Dirk Nowitzki eyes December for start of 21st season with Mavs

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Either way, Rawlings didn’t want to wait past this season to honor the player who led the Mavericks to their only championship as the NBA Finals MVP in 2011 and is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history with 31,187 points, seventh on the all-time list.Rawlings lauded Nowitzki for his willingness to be visible in public, mentioning that he was elected the same night Nowitzki was celebrating a birthday and they ended up at the same club.“That was LIT!” Nowitzki interrupted, drawing laughs.“A kid came here that was skinny and didn’t really know much about life and only lived at home,” Nowitzki said earlier. “Like I said earlier, grew into a man here. Off the court, try to help out, try to help this great city be better. Try to represent the city the right way.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The 2007 NBA MVP said he started running on a treadmill about two weeks ago and has steadily increased the intensity. Nowitzki has played in a couple of games involving staff members during practice. But until he goes through several full practices, his debut will have to wait.“The reason why we’re taking it so slow now is once I get out there, I want to finish the rest of the season healthy,” Nowitzki said. “I don’t want to come back too soon now and then have setbacks again like I did with the Achilles a few years ago. Next thing you know I missed another few weeks.”Nowitzki said the significance of this debut hasn’t made him any more anxious than the painstaking wait when all indications were the surgery wouldn’t affect what could — and many presume will be — his final season.“I’ve been antsy,” he said. “Had the surgery in April and it’s been nothing but rehab and treadmills. Love to step out there soon and get the kick of competing, the crowd involved. It’s just something I miss. And once my career is over, that’s for sure something I’ll miss, the kick, the rush, the adrenaline.”Nowitzki said he wasn’t ready to decide how the injury will influence a decision on a possible 22nd season.ADVERTISEMENT Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki makes a face as he is presented with the key to the city of Dallas by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, left, during halftime of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, in Dallas, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki was ready to take the court Wednesday night — at halftime, for a ceremony in which the Mavericks star was presented a key to the city by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.As for when the 7-foot German’s record 21st season with the same franchise will begin after a longer-than-expected recovery from ankle surgery seven months ago, Nowitzki said the goal is sometime in December.ADVERTISEMENT Boxing gets big new platforms even as HBO exits sport Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown LATEST STORIES Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The 13-time All-Star had surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle just before the end of the 2017-18 season. Nowitzki was on schedule to be ready for the start of this season before a setback led to tendon soreness just before the start of training camp in September.Nowitzki spoke alongside Rawlings before the ceremony during the Mavericks’ game against Brooklyn.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“It’s just hard when I haven’t done much for eight weeks and there’s a 40-year-old basically starting from scratch to try to get back in shape to play NBA minutes,” Nowitzki said. “Hopefully soon. Hopefully, somewhere in December I’ll be ready and the body will respond the right way.”Nowitzki is set to become the first player to spend all 21 seasons with the same team. Until he makes his debut, he will technically share the record of 20 seasons with Kobe Bryant, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View commentslast_img read more

LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo top early NBA All-Star vote totals

first_imgVoting continues through January 21 with fan ballots counting 50 percent, current NBA players counting 25 percent and a media panel counting 25 percent to determining the 10 starters for the 68th NBA All-Star Game on February 17 at Charlotte, North Carolina.All-Star Game starters and captains will be revealed January 24. Reserves will be revealed one week later.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThis year’s all-star contest will follow last year’s format with two team captains — the All-Stars who lead their conference — each selecting rosters from pools of starters and reserve players regardless of conference affiliation.James, a 14-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA All-Star Most Valuable Player, was followed in the West front line by Slovenian 19-year-old swingman Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks on 679,839 and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant with 659,968. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Chasing a starting berth were New Orleans star big man Anthony Davis at 605,417 and Oklahoma City’s Paul George on 580,055 with New Zealand center Steven Adams of Oklahoma City next on 261,327.Three-time NBA champion and two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry of the reigning champion Warriors topped Western Conference guards with 793,111 votes and Minnesota’s Derrick Rose joined him in the backcourt with 698,086 votes.Houston’s James Harden, the NBA’s top scorer with 33.3 points a game, was chasing a starting spot in third on 541,606 with Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook next on 459,792.Antetokounmpo was followed in East frontcourt starting spot positions by Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard on 774,172 and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, a 7-footer from Cameroon, on 648,002.Embiid’s 76ers teammate Jimmy Butler was a distant fourth on 222,206.ADVERTISEMENT Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) high-fives Josh Hart (3) at the end of the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James and Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo led the first fan balloting updates announced Thursday for next month’s NBA All-Star Game.Los Angeles Lakers star playmaker James received the most votes with 1,083,363 to pace the Western Conference frontcourt while Milwaukee Bucks forward Antetokounmpo led the Eastern Conference with 991,561 votes in the first fan ballot returns.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Boston’s Kyrie Irving topped the East guards with 910,329 votes and Miami’s Dwyane Wade was second on 409,156.Chasing backcourt starting spots were Charlotte’s Kemba Walker of 319,519 and Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year from Australia, on 259,993.James leads Curry by more than 290,000 votes for the West captain’s spot while Antetokounmpo has a lead of just over 81,000 votes on Irving for the East captain’s spot.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Whatever it takes Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruptionlast_img read more

