Fedrick Dacres continued his fine form at last Saturday’s Last Chance Throws meet inside the National Stadium. With only throwers in the audience, Dacres launched his discus 66.90m. He was one of four men to pass the 60m mark.Chad Wright, who is chasing the World Championship qualifying mark of 65m, took the lead with a first round effort of 60.04m. Dacres got going in round two, with 62.39, and did his best in the next round. For good measure, he got a 65.52m throw on the fourth round.Noting afterwards that his throws have come in open fields, Dacres said: “It shows I’m in good shape because I’m not really a stadium person, not this Stadium, but I can give you constant 65s – over 65 – now so it shows I’m in good shape and I guess I’m strong.”Traves Smikle moved past Wright into second place with a fourth-round toss of 63.27m. Wright’s best was 60.68m.Basil Bingham was fourth at 60.01m.HUNT THE MARKWright said he is heading to Europe. Though he was third at the JAAA National Senior Athletics Championships, he needs to match or surpass 65m before July 23 to join Dacres and Smikle on the Jamaican team to the upcoming World Championships. “I got into a couple meets there, so I’m going to hunt the mark,” he resolved.The determined Wright promised: “I have to find it, wherever it might be, I have to find it.”Meet director Michael Vassell explains what the new meet was staged to give athletes a chance to attain the World qualifying standard. “It’s really the fact that there are so many people who are close”, he explained, “and we need to provide as many opportunities as possible and, I mean, it’s really a sign that throwing itself is growing.”He had high praise for Dacres, who was in the 2015 World Championship final. “Dacres never had to throw this evening, but he came to support,” he continued, “and that is what I think is going to drive throws, that our local heroes will always be here.”- HL
Schedule for Jamaicans Sprint hurdler Danielle Williams is among three Jamaicans who will compete in today’s fifth stage of the Diamond League series in Stockholm. The other Jamaicans down to compete are Jura Levy (200m) and Fedrick Dacres (discus). The consistent Williams, the 2015 100m hurdles champion, will be hoping for more success today following her win in the event three days ago in Oslo in a non-Diamond League event. Now with points at stake, Williams who sits in fourth position with 11 points, will be seeking another win. Today’s line up includes American Brianna McNeil, who also has 11 points. Dacres who started brilliantly in Rome when scoring a big win in the men’s discus, was disappointing in his last outing in Oslo where he placed eighth. He will be hoping for improvement today. He now lies in fourth place on nine points. Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius, who won in Oslo, leads with 15 points. – R.G. – 8:32 a.m.: Women’s 200m – Jura Levy – 9:35 a.m.: Men’s discus – Fredrick Dacres – 10:15 a.m.: Women’s 100mh – Danielle Williams.
Olympic 110m hurdle bronze medallist Hansle Parchment said he has been working very hard in training in order to improve on his season’s best time 13.22 seconds. Parchment, who is the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and 2015 IAAF World Championship silver medallist, finished second to his countryman Ronald Levy at the JAA National Senior Athletics Championships on June 23. The 28-year-old Parchment also ended runner-up to Levy at the Paris leg of the IAAF Diamond League a week later. However, despite his recent defeats, Parchment said he is just focusing on improving his technique and lowering his time this season. “I am looking forward to getting below 13.10 seconds this season,” said Parchment. Not worried “I am not worried at all about the defeats because I know that I have work to do and I always have work to do. It is hurdling and it is something that is unpredictable at times,” he said. “But, I am working everyday in trying to improve on my technique and improve my start. I believe that I will progress and I will move forward in terms of lowering my times and being on top of the podium,” Parchment said. Parchment, who has a personal best time of 12.94 seconds, added that his season has been going well so far, and he is hoping to compete in a few more Diamond League races before the season ends. “It is a pretty good season so far because I am injury free and I have to really thank God for that. I am just trying to maintain perfect health of the legs, so that I can push each time I go out there. That is how I can improve on my time and get on top of the podium,” Parchment stated.
