PLEDGING MONEY There were times when the governments were asked to and pledged money to try and offset the players’ non-appearance in English first-class cricket, and money to try and stop our players from going to South Africa during the time of Apartheid, and they never delivered, most of them. With that aside, however, West Indies cricket is too important to the West Indies people, and it has been so for nearly 100 years for those who play, those who watch and those who govern it not to understand its importance and to accept it. CARICOM has a right to see that things are run properly in everything Caribbean. The people have given them that right. There is no doubt that cricket – probably more than any other thing, probably more than it is even in England – is Caribbean, and it is good to see that Cameron and the WICB finally realise that, or are willing to admit that that is indeed so. It is left to see who is bigger: Cameron and the WICB or CARICOM representing the people, and who will really bow to the other in this important battle for the survival of cricket in the region. It is easy to say, “I am sorry”, without really meaning to say so. It is as simple as that, and not even the International Cricket Council (ICC) can prevent it from doing so, certainly not after what is happening in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The board was not only being disrespectful to CARICOM, but also to the Caribbean people. Cricket, like every other sport, and politics should not mix, so say controlling bodies for sport like FIFA, the IOC, and the ICC, and all over the world, politicians have treated the dictate with tongue in cheek acceptance. The ICC, the ruling body for cricket, frowns on the close companionship of politics and sports. Sports and politics, however, have been like twins – or like peas in a pod – from time immemorial, including when the MCC objected to Basil D’Oliveira playing for England against South Africa, the land of his birth, during the days of Apartheid, and all for a peaceful life. There was also, to name a few, the USA-Russia quarrels which affected the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, and the generosity of China and Taiwan, which saw the erection of nice, new stadia in the West Indies to facilitate the 2007 World Cup of Cricket. Sports, and cricket, could do nothing about that, and neither can cricket do anything about what transpires in places like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, where the governments select the presidents, the selection committees, and whenever they feel a need to, also the teams, or a player or two. The basic truth is that when these rules were written, some time back in the early 1800s, they were written when England, Australia, and South Africa were the sole members, when cricket was a small sport, when the three countries were rich, and when nobody really thought of political interference in sports. Today, however, more than 100 years on, things have changed. Cricket has got big; sports and cricket are big business. Many countries – poor countries from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean – are involved. Some of them – most of them – cannot afford to play cricket at certain levels, and the governments are asked to subsidise their participation in one way or the other. The governments, for example, are asked to underwrite certain things, to facilitate certain things, and to give waivers for certain things. In many respects, the governments pay the piper, and he who pays the piper, oftentimes calls the tune. This sad truth is that the WICB and West Indies cricket have survived because of the West Indies governments, even though some of them, because of necessities, have sometimes reneged on promises. Dave Cameron, the embattled West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president, has had second thoughts. Following an apology to CARICOM, he has decided to meet urgently with the representatives of the people. CARICOM is worried about West Indies cricket. It looked at it, and on November 4, it called the WICB to an urgent meeting to discuss a recommendation to dissolve the board and to put in an interim board. However, obviously knowing that CARICOM had no authority to do so, in a show of defiance, the board, through President Cameron, wrote back saying that it was too busy, and instead, invited them to attend its directors’ meeting on December 12. That caused a stir and left many people fuming, and as a result, three past presidents of the board – Pat Rousseau, Wes Hall, and Ken Gordon – as well as Keith Mitchell, prime minister of Grenada and head of CARICOM’s committee on sports, came out swinging and claiming, among other things, that the WICB was disrespectful to the CARICOM leaders. CARICOM has no legal authority to interfere with the running of the WICB, or its existence. However, as the representative of the elected governments of the region and in the interest of the people, it has a moral responsibility to intervene and to help solve the problem, especially something as important as the region’s cricket. DISRESPECTFUL TO CARIBBEAN PEOPLE
Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? At 32, James is once again left to shoulder the load for his hometown squad, particularly the massive void in terms of play making.“It’s been a while since I’ve had that clear-cut guy who can get guys involved but also score at the same time,” the three-time NBA champion told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. “But it’s fine. It’s something that our team will make an adjustment to.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBack on the throneAfter seven straight NBA Finals appearances, James continues to dominate with his beastly numbers this season, with averages of 28.1 points and 7.6 rebounds.The absence of another dependable facilitator also has him averaging career highs in assists, at 8.8 per game. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) slaps hands with forward Jae Crowder (99) and guard JR Smith (5) after he was fouled during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Washington. The Cavaliers won 130-122. AP/Nick WassAlthough LeBron James will not admit it outright, it certainly seems like he misses playing alongside Kyrie Irving.With several key players out nursing injuries, the Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled right out of the gate, currently sitting at 9th place in the Eastern Conference with a 7-7 record.ADVERTISEMENT Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson De la Hoya: I’d take McGregor in two MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set 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 WATCH: LeBron James, Cavaliers take NYC subwaySports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Newly acquired guards Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade could have filled the gaps, but it seems like age and injuries have caught up with them.The team is also missing the services of proven scorer and playmaker Isaiah Thomas, who continues to be out with a hip injury. The diminutive point guard is expected to return to action in the coming months.Despite the early struggles, James assures the Cavs’ return to form as the season progresses.“I’m in win mode still,” he said. Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View comments
Partisans of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) yesterday vowed to stop confirmation of those indicted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) for their alleged role in the misapplication of funds intended to fight the deadly Ebola virus disease that plagued the country recently. Several government officials and entities have been linked by the GAC audit report to financial malpractices related to the expenditure of Ebola funds. At the Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinion (CEIO) yesterday on Carey Street in Monrovia, CDC through its youth chairperson, Jefferson Koji, said it is unfortunate that funds provided by local and international partners to save lives were instead used for personal purposes. It was worrisome, he said, for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to begin “decorating” those involved in the misuse of Ebola money, blaming it on “procedural errors”, while pretending to fight corruption but handling alleged corrupt officials with leniency.“We had our people dying of the virus while others were enjoying the money intended to ensure that those infected by the EVD were fully taken care of,” he declared, adding that the CDC does not need such people to be rewarded by President Sirleaf by appointing them to other public positions.Mr. Koji said he was overwhelmed that Senator Peter Coleman, a member of CDC, is chairman of the Senate’s Health Committee, an influence the party strongly relies on to enforce its decisions on confirmation denial particularly in the case of Health Minister-designate, Dr. Bernice Dahn.Though CDC has lost her dominance in the Senate, with the presence of its political leader, George Weah, effecting such decisions could be possible “because of the former peace ambassador’s political clout,” said Koji.In another development, Koji noted that it was “laughable and saddening” to see Vice President Joseph Boakai, lobbying in Lofa to be petitioned for the upcoming 2017 general and presidential elections when he is part of the “Ellen led administration that continues to make no impact on the lives of Liberians.”“While we have President Sirleaf seated, VP Boakai has exposed his desperate intension for the presidency by lobbying to be petitioned. He cannot separate himself from President Sirleaf in any manner but it just shows his quest or thirst as a “political desperado,” Koji stated.According to him, the CDC remains committed to its principles to seek the interests of the people adding that the party will have no excuse to make to its partisans and sympathizers come 2017 general and presidential elections if it is not elected to the highest office of the land.“We see many of our opponents, critics and detractors insinuating that the international community does not have any interest in the CDC. This is false and can only be found within the belly of the devils,” he explained. As for the dismissed deputy police director for operations, Abraham Kromah, Koji said, his removal from the position was timely considering his public record since he was not the only qualified person for the position.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
