first_imgCarpio 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 Paris Saint-Germain striker Cavani curled home a superb 62nd-minute winner to settle a thrilling second round duel in Sochi which sends Uruguay into a quarter-final against France next Friday.Cavani had already put Uruguay in front early on, only for Pepe to head Portugal level in the 55th minute in a thrilling contest that was not the battle of attrition many predicted.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 crownPepe’s goal was the first time the South Americans’ defense had been breached in this tournament, but they stood firm after that and are beginning to look like genuine contenders moving into the latter stages in Russia.The only downside for Oscar Tabarez’s side was the sight of Cavani limping off late on, raising a question mark over his fitness for next week’s last eight showdown with the French in Nizhny Novgorod. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Suarez almost doubled the lead from a free-kick midway through the first half that forced a good save from Rui Patricio.Meanwhile, Ronaldo did not touch the ball once in the opposition area in the first period. But with Uruguay sitting back, Portugal did equalize 10 minutes into the second half.A corner was played short to Raphael Guerreiro, and his cross from the left was headed home from close range by Pepe, rising high above Diego Godin in the area.After nearly five and a half hours of football, it was the first goal Uruguay had let in at this World Cup — indeed it was the first they had conceded in 2018.But their response to that was magnificent as they went quickly retook the lead, Rodrigo Bentancur teeing up Cavani for a magnificent first-time curling strike into the far corner on his right foot.Portugal coach Fernando Santos threw up his hands in disgust, realizing that coming from behind a second time against this Uruguay defense was going to be a tall order.Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera did almost gift them another equalizer, dropping a high ball at the feet of Bernardo Silva, but the Manchester City man could only volley over.Cavani then had to be helped off by Ronaldo before watching the rest of the game from the dugout with ice on a calf injury.His side held out, and if he recovers, Cavani can now look forward to coming up against his Paris Saint-Germain strike partner Kylian Mbappe, so impressive for France against Argentina.But Mbappe is unlikely to find the Uruguayan defense so accommodating. GALLERY: Ateneo pulls off perfect Filoil preseason run LATEST STORIES Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Meanwhile, European champions Portugal go home, as Ronaldo and Lionel Messi bow out of the competition on the same day.In contrast, Uruguay march on with arguably the best defense in international football and one of the best strike pairings anywhere.Suarez and Cavani combined brilliantly for the seventh-minute opener on Russia’s Black Sea coast.Cavani picked out Suarez on the left with a cross-field ball, before continuing his run into the penalty area and meeting the Barcelona striker’s return delivery at the back post, the ball smacking off his face and flying in.Pepe breaches Uruguay defenseADVERTISEMENT Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring his side’s 2nd goal during the round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, June 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)UpdateSOCHI, Russia – Edinson Cavani scored twice as Uruguay shattered Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup dream with a 2-1 victory over Portugal here Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihanlast_img read more

first_imgFormer Director of the Guyana National Service, Retired Colonel Desmond Roberts has been sworn in as the lone Commissioner for an Inquiry into the treatment of retired members of the armed services.Colonel Roberts took his oath as Commissioner before Magistrate Judy Latchman and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon in Court Three of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Monday.Retired Colonel Desmond Roberts, Magistrate Judy Latchman and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at the swearing inThis latest Commission of Inquiry (CoI) will seek to examine, advise and report on the conditions and circumstances facing armed services veterans, including those from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF); Guyana People’s Militia and the Guyana National Service. The public hearings will be held at the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Public Service, Waterloo Street.Colonel Roberts suggested that his experience in various levels of military administration has made him suitable for the post.“I’ve been a senior officer of the military. I’ve worked with the Guyana Youth Corps [and] I think administration is very important thing,” the retired army officer noted.He also related that many of the retired armed services members have skills that can be passed on.