Rescuing the Small Rubber Planters

first_imgOur Farm Reporter Gloria Tamba made a partial tour of Bong County last week and reported that many small rubber planters are seriously suffering for two main reasons.  The first is the steep drop in the global price of rubber.A few years back there was a rubber boom, and farmers were earning US$2000 or above per metric ton.  Then it dropped to US$1000.  That was still not too bad.  But when it dropped further to US$500 per metric ton things became very bad. Farmers, especially the small ones, could not cover the cost of production, so most of them suspended operations.One such farmer interviewed by Reporter Tamba was Mr. Napoleon Rennie of Zeansue, Bong County.  He told her the second reason why small farmers are closing their farms.  It is because the farm workers, rubber tappers, etc., are demanding higher wages.  This is a demand that small farmers cannot meet, due to the drastic drop in the rubber price. Rennie belongs to the second generation of many young men from Bong and other counties that were raised and educated by Mr. C.H. Rennie, a successful rubber planter in Cinta, Margibi County.  Napoleon’s father Blyden Rennie was one of them.  Mr. C.H. Rennie bought land up country for most of these young men and got them started in agriculture.The C.H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata is named for Mr. Rennie, a highly public spirited man.  In addition to the young men he fostered on his farm, Mr. Rennie, a native of Granada in the West Indies (otherwise known as the Caribbean), sent for many of his nephews from Granada and educated them in Liberia.  Many, including Dr. Mark, a pediatrician and Dr. Thomas, a general practitioner, following their medical training in England, returned to Liberia and ran their clinics until the war.  Another was Dr. Cox, a surgeon, who served for many years at the J.F. Kennedy Medical Center and later became a professor of medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Napoleon inherited the farm from his father Blyden Rennie.    It included 80 acres of rubber and 20 acres of other produce, including pepper, other vegetables, plantain and other crops.Napoleon told Reporter Tamba that for now, until the price of rubber improves, he will concentrate on growing food crops.Gloria also held an extensive interview with the Team Leader of the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Suacoco, Mr. Aaron Marshall.  He told her, among other things, that CARI had produced 504 metric tons of seed rice which it is distributing to farmers.Gloria has scheduled an interview with Mr. Ben Garnett, president of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL), to find out what the Association is doing to help small farmers in distress.It seems to us that the Association should be reaching out to small farmers to find ways of keeping their rubber farms open.  About two years ago President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf encouraged the Central Bank of Liberia to arrange a loan scheme of US$5 million to help rubber planters keep their farms open and, in the process, keep their tappers and other farm workers employed.It took some time for the banks to disburse the funds under this scheme, but the process is ongoing and many have benefitted, but not Napoleon Rennie.  We assume there are many other small farmers in that same category as Mr. Rennie.We urge RPAL to make immediate contacts with CARI, who being situated in Bong County, one of the nation’s breadbaskets, would contact all Bong rubber planters, including Mr. Rennie.  The aim here is to ensure that RPAL reaches out to all small rubber planters with whatever help the Association together with CARI can offer.We applaud CARI for its bold initiative in supplying seed rice to rice farmers and for the varieties of cassava it has produced to supply farmers in this sector.  We also hope that CARI can develop a strategy to support rubber planters, too, toward helping them keep their farms open.  This is because too many people are employed in this sector to ignore.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Small-small Stealing Leads to Death’

