Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionNow that an obscure Montana contractor with suspicious political connections has been dismissed as the developer for a new power system in devastated Puerto Rico, I think it’s time for Congress to seek bids for the contract. This would legitimize the entire project and give GE, among others, the opportunity to do what they do best and the reconstruction would be done right. At what cost? Well, at least at the cheapest available. And it would save our neglected territory, as well as our reputation.How this will fare, as well as that of needed national infrastructure spending, in the face of the proposed corporate tax cuts remains to be seen.David ChildsJohnstownMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFeds: Painting stolen by Nazis and found at Arkell Museum returned to familyTroopers: Colonie man dies in Montgomery County Thruway crashEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation
South Africa’s education system is receiving a digital facelift.Computer tablets are being distributed in schools in parts of the country as part of a new campaign to advance the use of technology at public learning institutions. As part of the Smart Schools project, 88 000 tablets are to be distributed to students in public schools. Sumitra Nydoo visited one of the schools to find out how learners are adapting to using the new technology
(YAHOOSPORTS) – Ryan Lochte’s U.S. swimming teammates told Brazilian authorities yesterday the 12-time Olympic gold medallist fabricated their story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro, according to ESPN.Details of the alleged fabrication first came yesterday morning from ABC News correspondent Matt Gutman, who cited Brazilian authority sources claiming the existence of video footage showing a U.S. swimmer “breaking down” a bathroom door and “fighting” security at a gas station around the time the robbery allegedly occurred. Video footage of a verbal confrontation between the four U.S. Olympic swimmers and security at the gas station was released later yesterday by Brazil’s O Globo newspaper.American swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, James Feigen and Lochte first claimed to be victims of an alleged armed robbery of their taxi cab en route to the Olympic Village on their way back from a party at the French hospitality house early Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee.Video obtained by the Daily Mail on Tuesday appeared to show the U.S. swimmers returning to the Olympic Village around 07:00hrs. on Sunday — after the alleged robbery – carrying valuables and joking with each other. According to reports, Brazilian police grew sceptical when the swimmers failed to provide important details about the robbery, including when and where the incident occurred.During multiple interviews with members of NBC’s Today show, Lochte stood by the robbery story.“We got pulled over in our taxi and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge,” Lochte told the Today show’s Billy Bush in a taped interview Sunday. “No lights, no nothing, just a police badge. They pulled us over, they pulled out their guns. They told the other swimmers to get down on the ground. They got down on the ground. I refused. I was like, ‘We didn’t do anything wrong,’ so I’m not getting down on the ground. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and said ‘get down.’ I put my hands up. I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet.”Speaking with Today’s Matt Lauer on Wednesday, Lochte reiterated, “We wouldn’t make this story up. We’re victims in this and we’re happy that we’re safe.” However, the six-time Olympic gold medallist altered details about his original story during Wednesday’s conversation with Lauer, saying they stopped at the gas station to use the men’s room and the gun was aimed in his “general direction”.Gutman’s report yesterday morning appeared to contradict Lochte’s account of the alleged robbery.Later yesterday, the gas station owner told Brazil’s O Globo news the U.S. quartet urinated on his Shell franchise’s walls in Rio’s Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood at the time in question. Meanwhile, the British Daily Mail reported a security guard drew a gun at the swimmers after they drunkenly “destroyed a gas station toilet and refused to pay for the damage.” The swimmers then reportedly paid.The video footage released by O Globo shows the four U.S. swimmers retreating into an alley on the property before returning to their taxi. At that point, someone approaches the vehicle, the swimmers get out, and they’re led to a landing outside the gas station, where they sit with their arms raised.O Globo’s footage did not include a broken bathroom door or a physical confrontation with security, although USA Today maintained the swimmers damaged a bathroom door when they could not enter.On Wednesday, sufficiently sceptical of the U.S. Olympians’ accounts, a Brazilian judge issued a search and seizure warrant to further question the swimmers. While Lochte had already returned to the U.S., Conger and Bentz were removed from their flight home by Brazilian authorities on Wednesday night. Feigen also remained in Brazil. All three were cooperating with Brazilian police, the USOC said.
Battle Ground Public Schools is seeking community feedback on proposed school boundary changes it says will alleviate overcrowding at the district’s south end.Starting today, the district will host a series of informational forums on the proposed changes. They are at:• 6 p.m. today at Laurin Middle School, 13601 N.E. 97th Ave., Vancouver.• 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at Maple Grove School, 610 S.W. Eaton Blvd., Battle Ground.• 6 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Daybreak campus, 1900 N.W. 20th Ave., Battle Ground.Overcrowding has been on the forefront of the district’s mind for years as population in its south end near Brush Prairie and Orchards grows faster than schools can accommodate. The district has thrice asked voters to approve facilities bonds to improve existing campuses and build a new school. Each time, however, the district failed to garner the 60 percent approval needed for school construction measures.Now, the district is looking at alternatives. The school board voted 3 to 2 last week to move three proposed boundary changes forward for public comment, with the goal of approving one of the plans next month. Students affected by the boundary changes will attend their new schools in the fall.The proposed changes are:• Shifting some students from the Pleasant Valley and Glenwood-Laurin campuses to the Tukes Valley, Daybreak and Maple Grove campuses.• Converting Maple Grove into a kindergarten through fourth grade campus, pulling Glenwood Heights Primary School students into that school while shifting current fifth- through eighth-grade Maple Grove students to neighboring schools.• Redrawing district boundaries throughout the entire district.District administrators will present the three options at the forums and answer questions. Attendees can provide feedback via a survey at the events, or at the district’s website starting today.Maps of the three proposals are also available on the district website.