College cyclists stop in Fort St. John over weekend on journey to fight cancer

first_imgThe organization has a travel committee in charge of finding accommodations in every city they stop. In the United States they most often stay in individual host homes, community and recreation centres as well as high school gyms with some occasional camping. After the Fort St. John stay the Texas 4000 riders will spend most of their nights camping given how scarce hosting options are the rest of the way.Riders can only take part in the event once based on the 18 months of training required leading up to the ride. Riders are required to raise $4,500. The current batch of Texas 4000 riders just broke the fundraising record for the organization as they’ve raised over $589,000 and are hoping to reach $600,000 by the time the ride reaches its conclusion. For more information on Texas 4000 click here. There are three routes which make up the annual ride and Fort St. John is part of the Ozarks route which travels through places such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Manitoba, Alberta, and B.C. before travelling through the Yukon and reaching Alaska. The Ozarks route itself is relatively new as this is only the second year it’s been part of Texas 4000.Kevin Helgren is the media and public relations director for the Ozarks route. He says the ride is an annual event which intends to cover a number of aspects relating to cancer.“Texas 4000 is a 501C non profit organization that started back in 2004 at the University of Texas at Austin. Every summer we send a team of college students from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska on a 70 day, more than 4,500 mile charity bike ride in an effort to spread our three pillars, hope, knowledge, and charity by doing things like fundraising for cancer research and spreading awareness through programs we give in local communities,” Helgren said.- Advertisement -Those on the Ozarks route average 75-85 miles a day, though the longest stretch of the route is a ride from Champagne, Illinois to Chicago, Illinois which was 135 miles.He adds that the ride did get to be more of a challenge in B.C. considering the varying elevation and weather patterns.“Cooler weather we don’t typically have a problem with. Issues arise whenever you take lower temperatures and add water to it just because that’s not something we’re necessarily accustomed to. I will say things got rough when we entered British Columbia. The elevation coming into Fort St. John definitely presented some problems but weather wise whenever you start to add water, a lot of gravel on the road, they definitely present problems,” Helgren explained. Advertisementlast_img read more

Long-time city employee honored on Monday

first_img[asset|aid=1357|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=70cc6f1778307aba4bb9cd80bf86ad5f-Bruce – Fika 1_1_Pub.mp3]Fika is a member of the Girl Guides of Canada and was a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club. Photo: Grace Fika shares a laugh with Mayor Bruce Lantz, as Councilor Lori Ackerman (background) gives Fika a standing ovation – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.caFort St. John Council members honored a long-time employee on Monday night.- Advertisement -Manager of Human Resources, Grace Fika, has been with the city for 30 years. She started on May 7th, 1979, as a Traffic Officer for Fort St. John. On October 1st, 1985, she was awarded the Accounting Clerk One Position with the city, and worked her way through the finance department to become the Acting Deputy Treasurer Collector in May of 1998.On August 24th 1998, she was awarded her current position of Manager of Human Resources.Prior to her current job, she worked with the BCGEU. She was the Steward and Member of the Bargaining Committee and then the Local Chair Person. She is responsible for Fort St. John’s Super Host business status.In a brief speech, Mayor Bruce Lantz said it was hard to sum up Fika’s qualifications in a short amount of time.Advertisementlast_img read more

For the record

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!,An editorial Friday incorrectly reported the amount that former Fleishman-Hillard executive Doug Dowie overbilled the L.A. Department of Water and Power. The judge in his trial ruled the amount to be about $529,000. An editorial Friday incorrectly reported the amount that former Fleishman-Hillard executive Doug Dowie overbilled the L.A. Department of Water and Power. The judge in his trial ruled the amount to be about $529,000.last_img

Revealed! The role played by Gunnersaurus in cutting ticket prices for fans

first_img1 The Premier League have announced supporters will pay a maximum of £30 for a ticket to an away match for the next three seasons.Member clubs made the decision to introduce the new measures after sustained pressure from fans of top-flight teams to make football more affordable.The £30 cap will run from the start of the 2016/17 campaign through to 2018/19, a period which will see the Premier League teams receive record revenue (£5.14 billion) from broadcasting deals.Here is a selection of the response on social media… Liverpool fans display a banner at Villa Park last_img

