After knocking on the door for several years, GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport had their greatest moment at the 122nd staging of the Penn Relays last week with a win and several top-three finishes, ending as the most successful Jamaican college team in Philadelphia. The Maurice Wilson-coached team had its biggest moment in the Championship of America men’s college 4×100 metres. Entering the meet as the second ranked team, the team of Colin King, Chadic Hinds, Everton Clarke, and Brandon Tomlinson clocked 39.31 seconds to defeat the University of Houston, who finished second in 39.49 seconds. Defending champions University of Technology were fifth in 39.73 seconds. Meanwhile, Andre Clarke was second in the collegiate 400 metres hurdles while Aubrey Allen, Orrin Powell and the men’s 4×400 metres team all finished third. Powell threw 70.35 metres in the javelin; Allen cleared 15.83 metres in the triple jump; while the 4x 400 metres team clocked 3:08.19. Wilson was pleased with the team’s achievement. “We have worked hard all year and we are extremely thankful to God who played a pivotal role in our success,” said Wilson, who is also the technical leader of Jamaica’s senior athletics team. Meanwhile, the University of West Indies duo of Fedrick Dacres (65.19) and Traves Smikle (63.42) finished one-two in the college men’s discus. The University of Technology had two individual second places. Megan Simmonds was second in the college women’s 100-metre hurdles in 13.24 seconds, the same time done by winner, Sasha Wallace of the University of Oregon. Shimarya Williams clocked 11.54 seconds in the women’s 100 metres, behind winner Gabrielle Farquharson of Rutgers in 11.36 seconds. UTech’s 4×200 metres female team anchored by Shericka Jackson finished second in 1:32.69, behind Tennessee in 1:31.84.
Butler-Towns pair 1st for Wolves on All-NBA teams since ’04 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding MOST READ Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film LATEST STORIES Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours In his fifth NBA season, Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their second consecutive playoff berth and the team’s most wins since the 2009-10 season. He set new career highs in points (26.9) and rebounds (10.0) per game in addition to dishing out 4.8 assists per game, second-highest of his career. He also shot a career-best 52.9 percent from the field.Joining Antetokounmpoon on the All-NBA second team are San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.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 crown Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named to the All-NBA second team.It’s the second consecutive season that Antetokounmpo has been named second team All-NBA. He’s the first Buck selected to an All-NBA team in back-to-back seasons since Sidney Moncrief in 1984-85 and 1985-86.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Carpio 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 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Carpio 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 On Wednesday, Sharapova suffered her heaviest defeat at the Slams since her 6-3, 6-0 battering at the hands of Victoria Azarenka in the 2012 Australian Open final.It was her first quarter-final at the majors since Melbourne in 2016 after which she served a 15-month doping ban.Despite her first loss to Muguruza in their fourth meeting, committing 27 unforced errors and getting broken six times, Sharapova said she saw signs of hope in her form as she builds towards Wimbledon next month.It will be her first appearance at the All England Club in three years.“I think my body will need a little bit of rest, but mentally I’m ready to go,” said five-time major winner Sharapova.“I think there are a lot of good things like the way my body has handled the long matches that I have played, the back-to-backs.“Looking at Madrid, Rome, I think that’s always one of the toughest back-to-backs on the calendar, especially on a surface like clay. So to come out of these weeks and feel fairly healthy is a great thing.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Sharapova and Williams were due to clash in the fourth round on Monday but the American pulled out at the last minute of their eagerly-awaited grudge match with injury.It would have been the pair’s 22nd meeting.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 crownThe build-up had been overshadowed by Williams’s criticism of Sharapova’s book ‘Unstoppable’ in which the Russian claimed their feud had started after her 2004 Wimbledon breakthrough triumph.“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon,” Sharapova wrote. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial LATEST STORIES Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours MOST READ Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Columbian bears the brunt of another June Mar Fajardo explosion Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? Russia’s Maria Sharapova reacts during her women’s singles quarter-final match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, on day eleven of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULTMaria Sharapova hit back at Serena Williams’s accusations that the Russian’s autobiography was “100 percent hearsay”, insisting Wednesday that controversial references to her arch-rival are accurate.“When you’re writing an autobiography, I don’t think there is any reason to write anything that’s not true,” said Sharapova after being knocked out of Roland Garros by Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.ADVERTISEMENT “Not long after I heard Serena told a friend, who then told me, ‘I’ll never lose to that little bitch again’.”Sharapova insisted that the book contains no inaccuracies and defended her many references to Williams who has not lost to the Russian since 2004.“I think it would be strange for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years,” said the 31-year-old.“I think there is a lot of autobiographies out in the world, especially in the sporting world, that don’t necessarily speak about whether they were rivals or someone they competed against.“And I think we played many matches. Some of those matches were very defining for me. It would be very strange, I think, if I didn’t write anything about her. I think everyone would ask me questions, as well.”ADVERTISEMENT
The great Ichiro has said “sayonara.”Now 45, Ichiro Suzuki left the Tokyo Dome field in the eighth inning, waving goodbye to the packed crowd amid hugs from Seattle Mariners teammates in a three-minute walk that signaled to all his monumental run was over.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“I have ended my career and decided to retire,” Ichiro said, speaking in Japanese at a news conference after a 5-4 win over Oakland in 12 innings.He said his contract was through the two games in Japan, and said he decided before arriving last week to step away. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Carpio 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 Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title “After the reception I got today, how could I possibly have any regrets?” he said. “I couldn’t play well enough in spring training to earn an extension.”Ichiro went 0 for 4 in his farewell. In his last at-bat, he came up with two outs, a runner on second and a tie score in the eighth. He hit a slow grounder to shortstop and, still hustling the whole way, was barely thrown out at first.He took his spot in right field in the eighth, then was pulled by manager Scott Servais and the walk into history began in front of a sellout of 45,000. He strolled in, turned and waved to the crowd with all of the usually reserved Japanese fans on their feet.To chants of “Ichiro, Ichiro, Ichiro” he was greeted at the dugout — and later in the dugout — by emotional embraces from teammates.Yusei Kikuchi, the Japanese rookie pitcher who started the game in his big league debut, openly broke down crying when he embraced Ichiro.ADVERTISEMENT Ohtani said he watched highlights of Ichiro’s final game when he woke up at Los Angeles Angels’ camp in Arizona.“I still can’t believe it,” he said through a translator. “I won’t be able to see him play anymore but I’ll still have all the memories.”At the New York Yankees’ spring training site, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka said it was hard to describe Ichiro’s legacy on aspiring players in Japan.“It’s too grand of an impact. I can’t even put them into words,” Tanaka said through a translator.As for the reception at Ichiro’s finale, he added: “I think that atmosphere, it only happens to special players. You sense respect. Because of who he is, that happened today.”Ichiro became a one-word, household name in Seattle. It was only right his final professional game came with that team.But it was time for Suzuki to step away. Suzuki hit .205 in 44 at-bats and all nine of his hits last season were singles. This year, too often, Suzuki looked like a 45-year-old trying to hang on.Ichiro admitted he badly wanted to get a hit in Tokyo. And his fans always wanted to see him play in the World Series — his teams made it to the playoffs just twice, never advancing to the Fall Classic.He expressed no regrets, however. Well, maybe one.“I had 3,089 hits in America,” he said. “But I think my wife — who always makes me rice balls before games — said she made 2,800 rice balls. So I wish I could have played long enough so she could have hit 3,000 as well.” Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Kevin Durant helps lead Warriors past Pacers after friend’s death Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “When I look back on my career, I know I will remember today as the most memorable day, without a doubt.”For years, Ichiro’s at-bats were must-see TV in his homeland, with fans tuning in during breakfast and their morning commute. A star before he left, he became an even bigger sensation once he proved that yes, a Japanese hitter could indeed succeed across the ocean in the majors.He said he’d probably train Friday, keeping up his workout routine, but wasn’t sure what comes next. He joked he lacked the “charisma” to be a manager.“I’ll be known as the ‘Man Formerly Known as Ichiro,”” he cracked.Ichiro’s retirement had been anticipated for a while.The outfielder returned to the Mariners before the start of the 2018 season, then transitioned last May into a role as the special assistant to the chairman that allowed him to still be with the team and take part in pregame workouts, but meant he could not play in any games.Ichiro was a 10-time All-Star, an AL MVP and Rookie of the Year and won 10 Gold Gloves. He set the record with 262 hits in a season and wound up with a .311 batting average.He became one of the most important figures in baseball history, and not just because of his stats and awards.Ichiro carried the burden of an entire country in coming to the United States, and his success created opportunity for the countless others who have followed. Whether he wants to accept the label or not, Suzuki was a trailblazer. His influence and importance shouldn’t be understated.He preceded Hideki Matsui, who had a stellar career with the New York Yankees, by two years. In the years since, players like Nori Aoki, Kosuke Fukudome and Kaz Matsui followed. Last year marked the arrival of two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani. LATEST STORIES Kikuchi later took a full minute to compose himself before responding about Ichiro’s impact. And he cried when the two embraced in the dugout after the game.“Since spring training to this day, Ichiro told us it is a gift for him to play in Tokyo,” Kikuchi said speaking through a translator. “But for me, he gave me the greatest gift that I can play with him.”Yet when Mariners teammate Dee Gordon bowed, Ichiro broke into a laugh — like, “not necessary, bro.”Oakland players stood solemnly and watched camera flashes and iPhones catch the historic scene. All over the stadium signs read: “Ichiro we love you” and “Ichiro is Life.” Fans wore his famous No. 51 in all shades, colors and from all eras.The fans got one more chance to salute when he came back on the field after the game and acknowledged their ovations.Ichiro was 0 for 5 in the two regular-season games against the A’s in Tokyo, leaving him with 3,089 hits in 19 seasons — a sure Hall of Fame resume. He had 1,278 before that over nine years in Japan, making him baseball’s all-time hits leader.Ichiro struggled in spring training with only two hits in 25 at-bats. And in two exhibition games in Tokyo against the Tokyo Giants he was 0 for 6.“I really wanted to play until I was 50, but I couldn’t do it,” he said. “It was a way of motivating myself and, if I’d never said it, I don’t think I would have come this far.”Ichiro praised his countrymen, who are famous for being reserved. Not tonight. Not on this night.“Japanese people I have always thought don’t in general express themselves,” he said. “But today’s experience blew that away. They were incredibly passionate tonight. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki returns to the field for waiting fans after Game 2 of the Major League baseball opening series against the Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Thursday, March 21, 2019. The 45-year-old Mariners star announced his retirement Thursday night, shortly after waving goodbye at the Dome. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)TOKYO — At times, it seemed as if he’d go on hitting forever.But on Thursday night, a player who defined baseball at its very best on two continents for a generation, took his final swing.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying View comments
