Image issues hound start of Alaska’s Iditarod sled dog race

first_imgBut PETA has also increased its pressure on Iditarod sponsors, targeting them with mass email campaigns. Given the Iditarod’s strong name recognition outside Alaska, even the perception of animal mistreatment could be a “big brand hit,” according to branding expert Bob Dorfman of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco.Pressure from a prominent organization like PETA could make sponsors think twice, according to Dorfman.“If they have a legitimate case, it’s going to be very difficult to say, ‘OK, I’m backing this,’ because in a sense, you’re backing cruelty to animals,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra LATEST STORIES Kawhi Leonard hits winner, Raptors beat Trail Blazers FILE – In this March 3, 2018, file photo, Eagle River, Alaska musher Tom Schonberger’s lead dogs trot along Fourth Avenue during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska. The world’s foremost sled dog race kicks off its 47th running this weekend on Saturday, March 2, 2019, as organizers and competitors strive to push past a punishing two years for the image of the sport. Some of the drama has been resolved for Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen, File)ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The world’s foremost sled dog race kicks off its 47th running this weekend as participants strive to push past a punishing two years for the sport’s image.Some of the drama has been resolved for Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. In December, race organizers cleared four-time winner Dallas Seavey of any wrongdoing in a 2017 dog-doping scandal. New members also have been appointed to the Iditarod’s governing board following musher discontent over perceived conflicts.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In December, Hooley said he was leaving after 25 years with the Iditarod to take on a new opportunity outside the state, but added he was not at liberty to say what it was. He said his departure had nothing to do with the Iditarod coming off a difficult time.Earlier pressure from activists led to the sport addressing “past imperfections,” said four-time champion Jeff King.“The last couple years have been very trying for many,” he said. “But in the end, I think there will be good that comes out of it.”The Iditarod begins Saturday with a short ceremonial run in Anchorage, the state’s largest city. The real race to the old Gold Rush town of Nome starts Sunday in Willow, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the north.The 52-team field — the smallest in more than two decades — includes defending champion Joar Ulsom, of Norway, along with King and two other four-time winners and a three-time champion. St. George said he doesn’t believe the number of competitors is indicative of any trend. But the economy could play a role because of the big expense involved in mushing, and St. George said some mushers have retired or are taking time off or racing elsewhere.ADVERTISEMENT But animal activists are turning up the heat over multiple dog deaths in the history of the 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) race, which spans mountain ranges, the frozen Yukon River and dangerous sea ice along the Bering Sea coast, with village checkpoints staged across the trail. Big-name sponsors continue to drop their support, and have been replaced by smaller, Alaska-based backers. And organizers still grapple with budget strains manifested in a purse far below the prizes offered in the recent past.The expected top prize is $50,000, the same amount as last year, but more than $20,000 below the 2017 prize. The total purse is again $500,000 — about $250,000 below the 2017 purse. The prize money comes from sponsors and other sources, including fundraisers, special promotions and the Iditarod Insider, a paid online subscription that provides race coverage.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThe Iditarod has survived similar pressures, said Chas St. George, acting CEO of the Iditarod Trail Committee.“We have a bright future as long as we stay committed to and focused on what’s in the best interest of the sled dogs and in the best interest of the communities that are part of this race, that step up every year to make this happen,” said St. George, who is filling in at the helm while the board seeks a replacement for longtime CEO Stan Hooley, who departed in January. That is the case with Seavey, who has adamantly denied giving the opioid painkiller tramadol to his dogs during the 2017 Iditarod.Seavey skipped last year’s race in protest, competing instead in Norway’s Finnmarkslopet race. He said he’s going back to this year’s Finnmarkslopet, which starts about a week after the Iditarod, because of unfinished business after placing third last year.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime Iditarod critic, plans to protest at both starting points. By PETA’s count, more than 150 dogs have died in the race, including one last year. Five dogs connected with the 2017 race also died.The total number of deaths is disputed by race officials, who cannot provide their own count because they say no records of dog deaths were kept in the Iditarod’s early years. St. George didn’t immediately respond to a request Friday morning for the number of dog deaths they have counted.For this year’s race, PETA posted ads on Anchorage public buses that say, “Iditarod: Chained, suffering and dying dogs. End the race.” PETA maintains the dogs are forced to run and are subjected to cruel conditions that leave them with bloody paws, stress fractures and other injuries.“This race is an annual tragedy. It’s nothing more than organized animal abuse,” PETA spokeswoman Colleen O’Brien said in an email to The Associated Press.Mushers and race officials say great strides have been made in animal care, thanks largely to the Iditarod, the mushers themselves and an army of veterinarians stationed at every checkpoint along the trail.This year’s race, for example, incorporates a new rule that requires mushers be automatically be removed from the race if a dog dies, unless the death is caused by an unpreventable hazard like a moose encounter.The lifestyle of keeping and training sled dogs year-round actually enhances the animals’ lives, contrary to critics’ claims, said veteran musher Matthew Failor, who is running his eighth Iditarod.“You’re never going to get rid of PETA,” he said. “Those are extremists, just like dog mushers are extremists. We love our dogs as much as they don’t want dogs to pull you around.” Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California collegecenter_img Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history View comments MOST READ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