New Directions program may rescue kids from gangs, drugs

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Yeah, Trevino knows the stare. It used to be his. He doesn’t have to imagine anything. The 44-year-old program director at New Directions for Youth in Van Nuys smiles, pulls the kid aside and gives him a little dose of reality. “Let me tell you what’s up, son,” he says. “I know that stare. It used to be mine. It doesn’t intimidate me.” His own story is a carbon copy of most of theirs. He ran with a gang, did drugs and alcohol, dealt a little on the side, spent time in county jail. He wasn’t raised in the Brady Bunch, either. His parents also separated and split on him. His mother left, but his gang never did. Bart Trevino knows the stare. He’s seen it a thousand times working with at-risk teenage kids in the San Fernando Valley. The dead eyes looking through you like you don’t exist. The body language that says, “Hey, man, you’ve got nothing to tell me so why don’t you just walk on down the street and find someone else to preach to?” The cold, hard looks warning you not to mess with them. They’ve seen things, been places you can’t even imagine. He was handed off to an extended, dysfunctional family growing up – from relative to relative until none of them had room for him anymore. So the county gave him a roof over his head until he turned 18. Trevino’s future was as clear as a beautiful, sunny day after the Santa Anas blow through L.A. He’d either be dead by 25 or in prison with his uncle and his cousins. “You’re trying to claim a street, die for a street that doesn’t even belong to you,” he tells the gang members. “Why?” So save the hard stare and let’s talk, kid, he says. Real talk, none of that street jive. What’s really going on? “Once they know where I’ve been, they can relate and open up,” Trevino says. “That’s when you find out that for most of them there’s nothing behind that stare but a lot of pain and hurt – a kid looking for a safe place and somebody who cares.” New Directions for Youth is that safe place where somebody cares. For the past 31 years in the Valley, thousands of at-risk kids heading toward possible early deaths or prison got a reprieve at this nonprofit organization. They met Bart Trevino or one of the other counselors at New Directions who know exactly what’s behind those hard stares. “They build a trust with you, and you know they’ve been in your shoes,” Roderick Warren says. “You realize, hey, if he can make it out, I can, too. That hits home.” Roderick was a kid born to two drug-addicted parents. The county took the kids away. One was adopted by another family, and two are still in foster care. “I was lucky,” he says. “I moved in with my aunt and her family.” He grew up around the gang life, but before he could be drawn into its web, he caught another lucky break. His worried aunt took him with her one day to volunteer at a place called New Directions for Youth. “It opened my eyes to what life and responsibility was all about,” Roderick says. “I learned that all people, no matter how they grew up, deserved a chance at life. New Directions gave me that chance.” In a few weeks, the 20-year-old junior at California State University, Northridge, majoring in business and financial services, will stand in front of 400 people in a ballroom at Skirball Cultural Center and repeat many of these same words at the organization’s 31st annual Spirit of Hope Awards Gala. Trevino and his wife, Linda, will be there. He owes his life to this woman he met at 25, when he was headed toward an early death or prison, he says. “Change your life or lose me,” she told him. He changed his life. He got that high school diploma he thought he’d never need and enrolled at UCLA, where he earned a degree as a licensed counselor in substance abuse. And now, Trevino will be sitting in a fancy ballroom surrounded by New Directions supporters and dozens of young men and women who have returned to volunteer at the program that saved their lives. Kids who gave Bart Trevino a stare he’s seen a thousand times. His old stare. For more information on New Directions for Youth, call executive director Monica Austin-Jackson at (818) 375-1000 or log on to Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. (818) 713-3749160Want 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