Anthony Nunes remained on course yesterday to snap Wayne DaCosta’s 12-year reign at Caymanas Park, responding to his rival’s double with a three-timer, extending his stakes lead to $1.56 million over the 17-time champion trainer. Starting the day with a $924,550 lead, Nunes, hunting his first trainers’ title, matched DaCosta’s two winners, STORM and STRANGER DANGER, with a stinging three-timer – SUPREME SOUL, FOOT SOLDIER and KJ EXPRESS – who got a bullet start to go gate-to-wire in the closing 11th event. Nunes grabbed the upper hand last Saturday when his BIGDADDYKOOL earned $2.2 million for second in the Diamond Mile behind WILL IN CHARGE, following the late scratch of the pre-race favourite, DaCosta’s SHE’S A MANEATER, who bolted prior to the start of the $13.9 million event. Nunes’ showed off his prowess with what seems a never-ending stream of local-bred two-year-olds as his SUPREME SOUL made short work of DaCosta’s EL GRINGO in the Andrew HB Aguilar Memorial at a mile for maidens, clocking 1:41.2 minutes, an ominous sign with the $4 million Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes expected to be the championship decider. Meanwhile, DaCosta’s imported STRANGER DANGER was impressive in turning back Nunes’ local-bred, UNIVERSAL BOSS, clocking 1:12.1 minutes for six furlongs in a six-and-a-half length romp to land the Dye Job Sprint. Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Wednesday then next Saturday when SHE’S A MANEATER could line up in a five and a half furlong sprint ahead of the Miracle Man at nine furlongs and 25 yards on Boxing Day.
…working in suicides?There was a statement just made by a local PAHO rep that the suicide rate that put us on top of the world rankings back in 2012, has now plunged considerably. From 44.2 per 100,000 to 20.6. Now if this last figure is accurate, that’d be some real good news – but your Eyewitness has his doubts. He says the 20.6 per 100,000 figure is from a Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) review report – but the WHO site says it’s actually 29.0.Now don’t get your Eyewitness wrong…even if it’s the latter figure, the decrease is significant. But he has a problem with ALL figures emanating from certain demographics in Guyana – specifically from the rural grassroots. In the last few years or so – especially after we hit Al Jazeera and BBC with our suicide rankings – suicide has become a cause celebre. Which, in case it slipped you, is “a controversial issue that attracts a great deal of public attention.”After endless handwringing by the present government, which studiously refused to sustain the previous PPP government’s anti-suicide “Gatekeepers” Programme”, every aspiring beauty queen suddenly started declaring their life mission is to “end the scourge” of suicide. Every group looking for the spigot of public funding to be turned on in their office, started “raising consciousness” about suicide. Some of the connected ones – connected to the political directorate of the day, that is – did garner significant funding. Your Eyewitness called them “Suicide Pimps”…and boy have they been hocking their wares!!Workshops were held…training sessions were held…vigils were held…marches were held and thousands of column-inches were written about the former. But from where your Eyewitness sits, he couldn’t see any of these folks addressing the major at-risk demographic that all the figures has identified: the rural, male Hindu. Whether the rate was 44 or 29 per 100,000 the one constant was that male suicide victims outnumbered females by at least 3 to 1 – and Hindus were about three quarters of the overall victims. But your Eyewitness ain’t seen none of the Suicide Pimps checking them out.So call your Eyewitness a sceptic – but he’d like to see the numbers. In absolute numbers suicide in Guyana for the longest while has hovered around 225 and that works out to 30 per 100,000 annuallyand it’s been the same types of folks killing themselves.. Ain’t nothing’s changed.So who’s kidding whom? Nobody’s really gives a damn about suicide in the cane cutting crowd. It’s like the “war against drugs” in the states.Only when the stuff left the ghetto and hit the suburbs, did the govt take notice.…on garbageThis City Council and its ruling Gang of Four will never learn, will it? But why should they, when those in charge have made them sacred cows. There was a big hue and cry about the Parking Meters that were going to skin the burghers of – and visitors to – GT dry. But did the Minister of Local Government head the contract off at the pass when he had the authority to deny permission via proposing appropriate by-laws? No siree Bob!!Did the AG and Finance Ministry do anything after they issued their scathing reports on the (pun intended) highway robbery? Not in this lifetime! Well after all the sturm and drang of the mioddle class enjoying the sunshine outside City Hall, a “review” was ordered. This was done – but like the original secret contract, has been under wraps. Doesn’t look promising that anything’s changed, has it?And right after, comes the sole sourcing of new garbage collectors after City Hall fires the original colectors who they owe $300M!!The more things change……on contractorsReg 10 contractors are bitching about being squeezed out from contracts in their region. Maybe they should have a word with their comrades in Region 6.They were pretty miffed when their “Indian Monument” was contracted to a Reg 10 contractor!
