My favourite Christmas memory

first_imgBy Leah HernandezIt seemed much more funny than strange to me that whenever I ask someone what their favourite Christmas memory is, I would be greeted with more than a mouthful of tales compared to the single short story I share when I am asked the same question. But despite my lacking the ability to go hours upon hours, entertaining those around me about my childhood memories of Christmas (or otherwise) and all its excitement, I managed very well to stroll down memory lane in my alone time and reflect on what I describe as not just my favourite memory but the most beautiful one that was just waiting to be unlocked.I was not only taken back to the pleasant and heady scent of fresh homemade bread and pepper-pot, or me, wrapped up in my blanket, shivering from the ice-cold rainy weather, but also to the warmth of a family’s love. These were just the start of memories that came rushing back from a special December 25, in my childhood years.I was around seven or eight years old during that time (I can’t remember the exact age), but I vividly remember waking up to heavy rainfall and my mother’s soft voice saying something along the lines of “it’s time to prepare for church”, followed by my father’s deep manly voice outside my room. I then recollected that my natural senses kicked in when I got up and my nose caught a smell of our traditional Guyanese breakfast – homemade bread and the tempting pepperpot. But these were nothing compared to when I began reminiscing the way my brothers and sister’s sleepy reluctant voices sounded when my mother moved to their rooms to get them up and ready for our Christmas morning church service. My siblings and I had to eventually get out of bed, take cold baths and get dressed for the service which normally started around 06:00h. And for the reason of our church being quite a long distance away, we had to travel by taxi, which made us even sleepier with the cold morning breeze.However, when it came to me recollecting our church proceedings, my memory got a little foggy (which was strange), and I couldn’t remember how my family and I spent our time after the service had ended.Nevertheless, my memory got back on track, as I recalled being at home later in the day with my family. But at this juncture, everyone was busy except for me, simply because I’m the “baby” of the bunch, and all I was doing was looking on as the Christmas lunch preparations took all the attention away.Somewhere along my deep reminiscing, I became more aware that I was gifted toys, but needless to say, it was never a big interest of mine to indulge in playtime, but at the same time, I recalled my siblings (because of our huge age gap) were busy helping our mother around the kitchen, so there was no possibility of getting a play partner either. I soon recalled that after all the “in-kitchen” activities were over, each of us took our place at the table as a small but complete family. We then marked the beginning of our own little feast, by saying grace (or blessing our food as we would say), a responsibility my father took that time.But though I don’t vividly remember how we ended the day exactly, I know for a fact that all six of my family members (including me) were there together, in the same room enjoying each other’s presence.Christmas, as we all know, celebrates the birth of Jesus, but at the same time, it allows us to experience the second best thing about the season, which is being with your family, along with sharing and showing love.Acknowledging this fact, this memory is my favourite one to replay in my mind, simply because that vivid recollection of my siblings and parents genuinely bringing the true meaning of that word to life proved that I unknowingly experienced something others are unable to enjoy.This realisation ignited a flame of fulfilment, overwhelming joy, comfort and most importantly, peace, since over the years this has all changed for my family.I no longer spend my Christmas with the family I remembered, owing to the reality that half of those members now have families of their own who they spend Christmas with purposefully. And though I’m still the “baby” and the only one who doesn’t have a family yet, I cling closer to my parents on that day each year.And as I had reminisced, I desire to go back in time and relive those moments and refresh the memories that I have lost along the way growing up.last_img read more

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Olympic runner Caster Semenya loses fight over testosterone rules