By J. Yanqui Zaza (firstname.lastname@example.org)Beginning 2004 to the date of the August 26, 2018 article written about BRAC’s $330 loan lent to 27,010 clients, I have come across many petty retailers. I interacted with them at Red-Light and ELWA Junction in Paynesville; at Caldwell Junction and on Randall Street in Monrovia, Montserrado County in 2004, 2013, 2017 and 2018. I bought goods from them in Kakata, Margibi County as well as in Gbarnga, Bong County, and Ganta, Nimba County, in 2013 and 2018 respectively. I observed them in Zwedru, Grand Geddeh County in 2013, and I talked with a few of them in Zorzor, Lofa County in 2018.They sell a few merchandise, some in wheelbarrows, some in buckets, and others in hand. Some of the inventory is made up of a few pairs of socks, six to ten T-shirts, a wheel barrow full of assorted goods. Some sellers run behind moving cars to sell one to two sticks of chewing gum, etc. Was it possible for these petty traders to make a profit with a small inventory, my colleagues and I have and continued to wonder? If they are making a profit, are the school-age children using the retail-business to escape the duties of teenagers such as school attendance, for example?During the 60s and 70s, adolescents, including me, sold cornbread, pop-corn, cool-aid, roasted meat, etc. to augment the meager wages of our parents. Nowadays, many of the school-age children have no parents and have to fend for themselves, I surmise. In fact, UNICEF 2016 Report says “…approximately 62%, or nearly two-thirds of primary-aged children in Liberia are out of school.” However, will our “precious jewels” (i.e., our children) find it difficult to survive or make a living if society does not allow money hustlers to influence them?Shouldn’t our society encourage our traumatized children to enroll into camps and learn skills and moral values? Better yet, why not discuss with profiteers how best to get our school age-children engaged into less-money driven activities? It is a bad idea to expose children to money; worst still, to profit-making, according to Ms. Brennan Jobs? Ms. Jobs, the daughter of the late founder and chairman of Apple, Inc., Mr. Steve Jobs, stated that her father frowned on the practice of giving money to a child.In her book titled “Small Fry,” she narrated that her father “withheld money from her even as his wealth ballooned…all because…” he was teaching her that “…money can corrupt,” according to Ms. Nellie Bowles of the NY Times. Also, Mr. Paul Piff, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, stated that based on his research, “having more money leads to more aggressive attitudes, selfish and morally reprehensible behavior, and usually steals when he/she cannot make ends meet.”Even the Holy Bible advises good-loving citizens not to have the love of money, according Ecclesiastes. Verse 10 of Chapter 5 of Ecclesiastes says: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income…” I am not against the advancement of entrepreneurship. Not so. In fact, in 1979, I was employed to serve as one of the extension officers at the Small Business Department under the Liberian Investment Commission. The Small Business Department did not recruit borrowers who were undeveloped, nor did it appropriate insufficient capital and/or demand repayment of loans within one year.In fact, it did not only interact with potential would-be borrowers, but also assisted them to prepare a five-year-feasibility study (profit/loss analysis), to obtain loans from the World Bank funding programs, to organize their bookkeeping and accounting systems, etc. Okay, profiteers have coerced governments into outsourcing their lending functions to NGOs. But NGOs such as BRAC, for example, do not prepare profit/loss to determine if the US $330 is profitable, nor do they assist clients to keep books and records.I am sure that the microfinance industry is aware that insufficient capital does not only generate loss, but also is the primary reason why small businesses fail, according to Investopedia (most common reasons why small businesses fail). If the industry is aware that insufficient capital is not profitable, why do they continue to recruit undeveloped clients? Or better yet, what kind of business practices BRAC and other microfinance institutions are using to get their 27,010 clients to repay the loans since they might not have exchanged collateral for the loans?Most importantly, BRAC and other lending institutions do not offer adequate loans to Liberians, to invest in lucrative businesses such as diamond, gold, real estate, etc., thereby excluding