Because alcohol is encouraged by our culture, we get the idea that it isn’t dangerous. However, alcohol is the most potent and most toxic of the legal psychoactive drugs – Beverly A Potter and Sebastian OrfaliThe odds of alcohol being present in a big way at a teen party are pretty much as high as the odds of the WICB making another brainless selection decision. Very high. It’s no secret that the young people of our country are already competent connoisseurs of alcohol despite their ‘tender’ years. On average, three out of every five adolescents might be able to rattle off the finer points about having Tequila versus a shot of Grey Goose – a talent, I am told, that comes only with experience.And this is not just the case in Guyana; we’re following a worldwide trend, which makes the situation much more alarming: And it’s driven by huge amounts of advertising that target the youthful demographic to “normalise” drinking. Studies show that youths who drink before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence and two and a half times more likely to have “rum till I die” as their mantra, than those who wait until the age of 21.Though it’s now clear that alcohol wreaks havoc on our innards (not to mention our minds) and kills us slowly, everybody drinks! It’s cool. And if slow, voluntary death isn’t motivation enough to ease off the alcohol, there’s always the comforting thought that we’ll get so drunk that we’ll attempt to fly, profess undying love for Kanye West or do something just as dim-witted that we won’t have done if we were in our right minds.Why then, do they do it? Many people drink to relieve stress, remove inhibitions, to just ‘fit in’ or because they claim to enjoy the taste. Whatever the reason for teens drinking, these reasons may be highly correlated to the fact that for most teen drinkers, their parents drink, or are OK with drinking. The child then grows up believing that this is the acceptable thing to do. In some cases, the parents themselves encourage their child to drink.One could look at the implications of alcohol consumption from both social and health standpoints.Socially, especially in Guyana, many people drink until they’re drunk. In essence, it is the drunkenness that’s offensive since, if the person wasn’t drunk it would have been the same as dealing with a person drinking water. It’s when the person is in that drunken state that they cannot fully control their mental faculties, emotions and actions. Domestic violence and suicide are both highly correlated with alcohol abuse.It appears then, drunkenness is the problem; not the drinking. In societies such as in Italy, where despite the fact that the children are exposed to drinking at a young age, they have very low instances of drunkenness. This is because their society frowns upon DRUNKENESS. They are socialised to drink if they want, but in MODERATION.Ironically, it is in the countries that strongly castigate drinking as a sin that though they have a fraction of their population avoiding alcohol like the plague, there are also those individuals who drink (and since they’re already frowned upon for drinking), they feel that they might as well go the whole hog and get totally “wasted”.Where do we stand, Guyana? Will we accept drinking in moderation where we avoid the nasty aspect of alcohol abuse – drunkenness? Or will we continue to forbid drinking totally and produce a segregated society with veritable saints and devilish alcoholics?For me, after reviewing the damage excessive alcohol does to our internal organs, I’ve decided not to take the plunge. While I have no aspirations to sainthood, I rather want to keep my liver and sanity into adulthood.
