Big prize money for General Accident tennis tourney

first_imgMore than $700,000 in prize money will be up for grabs when the 2016 General Accident Insurance Company tennis tournament serves off tomorrow at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. The tournament will end on Sunday, April 10.This tournament will be part of the Llockett McGregor tennis series, and for the first time, it will be an Open tournament, with prize money attached. There will be Men’s and Women’s Open, Men’s Professional 35 for older players, and a Men’s Class 2 team event that will feature teams from Oaklands, Police Officers Club, Montego Bay, the Pegasus and Ocho Rios, and a special Liguanea Club doubles championship. Sixteen junior doubles teams will also participate.The whole idea, McGregor told The Gleaner, is to make the tournament more attractive to various groups of players, many of whom will participate so as to gain bragging rights among their colleagues, over the next year.At the launch of the tournament on Wednesday at the Liguanea Club, General Accident’s business development officer, Nadia Mitchell, lauded the organisers of the tournament and pointed to the fact that each year, the tournament was well supported by players and spectators. One hundred and fifteen players are expected to participate this year.Her company’s vision, Mitchell said, “goes way beyond the tennis courts because each year, this prestigious event brings together world-class players, and tennis enthusiasts” and this she said, “bolsters personal development of the youth players in particular, and creates the opportunity for individuals to engage in a diverse community centred activity.”The top-seeded male player is Damion Johnson, a former Jamaica No. 1 player. Current female champion Ffion Fletcher is the top female in the line-up, and in the Men’s 35, Dwayne Pagon, a former Davis Cup captain is the top seed.last_img read more

Guyanese demand better Government and teachers want their money. Pay Them.

first_imgDear Editor,As a quick preface, it is worthy to note that civilised, competent governments recognise that their workers’ welfare is important and integral to realising a successful, stable society. They implement systems to ensure that workers are adequately compensated, and that social safety nets such as unemployment insurance are available to respond to changes in economic conditions.Less competent administrations, because of their poor policies which generally undermine the productive capacity of their economies, usually resort to confrontations with workers over better salaries as economic conditions decay.A quick comparison of Guyana with other countries in the Caribbean and around the world which achieved independence at just around the same time as ourselves, reveals that something is definitely wrong. Most, if not all of these countries, have progressed, with their workers enjoying much better standards of living, inclusive of increased incomes, better educational and health services and improved public infrastructure. Guyana on the other hand, continues to struggle with Government corruption and economic mismanagement, racism in our national politics, poverty and low wages, underemployment and woefully lacking educational and health services, not to mention quality issues with our water, electricity and public infrastructure.How could this be? What has happened to us? We have had our future stolen from us by the systematically bad Government of our successive administrations over the decades since independence.A first step to recovering our stolen future now is to begin the process of coming to grips with the nature of our current crop of politicians, their politics and the immediate dynamics we face as a nation. A major consideration should be that given the irrational, anti-democratic and socially destructive policies of the coalition, it is very likely that the old school executives of the People’s National Congress who run Congress Place were successfully brainwashed by Burnham, and seriously consider that his dictatorial politics and policies can work, against all evidence to the contrary.Crucial also in respect of the current Administration is the recognition that the minor parties of the coalition Administration apparently have little input in policy, so that the majority of the current policy prescriptions emanate from Congress Place, which will learn too late that Guyanese no longer place much confidence in their leadership or administration.They will reflect later that much, if not all of their policies, were rooted in their errant notion that ‘it was their turn now,’ for another 28 years, when they again resumed office in 2015. With the coalition members becoming more suspicious of their intentions, Congress Place will also have to consider the prospect of contesting the 2020 elections alone.By continuing to withhold sugar workers’ due severance pay the Granger Administration is willfully disregarding our laws and regulations, which in this case serve to protect our workers from the potential abuses of employers. The coalition Administration is now a lawless organisation. It has descended into an economic war with Guyana’s workers, both public and private. Its recent treatment of teachers and their union is tantamount to pushing fire in our teachers’ faces even as they struggle monthly to make ends meet.David Granger’s recent disregard for the recommendations of the appointed Task Force overseeing teachers’ affairs speaks to his willingness to disrespect the very officials appointed by his Administration, and highlights the disregard by him and his Administration for the due process of governance. Guyana no longer has a Government in place, but a one-man pappy show.The recent combative position with the Guyana Teachers’ Union emphasises that the coalition is not anymore supportive of workers’ affairs. The Administration seems willing to now contest with workers’ unions ‘tooth and nail’ for salary increases and amounts that are now owed to them.Congress Place will realise too late that it should not expect to lose the 2020 elections because of critics who are committed to better Government and improved welfare for workers and Guyanese in general, but because it did not learn from its earlier failures.The lessons from those earlier years are: 1) Guyanese have no appetite for any hint of rigged elections or oppressive dictatorship; 2) We demand better government. Workers demand their fair share of our national income, and also money that is owed them. It is time the coalition Administration started listening to Guyanese. We demand better Government, and our sugar workers and teachers want their money. Pay them now.Respectfully,Craig Sylvester,Democratic NationalCongresslast_img read more

