Good Signs for LRA, But GOL Budgetary Support Needed

first_imgThe newly created Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) started off on a dynamic and hopeful footing.  In the very first quarter of its existence, January to March, 2014, LRA recorded a US$2.6 million surplus in its tax collections.According to LRA’s Commissioner General, Madam Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, the Authority had benchmarked itself to collect US$122 million in revenues in the first quarter, but actually collected US$124 million or 2.6% in excessThis is a clear sign that the LRA is up to the task and needs all the support, especially budgetary, that will empower it to meet the challenge of getting people and institutions to pay their taxes on time and do so with honesty and transparency.  This will enable GOL to garner the financial resources it needs to execute successfully its development agenda.Budgetary support is even more crucial now that the LRA, like the entire government and the whole country, is faced with the Ebola pandemic that has devastated the economy and every aspect of life in our country.  The drastic decline in the revenue intake in July and August provides tangible evidence of the negative impact that Ebola has had on the economy.  In July collections declined yielding only US$43.4 million or 35% of its target. Performance dipped further in August from 35% to 28% (US$34 million).  However, September showed a slightly better performance, rising to 37%, or US$45.8 million.We consider these numbers to be very serious challenges for LRA.  This calls for GOL to become even more vigorous in its support for the Authority, so that it is empowered to meet all of the administrative and logistical challenges as it executes its primary task of revenue collection.Commissioner Stewart-Tamba, in a brief interview with the Daily Observer yesterday, outlined what she meant by budgetary support. Her first point was that GOL make the best possible use of the revenues collected, by investing wholesomely in healthcare delivery, education, energy, roads and agriculture.  These are long-term initiatives that will empower the people to contribute meaningfully and dynamically to national development.GOL, Madam Stewart-Tamba further suggested, should attract long-term investments, both local and foreign, into the country, to keep the economy developing and expanding, thus   enabling the LRA to collect more revenues.Commissioner General Stewart Tamba was quite cognizant of the immediate needs of LRA.  She began with salaries and other benefits for her staff.  The salaries and pension benefits of the revenue collectors need serious adjustments, as a motivation to work hard, honestly and productively in their collections.She gave the Daily Observer a somewhat alarming revelation: that the Chief Examiner at the Free Port of Monrovia earns a meager US$350 per month!  Yet this is the country’s main port of entry for most of the commercial, industrial, food and other commodities.  We know exactly what we are asking for when the Chief Examiner, who is part of the leadership of all Customs Officers at the Free Port of Monrovia, is so poorly paid.  Madam Stewart-Tamba stressed the need for not only much improved salaries but also pension benefits and regular and sustained payments to the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP).  When GOL can improve the salaries and benefits of its Revenue Collectors, then GOL can expect from them the most efficient, productive and transparent performance.Commissioner General Stewart-Tamba and her Board of Directors should take the necessary steps to provide appropriate salaries and benefits for LRA’s tax force without delay and empower them to perform their duties with alacrity, integrity and productivity. A word of caution however:  higher pay does not necessarily translate into honesty and hard work judging by the high level of corruption that prevails in every aspect of our society.  Many Liberians were recruited at very high salaries, and yet they were found stealing.  Some of them were even convicted and imprisoned.  High salaries also do not necessarily guarantee or promote high productivity, competence, commitment or patriotism.A rigorous monitoring system needs to be established to ensure that employees perform with integrity and competence and meet productivity measurements.  Whistle blowers should be encouraged and handsomely rewarded if their reports are proven to be factual.Well communicated terms and conditions of service, continuous training, mentoring and incentives for excellence also go a long way to building an admirable workforce.Godspeed, Madam Stewart Tamba.        Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more



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Troy Deeney’s message to Watford stars: ‘Why would anyone leave?’

first_img1 Watford captain Troy Deeney Watford captain Troy Deeney admits it is inevitable some of Watford’s squad will leave the club this summer.The striker has been an integral part of Watford’s success under Quique Sanchez Flores this season and has been tipped by some for a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad.The Hornets were one of the favourites to go down this term but that have been one of the surprise packages so far.Watford are currently 12 points clear of the drop zone and booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over holders Arsenal at the weekend.Their success has resulted in the likes of Deeney and strike partner Odion Ighalo, who have scored 25 goals between them this term, being linked with big-money departures.And, although Deeney insists there is no reason to leave the progressive club, he says he expects some of the squad to depart.Speaking to IFL TV, he said: “This is the way football works – not everyone will be there.“But I would be surprised if, out of the 25-man squad, if we didn’t have 18 of them still here next year then I’d be surprised.“But why leave? We’ve got a great team, we’ve got loads happening at the training ground and stadium. Obviously it’s only the first season as well so you have to prove yourself again.”last_img read more