‘Stealth’ power rampant

first_img Saenz said he has conducted training sessions with commissioners and advised them about the limitations placed on them outside the formal commission meeting setting. “We believe every commissioner, every employee should understand the ethics laws and the restrictions, and part of the ethics laws is avoiding the appearance of impropriety, and there it’s a question of training,” he said. But he said changing the definition of lobbying from an issue of compensation to one of “conscience” would strike at the core of the First Amendment freedom of speech. “There has been a policy decision by the City Council that lobbying without compensation is not restricted. Every individual has a First Amendment right, and they don’t give that right up by virtue of (serving) on a citizen commission. The distinction is a matter of conscience versus those who are paid. That’s not unusual at all.” LeeAnn Pelham, the city Ethics Commission’s executive director, said city law since 1967 has always included a “compensation test” to determine who’s a lobbyist. She said that remains a valid measurement, with the commission’s focus on the role of money in influencing government decisions rather than access to government by people who aren’t paid directly for their influence. “Clearly, people wield tremendous influence on government and are not paid, and the commission historically has not seen that as warranting having to register with the government,” she said, noting that the commission will investigate complaints about individuals or companies that may be skirting the law. w=12 l=16Changes needed Ethics Commissioner and tax attorney Sean Treglia said changes may need to be made. “In many cases, the rules should be expanded to capture some of the transactions or relationships that are occurring,” Treglia said. “As it stands right now, I don’t think the disclosure system captures all the information we need to understand who’s lobbying in the city.” He has proposed a task force designed to clarify reporting requirements for lobbying fundraising activity in a move that he hopes will broaden into a comprehensive review and reform. Afriat argues that union, business and other leaders who have unlimited City Hall access should be required to register as lobbyists because they are influencing legislation and are being paid to do it. Jim Sutton, a San Francisco lawyer representing the L.A. lobbyists association, said unions do register as state lobbyists in Sacramento. The state requires registration for in-house lobbyists who spend one-third of their time in a month lobbying, or for contract lobbyists who earn $2,000 in a month. “The labor unions are registered in Sacramento, but not in L.A., San Diego or San Francisco,” he said. Sutton said municipalities have created a culture that discourages people from filing as lobbyists, even if they are influencing municipal legislation. “There is this feeling if you register, then you’re in the Ethics Commission’s world and then they’ll come after you. If you don’t register, then you’re off their radar screen,” he said. w=12 l=16Influential leaders Among dozens of influential leaders who have access to City Hall leaders is civic activist billionaire Eli Broad, the visionary behind an ambitious $1.8 billion plan to revitalize downtown’s Grand Avenue. Broad met with Villaraigosa on at least two occasions since last July, according to the mayor’s calendar. “Mr. Broad is not a lobbyist,” said his spokeswoman Karen Dunne. “He’s not in business, doesn’t represent anyone, and has no financial interest in the civic projects in which he’s involved.” Afriat contrasted Broad’s role with that of Steve Soboroff, a senior adviser to former mayor Richard Riordan and now a registered lobbyist representing Playa Capital Co., who last year had a series of meetings with Tom LaBonge and other council members. “Why should Steve Soboroff have to register as a lobbyist and Rick Caruso (developer of The Grove shopping center on the Westside and a former police commissioner) or Eli Broad not have to?” Afriat questioned. “They (all) have great access to City Hall. They do a lot of good for the city, but they also have business interests in the city and earn money from that.” Others with city interests who aren’t required to register are civic leaders such as heads of homeowner and other community groups with planning and other agendas. Tony Lucente, president of the Studio City Residents Association, is a member of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners whose access includes breakfast with Councilwoman Wendy Greuel at Chez Nous. Lucente said he’s a volunteer representing his community’s interests. “I think there’s a significant differentiation between someone who this is their job and they’re paid to lobby, and those of us who perform these community activities on a volunteer basis. The difference is, we don’t have a personal financial interest in the outcome, and that is a substantial and significant difference.” Nick Patsaouras owns multifamily housing projects in the city and is a mayoral appointee to the Water and Power Commission. He said his meetings with council members – including