Texas: Aid deserved if we rebuild wisely

first_img Next UpThen came that August storm, which battered the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to Orange. Across 41 Texas counties, Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey dumped rainfall in record-breaking, relentless amounts. Damages to infrastructure and personal property, much of it located outside recognized flood zones, was astounding.Jefferson County knows this better than anyone. A study of Federal Emergency Management Agency applications for assistance showed need was greatest in a Port Arthur zip code. More households suffered property damage than didn’t in our community.Our countrymen in New York and New Jersey have not forgotten that U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz opposed big aid to those states after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. So it can’t be easy for either of them to wander Capitol Hill, palms upward, telling their colleagues, “No, we need more.” Pity those stalwart fiscal conservatives who represent Texas in Washington.We usually count ourselves among their allies, and fully appreciate how profligate spending imperils our country every day. Indeed it is. It’s one thing to argue in Washington, D.C., the fine points of financial help for devastated counties a half-country away. It’s quite another for people to be marooned in hotel rooms, out of their homes and not sure of their next step as they await action from their national leaders.U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Friendwood, in making the case for more aid last fall in the House, contended that Harvey and related flooding ranked as the second-most costly natural disaster after only Fukushima in Japan.“The people of Texas need and deserve federal assistance for long-term flood mitigation, which this request does not sufficiently provide,” he said.Abbott said about 61 percent of aid in Texas would go toward flood control, about a third to housing. The rest would go to hazard mitigation, roadways and water services projects.Texas should complement its pitch for aid with commitment to planning and development reform. Too many Texas homes were destroyed in areas where little heed was paid to flood threats.If we want help, we ought to earn it by learning from those past mistakes.center_img Yet we do. Gov. Greg Abbott’s Commission to Rebuild Texas makes a compelling case that the Texas coast must be rebuilt, that it is too valuable to America to shortchange or ignore.The U.S. House of Representatives showed its understanding of the need by upping federal disaster aid packages within the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.On the Senate floor, Cornyn lamented the lag time between disaster and response.“The House passed an $81 billion relief package at the end of last year, and here we are a couple of months later before we actually are acting on this disaster relief package,” he said. “It’s long overdue.”last_img read more

Feature: Guyana’s Cleaveland Forde – outstanding CARICOM 10K athlete

first_img Jun 11, 2015 Athletes compete for CARICOM 10K title on SundayThe twelfth Annual CARICOM 10K race is happening this Sunday at 6:00 am in Georgetown, Guyana, under the Theme ‘Promoting Healthy and Peaceful Societies’. The CARICOM 10K race is held to coincide with the Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM each year. This year, the Meeting…June 30, 2016In “CARICOM”Guyana, SVG win male, female CARICOM 10k titleFour-time CARICOM  10k winner Cleveland Forde of Guyana copped his fifth title in the latest edition of the CARICOM 10k Race on Sunday morning (July 3) in his native Guyana. He completed the race in 32:39 minutes. Linda McDonald  brought victory to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the female category…July 3, 2016In “Antigua & Barbuda”Mark! Set! Go! CARICOM 10k Race to be held 3 JulyThe twelfth Annual CARICOM 10K race will be held on Sunday, 3 July, 2016, at 6:00 am in Georgetown, Guyana. The event will be held under the Theme ‘Promoting Healthy and Peaceful Societies’. The race is held to coincide with the Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of…June 13, 2016In “Antigua & Barbuda”Share this on WhatsApp CARICOM 10K runs off on Sunday in Barbados When my focus is at the pinnacle, I guess that I am nowhere yet,” he said modestly. His mind is focused on competing successfully at the highest levels, including the Olympic. If his discipline is an indicator, that aspiration is within reach. The CARICOM Secretariat had an interaction with Mr. Forde ahead of the events surrounding the hosting of the 37th Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government in Georgetown, Guyana from 4-6 July. He related that his proclivity for running long distances became evident when his age was still counted in single digits. A pupil of the Mabaruma Primary School, located in the Barima, Waini region, in the northwest district of Guyana, Mr. Forde said in running for fun or in school’s sports, he realised that others seemed “really exhausted” while he “still had the energy to go”. That “energy to go” was nurtured and culminated with the 31-year-old athlete winning the Junior Sportsman of the year 2002, runner-up in the same category in 2003, Male Athlete of the Years in 2004, and Sportsman of the Year in 2006. His distances are 5000m and 1500m, but he competes in 800m, 10K and half marathons. He has competed successfully in excess of a 100 events in countries across the globe including Hungary, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Panama, India, Australia, Argentina and Italy. Some of the prominent events in which he participated include the World Youth Championship in Athletics, CARIFTA Games, NACAC Cross Country 800k; Southern Games 1500m and 5000m; Brazil GP 5000m; CAC Senior Championship 1500m and 5000m; Hampton Games 15000m; UWI Half Marathon; South American 10k Road Race Classic; Run Barbados Series 10k and Half Marathon, Falcon Games 1500m; Central American and Caribbean Games 5000m; Commonwealth Games 5000m and 1500m; Palo Seco Games 1500m; Manny Ramjohn Memorial 1500m; World Half Marathon; South American Junior; Cara Suites 10k Classic; National Schools Annual Track and Field, Swimming and Cycling Championships 10k, 1500m, 5000m; and Hampton International Championship 5000m. Cleaveland Forde is truly an outstanding athlete. Despite the considerable amount of time set aside for training and competing, the academic element of his life has not suffered any shortfall. He said motivation to pursue academics alongside athletics was “all around.” Teachers, coaches, friends and family all encouraged him to have “something to fall back on,” after his career in track and field. That kind of motivation and self-determination and focus, led him to be as academically successful. Mr. Forde has just completed a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Management from the University of Guyana.  That was preceded by a Diploma in Management of Information Systems from Dawn to Dusk College in Eldoret, Kenya, through a scholarship co-sponsored by Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Kenya is far away from Guyana, but its high altitude terrain is described as a ‘mecca’ for high performance athletic training. There, Mr Forde used the high-altitude training camps some 2700 meters above sea level to develop his resistance, muscle strength and stamina when he competes on ground level. With a solid education in his repertoire, he said: “Now that I have that, the next five years I just want to devote to athletics totally. I don’t want to be distracted.” This dedicated athlete is constantly looking to improving his time, training as much as twice daily, six days a week. Guyana’s Cleaveland Forde is arguably one of the most celebrated athletes in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) 10K Road Race having won the event five times: Guyana – 2009, Saint Lucia – 2012, Antigua and Barbuda – 2014, Barbados – 2015, and Guyana – 2016. While those accomplishments are noteworthy, this celebrated athlete does not consider them to be the catalyst of his career. I am looking to run some better times and right now I am hoping within the next couple of months I will be back somewhere at high altitude training. I will be talking with the (Guyana Olympic) Association and I will engage the Ministry of Education Sports Department and we’ll see how it goes,” said. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… center_img Jun 18, 2015 You may be interested in… CARICOM 10K veteran receives champion’s trophy from the Hon Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados Chair of the Caribbean Community, the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, presents the trophy to 2016 10K winner, Guyanese Cleaveland Forde a the National Park on Sunday morning. Going the distance Guyana’s Cleaveland Ford won the 2014 CARICOM 10K race in Antigua and Barbuda The Thirty-Seventh Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM will be held in Guyana 4-6 July, 2016. The opening ceremony will be held on the evening of Monday 4 July, at the National Cultural Centre, Georgetown, and will be live-streamed via today.caricom.org and www.caricom.org. As we focus on Guyana as c0-host with the CARICOM Secretariat, please see below a feature on one of the Community’s outstanding athletes. Jun 25, 2015last_img read more