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Smoking deemed pollutant

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Although California is the first state to label tobacco smoke as a toxic air contaminant, the decision will not immediately affect smokers. But officials will have to determine whether existing public-education campaigns and rules on smoking adequately protect people from secondhand smoke. They are expected to report back to the ARB in three years. Public health officials will likely consider limits on smoking in multifamily housing, where smoke from one unit can waft into neighboring units. The state’s move could empower people who are bothered by tobacco smoke. “It strengthens the ability of people who are affected by secondhand smoke to complain and get help,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County’s director of public health. “Smokers have rights, too, but those rights shouldn’t include making other people sick through involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke.” Secondhand smoke isn’t just nasty, it’s a toxic air pollutant, California air-quality regulators declared Thursday, clearing the way for tough new rules on smoking in public and private. The unanimous decision by the California Air Resources Board was spurred by new research linking tobacco smoke to premature births, asthma and respiratory infections in children and breast cancer in premenopausal women. Activists say it could help resurrect proposals to ban smoking in cars when children are present and limit smoking in apartment complexes. “The ARB’s action rightfully puts secondhand smoke in the same category as the most toxic automotive and industrial air pollutants,” said Joan Denton, director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. “Californians, especially parents, would not willingly fill their homes with motor-vehicle exhaust, and they should feel the same way about tobacco smoke.” Tobacco smoke contains fine particles that reach deep into the lungs and thousands of gases, from arsenic to benzene to formaldehyde. Scientists blamed secondhand smoke for 4,000 deaths each year in California from lung cancer or heart disease alone. R.J. Reynolds spokesman David Howard said regardless of the dangers from passive smoke indoors, no research supports regulators’ decision to declare it an air pollutant. “No studies exist that show that exposure outdoors leads to any increased risk of tobacco-associated illness,” he said. The state decision bothered some smokers who wondered aloud when and where they’ll be able smoke in the future. “I think they’re just trying to get everyone to quit smoking, trying to put the tobacco business out of business. Eventually, we’re going to have to quit,” said Randy Stalker, 43, of Corona, mingling with other smokers outside the Van Nuys Courthouse. “There’s a lot of other things outside worse than smoking. Going down the freeway with your windows down is worse than secondhand smoke.” Canoga Park resident Tommy Cheung, 28, questioned the prospect of more restrictions, particularly if more cities follow the example of Calabasas, which is considering prohibiting smoking in public places where smokers and nonsmokers co-mingle. “It’s kind of an invasion of privacy. More restrictions, that’s fine; I can live with that. I can go down the street and smoke. But saying I can’t go outside a building to smoke, that’s too far,” Cheung said. “It’s like violating freedom. Unless they ban tobacco altogether, make it like marijuana, that’s too far.” The Associated Press contributed to this report. Kerry Cavanaugh, (818) 713-3746 kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.com 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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FAMILY’S ANGER AS DONALDSON INQUEST ADJOURNED AGAIN

first_imgThe late Denis DonaldsonThe family of British spy Denis Donaldson have said they are disappointed that an inquest into his murder has been adjourned for the fifteenth time.The Sinn Féin official was murdered by Derry dissidents at remote cottage near Glenties in April 2006. He fled there after the fact that he had been an informer for the police and MI5 for 20 years was exposed.In a statement today his family said their interests were not being “respected or protected” by Gardai.They said that it was “with deepest regret” that they heard that the State had applied to adjourn the inquest again.The statement released by the family’s solicitors said that gardaí said the delay was “due to their continuing investigations”.They said that Gardai were continuing to withhold a copy of Mr Donaldson’s diary which he had been writing shortly before his death.FAMILY’S ANGER AS DONALDSON INQUEST ADJOURNED AGAIN was last modified: February 18th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:adjournedAngerDenis Donaldsonfamilyinquesstlast_img read more