“Many veterans have skills that are actually quantifiable but are sometimes not transferrable, there is no reason why those things cannot come into civilian life, [but] we have to try to also get some equivalency to make sure that military skills could transfer.”Meanwhile, responding to questions on what Government hopes to achieve from this CoI, Minister Harmon expressed that Government would seek to implement the recommendations.“There would be some clear recommendations as to how Government should act…what institutions should be set up to ensure that veterans are given a fair share and that they are being dealt with in a fair and just manner,” Harmon further explained.Over the next two weeks, the Commission will compile its preliminary report and gather witnesses. About 60 witnesses are expected to testify from various regions across the country. These include the present and former Army Chief-of-Staff and Retired Major General and Private Sector Commission Chairman, Norman Mc Lean. Colonel Denzil Carmichael will serve as the Commission’s secretary.last_img read more

first_imgWhen one is named a diplomat to take an assignment to another country, the perception grows that he/she is taking on a prestigious position that sets life well for him/her.While this might be true about assignments to some of the brighter regions of the world, that situation no longer obtains when it comes to diplomatic assignment to just anywhere.Just ask President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who happens to know what is going on with challenges facing Liberian diplomats and other staffers abroad.In her annual message to the National Legislature on January 27, President Sirleaf emphasized that most of Liberia’s embassies in the West African sub-region and other parts of Africa are in dilapidated conditions and staffers there live as though they are not diplomats.According to the President, Liberia’s properties that are in Washington D.C, Abuja and Paris are in a relative good shape; but the rest are in serious disrepair and have suffered from neglect over the last quarter of the century as a result of the civil crisis.In addition to the woes, President Sirleaf said, “There is no provision in the budget for education allowance or medical insurance coverage for staff and, in many instances, Government is in breach of laws of the host countries regarding benefits for local employees.”Moreover, she noted, “most embassies are understaffed.  Staff accommodation is less than desirable, and because of inadequate rental allowances, many of the officers are forced to live in areas that are not representative of their status as diplomats of the Republic.”Citing some references, the President noted that in the Mano River Union Countries including Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone, prime properties for Chanceries in Abidjan, Conakry, and Freetown are in urgent need of repair and renovation.She added that in Accra, Ghana, Liberia’s embassy and Chancery are in the same neighborhood of the Vice President in the heart of Accra; but if immediate action is not taken to erect decent structures in those locations, Government could lose them.Furthermore, President Sirleaf indicated that Liberia—being one of the first to acquire property in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—Liberia’s Embassy is within a stone’s throw of the new multi-million dollar AU Commission Headquarters.She said unless government takes action to improve the facility to conform to infrastructures in that vicinity, Liberia may lose it also.She proposed that at least US$20 million is needed to bring all Liberia’s properties to a minimum standard so that they can stand among glittering buildings around the world.Meanwhile, there are 38 facilities housing Liberia Chanceries and residences of diplomatic staff around the world.According to President Sirleaf, 15 of these properties are owned by Government while the rest are under rent.The last time a reporter was in Conakry in 2004, the Liberian residence facing the Cliff Costal Beach of the Atlantic was in a deplorable condition with no good sanitary system.The main embassy situated near the Senegalese Embassy and former President Lasana Conteh’s residence in Donka, was also in a dilapidated condition with only the Ambassador’s office at least furnished well.In Freetown, Sierra Leone in 2012, the embassy there was undergoing minor renovations, but Ambassador Thomas N. Brima at the time underscored the need for financial support from government to complete.The fact that President Sirleaf emphasized these prevailing situations for Liberian diplomats in foreign economies tells of difficulties staffers are undergoing—something that contradicts the long-held belief that prosperity is automatically associated with assignment on a diplomatic mission.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgEdwin V. Barclay, the man who was reported to be on the run because he was a ‘fake’ customs broker has denied the claim, and has threatened legal action against his accuser, the chief executive officer of the NEW VISION Media Publishing Network and African Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies, Josephus M. Gray.Mr. Barclay told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday that contrary to the allegation, he did not dupe Mr. Gray of US$800 and neither did he dupe unidentified “individuals more than US$9,000 and other valuables pretending to be a member of the Customs Brokers Association of Liberia.”He also refuted the claim that he is wanted by the Liberia National Police (LNP), because of his involvement in forgery and impersonation, as alleged in the reports published widely in the media on December 13, allegations that he forged land deeds by falsifying signatures of officials of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy; and that he is involved with criminal gangs.