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Hoffman: Higher taxes may have worsened our current economic downturn

first_imgSumner Newscow report — The following is a newsletter written by Kyle Hoffman, House Representative District 116…Turnaround and beyondKyle HoffmanWith the February 23 Turnaround Day behind us, the day when bills passed by either chamber are sent over to the other chamber for review and possible passage, both chambers are continuing to hold hearings and work the other chamber’s bills.  But as the weeks pass, more and more time is being spent on the floor of the House debating bills in anticipation of the end of regular session on March 25.It is truly an honor and privilege to represent you here in Topeka. Please remember bills and other helpful information can be easily accessed through the legislature’s website at and tax — Last week the Governor signed into law SB 161 which makes changes to the FY2016 and FY2017 budgets we passed before leaving for Turnaround and brings those budgets into balance.In the last six years, I have seen the ups and downs of revenues and spending; overall we have been successful in keeping the rate of government spending growth to a minimum.  As shown in the graph, the last several years spending per year has only increased around 1.8% instead of the much higher rates seen in the past. Even with the adjustments made in SB161, state general fund spending is scheduled to increase by just short of 1% in FY2016 and around 1.4% in FY2017 when compared to FY2015.  I will acknowledge that if revenues continue to miss the estimates, in the future those numbers will have to change, that is why we gave the governor the authority to make those necessary changes without being forced to make across the board cuts to all programs.As far as revenues are concerned, here is a little information I hope you will find helpful.  At the end of February, tax receipts were 79.6 million below expectations, but we were still 43.5 million or 1.2% above the year to date revenues compared to this time last year.  The problem is that we are a far cry from the 282.2 million that the revenue estimators projected we would be above last year’s revenues by this time in the fiscal year.  Not a good revenue picture when trying to balance a budget.The Kansas economy (as well as the U.S. and world economy) is very stagnant right now. Our main Kansas industries; Agriculture, Oil and Gas, and Aviation, are all struggling.  We all see this in our local economies and it is no different at the state level.  Although many want to blame tax cuts on our budget problems, the reality is that downward economic pressures are causing the biggest problems.  Would we have more money coming in if we hadn’t cut taxes, possibly, but we also don’t know how much the higher taxes might have worsened our current economic downturn, possibly bringing in less revenue?While 70 percent of the tax reduction went to individuals, the elimination of income tax on S Corp, LLC, and sole proprietors has gotten the most attention, good and bad.  Evidence does show that by allowing more money for investment and attempting to give small businesses the same advantage as C Corporations to retain earnings without tax for future investment, the policy has caused business growth and that there are many completely new taxpayers in Kansas who are operating as an LLC; unfortunately, there is other evidence that simply points to tax avoidance by some that has little economic benefit for the state.If an LLC is taxed as a partnership, then under federal law the partnership can not pay wages to the partners. A sole proprietor can not pay wages to the owner. However, all the profits from the LLC and Sole Prop are considered earned income. But since it is not a wage, it is not subject to Kansas income tax.  To that end, this exemption is being examined by both the House and the Senate this year with HB2444 and SB508.With all these factors in mind, we continue work to appropriate the money paid in by hard-working Kansans to fund the government as fairly and efficiently as possible.KPERSFour years ago, KPERS was only 56.4 percent funded, which was considered extremely underfunded and hovering around insolvency.  Many factors caused this underfunding, but a key factor was that employer contributions since 2004 averaged only $224.4 million per year, millions of dollars under the suggested actuarial rate.  In 2011 we made a commitment to put the system back on solid footing.  KPERS is now 67% funded, and the average employer contribution since 2012 has been over $387 million per year, over $100 million more per year.  KPERS is now out of the bankruptcy zone due to those investments and on its way to being considered fully funded within the next 20 years.Because of this funding commitment, we protected KPERS payments from any across-the-board cuts in SB161, while giving some flexibility for cash flow purposes at the end of the fiscal year. This cash-flow tool will be available if the state bank account goes below $100 million and will allow the Governor to delay the final state payment to KPERS in FY2016.  If the Governor uses this option, the payment must be made up in the first three months of FY2017—plus 8 percent interest, furthermore, the bill clarifies that the KPERS payment scheduled for the beginning of FY2017 cannot be delayed, assuring that all payments will be current by the end of the first quarter in September of this year.  It is important to reiterate that KPERS funds are protected by IRS rules and cannot be borrowed once they are paid into the KPERS system, we have simply allowed for the employer payment to be delayed for a couple of months.  Also the director of KPERS, Alan Conroy, has stated repeatedly that delaying the payment will not change any pension payments to retirees or jeopardize the stability of the system.I am proud of the work we have done on KPERS in the last several years, it has been a priority of this legislature to safeguard the pension system for those in the system now and into the future.Guantanamo BayFor years, President Obama has sought to close the Guantanamo Naval Base detention facility and move the terrorist detainees to U.S. soil. A recent plan suggested placing detainees in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The administration sent a Pentagon team to Fort Leavenworth to evaluate the facility as one where terrorists could be housed. In response, the House debated and passed HCR5024 urging the President to obey U.S. law and abandon transferring the detainees to Fort Leavenworth.Fort Leavenworth is not equipped with the necessary measures to hold the highly dangerous detainees and we heard testimony from military officials that our very successful Foreign Officer War College housed at the facility would be in jeopardy if the transfer took place.  The areas surrounding Fort Leavenworth would also be unprepared as they do not have in place adequate law enforcement or emergency response resources to properly keep citizens safe if a dangerous situation arises.Although not binding, the resolution gave our state a voice in rejecting the President’s plan and gave our federal delegation more direction in the matter.Pages and VisitorsPages for the session. This week, I enjoyed sponsoring three pages from South Barber Jr. High —Adrienne, Takira, and Trevor.  I hope they had as much fun during the day as I did visiting with them.  Thanks for coming.Would your Jr/Sr. High student like to be a page for a day at the Capitol? Please call, so we can work out a date that works for you. Along with paging on the House floor, they will get a guided tour of the beautifully restored Capitol and their picture with the Governor; please contact Hosanna, my office assistant, at 785-296-7643, if you are interested.Visitors to the Capitol. If you are coming to Topeka, I look forward to seeing you. I would ask that you let my office know if you are attending a conference in Topeka so that I can make every effort to attend.I’m also always happy to arrange a time to meet with you individually.Not able to come to Topeka? Please feel free to contact me anytime; I’m always interested in discussing your thoughts on what you’re hearing around the district.  It’s very helpful for me when I have reliable feedback.Contact InformationMy office is 481-W, State Capitol Building, Topeka KS 66612Tel # 785-296-7643 or 800-432-3924; email district mailing address is 1318 Avenue T, Coldwater, KS 67029, Tel # 620-582-2217As always, I welcome your comments as I work through this session.  I want to thank you for this opportunity and I consider representing you a great honor.Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your neighbors in District 116.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (5) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +9 Vote up Vote down Native Kansan · 229 weeks ago Rep. Hoffman finally admits the state has a real revenue problem: …”The real problem is that we are a far cry from the 282.2 million that the revenue estimators projected we would be above last year’s revenue by this time in the fiscal year. Not a good revenue picture when trying to balance a budget”. But he is still in denial that eliminating tax cuts for 330,000 LLC’s is causing the state’s revenue loss: …”Although many want to blame tax cuts on our budget problems,the reality is that downward economic pressures are causing the biggest problems.Would we have more money coming in if we hadn’t cut taxes, possibly, but we also don’t know how much the higher taxes might have worsened our current economic downturn, possibly bringing in less revenue?”. Our state representative in Topeka is now telling us he had and continues to have no idea what is actually affecting the state’s loss of revenue and is just guessing at the causes. Not a confidence builder for those of us who are actually concerned about our state’s financial woes and the harmful affect it is having on our state. The Kansas Department of Revenue news release, dated March 1, 2016, said: “Total tax receipts for the fiscal year through February are, 3.6 billion or 84.2 million below estimates.” Hoffman acknowledged if revenues continue to fall they have given the governor authority to makes cuts–what he doesn’t tell us is the governor can now make cuts to almost any part of the budget before the end of the year. Lawmakers gave the governor this authority and in an election year know they can tell their constituents it’s the governor’s fault–an easy out for them. But those of us who are represented by Hoffman will feel the consequences of the budget cuts because of the affect it has on state institutions and services that will affect all of our our lives on a daily basis. Report Reply 0 replies · active 229 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down turkeyleg · 229 weeks ago Seems like Hoffy forgot to bring up the borrowing of one billion dollars to invest the money to shore up KPERS. That money has to be repaid, the state might get a little money made off of the loan but the interest money charged on the loan and the loaned money still have to be paid back. And if the way Hoffy says the national economy is doing, we’z doomed. One thing that people should look at is an article in the Topeka paper of a bill designed to fast-track sale of ‘surplus’ state property by Pastor Sam. Saturday to fresh evidence the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback may sell high-value real estate to help keep state government afloat. A bill alive in a Senate budget committee would establish rules for hiring a private company to identify and market “surplus” government property, including state hospitals for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Instead of following Kansas law and sending a majority of the money from surplus property sales to the beleaguered state pension system, most receipts from these transactions would go to the severely depleted state treasury. So it seems like Mr Hoffy is right out lying about the state doing fine. And the garage sale begins. I wonder what Sammy wants for the turnpike? I’ll go 2 million above the highest bidder. Report Reply 0 replies · active 229 weeks ago -4 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 229 weeks ago My state income tax has gone down the last couple years. Thank you! Now if only we could get the local government to understand that the more they cut taxes, the more money we spend! Thus more taxes…er….”revenue”. Report Reply 0 replies · active 229 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Thirsty · 229 weeks ago Here is what I would do. Plain and simple. I would make each registered LLC pay a flat annual tax to operate. You say there are 330,000 LLC’s in Kansas? Each LLC is to pay $1,000 operational tax annually. That generates 330 million dollars a year. If $1000.00 in taxes hurts your business that much then you probably shouldn’t be in business anyway. This will ensure it does not drive companies away and take a significant percentage of their income. By doing this you actually stimulate the economy and lower taxes for the majority. Lets not even get into legalizing marijuana as that would generate a multitude of additional revenue as well. Clearly you can see that even without legalizing marijuana its just basic math that solves the problem. JustMe your state income tax would go down even more and we would be able to fund our schools better and work on paying down that KPERS loan. Although I do estimate the KPERs loan could be solely paid off by marijuana taxation over a period of 7-15 years. Report Reply 1 reply · active 229 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 229 weeks ago My state income tax may go down more, but I would have to close down my business due to your new LLC tax. There goes taxes paid by my one employee, the sales tax I generate and the cash flow to the local business I use for inventory. Thanks. Grand idea. Thanks. Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Grassley calls on House again to pass USMCA

first_imgWASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, is calling on House Democrats to “be reasonable” and “act quickly” to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement before the week is out.“The agreement would create hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Grassley says. “The agreement would help raise wages for Americans. The agreement would be particularly beneficial for Iowa farmers and the state’s overall economy.” It’s been more than a year since the leaders of the three nations signed the agreement, but it still needs Congressional approval.Grassley says a compromise is close. “But I am worried that if a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, the USMCA will not be ratified this year,” he says. Grassley says the scope of the trade deal is far-reaching, and for example would pump a $30 billion investment into the auto industry, while also bringing a significant boost to farmers.“It gets our agricultural dairy products into Canada, a place they’ve been practically banished under NAFTA,” Grassley says. “It’s been very difficult to get our quality wheat into Canada. That will be helped.” Grassley met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi four months ago and he says she was very much in favor of ratifying the USMCA.Some critics say the Democrat-led House is dragging its feet on the agreement in order to keep the Trump Administration from claiming it as a victory. “There’s a lot of things you could put in the category of the Democrats not wanting the president to have a win, but I don’t think this would be one of them,” Grassley says. “On the other hand, I think voters would hold the Democrats accountable if they don’t act.”Grassley says passage of the trade deal would be much larger than any one political party, saying it needs to be delivered for the benefit of the American people.last_img read more

After 25 Years, Democrat to Join Fair Haven Council

first_imgBy John BurtonFAIR HAVEN – Borough residents have not seen a Democrat on the Borough Council for quite a while. That’ll change in January.Aimee Humphreys, a first-time political candidate and Democrat, will take her seat the Jan. 1 municipal reorganization meeting. She will join five Republican council members and Republican Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli, who also will be sworn in after winning a new term in November. He ran unopposed.“I never had any intention to run for office,” said Humphreys, a River Road resident. “It wasn’t in my game plan.”Humphreys, 66, who runs an alteration/seamstress business from her home, edged out incumbent Republican Jerome A. Koch by 113 votes. Humphreys garnered 1,080 votes. Incumbent Republican Susan Sorensen captured the most votes with 1,220, securing another term, according to the final totals certified by the Monmouth County clerk of elections.According to information Borough Clerk Allyson M. Cinquegrana obtained from the county elections clerk, the win makes Humphreys the first Democrat to be elected to the borough council since Douglas P. Sanecki won a one-year unexpired term by one vote in 1989. In 1988, Democrats Janice David Miller and Fred W. Pulfuerst each won full three-year terms.Humphreys may have not thought about running for office previously, but, coming of age during the 1960s, she embraced political involvement. She was active on a number of fronts, attending rallies for issues she embraced, as well as working for candidates she supported.“It was part of what I did,” she said.This year, when the Democratic organization in the borough appeared at a loss for candidates, Humphreys said she was encouraged to attend county Democratic meetings by Amy Mallet. Mallet, who Humphreys calls a mentor, had been a Monmouth County freeholder and ran unsuccessfully for the state Assembly.Following discussions with Mallet and Vin Gopal, the party’s county chairman, they decided to mount a write-in campaign to see if Fair Haven Democrats could get someone on the ballot.After winning some votes in the June primary, “I thought maybe I should run.”The more she thought about running for office, she “got excited and thought, why not?”Humphreys husband Michael and grown children, Michael and Lisa, offered their support, with her kids telling her “You go, Mom,” as did others she consulted, she said.“All these little pieces came together,” she said.She found that living in the community for more than 30 years, running a local business, having children who went through local schools and the associations that come from all of those involvements – plus her continued campaigning – really played a major part in getting her elected, she said.She also appreciated the support and work of Mallet, Gopal and the county Democrats’ executive director, Joe Libutti.Over the course of her door-to-door campaign, she reconnected with some old friends and met many others she may not otherwise have had the chance to meet. She heard their issues and concerns. The experience was “an eye-opener” but also “really fun,” Humphreys saidShe found many who share her political outlook and she has high hopes for Gopal and Libutti – who were very supportive of her campaign – to reinvigorate the party.Since the election, her interactions with the other members of the governing body have been “very welcoming, very warm.She sees the borough government as having been “ well run … The leadership has been very responsible.”But, her presence will offer a counterweight to the years of one-party rule, she hopes.Humphreys would like to get people more engaged, and wants to encourage informal town hall-style get-togethers during which residents and business owners can feel comfortable asking about their issues.“I’d like to hear from the community,” she said. “I think we as council people would learn as well.”She also has wondered whether council meetings can be broadcast for residents who have difficulty attending the twice-monthly evening meetings.“I don’t know what you can do and can’t do yet,” she said, adding, “I’m hoping people become engaged.”The borough master plan is scheduled for review in the coming year and that, along with the Department of Public Works, is something that interests her.While there may not be many who would say they were interested in the minutiae of trash pickup and sewerage, Humphreys recognizes that they are things that impact everyone’s life. “I’d love to get into the nitty-gritty” of it, she said and is hoping for that committee appointment.“It’s very exciting, very interesting, to do something new and challenging,” she said.last_img read more

Deep snowpack delays trail openings

first_imgThe Kootenay Columbia Trails Society (KCTS) is up and running again, and is now in their second week of work. However, the heavy snowfall this past winter is having an effect on the opening of the trails.   “We’re just doing our annual inspection and maintenance of the trails as they open, which is quite a bit slower this year than previous years because of all the snow,” said Stu Spooner, who develops and manages the trails.   Currently six Rossland trails are open, with more due to open as the snow melts. For those who are eager to make the switch from skiing to biking, Spooner said, “We also maintain regional trails, so we have some trails down in Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale down along the Columbia River and they’re all open at the moment.”   Trails openings are usually completed by early July with the Seven Summits Trail traditionally being the last to open. With higher-than-average snowfall this year, the opening of Seven Summits will likely be delayed.   “It’s anybody’s guess about how late the season will be this year,” said Spooner, “It’s running about three to four weeks late right now, but hopefully it will get nice and hot and all melt really fast.”   In the meantime, the Trails Society has plenty of new projects to keep them busy—and the money with which to do the work. The KTCS is funded mainly through regional recreation funds from the Greater Trail Area, but because many of the trails are in the Rossland area, the city also provides extra funding.   With regular funding spent mostly on existing trails, the KCTS looks for additional funding to support new projects. “This year we have quite a bit extra money from the Columbia Basin Trust through community programs,” said Spooner.   With dedicated funding available, Spooner hopes to develop a new trail. “We’re developing a new trail down in Trail up above the hospital. We’re calling it the Sunnydale Bluff trail.”   Funding has also been set aside for upgrades to the Seven Summits Trail. “Because we have so many trails and so many different people using so many different trails, we try and do something on every one of the trails to keep everybody happy,” Spooner said.   The Black Jack recreation site will also see the completion of new trails that were started last year. “Trails like Larch Ridge and Montecola. We started developing some trails out there and we’re going to do some more work.”   Spooner also hopes to make gains this year in the re-opening of the popular Oasis trail. The popular trail, which goes from highway 3B to the Oasis town site on the Columbia River, was closed a few years ago due to land access issues. “We’re trying to organize with landowners’ permission to re-route the trail, and if we’re successful with that there’s a chance we might actually begin building some of the new route.”   The KCTS appreciates the support of all those who sign up for a membership. Last year the group’s membership was over 300, with fees going towards trail development and maintenance.   “People are pretty keen. We’ll be in the process of telling people what we’re doing and encouraging them to join again.”   Every year there is a volunteer trails day which allows for anyone to come out and work on the trails.   “People are often asking for opportunities to come and contribute out there working on the trails,” Spooner said. This year, June 4 is the day to bring tools and lunch and help maintain the local trails. Depending on the snow this year, plans might change. Information about the volunteer day will be posted around town and the information will be available online.. For information on KCTS, volunteer trails day or society membership, please visit the group’s website.last_img read more

Lorenzo Sanz dies from coronavirus

first_imgThe isolation conditions, suffered by all coronavirus-infected patients, meant that the former white president could not be accompanied at this difficult time by his closest family. Her son Fernando Sanz confirmed that his father “had been feverish for eight days but did not want to collapse the hospital and was at home in solidarity“Although his worsening eventually led to his admission to a hospital center with bilateral pneumonia.This Saturday, his son Lorenzo Sanz was already very pessimistic with the state of health of the former president of Real Madrid: “Everything remains the same. Fighting like the champion he is, although with less and less strength after two days giving us zero hope. May the encouragement we are all giving make the miracle happen. ” In the end, that miracle did not come and Lorenzo Sanz, the president of Real Madrid of the Seventh and the Eighth died this Saturday. Lorenzo Sanz died this Saturday, at the age of 76, at the Jiménez Díaz Foundation from complications contracted after being infected with coronavirus. The state of health of the former president of Real Madrid, from November 1995 to July 2000, suddenly worsened after being admitted to the ICU on Tuesday afternoon with respiratory failure and after spending eight days with high episodes of fever. Lorenzo Sanz’s situation was complicated due to the previous pathologies that the president suffered. A renal failure, accompanied by a high picture of hypertension, aggravated his already delicate state of health due to the positive for COVID-19. In the last hours he was intubated and sedated so that he was calmer.“My father has just passed away. He did not deserve this ending and in this way. One of the best, bravest and hardworking people I have ever seen is leaving. His family and Real Madrid were his passion. My mother and my brothers we have enjoyed all your moments with pride DEP “, his son Lorenzo Sanz reported on Twitter.last_img read more

Australia score innings and 46- run victory in fifth Ashes Test

first_imgLONDON (AP):Australia defeated England by an innings and 46 runs yesterday in the fifth and final Ashes Test for a consolation victory at The Oval.Resuming the fourth day on 203-6, England were all out for 286 in 101.4 overs. Jos Buttler went for 42, driving Mitchell Marsh to Mitchell Starc at mid-off, and Moeen Ali was out for 35.Peter Siddle claimed 4-35 on a rain-hit day as Australia won with more than a day to spare.England had an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the series, having regained the urn by winning the fourth Test at Trent Bridge.But Australia will take some comfort in losing 3-2, rather than 4-1, in captain Michael Clarke’s last Test.The fifth Test took on a familiar pattern with the side which gained the first significant advantage going on to win. None of the five Tests lasted their full five days in a series full of batting collapses.At The Oval, England never looked in the match after Australia’s first innings of 481 – with Steven Smith scoring 143 – and Clarke enforced his first follow-on as captain after England’s first-innings 149.The hosts lost their last four second-innings wickets for 83 runs yesterday either side of a two-hour rain break.Siddle made the first breakthrough of an increasingly overcast day, under floodlights in his second over with the second new ball. He beat Mark Wood’s forward prod and overturned an initial not-out lbw decision on review.Buttler had worked hard the previous evening, alongside England captain Alastair Cook, to regain form in the attempted rearguard. But he gave it all away disappointingly, eight short of his 50, to the 107th ball he faced when he chipped Marsh on the up to a tumbling mid-off.Ali and Stuart Broad then batted for 10 overs together – long enough for the forecast rain to arrive and delay the inevitable. But Broad lasted only five more minutes, on the resumption, bowled off-stump after missing a drive at the admirable Siddle.The last act of an oddly uneven series then came when Ali wafted an edge behind off the same bowler.first timeVictory for the hosts would have been the first time the English had ever won four Tests in a five-match Ashes series in England. However, England will still be delighted to win a series it was widely expected to lose and claimed their fourth successive home series victory over Australia.”We had a Test match to try and win, but maybe we underestimated the emotional highs from Trent Bridge and how hard it would be to get back up to that level you really need to beat Australia,” Cook said. “Of course, we’d love to be sitting here at 4-1 rather than 3-2 … It’s a little bit disappointing, but I’m not going to worry about it too much tonight.”England’s vice captain Joe Root was named Man of the Series with 460 runs.Under its new Australian coach Trevor Bayliss, the series result takes England up to third in the world rankings, just behind Australia with South Africa at the top. England has a series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, followed by a tour of South Africa in the winter coming up.As well as Clarke, who played his 115th test match, 37-year-old opener Chris Rogers is also quitting the international game for Australia. There is a sense this is the last series for the current generation – including Brad Haddin, Shane Watson and Adam Voges – before a new era begins in Australia test cricket under Smith, the newly appointed captain.Clarke, who has now been on the losing side in all four of his Ashes tours, said the team was “full of talent”.”There’s going to be opportunity for a few of the (young) batters, but I’d still like to see a few of the old heads stick around,” he said. “I’ve always believed the best teams have a mix of youth and experience and I think we can still have that in this Australian team.”Clarke also suggested the wickets could be improved.”I’d like to see groundsmen around the world – not just here – have the courage to go with what they think is a good cricket wicket,” said Clarke. “I want to see good and fair cricket for both batters and bowlers.”Cook, understandably, took a different view.”The wickets are the same for both sides – in three out of the five test matches we played better than Australia,” said Cook. “That’s why we’ve won the Ashes.”last_img read more

Heptathlete wins Asian gold with 12 toes—and calls for new shoes

first_imgThe Indian athlete, who still has all dozen of her toes, said every step of the race had been excruciating as she pushed through the pain barrier in her ill-fitting footwear.“Normal shoes don’t work for me. There is lot of pain when I wear any shoe, spikes or anything,” she said after clinching gold late on Wednesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“I hope they make special shoes for me because I have a lot of pain.”“Even warm-up shoes hurt, so forget about spikes.” Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Not in best shape, Fuller still impressive in NLEX return MOST READ Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs LATEST STORIES Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “I used to to eat a lot of chocolates so have a lot of pain in one of my teeth before the start of the competition,” she told reporters, wearing heavy strapping on her chin.“First day I thought I will not be able to do it because there was so much pain. But I had to do it because of all these days of hard work.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. India’s Swapna Barman celebrates the women’s heptathlon athletics event during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 29, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Martin BUREAUBeing born with six toes on each foot didn’t stop India’s Swapna Barman winning the Asian Games heptathlon — but she immediately issued a plea for shoes that actually fit.Barman led going into the last of the seven heptathlon disciplines, the 800m — her weakest event — and managed to cling on despite a fourth-placed finish as her closest rival came in last.ADVERTISEMENT Barman, 21, shot to attention last year by taking gold at the Asian Championships in India.She then suffered a string of ankle and back injuries that kept her out for most of a year, but came back in time to finish second in India’s Asian Games qualifiers.In Jakarta she won her specialist high jump, as well as the shot put and javelin, to record a personal best score of 6,026, despite her woes on the track.From a poor family in the east Indian town of Jalpaiguri, she said she has never considered surgery to remove the additional digits, blaming the extra width of her feet for the pain.Her feet were not her only concern as she raced to victory on Wednesday night — she also had to contend with acute toothache, which she blame on her sweet tooth.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal View commentslast_img read more

Let us leave the ‘hustlers’ and that tired old message in 2019

first_imgDear Editor,The seductive idea of a third force in Guyana’s politics has been around since our independence in 1966. That idea that ‘power’ could be brokered and improved; that transparent governance practice could be forced upon the big two (PPP/C and PNC). The Alliance for Change filled that spot in 2011 as they became the desired swing vote in Parliament and 2015 when they occupied 40 per cent of the seats on the Government side of the house in a coalition Government with the PNC. Given that the ‘power broker’ ideal is still being peddled, albeit by newer parties, the performance of Guyana’s first successful ‘third force’ bears examination.The AFC was formed when two lawyers who wrote columns for the PPP and PNC started courting each other via those columns. They applauded each other’s genius and soon evoked the ire of their respective party members. The seduction of Khemraj Ramjattan was underway and soon he made well-orchestrated accusations of corruption against the executive and stormed off to for the AFC with Trotman. Interestingly, Trotman had a different story to tell about how and what the AFC was all about, for him, it was ‘Nassau’.In 2016, after Trotman made a speech at Bartica, Freddie Kissoon wrote that Trotman used the AFC as a ‘Trojan horse’. “He openly told the crowds that although he was a part of the AFC, he never left the struggle and that the Prodigal Son has returned.” He then told the crowd that 10 years ago, he and David Granger met in Nassau (The Bahamas) and Granger laid out a plan for Guyana. On the day in 2015 when the election results were made known, Trotman indicated that Mr Granger called him and said to him, “Raphael, this is Nassau”. Thereafter Trotman pulled away from the AFC and was appointed a Minister outside of the Cummingsburg Accord. Ramjattan had earlier ceded his desired post of Prime Minister to another disgruntled PPP executive, Moses Nagamootoo. In 2019, Ramjattan seized control of the AFC and Granger was given an ultimatum: Ramjattan as prime ministerial candidate or the AFC would go its way. This demand was met as Granger saw no alternative given his (Granger’s) low approval ratings.The AFC never delivered on its promise to reform the PNC, the treasury was drained completely dry by the coalition by the end of 2019; Granger’s disrespect of the constitutional requirement of an election within 90 days of losing a motion of No-Confidence was cheered by AFC Ministers, others were appalled, and men such as General Secretary Sixtus Edwards walked away in protest. Nagamootoo made a spectacle of himself with ludicrous attempts to persuade the public that there were different types of halves and what constituted a majority of 65. The betrayal of the ‘power broker’ ideal was complete.What was worse is the involvement of AFC members in almost every major financial scandal of the Granger Administration, from the $600 million unaccounted for at D’Urban Park to the wanton disregard for procurement laws in the Demerara Harbour Bridge feasibility study fiasco and the present-day splitting of contracts to avoid the Tender Board.As we head into general elections in 2020, the AFC has splintered into new parties, headed by former influential AFC members, Robert Badal, Timothy Jonas, et al. They all come with the same old AFC message, from the same old AFC people: Vote for us, we will broker power and be the balance in Parliament. Recently, they have begun to form small alliances in preparation for the resurrection of Frankenstein’s monster. As we leave the year of No-Confidence behind us and look forward to the return of parliamentary democracy and a bright and prosperous future, let us leave the ‘hustlers’ and that tired old message in 2019. A happy New Year to all.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

Hockey ref clinic Sunday*

first_imgThe Fort St. John Minor Hockey Association is hosting a referees clinic this weekend.Current refs, and anyone interested in working as a paid ref this season, are invited to the clinic, on Sunday, at 9a.m., at Bert Ambrose School.Register at, or by following the links at Advertisement -***Correction – this story originally said the clinic was on Saturday.  Our apologies for this mistake.last_img

Local search and rescue looking for volunteers

first_imgNorth Peace Search and Rescue is looking for capable volunteers and will be holding an open house for interested residents.The open house will be taking place Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the Fort St. John Public Yards meeting room, located at 10303 Cree Road, (Cree at 103 street, industrial estate, south of the Alaska Highway, west of 100 St). This location is also where the team meets for training on the first and third Wednesday of every month.- Advertisement -NPSAR volunteers provide support during ground search and rescue activities within northeast B.C.All members will receive necessary training to carry out ground search and rescue missions, as well as training in other disciplines, such as rope rescues, tracking and ice rescues.NPSAR also provides mutual aid support to other local search and rescue groups when requested.For more information on NPSAR, please visit their website.Advertisementlast_img read more