APNU/AFC’S sinister messages, “dog whistle”, overt threats to avoid elections

first_imgDear Editor,The newest element of a strategy to avoid elections totally or, at least, delay elections for as long as possible, even if laws are violated, is to issue threats in the form of a dog whistle. The obvious and sinister threats contained in the messages are clear and these threats are directed to certain people, including the new Chair of GECOM. Make no mistake, David Granger’s meeting with GECOM was a dog whistle in itself. APNU/AFC deliberately telegraphed to the media that Granger was meeting GECOM with a December date in mind for elections. That never happened, but the speculation fueled by APNU/AFC was sinisterly intended to telegraph to Claudette Singh that she should not consider any date before December.Speaking on behalf of APNU/AFC/PNC, George Norton contemptuously declared they will consider GECOM’s new Chair’s position on House-to-House (HTH) Registration in determining the way forward, thereby withdrawing the onus they placed on GECOM to determine the date for elections. Previously, with their hand-picked, illegally appointed Chair, a man placed at the head of GECOM to do the bidding of Granger and APNU/AFC, their position was whatever GECOM decides APNU/AFC and the country are bound by. Granger abdicated his presidential duty to name a date for elections to GECOM, insisting the date for elections is the mandate for GECOM. Now that a new legally appointed Chair is in place who APNU/AFC is uncertain will unreservedly follow APNU/AFC’s dictum, their posture has changed. This is the genesis of Norton’s statement, giving notice, APNU/AFC has no obligation to accept GECOM’s decision, even if that decision is based on the law and on judicial mandates. It is a dog whistle, directed to the new Chair, she has no responsibility to determine elections timeline.From their previous position, it was GECOM’s responsibility to determine when elections must be held, APNU/AFC has shifted to a position that the responsibility is entirely that of the President. Of course, both positions are wrong. It is only the responsibility of the President to name a date within a constitutionally-mandated timeframe. At as this time, that date must be on or before September 18.GECOM’s present HTH Registration, embarked on through the direction of the previously illegal Chairman, is in contravention of that constitutionally-mandated election timeline. The new Chair has responsibly indicated she is obligated to adhere to the Constitution and the law. In that case, she has no alternative but to support the legally available mechanism to have a list available for elections within the constitutional timeline, presently by September 18. That legally available option is a Claims and Objections period, even the Chief Elections Officer conceded that. With Claims and Objections, elections is possible within the constitutionally-mandated three months. HTH Registration will not permit elections by September 18, it will extend the time unreasonably way beyond this date.Every day, there is more evidence added to the already overwhelming evidence trove, APNU/AFC/PNC, from the beginning, have done everything possible to prevent the holding of elections, which, in accordance with the Constitution, should have been held since March 21, 2019. George Norton’s vulgar pronouncement on HTH Registration and Granger’s seemingly useless visit to the Commission are signals to the Chair, a dog whistle, telegraphing their intention to accept nothing other than a continuation of HTH Registration and elections sometime in the far distant future. These are clear signals to the new GECOM Chair that GECOM’s decision must be in accord with what APNU/AFC/PNC wants, not what is legal, not what the Judiciary says, not what the Constitution demands, or else.APNU/AFC/PNC is determined to violate the Constitution, avoiding an election like the black plague. Each time, their delaying tactic faces a stern rebuke and a possible wall, they resort to bullying. When the Attorney General told an audience last Monday there will be “dire consequences”, invoking the fear of mayhem on the streets of Guyana, it was a frontal threat not to dare stand in their way. It was not just a threat to the public, it was a warning to the GECOM Chair that she will be responsible for the mayhem in the streets if she adheres to anything other than what the PNC wants.The nation is being held hostage by the PNC’s DNA, the genetics of fear, dictatorship and authoritarianism. They do not believe in democracy, in peacefully giving up control of Government through free and fair elections. So far, they have bought an extra six months and it looks like they are on their way to expire another three months. How long will they defy the people, how long will they defy the courts, how long will they defy the Constitution, how long will they defy democracy? Too many people are still aiding and abetting them with their silence.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