“I am talking to my lawyer to seek legal redress from Mr. Gray,” he said about the man who claimed that Barclay allegedly duped him.Barclay told this newspaper that Mr. Gray was recommended to him by a man identified only as ‘Gbarlee’ to help him release his 2003 Citroen imported from Paris, France, from the Freeport of Monrovia.“I charged Mr. Gray US$50, but he told me he could get me US$20 to start the process and a day later he gave me the remaining US$30,” Barclay said. “Also the cost for the Delivery Order that gives authorization of ownership is US$175 and Mr. Gray further gave it to me and I used it to complete the Delivery Order and brought him receipts.”Barclay said he did not receive any additional money from Mr. Gray as he alleged; and after nearly three weeks of interaction, he was shocked to learn that Mr. Gray had claimed that he was on the run from justice and that he was involved in illegal activities and defrauding people.“It is a complete lie,” Barclay said, “I turned over every document to him when he told me that he did not want to use my services anymore.”Barclay said when he heard the news he consulted his lawyer who held a conference with him to ascertain what he knows about the allegations. “I told my lawyer that the only money I received from Mr. Gray was the US$50 and the US$175 that I used to process his documents for the delivery of his vehicle,” he said.He said though he is yet to face justice in a competent court of law, information provided by Mr. Gray to the media has ruined him and he would seek redress in court to reclaim his honor. Barclay said because of the media reports, his clients have withdrawn contracts because “they are convinced that I am a criminal because of what Mr. Gray released to the media.”In a telephone conversation with Mr. Gray yesterday, he insisted that the report against Barclay is true but admitted he has no receipts of the US$800 he claimed Barclay took from him.Mr. Gray meanwhile recommended that the Daily Observer invite him to a conference with Mr. Barclay, possibly today, that he promised to attend.In a letter, Barclay expressed displeasure with the report published in the Daily Observer, saying that he, along with his family, is embarrassed by the report and that the only redress to reclaim his honor is to seek legal action against Mr. Gray.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgPhoto: Billy Reimer and Wendy Pollock started the “Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Foundation” to help support local cancer patients – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.caTwo survivors are giving local cancer patients the opportunity they never had.Wendy Pollock is a breast cancer survivor, and Billy Reimer battled leukemia. Pollock says was put on medication that cost $5,000, to help boost her white blood cell count. She quit her job, which left her husband’s paycheck the only source of income for her family.- Advertisement -She says she worried about money, which caused unnecessary stress during her recovery.[asset|aid=2230|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Wendy Pollock 1_1_Pub.mp3]Billy Reimer had just started a new job when he was diagnosed, so he didn’t qualify for extended medical coverage.He says he sold his home, among other things, to afford his treatments.Advertisement Reimer notes that it’s not just medical bills that cancer patients face. He says it’s the monthly costs like rent or mortgage payments.With Christmas approaching, the foundation has begun selling tickets in advance, for its first-ever dinner, auction, and dance gala.There are 350 tickets available, and are $50.00 each. The event is at the Pomeroy Hotel on January 16th, 2010. Reimer and Pollock hope to raise $20,000.Tickets are available at the Pomeroy Hotel and the Moose FM radio station. To volunteer your time, donate an auction item, or to apply for financial assistance call Billy Reimer at 250-262-8883. [asset|aid=2231|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Billy Reimer 1_1_Pub.mp3]Both Reimer and Pollock searched for financial assistance, but to no avail.The pair decided at that point that a foundation needs to be in place to help those who are vulnerable. Two months ago, the local branch of the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Foundation began.[asset|aid=2232|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=75d142a267a52b52f63100bb399409c0-Billy Reimer 2_1_Pub.mp3]Advertisementlast_img read more

