Dr Paul Wright: Who is accountable?

first_imgThe ‘Diamond Mile’, the richest race in the history of horseracing in the English-speaking Caribbean, was completed at Caymanas Park last Saturday. The day saw 14 races being completed with record attendance, a record handle (money bet on the races), great dividends, and exciting finishes. Sponsors were there in their numbers; no money was spared in the preparation of the in-field for special guests; and a good time should have been had by all. Wrong. Whereas all the above is in fact true, the regulators had to have their now mandatory stab at “spoiling the party”. In the 10th race of the day, the betting favourite was horse number two, Silver Cloud. After being loaded into the starting gate, the horse squatted/fell in the gate, throwing the jockey head over heels (a poop-a-lick) backwards on to the surface. Luckily, the jockey was not hurt and quickly picked himself up and did some checks to make sure that he was all right. absolute shock To the absolute shock of racing fans, the horse was not removed from the gate for inspection by the veterinarian on duty at the gate. Our shock turned into dismay as the horse staggered out of the gate and trailed the field home, obviously feeling some effect of the fall. In every other racing jurisdiction where the safety of the participants (horse and rider) is the priority of paid individuals, that horse would have been examined out of the starting gate BEFORE the horse was allowed to start! But this is racing in Jamaica. who cares? If the horse is seriously injured and falls during the race, injuring the rider and possibly any of the other participants, oops, who won? Can this sport be allowed to continue like this? Apparently, YES. No one cares. No one is accountable. The day was an economic and sponsors success. So what? Divestment IS the only answer. However, with a somnolent Divestment Committee “waiting on Godot”, nothing even close to an announcement will come until a few days before the election, which has now been pushed back to “one day soon”. HELP! privileged positions The much-anticipated and longed-for meeting of the West Indies Cricket Board and the CARICOM subcommittee on cricket was held last Friday. After a three-hour meeting, the recommended dissolution of the board was not discussed as the reports out of the meeting suggest that the board has no intention of giving up its privileged positions. They have agreed to meet again on December 13, and, hopefully, the anxious West Indian fans will hear something from Mr Pybus and ‘President Dave’ about the recent revelation from reinstated coach Phil Simmons. Simmons had mentioned, before a failed attempt to silence him, that there was outside interference in the selection of the West Indies team. Fans of West Indies cricket (the “few” of us left) know that the only hope for the resurrection of cricket in the region rests solely on the removal of a group of men described by one of their own (Baldath Mahabir) as “unprofessional, tardy, or lax in many instances”. As our ancestors have taught us, “If fish come from river bottom and say that shark down there, believe him”. Administrators of sports worldwide will not give up their privileged position no matter what. FIFA continues trying to run football as the majority of that body’s executive is arrested on numerous charges. Sports can be saved. We the people have to insist on transparency and integrity of those who “volunteer” to run sports. We have to!last_img read more

Nature center moves ahead

first_imgSOUTH EL MONTE — new nature center starring the San Gabriel River is finally moving forward, with the biggest contribution so far now on the table. The San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy is expected Monday to approve $3 million in state water quality bonds for the long awaited San Gabriel River Discovery Center, which features a 16,000-square-foot “green’ building with an auditorium, classrooms and exhibits on river ecology. “We’re prepared to make that recommendation to the board for approval,’ said Belinda Faustinos, the conservancy’s director. The facility will be on the site of the Whittier Narrows Nature Center. The first phase of the project, including planning and schematic design, is about 65 percent complete. Actual construction on the building will probably not begin until at least 2008, because of the amount of time it will take to raise the rest of the money for the project and gather public input, Faustinos said. @Tagline columnist: Shirley Hsu can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306, or by e-mail at shirley.hsu@sgvn.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The money comes from Proposition 50 bonds passed in 2002, of which the conservancy received $20 million, Faustinos said. The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District has chipped in $750,000, and the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County has contributed $100,000. The Central Basin Municipal Water District has authorized $100,000 but has committed more, Faustinos said. The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation has committed to funding the costs of complying with the California Environmental Quality Act. The project will cost $12 million to $15 million, Faustinos said. The building is designed to be energy and water efficient with a “green roof’ covered with plants to help with heating and cooling, natural air circulation, daylighting, gray water recycling and ultra low flush toilets. Native plants will surround the building, along with an outdoor classroom. The idea for the center was conceived of about five years ago, said Sam Pedroza, sanitation districts spokesman. “At that time, there was a lot of attention being paid to the river,’ he said. last_img read more