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30th Anniversary of AWB Holiday Kids’ Tree Project

first_imgFacebook23Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Association of Washington BusinessWhat is the Holiday Kids’ Tree Project? The Holiday Kids’ Tree Project is a charitable project of the Association of Washington Business (AWB) that benefits children and families in rural communities statewide. AWB members, including large and small employers from across the state and individuals support the program with donations.A long line of eager children visited with Santa and posed for pictures with him and his North Pole entourage in front of the 2017 Holiday Kids’ Tree on Friday, Dec. 1, in the state Capitol rotunda. (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)AWB also hosts the annual tree-lighting ceremony at the state Capitol Rotunda where money and gifts are presented by AWB and the governor to the rural fire departments. While the tree-lighting ceremony is the most visible symbol of this effort, the real joy is in the hundreds of needy families supported through donations from AWB member businesses and individuals.When did this program begin? Started in 1989, this year’s ceremony marks the 30th anniversary of the Holiday Kids’ Tree. The first year of the event, AWB raised just enough money to set up the tree.Who contributed to the effort this year and how will the donations be distributed? To date, 67 AWB member businesses and individuals from around the state have donated to the project. Each of the 18 fire districts will receive $1,000 and a large bag of gifts to distribute to families in need this holiday season.Northwest native animals decorate the 2017 Holiday Kids’ Tree in the Capitol rotunda. At the end of the month when the tree is taken down, the stuffed animals will be donated to children’s hospital patients. (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)How much money has the project raised since it first began? Since 1989, AWB has raised more than $420,000 for families who benefit from this project.What does AWB do with the money for this project? The money is distributed to 18 rural fire districts in nine counties, which use the funds to buy food and gifts for families in their communities. The counties that will receive funds are Grant, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Spokane, Thurston, Okanogan, Chelan and Walla Walla.Who provides the decorations? What is this year’s theme? AWB purchased the decorations. The tree will be decorated with 7,000 LED lights and festive traditional decorations, along with stuffed characters representing this year’s theme of “Military Bears” and will represent all branches of the U.S. military. The stuffed ornaments will be donated to an area children’s hospital when the tree comes down at the end of December. The stuffed characters will be individually wrapped and then handed out to children at the hospital.Who provides the tree? The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services provides the tree. Like last year, Weyerhaeuser’s Vail Tree Farm donated the tree.How tall is the tree? What kind of tree is it? This year’s tree is a 25-foot Noble fir, donated by Weyerhaeuser’s Vail Tree Farm in Rainier, Wash. The elevation of the tree farm is roughly 2,100 feet.Gov. Jay Inslee joins Washington Department of Enterprise Services employees to help put the 2017 Holiday Kids’ Tree into place in the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. The 30-foot noble fir was donated by Weyerhaeuser and grown on its Vail Tree Farm. (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)Who decorates the tree? The State Visitor Services helps coordinate this event each year. Staff from the Department of Enterprise Services put the tree in place and decorate the tree alongside AWB. The tree was donated by Weyerhaeuser.Who will light this year’s tree? Gov. Jay Inslee and First Lady Trudi Inslee will light the tree with help from Officer Jon Hazan, Olympia Police Department, and former Sergeant in the Army Reserves with the 448th Civil Affairs Battalion, along with his wife Christy and their 6-year-old son Matthew and 5-year-old daughter Allison.Moment of Silence: This year’s Holiday Kids’ Tree lighting ceremony falls on December 7, which marks the 77th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Kris Johnson will lead attendees in a moment of silence in remembrance prior to the tree lighting.Whom do I contact for more information? AWB’s Bonnie Millikan at 360.943.1600 or read more

Journalist Garzeawuu Regrets Incident in Tubmanburg

first_imgLiberian Sport Journalist Moses Garzeawu has expressed contrite feeling for the fighting incident that transpired between him and Liberian Express Newspaper Editor Kpadeh Smith on May 5 in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.Garzeawu admitting to and expressing regret for the incident on May 7, 2014 said he is not known for such a behavior in the public, but was gravely agitated by constant physical attack from Smith, who was heavily under the influence of alcohol.Moses Garzeawu, who also serves as vice president for the Sport Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) said he was extremely offended by his rival when he allegedly assaulted him and wasted the food he (Moses) was eating.According to him, the physical attack couple with preceding attacks on him on the vehicle journalists were travelling on from Bopolu, got him to lose control of his emotions to unethically conduct himself in such a manner.While expressing his regret for the act, Moses, however, dispelled reports that he was “briefly detained” at the police station in Tubmanburg following the incident.He said he was only invited to answer questions when report of fighting between him and Kpadeh reached the police.Although he was kept in the premises of the police for a few hours, he contended that it was not meant for detention but to answer to questions about the incident, arguing that the long time of stay was intended to await the arrival of Kpadeh Smith, who was undergoing medical treatment at the time.He apologized to his media colleagues and the public for the act, vowing to exercise restraint in such a tempting situation and any kind that may come his way.It can be recalled that on May 5 while returning from Bopolu following celebrations of World Press Freedom Day in Gbarpolu County, Journalists Moses Garzeawu and Kpadeh Smith went into bloody fist fight in Tubmanburg when Kpadeh, who was under alcoholic influence allegedly assaulted Moses and wasted his food.The incident drew police attention when Peter Fahn of New Liberia Newspaper took the matter there and Moses was taken to the station.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cartoon: August 14, 2014