Maraño, De Guzman named national team skippers

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra LATEST STORIES Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Aby Maraño and John Vic de Guzman have been named captains of the national volleyball teams that will compete in front of home fans in the Southeast Asian Games this year.“This is very exciting. I personally feel no pressure. I take this as a challenge,” said the 26-year-old Maraño during the unveiling of national squads by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) and main sponsor Rebisco on Friday. “The only thing is that we have to sustain this all the way to the SEA Games.”ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title The LVPI decided to forgo the major Asian tournaments to keep the team’s confidence intact.“We don’t want to be playing in the SEA Games coming from bad beatings from these countries,” said Cayco.De Guzman will captain a men’s team that includes former Ateneo star Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, spearhead of reigning UAAP men’s champion National Univerity.The LVPI had earlier predicted its teams would finish on the podium, but refused to forecast the medal. The Philippines last won a gold in the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pacquiao could find a foe after March 16 Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Volleyball star Alyssa Valdez, also named to the national pool, praised officials for including youngsters like University of Santo Tomas’ rookie Eya Laure and foreign-born Filipinos like Kalei Mau and Alohi Robins-Handy.“We can learn from them and they from us,” Valdez said. “This is also good because we have so many young players so we can already see the future of Philippine volleyball.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThe pool will undergo training camps in Japan, China and Korea where the club will go up against multiple club and collegiate teams.“We think this is a lot better than playing in the Asian Women’s and Asian Cup,” said LVPI president Peter Cayco. “And maybe we will have pocket tournaments in the country like the SEA Grand Prix.” Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View commentslast_img read more