Education Takes Backseat to Health

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New Health Minister Faces Colossal Challenges

first_imgThe new Health Minister comes into office facing more serious, even colossal challenges than any of his predecessors.Not even Dr. Joseph N. Togba, who first took over this awesome portfolio right out of medical school in 1945, faced so stupendous a set of challenges as today’s incoming Health Minister, whoever that may be.True, when Dr. Togba returned home he faced all the childhood and other diseases.  Among these were chickenpox, diarrhea, whooping cough, measles, mumps, sleeping sickness, smallpox, tuberculosis, worms, yaws and yellow fever.Yet every one of those diseases was unlike the deadly Ebola virus. None of them had people dying in the thousands.  None of them was so vicious as to shatter our lives, our way of life, our economy, our cultural and social traditions and our good neighborliness. Ebola has separated us from our next door neighbors of Guinea, Sierra Leone and La Cote d’Ivoire, to the extent that we can no longer trade with one another.  When the Ivorians had their political crisis a few years ago, they streamed across the border into Liberia in the hundreds of thousands and were wholeheartedly welcomed by their Liberian brothers and sisters.  For after all, the same languages, Gio, Mano, Grebo and Krahn are spoken across the borders. There are relatives on both sides of the border, divided by France when it seized huge portions of Liberian territory that became parts of Guinea and La Cote d’Ivoire.Yet in this Ebola season, the Ivorians effectively closed their air, land and sea borders with Liberia and the two other grievously affected countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone. But the Ebola virus went further to   devastate our international relations.  So many other countries stigmatized our three countries, causing our citizens great embarrassment and humiliation.No, even though Dr. Togba faced the task of building from scratch the National Public Health Service (NPHS) that later became the MOH, it was far from what the incoming Minister of Health faces today.For starts, even though we face an awesome health and medical crisis, our Minister-designate, Mr. George T. Werner, has spent not a day in medical school.  But that need not be to his disadvantage.  Several others served though they were not doctors.  The first was Madam Mai Padmore, for many years President Tubman’s Special Assistant, whom President W.R. Tolbert appointed his first Health Minister.  She was succeeded by Counselor Oliver Bright, and after him another lawyer, Cllr. Estrada Bernard.  Then came Dr. Abeodu Jones, a historian, and after her Dr. Kate Bryant, MD, a pediatrician. Given this historical background, the Senate should not be too quick to reject Mr. Warner as the new Health Minister.  What he will need is all the help he can get from those who know about the business—medical practitioners and related persons who can help him put together a program to finish the fight against the Ebola virus.This hopefully last stage in the anti-Ebola crusade is critical; for the new Minister will have to work closely with the Chief Medical Officer the Incident Management System that handles the Ebola crisis, the World Health Organization and all the partners, including the Americans, Chinese, Europeans, Africans, Asians, etc.  He will need all the help he can get in taking the fight to the finish, which he does not have much time to achieve, since President Sirleaf and the Liberian people are hoping that Liberia can be Ebola free before Christmas.The new Minister’s next challenge is to develop a Master Plan for the rebuilding of Liberia’s entire Healthcare Delivery System.  This must ensure that modern hospitals are built in places where they do not yet exist, including Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, River Cess and Sinoe Counties.  And where they do exist, the hospitals must be seriously revamped and modern equipment installed, including specialized equipment for radiology, dialyses, heart, dental surgery and ophthalmology procedures,  to list a few.The Master Plan should also include healthcare centers throughout the country, especially in remote villages, making lack of access to healthcare a thing of the past.The new Minister will have to work closely with the Dean and Faculty of the A.M. Dioglotti College of Medicine, the West African Post Graduate College of Physicians and Surgeons and all the other partners to develop a comprehensive plan to train medical doctors, nurses and paramedics to man the new health system. Well-conceived and sustainable terms of service and remuneration structures are necessary components of medical personnel development planning so that the focus will remain where it is critically needed – on saving and enhancing lives, instead of constant fights over pay, benefits and the horrendous conditions in most medical facilities around the country.Not to be ignored is the need for a healthcare delivery system to be trusted and embraced by the people.  That trust must be earned by good customer service delivered by doctors, nurses and other medical staff from janitors to CMO who are inculcated (instilled) with the culture of empathy and unconditional, non-judgmental acceptance of those needing and seeking their care. There is rampant egregious (extremely bad) treatment of patients by many hospital staff and this must be thoroughly and uncompromisingly reversed.Furthermore, the people’s trust must be earned by a healthcare delivery system that makes informed decisions and acts expeditiously in the people’s interest.  That kind of system ensures that those hired are indeed qualified to serve in their posts, that medications on the local market are rigorously inspected for safety and authenticity.  That kind of system is also seen to be enforcing without prejudice all the rules, laws and regulations to prevent medical crises and move quickly to control crises as it is now doing to prevent further spread of the Ebola virus.To win the people’s confidence and trust, the well-conceived healthcare delivery system will allocate funding to teach, monitor and engage the communities it serves across the country.  Messages targeting prevention such as pre and post natal care, good hygiene, healthy eating, fitness, vaccination, environmental cleanliness must be seriously and relentlessly promoted by every effective means possible until disease and death rates in the country are far lower than they are today.It is a tall order and we wish the new Minister well.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Migne names two ‘unknowns’ for Ghana tie