“There’re amazing experiences associated with popping open a bottle with friends and family.” – Michelle HowardMichelle and Keon Howard at pop-up tasting with local makeup artist Renee ChesterMichelle and Keon Howard, the owners of new startup Winedays – a wine importer, distributor, wholesaler, and online retailer intent on broadening Guyanese appreciation of wine with their mobile wine bar “Vinny”, pop-up tastings and diverse offerings – first bonded over wine.Michelle, a wine aficionado raised in Toronto but of Guyanese parentage, and Keon, who migrated in his 20s from Guyana with more familiar tastes, had their first dates in wineries in Niagara Peninsula.“It was a cheap date,” Michelle recalled with a hint of a smile in her voice. “Wineries on the Niagara Peninsula and Long Island would offer wine tastings on the weekends, four to five pours, 3.5(ounce) pours for $5 (US/CND).”One wedding – where they gave away as favours three types of wines they made, bottled and labelled themselves with the help of a winery – and two children later, wine remains an important part of the couple’s lives.“We want to offer Guyanese quality wines at affordable prices,” Michelle said.“Money is not our motivation. We love wines and are passionate about wines. We love people, and we want to share it [wines].”Offering her husband who first gravitated towards sweet wines after expressing disdain for “those sour wines”, but has now expanded his palate after sampling a wide range of wines as an example, Michelle – who believes wine should be enjoyed at any time by anyone – fervently declared, “There are no rules any more around drinking wines….None of this wine snobbery stuff….it’s not a rich people thing; it’s your thing; it’s a healthier choice; it’s a choice that offers explosions in your mouth.”“My philosophy is: How would you know if you like it if you have not tried it?”In democratising and popularising wine locally, the Howards’ ultimate aim is to provide a space where new wine drinkers feel comfortable and wine connoisseurs feel challenged. Michelle noted that they have been working hard towards that goal over the past eight months. Winedays delivers chilled wines to your home or office within an hour with no delivery charge for Georgetown residents, but the mobile, full-service wine bar “Vinny” (short for vino, which is Italian for wine (“there is truth in wine”) is the signature initiative. It can be hired for weddings and other events, and comes complete with décor, two trained servers who have been rigorously background-checked who arrive one and a half hours before the event’s start time to set up and spend the same amount of time after the event cleaning up. The company is also launching its monthly wine box subscription service, offering home delivery of bottles of wines and delicious morsels that complement them for a fixed fee.Michelle, who says her biggest influence is her entrepreneur father who taught her that you should treat everyone with decency and respect, explained that they have been very careful to ensure that they are “taking all the right steps and respecting the laws”.“It’s very scary starting a business around wine in a country that’s not open to it,” Michelle revealed, adding that she has learnt to exercise patience and not worry about things she cannot control. “I am thankful for my husband, thankful he is my partner. His favourite saying is: “Every setback is a setup for a comeback.” He says, “Don’t worry, what’s for us will be.”” The self-confessed “fiery” half of the husband-and-wife team cautioned, “You are going to get a lot of no’s, don’t take it personally.” She says the most important quality of an entrepreneur is being tenacious, because “you just can’t quit”.Questioned about what can be done to assist entrepreneurs, Michelle highlighted that financial and other institutions should make it easier for persons to start businesses by reducing the red tape.“I believe success is whatever it is for you.” And for Michelle, success is making everyone aware of the joys of everyday wines. “The sky is the limit,” she declared. “We want to be a force to be reckoned with, that is sustainable.”Contact: T: 641-3633/697-5254; WhatsApp: 592-641-3633; firstname.lastname@example.org
By Leah HernandezMillions of children worldwide are fortunate enough to have a father figure in their lives, while others can only dream of having that man we call a “father”. This contrast often times leads most of us to ask: “what is a father?” and “who is a good father?”.The simplest definition of the word father is “An important male figure in the origin and early history of something”, but, most importantly, being a good father means being an endless role model and making all the difference in a child’s life, as you are a pillar of strength, support, and discipline.”To celebrate and recognise the contributions fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children, the third Sunday in June of each year is, therefore, set aside as the time to celebrate Father’s Day. With great enthusiasm and anticipation surrounding this day, I was fortunate to interact with one father who had his goal set on being a “good father”.Ignatius Hernandez like some of us presently was not raised by a father who was a perfect example of the title given, but rather one who was an alcoholic and gave less attention to the welfare of his family. This father of four related to me that, as a child growing up, he vowed never to be like the man whom he saw most of his life, but somewhere along his life’s journey it happened.“When I used to see him drunk, I used to say in my mind I would never drink or be like him. As I grew, I did not want to follow his example, his role as a father was not really one to take example from, he did not have that impact or positive influence on me… [but I] started drinking when I was 18, It was my own choice, then I became addicted to it,” a thoughtful Hernandez related.According to my 57-year-old father, even though he walked in the shoes of his father for some time, the thought of him being a potential father and having a family of his own motivated him to desire a change, as often times he would reflect on the words “I would never drink or be like him”, while he further credited the desire for change to Christianity.“I knew it was wrong and I desired a change, but because of the habits and cravings for it, it was there and I couldn’t stay without it, but I wanted to be a better father from the one I grew up with.”In the midst of our interesting conversation, I asked my father what are his thoughts about playing the role of father figure in a child’s life, and in the most appealing voice, he responded, “If you want to be a better father, you have to be an example, having an impact on your family, because you cannot lead without being that example … the role of a father is being a security, it’s a breadwinner, a foundation to the family, an example where the whole family looks up to you and you are honoured and respected.”After this, I went on to ask him how he personally felt about being a father to us (his four children), and again, but this time in a more eager voice, he responded in the briefest way possible, saying it is a blessing to be a father. “Being a father isn’t something I would say is easy, but I’m happy to be a father, because besides the responsibility and being tough, it’s still a blessing. I can stand up and joyfully declare I have fulfilled my responsibilities as a father,” he said.Finally realising that our conversation would soon be over, I quickly implored him for some advice that he would want to share with present and potential fathers on how to be a good dad. This is what he carefully uttered to me: “To those fathers, be a foundation, bear your weight which means take responsibility, be interested in the welfare of your children … if all fathers take their stand, this world would be strong, a better community, a better country, we will have better children and strong families.”My father concluded his answer with a famous quote which states: “Anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy”- Anonymous.
