patriotism seems to be losing considerably to envy. “Why should he or she get this break and not I”, is the common mindset in Liberia. This Newspaper has always asked, how can we develop Liberia on envy? It cannot and will never happen. But we cannot, must not remain crabs in the bucket.And toiletries business man Fomba Trawally urged the President to see to it that GoL give some preference to Liberian Manufacturers. The President listened intently to the Liberian business people and pledged to actively heed to their pleadings. We count it most unfortunate that the President finds herself making this pledge in the 11th year of her administration, with scarcely two years to go. But as one of the entrepreneurs she met indicated, it is better late than never.In order to fulfill that pledge the President has a lot of convincing to do among her lieutenants. She has to convince them that it is Liberians, not foreigners, who must build Liberia. The sooner they are empowered to do so, the better. Time is running out! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More
A Sapo County: What is the Point?

first_imgYesterday’s lead headline sounded a disturbing alarm concerning tensions brewing in our nation’s South Eastern region. Two prominent members of the Sapo tribe, a subset of the Kru, voiced the alleged desire of their tribesmen to form their own county. Their rationale: greater self-determination through freedom from the allegedly domineering Kru majority. Speaking jointly, Mr. Romeo Quioh, Superintendent of Sinoe County, and Mr. Mobutu Nyenpan, former Sinoe Senator, pointed to fears among Sapos that the Krus would reclaim a key Senate seat currently occupied by a Sapo, in 2017. The solution: the establishment of a Sapo county, to maintain the tribe’s direct representation in the Legislature. But is the ‘representation’ of Sapos really the point of this proposition? Our nation was founded by black people determined to be free from oppression, underrepresentation, and economic distress. But, then, our forefathers turned right around, excluding and subjugating the indigenous peoples from the promise of freedom that Liberia offered. The result: nearly two decades of conflict. The same people, who kept the country to themselves for so long, ended up losing it and running right back to America, begging for green cards. And all because they saw our economy as a rigid, crusted pastry, instead of an expanding pie that grows exponentially when everyone gets a piece. But, is that really the scenario at play between the Sapos and the Krus? We think not! In our view, the Sapos and Krus need no separate representation because their needs and desires are the same. Every Liberian has a right to representation in government – on the basis of citizenship, geographical placement, and county population size. Not tribal affiliation. Because we cannot all participate in day-to-day governance, we elect officials to stand in our place, set the agenda and appropriate public monies according our priorities. That is where voting comes in – rule by the majority – because a nation where everyone always gets what they want, simply does not exist. Anywhere. So (ideally) we celebrate our wins, accept our losses, and try to work with those in office to implement our development agenda. And what is that agenda? For most Liberians, they are five simple words: agriculture, education, health, energy (God help LEC!), and roads. Simple. Pray tell, is that any different for the Sapos? Are their priorities really that different from ours? Space travel, perhaps? No. The truth is that this great and beloved tribe is just being manipulated by two power hungry politicians!Of course, this is no new tactic. Politicians, the world over, who lack the moral fiber to earn public confidence and votes, instead use fear, xenophobia, racism, sexism and religious prejudice to garner support for their ambition. Therefore, the proposition of a Sapo county must be given no credence. Or else, such action would set a dangerous precedent, allowing Nimba – where similar issues exist between the Gios and Manos – to follow suit. And what about Montserrado? Should it be reserved for the settlers only? And what of the half of Liberia’s population that resides here? If we allow this mad proposition, we would then have to double the number of counties, allocate the majority of our land to the most populous tribes, and then leave a small village to the smaller ones – which would incite them to anger. This would tear our nation right back into shreds – this time literally as well as figuratively. The thing to remember is that the Sapos and the Krus are one family, with one present and one future. And the solution for them is not separation, but unity around a real leader and a realistic agenda. Whether they elect a Kpelleh or a Mandingo representative is immaterial. What really matters is that their candidate actually works in the best interest of Sinoe, bringing human and infrastructural development (not destruction) to that impoverished county.Meanwhile, we would encourage Mr. Quioh, who is in the employ of the Executive Branch, to exercise some professionalism and at least participate more quietly in county politics. You were hired to supervise development in your county, and to manage the just ended Independence festivities. You failed at that, and must be held accountable. To Mr. Nyenpan: admit that you have failed both the Kru and the Sapos who elected you. You both need to rebuild your credibility through service, not manipulation. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More
Alleged chain snatcher, bike thief on bail

