President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Dr Warren Blake, says he does not support calls made by one of the sport’s most powerful bodies to reset all world record marks amidst the ongoing doping crisis affecting international track and field.Chairman of UK Athletics, Ed Warner, recently announced a list of suggestions his organisation believes will return credibility to a sport that has been reeling after a doping crisis, which has seen Russia banned after alleged ‘state-sponsored doping’ and former IAAF president Lamine Diack facing criminal investigations, after he was accused of taking a bribe to protect drug cheats.However, Blake was quite clear in his opposition of the proposals, which would of course see the five IAAF world records held by Jamaica removed from the books.Usain Bolt currently holds world record marks in the men’s 100m and 200m, with Jamaica also responsible for the best ever men’s 4x100m and 4x200m times in history. Merlene Ottey also has the best mark in the women’s indoor 200m.”I don’t think that this is a viable or fair suggestion because it would penalise athletes, who have legitimately worked hard and excelled, athletes who have never been under any cloud of suspicion or anything like that, and we in Jamaica, we have a few records that would go as well,” Blake responded when asked for his views on UK Athletics’ suggestion to reset the clock.”I know over time people have wondered about certain records, but I have always been of the position that if nothing has ever been proven against the people in question, no matter what the suspicions are, you can’t do anything about that. We have to accept those records,” Blake added.BOLT’S DETRACTORS”Everybody loves to target Flo-Jo’s (Florence Griffith Joyner) record (10.49 seconds in the women’s 100m) more than any other, but let us say down the years and we look at our own Usain Bolt, his record is similarly way ahead of the competition, granted that he has always been running fast from he was a little kid, but there are doubters in the world that seem to think that Jamaica has some magic potion giving to Bolt, so what do we say to those people?” Blake reasoned.The JAAA president, who himself has had to deal with public scrutiny and failed drugs tests by high-profile Jamaican athletes, underlined his belief that the sport will move forward, while showing his support of IAAF president Seb Coe’s response.”I have looked at the five points outlined by our president and I think there is a lot of merit in those plans,” said Blake.Among other things, Coe has promised to double the anti-doping budget to US$8 million, appoint a new chief executive by the middle of the year, establish a separate integrity unit for athletics before August’s Olympics in Rio and double the current international testing pool of athletes to 1,000.See related story on B4.
AP Posted: March 22, 2019 AP, Trump policy of sending asylum seekers to Mexico faces judge March 22, 2019 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. judge in San Francisco will scrutinize the Trump administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico during a court hearing Friday to help him decide whether to block the practice.Civil rights groups have asked Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco to put the asylum policy on hold while their lawsuit moves forward. Seeborg was not expected to rule immediately.The policy began in January at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, marking an unprecedented change to the U.S. asylum system . Families seeking asylum are typically released in the U.S. with notices to appear in immigration court.The administration later expanded the policy to the Calexico port of entry, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) east of the San Ysidro crossing.The lawsuit on behalf of 11 asylum seekers from Central America and legal advocacy groups says the administration is violating U.S. law by failing to adequately evaluate the dangers that migrants face in Mexico.It also accuses Homeland Security and immigration officials of depriving migrants of their right to apply for asylum by making it difficult or impossible to do so.“Instead of being able to focus on preparing their cases, asylum seekers forced to return to Mexico will have to focus on trying to survive,” according to the lawsuit filed in February by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.The Trump administration hopes that making asylum seekers wait in Mexico will discourage weak claims and help reduce an immigration court backlog of more than 800,000 cases.The Justice Department said in court documents that the policy “responds to a crisis of aliens, many of whom may have unmeritorious asylum claims, overwhelming the executive’s immigration-detention capacity, being released into the U.S. to live for many years without establishing an entitlement to relief, and often never appearing for immigration proceedings.”Border Patrol arrests, the most widely used gauge of illegal crossings, have risen sharply over the last year but are relatively low in historical terms after hitting a 46-year low in 2017.A federal law allows the Homeland Security secretary to return immigrants to Mexico at her discretion, Justice Department officials said in a court filing this month urging Seeborg not to block the policy.The civil rights groups said that law does not apply to asylum seekers who cross the border illegally or arrive at an entry port without proper documents.The policy followed months of delicate talks between the U.S. and Mexico. Mexicans and children traveling alone are exempt from it. Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, National & International News FacebookTwitter
Share Michael HagertyOne of the items on Governor Abbott’s agenda for the special session of the Texas Legislature is to repeal tree ordinances in cities, essentially removing a city’s authority to regulate trees on private property.Meanwhile, the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy is concerned that, should the legislation pass, it will affect many of the trees that survived Hurricane Ike and hinder the replanting efforts on the island that began in 2010.We hear from State Sen. Donna Campbell on her efforts to roll back local tree ordinances across the state.Then, Jackie Cole joins us. She’s the president of the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy and will discuss her organization’s concerns. And she’ll give us an overview of the challenges that might take place if the repeal of the tree ordinances in cities is passed.
