Heaven retains JCA presidency

first_imgProminent business executive, Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven, has been re-elected as president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA).The CHASE Fund chief executive officer will head the association for a second two-year term, after turning back the challenge of incumbent secretary, Fritz Harris, 52 to 47, during the association’s annual general meeting at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday.”It feels good to be returned as president, as over the past two years, the JCA has made several strides,” said Heaven.”It is a good victory for cricket, I believe, as the association is moving in the right direction generally, and the hope is that over the next term things will get even better.”Harris, who prior to the election had served as secretary for the past two years, expressed disappointment at the result, but, in the meantime, congratulated Heaven.HARRIS DISAPPOINTED”I am naturally disappointed with the result, but it’s a membership association with the right to elect the president, and I have to respect that,” Harris said. “I must also commend the president on retaining his position.”Heaven, who prior to his ascension to the post two years ago, had promised to serve for two terms, will also have at least six of his seven executive committee nominees to work with.This is after the they won their respective contests.These include: Dr Donovan Bennett (first vice-president), Mark Neita (second vice-president), Diann Campbell (honorary secretary, Clinton Clarke (assistant secretary) and Hopeton Morrison (treasurer).At press time, the seventh executive position, that of assistant treasurer, was undecided.Kerry Scott, representing Team Heaven, and Errol Moodie, representing Team Harris, were the assistant treasurer nominees.Heaven, during his campaign, noted that several measures had been instituted during his tenure.These, he said, included: the enhancement of commitment to transparency and good governance by the filing of the first annual income tax returns in 16 years, the appointment of a chief executive officer, the implementation of lights at Sabina Park, and improvement practice facilities as well as provision of a new gymnasium and wellness centre. He also pointed to the restoration of local women’s cricket competition to the cricket calendar.Harris, in the meanwhile, a director of the JCA for over 15 years, had campaigned on a promise of change for a betterment of the game.last_img read more

Business fixated on housing

first_imgUNIVERSAL CITY – Local business leaders packed a hotel ballroom Thursday to hear an economic forecast about job rates and inflation, but home prices were what seemed to be on the tip of everybody’s tongue. Speakers at the 2007 San Fernando Valley Economic Summit at the Sheraton Universal Hotel focused on price declines (deeper in some areas), interest rates (look for an end-of-the-year adjustment) and how this housing downturn compares with those in the past (prices won’t fall as far). Five of eight breakout sessions addressed real estate. At one session, state Real Estate Commissioner Jeff Davi, who oversees licensing and regulation of real estate brokers and agents, said housing prices would inevitably inch up after the current cycle plays out. For the meantime, he saw one positive angle to level prices. “Housing prices staying flat are a good thing for businesses looking to hire people,” Davi said. At another session, panelists lamented a shrinking pool of industrial real estate and predicted shifts north to the Simi, Antelope and Central valleys. Industrial land is often also zoned for commercial, which fetches higher prices per square foot. “Industrial is going away unless something happens,” said John Degrinis, an executive at a commercial real estate organization, Collier International. The preoccupation with real estate is tied to what Valley companies said, during a survey, was the No. 1 issue they face: finding skilled workers. The survey polled 70 midsize businesses and was conducted by Davis Research as part of an annual economic forecast released Thursday from the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge. One-third of those surveyed said not being able to find enough employees topped their list of concerns, followed by 23 percent listing the rising cost of labor and health insurance. High residential real estate prices make it difficult for businesses to find a location where employees can afford to live. Long commutes, in turn, deter prospective workers and create a labor shortage. Debbie Kukta, vice president of Trojan Rivet Corp., said few of her employees can afford to live near the company’s factory in Glendale. Rivet has a task force to address the issue but there is little the company can do. “We try to pay them the highest wages we can,” Kukta said. But prices are “out of our control.” Douglas Snider sees another side to the story. As president of Wireless Applications & Management Corporation in Calabasas, he turns to regions with high housing prices because that’s where potential clients live. “For my target, it attracts the right clients,” Snider said. julia.scott@dailynews.com (818) 713-3735last_img read more

Last boys standing assure PH of bronze medals in boxing tourney

first_imgASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa – Day3 Session6 – Philippines’ John Vincent Pangga defeated United Arab Emirates’ Saif Al-Kharoosi at the flyweight (50kg). PHOTO FROM ASBC FACEBOOKPuerto Princesa—John Vincent Pangga and Kenneth dela Pena hurdled their respective opponents on Friday, assuring the Philippines of at least two bronze medals in the ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships here.Pangga beat Saif Alkharoosi of the United Arab Emirates by RSC (Referee Stops Contest) in the first round of their flyweight duel to barge into Sunday’s semifinals against Kazakhstan’s Talgat Syrymbetov.ADVERTISEMENT After drawing a bye in the first round, De La Pena, dominated India’s Selay So, 5-0, in the pinweight class to advance against Chinese Taipei’s Yu Chen-Ching.Syrymbetov beat Bhutan’s Tanding Wangchuk by RSC in the third round and, with his solid credential as Kazakhstan national junior champion, should give Pangga a tough fight.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsAnother Filipino, Norlan Petecio, bowed to Uzbekistan’s Sherzod Kodirboev, 5-0, in the lightweight division, leaving Pangga and Dela Pena to carry the fight for the host country in the event confined to 15 and 16 year olds.Criz Russu Laurente lost to Kazakhstan’s Makhmud Sabyrkhan by the same score in the light flyweight category on Thursday. NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Though they will be pitted against internationally seasoned opponents, Pangga and Dela Pena promised to give it their best shot in the five-day competition organized by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines headed by Ricky Vargas.The tournament took a break Saturday and will conclude on Monday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Silver lining Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

