Health Minister-Designate Gets More Support

first_imgAs confirmation proceedings draw nearer, Health Minister-designate, Dr. Bernice Dahn, continues to get extensive support from professional and medical institutions in the country.The latest expression of support and solidarity comes from Liberia’s oldest medical association, Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA), headed by Dr. Moses B.F. Massaquoi.In a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, the LMDA called on the Senate to confirm Dr. Dahn as Liberia’s new Minister of Health.The letter pointed out that it has been a long road to rebuild Liberia’s health sector to the level preceding the civil war years during which the country was decimated.The LMDA acknowledged the crucial asset of health workers, who responded admirably and courageously to the Ebola outbreak.The health workers, the LMDA asserted, demonstrated bravery in the face of fear, hope in the face of despair  and compassion in the face of tragedy and they must be commended and honored.They admitted that although Liberia’s system was   not prepared for an outbreak of such magnitude and scope as Ebola, Liberians were able to work together to defeat the deadly virus.Liberians and their international partners, the LMDA letter  stated, made great strides toward driving out the dreadful Ebola disease.“This would not have been possible without strong leadership from the outset…before the whole country, let alone the rest of the world, realized what was happening and how serious it was,” the LMDA’s letter asserted.The LMDA further noted that Dr. Dahn fearlessly led the fight against Ebola for several months before international response scaled up to the challenge and any additional support was available to the country.“Equally as important as her role at the outset, Dr. Dahn has been committed to improving the healthcare  system for Liberians for the entirety of the eight years that she has served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the Ministry of Health,” the LMDA maintained.The LMDA further reminded the Senate that Dr. Dahn has worked tirelessly to promote access to essential health services, ensure that health workers are adequately trained and compensated and struggled continuously to improve efficiency and effectiveness of health sector management.“Therefore, on behalf of the association, it is our pleasure to write to you today [to give] a strong vote of confidence for the confirmation of Dr. Bernice Dahn as Minister of Health.”The LMDA also chronicled accomplishments of the Health Minister-designate since the commencement of her tenure of service at the Health Ministry.The MOHSW, said the LMDA,  exceeded the International  Monetary Fund’s target of providing Basic Primary Health Services at 71% facilities in the country as part of the completion of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)  in December 2010.Under Dr. Dahn’s stewardship, said the LMDA, the 2007-2011 National Health Policy and Plan was able to provide such services at 82% of Primary Healthcare facilities in the country in record time.Dr. Dahn was the chief architect of the plan to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Liberia was the first sub-Saharan country to achieve MDG4 (reducing child mortality) prior to the deadline, the LMDA declared.As CMO, Dr. Dahn played a pivotal role in increasing the number of HIV testing sites in the country from 22 to 369.  Her nomination is, therefore, the perfect choice as it allows for continuity of ownership and accountability to sustain and surpass the gains, the LMDA asserted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ex-Crematorium Workers Stigmatized

first_imgThirty-six men who were hired to cremate corpses during the Ebola crisis in 2014 are complaining of being stigmatized in their communities, making life unbearable for them.The men live in Marshall, Margibi County and they say they cannot easily find work to do to earn their living, because they have been marked by residents as people who cremated Ebola corpses.“When we walk in the community, people point at us and remark that we are Ebola body burners. As a result, people won’t give us contracts to do for a living. I have decided to tutor my two daughters at home because when they go to school, friends often tell them that their father burned Ebola bodies and this can play on them. Moreover they are not allowed to play with other children,” Franklin McCathy said.He said as a result of the stigma, his wife has left him and now feels miserable.“Community residents have made us to be known as ‘Ebola body burners’, and we need help to resettle elsewhere. The only thing we are asking philanthropists to do is to resettle us elsewhere,” he said.McCathy, however, noted that they are surviving by the mercy of non-governmental organizations that occasionally give them sand digging contracts. “Without these NGOs and some UN organizations, no builder in the entire Marshall would award us contracts because we are stigmatized as Ebola body burners.”Otis Torbor who is a builder said, “I have four children but I cannot get work as a builder to support them. I am known here as Ebola body burner, and for this reason people do not come around me.”“I would be happy if any humanitarian group can assist me to resettle in another community where I can go on with my life,” he said.J.T. Josiah alluded to the ordeal ex-crematorium workers are facing but noted that he is living with it and struggling to survive.Like the others, Josiah said they were hired by the Liberian government to cremate corpses of Ebola victims in order to prevent the disease from spreading, but afterward they became stigmatized.He said wherever they go in the community people call them ‘Ebola dead body burners,’ making it difficult for them to be associated with neighbors and other friends.“It is difficult for us to find contracts here to do to earn a living, and we will actually need help from humanitarian workers to resettle us to another area where we will not suffer stigma,” Josiah said.Meanwhile, the scourge is gone and all other prohibited activities including handshaking and large gatherings of people have resumed. However, the aftermath having to do with stigma is still posing psychosocial pain to survivors and those that played major roles in fighting the virus.Up to now survivors still complain of discrimination while many orphans are said to be still without support.Unlike other affected countries where government reportedly constructed dwellings to host survivors and orphans, Liberia is without such homes and survivors and orphans are left with relatives to care for them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

