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SBP vice chair Robbie Puno says Gilas ‘a united team’ after fight vs Aussies

first_imgCloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding READ: SBP urges Fiba probe on removal of stickers from PH Arena court“I think there’s an attempt to disrespect us and I think we stood our ground and I think I’m proud of the Gilas Pilipinas boys for standing our ground, fighting for the Filipino people,” Puno told reporters after game. “But of course, it’s an unfortunate incident. We don’t want these things to happen.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownPuno added the players were also able to show that Gilas is “a united team.”“It’s a little bit of an embarrassment I guess but we stand together. This was a bad situation that I think we can only hope to get some good out of it and say that we showed ourselves as a united team,” he said. LATEST STORIES Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees 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 Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial MOST READ Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSamahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chairman Robbie Puno said he’s “proud” of Gilas Pilipinas despite having nine players ejected following an ugly brawl during a Fiba World Cup Qualifier against Australia Monday night.Puno said the players held their own against an Australian side that he thought to have had “an attempt to disrespect us” that started when members of the Aussie team removed decals from the Philippine Arena court during their closed door practice on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gilas runs out of players, loses to Australia in ugly, bizarre game “A team that fights together and doesn’t back down from anyone so let that be a lesson to everybody else.”A free-for-all broke out with 4:01 left in the third quarter and only resumed after a thorough review by game officials.READ: Brawl breaks out in Gilas-Australia gameAndray Blatche, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Carl Cruz, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright and Troy Rosario got tossed for Gilas while four Aussies namely Daniel Kickers, Thon Maker, Nathan Sobey and Christopher Goulding were thrown out.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Rockaway Group of Companies makes donation to Pakuri

first_imgA local family has now joined the rest of the nation in paying homage to our Indigenous brothers and sisters this month, having taken the time to give back to the community of Pakuri, commonly known as St Cuthbert’s Mission, which is located 30 miles off the Linden/Soesdyke Highway.Floretta Ali donating supplies to the children of St Cuthbert’s MissionThe Rockaway Group of Companies, which operates in North America, visited the community on Saturday and donated a wide range of supplies in what was deemed one of the largest acts of kindness the community has seen to date.While this was not the first such exercise by the company, it was the first time the exercise ventured into the Amerindian community.Through a collaborative effort, the Chairman of the Group of Companies, Hafeez Ali and his wife, Floretta Ali, donated in excess of five million dollars in supplies; the Chairman organised with the community to host an invitational cricket match between the home team and Belle Vue Sports Club and also to provide lunch and drinks for the entire community. Floretta Ali organised a donation for the children of the community.In excess of 3000 children benefited from the donation, which included book bags, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, pens and other school supplies to help them achieve a brighter future; the younger children were presented with toys and trinkets.Even the adults in the community were catered for, as they each received a LED light in addition to their other tokens of appreciation in the form of jerseys, food supplies and other daily necessities.In addition to the supplies, the Company also donated cricket gear and branded team jerseys for the community clubs, as they would participate in volleyball and soccer matches.Speaking on behalf of the company, an emotional Hafeez Ali revealed what a personal attachment he had to give to those who were not as fortunate as some.He also reflected on a time in his life when his family had nothing and only saw it fit to give to the needy when the opportunity came.He extended thanks to the community for welcoming him with open arms and giving him the chance to do something of this magnitude.Speaking on behalf of the community, Deputy Toshao Dundas said the community was very pleased to be recognised by Ali, noting that his contribution was well received.In turn, the family was presented with tokens of gratitude from the community which included handmade jewellery and ornaments.last_img read more