first_img0Shares0000Crawley Town 20-year old defender David Sessay goes down under a challenge during a friendly match against IpswichNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne has named two ‘unknowns’ in Kenya’s 24-man provisional squad to play Ghana away in the final 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in March.The tactician has named 20-year old defender David Sessay who turns out for English fourth tier side Crawley Town and midfielder Christopher Tangen Mbamba who plays in Sweden for third tier side Oskarshamns. Sessay was released by Watford Academy last year and signed for Crawley on a two year contract that expires next year August.Also earning a slot in the team is Mathare United midfielder Cliff Nyakeya as well as Kariobangi Sharks forward Duke Abuya.There is also a return for winger Clifton Miheso into the squad with the player having sealed a move to Portugal’s second tier where he currently features for Club Olimpico Montijo.Migne has further named five players on a reserve list in case any of the first team players get injured during training.Harambee Stars who have already qualified for the Cup of Nations to be hosted in Egypt, will hope to finish off the qualification campaign on a high with victory or a point away to the Black Stars set to assure the team of a top of the table finish.Provisional SquadGoalkeepersPatrick Matasi (St Georges, Ethiopia), Farouk Shikalo (Bandari), John Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharks)DefendersErick Ouma (Vasalund, Sweden), Musa Mohammed (Nkana FC, Zambia), David Owino (Zesco, Zambia), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg, South Africa), David Sessay (Crawley Town, England), Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Benard Ochieng (Vihiga United, Kenya), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia, Kenya)MidfieldersErick Johanna (IF Brommapojkarna, Sweden), Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge, Belgium), Ismael Gonzales (UD Las Palmas B, Spain), Paul Were (Trikala, Greece), Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs, England), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Christopher Tangen Mbamba (Oskarshamns, Sweden), Dennis Odhiambo (Sofapaka, Kenya), Anthony Akumu (Zesco, Zambia)ForwardsMichael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Duke Abuya (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Cliff Nyakeya (Mathare United, Kenya), Masud Juma (Al Nasr, Libya),Reserve PlayersAbdallah Hassan (Bandari FC, Kenya), Allan Wanga (Kakamega HomeBoyz, Kenya), Nicholas Kipkirui (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Roy Okal (Mathare United, Kenya), Cliffton Miheso (Club Olimpico Montijo, Portugal).0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgDonegal is the centre of worldwide attention following last night’s spectacular display by the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights.Images of the spectacular night time show have been attracting admiration from a global audience after local photographers lucky enough to capture the stunning display put them up social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.One of those who got a front row seat was Donegal photographer David Porter who was in the vicinity of Greenhill Church and graveyard at Old Mountain, Buncrana, for the amazing show. These are just a few of his photographs which have had Tweeters and Facebookers in awe since they were posted. DONEGAL’S SPECTACULAR NORTHERN LIGHTS DRAWS WORLDWIDE ADMIRATION was last modified: February 28th, 2014 by johngerardShare 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:donegalLIGHTSnorthernworldwidelast_img read more

