Published on October 23, 2013 at 12:59 am Contact Kristin: [email protected] | @kriskross22 Facebook Twitter Google+ When Springfield (Mass.) College takes its home field, at the front of the pack is one of its most valuable team members, right next to the team captains and seniors: a 9-year-old boy, dressed in his very own uniform.Throughout the month of October, the Division III Pride is raising funds for Griffin’s Friends Children’s Cancer Fund at Baystate Health Foundation Inc. in honor of Luke Bradley. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but assistant football coach Marc Riccio said the football program likes to open up its scope for more than just one form of the disease.“We like to just bring awareness to everybody and to the whole community,” Riccio said. “We brought him on the team. He has his own jersey. Sometimes, we’ll go to his school. We send him letters. He really is a member of our football team.”Bradley suffers from a form of cancer and with the help of Team Impact, a college sports adoption program for kids with life-threatening illnesses, the Pride football team has taken the boy in as their own.This time, though, the football program decided to “draft” Bradley. They gave him his own media day, and set up a press conference with all of the players and coaches in attendance. They even made him sign a contract that promised that he would eat breakfast, make his bed, listen to his parents and do well in school.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We gave him a locker in the locker room, and we put his name up on the scoreboard,” assistant coach Cody Flanigan said. “We tried to show him how important he was going to be to our program.”On Oct. 12, the Pride played its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day game, this year against Hobart. Each year, the football team raises funds for a different cancer research organization.This year, Springfield decided to donate the money raised through selling pink T-shirts and souvenir helmets to the foundation where Bradley regularly receives treatments. Currently, he is in remission for his cancer.Bradley regularly comes to team practices and trains alongside the players. Sometimes he calls plays from the playbook, other times he is called on to tackle in a scrimmage.For games, Bradley is there for the coin toss and is in charge of taking the tee off of the field after kickoff. Then, he stands and cheers from the sidelines, often next to teammate and running back Andrew Alty.When Bradley was first adopted by the team, Alty had more one-on-one time with him than others because Alty was sitting out due to an injury. Since then, the two have developed a close relationship.“At first, he’s pretty shy, but once you get to know him, he’ll talk your ear off. He’ll say whatever comes to his mind, whatever is funny,” Alty said. “He’s really positive. If people are feeling down, then they’ll see him and they’ll cheer up.”Because Bradley goes to an elementary school a half an hour away, he doesn’t make it to all of the team’s practices. Sometimes, though, the team comes to him instead. The players have gone to play with him at recess or read a story to his class.They’ve built a strong bond with each other since the beginning of the football season, making him as much a part of the team as possible. And they’ve raised just less than $1,000 for his treatment center, still with a week to go in the month of October.“He does just as much for our guys, if not more than what we’re doing for him,” Flanigan said. “Our guys don’t understand, but they have an idea of kind of what he goes through on a daily basis with those treatments.“Our guys are learning a lot from him. It’s pretty special.” Comments
H2H legal challenge…”other options” can update voters’ listChief Justice Roxane George has ruled that the ongoing House-to-House Registration is not unconstitutional, but noted that it is unconstitutional for qualified persons to be removed from the list.Former Attorney GeneralAnil NandlallChief Justice Roxane GeorgeAt the High Court on Wednesday, the Chief Justice did not grant any of the orders sought by Christopher Ram, who had challenged the constitutionality of the House-to-House Registration and wanted the court to compel the holding General and Regional Elections by September 18.In her ruling, Justice George concluded that the House-to-House exercise being conducted is not unlawfully or unconstitutional. However, the Court did note that it is unconstitutional for qualified persons to be removed from the list if they are not in the jurisdiction or not at their residence during the registration exercise. She further stated that only deceased persons and those otherwise disqualified under Article 159 (2), (3), or (4) are to be removed.Pointing out that the “right to vote and the right to be registered to vote are sacrosanct”, the High Court Judge said “residence requirements from citizens is no longer a qualification for registration”.Ram’s lawyers, who included former Attorney General Anil Nandlall and Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran, had argued in the application that the current registration exercise will disenfranchise many Guyanese who are already on the list.Furthermore, the Chief Justice had noted that while it is not up to the Court to determine whether House-to-House should be held, it is not the only option available to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to update the list. To this end, the Court further noted that it is up to the Elections Commission to determine a way forward within the confines of the constitutional provisions.“The Court did not agree with submissions from the CEO (Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield) that House-to-House is necessary… GECOM may have to consider other options… GECOM cannot operate as in a normal elections cycle,” she said, adding that it has to take into consideration the December passage of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) which has been validated by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).In fact, both Nandlall and SC Ramkarran told reporters after the decision that this aspect of the judgement is significant, since it meant that House-to-House is not mandatory, and more importantly, not the only option for GECOM to revise the voters’ list.