Stop the Bickering Now: It Can Do No One Any Good

first_imgEver since Mr. Christopher Neyor published his Open Letter to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last week, there has been a torrent (flood, violent flow) of accusations and counter accusations among government officials and even sponsored by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.We think this is most unfortunate, for it is tantamount to “washing our dirty clothes” in public, which is totally unnecessary.  Only people in slums, who have no washing facilities within their homes, do that—and most do so in the back, not the front yard.But here we are—Mr. Neyor and the government itself, spilling it all out there, on the front pages of the newspapers, and on the airwaves, too!Whom is this hurting? Not Mr. Neyor, who has already, by his Open Letter, opened himself up to a barrage of revelations, criticisms and attacks, true or untrue; not President Sirleaf, who has already reacted in a somewhat restrained fashion—only because she was approached for her side of the story.  No, it is hurting Liberia and her government. We say that because here we had critical negotiations between two sovereign governments, Kuwait and Liberia, having taken place, only see some of these exposed in public—and not simply that, but exposed in a vicious and acrimonious manner.Question: When will we ever be able to get the Kuwaitis to sit with us again in any negotiations for any reason?  But doing what we have done, we have created in the minds of many governments and international institutions serious apprehensions about how serious, sensible, mature and considerate we are when dealing with development partners.Let us return to Mr. Neyor’s Open Letter and reflect on what the Daily Observer and other parts of the Liberian media have been arguing about the importance of transparency in government.We have constantly frowned upon shady deals in government circles, of many GOL Ministries and Agencies of not coming clean to the media and the public, yea the Liberian people, about what government is doing. This seems to have been going on from the very beginning of the operations of this most vital sector, petroleum and the company that manages it, the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).  That is why it was possible, in the very beginning, for one Nigerian businessman to walk away with US$250 million without investing a cent in Liberia.  All he did was to buy one of the oil blocks, then resell it to Chevron and walk away with that staggering amount, made off of Liberia’s resources, without the Liberian people knowing anything about it.  The President has had to higher several persons to head both the National Oil Company itself and its Board of Directors.  After she removed Dr. Foday Kromah she appointed Mr. Neyor and after him Dr. Randolph McClain. As for the Board, it was first headed, under Ellen, by Mr. Clemenceau Urey, who was summarily removed to install her son Robert Sirleaf.  That appointment was greeted with an avalanche of local and international criticism, but she remained stoic about it until she could no longer withstand it, and replaced him with her Legal Advisor, Counselor Seward M. Cooper.It seems that even up to this day the public has little knowledge of the workings of NOCAL.  This newspaper has reliably learned that there is still very serious speculation about exactly WHO is running NOCAL, even as we know that Dr. McClain is still its President and Counselor Cooper its Board Chair.  Is there, as is being talked about behind the scenes, an unseen hand calling the shots at NOCAL?We have indeed heard at least one name, but for legal considerations, we dare not mention it.Here again we reassert the need for transparency and accountability in government, to save the President herself and her government from the exact same situation that gave rise to Chris Neyor’s Open Letter.Here again we are confronted with stark reality of the Biblical dictum: “The truth shall make you free.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Lowly 49ers enter tourney on a high