first_imgTwo men accused of larceny found themselves before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday.Anthony Persaud, 24, of Lot 28 Middle Road, La Penitence, Georgetown and Travis McKenzie of Lot 10 B Field Sophia, Greater Georgetown both denied the separate charges.It was alleged that on September 20, 2018 at South Road, Georgetown, Persaud robbed Avil Covlin of a gold chain valued $38,000.The Police Prosecutor had no objections to bail. Magistrate Azore released Persaud on $35,000 bail. The case will continue on October 24, 2018.Meanwhile, it was alleged that 38-year-old McKenzie stole a blue motorcycle valued $175,000, property of Davita Richardson, on July 8, 2018 at the Georgetown seawall.An unrepresented McKenzie in an explanation told the court that he was a father of six children and was the sole provider of his family.The Police Prosecutor made no objections to bail and the Magistrate released him on $25,000 bail. The case will continue on October 25, 2018.last_img read more

Read More
CAS revokes CAF decision to replay CL final

first_imgTunisia’s Esperance, who led 2-1 overall at the time, were initially handed the title, but CAF later backtracked after determining that “playing and security conditions were not met”. Both clubs subsequently lodged appeals with CAS.But CAS on Wednesday ruled that the executive committee of CAF “did not have jurisdiction” to order that the game be replayed.CAS said it was now up to “competent CAF authorities”, without giving further details, to “order the appropriate disciplinary sanctions, if any, and accordingly to decide whether the second leg… shall be replayed or not”.Requests by Wydad to be named champions and granted the winners’ paycheck were rejected, with CAS adding that Esperance’s appeal would be investigated at a later date.The on-field fiasco prompted CAF to reduce both the Champions League and Confederation Cup finals from two legs to one match at a neutral venue from next season.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000The Confederation of African Football have ordered that the African Champions League final between Esperance and Wydad Casablanca should be replayed at a neutral venuePARIS, France, Jul 31 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday overruled an African Football Confederation decision to replay the abandoned Champions League final between Esperance and Wydad Casablanca.CAF last month ordered the second leg to be replayed at a neutral venue following the Africa Cup of Nations after Moroccan side Wydad walked off an hour into the return fixture in Tunis when a VAR malfunction meant a disallowed equaliser could not be reviewed.last_img read more

Read More
MORE SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS URGENTLY REQUIRED IN OUR SCHOOLS – TD

first_imgDONEGAL TD Charlie McConalogue has called on the Government to lift its cap on special needs assistants and learning support and resources teachers for the next academic year, in light of the increase in the school-going population expected in September. It comes after the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn confirmed to the Oireachtas Education Committee this week that an additional 20,000 students will enter the school system next September (10,000 at primary level and 10,000 at second level).The Minister confirmed that an additional 900 teachers will be brought in, but there will be no extra SNAs, learning support teachers or resource teachers for children with special needs. Deputy McConalogue said: “While I welcome the fact that the Minister has agreed to provide additional teachers to cater for some of this pupil increase, it is simply not good enough that there will be no additional staff for those children with special needs.“It seems that once again, it is the children with learning difficulties and intellectual disabilities who will suffer the most. Supports for children with special needs have already been severely restricted within the school system, and now these children are being side-lined in the Minister’s plans to cater for the additional intake of new pupils next year.“As with previous years, a proportion of these 20,000 new pupils to enter the school system next September will require special supports. But Minister Quinn has so far refused to provide one single extra SNA or resource teacher for them. They will just join the queue of children who have already seen significant cuts to their resource hours and special needs supports in school.“We cannot tolerate a situation where there will be far more students sharing the same capped number of SNAs and resource teachers. I am appealing to Minister Quinn to see sense, do the right thing and lift the cap next year.”  MORE SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS URGENTLY REQUIRED IN OUR SCHOOLS – TD was last modified: March 10th, 2013 by BrendaShare 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:Charlie McConalogueMORE SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS URGENTLY REQUIRED IN OUR SCHOOLS – TDlast_img read more