first_imgPhivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption LeBron James stretches lead in NBA All-Star Game fan voting Duterte says he will appoint Gamboa as next PNP chief The Witcher series prompts over 500,000 reprints of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books The two-time Olympic champion in the 800 meters will have to lower her testosterone levels by such means as birth control pills or prostate cancer drugs if she wants to defend her world title in September in Doha, Qatar. Semenya is expected to race in the 800 on Friday at a track meet in Doha in what will be the last world-class event before the new rules apply.Testosterone strengthens muscle tone and bone mass. Because of that, it is against the rules for athletes to use testosterone supplements. Some women have what is known as hyperandrogenism, meaning they have natural levels that are unusually high.The IAAF rules require women to reduce their levels below 5 nanomoles per liter of blood. According to the IAAF, most females, including elite athletes, have levels of testosterone circulating naturally in their bodies of 0.12 to 1.79 nanomoles per liter, while men have levels that can be dozens or even hundreds of times higher — typically 7.7 to 29.4.Semenya’s level is considered private medical information and has not been disclosed.The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee decried the ruling, saying, “We maintain that the rules are ill-thought and will be a source of distress for the targeted female athletes.”ADVERTISEMENT Maria Sharapova withdraws from Italian Open with lingering shoulder injury Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Semenya was legally recognized at birth as female, but her speed and muscular body have led others to cast doubt on the integrity of her track achievements throughout her career. As a teenager in 2009, she won her first world title in Berlin. Hours before the race, the IAAF asked her to undergo a gender verification test.She is not the only female athlete with high natural levels of testosterone but has become an unwilling face of the issue. Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has been publicly identified as having high testosterone. Two weeks ago, Olympic silver medalist and Semenya rival Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi confirmed she has hyperandrogenism too.Referring to the rule, Niyonsaba said: “For me, it’s about discrimination. It doesn’t make sense. I didn’t choose to be born like this. What am I? I’m created by God.”At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Semenya and Chand competed, and other athletes implied that other runners, including medalists in the 800 meters, also had elevated levels.“I think that we need separate events for them and for us,” Nataliia Lupu of Ukraine said after running against Semenya. “You can see that it’s easy for them.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FILE – In this Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 file photo Britain’s Lynsey Sharp, United States’ Charlene Lipsey, South Africa’s Caster Semenya and Switzerland’s Selina Buechel race for the line in a Women’s 800m semifinal during the World Athletics Championships in London. Caster Semenya will find out Wednesday, May 1, 2019 if she has won her appeal against IAAF rules to curb female runners’ high natural levels of testosterone. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)GENEVA — The sports world’s highest court ruled Wednesday that Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya and other female runners like her with unusually high testosterone must take medication to reduce their levels of the male sex hormone if they want to compete in certain events — a landmark decision with far-reaching ramifications for other women’s sports.In a 2-1 ruling, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld proposed rules issued by track’s governing body, the IAAF, saying that they are discriminatory but that “such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means” of “preserving the integrity of female athletics.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Eduard Folayang gets new opponent for ONE Manila cardcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pagadian on tighter security for 100,000 expected at Sto. Niño feast “This decision marks a massive turning point as it now redefines what a female athlete in particular is,” said Natalie du Toit, head of the organization’s athletes commission, adding: “Knowing Caster and the hard work she has put into her sport, we support all her endeavors, and we are all behind her.”The IAAF went into the case arguing that female runners with high testosterone have an unfair advantage in events from 400 meters to the mile. However, the court suggested that the IAAF apply the rules only up to the 800 because the evidence was not clear that women with hyperandrogenism have an edge in the 1,500 meters and above.Under the rule, female athletes whose medical profiles previously showed high testosterone will be subject to blood tests to prove they have complied.An appeal to Switzerland’s Supreme Court is possible. But judges rarely overturn decisions of the world sports court.Ross Tucker, a sports science consultant who testified on Semenya’s behalf and boasts of a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, said the scientific evidence is insufficient to justify the rules. He said that as a result of the court decision, other sports will essentially copy the IAAF’s regulations.“For them, every fear and concern they had that they will be in the spotlight for introducing similar rules will be gone,” he said. “Other sports will be super happy because the pressure’s off to develop their own regulations.”He said the ruling moves the world of sports closer to developing its own definition of gender, based on hormone levels.“‘Sporting sex’ has been introduced,” he said. “That is where the decision does have far-reaching effects.”John Brewer, a professor of applied sports science at the Buckinghamshire New University in Britain who supports the IAAF rule, said such regulations could end up being adopted not just by individual sports but by team sports such as rugby, soccer and field hockey.Hormone-blocking drugs can increase the risk of blood clots, thinning bones, fractures and heart problems. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard SEA Games 2019: PH’s Kristina Knott zooms to 200m dash gold in record-setting run PLAY LIST 01:08SEA Games 2019: PH’s Kristina Knott zooms to 200m dash gold in record-setting run01:09SEA Games: PH’s Kristina Knott zooms to 200m dash gold in record-setting run00:50Trending Articles02:56NCRPO 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 award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? The IAAF argued that high, naturally occurring levels of testosterone in athletes like Semenya with “intersex” characteristics that don’t conform to standard definitions of male and female give them an unfair competitive advantage, and it decreed a maximum level for females.The court decision could open the way for similar rules in other women’s sports where size, speed and power make a difference, such as weightlifting, boxing, swimming, rugby, field hockey and soccer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsSemenya — a 28-year-old South African whose sculpted biceps and super-fast, blow-away-the-competition times have led others to question her accomplishments — declared she will not be deterred.“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically,” Semenya said in a statement. “For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.” LATEST STORIES MOST READlast_img read more