Former representatives Rufus Dio Neufville and Alomiza Ennos are wanted by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature, to answer to questions about their involvement in a scandal at the National Oil Company of Liberia, (NOCAL).The PAC at the weekend issued the statement ordering the two former lawmakers to appear before that August Body based on audit reports from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) linking the former Montserrado County lawmakers to collecting bribes on behalf of members of the House of Representatives for contract purposes in the oil sector.Those to appear before the committee include former NOCAL president, Dr. Foday Kromah, former board chairman Clemenceau Urey, former Chief Clerk Atty. James Kaba (deceased), and Neufville and Ennos.Neufville was recently appointed Chief of Protocol to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after serving at the Ministry of Commerce briefly, while Madam Ennos is in the employ of Liberia Transit Authority.The PAC took the decision after holding two unsuccessful public hearings on NOCAL last week. Authorities of NOCAL were invited to give account of some US$118,400 that the GAC said was paid from NOCAL’s account as “lobbying fees” to the National Legislature in order to ratify petroleum contracts that were pending before the National Legislature.According to the Auditing body, Mr. Urey said that the lawmakers requested for such amount from NOCAL to rapidly ratify the contracts, but there was no evidence provided to justify NOCAL’s claims.The payment of the purported lobbying fees to the Legislature is unlawful, and contravenes Section 12.50(1) of the Penal Law of Liberia which states “a person has committed bribery, a second degree felony, if he knowingly offers, gives or agrees to give to another, or solicit, accepts or agrees to accept from another, a thing of value as consideration for: (a) the recipient’s official action as a public servant, or (b)the recipient’s violation of a known duty as a public servant.”GAC: “Minutes of the NOCAL’s Board of Directors indicated that the Board was also concerned that payment of such amounts to influence the passage of the petroleum contracts of Broadway PLC and Oranto Petroleum was irregular, a form of bribery. The Board’s Chairman in his response to the findings of the audit made these assertions: “After consultation with the authorities we gave into their demands, reluctantly. The first amount of $ 50,000.00 was approved by the Board.”“A scrutiny of the minutes will reveal that we did not have fund at the time; the Board authorized management to borrow it from the LPRC. A second payment was made to the Legislators without the approval of the Board. I was informed by Dr. Kromah, NOCAL’s president that the situation demanded that this amount be paid right away. I do not believe I was even in the Country and many Board members were unavailable.”Board Chairman Urey admitted to the Board’s approval of the US$50,000 borrowed from LPRC for the purpose of bribing the Legislature for the passage of these petroleum contracts. By his admission, he is saying that he and the Board Members were aware of the disbursement from the borrowed US$50,000 from LPRC to a Member of the National Legislature and the Chief Clerk of the House of Representative. Montserrado County District #1 Representative Alomiza Ennos received US$40,000 as authenticated by the receipt issued by her and the Chief Clerk James Kaba received US$1,500 as also authenticated by a receipt issued by him.However, the current leadership of NOCAL said they could not account for the spending as only a single senior member of the regime involved is still in the employ of NOCAL at the moment.Based on said explanation, Representative Edward W. Karfia made a motion to compel those booked in the audit to appear before the committee on Wednesday of this week.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Blizzard Bike Club riders competed in 2 big cyclo-cross events in Edmonton over the weekend.On Saturday, in the 171 rider National cyclo-cross championships, Robin Baillie was the top local rider, placing 4th in the Masters ‘A’ category. Colter Young placed 6th in the junior class, while Pat Ferris was 8th in Masters C.Sunday was the UCI Jim Horner Grande Prix, in which Colter Young placed 8th in the Junior Class, Pat Ferris was 8th in the Masters again, and Robin Baillie was 25th in the Elite Class.- Advertisement -Next up for the BBC is Sunday’s North Peace Cyclo-cross, and don’t forget about the club awards and banquet on Oct. 25th.
Photo: Dayna Manning performs at the kickoff celebration for Bruce Lantz – Johanna Henderson/Energeticcity.caBruce Lantz kicked off his mayoral campaign on the evening of October 23rd with a celebration at local cafe Whole Wheat & Honey. – Advertisement – In his speech to the 50 people present, Lantz laid out his campaign plan, which centres around moving forward in uncertain economic times, reducing crime, listening to the public’s needs and stopping what he calls the “spending spiral” of the current mayor and council. The evening included entertainment by local musician Dayna Manning. Some prominent locals were in attendance, including Salvation Army captain Ben Lippers, former mayor Steve Thorlakson, councillor candidate Theresa Mucci-Rodgers, former Doig River chief Gary Oker and Councillor Dan Davies, who said he was “just there to listen to the platform.”