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Strong Banking Industry, Weak Profitability

first_imgThe banking sector continued its strong performance for the second quarter of 2014 with key items on the industry’s balance sheet showing improved feat. According to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), the sector’s key balance sheet items at the end of June, 2014, were higher than their previous quarter positions. This, according to the regulator, is on account of revaluations of fixed assets and depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the United States dollar.The Bank reported industry’s strong capitalization and liquidity position, but pointed out that its profitability still remained subtle [fragile or weak] due to poor assets quality of few banks driven by weak credit administration and high operation expenses. The CBL highlights increased in non-performing loans in the industry as discussed below.On the balance sheet side, however, a data published by CBL for the second quarter of 2014 indicates that the industry’s balance sheet, in terms of total assets, expanded by 9.4 percent to over L$75 billion over the previous quarter and by 20.7 percent over the corresponding period in 2013. Similarly, total loans and advances grew by 6.3 percent to L$30.0 billion compared with the previous quarter and 31.4 percent when compared with the same period in 2013. The industry’s total capital also increased by 17.7 percent to L$11.0 billion at end of June, 2014, compared with the previous quarter and 30.9 percent from June of 2013. Deposits being the dominant source of financing of the banks’ assets base, however, recorded a decrease of 4.0 percent to L$46.6 billion compared with the previous quarter, but recorded 6.6 percent growth over the figure recorded for the same period a year ago. The CBL noted that overall growth rates reflect continuous confidence in the banking system; increased financial deepening and increased economic activities in the country. The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) for the industry, however, decreased slightly from 22.5 percent at the end of the first quarter to 22.3 percent at the end of June, 2014. The Bank meanwhile noted that all of the banks are in excess of the minimum requirement of 10 percent when measure by the CAR.Two banks, names withheld, fell short of meeting the minimum net worth requirement for each bank. “It must be noted that these capital levels are adjusted based on the bank’s international financial reporting system (IFRS) submission to the CBL. That is, the increase in the industry’s net worth is largely due to revaluation of fixed assets to reflect the fair value measurement as well as exchange rate factor,” the CBL stated.Non-Performing Loans The Central Bank also reported in non-performing loans (NPLs). According to the CBL, the NPLs as a ratio of total loans in the industry increased slightly by 1.0 percentage point to 15.5 percent during the second quarter in 2014. Despite this slight increase however, NPLs as a ratio of total loan improved by 3.3 percentage points compared with the corresponding quarter in 2013. This means that NPLs deteriorated by 13.9 percent to about L$4.7 billion as at end-June, 2014 in absolute term. The CBL declared that six of the 9 banks recorded NPLs loans to total loans above the regulatory limit of 10.0 percent, while the remaining 3 banks fell within the limit. The industry recorded gross earnings of L$3.7 billion and operating profit of L$968.3 million [before loan loss provisions and taxes] at the end of the second quarter and this represented improvements by 36.8 percent and 115.4 percent when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2013. Like the second quarter in 2013, the industry also recorded a net loss position at end of June, 2014. Five of the banks recorded profits, while the remaining 4 banks recorded net loss positions.About 51.5 percent of earnings in the industry were from non-interest sources, down from 54.2 percent recorded in the preceding quarter, reflecting the low profitability of financial intermediation in the banking sector, the CBL added.The composition of the industry’s liquid assets shows that most of the banks’ assets are held in foreign accounts, which the CBL has observed, may pose a potential liquidity risk to the system in meeting domestic liquidity needs.However, except for two banks, the loan to deposit ratios both at individual bank and industry levels are below 70.0 percent. This, the CBL says is evident of the comfortable liquidity position of most of the banks to meet the liquidity needs of their customers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cummings Lodge murder suspect surrenders