Heat stay hot, pull away late to beat Cavaliers

first_imgThe game kicked off a season-high, five-game homestand for Miami, which has matchups left with Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee and Charlotte — all either playoff-bound or playoff-contending in the East — before hitting the road again. Once this homestand ends, Miami will have only four home games left before the end of the regular season.COMING HOMEKnight, who grew up in nearby Fort Lauderdale, played at Miami for the ninth time in his NBA career. Each of his last four appearances have come with him wearing four different uniforms — Milwaukee, then Phoenix, then Houston and now Cleveland. He’s also played at Miami with Detroit.UP NEXTCavaliers: Host Toronto on Monday.Heat: Host Toronto on Sunday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:51Clarkson on being PH flag-bearer: One of the happiest moments in my career02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Klay Thompson returns to lift Warriors over Nuggets Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlecenter_img Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow (20) shoots as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman (16) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 8, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI — Rodney McGruder was having a quiet night.And in a span of 22 seconds, everything changed. ADVERTISEMENT Josh Richardson scored 20 points to lead a club record-tying eight Miami players in double figures, McGruder had a seven-point possession in the fourth quarter to help put the game away, and the Heat beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 126-110 on Friday night.“How can you not have fun right now, in a playoff hunt, in a playoff race?” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “To be in a playoff race, every game has context and pressure and meaning to it, that’s a lot of fun. I want our guys to have fun with this.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsFun was had. Miami beat Cleveland at home for the 16th consecutive time, a Heat record against any opponent. Bam Adebayo scored 17 points and Justise Winslow finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Heat — who got 15 points from Kelly Olynyk, 13 from McGruder, 12 from Dwyane Wade, and 11 apiece from Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside.“It’s been a lot of fun. It has been,” McGruder said. “You can see it on everyone’s faces out there on the court. We’re just enjoying everyone’s success.” Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history The Cavs made 19 3s, three of them coming from Sexton, who broke Kyrie Irving’s club rookie for 3s by a rookie. But the Cavs lost Larry Nance Jr. to a chest injury in the third quarter, and he did not return. He was scoreless in 17 minutes.Cavs coach Larry Drew said his team won’t play out the season like nothing matters.“That’s not an option and our guys understand that,” Drew said. “Every time we step out on the floor, we’re going to have some good days and bad days, we understand that. But we will continue to look like a basketball team.”It was Miami’s third game in five days — and like the first two, it was tied at halftime.Neither team ever led by more than five points in the opening 24 minutes, which featured 22 lead changes and 13 ties. Cleveland outscored Miami 29-28 in the first quarter, the Heat outscored the Cavaliers 29-28 in the second, and that adds up to a 57-57 knotting at intermission.But in the third, the Heat got separation. Miami shot 68 percent in the quarter and went into the fourth up 94-83.TIP-INSCavaliers: Love said he hasn’t decided if he will be part of USA Basketball’s quest to win the Basketball World Cup in China this summer. He’ll give it more serious thought after the season. “USA Basketball has been very good to me in my career,” Love said. … Matthew Dellavedova (concussion protocol) missed the game. He took a hard hit late in the game at Brooklyn on Wednesday.Heat: A video tribute to former Heat forward Chris “Birdman” Andersen played in the third quarter. Andersen was at the game. … Olynyk has made at least one 3-pointer in 11 consecutive games, a new career high…. Friday marked the first game this season where the Heat had no players ruled out with injuries.STAYING HOME His seven-point, 22-second play sealed the outcome.He made a 3-pointer from the left corner while getting flagrantly fouled by Kevin Love. McGruder made the ensuing free throw, Miami retained the ball because of the flagrant, and McGruder then made a 3 from the right corner. A nine-point game became a 16-point game in an instant, and Miami soon finished off its fourth straight win to remain No. 8 in the East.“Strength in numbers,” Wade said. “At this time of the year, the numbers really don’t matter. It’s about us having team success.”Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 27 points. Jordan Clarkson scored 21, Love had 19 and Brandon Knight finished with 15 for the Cavaliers, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention.“They got in their run at the right time,” Clarkson said. “But I felt we were in the game for the most part. Just a lot of mistakes in the fourth.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra View commentslast_img read more

