“Goliaths Will Meet their Davids”

first_imgFormer President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Gbehzongar Milton FindleyGrand Bassa County Senior Senator Gbehzohngar Milton Findley has welcomed the ruling Unity Party’s recent decision to endorse his bid to retain his Senatorial seat in the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.Senator Findley who is also President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, further welcomed the widespread notion that he will be a mere David among the Goliaths who are going all out to unseat him in the forth coming poll. “At least those with such a notion are also aware that for every Goliath, there is a David, and if the Biblical story is anything to go by, then the end result will favor me,” Senator Findley pointed out.The Grand Bassa lawmaker made the statement recently when he addressed Legislative Press Corps at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.The Senator who celebrated his 54th birthday last Wednesday in Buchanan with an array of fellow lawmakers, family members and friends, expressed the hope that other political parties,  including his county’s archrival, the Liberty Party, must now see it prudent to follow the example of Unity Party.In a joyful mood, Senator Findley told journalists that those who think he has failed in his social contract with the citizens of Bassa who elected him nine years ago, will have the shock of their lives when the same Bassonians renew his contract in October.“I have built my report card over the years and come October, the perceived political Goliaths will cease to exist politically.”Speaking on other national issues, Pro Tempore Findley disclosed that the chapter on the fate of the two dismissed leaders of the National Health Workers of Liberia (NHWAL) remains open, even though the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare failed to carry out a 72-hour Senatorial order to reinstate them over a month ago.The two leaders, Joseph Tamba, president, and George William, secretary general, were among 22 health workers dismissed by Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale last February, when health workers carried out a nation-wide go slow in protest of poor working conditions and incentives.Senator Findlay told the press briefing, however, that following the failure of the Ministry to carry out their request, the leadership of the Senate wrote the Executive (Presidency), and that the response to their communication will soon be publicly disclosed.On the recent disclosure by Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly that a certain lawmaker had requested US$800,000.00 of the County Development Fund (CDF) to be placed in his/her personal account, Senator Findley said the Minister will again appear before the Senate Tuesday to throw more light on accusations that he placed moratorium on CDF and Social development Fund; and that four Commissioners whose nominations were rejected by the Senate are still functioning in those positions.But when asked whether Minister Dukuly, who on the request of the Senate last Thursday appeared in executive session with his lawyer,  named the lawmaker who requested for the US$800,000.00 to be placed in personal account, the Senator was noncommittal. He reminded journalists that discussions and decisions in executive sessions cannot be divulge to the public.Meanwhile, Minister Dukuly is expected to make another appearance before the Senate tomorrow for more questioning.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Taggers’ enemy

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.To Segura, fighting graffiti means more than arresting vandals. “That’s just putting a Band-Aid on the situation. I want to get to the root of the situation whatever it is,” he said. Segura believes in getting parents and schools involved. “I feel there’s a lot of things we need to do. Intervention programs, be more available to parents if they need more help,” he said. Segura said if he can’t solve the parents’ problems, he refers them to agencies that can. He shares information with the schools and they do the same with him. “We all help each other,” Segura said. He belongs to a graffiti task force that meets to discuss the latest graffiti trends, partners with other agencies like juvenile probation and keeps tabs on what other police departments are doing. The key words are networking and sharing resources. “Again it’s getting to the root of the problem, not just arresting the person,” he said. Segura is a 12-year veteran of the Police Department whose prior assignment included the gang beat. He is part of the Special Enforcement Team. Segura is called in on every graffiti arrest, according to Lt. Bryan Ellis. He said the officer interviews the person, finds out the tag names, discovers who is in the tagging crews and logs it in a database. While Segura is not the first officer to focus on graffiti enforcement, Ellis said he has broadened the job’s role. He said Segura is more proactive with the schools, is working more with school resource officers and officials. “He’s doing an excellent job,” Ellis said. “It’s far more than arresting the kids. We don’t want them to start (tagging).” Segura said he wants intervention programs to help parents and students and is working with the schools. He recently gave a presentation educating parents about gangs and graffiti at Whittier College. He also wants to go to court to find out how the city can get restitution. The Police Department is also getting more active in juvenile probation searches. Whittier spends an increasing amount to remove graffiti every year. In 2003, graffiti removal cost the city $181,314. Compare that to $283,465 as of June this year. Larry Trujillo, executive director of the Whittier Uptown Association, said it’s hard enough for business owners to maintain property before they go out and see graffiti on their buildings. While one can paint over tagging, he said removing etchings is expensive and could include replacing glass. Mayor Owen Newcomer said graffiti is a big problem because it gives an area a bad image. It costs money to clean up and it happens on a regular basis. “It’s just aggravating the lack of respect to the appearance of the neighborhood and the lack of respect to the property,” Newcomer said. He likens taggers to a more familiar household pest. “Graffiti vandals are like the gophers in my yard. There are not a lot of them but they are busy,” Newcomer said. One of the ways the city fights graffiti is to offer a $500 reward to anyone reporting a vandal who gets arrested for graffiti. The program is so successful, Newcomer said, that they’ve nearly used up the amount budgeted for the reward and will be replenishing the pot. Since the program started in spring, the city has handed out 33 checks. The Whittier Uptown Association also offers a $500 reward if the person is arrested and convicted. That pertains to graffiti committed within the Uptown district’s 33 blocks, Trujillo said. ruby.gonzales@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER- Officer Frank Segura is a pivotal person in the city’s fight against anyone with the itch to scribble on walls or etch windows. The 35-year-old is tasked with coordinating the Police Department’s graffiti enforcement efforts. He oversees the “Graffiti Tracker” cameras as well as two other cameras placed at locations where graffiti is increasing to capture taggers in action. Graffiti Tracker is a computerized tracking system. It creates a databank of graffiti tags, which can then be traced by police to a specific tagger. Photos from the other cameras called “Q-star” are downloaded to a laptop and are used for identification, prosecution and restitution, police said. last_img read more

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