Sick time not usable for protest

first_imgTwo demonstrations are scheduled for Monday to protest proposed federal legislation on immigration rights. The events – one scheduled for noon in the downtown area and a second at 4 p.m. starting in the MacArthur Park area – are each expected to draw several hundred thousand people. Police Chief William Bratton said officers will be monitoring both events to control violence and traffic. Villaraigosa this week has been urging parents to make sure their children attend school Monday and, if they desire, take part in the marches later in the day. School officials also have warned that students will have to either make up the lost time or be declared truant if they fail to attend class. In protests about a month ago, hundreds of students skipped class to march in support of immigrant rights, costing the Los Angeles Unified School District nearly $1 million in lost federal aid. (213) 978-0390160Want 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 MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“The mayor made a commitment to attend the meeting and he believes the plans in place here should deal with any issue from the marches,” Deputy Mayor Robin Kramer said. Villaraigosa aides said the mayor will leave for Dallas sometime Monday and they are working on returning him to Los Angeles as soon as possible Tuesday. City Council President Eric Garcetti, who serves as acting mayor when Villaraigosa is absent, said he is confident there will be minimal disruption. “I have every confidence that the demonstrations will be peaceful, and our biggest concern is traffic at this point,” Garcetti said. “The message we want to get to city workers is they have an obligation to be on the job and provide service to the public.” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a letter Friday telling city workers they cannot use sick time to participate in Monday’s planned immigration demonstrations. The memo also told city workers that they will lose the day’s pay if they are absent without authorization or have failed to get prior permission to be off. The letter came even as Villaraigosa will be out of town part of Monday during the expected large demonstrations downtown. Aides said the mayor still plans to meet with the owners committee of the National Football League in Dallas on Tuesday to try to convince them to pick the Coliseum for a return of professional football. last_img read more


first_imgThe Killotto had no winner this week. The numbers were 13, 27, 28 and 30. Warren Mooney, Killybegs was the winner of Match 3 Numbers. Next week’s Killotto jackpot is €1,550. Match 3 is €60. Next week’s Killotto seller is Shane Molloy’s Team and Shane Brenda Foy’s team is selling 11th of June.The Killotto is now online. If you would like to do the Killotto and are not at home, go online to the new website and follow the link for the instructions.There was no winner of the Bingo Jackpot. Consolation prize went to Annie McGinley, Meenaneary, Carrick. Next week’s Jackpot will be €1,500 on 47 calls.The club are hosting a U-12 13 – a – side tournament this Saturday 4th of June. The following teams are participating – Killybegs, Coalisland, St. Paul’s Belfast and Crossmaglen Rangers. Competition starts 11.15a.m to 4p.m. anyone wishing to help out in any way can do so by being in Fintra at If any parent etc. wishing to help by providing food and refreshments please contact the u-12 management.The Ladies are playing in the second Round of the championship against Lifford this Wednesday at 7.30p.m in Fintra.GAA: NA CEALLA BEAGA G.A.A. NOTES was last modified: May 31st, 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:killybegs gaa noteslast_img read more


