Dear Editor,Many are lobbying for Guyana to welcome with open arms the impoverished, unfortunate Venezuelans running from lives of misery in their homeland, but our country has been unable to get its act together to improve the lives of its very own people.I can point to our dire crime situation or our stores bending over backwards for foreign buyers. I can focus on our ramshackle markets, even our inability to provide potable water and reliable electricity for ourselves after 52 years of Independence.But the unbridled wild beast that our public transportation has become might be the defining issue that crystallises all the trials and tribulations our people face.The public transportation system is now in the clutches of minibus operators and it seems to be totally unregulated. It has become a sad reflection of our culture, which over the years became liberally veined with lawlessness, low levels of tolerance, uncouth behaviour, lack of empathy, fearfulness and an ‘anything-goes-just-make-money’ approach.Of course, like anything else, not all minibus operators are like this; but it seems to me that the majority who are, taint the ones who aren’t.On any given day, we can see a multitude of minibuses, some garishly coloured in avid and dangerous competition with each other, despite the obvious risks to the lives of travellers and pedestrians. I speculate that in many cases passengers do not protest because rides within Georgetown are usually just short ones.On any given day, speeding overcrowded minibuses put the lives of people’s children, wives, husbands, brothers and sisters in grave danger. It’s all about the money. In the typical bus operator’s mind, passengers’ safety is a minor consideration, most likely such thoughts are a nuisance.I remember witnessing two minibus drivers jostling to get a single passenger and grazing the sides of each other’s vehicles in their recklessness. And I don’t need to regurgitate the details of many serious accidents involving minibuses when torsos, arms, legs etc were violently separated from their counterparts on human bodies and bloodied remains were strewn everywhere.On any given day, we can see ragamuffin-looking touts for minibuses grabbing and groping prospective passengers, trying to force them to board specific buses.On any given day, we can see minibuses and other vehicles for that matter, racing to beat traffic lights, which, ironically, were erected to control traffic and prevent accidents. We can see them forming extra lanes on busy roadways to beat the lights and be a few seconds ahead of other buses in the jostle for passengers.On any given day, we can encounter rude, aggressive hoodlum-type characters functioning as minibus conductors and drivers, some making passes at schoolgirls.On any given day, we can honestly mistake some minibuses for moving dance halls blasting music with the filthiest lyrics that would make any conscious parent cringe while travelling with a child.I have actually witnessed minibus drivers and conductors openly buying bottles of Guinness stout to drink while operating their vehicles with paying passengers on board.Sincerely,Concerned citizen
Fatal accidentsA Post Mortem Examination (PME) conducted on the body of 25-year-old Intiaz Muhammad, who was run over by a car in Linden on Sunday, has given the cause of death as multiple crushing injuries consistent with a motor vehicular accident.The labourer, of Tuschen Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo, met his demise in the wee hours of Sunday following an accident which occurred along the One Mile Public Road in Wismar.According to reports, the deceased was lying on the roadway when he was run over at about 03:00h by a hire car bearing registration number HC 8814, being driven by a resident of Wisrock, Linden.The driver has since alleged that he had been blinded by the bright lights of a vehicle proceeding in the opposite direction. He reportedly told investigators that, as a result, he drove over the now man, who had been lying at the side of the road. Reports are that the driver had stopped for a while, but drove away sometime later. Muhammad was later picked up by an ambulance and taken to theClayton Docton SkybarLinden Hospital Complex (LHC), where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police say the driver later turned himself in at the Wismar Police Station.The motor car, which was damaged, has also since been impounded as Police continue their investigation. ‘E’ Division (Linden-Kwakwani) Commander Linden Lord on Monday confirmed that the driver remains in Police custody. Lord noted that legal advice is being sought; and once charged, he is likely to appear in court on Wednesday.Meanwhile, the PME conducted on the body of Mabura fatal accident victim Clayton Docton Skybar has indicated that the 16-year-old miner died of multiple injuries consistent with a motor vehicular accident.The PME was conducted at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) on Monday. The drivers of the two trucks involved in the accident, which occurred in the vicinity of 58 Miles along the Mabura Road on Friday, have since been released from Police custody after being granted station bail.The trucks reportedly collided at about 11:30h in the vicinity of 58 Miles, Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice).According to ‘E’ Division (Linden-Kwakwani) Commander Linden Lord, the drivers are required to report to the Mackenzie Police Station daily.He also noted that legal advice will be sought on the way forward with the case, as he pointed out that either driver has given Police a conflicting story regarding what had transpired.According to information from Police, at the time of the accident, the deceased, along with three passengers, was seated in the tray of GPP 4923 with trailer THH 9317, driven by a 23-year-old resident of Helena Number 1, East Coast, Demerara (ECD), when it collided with GTT 2531, driven by a 41-year-old of Timehri Public Road, East Bank, Demerara (EBD).The truck in which Skybar was a passenger was reportedly laden with lumber and was heading to Linden, while the other was said to be heading into Mabura. Following the incident, Skybar was rushed to the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC), where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