a November dinner with Reyes – are at their request, not his. “I’m very studious not to mix public policy issues with business,” Patsaouras said. “You just don’t talk about it. I’ve never discussed with the mayor business, or with any council person.” w=12 l=16Conflicts of interest David Fleming, a Latham & Watkins attorney who was appointed by Villaraigosa to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, doesn’t register as a lobbyist. Fleming said he’s careful to avoid conflicts of interest and recuses himself from voting on matters that involve any of the firm’s clients. Fleming said trying to monitor and regulate the myriad interests that seek to influence City Hall would be virtually impossible. “It’s too much to keep track of all that stuff. Politicians today talk about being more pure than Caesar’s wife, but when push comes to shove in private conversations, everything goes.” Councilman Dennis Zine said he hasn’t been lobbied by commissioners, and said he trusts commissioners like Patsaouras to observe the rules. “It depends on the council office, how open they’ll be with people who request meetings.” Council President Alex Padilla said he’s satisfied that existing laws for lobbyists don’t impede the legislative process, although he’ll leave it up to the Ethics Commission to decide whether the rules should be changed. “I don’t see how the rules on the books have inhibited me as a council member to pursue my legislative agenda and get done what I need to get done for my district,” Padilla said. He said appointments noted on his calendar – including with leaders of unions, civic groups and lawyers not registered as lobbyists – are “skewed” because it doesn’t reflect the large number of requests for meetings he turns down. Councilwoman Greuel said she hasn’t been lobbied by any commissioners – though she, like other council members, meets with them on various other matters. She said the city should look at lobbying reforms like the state’s to “improve transparency.” Toward that end, some groups have voluntarily registered as lobbyists. Brendan Huffman, director of public policy for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said his organization registers whether it meets the $4,000 quarterly threshold or not. “We register because it’s the right thing to do. We think the public has a right to know who influences public policy.” Huffman said those who don’t register essentially operate on an “honor code.” And that, he said, lets powerful interests work City Hall, violating “the spirit” of public disclosure where “anyone trying to influence public policy decisions at City Hall should register.” Beth Barrett, (818) 713-3731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Dozens of influential people who represent special interests – including union, business and nonprofit leaders -regularly schmooze city officials with little public scrutiny or accountability, according to a Daily News review of records. Under city ethics laws, they are exempt from the stringent reporting requirements imposed on registered lobbyists – a group defined narrowly as those who earn at least $4,000 a quarter for meeting with city officials to influence legislation. A new law enacted this summer bars any commissioner from lobbying for any compensation, even as little as $1. Yet calendars for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council members for the past six months show numerous meetings with individuals representing a variety of city interests who aren’t required to register as lobbyists and, in many cases, serve on city commissions. Many of those exempt from filing fundraising and disclosure reports deny that they engage in any effort to influence legislation, although in a number of cases, the officials’ calendars include details suggesting influence and special interests were, in fact, the purpose of the meetings. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Critics say the city’s ethics rules have created a two-tiered system that lets L.A.’s most influential power brokers slip through the cracks, creating a “shadow corps” of unregistered lobbyists who can operate virtually without oversight. And they say that after making good on a campaign promise to ban registered lobbyists from commissions, Villaraigosa has still appointed many people to commissions although they represent a wide range of special interests. “When the mayor said he wouldn’t appoint lobbyists to commissions, that’s not accurate,” said Steve Afriat, a registered lobbyist and president of the Los Angeles Lobbyists and Public Affairs Association, which has championed enacting a broader definition of lobbyist. “He should have said he wouldn’t appoint registered lobbyists – those that play be the rules, (instead) that he’d only appoint lobbyists who fly under the radar.” w=12 l=16’Zero tolerance’ Thomas Saenz, the mayor’s counsel, said Villaraigosa hasn’t been hypocritical, and has acted vigorously to ensure that commissioners follow a “zero-tolerance policy” on lobbying for compensation. Other rules restrict commissioners attempting to influence contracts, or otherwise being involved outside their official public role. last_img read more