first_imgThe 8th Annual Truck Fest which is organised to raise money for local Donegal based charities begins this weekend.The chosen charity to benefit from this year’s event is the MS Donegal Branch.A large display of trucks from all over Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK will be on show for those in attendance. All money raised will go towards MS Donegal Branch.Music on the night will be performed by DJ John Bosco, followed by Martin Orr and the Honky Tonk Heros.Music on Sunday will be performed by Country Disco, followed by the very entertaining Richie RemoThe evening will be topped off with the convoy of trucks going through Letterkenny’s main street. Sunday is our family fun day come along and meet TRUCK FEST TED with face painters, bouncy castle and free gifts for the kidsThere will be loads of stalls to tempt young and old, for the Trucker and Non Trucker alike.Admission is €5 per adult and €12 per family.Children under 12 are free.   KEEP ON TRUCKING – NORTH WEST ANNUAL TRUCK FEST BEGINS THIS WEEKEND 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:BusinessFeaturesnewsNoticeslast_img read more

Local teenagers learning to build up careers, character

first_imgBURBANK – Inside the Burbank Town Center, 22 teenagers are learning the economics of retail sales, and how to sell gift baskets, T-shirts and stone jewelry. And they’re learning how to sell themselves to prospective employers as part of an after-school program known as We Care for Youth. “Our belief is that all young people are challenged,” said We Care for Youth co-founder Jose Quintanar. “Fast money, gangs, drugs, teen pregnancy, broken homes – those are the big ones.” We Care for Youth just expanded into Burbank, setting up a store called Bliss Unlimited, where kids peddle baskets made from recyclables from Vietnam, stone jewelry, and creams, flower essences and washes. The money earned from the products goes back into the store. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The program teaches high school kids in Burbank and Glendale leadership skills and how to build character, and offers practical skills such as creating a resume and interviewing for jobs. The kids who participate get 10 high school credits, contacts to employers and a path away from drugs, gangs and teen pregnancy. Karolina Ter-Mirzoyan, 19, is working at the store overseeing a staff of four. The Armenia native moved to the United States when she was 5. She said the program gave her invaluable life lessons. “It seems to, like, change your life,” said the Hoover High School graduate, now at California State University, Northridge. “It teaches you so much leadership. All kids need is a chance, an opportunity to spark that light.” In order to get the high school credits, teens must put in 180 hours of work, which is equivalent to two classes or nearly 23 eight-hour workdays. The teens, who come from Burbank, Burroughs and Glendale high schools, work after school and on weekends over 18 weeks. The nonprofit We Care for Youth operates on $100,000 a year and recently was awarded a one-year, $50,000 federal grant that will go mostly toward youth programs at the Bliss Unlimited store, which had its grand opening Wednesday night. Quintanar said that the program helps teens get jobs after they graduate, but there are no guarantees. “It guarantees them they will have the skills to get a job,” he said. “But the kids can undermine themselves.” He pointed to an example of a teenager who, on his first day of work at a J.C. Penney, was recognized by the head of security as a shoplifter he had arrested years earlier. The teen was forced to resign. “We also teach kids about making good choices,” Quintanar said. “And that actions have consequences.” Herbert Petrosyan, 26, of Glendale is a graduate of the program. The owner of a cellular telephone business, he said that the program gave him discipline. “I was never a troubled kid,” he said. “But the program has guided me in the right way. I was on (the) right path. However, they made me stay on that path. I never strayed.” Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306 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