LIB’s Female Artist Managers Speak Up

first_imgHere is the reality: behind the scenes, women work. They are in the thoughts behind directed videos, produce music and manage the careers of up and coming artists. Those that manage artists, when equipped with the right skills, professional passion, patient and most importantly, belief in their artists, are the most important persons when it comes to getting the artist a major deal. Just ask Alice Yawo and Bernice Mulubah.Sadly, women in the music industry are mostly invisible, underrepresented and ignored. But that is except for these two: Alice Yawo and Bernice Mulubah, two of Liberia’s top entertainment promoters.These two women, one a blogger, entertainer and artist manager, and the other a popular Afro/Gbema/R&B artist and DenG’s manager, are running the business side of some of the biggest names in Liberia’s music scene. And that means having to put aside fickleness, unprofessionalism, bias, being disrespectful and not being transparent, for their careers to flourish.“Jon Bricks and I had a personal relationship before I started managing him; and I managed him for a few months. As of late, we are no longer together intimately or professionally due to some legal issues that we are facing with one another,” stated Bernice Mulubah, Jon Bricks’s former manager.The mixing of business with pleasure has, however, led to unmanaged Liberian artists viewing the females who manage the careers of their counterparts as someone they could possibly have intimate relationships with. They also view them as devotees, best friends and breadwinners. “Everyone has been wondering this for some time now so I am glad that I can publicly announce it. DenG and I are not in a relationship. As much as I hate discussing whether or not I am in a relationship, I will proudly say DenG and I aren’t in a dating relationship,” said Alice. “Our current relationship is strictly business and far from personal; and I try to stay away from his personal life as much as I can. DenG is a great man, very humble, quiet and any woman who gets to be with him will most certainly be a blessed woman. However, that woman is not me, my blessings lie somewhere else.”For now, mixing professionalism with a relationship is “played out.” The exploits of artists like DenG, whose career is being steered by a female manager, has led to a lot of artists admitting that the role of a female manager is not to marry you, but to make you rich.According to Alice, who has heard the numerous allegations that DenG’s career is “failing” because he lacks a sound management team and music videos, DenG’s career is not dipping, nor is it soaring either.“DenG’s career isn’t taking a dip as far as I am concerned. And if it was, it most certainly wouldn’t be due to the media or a social propaganda. I am very cautious of his career and if I felt as though it was taking a plunge I would rapidly act upon it and get it where I need it to be. I wouldn’t consider any Liberian musician’s career as ‘soaring,’ so most certainly DenG’s career isn’t soaring,” she added via Facebook. “I have slowed down work for DenG, which may seem to most as his career taking a plunge; however, that is not the case. DenG’s brand is still a big brand internationally and a few days ago he won “Best Artist” and “Song of the Year” at the Liberia Entertainment Award; so, DenG’s career isn’t taking a plunge, not on my watch, lol.” In the meantime, more male artists are now optimistic about finding a female manager, because, according to them, females are more devoted to their work.“There is a lot that goes into being a successful manager. I will say sacrifice is very important in playing a good managerial role. Working with DenG, I had to sacrifice many of my personal life to reach our team’s yearly goals. Being a young woman I have many relationship offers but I have to turn them down because I do not have time to invest in a boyfriend because my entire day is dedicated to DenG and how we could better his brand. (Well that’s past tense now) But yeah, sacrifice is very prominent,” she said.“On the behalf of my team, I will like to apologize for the poor action displayed by us publicly on social media in the past. My team is a family, and just like every other family there will be disagreements, arguments and even fights. We are far from perfect, trust me, but we will disagree to agree and then get back to business. My team hasn’t broken up, we have gone through worst situations than the public may be able to comprehend, but God built our bond and that bond won’t be broken unless God himself let it loose. So may the Holy Ghost fire burn all those who are trying break us up. Amen.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Aussie charged under terror law

first_imgProponents of the new system say they expect the federal courts to rule in favor of the military commissions. Meanwhile, Australia, a steadfast U.S. ally in the War on Terror, has been pressuring the Bush administration to send Hicks back to his native country. Last month, Sandra Hodgkinson, the State Department’s deputy director for war crimes issues, told reporters that “it’s certainly believed that Mr. Hicks may be able to carry out his incarceration, after the appeals process is complete, in Australia.” President George W. Bush and Congress established the new legal system last fall. Lawmakers set up the tribunals after the Supreme Court ruled an older version established by Bush was unconstitutional because it lacked Congress’ blessing and violated international agreements. WASHINGTON – The Bush administration filed charges Thursday against an Australian captured in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and held ever since without trial, the first terror-war suspect to face prosecution under a new system of military tribunals. David Hicks, a 31-year-old former kangaroo skinner now held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, was charged with providing material support for terrorism and could face life imprisonment if convicted. Court challenges are certain before any trial. Hicks’ case, which has attracted broad attention in the U.S. and overseas, could well become the one that opponents of the new military tribunal system use to challenge the system at the Supreme Court. Opponents of the military commissions say they are illegal because they do not afford many legal rights guaranteed under the Constitution. “It all seems to be an intermingling of politics and pressure,” said Jumana Musa, advocacy director for Amnesty International. “But none of it screams to me to be in the interest of justice.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Around Whittier