QPR 2-2 Blackburn: Rovers remain winless after draw at Loftus Road

first_img QPR 2-2 Blackburn Queens Park Rangers twice came from behind to claim a point at home to Blackburn on Wednesday. Shane Duffy put Rovers ahead on 14 minutes after finishing from close range but Chris Ramsey’s side hit back a minute into the second half when Adam Henley diverted into his own net.Jordan Rhodes restored the visitors’ lead on the hour, converting a headed pass from Bangaly-Fode Koita from inside the box.      Nedum Onuoha rescued a draw for QPR with 11 minutes remaining with a powerful header to ensure Rovers’ winless start to the season continued. 1last_img read more

Young man being sought

first_imgPALMDALE – Sheriff’s deputies are asking the public’s help in finding a young man suspected of stealing from a woman who had taken him and his girlfriend into her home. Casey Nilson, 21, is suspected of burglarizing the woman’s Palmdale home in November after she kicked the couple out for drug use, Detective Dan Gordon said. “He didn’t reward her for her kindness,” Gordon said. Some of the woman’s jewelry turned up in a pawn shop, he said. 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 MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsNilson frequents low-priced motels in the Antelope Valley, Gordon said. For awhile, he was living in Boron, and Gordon made several trips there trying to find him, but was eventually told he had moved. Nilson was described as white, about 6-feet-2 and 195 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call Gordon at (661) 267-4316.last_img read more

Service will link Valley to beach

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The shuttle bus service, which makes 13 stops, carries weekend hikers, bikers and beach-goers across the Santa Monica Mountains and along the coast from Malibu Lagoon to Zuma Beach – ideal spots for sun bathing, surfing, hiking, bicycling and picnicking. For more information on taking the Orange Line to meet the 161 bus to the ParkLINK Shuttle, go to or call (800) COMMUTE. (818) 713-3699 WOODLAND HILLS – A new service linking various forms of public transportation will make it easier for San Fernando Valley residents to hike the Malibu hills and hit the beaches. The service – a combination of the MTA 161, the Orange Line and the ParkLINK Shuttle – debuts Saturday. Through Labor Day, Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus Line 161 will meet the National Park Service ParkLINK Shuttle at Las Virgenes and Agoura roads four times a day on weekends and holidays. Selected 161 buses will make stops at Warner Center to pick up Orange Line riders in Woodland Hills four times a day, with two trips in the morning leaving Warner Center and two trips in the afternoon from the Las Virgenes/Agoura roads stop. “This is the first time Valley residents will be able to get into the mountains and to the Malibu beaches without having to sit in traffic,” said Kim Upton, MTA spokeswoman. “This is a new way to get there. It doesn’t just link you with the beach, but 10 stops within the mountains. The ParkLINK Shuttle has been running for a year now, but this is the first time the 161 is connecting the Orange Line to the ParkLINK Shuttle.” 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