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Winning again

first_imgNo need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Magnolia coach Chito Victolero felt that a week’s rest did wonders for his Hotshots.Which explains why he was so fixated with the idea of going into another long break—and not caring about momentum—even after hammering out a 118-103 victory over Columbian Sunday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.ADVERTISEMENT 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacuees “He was just at around 60 percent the last game,” Victolero said of his import, who finished with a team-best 28 points. Getting Travis even more rest before that three-game grind will obviously be better for the Hotshots.“With Jio, we needed that energy of his. He was able to settle down considering the (trade) issues and everything,” he added of his hard-nosed guard, who chipped in 19 points.Ian Sangalang came off the bench and tossed in 24 points with two more locals finishing in double digits.Columbian, meanwhile, got 28 points from rookie CJ Perez and 26 from import Khapri Alston. Skipper Rashawn McCarthy added 18 while Juami Tiongson 13 more.“This game was really a must-win for us, especially coming from a three-game losing streak,” said Victolero. “We really needed to get back on track,” he added.ADVERTISEMENT “I told my players that this should mark the start of our playoffs,” Victolero said, shortly after his charges snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-4 that put them in the middle of the 12-team pack.The Dyip dropped to 4-5.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Now, the defending champions have a 10-day respite to prepare for a hard grind againstPhoenix, and pace-setters TNT and NLEX to end their elimination round campaign where they, without a doubt, will be shooting to finish in the top four.Victolero doesn’t care about losing momentum anymore, because the days in between the tough loss to Barangay Ginebra on Oct. 20 and Sunday afforded Romeo Travis ample recovery time for his ankle injury, and Jio Jalalon to shake off anxiety from trade rumors. Betten, Duke reign in Subic ‘Gago’center_img Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown LATEST STORIES ‘People evacuated on their own’ Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee 2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bust Three more victories for the Hotshots could give them a shot at gaining a twice-to-beat advantage in the first round of the playoffs.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

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Aiding and abetting criminals