PNC supports GECOM’s defiance of CCJ orders

first_imgThe People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – the largest party of the coalition Government – is backing the move by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to begin House-to-House Registration today – a move which is in flagrant violation of the Guyana Constitution and the rulings of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).The party made its position known on Friday at a press conference hosted at Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown.Communities Minister and Treasurer of the PNC, Ronald Bulkan said that the party “welcomes the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) independent decision to commence House-to-House Registration starting tomorrow, Saturday 20th July 2019. This decision is completely consistent with both the Constitution and the CCJ’s ruling that we need to hold fair and credible elections in the shortest possible time”.This is although the Trinidad-based Court ordered that Article 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution be upheld and respected, bearing in mind that the No-Confidence Motion against the Government was passed as long as December 21, 2018.Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence”.Meanwhile Article 107 (7) states: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election”Nevertheless, the caretaker Government is contending that House-to-House Registration must be conducted given that as much as 200,000 names on the present voters’ list are not eligible.According to Bulkan, while his party “respects” the CCJ’s ruling, House-to-House Registration should take precedence over early elections.The Communities Minister further argued that the last voters’ list used for Local Government Elections has already expired while a Claims and Objections period will not be successful in updating that list.Ever since the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed, the Administration has been accused of “buying time” to remain in power.In fact, even after the CCJ ruled on the validity of the motion, the Government has employed several delaying tactics and even made utterances which defied the court judgment.GECOM’s own legal officer, Excellence Dazzell, had advised the Commission that proceeding with House-to-House Registration would be in contempt of court.Going ahead with this lengthy registration process would result in elections being held until after September 18, 2019 – which would have marked the end of the three-month constitutional deadline for elections.Only on Thursday, Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo warned that attempts to pursue House-to-House Registration instead of elections would be in defiance of the pronouncements made by the CCJ.His statement comes at a time when it was recently published in the Official Gazette that GECOM announced House-to-House Registration, commencing July 20, 2019, which will run until October. Though it was signed by the former GECOM Chairman, retired Justice James Patterson, since June 11, the Gazette was only recently made public. Patterson’s appointment to the position of GECOM Chairman has since been ruled by the CCJ as unconstitutional.PNCR Treasurer Ronald Bulkanlast_img read more

Lions Club offers scholarship funds

first_imgHigh school seniors residing in the Castaic or Val Verde areas may submit applications to the Castaic Lions Club for a scholarship grant for higher education. The awarded grant(s) will be up to a $1,500. To obtain an application, contact the Valencia High School Counseling Office or visit the Castaic Lions Web site at www.castaiclionsclub.org. To post your own stories and photos, log on to valleynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