first_imgMurder suspect, Damion HopkinsonOne day after the Guyana Police Force issued a wanted bulletin for Damion Hopkinson, 27, of Lot 55 Industry, East Coast Demerara, for questioning regarding the murder of Anita Mohan, the man has surrendered to the Police in C Division (East Coast Demerara).This was confirmed by a senior Police official, who further stated that Hopkinson is cooperating with the Police. He posited that the man has given a statement and the case file will soon be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further legal advice.Hopkinson was named the second suspect in the murder of the 48-year-old greens vendor, who was brutally killed in her Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown home on September 5. He was implicated in the murder by the woman’s nephew, Kevin Mohan, who gave a detailed account of what took place on the fateful night. The nephew, commonly called “Chucky”, was arraigned for the woman’s murder.Police subsequently confirmed that the woman’s head was bashed in, with a single stab wound to her chest. A bloody rolling pin, suspected to be one of the murder weapons, was found in close proximity to her body, as well as a broken beer bottle.Murder suspect, Kevin MohanAn autopsy performed on the body of Mohan revealed that she sustained a chop to her head and one near her temple, along with a stab wound to her chin and one to her mouth. The perpetrators also cut off a portion of her tongue before strangling her.last_img read more

‘Competitive Spirit Compromised by Corruption’, Says Baptist Prelate

first_img“The educational crisis in Liberia is becoming a crisis for the entire economy, thus endangering our country’s ability for a brighter future. As such, there has to be critical awareness of our social reality through reflection and actions where we have observed that people nowadays use their connection to acquire higher positions rather than worth (value) the merit,” the president of Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC), Rev/Dr. Olu Q. Menjay has observed.According to Dr. Menjay, a fundamental problem in the Liberian culture today is that too many people want to bypass the small assignments and are attracted right to the big jobs—jobs with the influence and prestige; jobs with huge budget and massive financial benefits.Dr. Menjay is also the vice president of Baptist World Alliance and Principal/Chief Administrative officer, Ricks Institute and Assistant Professor at Mercer University, Macon Georgia, USA. He spoke recently on the theme; “The Emergency for Relevant Education in Liberia,” when he delivered a keynote address at the 25th Commencement Convocation of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU) held on their Vincent Town campus along the Bomi highway.During the ceremony, inadequate sitting capacity compelled both the parents and some of the graduates to scramble for a single seat. This situation detracted graduates and most of their invited guests’ attention from the keynote address and other important parts of the program.The 890 graduates have over the years studied and completed various academic disciplines including Management, Sociology, Accounting, Economics, Public Administration and or Religious Study, among others.For Dr. Menjay, there is the need for the government to institute radical actions with urgency to bring back the merit system rather than relying on connectivity, “because we have no time to play around, else, we will die or the future of our existence as a country will be miserable.”“We cannot build this country on incompetency or on weak footing; we cannot build our country from the top by strengthening only higher education, because we need to widen our definition of education—to see it as a process that starts before kindergarten and takes place outside of school as well as inside.”The Baptist Prelate added that the essential value of education is to prepare today’s people to be not only tomorrow’s servants, “but also to be the caretakers of our environment, the tenders of our global relationships, the creator of our arts, and the innovators of enterprise.”He believes that the key to bringing educational reform to reality in Liberia is allowing competition to thrive amongst the students and schools.“Today, completion is not encouraged, because the competitive spirit that used to exist in our learning culture has been compromised by corrupt educational practices to include buying and selling of grades, nepotism, and laziness.” According to him, Liberians are being driven more so by receiving certificates and degrees, and not on the ability to perform.RecommendationsNevertheless, Rev. Menjay recommended that incentives for performance must be encouraged among students and schools, where one should not be penalized for not doing well or achieving higher marks.“Regardless of one’s background, tribe, county of origin, the political connection, economic status,” Rev. Menjay opined that one should be rewarded according to performance.In his mind, the significance of merit-based system in the Liberian educational system has diminished, and in its place, people paved their way up by getting connected through other means, whereby successful societies in the world embraced competiveness.“If we must advance to a brighter future in this country, we must create space for competition and merit-based rewards, politics must take a back seat when we select persons to lead our schools or our educational system. Competence, effectiveness, accountability, vision and energy should be the criteria,” Dr. Menjay suggested.He said, Liberia must get away from compromising her educational standards and offerings for any gimmick (attention-grabber), but must strive for excellence.The global economy now, he said, is first and foremost established on creative knowledge and technology, where critical thinking and problem-solving skills are paramount as are abilities to innovate and to collaborate with others.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Proverbial ‘Faithful Player’ Returns to Home Turf