Read More
‘Walk’ signs help Jews observe High Holy Days

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As Jews across the city observe Yom Kippur beginning at sundown today, the city’s traffic lights will help them mark the occasion. The city has programmed some of its traffic signals so pedestrians won’t have to push the button to change the lights, a nod to those Jews who refrain from all worklike activities during the high holy days. “It’s a way we’re trying to accommodate all the users of our street system,” said John Fisher, assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. “It’s something we’ve always done.” Jewish leaders welcome the tech-savvy feature, saying it enables worshippers to attend services without having to jaywalk or wait endlessly for the light to change. “It’s immediately seen as an appreciative accommodation – a sensitive accommodation – to the religious community, because we’re not going to push buttons to change those lights,” said Rabbi Aron Tendler of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in North Hollywood, where 1,500 Orthodox families live. “You’re talking about 1,000 people crossing the street in this little area. What do you want them to do? Stand at the street corner waiting for the cars to trip the signal?” he said. “It just makes sense to accommodate that kind of population if it can be done.” Practicing Orthodox Jews and those who are more Conservative refrain from routine activities on the holy days and weekly Sabbath so they can focus on spiritual issues. They don’t drive or cook, and they particularly refrain from using electricity to heed the traditional ban on lighting fire. That leaves thousands of Jewish residents in Orthodox neighborhoods such as North Hollywood, Fairfax and West L.A. to walk to synagogues for services. When they come to intersections with traffic signals, they’re prohibited from pushing the button to trigger the light to green so they can cross the street. “It’s not that you’re not allowed to push buttons, it’s that one is not permitted to be involved in a certain type of creative work. It happens to be that turning switches and pushing a button fall into that category,” said Rabbi Aaron Abend of Chabad of North Hollywood Saara Ratner-Stauber Synagogue. “The spirit of the day is to be less involved in the mundane and more involved in the godly, divine, spiritual.” In all, 51 intersections across the city – including 17 in the San Fernando Valley – have traffic lights programmed to turn to green with each cycle, rather than when a car approaches. The signals are set to automatically change on seven holy days during the year, including Yom Kippur. They also automatically change on the weekly Sabbath, which is from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Additionally, the signals give pedestrians about 30 seconds to cross the street instead of the usual five to nine seconds given when only cars are crossing. The city’s practice began in 1973 when Fairfax and Hancock Park area Jewish leaders approached the city with the issue, Fisher said. The program expanded as Jewish leaders heard horror stories of worshippers jaywalking into dangerous traffic or getting slapped with police citations, said Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, West Coast director of the Orthodox Union, an international umbrella organization for synagogues, who had been involved in getting signals in West Los Angeles. In the old days, city crews would have to drive out and manually change the lights. Today, the computer downtown is programmed with the dates, and the signals automatically change. When the first signal was set, crews jokingly altered the street sign from “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” sign to “Valk” and “Don’t Valk” before changing it back. “It happened little by little,” Fisher said. “As new synagogues develop or expand, we get requests.” In 1999, more signals were added in the Valley after the 76-year-old wife of a rabbi was struck and killed while crossing Ventura Boulevard at Newcastle Avenue on her way to weekday morning prayers. One of the newest signals began operating this summer at Goodland Avenue as part of the new Metro Orange Line busway opening later this month. Fisher said the department gets occasional complaints about the seemingly special treatment. But he said it’s no different than what’s done for areas with concentrations of elderly or disabled people. The only expense is the staff time to program the changes. The Orthodox Union’s Rabbi Moshe Krupka compared L.A.’s accommodation to New York’s practice of running extra trains or lifting “No Parking” bans on all sorts of holidays, not just Jewish. However, the signals do slow traffic because drivers who would typically get green lights have to pause on the Sabbath and holidays as the signal cycles to allow pedestrians to cross. The wait’s about 20 seconds longer than usual. Abend said he’s appreciative that such arrangements can be made. “The beauty of America, of Los Angeles, of society is to help each other out,” he said. “I’m sure there’s issues we help other people out. That’s called a community, a government, a society.” Lisa Mascaro, (818) 713-3761 lisa.mascaro@dailynews.com ADDITIONAL AID Crosswalks aren’t the only accommodation made for the Jewish holidays. Jewish leaders cite these additional aids: Elevators: Cars that stop on every floor so the button doesn’t have to be pushed to make a stop. Keys: Locks that use traditional keys rather than electronic key cards on buildings so a card doesn’t have to be swiped to gain entry. Eruv: In the San Fernando Valley, and other areas around the nation, wires are strung across utility poles to symbolically enclose a community. Worshippers who are prohibited from carrying items from private to public spaces during the Sabbath can then carry keys, strollers or other items within what is considered a private area.last_img read more

Read More