LIFE: 2013 Was Expressive; Let 2014 Be Cohesive

first_imgThe Year 2013 in Liberia’s cultural and creative sector can be likened to a baby having sprouted a few teeth.  And though the teeth might not yet be strong enough to chew, you would definitely feel the pain of the baby’s bite if you put your finger in its mouth.  Ouch, sharp new teeth!  Indeed, it has been a year with displays of tremendous potential and audacious activities that have many anticipating what creative flair the year 2014 will have. We recall that the previous year 2012 ended with the passing of one of Liberia’s top cultural icons, Peter Y. Ballah, founder of the Flomo Theater Productions and former director of Liberia’s National Cultural Troupe for many, many years.  He was buried in the town of Dimeh, the hometown of his mentor, author Bai T. Moore.  On the heels of that and into the year 2013, the Liberia National Museum on Broad Street came to life with the first original art exhibition there in many years, featuring a collection of works from Omar El Shabu (aka Baba Shabu) entitled, “New Water From The Ancient Well”, fully embedded with Liberian cultural symbols that seemed to foreshadow the apparent renaissance on Liberia’s cultural and creative scene this year.Emerging Voice of CultureWhat seemed to be a not-so-active first half of the year turned out to be the struggle of Culture trying to find its voice in its native land, Liberia.  What a voice, and what a find!  May 2013 was a very eventful month, beginning with the near-tragic house fire that caused Liberia’s ‘melody-maker’ David Mell to sustain burns on his face, arms and other body parts.  The accident struck a chord with many in the industry about the need to fundraise for Mell’s medical treatment and establish a safety net for other artists who might be in dire need.  He has since recovered and is in South Africa preparing for a major concert to be held in Liberia 2014.  And while the Liberia Copyright Office with the help of Zimbabwe-based African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) built awareness among artists and content creators from around Liberia through a 3-day workshop, the Arts & Culture Council of Liberia was presenting its declaration to the Government of Liberia along with over 150 signatures, petitioning government to pay more attention to Liberia’s culture and creative sector, through many of its statutory outlets, especially the education sector, as well as policing against piracy.  Great synergy!The fire was lit and in July 2013, Liberian Gospel recording artist Kanvee Gaines Adams brought pride to Liberia when she won the Special International Award for the Promotion of African Gospel Music at the African Gospel Music Awards in London, UK.  That same month, the National Culture Union – an umbrella of over 30 local cultural organizations –inducted its new corps of officers, headed by Kekura M. Kamara (popularly known as ‘Balawala’).  By September, American-Liberian filmmaking couple Andrew and Aretha Campbell had captured 3 awards for their feature film, “Somewhere in Baltimore”.  The film took Best Movie of the Year (Liberia Entertainment Awards); Best African Movie (African Oscars); while Andrew Campbell was awarded Best Screen-writer at the African Oscars.  By November, Ernie Bruce, head of the Copyright Office, had announced that all sellers of pirated music and movies had until December 15 to close down their illegal business or face confiscation of their products by the Copyright Office. The last two months of the year however saw a slew of events that aptly crowned 2013 and sent the year out with a bang.  Top Liberian fashion designer Chris Collins represented his country at ECOWAS Fashion Week.  Late November was the Liberia Fashion Week which, in spite of low publicity did bring out some serious, untapped Liberian talent in the fashion arena.  Kicking off December was the search for Liberia’s Next Top Model by Letia Assaf Bates, focusing not just on the designs but the models sporting them – a concept aimed at developing young Liberian ladies into not just fashion models, but role models.  Then there was the 2nd Annual Hip-Co Festival which showcased over 30 artists over its 2-day event, while the Monrovia Fashion Week, brought together local and international designers. In the Minds, not the MinesThe fashion fusion has never been this big in Liberia! In spite of the cat-fight between organizers of the Liberia Fashion Week and those at the Monrovia Fashion Week over who started theirs first, both events were hugely successful.  Let’s hope 2014 can see Liberian fashion conduct itself in a more cohesive, complementary fashion.  There was similar riff this between certain members of the music and film community and the organizers of the Arts and Culture Council of Liberia over the declaration presented to the Government of Liberia.  Some thought it was the personal gravy-seeking agenda of certain individuals.  If only our colleagues across the creative sector learned to probe issues well before getting feisty over them, we could all make tremendous progress and not waste so much time and emotional energy trying to do it.  The common goal is to elevate Liberia and no one can do it better than the other.  We must do it together. A prayer for next year, perhaps: may Unity (cohesiveness) be the most significant achievement of Liberia’s cultural and creative sector, stamping out envy, animosity, selfishness and greed.  Liberia’s got natural resources far greater than what is in the ground beneath.  Liberia’s greatest natural resources are not found in the mines, but in the minds of its highly resourceful, creative and expressive people.  But the tremendous creative reserves Liberia possesses will only be replenished when we develop the space and the willingness to share and express our talents generously. Lastly, the arts journalism niche is starting to widen in the Liberian media space.  With various media outlets making space on air and in print for the arts, culture and entertainment, few young journalists are starting to skip the hard-core political reporting for something more – shall we say – savvy.  The Daily Observer has been in the vanguard, consistently covering the cultural and creative sector since 1981 and is proud to observe one year since we decided to increase our arts coverage to 4 pages – with color – making LIB Life a bona fide section of the newspaper.  We appreciate all the creative professionals who took the time with us to get those interviews done; all of our readers who have been paying attention, and our reporters Makanfi Kamara and Yewa Sandy who keep this beast running full steam, every Friday, and to the editors and technical staff who make it shine.  We salute all other Liberian arts journalists out there who are passionate about elevating the cultural and creative sector of Liberia.  Special thoughts go out to the family and friends of the late Ralph Lincoln, a dedicated arts journalist who has been in the field for many years as an arts reporter for the erstwhile Tidings newspaper in 2005 and later for Uptown Reviews, a weekly arts journal published by Liberian poet and author Nvasekie N. Konneh.  Lincoln was also the lifestyle reporter for Frontpage Africa at the time of his demise on Christmas Eve, 2013.  May his soul rest in eternal peace. So there we have it.  Another year, another to bloom.  As we face the countdown, we’ll leave you with these parting words: God is love and life is one; fun is fun, but when you’re dead, you’re done.  Brace yourself.  Here comes 2014! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Liberia’s Ebola Challenge and Opportunity: Research Toward a Vaccine