Tax cuts just start of better economy

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2It is expected that Los Angeles will fully implement the 15 percent tax cut on businesses by 2009, but the tax cuts should not stop there. City Council members – following the lead of Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti – should continue the phase-in so that we can overcome the perception that the tax cut is merely a cosmetic change. Furthermore, additional reforms – such as eliminating the double taxation of “pass-throughs” and further reducing the number of tax categories – will help retain businesses already in Los Angeles and improve our image. Ironically, since the City Council took a big step forward with business-tax reform in 2004, it has taken several steps back with anti-business ordinances, such as the new grocery-worker retention ordinance and pending ordinances to require hotels near Los Angeles International Airport to pay their employees the city’s prevailing wage. If City Hall is serious about improving Los Angeles’s business climate, it will work with the business community to grow our economy and create well-paying jobs as well as new tax-revenue sources. State legislators must do their part as well. While workers’ compensation and health care costs are still higher here than in most states, as are the number of lawsuits against employers, more and more bills are being championed in Sacramento that unfortunately reinforce the perception that California is a tough place to grow a business. The Kosmont-Rose survey should serve as a wake-up call for city and state lawmakers: We must make our cities more competitive in order to create jobs and grow our tax revenues. Brendan Huffman is president of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association and was a member of the L.A. Business Tax Advisory Committee.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WITH the recent news that the city of Los Angeles has become the 16th-most-expensive city in America in which to do business, it is clear that City Council members need to take additional steps to make our city more competitive. But tax cuts for businesses are only part of the solution. Despite the fact that Los Angeles is phasing in a 15 percent business-tax cut over five years, the city’s ranking rose in this year’s annual Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey. The survey ranks 398 cities throughout the nation and measures strengths and weaknesses of each business climate, including taxes, utility fees, incentives and permits. In the business community, we know full well that a 15 percent tax cut is not enough to lure large employers to Los Angeles when thriving cities down the street, such as Burbank and Glendale, don’t even charge business taxes. And we also know that cutting taxes and simplifying the process led to a dramatic increase in business-tax revenues to city coffers: from $290 million in 1999 to $424 million in 2006. Certainly, exempting all businesses grossing less than $100,000 annually – approximately 60 percent of Los Angeles’ businesses – was a proud moment at City Hall in 2004. However, those businesses do not represent a significant employer base. Much more needs to be done to attract businesses with hundreds of employees and significant taxpaying potential. Today, approximately 20 percent of Los Angeles businesses pay 80 percent of the city’s total revenues. These are the types of employers the city should be targeting. last_img read more