first_imgFor more information, call (562) 698-9059. Mac Users Club marks anniversary WHITTIER – The Whittier Area Macintosh Users Group will celebrate its 20th anniversary at 9 a.m. Saturday at Grace Evangelical Free Church, 12722 Woods Ave., Norwalk. There will be raffles, door prizes, demonstrations and more. Everyone is welcome to attend the free event. For more information, call (562) 943-4919. Poetry workshop set for Saturday WHITTIER – The Writers Club of Whittier will present a three-hour workshop, “Let’s Write a Poem,” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Whittier Central Library, 7344 Washington Ave. The workshop will be led by Whittier poet Rosalee Thompson. Admission is free. Snacks will be provided. For more information, call (562) 696-6892. Classical recital set for Sunday WHITTIER – Mischa Lefkowitz, a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and some of his students will present a free recital at 4 p.m. Sunday at Whittier First United Methodist Church, 13222 Bailey St. The event is free and open to everyone. A reception will follow the concert. For more information, call (562) 698-0022. Cal High to host Earth Day event WHITTIER – In celebration of Earth Day, California High School will hold Earth Jam IV from 10 a.m. to 6p.m. Sunday at its botanical gardens on campus, 9800 Mills Ave. School and local bands such as Buena Estar and the Dennis Herrera blues band will perform throughout the day. Food, arts and crafts, and plant booths will also be available. For younger children, there will also be snail races and pond fishing. Suggested donation is $1 for children ages 8 to 12, $2 for students ages 13 to 18 and $3 for adults. For more information, call (562) 699-7171. – From staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The driver was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence, Jensen said. Dinner to raise funds for veterans SANTA FE SPRINGS – Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3752, 11912 Rivera Road, will serve a meatloaf dinner to raise funds for veterans from 5:30 to 8:30 tonight. A donation of $4.95 per person is suggested. WHITTIER – A driver crashed a Mercedes into a parked car and the garage of a home in an unincorporated area near Whittier early Thursday, authorities said. The accident occurred at 2:10 a.m. at 14264 Lanning Ave., according to Sgt. Douglas Jensen of the sheriff’s Norwalk Station. The vehicle struck a car parked on the street before crashing into the garage of a home, Jensen said, adding that no one – including the driver – was hurt in the incident. A witness at the scene said that the car, a brand-new Mercedes with paper license plates, struck a Nissan on the street before crashing into the garage. last_img read more

Sarri concerned by Hazard’s injury woes

first_imgChelsea are already guaranteed a place in the knockout stages — they need a point to win Group L with one match to go — but Sarri will want Hazard fighting fit come Sunday’s Premier League match with struggling Fulham.“I am worried because 25 days ago he had a back injury,” said Sarri at his eve of match press conference.“Now an ankle. He has lost a lot of training.“It’s normal at the moment he isn’t at the top of his physical condition.”Sarri has other concerns too about another key midfielder N’golo Kante but this is with regard to his positional play.The Italian pointed the finger at the French World Cup winner for being partly to blame for his 18-game unbeaten start at the club ended with the 3-1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday.“I want to play as a centre midfielder with a very technical player. For me the centre midfielder is Jorginho or (Cesc) Fabregas,” said Sarri.“I don’t want Kante in this position. Kante in the last match wanted to solve the match after the first 15 minutes, but in the wrong way.“He lost the position, he attacked too much the other box. And I think this one is not one of the best characteristics of Kante.”Kante won two Premier League titles, with Leicester and Chelsea, playing in central midfield, but has been deployed out of position on the right to accommodate Jorginho in Sarri’s chosen style.Sarri said the 27-year-old — who signed a new five-year contract last week — should acknowledge his responsibilities lie elsewhere.“Kante has to stay near to Jorginho, especially when the ball is on the other side,” said Sarri.“It depends on the action. If the ball is on the left, we have (Marcos) Alonso, (Eden) Hazard, (Mateo) Kovacic, (Ross) Barkley, so in that situation he has to stay very close to Jorginho.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Eden Hazard’s recent fragility is worrying Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri © IKIMAGES/AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 28 – Belgian star Eden Hazard’s recent struggles with injury is giving Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri cause for concern the Italian admitted on Wednesday.The 27-year-old playmaker — who played a pivotal role in Belgium finishing a best ever third in the World Cup in Russia earlier this year — is out of the Europa League match with Greek outfit PAOK on Thursday with an ankle problem.last_img read more

