Spank them…

first_img…for breaking the law?If there was any need for proof that Khemraj Ramjattan has become even less than a “Christmas blow-blow”, there is his threat to “spank” the policeman who disobeyed his charge to care for the new Chinese vehicles.Why should a police rank listen to a man who can’t even comment on the President’s unconstitutional intrusion into appointments to the Police Force, when he (Ramjattan) can’t even make a suggestion on deploying the Crime Chief!?First Ramjattan gushed as to how Blanhum was the best thing since sliced bread, and that he (Blanhum) would be back at work ASAP because of his aforementioned excellence in solving crimes. But after Blanhum was effectively demoted by being posted as assistant to the commander of “A” Division, Ramjattan now claims this is “no big thing”! He obviously means he (Ramjattan) is “no big thing” with the Administration and Police brass. After all, the demotion of Blanhum can only mean Ramnarine thinks Ramjattan’s judgement is flawed! After President Granger’s call for a CoI following the handling of the investigation into the ‘assassination threat”, shouldn’t Ramjattan now demand a CoI into Ramnarine’s stiffing him?But your Eyewitness wonders about Ramjattan’s righteous indignation at the Policeman’s lapse, which caused him to think of “spanking”. Was Ramjattan going to put the Policeman over his knees for the spanking…or was he going to bend the fellow over and use a “wild cane”? Then again, this spanking business is quite a hit, your Eyewitness understands, in this era of sexual liberalism. Does Ramjattan go in for whips and chains? And does he have a Dominator’s costume? The mind boggles!!It also boggles because Ramjattan has been so silent on the “Case of the Buried Bonus”. He’s the Chairman of the “major” coalition partner with the PNC/APNU, so doesn’t he think he owes some explanation to his AFC supporters as to how their Leader could conspire with Jordan to bury US$18 million – AND THEN LIE ABOUT IT!! Doesn’t Ramjattan’s blood boil and make him rise up in anger to spank Trotman’s bamsie?But hold it!! Maybe Trotman did tell his Chairman about the loot! After all, they must’ve buried the old hatchet now that they both advised President Granger over coffee and scones that it was okay to reject Jagdeo’s list!And this brings us to a very serious point: It’s not just Trotman and Jordan who must be investigated; everyone who knew of the deep-sixing of Government funds must face the heat.That they might’ve been ordered or told about it in confidence is irrelevant. Once they suspected an illegality was being committed, they’re compelled to spill the beans!Bun dem, not ‘spank them”!…for knocking ChineseOnly with the PNC!! That’s all your Eyewitness could think when he read Finance Minister Jordan’s reply when asked why Chinese firms are snagging all the big contracts. The question, of course, was prompted by the PNC’s persistent and strident criticisms of the PPP Administration when THEY were using Chinese for projects. The criticism reached a crescendo over the Marriott, which elicited picketing and protests.This is what Jordan said: “If the Chinese companies are coming and winning the bids, what can you do? Is not to throw up your hands. These firms are bringing a level of technology that we don’t have. They are bringing a level of efficiency that we don’t have. Let’s call a spade a spade. A typical example is the Marriott. At what stage the Marriott would have been today if it was being built by a local company? This is not chastising the local company, this is a reality situation.”Is Brassington now gonna get an apology?…for Soylent green?Your Eyewitness noticed a celebratory occasion involving the patriotic folks running our National Trust. He immediately wondered what happened to their protest over President Granger (illegally) painting State House green. A negotiation for another colour? Even a slap on the wrist? A spanking?last_img read more


first_imgThe kinesiology major had a breakout first season on the Blues rowing team, helping U of T to a bronze-medal finish in the heavyweight fours at the OUA championships while competing in both the eights and women’s 2- at the 2017 Canadian University Rowing Championships in Victoria.  Print Friendly Version For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics. Athletes were selected based performances at the 2018 Speed Orders – National Team Trials event from June 21-30 in London, Ontario. The Varsity Blues rowing team opens their 2018 season at the Guelph Invitational on Saturday, September 15.center_img University of Toronto Varsity Blues rower Kendra Wells has been selected to don the Red and White at the 2018 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, July 25-29, in Poznan, Poland. A native of Paris, Ont., Wells will compete in the women’s eight in Poland. Story Linkslast_img read more

