Samukai Unhappy with ‘Deception’

first_imgK-Delta female basketball owner, Abraham Samukai is unhappy with the ‘deceptive influence’ being used in resolving the leadership crisis in the Liberia Basketball Association, he told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday in Monrovia.At the June 3 final resolution meeting held at the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the current administration and aggrieved basketball stakeholders agreed on seven counts.The seventh count stated that the embattled president Rufus Anderson leadership shall remain the legitimate body to lead the process for the organization of a congress by the weekend of August 7.Prior to this arrangement, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, unable to resolve the conflict had sought the intervention of FIBA Africa, the continental body supervising basketball in Africa.FIBA Africa accepted the invitation but after several months later, contacted the Ministry of Youth & Sports to find out if something had been done.AFIBA Africa wrote: “Is there a federation on the ground? Or is it a caretaker committee? Is the Ministry of Sports running the federation?”The second recommendation to the Ministry of Youth & Sports from AFIBA Africa said: “What your ministry can do is to hold an election or set up a caretaker committee and write to AFIBA Africa and the Zone immediately….”Samukai told the Daily Observer that “The ministry did not make us aware of the suggestions from AFIBA Africa when we held the final meeting on Wednesday, June 3.”And that’s why he is angry. “I hate such deceit against our determination to resolve a conflict that has held back our basketball development,” he said.Since aggrieved stakeholders are not happy with Rufus Anderson’s leadership, and since his administration has ended, he said the ministry should not have withheld the information advanced by AFBA Africa which could have allowed the aggrieved a chance to accept the lesser of the two evils, recommendations.The Anderson administration has been accused of financial impropriety, following the hosting of a West Africa basketball tournament in Monrovia in which U$15,000 was unaccounted for, and questions were also raised on the expenditure of U$70,000 provided by the Liberian government.“If the ministry is interested in how public funds are used,” Samukai said, “it could have helped resolve the conflict by accepting the aggrieved stakeholders’ position for an interim administration.”He asked: “Why did the ministry keep the suggestions from the highest body that it has sought assistance to resolve the crisis from the stakeholders who had sought an interim leadership?”This is where he thinks the Ministry of Youth & Sports is playing a cat and mouse game and an element of deception has crept in to frustrate the best means of resolving a conflict that has bogged down all basketball activities.And while the crisis is yet to be resolved, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, though has banned all basketball activities, provided U$11,500 and Ld56,000 to the administration that had been unable to provide proper accountability to the previous U85,000 for a trip to Nigeria recently.Samukai said, “It means that documents for the forthcoming congress must include the expenditure of the recent funds for the Nigeria trip.”And may be, afterwards, Samukai’s angry could be pacified, for he told this reporter that “basketball made me who I am and I have the passion to give back to society.”Youth & Sports sources told the Daily Observer that the ministry is not neglecting its responsibility in resolving the leadership crisis.“I cannot comment on whether information was kept away from the contending parties,” a source said, “it is best we resolve the conflict and then seek to do what is right,” and hoped that Samukai could be pacified with that.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Artist spotlights a ‘model dad’

first_imgVALENCIA – It started as an art project for school. It ended up as a winner in the National Congressional Art Competition. And now the portrait of Jordan Recchia’s father, Dennis, will hang for a year as part of a national exhibit in Washington, D.C. Recchia was a winner in California’s 25th Congressional District, which includes Santa Clarita. A Valencia High School junior, he is pleased that artwork portraying his father won what he considered a great contest. “I think it’s kind of funny, actually,” Dennis Recchia, 53, said. “I’m kind of a guy who likes to stay in the background, but he thrust me to the forefront.” The father, who does computer animation for a major motion picture company, has seen his son’s talent develop through the years – from elementary school projects to the work of a serious young artist. It doesn’t hurt to have artists for parents. In early childhood, Jordan often sat in his mother’s or father’s lap and watched the parent work. His mother, Janet, was a fashion artist in New York and now is an independent art teacher. But Jordan aims to carve out his own niche as an artist, separate from his parent’s careers. He hopes one day to design cars – an interest formed when he was age 4 and saw the Disney film classics about Herbie, a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. “It’s been a passion all my life,” Jordan said. sue.doyle@dailynews.com (661)257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“I used my dad because he’s been an inspiration in my life; he’s been a mentor,” Recchia said about his choice of subjects. “What better piece to win?” Jordan originally painted his father for a project in his advanced-placement art class. The assignment was to create a series of 12 pieces of a subject from different angles and perspectives. He chose his father as the subject because he has “gotten me to where I am,” the young artist said. Sometimes he drew his father while he watched TV or sat on the living room couch, A portrait in oil pastels from this series that won honors for the son. After seeing other entries in the competition, Jordan wasn’t sure if his work was the type judges might want. Many entries depicted the Santa Clarita Valley – its mountains and skyline, not its people and especially not the head of one man. But now his painting will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel, a pedestrian walkway leading to the U.S. Capitol. So how does Jordan’s father feel about his face being viewed by millions of people in Washington? last_img read more