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GOLF NEWS: DEREK PORTER IN BLISTERING FORM AT DUNFANAGHY

first_imgDunfanaghy Golf Club Notes:We have been extremely fortunate with the weather conditions in November and I don’t think the course has ever been in such great condition at this time of the year.It is great to see so many golfers on the course throughout the week. Long may it continue. It was great to see Derek Porter in the winner’s circle again with a fine score on Sunday. Well done to Dan Curran from Letterkenny on Wednesday. This Sunday is the monthly medal and it is the last chance for anyone outside of the top twenty to qualify for the Grand Final on Sunday 14th of December. The list of the Top Twenty is on the notice board. The next Gaeltacht match is on this Saturday in Portsalon. We wish the team the best of luck. Congratulations to Termon Ladies Football team who won the All-Ireland last weekend. What an achievement. I have no doubt they are still celebrating their victory.The best of luck to the lady Members who have their Hamper completion on this Saturday and hopefully they have good weather. Don’t forget to spread the word regarding the next senior open competition on the 15th of December for men and ladies. The first outing was a great success and it can only get bigger.The Winter Open 4BBB competition started on the 1st of October. This competition is great because you can play any day of the week, with whoever you want and as many times as you want until you qualify. There are four monthly winners each month who go forward to the Grand Final on the 21st of June 2014. The first three pairs qualify automatically and then the fourth pair will be the best recorded score by a 4BBB made up of club members each month. The 4BBB can be any combination and it would be great to see mixed pairs taking part as a follow on from the great competition ran by John and Cheryl Chambers this summer. All details of the competition can be seen on posters displayed in the clubhouse.Results: Wednesday 26th November 2014;1st: Dan Curran 40pts2nd: Alan Simpson 39pts botGross: Donal Boyle 38pts3rd: Thomas Mc Clintock 39pts Category: Hugh Ferry 38pts1st nine: Charles mc Bride 20pts bot2nd nine: Fergal kilferder 22ptsCSS: 37pts Saturday 29th November 2014 4BBB open1st: David and Joe Walshe 60Sunday 30th November Turkey and Ham Competition1st: Derek Porter 43pts2nd: Peadar Curran 42ptsGross: Daniel Mc Colgan 35pts3rd: Brendan Kelly 41ptsCategory: Patrick hunter 35pts1st nine: Patrick mc Ginley 21pts bot2nd nine: Michael Mc Colgan Jnr 22ptsCSS: 38ptsCompetitions this coming week:The competitions are as follows:• Wednesday 3rd December Open Singles Stableford• Saturday 6th of December Open 4BBB Stroke Competition• Sunday 7th December monthly Medal competitionChristmas Party on 5th of December 2014!!!!!!!!!!You are cordially invited to a special Christmas Party to be held at the Vardon Lounge, Dunfanaghy Golf Club at 9pm on Friday the 5th December. There will be a Mulled Wine reception, Music, Refreshments, Goodies, Giveaways and a Christmas hamper to be won. Make sure tyou apps the word around and bring your friends and family along on the night.Bring friends & come along and join us for a fun filled night. Hope to see everyone there!Sunday 21st December “Santa” will make his appearance at around 4pm in the evening. To ensure that Santa has something for everyone please put your child’s details on a sheet posted on the notice board.Party Venue Alert!!!!!!!!!!We have hosted a number of private functions in the clubhouse recently and these have proved to be a great success. If you, or someone you know, is organising a private function please be aware that the clubhouse is available free of charge, with exclusive use for the occasion. So far, the feedback that we have been getting is that the golf club is the ideal venue for parties of up to one hundred people. Please make contact with Sarah if you are interested in holding a function at the clubhouse (074 91 36335)New Members alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If anyone interested in joining the golf club, we have special offers in place at the moment. All details can be viewed on our website or contacting the clubhouse and speaking to Mary or Ruth. Anyone joining now will get the rest of 2014 free of charge.A.G.M. !!!!!!!!!The Annual General Meeting of Dunfanaghy Golf Club will be held in the Clubhouse on FRIDAY 12th DECEMBER 2014 at 7.30pm.Juvenile notesCarlos O Reilly came out on top in last Saturday’s competition with Cormac Hall leading the Cadets home. This Saturday is the big one when the Christmas Hamper will be played at 8.30am sharp.GOLF NEWS: DEREK PORTER IN BLISTERING FORM AT DUNFANAGHY was last modified: December 3rd, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DunfanaghygolfNoticesSportlast_img read more