Rupp to host women’s regionals ’16-18

first_imgRupp Arena was selected Thursday as a regional site for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament for three straight years from 2016 to ’18, meaning the University of Kentucky could have the opportunity to play every game of those tournaments before the Final Four in Lexington.The NCAA chose neutral sites for the regional rounds, and because the UK women play fewer than three games per season at Rupp Arena, the building qualifies as a neutral site.The first and second rounds of the tournament this season and presumably in the foreseeable future will be held at the home courts of the top 16 overall seeds in the 64-team field, so the Wilcats, with strong seasons, could be positioned to host those rounds as well at Memorial Coliseum, their regular home court.“It’s great for us if we take care of business, we would be able to possibly have our path to the Final Four without ever leaving Lexington,” UK spokeswoman Susan Lax said. “… It would be amazing. There really is no other word.”UK drew an announced crowd of 22,075 to Rupp Arena on Monday night for a victory over Baylor – the only women’s game that will be played there this season.RELATED: List of all 2016-18 women’s regional sites“The electricity of the Big Blue Nation and having a home-court advantage is huge,” Lax said. “We know that if we play at home in Lexington, we’ll have a great crowd. It’s a motivating thing (to earn a good seed).”It’ll be Rupp Arena’s first time hosting NCAA women’s games since the 1986 Final Four, which was won by Texas.“It’s exciting for us and the city of Lexington,” Lax said. “We know it’ll be a great site for women’s basketball.”The University of Louisville and the KFC Yum! Center didn’t bid to host a women’s regional from 2016 to ’18 because the school chose instead to bid on a men’s regional, which it was awarded for 2016, U of L assistant athletic director Josh Heird said. Because the Yum! Center is the U of L women’s regular home court – unlike the UK women with Rupp Arena – the Cardinals could not have played there during the regional rounds.U of L and the Yum! Center hosted a regional last season, when home sites were allowed to host.It’s well within reason that the U of L women could end up placed in the Lexington regional in the upcoming years, and Heird said the Cards, who have enjoyed big pro-U of L men’s crowds at Rupp in recent NCAA Tournaments, would likely welcome the chance.“I think whenever we see that Lexington has put a bid in to host something, or they see that we put a bid in, we’re both excited,” he said.The dates for the future women’s regionals are March 25-28, 2016; March 24-27, 2017; and March 25-28, 2018.UK and Rupp also bid on hosting neutral-site men’s NCAA games in 2016, 17 and ’18, Lax said, but didn’t land any.Steve Jones can be reached at (502) 582-7176 and followed on Twitter at @SteveJones_CJ.last_img read more