first_imgThere is a worrying development which is being reported in the media. If found to be true, then possibly it could reveal a sinister plot and betrayal of public trust of an indescribable magnitude. The issue has to do with allegations surrounding a senior Policeman who reportedly may have aided and protected some criminals.The matter came to light only following clandestine disclosures reportedly made by some junior ranks. It unfolded following events a few weeks ago, when three bandits were killed during a Police operation in the Black Bush Polder area, Corentyne. That shootout came after an extended period of lamentation by residents in Berbice over the spate of crime unleashed upon them by armed bandits.During that time, many were robbed and beaten, with a few being killed. Fear permeated across the region, almost crippling mindsets as Berbicians were left helpless and at the mercy of the marauding criminals. The media were inundated with reports as residents pleaded for an effective response from the authorities. The effect of the crimes there also resonated in the minds of Guyanese throughout the country as worry heightened.The cries of Berbicians were eventually heard, apparently due to public pressure. A SWAT team was dispatched to help curb the menace. Within a short span, the Police operation reaped success.However, many have questioned, and are still questioning, the lengthy period it took for that effective response to be authorised.The success of the Police team evoked immediate joy from residents, and there has been noticeable relief since. That joy, which was felt beyond Berbice, is gradually being replaced by worry, following the allegations noted. According to information received, a cellphone from one of the dead bandits reportedly had the senior officer’s number stored, and calls may have been made to him.Additionally, a few junior ranks have alleged that the bandits were previously and repeatedly tipped off, reportedly by the said officer, in exchange for monetary benefits. The “whistle-blowing” ranks reportedly provided details on how the alleged scheme worked, and the negative impact such actions may have had on the related operations in Berbice.This development has naturally precipitated common and intriguing conversations countrywide. High on the agenda is the call for an immediate and thorough investigation into the allegations. Worrying is the seeming silence of the authorities thus far.This administration is known for establishing Commissions of Inquiry (CoI), with a plethora having been established since its tenure began in May 2015. Only this week, the Government launched a probe into the purported dismissal of some Public Servants by the subject Minister. That is important, given the dire need to know why the seemingly sudden dismissals in bloc; and more so, reportedly by a Minister.Similarly, there is an urgent need to know if the security of citizens had deliberately been compromised by a senior officer.The development has negatively impacted confidence in the Police. Even before the reported revelations, the general public’s confidence in law enforcement had been low, despite efforts by the Force to change that thinking. Many victims related harrowing stories of either a lack of, or delayed, response to a crime by some ranks in parts of the country. Some have alluded to excuses on the part of the Police for not responding in a timely manner. That may have been the reality in Berbice, which led to pressure and the eventual deployment of the SWAT team.That said, when citizens are attacked by bandits, the Police are their only hope to safeguard life primarily. Many have, in the past, alleged collusion between some ranks and some bandits. This probably explains why some residents in general are sometimes reluctant to provide information. Maybe, and possibly coincidently, the delayed response, excuses, and refusal to file a report may now have a context.The allegations in question are frightening, to say the least; for whatever trust that remains can be swiftly eroded. Confidence, once lost, is extremely difficult to be regained, whether it’s in a person or an organisation. While a profound sense of betrayal can creep into the mindsets of many, some are not surprised, given their suspicion over time.Be that as it may, the security of citizens must not be allowed to be compromised. As it is, citizens have to grapple with both the fear of crime being perpetrated on them and a seeming lack of assurance of an effective and timely response. That will have a telling effect on both the people and the country.The reality is that crime seemed unabated, prompting the USA to issue an advisory, warning its citizens travelling here. That may have summed up the situation, adding pressure for swift and decisive action in investigating the allegations, letting the chips fall where they may.Too much is at stake. Nothing but an independent CoI should be acceptable. The mere thought that a senior cop may have allegedly aided and abetted armed and dangerous criminals is frightening. The longer the issue remains unresolved, the more fear will exacerbate, and confidence in law enforcement could gradually evaporate. The ensuing consequence will be unimaginable.last_img read more

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Homeboyz’s Murunga eyes Christies Main Cup

first_img0Shares0000Homeboyz RFC head coach Paul Murunga during a past leg of the National Sevens Series.NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – Despite only needing a semi-final spot at the season ending Christie Sevens in Nairobi this weekend, Homeboyz RFC head coach Paul Murunga has underlined his desire to clinch the Main Cup title and finish the season in style.Homeboyz lead the National Series standings with 100 points, eight ahead of second placed Mwamba who beat them to last weekend’s Dala Sevens in Kisumu and have clinched three of the five legs played so far in the circuit. “My plan was to win all the Cups this season and I am a bit disappointed that we lost the last two. Nevertheless, I want us to finish the season in style by winning at Christies. Yes, we need to just get to the semis to clinch the overall title, but that will not be enough for me,” Murunga, a former National team assistant coach said.The Deejays have been emphatic this season, just as they were in 2016 when they won their inaugural series title and as it seems, they are headed to a second crown this weekend.Homeboyz RFC will face Nakuru, Menengai Oilers and and a combined Blue Bulls and TUKS side from South Africa.Only way they can be stopped is if they don’t make it past the quarters and Mwamba go all the way and clinch the Main Cup at the RFUEA ground.Homeboyz headline Pool B where they will clash with invitational side Blue Bulls and TUK Combined, last season’s surprise package Menengai Oilers and fourth placed Nakuru RFC.“It is not an easy pool at all and we need to be very careful going about it. The invited team from South Africa bears a lot of experience and the other two teams are not easy as well,” a cautious Murunga noted.He will be without top try scorer Mark Wandetto who picked up an injury at the Dala Sevens as well as Kenyan international Augustine Lugonzo who has not been passed fit for the Christies call.Homeboyz players celebrating a try in a previous match. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluBut, skipper Leonard Mugaisi who missed the Dala final with injury has been passed fit and will be in line to lead the side to their Canaan.Christies defending champions Kabras Sugar will meanwhile look to finish the season on a high after struggling for most of it but will be without inspirational Ugandan international Philip Wokarach and Kenya Sevens big man Daniel Sikuta.Kabras are fifth in the standings and their best performance this season was at the Sepetuka Sevens in Eldoret where they picked 13 points.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Fort St. John nearly quadruples April snowfall norm