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OBITUARY NOTICES FOR TODAY – SATURDAY, JULY 9

first_imgDUFFYThe sudden death has taken place of Pat Duffy, Bogtown, West End, Bundoran. Removal from his late residence on Monday at 10.15am to The Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Bundoran, for Requiem Mass at 11am, followed by burial, immediately afterwards, in St. Ninnidh’s Cemetery, Bundoran. House private on Monday morning, please.RADU The death has occurred at her residence of Margaret Radu, Wood Road, Ardara, formerly Boyd of Loughres Point, Ardara Prayers at her late residence tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 1.30PM followed by removal to St Conal’s Church of Ireland, Ardara for funeral service at 2PM. Interment in the adjoining cemetery. Family flowers only please – Donations in lieu if desired to the Oncology Unit, Letterkenny General Hospital, c/o Derek Mc Cabe Funeral Director or any family member. House private please from 11pm to 10amWATSONThe death has occurred at the Donegal Hospice of Margaret Peggy Watson, 445 Milltown, Convoy. Removal from the hospice today at 4pm going to her late residence. Wake on Saturday and Sunday from 4pm to 8pm. Service on Monday afternoon at 2pm in St Ninian’s Church, Convoy, followed by burial in the family plot. Family flowers only please – Donations in lieu for charity if desired to Sean Kelly and Son, Funeral Directors, Oakfield, RaphoeDONAGHEY The death has taken place at Brentwood Manor Nursing Home, Convoy of Seamus Donaghey, Ardraven, Buncrana. His remains are reposing at Mc Laughlin and Mc Laughlin Funeral Home, 16 Lower Main St, Buncrana. Funeral from there tomorrow, Sunday, 9.30am for 10am Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Oratory, Buncrana, followed by burial in Cockhill cemeteryMcKELVEYThe death has taken place at Letterkenny General Hospital of Pat Mc Kelvey, Stra-na-brattog, Cloghan. His remains are reposing at his late residence. Removal from there tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 2.15PM for 3PM Requiem Mass in the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help ,Glenfin, followed by burial in the local cemetery The house is private please from 6PM today and on the morning of the funeral.SHARKEYThe death has taken place at Letterkenny General Hospital of Dan Sharkey, Loughanure. His remains are reposing at Margaret Sharkey-Duffys residence, Loughanure. Removal from there tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 9.30am for 10am Requiem Mass at St Patrick’s Chapel, Meenaweel, Crolly, with burial immediately afterwards at Maghergallon cemetery. Family flowers only, donations in lieu to Gweedore Day Centre c/o Stephen O Donnell and sons, Funeral Director or any family member. OBITUARY NOTICES FOR TODAY – SATURDAY, JULY 9 was last modified: July 9th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal death notices July 9 2011last_img read more



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BREAKING NEWS: DRUG DEALER SHOT DEAD

first_imgBREAKING NEWS: DRUG DEALER SHOT DEAD.An alleged drug dealer has been shot dead in Buncrana.The victim died of his injuries after the shooting in Lisfannon. MORE TO FOLLOW BREAKING NEWS: DRUG DEALER SHOT DEAD was last modified: February 10th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BREAKING NEWS: DRUG DEALER SHOT DEADlast_img