first_imgMayango Jallah, Liberia’s proverbial ‘faithful player’ who refused attractive offers from Mighty Barrolle and Invincible Eleven to leave St. Joseph’s Warriors is presently visiting family in Liberia from the United States.Jallah told the Daily Observer over the weekend in company with former team-mate Armah Baxter that he was in the country during the height of the Ebola crisis and is now in the country to see family and friends.He resides in Illinois, Chicago in the United States with his family.Known popularly as Mayango during his hey days in the 80s and early 90s, Jallah was the glue that held St. Joseph’s Warriors together due to his tireless work-rate, said team-mate Jonathan Armah Baxter.Like his colleague, Baxter, who also played for St. Joseph’s Warriors and later Barrolle and NPA, Mayango was one of the dependable players for the national soccer team, Lone Star.“He was committed to the game and played his heart out for his club and the nation,” said Baxter who partnered with him in the 80s.Playing along with great players, including Baxter, Nathaniel Naplah and George Johnson, St. Joseph’s Warriors became a portent force that demanded respect in Liberian football circles at the time.Mayango was one of the top players who had a great deal of self-discipline on and off the field. His football career spanned from 1981-1991. He took Warriors to the LFA highly competitive knockout and league championship and CAF Cup Winners Cup competitions.On the national team Mayango played alongside James Debbah, now national coach, and soccer legend George Weah and worried many opposing teams in Africa.Reviewing the current misfortune of Liberian football, particularly the national team, Lone Star and the players, Jallah paid a glowing tribute to the late President Samuel Kanyon Doe for his invaluable contribution to national team players.“President Doe provided us with opportunities, including tuition fees for all national team players to attend university,” Jallah said, “and I’m glad that I took advantage over that provision.”In the United States Mayango acquired BSC and Masters’ degrees in computer science and Managing Information System and BSC in Accounting.He said he hoped that footballers would receive national support and they must also understand that there is life after football if education is prioritized in their life.Mayango’s dedication to St. Joseph’s Warriors was unmatched, and many fans still use his dedication whenever lessons are drawn for the lack of commitment to the national team and to the clubs by current players.Visiting Liberia he spends his time with his mother in Kakata, and visits old school and team mates.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Region Two youths educated by NAPS on HIV/AIDS

first_imgBy Indrawattie NatramScores of youths from various communities within Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are currently benefitting from a two-day HIV\AIDS workshop, compliments of the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS).The sessions, which began on Thursday and end today, are being facilitated by Nazim Hussain. Playing a major part in the workshop are youths from theYouths who participated in the workshopEssequibo Coast Dharmic Najauwan.During various sessions, Hussain enlightened the youths about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and ways they can safeguard themselves. He said the workshop was aimed at educating persons about HIV/AIDS and human rights, as well as to remind community leaders about their roles in helping to mould the youngerThe youths participated in group discussions during the workshopgeneration.During his discourse, he informed youths about the works of NAPS and the Ministry of Public Health. According to UN AIDS data, Hussain said, more than 1.6 per cent of Guyana’s population is to date infected with the virus. HIV/AIDS is mostly prevalent among persons aged between 14 and 24 years.He also noted that the Government, through the Ministry of Public Health, is providing free antiretroviral (ARV) medication to persons suffering from the Human Immuno- deficiency Virus (HIV).Hussain explained that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, and ‘Human’ means that it affects only humans and lives within their system. The virus, he said, does notNazim Hussain speaking to the youthslive in mosquitoes, cups or spoons, or bed sheets that people who have HIV may have used. ‘Immuno-deficiency’ refers to a lack, or breakdown, of the immune system.Speaking on AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), Hussain said to “acquire” means to get or develop over a period of time. Youths were also reminded of ways that the disease can be transmitted; such as by unprotected sex, blood transfusion, mother-to-child, and by using unclean needles.The virus can be found in four main body fluids: breast milk, semen, vaginal secretions, and blood.Youths were involved in various group discussions, and expressed their ideas and thoughts about the dreaded virus. Chairman of the Dharmic Naujawan in Region Two, Nandram Prabhu, thanked Nazim Hussain for choosing Region Two for the workshop, and also thanked him on behalf of the youths. Prabhu said youths are now more empowered and equipped with the necessary knowledge about the disease.Youths also expressed their gratitude to Hussain for imparting his knowledge to them about HIV/AIDS.last_img read more