Victoria police chief quits as watchdog conducts investigation involving tweets

first_imgVICTORIA – Victoria’s suspended police chief quit Thursday amid an investigation into his sexually charged Twitter messages to the wife of a subordinate officer.The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board said in a statement Frank Elsner resigned from his position as chief constable and will no longer receive his salary or other benefits after his suspension a year ago.“Through his counsel, Mr. Elsner has advised that he considers his employment relationship with the police board to be at an end,” said the statement. “The police board has concluded from this advice that Mr. Elsner has resigned from his position as chief constable of the Victoria Police Department.”Elsner was not available for comment, but his Vancouver lawyer Janet Winteringham issued a brief statement.“We confirm that Frank Elsner has elected to end his employment with the Victoria Police Board,” said Winteringham’s statement. “He believes it is in the best interests of the community of Victoria for him to step aside. Due to the ongoing proceedings he is unable to make any further comment at this time including any comment with respect to the timing of this decision.”Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said Del Manak will continue to serve as the acting chief until the police board decides its future moves.“It’s basically business as usual as it’s been for the last year-and-a-half, but chief Elsner is no longer the suspended chief, he is the former chief as of today,” she said, in an interview.Helps said taxpayers will receive an accounting of the costs associated to the investigations and legal fees involving the former suspended police chief.Elsner apologized shortly after the public learned of an internal investigation that was looking into inappropriate messages he sent to a female member of another police force, who is also the wife of a Victoria police officer.He has been under investigation by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and had already been reprimanded following a police board probe into allegations of discreditable conduct and misuse of the department’s devices.B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson released a decision last month that narrowed the scope of the commissioner’s investigation by throwing out two of five allegations against Elsner.The ruling determined the Twitter issues that were investigated by the police board could not be revisited by the police complaints commissioner, but the office could examine whether Elsner contacted witnesses and if he gave misleading information to the subordinate officer and an independent investigator.British Columbia’s police watchdog said on April 19 that it would appeal the court ruling quashing parts of its investigation into the misconduct allegations.It’s unclear what happens to the commissioner’s investigation now that Elsner has resigned. No one from the commissioner’s office returned a request for comment on Thursday.Elsner had asked the court to set aside the commissioner’s probe completely, arguing that an internal investigation had already been done.He has been suspended with pay since April 2016.A separate investigation into allegations against Elsner of workplace sexual harassment has been set for a closed-door discipline hearing.last_img read more

EI fraud hits a new high for Liberals as feds chalk it

first_imgOTTAWA – The total amount of employment insurance fraud has hit a five-year high — a sign for federal officials that efforts to root out wrongful payments are working.Public accounts documents released this month list more than 104,000 incidents of fraudulent EI claims totalling almost $177 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year.It marks the fourth year that figures have increased in the wake of efforts by Employment and Social Development Canada to fine tune its fraud-sleuthing tools to improve its ability to find and deal with fraud.Officials expect to eventually collect $132.8 million of the wrongful payments identified in the fiscal year that ended in March, and plan to write off about $74,000.The amount of fraud is minuscule compared to the overall amount spent on benefits to unemployed workers, to new parents on leave, workers who need time off due to serious illness, or those who must stay off the job to care for an ailing family member.EI spending between April 2017 and March 2018 topped $19.7 billion, meaning the value of fraudulent claims was less than one per cent of total spending.“The government is committed to deliver these important benefits to Canadians when they need it most while protecting the integrity of the system from fraud and erroneous over payment,” an ESDC spokesman said in an statement.“The department has made investments to improve its efforts to identify fraud, including adjustments to its risk-based analytical models. These efforts have contributed to this increase.”Generally, the government finds it more difficult to recoup funds the later it detects fraud or overpayments.The government must collect the money within six years of identifying the wrongful payment, or officials write it off. The clock starts when an incident is flagged, but the deadline to collect can be extended if, for instance, the debtor goes to court.A review of the annual spending documents show EI write offs have been on a three year slide, hitting $43.6 million in fiscal year 2017-2018.Two years ago, ESDC rejigged the automated system that detects fraud in hopes of identifying more and larger cases of incorrect payments.The program considers some 100 variables to calculate the chance someone has received too much money, either by accident or through fraud.Similar efforts have hit other programs, including old age security benefits that cost $38.4 billion last fiscal year.Old age security fraud dropped between the 2017-18 fiscal year and the preceding 12-month period, going from 16 cases worth $1.2 million down to 10 incidents worth $494,490 — a six-year low for both figures.Likewise, Canada Pension Plan fraud has been on a downward trend, now into its fifth year.Officials found five cases, worth $92,010, but half is not expected to be recovered.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.last_img read more