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CATHAL MACSUIBHNE’S GAA DIARY – MURPHY MAGIC NOT ENOUGH

first_imgMichael Murphy put in another Tour de Force display at Croke Park on Saturday night but Donegal still came up short in a cracking encounter with Kildare.No one really knew what to expect from the All Ireland Champions such was their truncated beginning to the season. They started brightly but Kildare soon began to dominant and without Neil Gallagher in the side we struggled for primary possession around the middle. They racked up some fine scores, with newcomers Niall Kelly and Daniel Flynn catching the eye. The ‘home’ side led by five and held all the aces at half time – well all but one Ace.In the second half Michael took over and almost single-handedly got his side back into it. He played a roving role that saw him pop up just about everywhere on Jones Road and he finished the night with 0-9 to his name. With Colm McFadden going off early with a hamstring injury Murphy took on extra responsibility with young Ross Wherity helping him out in the forward line. The Eunan’s newcomer showed well for the ball and kept trying but his slight frame was no match for Kildare’s physicality. Improvement in this area though and Wherity will see more and more game time – no doubt Jim already has Adam Speer working with Wherity, and indeed the other new panellists, and they will only get bigger and stronger.Having Wherity up front was in stark contrast to Kildare who had the man mountain figure of Tomas O’Connor who got a lot of joy in his full forward role for the Lilywhites; both McGee’s had a go at marking him with neither faring too well. The big man up front is certainly one way to beat this Donegal team so expect to see teams employing this tactic quite often.O’Connor got his side’s first goal after touching home a rebound off the post, bringing back memories of the infamous square ball in the 2011 Quarter Final.The next key moment of the game was the second Kildare major and unfortunately it had a bit of infamy about it as well. The country’s All Star goalkeeper had one of those howlers that every net-minder dreads. A complete misjudgement of his positioning with the ball in flight and all Paul Durcan could do was help it into the goal. He’s not the All Star No1 for nothing though and he has barely put a foot wrong in the last few years so we certainly won’t hold it against the big Four Masters man. Moments later Kildare tested him again to see how his nerves were with a high ball in on top of him but he dealt with it well. After Murphy, McHugh et al had done their bit in dragging Donegal back into the game, the goal concession halted the momentum and Kildare had enough to hold on for the win. All in all, the boys will be relatively happy with their performance; they showed plenty of heart and hunger in the second half when the game could have easily gone out of sight. Donegal lost their first two league games of last year’s campaign and they wont want that to happen again – this weekend’s clash with Down in Ballybofey is a crucial tie.McFadden will most likely be missing for that game and his scoring threat will need to be replicated by Patrick McBrearty. The Kilcar man did well on Saturday but more is needed from the young sharp shooter. His potential as a minor had him on the radar for so long and there is huge expectation on his shoulders. Many parts of his game are in place and he sees plenty of the ball every day he plays but if he could get on the scoresheet more regularly and add that killer instinct that all great forwards have, he can push onto another level.McBrearty was involved in one the scores of the game, a point started and finished in Kilcar. Substitute Mark McHugh, who made a big difference when introduced, played a ball down the channel for McBrearty. He immediately dinked it up into his hands, found McHugh again with a clever pass inside and McHugh slotted it over.This had come just a couple of minutes after probably the game’s best score and no prizes for guessing who it came from. Michael won a ball 50 yards out, drove into a gap and motored past two defenders. One managed to stay with him though and threw himself at what he thought was going to be a shot on goal. Instead Michael, showing wonderful awareness and poise, took another solo, left the Kildare man on the floor and stroked it over. It was class personified and conveyed everything that’s good about Murphy.It strange how such a wonderful individual display can lead to many viewing it as a negative but that’s often what happens, the main argument being that the team relies too much on the Maestro and if he wasn’t there we wouldn’t have a chance. Sure why wouldn’t we rely on him? The boy is a genius.Every effort should be made to get him on the ball and let him dictate proceedings. His outing on Saturday night was reminiscent of his display against Dublin in last year’s league; he got injured that night and missed three months of action yet Donegal won the games they played for that period and kept on winning upon his return.Barcelona don’t get criticised for Lionel Messi scoring almost a half of his team’s goals. Their approach is to keep possession and when the moment is right get him on the ball in the final third and he does the rest. Sounds like a good plan to me.For Michael Messi Murphy it’s no different. Gaels everywhere should just sit back and enjoy watching an artist at work. He’s the best player ever to pull on a Donegal shirt, a once in a generation talent and he’s an All-Ireland winning Captain. And thank God he’s ours! CATHAL MACSUIBHNE’S GAA DIARY – MURPHY MAGIC NOT ENOUGH was last modified: February 4th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CATHAL MACSUIBHNE’S GAA DIARYlast_img read more