GAA NEWS: BUNCRANA TO HOLD ITS AGM NEXT SUNDAY

first_imgBuncrana GAA Notes The Club will hold its AGM on Sunday 30th November starting at 6pm. All registered members are requested to attend to cast their votes and make their voices heard in the running and development of the Club.Senior Men Unfortunately the Seniors were beaten by Red Hughs in Killygordan.The Club extends its sincere to John Doherty on the sad passing of his father Patrick ‘Oneghy’ who was a good age and in great form until the end. He was well known for his great humour, storytelling and singing and will be sorely missed.Everyone at the Club wishes our Minors all the best and hope they bring back some silverware next week. The Minor Footballers next game will be on Saturday 29th in Convoy when they take on Termon in the Northern Final. Throw in is 12 noon.CLG Bun Cranncha also wishes our neighbours Urris good luck in their Ulster Junior Championship final next Saturday. Minor Football PresentationThe Presentation of Ulster and All Ireland Runner up medals for minor football will take place in the Mount Errigal Hotel Letterkenny on Saturday 29th November. Tickets cost €25.U12 indoor hurling continues on Monday nights in Crana College from 6:30-7:30. Eligible children will have been born in 2003/2004. All new comers are welcome. Fee €2 for Hall. Competitions start in January.Cursa GaeilgeNa dean dearmad – Irish class this Tuesday in the Clubhouse as usual. Scór na nÓg – CLG Dhún na nGallAt the time of writing our Scór team are taking part in the County final on Sunday. This was the first year the club had dancers in Scór. Fingers crossed to our kids and indeed all the Inishowen competitors.Bord na nOg Presentation PhotosTeam photos (including U6’s) available for €8 Player/most improved of the year/presentation photos available for €5All proceeds go to the club. Contact Aidan on 0862762671SAVE THE DATE! Santa is coming to the Scarvey on December 20th. This has proven to be a great days fun for kids (and parents too!) in the past few years and Santa has never disappointed them yet. We’ll post more details later once everything’s confirmed, particularly Santa’s arrival time from North Pole, which can be hard to depict as it’s such a busy time of year for him! Anyone who has any unwanted Christmas decorations or lights then please donate to the club, we will gratefully accept them, just let Claire or Grainne know. Anyone wanting to volunteer a few hours wrapping, helping out on the day, etc, most welcome too.Scrap Saturday & Fundraising AuctionThe Club is organising a Scrap Saturday & Fundraising Auction event for the end of November so this is your chance to clear out a lot of clutter from inside and outside the house. We’ll take anything – good, bad or indifferent! Old clothes, TV’s, radios, computers, books, toys, whatever.Anything you’d like to donate to the Auction will be much appreciated but needs to be clean and in good condition please.All items should be left at the Clubhouse next Saturday 29th November between 11am-4pm.Bord Inis EoghainThe AGM of Bord Inis Eoghain will take place in late January, provisionally set for Monday 26th January. The date will be confirmed early in the new year. All nominations and motions to be sent to the Secretary by Friday 12th December.Club Notes: Anyone who would like to receive a copy of the weekly club notes should email Jim at buncrana.pro@gmail.com to be included on the mailing list. If you have any items which you think should be included in the club’s weekly notes, please email Jim at buncrana.pro@gmail.com by 6pm on each Sunday for consideration. To keep up to date with all the latest goings-on, please join us on www.facebook.com/buncranagaa or www.twitter.com/buncranagaa @buncranagaa, or visit our website www.buncranagaa.com.GAA NEWS: BUNCRANA TO HOLD ITS AGM NEXT SUNDAY was last modified: November 23rd, 2014 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)Tags:Buncrana GAA noteslast_img read more

UNIQUE HISTORY OF DONEGAL PROJECT TO BE LAUNCHED TODAY

first_imgA unique project documenting the history of Donegal will be launched at the County Museum in Letterkenny today. The Hands of History Project – One Donegal: Many Pasts, One Future will be officially launched at 3 p.m.There will be a welcome by museum curator Judith Mc Carthy while the official launch of Hands of History Project will be undertaken by Cllr Frank Mc Brearty, Mayor of Donegal A summary of the Hands of History Project will be given by Sarah Thompson, Project Officer.The project is an innovative programme exploring how we remember key events in our history. This will involve developing an understanding of how these events were experienced by different communities within the county and how these historical legacies have contributed to relationships today.The project aims to challenge attitudes, share perspectives and develop greater levels of trust and tolerance by exploring and debating these legacies leading to an increased awareness and understanding of the perspectives of other communities.The launch will feature a focus on World War One and the shared nature of its history for the people of Donegal. Pupils from Raphoe Central National School will also be talking about their participation in a World War One Drama and there will also be a musical reflection on World War One by Tracey Mc Rory.Cllr Dessie Larkin, Chair of the Donegal CDB Peace and Reconciliation Partnership will also give an address on behalf of the project funders UNIQUE HISTORY OF DONEGAL PROJECT TO BE LAUNCHED TODAY was last modified: December 6th, 2012 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) Tags:Donegal County MuseumHands of Historylast_img read more