first_imgScores of teenagers and parents (or guardians) in the Borough of New Kru Town were warned that “small-small stealing leads to death.”The notion of “death” caught their attention, given that most of them have visual recollections of the many episodes of mob violence against rogues (thieves) which has usually resulted in death; not to mention the deaths of several young men who have been electrocuted while trying to illegally connect people to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) power grid, all over Bushrod Island, Monrovia. However, there were sighs of relief and exchange of glances amongst them when they were also told, “If you do not want to die, stop stealing.” The Acting Coordinator for the Justice Ministry’s Child Justice Section (CJS), Ms. Tomah Kennedy added, “stealing means taking another person’s property (anything) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.” “When you steal, you can die from the beating or by going to jail,” Madam Kennedy said.The children and parents were also challenged to stand up against juvenile delinquency by staying in school, saying no to drugs, alcohol, and violence. She gave admonition over the weekend at the New Kru Town Hall during a program marking a one-day ‘Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Dialogue’ with serious emphasis against theft in the community.The keynote speaker, Edwin Folley McGill, said parents should provide counseling for their children against bad habits, which include stealing, violence, among others. Mr. Mcgill is the Acting Assistant Minister for the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Justice. He said young people must be responsible and avoid unlawful acts that would deny them their rightful place as useful citizens.Minister Folley informed the gathering that his responsibility at the Ministry is to jail people, including young people, who come into conflict with the law, and also provide correction and rehabilitation.He stressed that young people can avoid going to prison when they stop stealing, engaging into violence, doing drugs and also committing crimes in and outside of their communities.The juvenile delinquency prevention campaign is organized by the CJS with support from UNICEF.New Kru Town, a slum community, is one of the high-risk communities for juvenile crime. Minutes after the end of the dialogue, several young participants expressed gratitude to the Child Justice Section and the UNICEF for the dialogue and promised to spread the message. Several young people won prizes for their active participation during the dialogue, which was also marked by drama performances from the Ministry of Justice Peer Educators. In an interview with Madam Kennedy, she disclosed that the ultimate goal is to stop children from getting into conflict with the law.She informed the Daily Observer that CJS is expected to move to another community. She added since the establishment of the Child Justice Section in 2010, the CJS has made progress in helping juveniles in the various prisons in the country.Madam Kennedy disclosed that similar initiative was held in Bong County early this year where over 350 young people benefited.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

59 dismissed female GuySuCo receives food hampers

first_imgFifty-nine female workers from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), who was tossed on the breadline following the closure of Skeldon and Rose Hall Estates at the end of last year were on Friday aided with food hampers, through donations garnered by the Guyana Solidarity Movement-New York (GSM-NY).Twenty-one workers from Rose Hall benefited from the presentation at Cumberland, East Canje, Berbice, while another 38 who were employed at Skeldon Estate received their hampers at another exercise at Number 74 Village, Corentyne.GSM-NY is a group of Guyanese who mainly reside in New York, who have been heart-stricken by the callous decision to close sugar estates which has made of Guyanese jobless.Some of the dismissed female estate workersAddressing the ex-workers, President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand, who also grew up in a sugar cultivation community, noted that though small, its aim is to in some way cushion the negative impact caused as a result of the estates’ closure.“While this gesture will not satisfy your problems and your needs, it will in a little way mitigate the kind of hardship you have experienced,” he explained.Meanwhile, former Culture, Youth and Sport Minister and now shadow Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony explained that the People’s Progressive Party as a party recognises the importance of helping those affected get through a difficult period.Another former Government Minister who also grew up in a community which depended on the sugar estate, Ganga Persaud, commended both GAWU and GSM-NY.Meanwhile, the Union’s President noted that despite what has happened, with support from the media, the workers concerns reached the ears of Government, causing them to promise some relief to the affected workers from Rose Hall.Over the past week, ex- female sugar workers of Wales and East Demerara Estates have also received hampers.The women expressed their appreciation to the Guyana Solidarity Movement and the overseas-resident Guyanese, who through their kind support, made the reality of the hampers possible. They pointed out that since they were dismissed, life has become extremely difficult. Many related they have searched nearly the entire length of the Corentyne Coast and in New Amsterdam for a job but have not been successful.Some of the women said life in the villages has become depressed since the estates were closed.(Andrew Carmichael)last_img read more