first_imgAs they used to say at Cuttington, when Walter Traub (now Dr. Gwenigale) was there, this is nothing short of “metaphysical” or “far-fetched.” But we at the Daily Observer strongly believe it is NOT: that it is decidedly DOABLE: Liberia should begin NOW the research toward finding a vaccine for Ebola.We admittedly do not have all the scientists in the world, but for starts, we have Dr. Gwenigale himself, Dr. Vuyu Golakai, a surgeon, Dr. Emmett Dennis, a microbiologist, Dr. Billy Johnson, a gynecologist and obstetrician with a PhD in Medicine, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, Dr. Sam Brisbane, Dr. Abraham Borbor and Dr. Roseda Marshall, Dr.  Lily Sanvee; Dr. Bankole Jarrett, Dr. Kate Bryant and her scientific sister Tidi Bryant, all three of whom, though now retired, still can help with their contacts in the United States; Dr. Varney Freeman, a surgeon; Dr. Jerome Washington, a heart specialist, Dr. Juliette Phelps Maxwell, a surgeon, Dr. James Elliott, Dr. T.K. Slewion, Dr. Adama Sirleaf and Dr. Estrada Bernard II,  all practicing in the USA; and all the other Liberian scientists and medical doctors practicing around the world, especially in the USA and Europe.These, we think, are a good start.  Dr. Gwenigale and Dr. Bernice Dahn, Liberia’s Health and Social Welfare Minister and Chief Medical Officer, respectively, and Dr. Johnson, Chief Medical Officer at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, should lead the charge.  They should consult with all our scientists on the ground, convene a retreat and put on paper a basic research design and circulate it to their colleagues around the world.  All Liberian scientists, wherever they are, would be interested and could grab the idea and go running with it, making contacts with their fellow scientists wherever they are, to help research this deadly disease toward developing a vaccine against it.The scientists at the Liberia Institute for Tropical Medicine (LITM) in Charlesville, near Roberts International Airport, would be a good place to start. As we have always said, MONEY is NOT the problem.  Long before one cent is raised, people want to see a concrete and challenging IDEA whose time has come.  If they are convinced that it is a worthy cause, they will find the money.  We are positive that the few Liberians with money, such as Bill Morris, Benoni Urey and Emmanuel Shaw; and George Soros (Open Society), Bill Clinton and Tony Blair–friends of Ellen, all–and philanthropists Bill and Malinda Gates, the Amazon and Google people and so many other wealthy and good-hearted ones, would heartily embrace this idea and help support it.The three monied Liberians mentioned–Morris, Urey and Shaw—could begin by financing and hosting the first retreat–probably at Cuttington, Du Side Hospital or some other appropriate venue, and contribute the seed money to start this important project.  The Daily Observer would be happy to provide all the necessary publicity and promotion for the project idea.Others, seeing that we have cast our buckets where we are, would join in and help carry the idea forward.We pray that Drs. Gwenigale, Johnson, Dahn and all our other scientists on the ground would put aside whatever doubts and fears that may arise, embrace this idea and start the ball rolling.  As mentioned earlier, this idea is NOT far-fetched; it is decidedly DOABLE.Once we start, scientists in Guinea, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where Ebola started, will join in.Let us seize the initiative NOW, rather than wait for others to do what at least we can START doing for ourselves!Here, meanwhile, is an opportunity to develop a data base of ALL Liberian scientists in the USA, Europe and elsewhere who we are sure would welcome the idea to come forward and do something good for Africa.  We call upon Drs. Bryant, Jarrett, Washington and Phelps-Maxwell, Elliott, Slewion, Bernard II and Adama Sirleaf, all of whom are in the USA, to begin now putting together the Liberian scientists’ data base.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Trouble Brews at Ganta Hospital