Playhouse schedule announced with flair

first_imgSept. 9, 8 p.m. – Laser light show featuring music of Pink Floyd. $20. Sept. 15, 16, 22, 23, 8 p.m., Sept. 17, 24, 2 p.m. – “Lilies of the Field.” $14, $10. Oct. 1, 2 p.m. – Travelogue “Cruising the Orient on the Queen Elizabeth 2.” $5. Oct. 6, 7, 13, 14, 8 p.m. Oct. 8, 15 2 p.m. – Palmdale Repertory Theatre presents “Black Comedy.” $12, $10. Oct. 21, 22, 1 p.m. – “Anansi the Spider,” $12, $8. Oct. 27, 7 p.m. – State Street Ballet performs “American Legends.” $22, $18. Oct. 28, 7 p.m. – Gregg Young and the 2nd Street Band, $18, $14. Oct. 29, 2 p.m. – The Watts Prophets, $16, $12. Nov. 4, 6 p.m. – “The Transformative Heart” documentary. Free. Nov. 5, 2 p.m. – Travelogue “Real World of Fiji.” $5. Nov. 12, 2 p.m. – Travelogue “Jerusalem – Sacred and Profane.” $5 Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. – Palmdale Youth Orchestra Holiday Concert. $8, $6. Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 8 p.m., Dec. 3, 10, 17, 2 p.m. – “Scrooge – The Musical.” $18, $14. Dec. 5, 8 p.m. – Pianist Robin Spielberg performs “In the Heart of Winter – Chanukah.” $14, $10. Dec. 11, 8 p.m. – Ney Nava Dance Theater with Mitra Rahbar. $16, $12. Dec. 12, 8 p.m. – Houseful of Honkeys. $18, $14. Dec. 19, 8 p.m. – Lula Washington Dance Theater. $20, $16. Jan. 5, 9:30 a.m., 7 p.m. – “A Kid’s Life.” $10, $8. Jan. 12, 13, 19, 20, 8 p.m. Jan. 14, 21, 2 p.m. – Desert Opera Theatre presents “My Fair Lady.” Jan. 15, 7 p.m. – Frank Graves and Jump. $14, $10. Jan. 27, 8 p.m. – The Tokens. $16, $12. Feb. 2, 3, 9, 10, 8 p.m. Feb. 4, 11, 2 p.m. – Palmdale Reperatory Theatre presents “The Fairy Godmother Files.” $12, $10. Feb. 14, 8 p.m. – Side Street Strutters. $25. Feb. 15, 16, 17, 8 p.m. Feb. 18, 2 p.m. – One-Act Festival. $12, $8. Feb. 20, 7 p.m. – “The Dragon Wakes” Chinese New Year celebration. $10, $8. Feb. 25, 2 p.m. – Travelogue “Natural Wonders of the Northeast Coast.” $5. March 2, 3, 9, 10, 8 p.m. March 4, 11, 2 p.m. – Will and Company presents “Portraits of Courage.” $14, $10. March 14, 7 p.m. – “Musical Inspiration.” $8, $6. March 17, 8 p.m. – Browne Sisters and George Cavanaugh. $20, $15. March 23, 24, 30, 31, 8 p.m. March 25 and April 1, 2 p.m. – Desert Opera Theatre presents “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” March 31, 2 p.m. – Cesar Chavez Day celebration. Free. April 13, 7 p.m. – Palmdale Junior Ballet performs “The Tempest.” $12, $10. April 14, 7 p.m. – “King Lear.” $22, $18. April 15, 2 p.m. – “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” $14, $10. April 25, 5 p.m. – Holocaust Remembrance Day program. Free. April 20, 21, 27, 28, 8 p.m. April 22, 29, 2 p.m. – Palmdale Repertory Theatre presents “Into the Woods.” $16, $14. May 4, 8 p.m. – Gospel music jubilee. $12, $10. May 5, 8 p.m. – Mexico Vivo Dance Co. celebrates Cinco de Mayo. $16, $12. May 6, 2 p.m. – Travelogue “Canada’s National Parks.” $5. May 10, 11, 12, 7:30 p.m., May 12, 2 p.m. – Palmdale City Players’ Summer Celebration Spotlight Theater. $7, $5. May 13, 2 p.m. – Showstoppers. $20, $15. May 18, 7:30 p.m., May 19, 2 p.m. – Palmdale Youth and Community Dance Company Summer Celebration. $8, $6. May 19, 7:30 p.m. – Palmdale Youth and Community Orchestra Summer Celebration. $8, $6. May 20, 2 p.m. – Palmdale Youth and Community Choirs Summer Celebration, $8, $6. (Second ticket price is for students, seniors age 55 or older, military or youth age 12 or younger.) The Palmdale Playhouse is at 38334 10th St. E. Tickets are available at (661) 267-5685.160Want 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 MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The playhouse’s 12th anniversary will be celebrated Sept. 9 with a laser light show to the music of Pink Floyd. Former Palmdale City Councilman Joe Davies will receive the annual Medici Award as a supporter. Visiting acts will include a 1960s vocal group, The Tokens, on Jan. 27; the Santa Barbara-based State Street Ballet, dancing to classic American music, on Oct. 27; a comedy troupe, Houseful of Honkeys, on Dec. 12; and the Side Street Strutters on Feb. 14. The 11th annual Shakespeare Festival will feature “King Lear” on April 14 and an adaptation of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” on April 15, performed by a traveling troupe, Will and Company. The Palmdale Junior Ballet will dance “The Tempest.” In the theater’s 10th annual Children’s Festival, to be held on Oct. 21 and 22, youngsters will have a chance to draw sidewalk pictures with chalk, make crafts and watch puppets perform “Anansi the Spider.” Palmdale Playhouse 2006-07 Season Aug. 4, 5, 11, 12, 8 p.m., Aug. 12, 1 p.m., Aug. 6, 13, 2 p.m. – Desert Opera Theatre presents “Fiddler on the Roof.” $20, $17. PALMDALE – Just about any holiday you can think of will be commemorated next season at the Palmdale Playhouse. A musical production of “A Christmas Carol;” a Hanukkah piano recital; dancing for the Persian New Year, Kwanzaa and Cinco de Mayo; acrobatics for the Chinese New Year and Celtic music for St. Patrick’s Day are on the schedule. “This season is really the most culturally diverse we’ve ever had,” the city’s cultural arts and theater manager, Dea McAllister, said. Publicizing upcoming shows, McAllister wore a blond wig and Mayor Jim Ledford was dressed in a suit and homburg hat Tuesday as they entered the Palmdale Playhouse to the theme song of “Green Acres,” a 1965-71 TV sitcom still popular in reruns. The country theme was in homage to a musical version of “Charlotte’s Web” that will be performed July 28, 29 and 30 by teenagers in the city’s summer theater camp. last_img read more