DONEGAL SOLDIER FACES JAIL AFTER BITING NOSE OFF MAN IN SAVAGE ATTACK

first_imgA judge at the Crown Court in Derry has told a former Irish army soldier that it is inevitable he will go to jail after biting the nose off an Algerian man in the city centre last year.Barry Fitzgerald, 23, from Doire House in Carrigans pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent on his 35-year-old victim in an unprovoked attack outside a fast food takeaway in Waterloo Street on 14 April, 2013.UTV reports that after biting his victim’s nose off, Fitzgerald then spat it onto the floor of the man’s car. Following his guilty plea to the charge, Fitzgerald resigned from his position in the Irish army last May. He was based at Finner Camp at the time of the offence.Fitzgerald was released on bail last September pending sentencing this September coming. As part of his bail conditions, he was banned from entering Derry.However, his solicitor applied to Judge Philip Babington to have the ban lifted.The barrister said Fitzgerald had been shortlisted for a job interview as a kitchen porter in a local restaurant because he wanted to earn money before he’s sentenced.Granting the unopposed application, Judge Babington said it was inevitable Fitzgerald would be going to jail.He said no doubt Fitzgerald would give “full disclosure to his potential employer with regards to his present position.”DONEGAL SOLDIER FACES JAIL AFTER BITING NOSE OFF MAN IN SAVAGE ATTACK was last modified: July 8th, 2014 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) Tags:Barry FitzgeraldCarrigansdonegaljailnosesoldierlast_img read more

ALL EVENTS FREE AT FÉILE CARRAIG ARTS & CULTURE FESTIVAL WHICH KICKS OFF THIS WEEKEND

first_imgFéile Carraig Arts and Culture 2014 will take place Friday 22nd August until Sunday 24th August and once again all events are completely free.Crowds can look forward to their old favourites such as the tea dance, local artists exhibition, arts and crafts workshops, photography workshop, open mic night, craft stalls, ramblers walk, locals live music on the street, family fun day and of course the carnival parade.For the first time Féile Carraig Arts & Culture will organise their own Carnival Parade which will take place on Sunday 24th August at 6pm on Carrigart Main Street, where anyone willing to dress up and join in can meet at the Carrigart Hotel beer garden at 5.30pm to help them make it a spectacular event. Some new events and venues this year include storytelling with Wayne O’Connor, the use of Doe Castle for the drawing day, trad school; where participants can learn to play the tin whistle, fiddle and accordion, a puppet Show in the Bewglass Centre and the Family Treasure Hunt takes place on Mulroy Estate this year.On Sunday afternoon a Carrigart Church Crawl will take place, this architectural tour offers an opportunity to inspect, savour and compare all three churches and reflect upon some of the original thirteenth and fourteen century buildings in Ireland and England drawn upon for elements of their design.Live music will be on every night in both Logues Bar and the Carrigart Hotel. Please note because of such high demand in previous years, some events require pre-booking this year; all details can be found in the festival programme.For information about any of the upcoming events pick up your programme in local shops, bars and hotels this weekend or visit http://www.facebook.com/FeileCarraigArts To volunteer or for information contact the committee anytime on 085 136 0837.The committee would like to thank all their sponsors and local businesses for their continued support this year and they look forward to meeting you all over the weekend at Féile Carraig Arts & Culture 2014. ALL EVENTS FREE AT FÉILE CARRAIG ARTS & CULTURE FESTIVAL WHICH KICKS OFF THIS WEEKEND was last modified: August 18th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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) Tags:EntertainementFeaturesnewslast_img read more