Three things we learned from Man United v Barca

first_imgAFP Sports looks at three things we learned from their 1-0 victory.Slack Barca far from pompAgainst a team with more craft and firepower than United, Barcelona would surely have been punished for a lacklustre performance that looked little like a team among the favourites to win this competition.Barca were rarely in control on Wednesday night but escaped with a huge win that was as much about the lack of quality they faced from United’s attack as their own play.A sloppy display high on misplaced passes and surprisingly low on input from Messi, produced not only a victory, but a crucial away goal to take back to Camp Nou.Barcelona’s rivals for the trophy this season might feel encouraged, even if United have probably missed their chance.Messi human after allMessi was left with a cut on the bridge of his nose and his eyelid during the first half at Old Trafford. Photo/COURTESYTen goals in his last seven games meant Messi arrived at Old Trafford in scintillating form but the Barca captain endured a mediocre night by his own supremely high standards.He was far from anonymous and his clipped cross to the back post set up the game’s only goal as Suarez headed in off the unfortunate Shaw.But this was not the masterclass that bewitched Tottenham at Wembley earlier in the tournament nor even the clinical show of finishing that saw off Lyon in the previous round.Instead, Messi sauntered through the game, poking passes to his teammates and wearing a black eye after being clattered by Chris Smalling in the first half, offering little of the form that has lit up La Liga in recent weeks.United short of Europe’s elite Scott McTominay was United’s best player by some distance on Wednesday, the 22-year-old delivering a barnstorming performance in midfield, but it was clear how short United now are when it comes to players that can turn matches at this level.Paul Pogba failed to the run the game like Solksjaer insisted he could, while Romelu Lukaku barely threatened up against the excellent Gerard Pique.United will take heart from a determined display and a close scoreline that could yet give Barca nerves in the return leg.But this was a far cry from the United of old that could frighten visiting teams with their pace and ruthlessness in the final third. Barcelona were made to feel uncomfortable, and United and Solksjaer have work to do if they are to keep their hopes of an unlikely fourth European Cup alive.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Suarez (right) then celebrates with Messi as the Catalan giants get a crucial away goal from home in the quarter-finals. Photo/COURTESYMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Apr 11 – Manchester United failed to capitalise on an out-of-sorts display from Lionel Messi and Barcelona on Wednesday as Luke Shaw’s own goal left the La Liga side firmly in charge of their Champions League quarter-final.Despite a spirited performance at Old Trafford, United rarely threatened after Shaw turned in Luis Suarez’s header in the 12th minute, an away goal that makes Barcelona strong favourites ahead of the second leg at the Camp Nou next week, when they can take a step closer to a first Champions League triumph since 2015.last_img read more