Rodgers: Unbeaten season would be remarkable achievement

first_img“Whatever era it is, whatever league, it’s all relative and for us it’s been a brilliant team performance up until now. Everyone’s played their part, some more so than others, but it’s been a real collective effort.“The supporters have played a huge part in that also. The support we get wherever we go is absolutely incredible.“It’s been a real unified effort by everyone and hopefully we can do that and finish it off at the weekend.”Rodgers wasn’t taking anything for granted ahead of Sunday’s match but said that adding to the impressive goal and points tally was extra motivation. “We’ve still got to do the job and we’re very determined to do that,” he said. “[Against Partick Thistle] we reached a real high standard and equalled the record amount of wins in the league so we’ll try and beat that and reach 34. “The number of goals is 105 so can we beat that? “So there’s plenty to play for.” Brendan Rodgers believes his Celtic team would have achieved something remarkable if they could complete the Premiership season without a single defeat.Celtic play Hearts in their final Premiership fixture of the season and if they can draw or win on home turf then they’ll be the first team to go undefeated in the Scottish top flight since 1899.Rodgers praised his squad for their efforts and achievements so far and said that becoming “invincibles” would be another high point in a season that has already seen them win two trophies and could yet deliver a domestic treble.“I think it’s an incredible achievement by the team,” the Celtic manager said. “This journey started back in June last year and to arrive at this point with 33 wins and four draws and an opportunity on Sunday in front of a packed out Celtic Park to go through and win the game… it would be a remarkable achievement.last_img read more

Lennon hails Stokes after ‘terrific’ third Hibs debut

first_img“I don’t have a clear idea who I’m going to play against Rangers on Saturday.” “To get two goals and assist was terrific. There was real quality to his touches and play in general.“It was great that he got 90 minutes and got his goals – that is what he is here for. We’re playing him in his right position and we think he’ll score goals.”Next up for Lennon and his players is a trip to Ibrox to play Rangers and having seen Stokes, Simon Murray, Efe Ambrose and Deivydas Matulevicius all find the net against Ayr, the manager admitted he had real competition for places. “There are some tough calls for Saturday now, but that is what you want,” he said.  Hibs manager Neil Lennon singled out Anthony Stokes for praise after the striker netted a double in his side’s 5-0 League Cup win over Ayr United.The Irish forward was making the first appearance of his third stint at Easter Road and he was the standout performer as Hibs booked their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.Lennon said he was particularly pleased to see his high-profile signing hit the ground running despite a lack of match action over the summer.“Stokes showed some great touches considering that was his first run out in a long time,” he said. last_img read more

The 23rd annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is Saturday, May 9, 2015.

first_imgIt’s easy to help:Collect and bag non-perishable food items. In the next couple of weeks the Salem & Campbellsburg letter carriers will be passing out JayC bags with a “Stamp Out Hunger” information card attached.On May 9th, 2015 place your items by your mailbox for the letter carrier to deliver to the Washington County Food Bank. “Many people in this country struggle with hunger every day,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We are honored to be able to help people in need by leading an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans. Six days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work, and we’re committed to helping meet those needs.” For more than a decade, the drive has annually collected more than 70 million pounds of food. Over the course of its history, the food drive has collected 1.3 billion pounds of food to help feed our neighbors. Last year they picked up and delivered over 1,000 lbs. of food! For more than 20 years, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has conducted an annual nationwide food drive on the second Saturday in May. Using the unparalleled postal networks, letter carriers collect non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes. It is held in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Among the many local volunteer groups that will help are the United Way, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, National Guard units, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boy/Girl Scouts, various student groups, Rotary Clubs and AARP groups. last_img read more