2013: The Year Internet TV Went Mainstream

first_img9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#Hulu#Internet TV#iTunes#Netflix#television center_img john paul titlow Something huge is happening in online TV this year. No, it’s not a new streaming set top box or Web-exclusive video series. It’s not even an app. It’s a milestone: 2013 is the year that Internet-first TV became truly normal. People have been watching TV programs online at places like Hulu and Netflix for years. But until recently, most that viewing has involved programs that had previously aired on broadcast or cable TV. There have long been geek-centric webisodes of TV-esque programming online, but nothing that everyday people would watch. This year, things are changing. “An Inflection Point For Online Television”For evidence of the mainstreaming of Web-first TV, look no further than the online revival of All My Children and One Life to Live. The classic TV soap operas are returning not to a broadcast network, but to Hulu and iTunes. It may sound like a distribution strategy fit for a tech video podcast or no-name Web TV series, but these are soap operas. TV doesn’t get more mainstream than this.(See also: The Internet’s Assault On Traditional TV Is Working)Citing an “inflection point for online television”, the shows’ backers are betting big on the notion that enough people watch TV online these days to make this a profitable endeavor. If recent history is any indication, it’s a safe bet.The first sign of Internet TV’s legitimacy among mainstream audiences came earlier this year with House of Cards. We still don’t know precisely how many people tuned into Netflix’s TV-quality political drama, but it’s clearly been popular among the service’s 29 million subscribers, as well as many critics.Most importantly, the show got people talking. Not just tech-savvy people living their lives online, but normal, everyday people. Suddenly, you could hear House of Cards being chattered about at parties as though it was the latest drama on HBO, whose U.S. subscriber count Netflix just surpassed. (Sort of, at least.)At 4 million subscribers, Hulu is markedly smaller than Netflix, but it’s growing fast. And unlike Netflix, Hulu lets non-subscribers stream shows for free from the desktop, so the potential reach of shows like the new All My Children isn’t capped at 4 million, or even 29 million, for that matter. Then there’s iTunes, through which viewers will be able to purchase individual episodes.The Imperfect Science of Measuring Web TVEven on these popular online services, these soap operas will almost certainly fall short of the kind of ratings numbers they used to see on daytime TV. It’s impossible to know for sure, since each of these services has different viewership metrics and they’re not particularly eager to share. Even Netflix, which proudly boasts the success of House of Cards, won’t say just how many people actually watched the show. The measurement challenge might begin to change soon, as Nielsen moves toward measurement tools that Internet sources into account. Next month, a temporary pilot run of its Nielsen Digital Program Ratings will track online views from the networks’ own websites. In time, the tracking method could become a standard utilized by an array of online video services, finally painting an accurate picture of what’s getting watched. Nielsen has a long way to go with Internet TV measurement, but the fact that it’s tinkering with a decades-old formula is a sign that online TV viewership is now too enormous for it to ignore if it wants to stay relevant.Before the year is halfway over, we’ll have another test of Internet TV’s mainstream appeal when Arrested Development‘s fourth season lands on Netflix. Like the soap operas, Arrested Development is making the leap from TV to online, but in this case the show is backed by eight years of anticipation and the same data-driven smarts that all but ensured House of Cards would be a hit. Again, we won’t know how many people will actually tune in to the new season of Arrested Development unless Netflix decides to share that data. In the meantime, we’ll have only limited, largely anecdotal clues to go from. Perhaps the most important: Are people talking about this? I don’t mean on Twitter, but at the bar. That’s how we’ll really know that a new era in television’s history is underway. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutlast_img read more