Fire officials say Griffith Park blaze 75 percent contained

first_imgGRIFFITH PARK – A brush fire that charred more than 800 acres in Griffith Park and threatened some of the city’s most popular landmarks was nearly contained tonight, allowing firefighters to send hundreds of evacuated residents back to their homes. Aided by water-dropping helicopters that flew overnight, firefighters had three quarters of the blaze surrounded Wednesday evening and expected full containment sometime today. “We made great progress … There is no active fire that is still moving, which is good. The wind really cooperated,” Los Angeles City Fire Capt. Rick Godinez said. Godinez noted, however, that the lack of precipitation this rainy season has dramatically raised the wildfire risk this year. “It looked like Armageddon,” the 23-year-old Edwards said. “Everything was ablaze.” About three-dozen residents spent the night at Marshall High School, where an evacuation center was set up for residents ordered to flee their homes. The evacuation order was lifted this morning and the center closed down in the afternoon. The fire, believed started by a tossed cigarette near one of the park’s golf courses, burned an estimated 817acres in the 4,200-acre park, including the landmark terraced garden, Dante’s View. Helicopter crews continued to fly deep into the narrow canyons, dropping water from Silver Lake reservoir, and fire retardant onto the flames. Armed with chainsaws, rakes and a water hose, inmates from the county Fire Department’s San Francisquito Camp got to work Wednesday leveling brush and charred tree branches. Overhead, water-dropping aircraft targeted a hot spot along Vista Del Valle Drive, where 10-foot flames licked at a smoldering tree. County Fire Capt. Bill Cyr directed the two crews in orange jumpsuits – 28 men in all – up the steep hillside finish the job. “The air drops are effective,” he said. “But they won’t get the fire out. You got to have the people. You got to have tools.” The fire hit during animal mating season, sending deer and other creatures fleeing from the flames. Officials said some animals could head into residential neighborhoods. Firefighters from as far away as Santa Barbara arrived Wednesday to relieve exhausted crews who battled the blaze overnight. Tinder-dry conditions caused by record-dry precipitation this winter, along with erratic winds and rough terrain, made the fight especially challenging. An unidentified 20-year-old man was questioned after he was discovered near the ignition point of the fire, on the northern edge of Franklin D. Roosevelt Municipal Golf Course. He suffered second-degree burns on his hands and chest and was being treated this morning at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. Los Angeles Fire Capt. Antoine McKnight said the man was talking with investigators and cited for smoking in a brush-fire area. “We are not prepared to say whether it’s arson or accidental,” McKnight said. Officials said they had sent their information to the District Attorney’s Office. Grant Mudford packed his van with his valuables Tuesday night and then waited at his home. When flames came over a hill just 100feet from his house on Dundee Place, he drove to a friend’s home. He returned around 11p.m. to protect his place from looters and stayed up nearly all night with his dog. “When you have only one-half hour to decide what’s important to you, it’s interesting what you grab,” he said. “The dog was No.1” Staff writers Sue Doyle and Eugene Tong contributed to this story. (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It’s a recipe for a good brush fire.” The park and its main attractions – the observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo, golf courses and the Autry National Center – were expected to remain closed at least through today. Officials said a concert scheduled today at the Greek Theater has been canceled. After a sudden change in wind direction, the fire burned out of control Tuesday evening, racing dangerously close to homes in the Los Feliz area, forcing the evacuation of 200 homes. Towering orange flames also came close to the Greek Theatre and the newly renovated Griffith Observatory. In the end, the fire damaged just one home. Driving away from her apartment near Griffith Park on Tuesday with a box of treasured photos, Lindsay Edwards headed for a friend’s place and kept an eye on the fire. last_img read more

Manchester United close to £46m deal?

first_img Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria 1 Paris Saint-Germain may be a step closer to signing Angel di Maria after he failed to board his flight to the United States and therefore did not join Manchester United’s pre-season tour party, Louis van Gaal has revealed.Di Maria, subject of serious interest from the French side, was due to meet up with his team-mates in San Jose on Saturday.But the British record signing did not catch his plane to California, which will fuel speculation his move to PSG is moving closer.“No,” the United manager said when asked if Di Maria had flown to San Jose.“I have heard he is not on the plane. I cannot say anything. He was not on the plane.”United have refused to comment on reports in France that they have agreed to sell the Argentina winger to the Parisian club for £46million.But the unsettled 27-year-old was not in the US for Saturday’s 3-1 win over Barcelona in Santa Clara and neither was Marcos Rojo, who had been also been given extended leave following the Copa America.The only person who reported for duty who was supposed to was Javier Hernandez, who was playing for Mexico in the Gold Cup.“Marcos Rojo was also not on the plane. He had passport issues,” Van Gaal added.“That I do know. But for Di Maria I do not know why. Javier Hernandez is here.”last_img read more


first_imgTwo Donegal Jiu-Jitsu competitors Katie Sweeney and Mairead Coyle are preparing for their next fight by heading to Amsterdam for an intensive three-day training camp.The girls will be exposed to top-class training over the three-day period from a series of revered teachers from the world of Jiu-jitsu.It is expected that fifty other girls from all over the world will also attend the high profile camp. The camp will help prepare both Donegal girls for their upcoming fights in the third leg of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu League.The competition will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Letterkenny on Sunday the 14th of September.The girls fight out of the Rillion Gracie academy in Letterkenny, and are taught by Brian Coyle.Katie Sweeney spoke to Donegal Daily about the forthcoming trip to Amsterdam, and said she was both excited and nervous about the training camp. Katie said, “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and Mairead to learn the arts of Jiu-Jitsu from some of the most revered teachers in the whole world.“It’s going to be an intense camp, but I can’t think of a better way for us to prepare for a fight.“Over fifty girls are expected to attend from all over the world and that just shows you how highly revered the teachers are that so many want to attend the camp.“We’re both excited about the opportunity to get to train with and learn from some of the top BJJ females in the world.“We will get the opportunity to grapple(spar) with these girls from different BJJ ranks which will really test our skills. “It’s going to be a great experience, and we will learn so much from it.The camp in Amsterdam runs from the 22nd-24th of August and the girls will receive expert advice from Yasmin Sewgobind, 2013 European Black Belt Champ.Also in attendance at the camp will be Yasmine Wilson, part of the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation World Championships at brown belt featherweight, now black belt, plus Jen Flannery- Brown Belt and Female head instructor of BJJ in the USA.DONEGAL JIU-JITSU GIRLS HEAD TO AMSTERDAM FOR TRAINING CAMP was last modified: August 18th, 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:AmsterdamJiu JitsuKatie SweeneyNoticesSportTraining Camplast_img read more