first_imgHealth workers of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Nimba County have begun mounting tension on the Hospital administration for salary arrears.On Thursday, May 15, the health workers assembled at the administrative building, carrying placards and demanding their salaries for the month of April.The health workers, including nurses, cleaners, securities and those representing other departments were seen very disappointed over the failure of the administration to pay them for the month of April.Inscriptions on some of the placards read, “No pay on Friday, no job on Monday; the dry leave is falling, warning to green leaves; April is crying warning to May.”“We are tired waiting for a long time because we received patients every day.  The administration cannot tell us that there is no money,” Alphonso Genseh, vice president of the worker’s union said.“This is only awareness. The real action begins on Monday if they don’t pay us tomorrow, May 16,” he added.The demonstrators appeared distressed and disappointed.Ma Manee Moore, a cleaner said, some of them are earning “very little” and that little was not forth coming from the hospital’s administrators. She wondered how their employers expected them to support their families.The Associate Administrator of the Hospital Mr. Patrick Martor told the aggrieved workers to bear patience as the administration was doing everything to settle their arrears.“As we speak, the hospital is faced with financial constraint and what we have cannot take care of what we owed you,” he said.“Most of the institutions that owe us money are not paying, and we ourselves owed many entities.  We cannot pay them because there is no money,” he added.According to Mr. Martor, he convened a meeting with the aggrieved workers and displayed all documents including financial record about income and expenditure.Since the beginning of this year, Ganta Hospital has been facing serious financial crisis.People have over the time been complaining of poor financial management at the hospital; allegation the associate administrator denied during the time he was appealing to the aggrieved workers.He told this paper that one of their partners abroad (Global Ministry) had cut down its support to the hospital and asking the hospital to close down some departments.He didn’t name those departments that should be shut down, but added, “How can we cut down departments when we do not have the first cent to pay our staff.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ellen Embraces Health Workers’ Efforts to Kick Ebola out Liberia

first_imgHealth workers in the country got something to smile about over the weekend when the Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, announced the payment of their two months’ salary arrears and other benefits owed them by the government. The meeting, held with a cross-section of the country’s health workers at the Monrovia City Hall last  Saturday, took into consideration issues relative to the healthcare delivery system of the country as well as the sacrifices they are making in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.  The President urged the health workers to do more to kick the disease out of Liberia.She paid tribute to all those health workers who have lost their lives as the result of the virus, and promised that her government would not forget them in their search for sustainability. In March this year, the Liberian leader reminded the health workers about the danger of the Ebola virus whenever it came into any country, particularly a poverty-stricken country, such as Liberia.“It is you who fight the disease, administer the necessary drugs to all those who are victimized by the it; and we are grateful that your efforts have enabled  the government to begin kicking the virus out of Liberia.”She stressed that the virus is posing a serious threat to national security and the welfare of the nation. “Because the people did not take the necessary precautions, they never believed or trusted the government and even health workers, because all kinds of stories were told to them. As the result, the disease has spread all over the place.” To the health workers, the Liberian leader emphasized: “I don’t have to tell you because you know it better than I do, that you are on the front line and facing the worst part of it.  You also are aware that we were not prepared to fight this Ebola battle—the materials, training the people, the expertise. And, so, our ability to do what we were able to do, we did it in March, because the way it was going we now find ourselves handicapped.”Over the past few weeks, she, too, has being doing what the health care workers have been doing,  examining what when wrong; how both the government and health workers can fix it; where they fell short and what they can do. President Sirleaf said she had called meeting, to say all of the things that the health workers were already aware of, but she felt it was important for her to address them directly.“I want to assure you that we are not ignoring your plights; we know them and we need to deal with them if you will continue to serve your country in rendering health services to our people.”She continued: “We don’t have to make noise to do those things, because our concerns are the same, our responses have to be on the basis of agreement and consensus, and that is why this meeting became all the more necessary.”She pledged that more personnel, more protective equipment (PPEs), among them, ambulances will arrive in the country on Monday from China.  This will enable the GOL to increase the number of treatment centers around the country.Earlier, on behalf of the health workers, the embattled secretary general of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia (NAWAHL), George Poe Williams, informed President Sirleaf that among the ‘minimum demands,’ were the reinstatement of the two officials, who had been summarily dismissed by Health Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale.Other issues Mr. Williams raised included of salaries and benefits, wherein he indicated that health workers were earning ‘peanuts,’ whereas their lives are at risk. “So, Madam President, we would like for you to address these issues.”      The two officials that were sacked by the Minister Gwenigale earlier this year are Joseph Tamba, president of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia, and the secretary-general, George Poe Williams. Mr. Williams denied that patients had been  abandoned by the health workers, but he emphasized the need for them to be adequately protected to combat the virus.“We are not afraid to fight Ebola. We are obliged by our oath to serve our nation and our people. But we must save ourselves first before saving the lives of others,” he declared. The meeting was characterized by interactions between the President and the health workers, who happily embraced her efforts to address them at such a mass gathering.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