PULLMAN, Wash. – Ivory Clark was at the bank when a stranger started chatting up Washington State’s basketball team. Later, when he was at the store, the same thing happened. Yes, a stone’s throw from Moscow, where the winters in the Idaho town have a reputation for being as punishing as its namesake in Russia, an incredible moment is taking place in the unlikeliest of the Pacific-10’s nine cities. Washington State will make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1994, but there is one bummer with that. Because the school is hosting the sub-regional in Spokane, Washington State cannot play there. So scores of fans will not be able to cash in on years of frustration and apathy and make the 80-mile drive to see the Cougars play. Instead, the Cougars will be sent a plane’s ride away. Still, it hasn’t taken away from the euphoria on campus, and the attention engulfing the program. “This is different, and in many ways it’s been a shock to me, personally, and as a team we sometimes shock ourselves,” guard Jeff Weaver said. “Seeing Washington State come across the bottom of the screen (on television) with a number (ranking) by it, it’s a dream. It’s special. I never thought it would be this good.” First-year coach Tony Bennett, who took over after his father, Dick, left following last season, melded an eclectic group of under-recruited players from across the country. Point guard and leading scorer Derrick Low (13.9 ppg) is from Honolulu, Weaver (11.1 ppg, 4.8 apg) hails from Beloit, Wis., Clark (9.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is from New Orleans, forward Daven Harmeling (9.9 ppg) is from Grand Junction, Colo., and forward Robbie Cowgill (7.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg) is from Austin, Texas. Not one Cougar is from Washington. “You could look at our whole roster and say we gambled just about on everybody,” Bennett said. “We were in a place where really not a lot of people wanted to come to Washington State, to be honest with you. We looked at kids that we projected were going to be good and we have a chance to get, and they’re legitimately excited to be playing in an elite league, like the Pac-10, and being part of rebuilding a program.” The Cougars also are doing it without star power. UCLA has guards Arron Afflalo and Darren Collison, Oregon has Aaron Brooks, USC has Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt and Stanford has Anthony Goods and Brook Lopez. But Washington State doesn’t have a player in the top 13 in Pac-10 scoring and its leading rebounder, Weaver, ranks 17th. Clark, a senior forward, joins four starters who are in their third season at Washington State. “I think part of it is that the kids have been in the system now for two or three years,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said. “They’ve been doing the same curling coming off screens, how to read screens, how to set screens, how to hedge screens, how to stay in front of the ball, how to have (their) hands high and active all the time. “Every time you play them, it’s like a root canal.” Washington State plays the same deliberate style, but Tony Bennett, who served on his father’s staff for three seasons, subtly changed the offensive approach. The Cougars were always known as a strong defensive team, but also a methodical, plodding offensive team that would rather score in the 40s than the 60s. Clark said the freedom now exists to, when open, take quicker shots and push the tempo. “It’s just being free and able to express yourself on the court,” Clark said. email@example.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Folks in Pullman are talking about Washington State basketball – for all the right reasons. The Cougars are winning, the community is bustling, and support is booming. Although a loss a week ago at Oregon seriously damaged Washington State’s chances of winning a Pac-10 title, the loss did little to dampen the enthusiasm within the town of 25,000 on the eastern edge of the state. When No. 2 UCLA visits No. 13 Washington State tonight at Friel Court, the Bruins will be greeted by the rarity of a sellout crowd of 11,500. Until this season, it was more than 20 years since Washington State’s last sellout. “Walking around campus, I actually enjoy going to class,” said Clark, a senior forward in his second season in Pullman after playing at Midland, Texas College. “People ask for your autograph. I had to pay people to give them my autograph last year.” The Cougars use a disciplined, strong defense and a methodical offense to dictate tempo and frustrate opponents. The style, talent and experience has Washington State (23-5, 12-4 Pac-10) in second place in the Pac-10, and it can still earn a share of its first conference title since 1941 by sweeping UCLA and USC this weekend, and also having the Bruins (25-3, 14-2) lose Saturday at Washington. Sure, the likelihood of those events transpiring appear small, but after what Washington State accomplished this season, it is not impossible. The school’s last winning season came in 1995-96, and the Cougars’ 23 wins ties for fourth-most in school history. Washington State is already assured of finishing at least third, which will be their highest spot since George Raveling’s 1982-83 team finished second.