first_imgThat’s also far past the April norm for snowfall of 10.6 centimetres in one go, and brings the unofficial monthly total to 42.3 centimetres, nearly quadruple that average.We’re missing some data from Environment Canada, but it also looks like we’ve more than doubled the April norm of 18.8 millimetres for precipitation as well, with an unofficial total of 40.7 millimetres.- Advertisement –last_img

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Pussycat Doll wins for the sixth time

first_imgPussycat Doll won for the third time in four starts, beating Nossa Cancao by fourlengths Sunday in the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita in Arcadia. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Pussycat Doll ran seven furlongs in 1:22.32 and paid $4.20, $3.20 and $3. Nossa Cancao returned $22.20 and $11.20, and Secret Scheme paid $7.40. Murphy, 23, died after being removed from life support at Sydney’s Nepean Hospital. His mother and sister were at his bedside after having flown in from Ireland. Hospital officials said Murphy never regained consciousness after crashing to the turf when his mount, Ajay’s Luck, clipped the heels of another horse nearing the finish of a race. Aqueduct: Carminooch, owned in part by Tony Sirico, who plays Paulie Walnuts on “The Sopranos,” won the $65,950 Proud Appeal Stakes at Aqueduct in New York. Mike Luzzi was aboard the 5-year-old, who finished a head in front of Successful Affair on the 1 -mile race in 2:03.87 on the fast track. Carminooch, the 9-5 favorite trained by Seth Benzel, paid $5.70, $3 and $2.20 for his sixth career win in 17 starts. Successful Affair returned $2.90 and $2.10. Tall Story paid $2.20 for show. The win was Pussycat Doll’s sixth in 11 lifetime starts. The winning purse of $150,000 boosted her earnings to $657,831. Irish jockey dies: Irish jockey Damien Murphy died from injuries suffered in a fall during a race at a New South Wales, Australia, state track, his family said. center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Duncan Redfearn named new Dawson Creek CAO

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The City of Dawson Creek has announced that it has a new Chief Administrative Officer.Duncan Redfearn will become the City’s new CAO on January 1st, 2017. Redfearn has been with the City since February 2008, and most recently served as the City’s Director of Community Services. Dawson Creek City Council says it was happy to hire from within for the position, and has confidence that Redfearn and the rest of the leadership team at City Hall will continue to provide excellent service.“We are excited with this transition in our organization as we welcome our new CAO, Duncan Redfearn and wish the very best to our retiring CAO, Jim Chute,” said Mayor Dale Bumstead.- Advertisement -Chute, who has served as CAO for the past fifteen years, announced his intention to retire last June. He will be remaining with the City as a Senior Advisor until June 30th, 2018 to help with the transfer of the City’s historical knowledge.“It has been an honour and privilege to serve Mayor and Council and the citizens of Dawson Creek for the past 37 years” said Chute, “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do such energizing and rewarding work.”last_img read more