On Sept. 5, Morgan State University’s radio station WEAA, 88.9 FM, known as, “the Voice of the Community,” announced major changes, which essentially forced several of WEAA’s long-time radio personalities to sign off abruptly after providing decades of musical pleasure.James Big Jim Staton. Big Jim is a renowned WEAA 88.9 FM radio Station personality. (Courtesy Photo)The shift at WEAA, which began broadcasting in 1977, will impact the station’s evening line-up the most, effectively ending all current programing Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to midnight in most cases. All the changes will take effect Oct. 2.On Monday, “Keep it Moving,” hosted by Marsha Jews, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and “In the Tradition,” hosted by long-time jazz impresario George “Doc” Manning, 8 p.m. – midnight, will end. On Tuesday, “Wealthy Radio,” hosted by financial expert Deborah Owens, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and “Fiesta Musical,” a latin music program hosted by Guillermo Brown, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m., will be eliminated. On Wednesday, “The Relation Shift Experience,” hosted by wellness, yoga and mindfullness practitioner Changa Bell 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. and “Jazz Straight Ahead,” hosted by brothers Jan and Eric Tegler (whose father Jon Tegler hosted the show for decades) 8 p.m. – midnight is over. On Thursday, “Blues in the Night,” hosted by James “Big Jim” Staton for 30 years 8 p.m.- midnight is no more (Staton parted ways with the station prior to the announced changes). Friday evening, “Listen Up!”, hosted by Faraji Muhammad 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., and the, “Friday Night Jazz Club,” hosted by Angela “The Duchess” Thorpe will end.“I’m numb from this,” said Thorpe on Sept. 6. The WEAA radio personality began her stint on the air at the station as an intern in 1996, when she was a student at Morgan State University. Marcellus “Bass Man” Shepard who for many years presented a mix of “smooth jazz,” and Rhythm and Blues in the afternoon, will shift to weekday evenings 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. “First Edition,” hosted by Baltimore AFRO editor Sean Yoes Monday through Friday, 5 p.m.- 7 p.m., will be cut to 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.Other changes to the weekday evening line-up have yet to be announced, but are expected.Prior to this week’s shake-up, a 30 year radio veteran at WEAA suddenly left the station, perhaps foreshadowing the major changes to come.Early Saturday morning and late Thursday night “Big” Jim Staton was on the airwaves of WEAA radio, for more than a generation.Whether you were getting a head start on Saturday chores or perhaps recovering from a Friday night on the town, you could count on Big Jim to wake you up at 5:00 a.m. sharp every Saturday with his “Turning Back the Hands of Time” show cranking out the oldies that you or your parents listened to.On Thursday nights, Staton’s show, “Blues in the Night,” presented straight ahead blues; popular artists known universally like Ray Charles and BB King, along with artists more familiar to blues aficionados; Bobby “Blue” Bland, John Lee Hooker and Koko Taylor.“Big Jim” as he is known to his WEAA listeners, may have one of the most extensive collection of oldies on the East Coast and counted his service to WEAA as a labor of love. But last month, Jim’s 30-year labor of love with WEAA ended with an unexpected resignation from the station.“I’ve been working with Big Jim for the last 11 years. I consider him as an uncle. As a professional I am going to miss his camaraderie,” said Walter Berry II, a fellow WEAA-FM music host better known to his listeners as “Papa WaBe.”“Me and Big Jim go way back to the Al Stuart and Mary Carter Smith Days. Big Jim has always been a faithful friend. I could count on him because he is a man of his word,” said friend and colleague, Ernestine Jones, long time host of the Gospel Grace Brunch, which airs on WEAA Sundays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.Staton said he and other hosts at the station recently discovered that while they earned slightly above minimum wage or worked for free, WEAA had been paying more than $100,000 to Marc Steiner, host of a weekday morning news show. Steiner’s relationship with the station ended July 31st after his contract was not renewed.“More money in one year than I made in 30 years…you do the math,” Staton said in a statement. “My first 11 years, I volunteered my service…then $11.50 per hour.”Morgan State University School of Global Journalism Dean DeWayne Wickham would not comment on Staton’s departure, and insisted that the station is on firm footing, referring to an editorial Wickham wrote that was published in the AFRO about WEAA’s future in July.Staton believes the station had lost its close connection with the campus and its strong connection with the community.“I’ve been around and here for my listeners and the Morgan State community for 30 years I remember when the station was connected to the community. We’ve lost some of that and it takes leadership to get it back,” Staton told the AFRO.WEAA-FM Station Interim Manager Mireille Grangenois did not return calls by the AFRO.