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Arnold takes on cause he won’t be able to win

first_img The video-game industry actually supported that law, which does, in fact, give parents and everyone else information about the voluntary ratings system. But that law apparently wasn’t enough for the state Legislature, Yee and Schwarzenegger. The new law provides that “a person may not sell or rent a video game that has been labeled as a violent video game to a minor” and it requires that “each violent video game that is imported into or distributed in California for retail sale shall be labeled with a solid white ’18’ outlined in black.” Beyond a hopelessly vague definition of just what constitutes a violent video game, the law injects the government into a realm of decision-making that is better left to parents. As a Republican, Schwarzenegger should want less government intrusion into the worlds of both business and parents, but the new law does precisely the opposite. Another irony apparently lost on the governor. Clay Calvert is a member of the State Bar of California. Write to him by e-mail at at cxc45@psu.edu. Robert D. Richards is professor of journalism and law and co-director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa. Write to him at rdr2@psu.edu.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week But none of this apparently matters to the governor. It all made for a good photo opportunity – uniform-wearing Girl Scouts were present with Schwarzenegger when he signed the bill, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, as a made-for-television poster carrying the message “Protecting Our Children” hung in the background. And it also made for a great opportunity to score political points with parents and to shore up sliding poll numbers among the voters. Now, with a legal battle ahead of him, the governor has vowed to fight the lawsuit and urged “the attorney general to mount a vigorous defense of California’s ability to prevent the sales of these games to children.” Schwarzenegger’s recurring theme of providing parents with the tools needed to protect their children may play well with family groups, but the video-game measure he signed into law is not only unconstitutional but also pointless. The video-game industry already has in place a voluntary rating system that is specifically designed to get the parents involved. The Entertainment Software Rating Board guidelines now are placed on video-game boxes and they are available for all parents to review and examine on the ESRB’s Web site. Perhaps the governor forgot that it was just last year he signed into law California Business and Professions Code Section 20650. It mandates that “every video game retailer shall post a sign providing information to consumers about a video game rating system or notifying consumers that a rating system is available to aid in the selection of a game. The sign shall be posted within the retail establishment in a prominent area.” All of the bombast and bluster of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration is now reduced to a pair of pathetic ironies: The man who once made his living exploiting violence for bucks on the big screen has signed into law a bill restricting minors’ access to violent images in video games. And that same man who built his gubernatorial campaign on fiscal responsibility will now waste countless taxpayer dollars defending a lawsuit he surely will lose. By signing Assembly Bill 1179, Schwarzenegger simultaneously gave short shrift to the First Amendment speech rights of video-game creators and invited a time-consuming and expensive lawsuit filed this week in federal court by the video-game industry. And because similar legislation has been struck down in recent years by two different federal appellate courts, as well as a federal district court in the state of Washington, the odds are slim that the new law will withstand constitutional scrutiny. last_img read more



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Five things we learned Thursday at Raiders HQ