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A time out

first_imgBeverly Hills Misbehavin’ Re “Trade me! (Or maybe not)” (May 31): A common discipline for misbehaving children is to put them in “time out” for a while. It’s time for Jerry Buss to give Kobe the consequence he deserves: Bench him for a season. No raise. No trade. And don’t come out of your room until you have learned how to behave. Of course, that would require Jerry himself to behave like an adult. – John Andersen Re “Trade me! (Or maybe not)” (May 31): What the Lakers and Kobe really need right now is a time out. If I were Kobe I’d go to Dallas for one season and hook up with Avery Johnson. The Mavs really don’t need a whole lot of help so he’ll probably sit on the bench most of the season, which will minimize his chances of getting injured, and that will make the Lakers staff and fans sleep better. The bad news is that Kobe will probably have to take a pay cut, but the good news is that he and Johnson will definitely get championship rings, and the time away from the Lakers will give Kobe, the fans and the Laker staff a chance to think about what went wrong and whether it can be resolved. – Anthony Jackson Newbury Park Let Kobe go Re “Trade me! (Or maybe not)” (May 31): Hey, Kobe, want to help the Lakers with their short-term championship rebuilding plan? Just leave so they can become a team and not your one-man show. Please don’t go to Phoenix. The Suns have real team chemistry and we wouldn’t want you to ruin it. – Mike Miles Granada Hills Using fear Re “Bush expands on al-Qaida terror threat against U.S.” (May 24): President Bush uses fear to strike out again regarding his own deadly failure for letting Osama bin Laden escape when he was cornered in Tora Bora. Bush did this by pulling troops out of Afghanistan in anticipation of invading Iraq. Our troops are being killed over there in Iraq because Bush maintains they can’t protect us over here in the United States. After not being concerned about Osama bin Laden, Bush finally remembers him when things are really going bad in Iraq and he needs a big scare. What is really scary about this war is Bush’s not realizing or admitting that only 7 percent of the fighters in Iraq are al-Qaida, and there is a civil war going on, causing the majority of U.S. and Iraqi deaths in that country. – Jerold Drucker Tarzana Know the truth Re “Stick to peanuts” (Your Opinions, May 28): Former President Jimmy Carter was the most truthful occupant of the White House, and he still tells the truth. As for the marionette who currently occupies the White House, he and his puppeteers don’t know what the truth is. – Chuck Crawford Newhall Mixing the terms Re “At Last: hope for NE Valley” (May 24): Politicos have a talent for mixing the terms “vision statement,””master plan,””blighted” and “Community Redevelopment Agency” so they look and sound good. But it’s the all-too-familiar smell we need to take note of because where there is stink, there is usually eminent domain. Be careful what you vote for; you just might get it. – Jim Papke La Crescenta ZIP codes of shame? Re “225 homeless women, kids to go to center” (May 24): This is another example of the hypocrisy that we live in. People often ask why women and children live in or near the Skid Row area. It’s because it’s centrally located for public transportation and offers lower-cost, affordable housing. We shouldn’t penalize families for being poor. Nor should we label communities “ZIP codes of shame.” Relocating these families from the Skid Row community to shelters in remote areas will not salvage their lives. Instead, the Los Angeles city and county governments should emphasize investment in a viable infrastructure with accessible services in Skid Row and throughout Los Angeles County. Previous experience has shown that long-term strategies together with community-based solutions that engage and connect families to needed resources can prevent families from falling through the cracks. – Julio Marcial Woodland Hills ZIP codes Re “Prop. 103 finally near the end of a long road” (May 24): Now they’re implementing Proposition 103, forcing insurance companies to level auto premiums across ZIP codes – an idiotic move, which will likely drive more insurance companies out of California. Los Angeles Police Department statistics show that far more auto thefts and collisions occur in certain parts of town than in others. If you choose to live in a high-risk ZIP code, why shouldn’t you pay more? If you live in an area where morals prevent fake-injury lawsuits and theft is rare, why shouldn’t you pay less? Next, they’ll force life-insurance rates to be even between a 400-pound smoker and a low-risk person. – Charles L. Murray Moorpark Doing the work Here’s a solution to combat the war against illegal immigration, high gas prices and terrorism. During World War II, our nation faced labor and gasoline shortages that made it difficult to grow, harvest and transport fresh produce to the markets. More importantly, farm produce was being sent overseas to feed our troops. As a result, government asked our citizens to plant “victory gardens” and grow their own vegetables. Twenty million patriotic American families dug in and planted home gardens that ensured victory overseas and protected our homeland from invasion. Let’s do the work that Americans purportedly won’t do and start digging again. Robert L. Rosebrock Brentwood The worst Re “Yay for Carter” (Your Opinions, May 30): I remember when Jimmy Carter was president, we had double-digit inflation and interest rates, long lines at the gasoline pumps because of his price controls on crude oil, and Americans were being held as hostages in Iran. His attempt to rescue the hostages in 1980 was a miserable failure. Our homeland has not been attacked since Sept. 11, 2001. The stock market is at an all-time high. Unemployment is low. Interest rates are low. Federal income taxes have been lowered to a point at which 45 million don’t pay any. A coalition of countries is fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and we – with some help from 40 other countries – are fighting a War Against Terror mainly in Iraq. – Bill Zelenka Granada Hills Carter’s actions Re “Jimmy takes the prize” (Your Opinions, May 29): Bob Budworth describes the shah of Iran as our good friend and ally. In fact, the shah was a “Saddamesque” tyrant who outlawed rival political factions and deployed one of the world’s most feared secret-police agencies – resulting in human-rights violations and widespread civil discontent. Budworth accuses Carter of being AWOL during the hostage crisis. In fact, Jimmy Carter took immediate action, freezing billions of dollars of Iranian assets, initiating diplomatic negotiations and approving an ill-fated military extraction mission. After the military failure, Iran dispersed the hostages throughout the country, making rescue via military action impossible. Bob, would you have preferred for Jimmy Carter to take us into a “Bushesque” war for our good friend the shah? – Kevin Teller Woodland Hills160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Grandfather describes his day of tragedy and joy