first_img– 2nd ECD woman to be killed within 1 weekShamaine Frank, a janitor of Lot 317 Victoria Village, ECD, was stabbed to death by the father of her three children at her home in the village in the wee hours of Sunday morning.Murdered on Sunday: Shamaine FrankBased on information received, the suspect was seen entering the 27-year-old woman’s yard at about 3:00h on Sunday, and was ordered by the victim’s brother to leave the premises, because of the abuse his sister had suffered at the hands of this suspect.This brother has told investigators that, shortly thereafter, he heard screams, and went to his sister’s aid. He thus discovered her with a stab wound to her left side breast; and upon inspection, he also discovered that three louvre panes had been removed from a window. It is believed that the suspect gained entry into the house by removing the louvre panes. After committing this act, the suspect reportedly departed through a back door, which was discovered open.It is believed that the suspect and the victim were engaged in an argument when the victim was attacked and fatally stabbed.The injured woman was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. The suspect, meanwhile, has since gone into hiding. He works in the hinterland, and investigators believe he might be heading there.Guyana Times understands that Frank and the suspect had been together for quite some time, during which she had constantly been subjected to abuse; but, for the sake of her three children, she had repeatedly forgiven him for abusing her.The couple had recently rented an apartment at Mon Repos, ECD, but because the abuse had continued, Frank had returned to the home she had shared with her siblings.Murdered on Wednesday last:Vinetta Headley-JamesThis, Guyana Times was told, had an impact on the children, and the Welfare Department of the Social Protection Ministry had been called in. The couple had been instructed to seek counselling in order to reconcile their relationship, but the abuse had continued.Spousal murdersThis is the second spousal murder committed within one week. Just a few days ago, 44-year-old Vinetta Headley-James, a late clothes vendor and mother of eight, was attacked and stabbed to death at Nabaclis, ECD by her husband, who had accused her of infidelity.It has been reported that, two Sundays ago, the now dead woman was attacked by her husband and stabbed to the face and neck, but had managed to escape with her life.On Wednesday last, he returned to the home but, to his dismay, found his wife in the process of putting his belongings out of the house. He reportedly had requested that the woman cease putting his belongings out of the home, but the woman had continued so doing.This allegedly angered the suspect, who reportedly armed himself with a knife from the kitchen and attacked his wife, fatally wounding her to the neck. Rushed to the Nabaclis Hospital, she succumbed while receiving treatment.The suspect was later discovered lying in a clump of bushes close to the house with a self-inflicted stab wound to his neck. He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was treated and later handed over to the Police.He is yet to be charged for the murder.last_img read more

first_imgABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Vice President Dick Cheney told U.S. troops in Iraq on Thursday that he knows they’re suffering hardships from extended deployments but the longer stays are “vital to the mission.” His words were greeted with restrained applause at a rally on a U.S. military base near Saddam Hussein’s former hometown of Tikrit. On his second day in Iraq, Cheney also held classified meetings with U.S. military leaders and emerged repeating the words of the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, that “we can expect more violence” ahead. From Iraq, Cheney flew to this Persian Gulf nation, the second stop on a trip that also will include visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. The purpose of his trip is to persuade Arab allies in the region to do more to help stabilize Iraq and promote ethnic reconciliation there. Today, Cheney is to visit the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, steaming in the Persian Gulf not far from here. A couple of thousand soldiers, clad in camouflage uniforms and with rifles slung on their shoulders, greeted the vice president at a mess hall at Camp Speicher, the desert post near Tikrit. Specialist Eric Emo, 23, of Sedalia, Mo., whose Army unit is based in Fort Riley, Kan., said most of his fellow soldiers are unhappy about the deployment extensions, from the current 12 months to 15 months, but understand the need for it. In terms of hostile activity, he said, “conditions around here have gotten a lot worse.” He said there has been a particularly sharp increase in the number of roadside bombs. One of the last warm-up acts before Cheney’s appearance was a top10 list of reasons to love Iraq. The No.1 reason was: “Where else can you get a 15-month vacation and call it the luxury extension plan?” Officials said the three-month extension would affect nearly everyone on the base, where 10,000 to 12,000 U.S. troops are stationed. Cheney took on the issue in his speech moments later. “Many of you have had your deployments extended, and that puts an unexpected hardship on you and your families,” he said. “I want you to know the extension is vital to the mission. The Army and the country appreciate the extra burden that you carry.” Despite rising opposition in Washington to President George W. Bush’s military buildup, Cheney said terrorists have made Iraq the place they want to fight and “we will stay on the offensive. We will not sit back and wait to be hit again.” Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. (Randy) Mixon, commander of coalition forces in northern Iraq, said morale generally remains good “in terms of staying focused on the mission.” “They understand perfectly the reason the mission’s been extended,” Mixon told reporters. He said the blanket three-month extensions helped take the guess work out of the policy. “They want to know the exact day they’re going back. That gives them something to focus on,” he said. Cheney is expected to press Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to try to use their influence with Arab Sunnis in Iraq to help reduce sectarian tensions. At the same time, he has criticized Iran’s growing influence among Shiites in Iraq and its possible role in providing sophisticated weapons to Iraqi insurgents to use against U.S. troops. The vice president denied that the conflict in Iraq was fast developing into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. “That’s not the way I perceive it,” he said in an interview with Fox News.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

first_img0Shares0000Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is struggling to turn the club’s fortunes around © AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 30 – Manchester United are a club in crisis and Jose Mourinho is seemingly powerless to prevent a slide into mid-table mediocrity for the 20-time English champions.The Old Trafford hierarchy preened this week after the latest financial results showed the club had earned revenue of more than half a billion pounds for the third year running. But United, who finished a distant second behind Manchester City last season, are going backwards on the pitch — licking their wounds after their worst start to a league campaign for 29 years.Mourinho’s men travelled to the London Stadium on Saturday boasting an enviable record against West Ham but came away chastened after a 3-1 defeat killed off any realistic hopes of a Premier League challenge before the end of September.Jose Mourinho (right) and French midfielder Paul Pogba are at loggerheads © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLanguishing nine points behind leaders City, they now face a battle even to qualify for the lucrative Champions League, a prospect that will give the money men sleepless nights.Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said the club face some “big decisions” over the manager’s future after the listless display in the capital.“There are some big decisions to be made at United now,” he said. “There will be conversations at the top level, about the future of the manager and the squad, because the basics are not being done. There has to be something said.”– Pogba-Mourinho rift –United’s build-up to the match against West Ham was overshadowed by the growing rift between Mourinho and Paul Pogba, who was stripped of the vice-captaincy before their League Cup exit against Championship side Derby in midweek.It came after the French World Cup winner implicitly criticised his manager’s tactics, imploring United to attack more and as rumours continued to swirl linking him with a move to Barcelona.It is difficult to see how both player and manager can work together in the long term after such public displays of disunity.United are anxious to hang on to one of the world’s most marketable players but all the signs are that they are sticking with Mourinho for now despite their desperately poor start to the season, which has seen them muster just 10 points from seven games.Manchester United have not won the Premier League since the days of Alex Ferguson © AFP/File / ANDREW YATESPogba gave another under-par performance against West Ham but he was not the only player to disappoint in the late September sunshine.United are lacking in ideas, short of inspiration and shape, with many of the players looking like square pegs in round holes.Manchester City and Liverpool have a definable ethos and way of playing but United — for so long the standard bearers of swashbuckling forward play under Alex Ferguson — are painfully lacking in identity in Mourinho’s third season at the club.They have a clutch of top players including Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez — who was left out of the squad against West Ham.United have backed Mourinho heavily in the transfer market but their policy has been scattergun, with January signing Sanchez failing to recreate his Arsenal form at Old Trafford.Mourinho did not look too despondent after Saturday’s result but his attempts to shift the blame for two of United’s goals onto the officials failed to take the spotlight off his under-performing players.United appeared to have turned the corner after a poor start to the season, winning three away games on the bounce.But a disappointing draw against promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers last week came before the Derby setback.United’s hierarchy may appear relatively sanguine despite the poor run but how