Don’t miss out on deductions

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant What does tend to trigger an audit, or, more commonly, questions about an individual item on a return, are deductions that seem abnormally high. Accountants and tax attorneys say that as long as you have the paperwork to back up the claims you make on your tax forms, you shouldn’t run into problems. You’ll be on safest ground if you either have your return prepared by a professional or reviewed by one if you’ve compiled it yourself. Ignorance can also cost a small business plenty of money – many small-business owners just don’t know what the law is. Fishman said owners tend to overlook a deduction tailored for them, known as the Section 179 deduction. This allows small businesses to deduct up-front rather than depreciate the cost of certain equipment bought and put into service during the tax year. There’s a change in the deduction for the 2005 tax year – it rose to $105,000 from $102,000 in 2004. There are other adjustments to the tax law each year, and business owners need to keep up with them. You can get a quick overview of them in IRS Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business. You can download a copy of it and other IRS publications and forms from the agency’s Web site, Another change for the 2005 tax year is an adjustment in the standard mileage rate used to deduct the cost of using a vehicle for business purposes. Because the price of gasoline soared in the last few months of the year, the IRS has set up a two-tier deduction for 2005 – businesses can deduct 40.5 cents for each business mile driven before Sept. 1, and 48.5 cents for business miles driven after Aug. 31 and before Jan. 1 of this year. (But beware – the deduction was lowered to 44.5 cents for 2006.) There also have been changes to some business tax credits – and some new credits created, such as the Hurricane Katrina employee retention credit, which gave employers whose businesses were inoperable after the storm an incentive to keep paying workers. A list of the credits can be found in Publication 334. Many small businesses will be able to take advantage of a new deduction, the domestic production activities deduction that grew out of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. The deduction gives a tax break to a variety of companies with at least one employee – on its Web site, the IRS defines qualifying production activities as including “manufacturing, producing, growing, and extracting tangible personal property, computer software, and sound recordings, and the construction and substantial renovation of real property including infrastructure.” “They don’t necessarily have to be a manufacturer. It can even apply to engineering firms – it’s that broad of a definition,” said Jeffrey Berdahl, a certified public accountant with Berdahl & Co. in Center Valley, Pa. But tax professionals describe the regulations governing the domestic production activities deduction as complicated, and suggest that small businesses hoping to take advantage of it consult with a tax adviser. “It’s going to be a relatively difficult form to go through,” Berdahl said. Accountants and tax attorneys say some planning the previous year can help a small business avoid mistakes and oversights that end up in overpaying the government. Ask a financial expert about the biggest pitfalls that small businesses encounter at tax time, and they’ll probably talk about a lack of planning. “People don’t spend enough time consulting their professionals and making sure it’s done,” said Bob Howard, an attorney with Hofheimer Gartlir & Gross in New York. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – Every tax filing season, many small businesses end up paying the government more than they need to. Some don’t take advantage of all the deductions to which they’re entitled. Some haven’t kept up with changes in the tax law. Tax professionals say there are two main reasons why small businesses get tripped up while preparing tax returns: fear of an audit and ignorance. Stephen Fishman, an attorney and author of “Deduct It! Lower Your Small Business Taxes,” says the specter of an audit stops many small-business owners from claiming a home-office deduction, even when they qualify for this break and could save a substantial amount on their tax bills. Fishman noted that years ago, claiming you worked out of your home was one of those red flags that caught the eye of the IRS. But now, he said of small-business owners, “they may not be aware the law is more liberal” since changes were made in 1999, Fishman said. last_img read more


first_imgYOU’D wonder why they even invented Eircode – when you have Donegal postmen.Quite simply we don’t need postcodes.Not when you hear the latest about a postcard sent from Missouri in the United States addressed simply: ‘Albert, Carndonagh, Ireland’. The card was sent from St Charles, which is twinned with Carn….and sent from the town council there.The intended recipient is Sinn Fein councillor Albert Doherty. And he got it! They know how to find people in Inishowen where the An Post motto appears to be: ‘We Will Look For You, We Will Find You….and We Will Give You A Letter!”Earlier this year a letter was addressed to ‘Yer man Henderson, that boy with the glasses who is doing a PhD up here at Queen’s in Belfast. Buncrana, County Donegal, Ireland” – Barry Henderson also got his letter!  POSTCARD FROM AMERICA REACHES ‘ALBERT, CARNDONAGH, IRELAND was last modified: December 13th, 2015 by John2Share 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:AlbertCarndonaghlast_img read more


first_imgNext Monday, 15th September, Michael Murphy’s Sports store will host Ray D’arcy and the Today FM team. The popular Radio host will broadcast live from Letterkenny for the ‘Run with Ray’ event.You can register for the event by applying NOW on Also the window in Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure has some new visitors.The Donegal GAA team and management have been knitted by Anna Kelly in Buncrana.They’re among the many visitors to the new store since last weekend’s epic win against Dublin.With anticipation in the shop continuing to build all week as Donegal gears up for the All Ireland Final against Kerry in just over two weeks’ time, more merchandise has arrived and more will continue to arrive in the next fortnight.  MICHAEL MURPHY’S STORE TO BROADCAST RAY D’ARCY’S ‘RUN WITH RAY’ EVENT was last modified: September 6th, 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:newsSportlast_img read more

After Steph Curry’s broken hand, Joe Lacob won’t give in to tanking talk

first_imgJoe Lacob proclaims himself an optimist, but today he appears to be beyond that designation.Superstar Steph Curry is out, presumably for at least a month, with a broken hand sustained when Phoenix big man Aron Baynes fell on him as the Suns blew out the Warriors Wednesday night.CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the video on a mobile device Curry’s injury, Klay Thompson’s ACL-related yearlong absence and Kevin Durant’s departure for Brooklyn all point to one …last_img