first_imgWith a passel of grandchildren, Stobin had secured the pool with a 5-foot-high fence and a locked gate. But the toddlers must have been determined to go swimming, relatives said, so they pushed a kitchen play set against the fence and shimmied over. An uncle, Daniel Kilcoyne, found Damien floating in the pool. Kilcoyne, who had been tending to his 4-month-old twin daughters in the house, came outside to check on his own sons, ages 1 and 3. “I saw Autumn through the door. Then I went outside to check. When I walked around to the pool, I saw Damien floating in the pool,” Kilcoyne said. “I ran and jumped over the fence and started CPR and calling for help.” Kilcoyne said his two sons were standing beside the pool and were wearing swimming vests, which they apparently had put on themselves. Damien’s mother, Jessica Mullins, who had been napping inside, came running out and took over resuscitation efforts while Kilcoyne called 911. Paramedics responded, but were unable to revive Damien, who would have turned 3 next month. LANCASTER – Within the span of one day, Dana Stobin’s family experienced new life and devastating loss. Stobin’s 12th grandchild was born Saturday morning, just hours before another grandson, 2-year-old Damien Mullins, drowned in Stobin’s backyard pool. “Talk about an emotional roller coaster. I was all the way on top – Hey, I had my 12th grandchild – and then it all comes crashing down,” Stobin, 53, said in an interview Monday. Damien – along with his twin sister, Autumn, and two young cousins – had been playing unattended late Saturday afternoon in the backyard of Stobin’s house, located on a tree-lined cul-de-sac in the 1800 block of St. James Court. At the time of the tragedy, Stobin was at a car show and his wife was at Antelope Valley Hospital, where a daughter had given birth to an 8-pound boy named Austin. Because of the lack of supervision at the house, Kilcoyne said, his children have been taken into protective custody, pending an investigation by county social workers. Young Autumn remains with her family, apparently trying to understand what happened to her twin. “She asks, `Where’s Damien?”‘ Stobin said. “I like (his mother’s) answer: `Your brother had a bad owie in the pool. The doctors couldn’t fix it, and he’s not here anymore.”‘ karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 476-4586160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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