“The Court pointed out very emphatically and very clearly that GECOM must now determine which one of the two courses of action it will chose, having regards to the timeframe that are available and that have become exigent upon the passage of a No-Confidence Motion. The Court endorsed our argument that the list can be refreshed with a suitable Claims and Objections period; so the ball is now in GECOM’s court to determine which one of the two courses it will choose, and one will obviously lead to unconstitutionality as the CJ pointed out,” Nandlall contended.But Lowenfield’s lawyer, Roysdale Forde, told reporters that aspect of the decision dealing with the removal of persons from the voters list is flawed.“I believe that it is a serious ground, a serious flaw in the decision and I would advise my client to appeal. The issue was never raised as part of the pleadings in the documents,” Forde contended.Similar sentiments were raised by Attorney General Basil Williams, who said that this is something GECOM will have to look at. In fact, GECOM’s attorney, Senior Counsel Stanley Marcus, told reporters that he will be advising the Elections body today on the way forward.The Claudette Singh-headed Commission will be holding its first statutory meeting today since the appointment of the new Chair. This meeting is expected to yield the Commission’s position on the way forward.Nevertheless, another significant decision handed down by the Chief Justice on Wednesday had to do with the holding of General and Regional Elections.Ram had sought a conservatory order compel the CEO and others to host early elections on or before September 18, 2019 in compliance with the constitutional provisions in Article 106 (6) and (7) and the rulings of the CCJ.However, Justice George, in her ruling, posited that the High Court cannot name a date for when elections ought to be held, especially since this was not done by the country’s highest court – the CCJ.“It is not the role of the [High] Court to establish when elections are to be held… The CCJ did not and could not name a date for when elections are to be held… therefore, this court cannot decisive a date when elections ought to be held,” the Chief Justice ruled.But that aspect of the decision did not sit well with the lawyers representing Ram. In fact, Nandlall told reporters that they will appeal this, since there just cannot be no date for when early elections are to be held, especially since the passage of the NCM was validated, thus, triggering constitutional provisions that caters for early polls.“It cannot be open-ended. The CCJ judgement could not have meant elections will never be held unless Parliament agrees [to an extension of the elections date by two-thirds of all sitting Member of the National Assembly]. Suppose Parliament does not agree? There is always a timeframe implied; the Constitution must be obeyed at its earliest convenience. And so in relation to that, respectfully, I am not impressed with that aspect of the ruling and that certainly will excite the review of an appellate tribunal. We must have a second opinion…,” Nandlall declared.Furthermore, during Wednesday’s ruling, Justice George also dismissed the applications filed by AG Williams for the Court to dismiss Ram’s challenge, and one filed on behalf of the Chief Elections Officer for the Chief Justice to recuse herself from hearing the case.The Court awarded costs in the sum of $500,000 to Lowenfield and other parties against whom Ram’s case was filed. However, both GECOM and the AG will have to pay 75% and 80% of that sum for the cases of the applications they filed that were dismissed.
Fianna Fáil local election candidate John Watson has called for the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan to extend a current Urban Renewal Scheme introduced in Budget 2013 to Donegal. Watson hopes it would revitalise the centre of Letterkenny and surrounding villages and further develop Letterkenny as a tourism hub.Watson told Donegal Daily, “In December last year, the Minister confirmed his willingness to allow the scheme to include other towns which was initially intended only for Limerick and Waterford on a pilot basis. “This obviously was a welcome move for these cities, but I believe that Letterkenny, Ramelton, Milford and Rathmullan specifically needs this designation and would help theses areas develop into leading tourism locations.“It would also assist in tackling the issue of derelict buildings in specific locations in these areas which are doing local businesses no favours when they trying to make a positive impression on local and international visitorsWatson pointed to the 1990’s as a case study, saying there was a similar incentive scheme put in place for qualifying like Letterkenny.It provided a double rent allowance for qualifying buildings in these areas under the 1997 Finance Act. Clearly, the current scheme or an extension of it to our area would have clear parallels but also benefits for Letterkenny and the surrounding villages and there would be a knock-on impact in terms of increased economic activity and jobs in these areas.Watson added, “I believe everyone in these areas are concerned about the legacy issue of derelict buildings and its impact on our towns and villages as tourism locations not to mention for local residents in these areas.“We are rightly proud of our towns and the beauty of the county, however, there needs to be some relief for those businesses which suffered badly as a result of the economic downturn.Watson concluded, “I have already made contact with our Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath TD but I would be hopeful that the local Government T.Ds will take this suggestion back to the Minister for Finance and ensure its introduction in the coming months for this area. ELECTION 2014: WATSON CALLS FOR EXTENDED TAX INCENTIVE SCHEME FOR DONEGAL was last modified: May 15th, 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:Election 2014:JOhn WatsonnewsPolitics