them from lucrative businesses. And, unfortunately, not only are the microfinance clients failing to make profits, but are discouraging school-age children from preparing themselves to become productive citizens. More so, the money-making culture is now encouraging more school-age children to join the retail business or seek employment with the diamond or gold mining industry.Learning skills or joining societal organizations, including religious institutions, is no more the way of life. And unfortunately, our government cannot deter and/or ban school-age children from activities such as microfinance, gold digging, etc., all because it is not a stakeholder or a decision-maker. When society allows money making entities such as BRAC to put money making ahead of societal interest and/or relax discipline, etc., chaos or instability becomes inevitable. America is a point in case.Before Opioids permeated American white communities, the rich propagated that blacks, etc., were the problem. Guess what, now that Opioids kills 115 persons a day, corporations want government’s involvement to solve the drug epidemic. Attitude is contagious; therefore, Liberia should not repeat America’s delay in fighting the drug epidemic or else it will face the penalties in allowing BRAC to train its youths to love money.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
– Advertisement -Photo: The Hospital’s Christmas Tree all lit up after the wrap up to the Be an Angel Fundraiser – File PhotoThe Fort St. John Hospital Foundation officially wrapped up its annual fundraising campaign Wednesday evening.Hospital Foundation Executive Director Ashley Bentley, proudly announced they had raised more than $194,000 for the Foundation throughout the month of November. This year the goal was set at$200,000 and the foundation expects to exceed that number in the coming days.This year the money will go towards priority medical equipment for the Hospital.To celebrate the accomplishment, the Foundation held its annual Christmas tree light-up Wednesday. However, the hospital’s tree is dying because of the invasive mountain pine beetle so 2010 may be the last year the tree will be lit up.Plans are already in place for a new tree to be planted at the site of the new hospital – located off the East Bypass Road – which will be operational by 2012.Advertisement You can still make a donation to the Foundation by visiting it in the lobby of the hospital, by calling 250-262-5299 or online at www.fsjhospitalfoundation.ca
A nine year-old Donegal schoolboy has been chosen to make his own DANCE VIDEO for hit RTE show ‘POP UP POPSTAR’.Patrick Gill is frim Buncrana and attends the renowned Elite Dance Academy in the town. Patrick A.K.A ‘Paddy Popper’ was selected along with NINE others to star in their own videos following thousands of entries into the show. The talented young dancer will make his very own dance video on RTE’s POP UP POPSTAR which is a new TV show coming this September.The dancers were choreographed by the world famous dancer AJ O’Neil.Last Tuesday ‘Paddy Popper’ travelled to Dublin with his very Suportive Mum and Dad Jeanette and Denver. Paddy filmed ALL day and absolutely loved the experience of shooting his own video.Patrick is an amazing talented dancer who specialises in ‘Popping’ hence why he got the name PADDY POPPER. He has many skills beyond his years from Hiphop to Breakdancing to Flips he has it all!He currently holds the Under 12 Popping Championship title and this October he has his hopes set on the All Ireland title.His dance teacher Clare Mc Carron and all his fellow dance friends at Elite Dance Academy are so proud of him and can’t wait to see him on TV this September!#paddypopper DONEGAL DANCE SENSATION CHOSEN BY RTE SHOW TO MAKE HIS OWN VIDEO was last modified: June 17th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:EntertainmentFeaturesnews
Juan Cuadrado 1 Juventus have announced the permanent signing of Chelsea forward Juan Cuadrado. The 28-year-old, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at the Serie A champions, has signed a contract that will keep him at Juve until June 2020. Juventus will pay 20million euros for Cuadrado, who has already made 83 appearances for his new club.The Colombia international, having also enjoyed a temporary stay at Fiorentina in 2014, initially joined Juventus in August 2015 and then returned this term. Cuadrado scored three goals in 43 appearances as Juve won the Serie A title, becoming the first club to secure six Scudettos in a row, and reached the Champions League final. A press release published on Juventus’ official website read: “Juventus announces that, following the meeting of the conditions provided by the contract, its obligation to definitively acquire the registration rights of Juan Cuadrado from Chelsea became due.“The permanent transfer fee of 20 million euros is to be paid in three annual instalments starting from the 2017/2018 financial year.“The 28-year-old forward has signed a contract that ties him to the Bianconeri until 30 June 2020.”