Buying a sacred time share

first_img“She’s a she,” he explains, “because she wears a dress.” As for its age, the rabbi said you shouldn’t ask a lady. But she’s about 160 and appears to have originated in Poland. The scroll later was bought by a couple who dedicated it to their only son, William Earnest Jacoby, who died in World War II. The torah was in need of cleaning and repair – to patch holes and fix lettering – so Chefitz came up with the time-share project. About 40 of the 52 available weekly torah time-shares have been purchased at Temple Israel, a Reform synagogue. Other members have given $18 to sponsor a single letter of the scroll, and all five books have been sponsored for $18,000. All told, the project raised about $325,000 for the temple, far more than the restoration cost. Still, Chefitz quips, he should have thought about charging annual maintenance fees, just like real time shares. Chefitz has been at Temple Israel for six years. Before that, he served as the rabbi of the Havurah of South Florida, which serves Jews disconnected from formal synagogue life. Because they had no actual temple, members took turns taking the torah home with them, an experience that led to his idea at Temple Israel. Temple Israel’s program is thought to be the first of its kind. Chefitz said it has since inspired a Tel Aviv temple to start its own. Last year, Chaim LieberPerson picked the torah up from the temple, put it in the passenger seat of his car and fastened the safety belt. He said he was giddy about taking it home. As a Jewish educator, he is used to handling torahs, but this was different. “Every time that a torah is opened, I’m like a young child again,” he said. “Having it in your home is kind of like having somebody from TV or the movies or someone famous in your home.” LieberPerson and his wife hosted a “Torah Tea Party” for their two children and several dozen others. They decorated torah-shaped cookies, made T-shirts with their Hebrew names on them and paraded around the mango tree in the backyard, singing, playing instruments, and hoisting the scroll. The family also hosted a more traditional adult study gathering, which Chefitz led. At night, the LieberPersons put the torah in a closet to protect it from two cats and two children. Like real estate time shares, participants in the torah project can swap weeks. And some, like Randi Trazenfeld, have bought “futures” to ensure their children will have the torah in their home before their bar or bat mitzvah. Trazenfeld remembers that as a child she’d stand on her chair in temple to just to get a glimpse of the torah on the High Holidays. It was in the distance. She wants her children to have a more intimate experience. “I can’t tell you how emotional it was,” Trazenfeld said, “and we’re not a religious family at all.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Most Jews see the holy scroll only in their synagogue and have rarely held one. But one synagogue in Miami is taking the unprecedented step of allowing congregants to host Judaism’s sacred text in their homes in exchange for a donation. They call it a torah time share. For a one-time gift of $1,800, members of Temple Israel can sponsor a section of the scroll. Each year, during the week before that section is read at Shabbat services, donors can keep the torah in their home – an event that has prompted families to host scripture studies, parades and dinner parties. “When it’s brought into a house, it makes the house more holy,” said Rabbi Mitch Chefitz, who came up with the idea. “If the torah’s in your room, then you have an honored guest.” Chefitz showed up at Sandy Grossman’s house this Rosh Hashanah week with the torah in a wheeled black duffel bag. After dinner, while children were dancing the Macarena and pounding on a bongo drum, he put it on the dining room table, and everyone’s attention shifted. Chefitz took off the torah’s white fabric covering, or dress, as he called it. He sat at the head of the table and began to slowly unroll it. By Matt Sedensky THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PINECREST, Fla. – Dinner was over by the time the party’s honored guest showed up at the table. She didn’t speak a word. And she left in the rabbi’s arms. The visitor to this family home was no lady. It was a torah. last_img read more


first_imgNoel O’ Donnell, Mabel McHugh & Michael Coll of The Tax Clinic.Large numbers of people are failing to claim millions of euro in tax refunds owed to them according to Michael Coll from Letterkenny based The Tax Clinic.“This money would be a welcome windfall for many homeowners throughout Donegal in the run up to Christmas and could be circulated back into the local economy which would benefit everyone” he said.A lot of people still find applying for a tax refund confusing and complicated. Revenue have made attempts to educate taxpayers as to their entitlements regarding tax credits and reliefs – but tax is a difficult subject full stop. The average household is estimated to be missing out on around €880 a year in tax refunds, according to Mr. Coll.If you think you are due a Tax Refund you need to act fast as you have only got to the end of the year to claim back any tax you may have overpaid in the year 2011.No Refund – No FeeThe Tax Clinic has submitted thousands of tax refund claims for its clients over the years. Michael says that they offer a No Refund No Fee policy – so its costs you nothing to have a four year “Tax Health Check” and you could have a very merry Christmas all thanks to the Taxman!To find out more log onto www.thetaxclinic.ie or call into their offices at either the High Road Letterkenny or Main Street Killybegs.Letterkenny – 074 9160550Killybegs – 074 9732055LET THE TAXMAN PAY FOR CHRISTMAS! was last modified: November 9th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Teachers seeking pay hike