“We have spoken and I told him he can score 40 goals,” said the former Napoli manager. “He has to improve some things, but he can do it.”Hazard himself has hailed Olivier Giroud as the world’s best target man after the World Cup-winning striker laid on two goals for him.Giroud is yet to find the net for Chelsea this season but already has three assists in five Premier League games while Hazard has found the net five times.And the 27-year-old paid tribute to the Frenchman for creating his first two goals at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.“Olivier’s a target man, maybe the best in the world, I think so,” said Hazard.“When he gets the ball he can hold the ball and we can go in deep with him, so for us it’s a pleasure to play with him.”Despite Chelsea’s fluency in attack, Sarri is aware the Stamford Bridge team must improve their defending.The Italian boss wants to turn Chelsea into the best team in England but says Liverpool and defending champions Manchester City will be the league’s pacesetters.“Eight players joined us this summer,” he said. “So I think it’s normal that in this period we have some defensive problems. We can cope with the problems with the quality in the offensive phase, but not in the defensive phase.“So I have to organise better the defensive phase and the players have to understand that. I think my opinion in this moment, two teams, Liverpool and Manchester City, are better than us.“We have to improve step by step. My target is to become the best team in England in one year, 18 months. That’s the target.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea forward Eden Hazard has been tipped to win the Premier League Golden Boot by his manager Maurizio Sarri © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 17 – Eden Hazard can score 40 goals this season and win the Premier League Golden Boot, according to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri after the Belgium forward scored a hat-trick to maintain the club’s perfect start to the season.Sarri believes Hazard can become the best player in Europe and outstrip even arch poachers Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah following his three goals in a 4-1 victory against Cardiff on Saturday.
Inishowen county councillor Martin Mc Dermott has expressed concern about proposed changes to the Seniors Alert Scheme for pensioners across Donegal.A personal alarm is recommended for elderly people across Donegal.The Glengad public representative says a national tendering process for the supply and installation of personal monitored alarms as well as a range of other measures centred on the operation of the scheme is now on the cards.The Senior Alert Scheme provides assurance, confidence and independence to thousands of older people who want to continue living in their own homes, through a personalised alarm system. Cllr Mc Dermott commented, “I have serious reservations about the centralisation of this important scheme, which will essentially see the monitoring and rollout of this resource taken out of the hands of community groups and handed over to an outside company. This would mark a significant departure from the existing programme, which allows community groups to support the needs of their elderly relatives, friends and neighbours through regular contact and visits.“These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, who have faith and confidence in a system which has served them well. The changes that are proposed, including a new online application system and a centralised financial management service, has unnerved and unsettled many of the SAS users and their families. Despite attempts by the Department of the Environment to clarify the situation there are a series of questions that remain unanswered.“The national tender will change the structure of the current system, and could see community volunteers removed from the decision-making process for choosing an alarm company. If we see significant changes in the providers it will raise concerns about cost increases, equipment maintenance and customer service issues.”He has written to Minister Alan Kelly raising all of these issues and calling for clarity. “Thousands of older people, some of whom are highly dependent on the SAS, will be affected by any changes to the current system. They need to be given peace of mind that their service will still be of the same high standard and that they will be able to maintain contact with the community volunteers who act as a support for them.“The system has been highly efficient and cost-effective and should not be changed without serious consideration and discussion. There has been a lack of consultation to date and I would urge Minister Kelly to rectify this situation before proceeding with any measures which could prove detrimental the success of scheme”.COUNCILLOR ALARMED AT PROPOSED CHANGES IN PENSIONER’S PERSONAL CALL DEVICES was last modified: November 28th, 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:Cllr Martin McDermottdonegalpersonal alarms