It was recently reported in the media that efforts are being made to establish a Code of Conduct for minibus operators. President of the United Minibus Union (UMU) Eon Andrews had started the process and was expected to have a meeting with officials of the Business Ministry to finalise the document. It is expected that once the code is drafted, the Business Ministry in partnership with the Union, would begin to engage representatives of the various minibus routes with the aim of getting all stakeholders on board to adhere to the code.Some issues which the Code of Conduct seeks to address include the mode of dress, general conduct of drivers and conductors, overloading, loud and lewd music, driving under the influence of alcohol, the manner in which drivers and conductors speak to passengers and so on.Many are of the opinion that at present, the standards in relation to public transportation here are very poor and there is urgent need to raise those standards in keeping with what obtains in other countries. Hence, the action being taken by the authorities to bring an end to the present level of lawlessness is a step in the right direction, as it will compel operators to offer a more professional and well-run service to its customers; especially if they want to remain in business.With the booming oil and gas sector expected to come fully on stream by 2020 many more persons would come to Guyana, both to visit and work, and will certainly, at some point in time, depend on the public transport system. The transport sector is very crucial and cannot be left behind; stakeholders must therefore do what is necessary to ensure that the service provided is exceptional and could compare favourably with what obtains abroad.It is well known that Guyana has recorded very high road fatality rates over the years. The reasons for this are well known and reside partly in the minibus culture; and the way drivers and conductors are paid. Minibus drivers and conductors are expected to meet a quota for the owner, and they can keep takings over and above that. So there is a mad rush to pick up as many passengers as possible since both the driver and conductor aim to make as much money in the shortest possible time.Also, it could be recalled that in 2008, a law was passed in Parliament in relation to loud music in buses and hire cars. Initially, this law was strongly enforced, with Police taking firm action against those found to be in breach. However, at present, many public transport operators, especially minibuses, are still blasting their music and the Police seem to be turning a blind eye to this lawlessness.What is even more dangerous is that some of these drivers and conductors could be seen openly consuming alcohol while transporting passengers to their various destinations. While some passengers may speak out against such actions, others are afraid that they will be attacked.It is also widely believed that some drivers, including those for hire and private cars, have ‘bought’ their licences, and have never taken a driving test or been exposed to formal Police instruction on the Highway Code. This therefore contributes to the high level of lawlessness on the roads, and hence, the high level of fatalities.That said, as we had stated before, while there are various factors which impact on road safety, there is little doubt that the single most important in a general sense is enforcement of the traffic laws. The Government has enacted the relevant legislation in relation to driving under the influence, loud music in vehicles, overloading, speeding, etc, but if the laws are not adequately implemented, they become useless.For too long, the Guyanese public has accepted mediocre public transport services. Now that a Code of Conduct will be implemented for minibus operators, it is hoped that everyone in the sector will seriously work towards ensuring higher professional standards are established and maintained. After all, the intention of the code is meant to be of benefit to both passengers and operators.