long can they afford to wait before they reach crunch point?Defeat on penalties in the League Cup leaves only two competitions left that they can win barring a miracle in the Premier League — the FA Cup and the Champions League — and victory in Europe looks an unlikely prospect.United are already onto their third manager since Ferguson retired as a Premier League champion in 2013.The club used to pride itself on its stability during the Ferguson years as other clubs chopped and changed but they have to pull themselves out of their current spiral of decline.Will they stick or twist?0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_imgOn Friday the 13th, it occurred to me that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who just released his annual budget plan – as well as a massive bond proposal to fix California’s decayed infrastructure – must be realizing that luck is not exactly with him. That day, newspapers reported Schwarzenegger had decided to bail out the feds using $70 million from California taxpayers. This king’s ransom will be spent over a two-week period to address the inept Jan. 1 launch in California of the new federal Medicare prescription drug program. Apparently, so many poor people were switched to the program all at once on Jan. 1 that it caused a mini-meltdown in many states. In California, roughly 200,000 elderly and poor were in danger of being denied medicine, so Arnold acted to avert possible tragedies. The immediate price tag is $70 million, but it’s anybody’s guess if that’s where the buck stops. The specter of California bailing out the feds was an ironic cap to a series of events in which Schwarzenegger simply could not win for doing the right thing. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card A few days earlier, he released a politically centrist budget that did not raise taxes but did restore $1.7 billion the state owes to schools – the most emotional political issue in California in 2005. In reward for his sensible budget, he was maligned for spending too much or too little, taxing the wrong people, taxing too much or too little, or funding the wrong things. Bizarrely, he was even taken to task by the nonpartisan Chief Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill, whose off-base comments sounded to me like her withering reviews of those awful budgets dreamed up by former Gov. Gray Davis. After all, Davis was busily spending California into a $25 billion hole, while Arnold’s plan achieves what politicians call “a slowing rate” of overspending by holding down growth of open-ended programs. Instead, it funds one-time needs that don’t metastasize like Davis’ pet programs. It’s not too inspiring, but it typifies Schwarzenegger’s strategy to reduce growth until the deficit gradually fades into oblivion. The Democrats are acting horrified by Arnold’s plans to spend roughly an extra $300 million on policies he supports. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, the most powerful Democrat in Sacramento, complained that the governor was proposing “more spending” than even the Democrats. Humorous. For their part, Republicans were up in arms about his massive proposed bond measure package. It would spend an eye-popping $222 billion on decaying roads, levees, reservoirs and other infrastructure that cannot withstand major disaster – or even a whole lot more wear and tear. The message I take from the sniping is that while a lot of us are happy that Arnold is no longer pointlessly drubbing the Democrats, it doesn’t mean he’ll be rewarded for governing as the rational centrist he was elected to be. “The governor knows that voters really want to see that money go back to the schools,” Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer told me of his plan to return $1.7 billion to schools. “He’s still a fiscal conservative, but he also heard their message.” Centrists are a rare breed because the tectonic plates in politics are greased by anger, battles, blame and narrow constituency groups who drive it all. As Palmer quipped, “I think it’s Texas where they say the only thing in the middle of the road is a yellow line and dead armadillos.” Still, the governor seems vigorously committed to his centrism in 2005. One spending idea he has proposed is $55 million to prepare California to deal with a flu pandemic, safety of the food supply and similar concerns. In addition, the governor wants Proposition 42 transportation funds, which were raided earlier, to be partially repaid one year early – $920 million for gridlocked California. Getting ready for a flu pandemic, restoring transportation funds, focusing on infrastructure, paying back the schools? What about tax cuts, identity politics, gay marriage, illegal immigrants or the other favorites of the constituency groups? Remember these wondrous wedge issues that got the governor and Legislature a lot of TV face time but also got them nowhere? Nope, Schwarzenegger has decided to be dull, centrist – and responsible. Thus the outrage over his budget and spending plans have only just begun. Jill Stewart is a print, radio and television commentator on California politics. She can be reached via her Web site, 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