What Is Ellen up to?—A Descent to the Tubman Days Is not Possible

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Seirleaf seems to be in desperation at this time.  This first elected  woman President of an African country, whom the world embraced as non other since Nelson Mandela, is asking the Liberian Legislature to give her more emergency powers than even President W.V.S. Tubman, the benevolent  dictator, did not have.The President wrote a letter dated October 2, 2014 to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, calling on the National Legislature to grant her extraordinarily sweeping powers including, can you believe it? the suspension of Article 1 of the Liberian Constitution. Article 1 is the very heart and soul of the Constitution.  Without it, there is no constitution.  Without it, Liberia would descend into a dictatorship or one-person rule.We are positive that this is not what the President wants.It is Article 1 that states: “All power is inherent in the people.”  The word “inherent” means that this power is not given.  It comes naturally, is innate or inborn.  No one can take it away or  attempt to take it away.  The people are the source of all power in the land.So the President has asked the Legislature to do something that is beyond its authority; and something they are totally incapable of doing.In her letter, dated October 1, 2014, President Sirleaf asked the Legislature to “restrict/suspend certain fundamental rights of the Liberian citizens.  These fundamental rights include the suspension of several key and basic portions of the Constitution, including Article 1, Article 12 concerning labor services; Article 13, guaranteeing the free movement of what she called “certain individuals;” Article 14 which guarantees religious freedom; Article 15, which guarantees Freedom of speech and of the press; Article 17, which guarantees freedom of assembly; and Article 24, which guarantees every Liberian citizen the right to property.The Daily Observer immediately contacted the renowned constitutional and human rights lawyer, Counselor Tiawon Gongloe, and asked him to give his reflection on the President’s request to the Legislature.The first point he made was that the request is “belated.”  He cited Article 88 of the Constitution which states: “The President shall, immediately upon the declaration of a state of emergency, but not later than seven days thereafter, lay before the Legislature at its regular session or at a specially convened session, the facts and circumstances leading to such declaration.  The Legislature shall within seventy-two hours, by joint resolution voted by two-thirds of the membership of each house, decide whether the proclamation of a state of emergency is justified or whether the measures taken thereunder are appropriate. . .”Said Cllr. Gongloe, the President’s current request is belated, because she should have returned to the Legislature no later than seven days after August 7, 2014 when its granting of a state of emergency was announced (Daily Observer, August 7, 2014).The President having failed to abide by this constitutional provision, said Cllr. Gongloe, “cannot now come and ask the Legislature for new powers under this current state of emergency.”The second problem with the President’s October 1 request to the Legislature is that it is patently unconstitutional, said Cllr. Gongloe.  He quoted Article 87 of the Constitution which clearly states, “Emergency powers do not include the power to suspend or abrogate the Constitution, dissolve the Legislature or suspend or dismiss the Judiciary; and no constitutional amendment shall be promulgated during a state of emergency.”Several months ago this newspaper, the Daily Observer, asked editorially, who are the President’s advisors?  And we can most certainly ask now, in the wake of this current constitutional fiasco, who are her legal advisors.Given the glaring conflict between her request and what the Constitution says, it is clear that the President’s legal advisors did not do their homework—or did she consult with them or ask them their opinion at all?    We recall that the ruling True Whig Party’s rubber stamp Legislature, gave President Tubman perennial emergency powers.  That is how he became a “benevolent dictator.”  Liberia cannot and will not descend to the Tubman years.  The Liberian people have come too far to return to that.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more