Controversy as St Anthony, Kakamega draw

first_img0Shares0000Kakamega High School’s Joshua Otieno controls the ball under pressure from St Antony Boys’ Silas ‘Kante’ Ogana during their National Secondary School Games match at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 25, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluELDORET, Kenya, Jul 25- Moses Mudavadi’s 86th minute controversial penalty saw St. Antony’s Boys scrape off to a 1-1 draw with Kakamega High School in a top of Pool B National Secondary School Games tie at the Hill School in Eldoret on Wednesday afternoon.Evans Odhiambo had given the Green Commandos a first half lead having dominated most of the proceedings, but referee Peter Mwaura gave out a controversial penalty with only four minutes of regulation time to see the highly charged match end in a stalemate. The match official had to be escorted off the pitch under heavy police security with Kakamega fans and technical bench officials baying for his blood.“It is high time officials of KSSSA take action. They (St Anthony’s) did it in Lodwar, they did it when we played together in Western Region and they are doing it here now and everyone is seeing. Let the kids enjoy football and the best team win on the pitch. They will be carried with those penalties and hopefully we will meet again in the final,” an agitated Brendan Mwinamo, the Kakamega High School head coach said after the match.The result now means St Antony retain top spot in the group with four points, same us Kakamega but with a better goal difference.The final round of group matches on Thursday will see Kakamega take on Ringa with the Nyanza Region team carrying qualification hopes having beaten Kathungi 1-0 in the other group match on Wednesday.Action between Kakamega High School and St Antony Boys’ during their National Secondary School Games match at the Hill School in Eldoret on July 25, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluKathungi who are already eliminated after back to back losses will take on St. Anthony with both matches being played concurrently. A win by a big margin will guarantee the Solidarity Boys a place on top of Pool B.Against Kakamega, it was billed as the ‘final before the final’ and testament to this was the huge number of fans who flocked the pitch to cheer on their favorite teams.Kakamega with the midfield steel of Alpha Onyango and Joshua Otieno dominated the match and just three minutes in, they were ahead when Odhiambo raced to a rebound after the St. Anthony keeper spilled a freekick from Boniface Ouko.With experience from playing in the National Super League, Kakamega took command of the game dictating the tempo and possession.However, they were almost caught off in the 10th minute but had keeper Brian Opondo to thank after making a brilliant double save.He did well to go down and save a ferocious shot from Silas Ogana before bouncing back to save the rebound from Titus Kapchanga.The second rebound fell on James Kibonde but he could only shoot high into the sky with an open goalmouth gazing at him.On the half hour mark, Kakamega’s Onyango had an effort off a freekick but the St Anthony keeper went down well to his left to parry the ball away.In the second half, the tempo of the game picked up and St Anthony began to look for those small openings to find a scoring chance.In the 65th minute, Oganda, nicknamed ‘Kante’ by the team’s fans did well to find some space off a short corner, but his eventual cross was too close to the keeper.With 15 minutes left, Kakamega started pushing for a second goal that would take the game to safety and they almost did that when Henry Atola found some shooting space from distance but his effort was pushed against the crossbar by the keeper.Four minutes to go, all hell broke loose when off a counter, Daniel Musamali was brought down by Collins Sichenje and the referee pointed to the spot though the offence looked to have happened outside the box.Meanwhile, Dagoretti High School from Nairobi boosted their hopes of qualifying to the semis after beating North Eastern’s Tarbaj 9-0 to move to four points. They play Shimba Hills on Thursday with the Coastal team also on four points after playing to a 1-1 draw with Olbolosat.In the Under-16 Copa Cocacola, St. Peters Boys from Mumias booked a semi-final slot after beating Riyabu 4-1 while North Eastern’s Subunley beat St. Cyprian of Eastern 4-1 to revive their semi-final hopes .Subunley must now beat Riyabu who are also on three points on Thursday to advance to the semis.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Celtic boss Rodgers to take on Gerrard’s Rangers for Liverpool starlet

first_img Latest Scottish Premiership News Gerrard is eager to take the winger on a season-long loan as he plans a complete overhaul of his squad.The 21-year-old starred during a spell on loan at Hull City in the Championship last season, scoring seven goals in just 13 games.But Gerrard could see his hopes of landing Wilson scuppered by his former boss at Liverpool, Rodgers.The Celtic manager is also a big admirer of the youngster and has made an approach for the Wales international in the past. Harry Wilson in pre-season action for Liverpool in 2017 2 Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos Harry Wilson impressed in a loan spell with Hull City center_img scrap Now he is ready to make a new move, and will go all out to beat Gerrard to his signature as Celtic look to get one up on Rangers before the season has even begun.Wilson is also wanted by Hull, after his successful spell with the Tigers last season, while their league rivals Norwich City have also been linked with a move. 2 Brendan Rodgers is ready to do battle with Steven Gerrard for one of Liverpool’s brightest young talents.Newly-appointed Rangers boss Gerrard wants to raid his former club for Harry Wilson, whom he knows well from his time as the Merseyside club’s Under-18s coach.last_img read more