first_imgToday, at approximately 2:30 p.m., the sixth-seeded 49ers take on No. 7 UC Irvine (6-23) in the first round of the conference tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center. The first game of the day will pit No. 5 seed Cal State Fullerton against eighth-seeded Pacific at noon. “I think we have started to find our indentity,” coach Mary Hegarty said. “I guess better late than never, but the team definitely seems like they’re on the same page and they’re all together. And it’s taken us a long time but we finally have a solid starting lineup and a good rotation. “We have played with every team in the conference and nobody has really run away with things against us. So I think we have a chance against any opponent that we face. We know that we have had some moments where things are hard as far as scoring goes.” The 49ers average only 54.7 points. But they scored 73 against Fullerton and then, after a 60-50 loss at UC Davis, they beat Irvine 77-63 in the regular-season finale. It seems strange to say that a 7-22 team is heading into its postseason conference tournament with confidence, but that appears to be the case for Long Beach State University. Its women’s basketball team is the not-so-proud owner of the aforementioned record. But the 49ers finished the regular season winning two of three, starting with arguably their best win of the season, 73-59 over Cal State Fullerton. The game before that, Long Beach hung very tough before losing by seven to UC Riverside, which won the regular-season Big West Conference title. 49ERS WOMENBig West Tournament semifinals Today: vs. UC Irvine, Anaheim Convention Ctr, 2:30 p.m. center_img “So we’ve learned to endure those (moments) and survive them,” Hegarty said. “I think there is a little bit of resilience that we have now. So I do think we do have a lot of confidence. A lot of people might think we’re crazy, but the last several weeks have been good for our confidence.” One of the reasons the 49ers scored so much over their season average in recent victories were because they did not give up as many second-chance points. In the 52-45 loss to Riverside on Feb. 15, Long Beach was outrebounded 52-44. More importantly, the Highlanders had 18 offensive rebounds; the 49ers had 12. Against Fullerton and Irvine, Long Beach allowed only 11 and 12 offensive rebounds, respectively, and were outrebounded overall by just one and three, respectively. “I think the offensive rebounding category is something they have tuned in to,” Hegarty said. “When you rebound, you are able to get in transition. You couple that with taking better care of the ball at times, getting some decent shots, and you start to get a few easy baskets.” Hegarty apparently has been getting her point across. “The main focus in practice has been rebounding,” said freshman guard Courtney Jacob, who had 11 rebounds against Irvine last Saturday. “A lot of rebound drills, boxing out, just making sure we get the ball before the other team does.” Sophomore guard Karina Figueroa is averaging 16.5 points and has been the top player all season. But sophomore Kaiti O’Brien has really come on of late, averaging 9.5 points and 8.0 rebounds for February, including 16 points and 10 rebounds vs. UCI. 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

Zillow to Grow Rental Offerings with New Acquisition

first_img “”Zillow, Inc.””:http://www.zillow.com/, announced its sixth acquisition in the last two years. The company has entered into an agreement to buy San Francisco-based “”HotPads””:http://hotpads.com/, a map-based rental and real estate search site.[IMAGE]The $16 million deal is expected to close by the end of the year.HotPad offers rental tools for both consumers and professionals, including a website and five mobile apps across iPhone, iPad, and Android. Nearly 2.8 million unique users visited HotPads in October, most of whom were there to shop for rentals. According to a release from Zillow’s Seattle headquarters, nearly 70 percent of listings viewed on HotPad during October were homes or apartments for rent.The deal marks Zillow’s first acquisition of a primarily consumer-facing company. The real estate information company hopes the purchase will expand the size of its [COLUMN_BREAK]growing rental audience and extend the reach of its marketing tools for professionals.””This acquisition represents a significant step-change for Zillow Rentals, allowing us to dramatically increase the number of leads we send to landlords. HotPads has a younger, complementary and rental-focused audience. Now Zillow will become even more relevant to consumers at the beginning of their real estate life cycle,”” said Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Rascoff added that “”by acquiring an amazing engineering team, with a deep understanding of how people search for rentals and become tenants, we expect to accelerate our innovation and monetization of our rental marketplace.””The acquisition signals Zillow’s intent to continue its quick expansion of services. Since June, the company has announced deals to acquire Mortech, Inc., Buyfolio, and RentJuice. According to the company’s release, the acquisitions “”support Zillow’s strategic expansion beyond a traditional media model to offer a suite of marketing and business services to local professionals.””””At HotPads, we’re passionate about empowering people with tools and information to help them find the right place to live, and we have always admired Zillow’s similar vision,”” said Matt Corgan, co-founder and CEO of HotPads. “”Combining Zillow’s toolkit for owners and managers with an unmatched community of new tenants–across Zillow, Yahoo! and HotPads–we believe will enable the first true marketplace at scale for rentals.””HotPads will continue to operate from San Francisco. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Zillow to Grow Rental Offerings with New Acquisition Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Zillow 2012-11-29 Tory Barringer November 29, 2012 433 Views last_img read more