first_imgWith the threat of mayoral takeover hanging over Los Angeles Unified, the teachers union has opened contract negotiations with a demand for a 14 percent, one-year raise for its members. Stunned by the demand, LAUSD officials are grumbling behind the scenes that United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy is trying to exploit the political situation posed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s push for control of the schools. The union has publicly opposed mayoral takeover and Duffy denied in an interview that he was trying to use the political tug-of-war over the LAUSD to his benefit. “I have said I would move heaven and earth to do what was necessary to dismantle the bloated LAUSD democracy and people have taken that and reinterpreted it to mean that Duffy would go to the mayor in a minute,” Duffy said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“I have never said I would go over to Antonio. “The district would be misinterpreting the motive of UTLA if they thought we were asking for 14 percent simply because we had leverage with the mayoral takeover. “Teachers in the county of Los Angeles are in the bottom quartile and UTLA is committed to bringing them into the top quartile, which would require a 12 to 14 percent increase.” UTLA officials emphasize that they will “decide and publicize” their actual salary demands for the 48,000 teachers and health and human service professionals they represent after the final state budget is passed. While the move is part bargaining strategy – start high to end up where you’re really aiming to land – it’s also a means to leverage a compromise with regard to the mayor’s takeover plan, said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst and senior scholar at the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. “I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that large a leap in one cycle. This is a significantly dramatic leap over a one-year period,” Jeffe said. “But I would be more surprised if they didn’t do it. It’s a smart political strategy and a smart negotiating strategy on two levels – in terms of an increase in salary and on the part of where the teachers stand with regard to the mayor’s takeover plan.” The state cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is approaching 6 percent, which makes the salary proposal a dumbfounding one, board member David Tokofsky said. “Duffy must be drinking a very strong COLA – this is cola-plus, like Jolt or that Austrian drink Red Bull,” Tokofsky cracked. “Every topic they have raised are important issues, but I don’t think they all need to be solved at the collective bargaining table. All of them should be resolved one way or another by the new superintendent.” District officials agree that the request is an unusually high one – even for an initial contract proposal. “This is an unusually high amount for an initial request. I’m sure the fact that there is going to be money coming back to education from the state makes it an opportunity for UTLA, and although our teachers’ salaries are competitive, they’re not the highest,” said Deborah Hirsh, the LAUSD’s chief human-resources officer. The average teacher salary in the LAUSD is $56,652. The vast majority of funds the district is expecting to receive from the state this year are one-time moneys, and officials warn they should not be spent on salaries. “I’m not expecting all this money next year, so I don’t want to put any of those dollars into ongoing expenses,” board member Mike Lansing said. “It’s higher than anything I’ve seen since I’ve been here and I don’t know what the rationale is for that. I’m waiting to hear from our negotiating team and UTLA on how they would expect us to fund that type of request.” Board President Marlene Canter said she would reserve reaction to the initial proposal until negotiations start at the bargaining table. “I would be very disappointed if the takeover conversation became used as leverage in our bargaining process,” Canter said. “I’m not going to overreact to it. I’m going to wait and see how this proceeds through the collective bargaining process.” If board members bow to the demand, they could be perceived as weak. If they don’t, they risk having the union back Villaraigosa’s efforts. Former UTLA President John Perez said a proposal to put LAUSD teachers among the highest paid in the county is not a new one. However, it is the first time the initial proposal included a percentage increase. “This year, the district has more money than it has in the past, and it seems to me they can give a better pay raise. Anytime they belittle the negotiating position of the union, they’re just playing politics and gamesmanship.” Jeffe noted the union risks being perceived as greedy or abusing its position. “Does the school board want to be put in the position of being perceived as kowtowing to the union? There might be a backlash. It’s a sticky situation for everyone,” Jeffe said. “If they win, they get an incredible pay increase. If they lose, I presume they still get a nice pay increase.” naush.boghossian@dailynews.com (818) 713-3722 SALARIES Here is a list of the average salaries earned by Los Angeles Unified teachers over the past 10 years. The figures do not include health or other benefits: Year, Salary, Increase 1996-97 $41,499 2.0% 1997-98 $43,989 6.0% 1998-99 $45,749 4.0% 1999-00 $46,664 2.0% 2000-01 $51,472 11.9% 2001-02 $53,103 0.0% 2002-03 $53,827 3.0% 2003-04 $54,627 0.0% 2004-05 $56,400 2.0% 2005-06 $56,652 2.5% Source: LAUSD160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more