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Buddhist leader in Nova Scotia steps aside amid sexual misconduct allegations

first_imgHALIFAX – The spiritual leader of an international Buddhist organization based in Halifax is stepping back from his duties pending the outcome of an independent investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.In a recent letter to the Shambhala International community, the office of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche said he fully supports a third-party investigation and wishes to provide the time and space for it to occur.Inspired by Tibetan Buddhism, Shambhala is one of the largest western Buddhist movements with more than 200 meditation centres around the world.Mipham’s father, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, visited Nova Scotia in the late 1970s and soon after made Halifax the world headquarters for Shambhala Buddhism, encouraging many Buddhists — largely from the United States — to move to the province while prompting locals to join the community.Meanwhile, members of the Shambhala governing council are also stepping down, saying that despite the “groundless situation” Shambhala can emerge healthier and more supportive.“We recognize that parts of our system are broken, and need to dissolve in order to make room for real change,” nine members of the leadership body said in a letter.They said they will “exit responsibly,” and have hired Halifax law firm Wickwire Holm to investigate the allegations.The upheaval within the Buddhist community comes after a report last month by Andrea Winn detailed sexual misconduct allegations against Mipham.In the report, multiple unnamed women accuse the Shambhala leader of heavy drinking and using his attendant to “procure women students for his own sexual gratification.”The women describe being torn by their devotion to Mipham as their guru, alleging they were cast out of his inner circle if they resisted his sexual advances. They also alleged that members of the Shambhala leadership were aware or enabled his behaviour.None of the allegations has been proven in court and no charges have been laid.Mipham, who is often referred to as the Sakyong, was unavailable for an interview Monday.Carol Merchasin, the lawyer and sexual misconduct investigator who oversaw the preliminary investigation, said the women interviewed made “credible allegations of sexual assault and/or sexual abuse.”“The pattern of behaviour that their stories establish is compelling,” she said in a memo included in the report.In the letter to the Shambhala community, Mipham’s office said he was entering “a period of self-reflection.”“The Sakyong has decided to step back from his administrative and teaching responsibilities within Shambhala during the independent investigation of these allegations,” Mipham’s office said. “He is also stepping down from his positions and responsibilities at Naropa University.”The private liberal arts college in Boulder, Colo., issued a statement last week calling the accusations against Mipham “credible and believable.”Winn, who oversaw the report into the sexual misconduct allegations, said she was “overjoyed” to learn Mipham has stepped aside.“He’s allowing the flow of goodness to happen and I’m very grateful for that,” she said in an interview Monday. “It had to happen for the community to have an authentic healing process.”Winn said the leadership council’s mass resignation was good move, given that some members were aware of Mipham’s alleged behaviour.The Kalapa Council said there will be a “phased departure” of members to ensure there is a board in place to uphold legal and financial responsibilities.In addition to hiring a law firm, the council also brought in An Olive Branch, an organization members say will serve as a neutral party for receiving allegations of harm, survivor advocacy and consulting on Shambhala’s policies going forward.Winn said it’s unclear what the intention of An Olive Branch will be, and said the law firm had still not reached out to Merchasin.“I still feel no confidence until that law firm is in touch with our investigator and our investigator gives the thumbs up,” she said.last_img read more

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