first_imgALAMEDA — The load was light enough for quarterback Derek Carr Thursday that he planned on getting out of the practice facility early enough to join his wife and kids for a little trick or treating near his East Bay home.Only 20 pages of new plays. Little more than a pop quiz in a spot where final exams take place almost every day.That came after a nice 60-page treatise on Wednesday.“Yeah, I’m tired,” Carr said. Raiders Hudson, Brown make Pro Bowl; Waller, Jacobs do not In his second year in the system, things have been second nature to Carr, who conceded a year ago he would sometimes remember a detail a millisecond before the ball was snapped.“Now we’re just playing football,” Carr said. “The quarterbacks were joking about how much was installed (Wednesday) and how much there is every week.”The Marshall planLinebacker Brandon Marshall conceded he was hurt when the Raiders released him after the exhibition season. He also thought the Raiders might call when Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the final 12 games of the season.For complete Oakland Raiders coverage follow us on Flipboard.“Of course I wasn’t happy, but who would be happy getting released?” Marshall said. “I’m just happy I’m back, taking one day at a time, and I’ll control what I can.”One good thing about the time off, Marshall said, is the knee that he was rehabbing throughout camp is in good shape. And if the Raiders are looking at Marshall to help with pass coverage in shallow areas, he’ll need to be as mobile as possible.Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was tight-lipped regarding how Marshall will be used. Marshall himself is still waiting to see.“When they cut me, I just threw my playbook away so I kind of had to I guess reintroduce myself to some of the schemes, some of the blitzes,” Marshall said. “A lot of it is familiar but I needed a refresher. It’s tough when you’re not sure if you’re going to come back or not. But I’m doing well.”Center Rodney Hudson has not yet been ruled out of Sunday’s game agianst the Lions ARIC CRABB/Bay Area News GroupCan Hudson play against Detroit?When we last saw Rodney Hudson Sunday, he was being taken off the field on a cart, unable to put weight on an injured ankle. Initial fears were Hudson could have a season-ending injury. By the next day, with X-rays being negative, there was enough concern to make arrangements to sign center Erik Magnuson off the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills.There seemed to be little chance Hudson would play against Detroit. But then again, Hudson is a guy who once played through kidney stones and has been virtually indestructible since signing as a free agent in 2015. So maybe it’s not all that surprising that Hudson, although he didn’t practice Thursday, hasn’t been ruled out entirely.Hudson is not wearing a walking boot, nor is he limping noticeably. Neither he nor Andre James practiced, with Richie Incognito getting another day of work at center, but Olson said he wasn’t overly concerned about the position after seeing Hudson and James “walking around:” at practice.“They’ve given us an indication they’ll be out there tomorrow,” Olson said.Jacobs is AFC Offensive Rookie of the MonthRookie running back Josh Jacobs was named the AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month after rushing for 313 yards on 62 carries during three games in October.Jacobs was limited in practice with a shoulder injury — one incurred against Green Bay and was in part responsible for getting just 15 carries against Houston. The 15 attempts were the fewest for Jacobs since getting 10 against Minnesota in Week 3 when the Raiders fell way behind and had to abandon the run.It’ says a lot not only about him but the offensive line and that entire group,” Olson said. “When you take a player in the first round, you expect success early on and he’s given us that.”Detroit coach Matt Patricia told Bay Area reporters by conference call the Lions will have their hands full.“He’s an explosive running back and one of the things that just sticks out right away is his toughness,” Patricia said. “He doesn’t want to run out of bounds. He’s going to go attack the defenders. He’s going to try and hit them before they hit him.”Mullen settling inThe moment wasn’t too big for second-round draft pick Trayvon Mullen in his NFL starting debut at cornerback, but it didn’t do much for his hydration.Mullen needed to come out for an I.V. but otherwise had a solid first game against Houston, moving into a starting role after the trade of Gareon Conley.Like our Oakland Raiders Facebook page for more Raiders news, commentary and conversation. “I think when he became a starting player you saw him come out of his shell a little bit,” Guenther said. “He was a lot more vocal. Communication with the safeties and linebackers was really good.”Related Articles Offense, as it pertains to Jon Gruden, is a living thing. It evolves and changes. A play run run one week against Houston may morph into something else against Detroit. Carr, as well as backups Mike Glennon and DeShone Kizer, must know it and understand it well enough to help position the backs, receivers and the offensive line.It’s not just that Gruden is certifiable when it comes to offensive tinkering. It’s also a way to keep everyone sharp and alert. As line coach and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan used to say during Gruden’s first go-round in Oakland, if you give an offense twenty plays, what they learn will be twenty plays.But give them more — lots more — and then real learning takes place.Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has worked for Gruden and other coaches, and declined to be specific with regard to the amount players are being asked to learn as opposed to other places.“It’s a tremendous amount of volume, I’ll say that,” Olson said. “I think our players appreciate that. It’s easy to feel stimulated coming to work when you know every day you’re going to get something new and challenging. You know his personality. He likes to challenge people.” How 6-8 Raiders can still make NFL playoffs after 4-game losing streak Raiders Straight Talk: Derek Carr speculation won’t stop any time soon Raiders’ Trent Brown goes to I.R., Jacobs won’t play against Chargers Boy gets caught in Black Hole frenzy, leaves with Derek Carr’s towel Gruden likes Mullen’s prototype height (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) but doesn’t necessarily want to see the rookie use all of it until he’s reaching for the ball.“He’s just got to stay low. Sometimes he has a tendency to get a little bit high in his backpedal and you can’t do that in this league,” Gruden said. “Not against Matt Stafford, he’s looking for you.”NOTES— Starting safety Erik Harris was present at practice but did not participate because of an illness. Wide receiver Tyrell Williams (plantar fasciitis) was a full participant in practice for the first time in nearly three weeks. Those who missed practice other than Harris, Hudson and James were wide receiver/return specialist Dwayne Harris and defensive end Josh Mauro (groin).Jacobs, linebacker Tahir Whitehead (shoulder/wrist) and defensive tackle P.J. Hall were limited.SEASON PASS DIGITAL OFFERIf you have not already, we strongly encourage you to sign up for a digital subscription, which gives you access to all content on the Mercury News and East Bay Times websites. With your support, we can continue bringing these stories — and much more — to your screens. Here’s where to sign up for the season pass: Mercury News, East Bay Times.last_img read more



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