Nitish on a clean-up drive in era of graft

first_imgMany politicians have squandered away the benefits of a landslide electoral victory by doing precious little for the common man. But Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar seems inclined to make the most of the three-fourths majority given to his alliance in the recent assembly elections.He has begun his new innings in right earnest by declaring an all-out war on corruption. Less than a week after he assumed charge, he announced his government’s resolve to bring about the Right to Service Act in Bihar to facilitate timely disposal of work related to public utility services. He also talked about incorporating provisions for a penalty on officials who do not compelte their task within the stipulated time.In the following week, his government acted swiftly to confiscate the property of an official charged with amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income. The government will now open a school in his palatial building in keeping with Nitish’s poll-time promise.But it is his decision to abolish the local area development fund of the state legislators that has underlined his determination to rid the state of corruption. Under the scheme, MLAs and MLCs of the state had been getting a discretionary fund of Rs 1 crore per annum.This fund was created with the seemingly ‘noble’ intention of helping legislators implement development projects as per their preference in the areas of their choice but it did not remain immune to taints of graft in subsequent years. Majority of the schemes executed with this fund reeked of poor quality and hence the scheme came to be seen as perpetuating corruption.advertisementSensing the public perception of this scheme, Nitish first broached the abolition of this project during a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) legislators last week and sought their opinion about it. He also spelt out the reason behind it, saying the fund had caused more harm to their image in the public eye. Three days later, the state cabinet took a decision in principle to do away with this scheme and bring about an effective scheme in its place.In just one masterstroke, he put an end to this fund of Rs 1 crore each to 243 MLAs and 75 MLCs, which he can now channel to other welfare initiatives. Not only this, he also called upon all ministers and legislators to declare their income and assets every year to ensure probity in public life.Even opposition parties like the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress have supported this move. But more surprising is the way the NDA legislators have rallied behind him, except for the murmurings of a few. Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi says that there is no difference of opinion among the legislators over the abolition of the fund and wants the Centre to emulate it.Nitish’s decision to get the fund abolished has come at a time when the NDA had received a massive mandate and his leadership cannot be questioned by anybody within the coalition. He apparently wants to convey his seriousness about eradicating corruption from public life not only to the people in general but also to those politicians who wish to perpetuate the myth that graft is a way of life these days.Nitish’s decision has come at the right time. This has set the agenda for his government for the next five years. He has taken the bull of corruption by the horns at the outset of his new tenure. Its success will be evaluated in the next assembly election.Sonepur’s good old cattle fairThe traditional rural fairs are fast becoming pass even in Bihar but the famous Sonepur Mela seems to have retained its old charm. In an era of fun parks and mobile games, the fair – once touted as the biggest cattle fair in Asia – gives glimpses of the “real India”. The month- long mela attracts not only national and foreign tourists but also villagers from nearby areas. It has been primarily famous for the sale and purchase of animals, especially elephants, horses, dogs, cows and birds over the years.In recent times, the ban on the sale of birds and animals, including elephants, have limited its appeal but it still attracts hordes of prospective buyers. Instead of outright sale, elephants are given away as ” gifts” to tweak the rules these days. It is, however, the village market-like atmosphere that is the USP of this mela.From the typical Bihari cuisine available at food stalls to the rural wares sold at the fair, everything reminds one of good old days. The crowds of villagers swaying to the beats of catchy tunes inside the theatres also seem to be the throwback to a bygone era. The Saran district administration is often forced to cancel the licence of the theatres on the charge of obscenity but they return every year in view of their ever- growing demand among the mela revellers.advertisementA treat for Patna’s bookworms Patna Book Fair is an event that every Patnaite looks forward to every year.Bihar is considered to be a huge market by the publishers because of the people’s abiding interest in books and their love for reading.The fair attracts a large number of bookworms every day. This time, it is no different.The latest edition of the fair, inaugurated by chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday, had more than 60,000 visitors last Sunday. But not every visitor is a potential buyer of books. Majority of them go there for reasons other than purchasing books.Some visit the fair to listen to eminent writers and other intellectuals who share their thoughts with the readers every day. Others go to explore career and employment opportunities through the stalls of different agencies and institutions. Some food stalls selling delicacies like Hyderabadi Biryani draw more crowds than many of the book stalls. And a large majority makes the most of it by having fun, loitering around under the winter sun and having an extended picnic through the day. Nitish believes that this ambience makes it a ‘fair’ in the real sense.In a lighter vein, he said that many people primarily turned up only to gaze at the crowd of book buyers. ” But how long can one go on gazing at the people?” he said.”They also end up developing an interest in reading when they look at the books.” Nitish now wants the organisers to host an international book fair in Patna in deference to the wishes of the teeming book lovers of Patna.Do not disturb! Cops sleeping It is not at all uncommon to catch policemen napping during their duty hours in Bihar.Some of them tend to make the most of the winter sun whenever they find a convenient place. At times, one can find them dozing off even in their patrol cars.But two such ‘ sleeping’ constables in Patna found themselves to be the unlucky ones when they were caught stealing forty winks by none other than the district’s senior superintendent of police B. S. Meena.The SSP saw Rakesh Kumar and Ravindra Kumar Singh sleeping near a girls’ college where they had been deployed to keep a watch on mischief mongers and eveteasers.The SSP, who happened to be passing by, promptly suspended them from duty. The suspension must surely have robbed the duo of their sleep now!BIHAR has finally found a woman sporting icon in Smita Kumari who was part of the Asian Games gold- medal winning kabbadi team. Her success is all the more striking because she fought poverty and family opposition before making it to the team. Smita developed a passion for kabaddi while watching boys play in her village. She now wants more girls to take up kabbadi and hopes that the state government would provide jobs to players to motivate them.advertisementlast_img read more