first_imgLETTERKENNY girl Arlene Crossan helped Ireland to a silver medal in the weekend schools international at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.The Finn Valley AC athlete was part of Ireland’s pentathlon over-16 girls team.She finished sixth overall while team mate Elizabeth Morland took individual gold. SUPER ARLENE HELPS IRELAND TO SILVER IN SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL was last modified: December 15th, 2014 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:Arlene CrossanFinn Valley ACIrelandletterkennylast_img read more


first_imgJohn Hannigan——-Sports’ Gentleman.Letterkenny Golf Club.John Hannigan’s awareness of Barnhill happened by chance when, as a psychiatric nurse in charge of a group of patients, he had them involved in helping to clear trees and bushes for the development of Letterkenny Golf Club as part of their rehabilitation. From this, he developed his interest In playing golf. John became a very skillful golfer and soon reached category one status as a 4 handicapper. He represented the club many times in the Donegal inter club league.John had been the P.R.O. of the Donegal Seniors Alliance, was a former Captain of the Letterkenny Hospital’s golfing society and was also the 2014 President of that Society.John and his wife Clare had, over the past few years, become great patrons of the members’ restaurant and you could be assured of receiving a very warm welcome and a chat every Friday night when they dined at the club. The club Captain, Lady Captain, President and all members extend their sincere sympathies to Clare and family at this time.The course will be closed on Saturday from 11.00 a.m. to 12 noon as a mark of respect.  JOHN HANNIGAN: TRIBUTE TO A SPORTS GENTLEMAN FROM HIS FRIENDS AT LETTERKENNY GOLF CLUB was last modified: April 25th, 2014 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:JOHN HANNIGANletterkennylast_img read more

Man says desertion was worst mistake

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Jenkins was a 24-year-old sergeant when he crossed the border into North Korea. He stayed for 39 years, appearing in propaganda films and teaching English. In 1980, he married a Japanese woman who had been kidnapped and taken to North Korea to train spies in Japanese language and culture. She was released in 2002 and Jenkins followed two years later, surrendering to U.S. authorities and serving a month in jail for desertion. The couple now live in Japan. Jenkins told “60 Minutes” that his government handlers assigned him a Korean woman with whom he was supposed to have sex twice a month, and they beat him severely when he balked. RALEIGH, N.C. – A U.S. Army deserter who spent decades in North Korea says his communist keepers abused him and controlled every aspect of his life, down to telling him how often to have sex. “It was the worst mistake anyone ever made,” Charles Jenkins said. “In words, I cannot express the feelings I have towards North Korea, the harassment I got, the hard life.” In an interview airing Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes, Jenkins said he was given no painkillers when a tattoo on his forearm that read “U.S. Army” was cut off with a scalpel and scissors. “They told me the anesthetic was for the battlefield,” said Jenkins, a North Carolina native. “It was hell.” 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


first_imgA woman has pleaded guilty to setting fire to a house belonging to a brother of singer and former presidential candidate Dana Rosemary Scallon.Letterkenny Court.Stacey Doran appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court today. She is charged with setting fire to a property belonging to Mr John Brown at Main Street, Newtowncunningham on April 11th, 2011.Doran (29), of Ballybegley, Newtowncunningham, pleaded guilty to the charge but said nothing else.She is charged along with another woman who is also before the courts in relation to the same charge.Judge John O’Hagan adjourned the case until April, 2015 for sentence and asked to examine suitability for a probation or community service report.DONEGAL WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SETTING DANA’S BROTHER’S HOUSE ON FIRE was last modified: December 9th, 2014 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)last_img read more