Dear Editor,Senior officials in a Government are in special positions of authority to influence the mission, administrative priorities, and business decisions of the State. Ministers, in particular, are considered senior officials. These individuals are expected to consider as their primary responsibility their obligations to the nation.Upon taking the oath of office, their private financial business interest becomes secondary. If they cannot adhere to such best practices of good governance, then they should just get out!Therefore, the call from Transparency International Guyana Inc(TIGI), for policies to provide boundaries for those Ministers owning companies that are doing business with the State, has to be seen in that light as a good call.But isn’t this a call too late? The egg-suckers have already gotten accustomed to sucking eggs.To his credit, in late 2014, Dr. Anand Goolsarran, former head of TIGI, also made this call. Since Dr Goolsaran’s call, Mr. Granger promised the nation that he would have provided the framework for good governance upon winning political power. He was very clear in his words on the 2015 campaign trail. Mr. Granger personally promised the nation that he would bring an end to “cronyism at the highest levels that seemed to be draining the nation’s financial resources and blocking human development”.Is Mr. Granger suddenly suffering from amnesia?It is now 2019, and the evidence clearly illustrates that Mr. Granger failed with an “F” GRADE to match his words with action. In simple language, the entire nation was scammed by a BS artist.Who are the politicians today draining the people’s resources into their personal companies by putting their personal interest above those of the people? Just read the newspapers and you will find adequate evidence of at least 29 members of Team Granger, in just three years, who have engaged in all sorts of side hustle: from fuel smuggling to influence buying, to using their positions to win contracts for themselves and close family members without any competition, to securing multi-million-dollar jobs with private oil companies for their spouses and other close family members, and so on. These are all acts of conflict of interest.Today Team Granger offers fickle promises, fatuous platitudes, and long-winded empty statements to throw sand into the eyes of the people as they try to cover up these massive acts of conflict of interest and corruption.But to this call by TIGI, they should know that the time is long gone for statements; the time is now for greater advocacy on the international front, where organisations like the UNODC can be lobbied to help they uproot these massive acts of misappropriation of public funds. After all, it is Transparency International that defines corruption as the “abuse of entrusted power for private gains”.If one were to reflect on the two latest cases, one would ask the legitimate question: Were the profits from VideoMega and Yearwood Construction not shared with sitting senior officials in Team Granger? Are these two officials associated with VideoMega and Yearwood Construction not in a position to influence contracts in favour of these two companies?I rest my case! BETTER MUST COME!Yours faithfully,Sasenarine Singh
As the nation’s Latino population continues to grow, so does the size of its people. The rate of obesity among Latinos is on the rise, officials said, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday released its first Spanish translation of the food pyramid. “The fact that the Latino community has an obesity problem is not new news in the San Gabriel Valley, especially among our children. Their needs to be education on healthier eating habits and exercise,” Baldwin Park Councilwoman Marlen Garcia said. “I think a Spanish version is great and I think (the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is taking the right step.” MyPyramid is the government’s guide to healthy eating and nutrition. It was launched in April as a replacement to the first food pyramid created in 1992. The new food pyramid represents food groups vertically as opposed to the traditional horizontal layers, gives essential food proportions and ad- dresses the importance of exercise. Garcia said this year the Baldwin Park Unified School District, which is 85 percent Latino, removed sodas from schools districtwide and is working to give students healthier eating options. Similarly, the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, which is also a highly Latino school district, has made changes in its menu. “Fresh fruit is offered every day, and we use whole-grain bread,” Michelle Bukowski, assistant director of food services, said. “We are here to feed the students, but also to teach them good eating habits they might not be getting at home.” Although children have time to change the way they eat, a 2002 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association said three out of every four adult Latinos in the United States are overweight. Overall, in the United States, two out of three people are overweight, according to the AMA. While the food pyramid focuses on proper portions of foods like whole grain bread, poultry, dark green veggies and fruit, common staples in Latino households tend to include tortillas, beans and rice. “When we get together as family, it’s old recipes like tamales, posole and generally fat foods, but it tastes good,” said Alejandra Rodriguez, 35, of Baldwin Park. “When we make our beans we make them with lard and it’s not healthy, but they’re Latino traditions.” Dr. Robert Riewerts, chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Baldwin Park, said obesity is prevalent not only in Latinos, but in other ethnicities as well. “We do see a large Latino population here, but I think the problem with obesity is apparent in all cultures,” Riewerts said. “And the reality is that an increase in obesity means an increase in health problems like liver disease and diabetes.” In September, a version of the pyramid aimed at children was launched, and materials have also been translated into Braille. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!