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Every so often – with her girlfriends, or after one too many glasses of wine – Mercedes Woodward has a slip of the tongue. But for the most part she sounds “American.” While some people find accents sexy, sophisticated or endearing – like that of a certain governor or some movie stars – the Guatemalan-born Woodward said hers was inhibiting her career. So she did what thousands of other immigrants have done: enrolled in pricey accent-reduction classes. Six months of tongue-twisting diction drills and strenuous mouth exercises paid off for the 39-year-old Agoura Hills executive. With her enunciation more Americanized, Woodward was promoted. She now earns three times the salary she made before the classes and has three secretaries to help her tackle the bigger work load. “Even though we are a melting pot, people don’t tolerate people having an accent that sometimes is hard to understand,” Woodward said. “People get frustrated when they have a lack of communication.” Seizing on the ambitions of many immigrants to fast-track their careers – and the demand from private companies to improve their employees’ conversation skills – speech pathologists and dialect coaches charge about $100 a lesson to deliver what has become known as “accent reduction.” “Accent reduction” – which teaches Brits to enunciate their “r’s” after vowels and Spanish speakers not to roll theirs at the beginning of a word – helps many immigrants enter the American mainstream where they can earn a better living. Moreover, speaking like an “American” can also protect them from subtle and overt forms of discrimination in the workplace, officials say. Services promising to do away with heavy accents have flourished in cities like Los Angeles, where a third of the population is foreign born, speaking upward of 100 languages. Companies like Chicago-based Executive Language Training, which serves high-tech firms nationally, have done very well. Local colleges regularly fill their “accent reduction” classes. And across the region, in heavily immigrant neighborhoods, “accent reduction” classes are advertised on cardboard signs posted along telephone polls and near bus stops. Though nobody tracks the number of these courses – also known as “pronunciation classes”- speech pathologists and others say business is booming. Gina Grantis, director of training at Executive Language Training, has watched her company grow tenfold in the past decade. Giants like General Electric pay her thousands of dollars to train foreign workers in the high-tech field. “The demand has increased because there has been a larger influx of immigrants,” she said. “There are people of Indian descent in the technology center, Chinese in the science and pharmaceuticals, Russians in energy type companies and there are a lot of attorneys of Asian descent that need accent-reduction training. In Los Angeles, you see a lot of Hispanics in all types of manufacturing.” About half of her clients have lived in the United States for years and rose through company ranks. Others are newly arrived, many on foreign work visas. And though they have landed coveted positions, many say that their accents make it difficult for them to be understood and even trusted by their colleagues. Neill D. Hicks runs a low-cost accent-reduction class at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar. When he first opened his business 20 years ago, he said there were only one or two reduction classes offered as extension courses. “Now, virtually all extensions at community colleges and at universities have some form of accent reduction,” said Hicks, who competes with dozens of former actors and speech pathologists offering classes. Like Grantis, many of his students are longtime residents. And while many see their accent as one of their last tangible connections to their homeland, they feel the need to lose it because it becomes a career stumbling block. “The gatekeepers tend to be English speakers. … Unless you speak English well, you can never be the boss,” Hick said. And it rings true for those like Woodward, who, for years, never even heard her own accent, which she said would turn “that” into “dat” and “beach” into an expletive. Then in her 20s, while she was working as a restaurant hostess, another employee blamed Woodward for a misunderstanding. The employee told the guests, “I am sorry this girl doesn’t speak English – she messed up.” Woodward insists she did speak English, but that her accent was too strong. “I think (my accent) stopped me from getting a promotion. My self-esteem wasn’t there,” said the sales executive for Oakwood Worldwide, a corporate housing provider. She took classes at the suggestion of a supervisor. Then promotion after promotion followed. “I didn’t take offense to it. … Now I have increased my sales, and I think that it has something to do with it.” Under the law, employers cannot discriminate against a job candidate or employee with an accent unless it poses a safety hazard or if the job requires oral communication and the accent “materially interferes” with that communication. But with more than 10 percent of the population foreign-born and the number of immigrants continuing to balloon, concern about discrimination is rising. The number of charges filed against employers discriminating based on a person’s accent has doubled nationally from 42 in 1996 to 85 in 2004. Charges peaked in 2000 with 204 filed. And though the numbers are minuscule, officials say they are under reported. “I think places like Los Angeles are getting better, but there are still pockets of resistance to permitting people that speak English with an accent,” said Olophius Perry, regional director for the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission in Los Angeles. “There are certain industries and areas of town where accents are frowned upon in places, like the banking industry.” Garen Petrossian, a 39-year-old Iranian born stock trader by day, said he never cared about his Armenian accent until he tried his hand at acting. “When I talk to my acting instructors or peers, they say Middle Eastern and Russian mobsters are in great demand, but I don’t want to be typecast like that,” he said, noting he now takes dialect lessons to rid himself of the sing-song inflections of Armenian. But even with hours of practice, the inflections will never truly erode, expert say. They are only camouflaged, and often not fully. “Some people don’t want to do this – they feel like they are losing a part of their identity,” said Joel Goldes, the self-titled dialect coach, who works mostly with actors looking for work in Hollywood. “I don’t like to think I am taking away an accent. I am teaching them another.” Rachel Uranga, (818) 713-3741 firstname.lastname@example.org