Dear Editor,The UK Prime Minister David Cameron described corruption as “a greater threat to society than Islamic terrorism”. There is corruption in his country. It is one thing to speak on the effects of corruption. But it is quite another matter when it comes to take action against corruption. The UK Government has consistently refused to take action to tackle corruption in Third World countries. In fact, the UK government, as is also the US Government, has consistently protected its corrupt allies as has been the case in Guyana.Cameron claims Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Iraq are among the most corrupt states in the world. All three also happens to be Islamic states that are plagued with corruption and terror among other Islamic and non-Islamic nations; India is also facing serious corruption but Cameron did not mention it by name for fear of the consequences in trade.Modi’s two-year-old government is not corrupt.Corruption is eating away at the fabric of nations and must be addressed. Guyana is facing serious corruption. Towards this point, the UK PM must be applauded for focusing on corruption. But there is an element of hypocrisy in the PM’s sincerity in addressing corruption; Cameron slams some unfriendly countries but excused others. It has not slammed corruption in Guyana where the UK installed a racist regime in 1964.Also, Cameron failed to point out Britain’s role in promoting and/or condoning corruption in so many countries including our very own Guyana. The leaders of the countries Cameron mentioned as being among the most corrupt admit their countries have corruption.But they are urging Cameron to help them prosecute those linked to corruption and for Cameron to return stolen money that is deposited in British banks for safe-keeping. Cameron has not addressed that request or the issue of Britain’s role in facilitating theft of national funds which money has been deposited in UK banks. Britain has not been cooperative in going after the corrupt or confiscating corrupt money.It is no secret that Britain and the US installed the corrupt regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan against the wishes of the international community. They did the same in Guyana.The US and UK are, therefore, responsible for corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan. They kept financing corrupt leaders knowing fully well that billions of American dollars were being siphoned off and deposited in overseas accounts of the corrupt regimes.The corrupt leaders of Nigeria have deposited much of their stolen loot in UK banks. When requested to seize the stolen loot, Britain is silent because returning stolen money to their rightful owners could lead to collapse of British banks. The same is also true of corruption involving Guyanese leaders who were protected by Britain.Corruption is not only when leaders or officials or businesses steal money or pay bribes for contracts. There is also electoral corruption as took place in Guyana in addition to financial corruption.Britain and the US were involved in electoral fraud in many countries to keep out or prevent unfriendly democratic leaders from office. Even if the socialist leaders were very honest and never stole, the US and Britain preferred a corrupt friendly regime than a non-corrupt socialist regime.The US toppled the socialist Jagan. So Britain turns a blind eye to electoral fraud as happened in Guyana. To keep out Jagan. It also turned a blind eye on financial corruption as long as socialist leaders are or were prevented from assuming office in Guyana.It is public information that the US and Britain encouraged electoral abuse in Guyana and even racial violence to remove a democratically elected Jagan government. It is also on record that the US and Britain facilitated and condoned electoral fraud in Guyana between 1964 and 1992. Both major world powers also turned a blind eye to corruption to keep out the socialist PPP from office.If the British government were so keen in fighting corruption, it would not have funded or supported fraudulent elections in Guyana, and it would have exposed fraud in Guyana or in other countries. The US and Britain also were silent and took no action against Burnham who looted the treasury and was described as the richest Black man in the world at one time.Cameron cannot be held responsible for the corruption that took place in so many countries. But at a minimum, he should have expressed regrets for what happened under his predecessors and promise that under his administration corruption will be exposed. To reduce or prevent corruption in other countries during the reign of his predecessors, funds could have been filtered directly to NGOs and community groups or honest local governments for projects.The UK could have supported democratic organisations in Guyana instead of the corrupt PNC.It is not too late for the UK government to give funds directly to local bodies and NGOs rather than to corrupt leaders at the centre. This is one way to reduce and ultimately eliminate corruption. Britain can also extradite corrupt officials (and charge them) who stole British grants or funds given to the regimes.The UK government needs to do a lot more than merely speak about corruption. It must identify the corrupt and bring charges against those who hide their money in the UK and/or confiscate their stolen loot and return same to the home countries. And it is not too late to go after those in Guyana who looted the treasury since 1965 or who enriched themselves acquiring state lands during the PNC dictatorship.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram