Budget 2019…$800,000 for guard hut…RDC shocked at lavishnessThe Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) was shocked on Monday when the body met for a special sitting to review the 2019 Regional Budget and saw $39 million being requested for three vehicles. Also, alarming is the request of $800,000 to build a single guard hut.The RDC special meeting held on Monday to discuss Region 2’s budgetDuring the meeting where heads of department presented drafts which were discussed in detail, adjustments made and passed, Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt affirmed that the Region had enough vehicles and taxpayers’ monies must be spent wisely. He noted that luxury vehicles were not necessary, but rather the Region needed to focus on providing much-needed services to residents. He asked the advice of the Councillors, who were in full support to strike off the three vehicles. The $800,000 guard hut was also removed from the budget. In the health department, a paramedic ambulance was budgeted for to transport critical patients to the Georgetown Public Hospital in a more safe and timely manner.A verification of some of the works budgeted for 2019 will be done today when Councillors of the RDC will be visiting the various sites, before the final draft is approved.
With the new course comes a major elevation change. The first half of the race will be almost entirely downhill, which should lead to dramatically lower times. That’s good news for race officials, who know that the potential for lower times attracts better athletes, which raises the profile of the event. Dr. William Burke, the race’s founder and president, has long sought to elevate Los Angeles’ marathon to the level of New York and Boston and believes lowering first-place times is a step in that direction. “We’re on the way,” Burke said. “This is something we’ve been working on for seven years, and our staff has gone through a lot of trials and tribulations. But in the long term it’s going to be good for the race and the city. It’s going to give us better times and bigger numbers, and that’s the big thing.” An estimated 26,000 runners will take to the 26.2-mile course, but only a handful have a realistic chance to finish first and claim the prize money, which is the other big factor in attracting top-level runners. To that end, the race has taken a step backward. The first-place prize for men and women has decreased from $35,000 to $20,000 – plus a new car – but the race’s “challenge” competition remains in place. Because of the “challenge,” the elite women will get a 19-minute, 51-second head start over the elite men. The first runner to cross the line will get a $100,000 bonus. Last year, there was a margin of 16:30 between the top man, Benson Cherono, and woman, Lidiya Grigoryeva, who claimed the bonus. “It all comes down to money,” said Larry Barthlow, the race’s elite athlete coordinator. “How deep are your pockets? The deeper your pockets, the better your athletes are going to be.” Cherono, who finished in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 40 seconds, and Grigoryeva (2:25:10) both set course records last year, but neither runner is back to seek a repeat win on the new course. The favorites among the men are, not surprisingly, three Kenyans: Wilson Komen, Moses Kororia and Fred Mogaka. Among them, Mogaka’s time of 2:12:03 in Melbourne last year is the best personal record in the field, so none of the three seems likely to threaten Paul Tergat’s world-record time of 2:04:55. “It’s a smaller (elite) field and there are a couple good unknown guys,” Barthlow said. Among the women, Lydia Kurgat (Kenya), Ramilia Burangolova (Russia), Abebe Tola (Ethiopia) and Alena Vinitskaya (Belarus) are the favorites, but the real drama in the race is back in the pack. Because the start and finish lines are now so far apart, race participants will be able to ride, free of charge, MTA trains that serve the area. But don’t get too comfortable with the new course. As part of his constant tinkering with the course, Burke has already identified changes he will make next year, and some thought has been given to starting the race deeper in the San Fernando Valley. But first, there’s this year’s race to run. Burke is confident that the new course will be a success, but still admits to moments of anxiety as the start time draws near. “I have two nightmares,” Burke joked. “One is that it’s race time, TV is ready to go and there are still hundreds of people streaming out of the subway tunnel. I know that’s not going to happen. The other is that we get lost on the route and everybody ends up at my house.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3611 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles’ marathoners no longer will be running in circles. In its 22th year, the Los Angeles Marathon has undergone its most dramatic change in an effort to boost the race’s international profile and feature some of the more historic parts of the city. The race, which begins Sunday at 8:15 a.m., will be run in more of a straight line, beginning near Universal Studios and finishing at its downtown location near the Central Library. That’s a major change from previous years, when the course consisted of a loop around downtown and Hollywood. Runners will pass the Hollywood Bowl, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Staples Center and some of the city’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods, and race organizers hope the pace will be faster than ever.
Emmanuel Adebayor 1 Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor will miss his club’s final game of the season at Everton on Sunday after being allowed to return to his native Togo on compassionate grounds.Adebayor published the latest in a series of lengthy Facebook posts this week in which he revealed he had contemplated suicide due to a family feud, prompting Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino to step in on his behalf.The 31-year-old, who has already been granted compassionate leave once this season, is also set to miss the club’s post-season tour of the Far East, plunging his future further into doubt.Adebayor has used his Facebook account three times to reveal his complicated family issues. In his first post earlier this month, he accused his brother Rotimi of stealing mobile phones belonging to team-mates at a leading French football academy.Adebayor’s third instalment on Wednesday was the most striking as he said arguments with his brothers Kola and Peter, who died in July 2012, drove him to consider taking his own life.”Many times I wanted to give up. Ask my sister Iyabo Adebayor how many times I have called and was ready to commit suicide,” Adebayor wrote.”I kept these stories for years. But if I die, no-one would know my story, no-one would learn from it. Some people say I should keep these stories private, but someone has to sacrifice himself, someone has to talk about it.”