FIVE more Garda stations around the county are to close next year as part of cutbacks.And the entire Glenties Division is to be shut down and powers transferred to other divisions in the county.The stations which will close include Annagry, Glencolmcille, Malin, Brockagh and Churchill. Gardai are to be transferred to their nearest station in the announcement slammed as “sneaky” because it was announced on budget day.Gardai in Annagry will transfer to Bunbeg, Glencolmcille to Carrick, Malin to Carndonagh, Churchill to Letterkenny and Brockagh to Ballybofey, Shatter said.The Glenties District is to be divided up and shared by the Ballyshannon, Letterkenny and Milford districts.More than 90 other Garda stations – mostly in the west of Ireland – will also close. Speaking at the publication of the Annual Policing Plan for 2013 this evening, Mr Shatter: “As Minister I am committed to ensuring that the Garda Síochána use all of its resources in the fight against crime in the most efficient and effective way possible.“Until I assumed office the number and location of Garda stations in the State had barely changed since 1922 and the need for change and consolidation of Garda stations, based on a modern operational assessment as to how the Gardaí can best serve the community, was clearly required.“The approach to policing in the first quarter of the 21st Century could not continue to be based on the location of police stations as inherited from the British in the first quarter of the 20th Century. Whilst an appropriate spread of Garda stations will always be a key element of our policing service, account must be taken of the revolutionary developments since the foundation of the State in transport, communications and technology.“This is the objective of the reforms that are taking place. In addition I must ensure that we use decreasing financial resources to the optimum benefit of the wider community in a manner that facilitates the presence in communities of operational Gardaí on patrol, preventing and detecting crime rather than Gardaí substantially engaged in administrative duties behind desks.The Minister continued: “Nobody should be under the illusion that a single Garda sitting at a desk in a small Garda Station for three hours in the morning, no matter how committed or competent, is the best approach to tackling crime. “We must free up Gardaí so that they are available for frontline operational purposes. In this context it is important to note that none of the Garda stations being consolidated outside Dublin are currently open or manned at night and most of them are only open in the morning.“I am pleased that, despite the financial difficulties we were able to acquire 213 Garda vehicles in 2012 with €4m. In 2013, a further €5m will be made available for the purchase and fit-out of vehicles to ensure Garda mobility and the continuing modernisation of the Garda fleet.The Minister also said: “I would like to thank the Garda Commissioner for the initiatives he is taking in implementing crucial reform in the public interest in respect of the Garda Síochána. He is right in stating that the steps now being taken represent “the most fundamental restructuring of An Garda Síochána” since its foundation. The reforms being implemented will deliver significant benefits for the country as a whole and for the Garda Force”.The move was roundly condemned by the Garda Representative Association who say the move will wreck rural community policing which relies so much on local intelligence. The union which represents rank and file Gardai accused Mr Shatter of “disguising closure as consolidation” and “the withdrawal of gardaí from rural communities as rationalisation”.The GRA said the changes are being imposed without proper public consultation and will have a negative effect on the quality of the police service.It described the move as a political decision made without proper risk assessment to underpin it and said it fears the closures will mean the end of community policing for many of the garda districts affected.Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail condemned the moves.ANGER AS ALAN SHATTER CLOSES ANOTHER FIVE DONEGAL GARDA STATIONS AND AXES GLENTIES DISTRICT was last modified: December 6th, 2012 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:ANGER AS ALAN SHATTER CLOSES ANOTHER FIVE DONEGAL GARDA STATIONS AND AXES GLENTIES DIVISIONAnnagryBrockagh and Churchill.GlencolmcilleMalin
The Moors have been waiting for their offense to catch up with their defense, and appear to have turned that corner following blowout victories over San Marino (52-7) and South Pasadena (32-0). It’s hard to discount the fact, though, that the Moors have yet to play a team with a winning record, and will be facing a winless team for the third straight week. And Brown, who has a season average of 115 yards per game, has averaged 140 yards in his last two. Apparently, all systems are firing. “Everyone is getting their timing and rhythm down,’ Ruedaflores said. “That’s the most important part, regardless of who we’ve been playing.’ Village Christian (2-2) vs. Marshall (1-2) at Muir, 7 p.m. The Crusaders boast one of the best running backs in Division XIII in Chris Handy, who averages 142 yards a game and has eight touchdowns. The Eagles counter with quarterback Randall Rivers, who has thrown for 585 yards and rushed for 275. It’s a good test for Marshall, which hasn’t played since a 40-6 win over Blair on Sept. 22, which gave new coach Johnny Lopez his first victory. The Eagles had last week’s game against L.A. Baptist postponed because of the fires in Ventura County. Blair (0-4) vs. Hoover (2-2) at Glendale HS, 7 p.m. After being outscored 145-25 in their first three games, the Vikings looked more respectable in a 28-7 loss to Rosamond last week. If that improvement continues this week, they may have a good chance against the Tornadoes, who have beaten Mountain View and South Pasadena, but are coming off a 48-7 blowout loss by Burbank. Fred J. Robledo can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4485, or by e-mail at email@example.com. 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 MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 For Moors coach Gil Ruedaflores, that’s just fine, as long as they keep on winning. “Against San Marino and South Pasadena, we controlled the line of scrimmage, and when you do that, you have the ability to take over ballgames,’ Ruedaflores said. “The other thing is we’ve been injury- free. Knock on wood, because those things have hampered us over the years.’ The Moors have been waiting for quarterback Jacob Proctor and Zion Babb to find continuity, which they’ve shown the past two weeks. But during that time, running back Anthony Brown has emerged as a threat, and that’s given the Moors plenty of options to choose from. Proctor has thrown for 417 yards and six touchdowns in his last two games, and is now averaging 172 yards a game. Babb, who had six receptions for 103 yards his first two games, has 17 receptions and 288 yards in his last two outings. The optimism surrounding the Alhambra High School football team comes with a bit of caution these days. The undefeated Moors are hoping to go 5-0 for the first time since 1994 when they travel to face winless Pioneer High School (0-4) at 7 tonight.
School leaders are scrambling to find dozens of bus drivers in the face of a shortage that could mean route delays and affect transportation for thousands of students. The district, which serves the transportation needs of about 70,000 students, has to cover anywhere from 200 to 250 routes daily because of illness, vacation or a backlog in hiring. So far, interruptions to the bus schedules have been minimal, with a relatively small number of delays, but the district wants to fill positions before it becomes a bigger problem. In addition, the four companies that contract with the district for transportation services – Laidlaw Education Services, Atlantic Express, Durham and Student First/Cardinal – have been unable to fully staff the buses, and the district has had to step in to fill their vacancies, which has exacerbated the issue. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “The burden of getting LAUSD students to school falls on us, and for that reason, to get our own absences covered and that of contractor absences is becoming a challenge on a daily basis,” said David Palmer, deputy director of transportation for LAUSD. “There’s been a slight increase over the last several years, but this year, the great problem we’re experiencing is contractors are not fully staffed, and it’s straining to cover our own routes as well as the contractors’ routes.” The district, which serves 2,100 routes, is looking to fill 100 openings, which pay anywhere from $13.95 to $24.20 per hour depending on the type of bus. The district is looking at training new drivers and hiring qualified drivers to increase the pool for their transportation needs. But whenever a school district experiences a shortage and looks to hire qualified drivers from a limited pool, it ends up affecting the companies that contract with them, who are already having a hard time finding drivers. The district pays drivers a little bit more and offers benefits, so the contractors will certainly take a hit when LAUSD starts hiring, said Liz Sanchez from Laidlaw Education Services. “What’ll end up happening is if they hire some of our people and we can’t cover that work, then those same people are going to cover that work. It’s a vicious cycle,” said Sanchez, vice president-general manager of the company. “We plan for it as much as we can by pumping up training and recruiting to fill the positions of people leaving to go to LAUSD. This is a practice done for years.” For the past several years, the number of available drivers in Southern California has declined – a trend many in the business attribute to a strong economy. Historically, the part-time, entry-level job experiences a decrease in applicants wanting to enter the profession when the economy is doing well. “When the economy is good, usually this is what happens because it’s a part-time job and it’s a tough job,” Sanchez said. The district has seen drivers leave to drive buses for the city, airport shuttles and UPS, Palmer said. Qualified drivers and people interested in receiving training can call the district at (323) 342-1380. If a school bus does not arrive within 15 minutes of the regularly scheduled pickup time, LAUSD’s Palmer urges parents and students to call (800) 522-8737 to find out the status of the bus. Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!