OSWI team performs 2 corneal transplant surgeries

first_imgA team of visiting ophthalmologists from the Caribbean who are in Guyana for the preparation of the 28th Annual Conference of the Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies (OSWI) recently conducted two corneal transplants on patients at the Georgetown Public Hospital’s Eye Clinic.The Hospital and the Public Health Ministry have been hosting the visiting team of doctors from Trinidad and Barbados since October 19. Tuesday was their last day in the country as they concluded their preparatory activities for the conference, which will be hosted in Guyana from July 5-8, 2017.OSWI is a professional society of ophthalmologists from across the Caribbean and usually rotate its annual meetings between the various member countries. This is the first time Guyana will be hosting this conference.During the visit, the team volunteered to perform surgeries at Georgetown Public Hospital’s Eye Clinic and saw some 50 patients. Among the procedures performed were six silicone oil removals, fourteen cataract surgeries and two diabetic laser procedures, along with the two corneal transplants. The corneas used were donated to the Caribbean Eye Institute by the Lions Eye Bank of Texas.The visiting team consisted of Dr Nigel Barker, OSWI President from Barbados; and from Trinidad and the Caribbean Eye Institute, Dr Deo Singh, Dr Sonja Johnston, Dr Terrence Allan and Dr Rishi Sharma, along with two nurses and Sasha Hossein from the Secretariat of OSWI.The team also participated in a World Sight Day Continuing Medical Education (CME) Session for eye-care professionals, general practitioners and students last Sunday at the Herdmanston Lodge, Queenstown.last_img read more

Hamilton can land KO at typhoon-threatened Japan GP

first_imgHowever, a wild weekend of weather is promised at Suzuka which could mean disrupted practice, chaotic qualifying and a wet race punctuated by safety cars.Japan’s weather bureau said Wednesday that Super Typhoon Hagibis was projected to hit Tokyo, some 300 kilometres (185 miles) east of Suzuka, on Saturday.“The Honshu main islands will see heavy rains from as early as Friday, and the peak of the bad weather will be on Saturday and Sunday,” Japan Meteorological Agency official Yoshinori Muira told AFP.French driver Jules Bianchi crashed in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix after a typhoon brought wet conditions and reduced visibility to the Suzuka circuit.He died of his injuries the following year, becoming the first and only driver killed as a result of a Formula One racing accident since 1994.– Ferrari resurgent –Ferrari’s resurgence since the summer break rattled Mercedes and Hamilton as the Italian marque sped to a hat-trick of grands prix wins.But the Maranello outfit’s failure to turn Charles Leclerc’s pole position into another win at Sochi gave Mercedes a surprise one-two.It also handed Hamilton a 107-point advantage over the Monegasque with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a further three adrift.Sebastian Vettel is all but out of the hunt, 128 points behind the Englishman.Hamilton knows a solid result will put him in pole position to wrap up the title in Mexico on October 27, but he insists he is not yet dreaming of his sixth title — a total matched only by Michael Schumacher.“I just don’t try to think about it,” Hamilton said after winning in Russia, aware of Ferrari’s performance edge. “It’s getting harder and harder as the season goes on.“Of course the races are counting down but we are just trying to take things one race at a time, put one foot in front of the other and not stumble.”– ‘Suzuka is incredible’ –Rain or shine, Suzuka has the ingredients to be a classic — a rejuvenated Red Bull team pressing the top two, plus a circuit renowned for exciting racing with sweeping bends and dramatic elevation changes.“It’s going to be awesome,” said Hamilton of the race which will draw fans in huge number despite being staged during a Rugby World Cup which has captivated Japan.“Suzuka is incredible, it’s one of the most exciting parts of the year and now so more than ever before because you’ve got three solid, incredibly fast teams pushing each other.”Not happy: Charles Leclerc (right) was denied a potential third win of his rookie season at Ferrari season in Russia because of the team’s botched tactics © AFP / Dimitar DILKOFFLeclerc was denied a potential third win of his rookie season in Russia because of the team’s botched tactics but sees Japan as another great chance.“We’ve been quick in Singapore, we’ve been quick in Monza and both of them are the complete opposites so there are no reasons for us to be slow in Japan. But it doesn’t mean that we will have an easy life,” said Leclerc.“I’ve only been to Suzuka once but it’s a track I loved. It was just a really great experience, so I’m really looking forward to going back.”The Silver Arrows’ unexpected one-two in Sochi means Mercedes can seal a record-equalling sixth successive constructors’ championship this weekend if they manage to increase their lead over Ferrari by 14 points or more.0Shares0000(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag to win the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka a year ago © POOL/AFP / ISSEI KATOTOKYO, Japan, Oct 9 – Lewis Hamilton may not be able to clinch a sixth world championship at the typhoon-threatened Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, but knows he can knock all but teammate Valtteri Bottas out of the title race.There are only 104 points to be won after Japan and a victory for Hamilton to follow his triumph in Russia will leave only Finland’s Bottas able to pass the Englishman.last_img read more

Atlanta fans have a reason to cheer

first_imgFrom news services There were plenty of Falcons fans wearing No. 7 jerseys at the Georgia Dome. They got a chance to cheer for Michael Vick’s replacement. Joey Harrington made a good first impression on Atlanta fans by throwing two touchdown passes Monday night in a 24-19 exhibition victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a much-needed salve for a franchise trying to get past the stunning downfall of its most dynamic player. “It’s not something we can sweep under the rug,” Harrington said. “Mike is definitely in a bit of trouble, but he’s still a member of this team, still a member of this family.” “I’m not going to break out there and make plays spontaneously with my feet,” he said. “I’ve got to make them with my head and with my arm.” After the rough start, No. 13’s luck changed. Harrington completed his first six passes, including a 28-yard touchdown to Adam Jennings. After Allen Rossum put the Falcons in scoring position again with a 59-yard kickoff return, Harrington hooked up with Dwayne Blakley on a 29-yard completion, then flipped a 12-yard pass to Jerious Norwood for another TD. Harrington played the first possession of the second half, guiding the Falcons into field goal range for Billy Cundiff’s 37-yarder. ETC.: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis joined a long injury list for Cincinnati. Lewis, who had outpatient surgery last Wednesday to repair torn tendons in his left ankle, watched from the press box as 14 of his players missed the preseason game against Atlanta with injuries. Assistant coach Paul Alexander filled in for Lewis. Lewis wore a cast as he watched practice from a golf cart the day after the surgery, but he took a safer perch for the preseason game. Bears’ Briggs charged Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after crashing his Lamborghini and leaving it alongside an expressway on the city’s North Side, Illinois State Police said. After meeting with police, Briggs also was cited for failure to give immediate notice of an accident and improper lane usage, said Master Sgt. Luis Gutierrez. Briggs was released after posting $100 bond. He is scheduled to appear Oct. 4 in a Cook County court. “As a result of interviewing Mr. Briggs, it was determined that he was the driver of his 2007 Lamborghini,” police said in a statement. Officials said the 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago, which had crashed into a light pole, was discovered around 3:15 a.m on Interstate Highway 94. Bears coach Lovie Smith said the team would not discipline Briggs, whose “spirits were good for being in a one-car accident.” Briggs’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was not available for comment, according to his brother Jason, who works for Rosenhaus Sports Representation. Jason Rosenhaus also declined comment. A Giant injury Former Pro Bowl selection David Tyree of the New York Giants will be sidelined up to six weeks with a broken left wrist. Tyree will have surgery, Coach Tom Coughlin said, adding that the team was willing to keep him on the roster in hopes of getting him back. The five-year veteran was hurt Saturday during the 20-12 preseason loss to the New York Jets. Coughlin said Tyree did not report the injury after the game and had swelling in the wrist Sunday. X-rays found the break. Dwight released Veteran wide receiver Tim Dwight was among eight players released by the Jets. The Jets reached the 75-man roster limit a day ahead of the cutdown deadline by also releasing defensive end Darrell Adams, defensive tackle Zarnell Fitch, running back Tony Hollings, cornerback Rayshaun Kizer, offensive lineman Nick Smith and wide receivers Dante Ridgeway and Juan Wong. Dwight, in his 10th season and second with the Jets, was on the physically unable to perform list all summer. He had 16 catches – nine on third-down plays – for 112 yards before he injured a foot and missed the last five regular-season games and New York’s playoff game at New England. Dwight was also the team’s primary punt returner with a 10.4-yard average. Around the league Cardinals: The team placed starting right tackle Oliver Ross on injured reserved with a triceps injury, ending his season. Arizona also placed wide receiver Ahmad Merritt on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Chargers: Tight end T.J. Cottrell, the son of defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, was one of 10 players cut. The Chargers also placed running back Tyronne Gross on injured reserve with a knee injury. The team must release one more player by today. Dolphins: Linebacker Joey Porter returned to practice less than three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, and he was optimistic he’ll play in the season opener Sept. 9 at Washington. Panthers: As guard Jeremy Bridges practiced with his teammates, his lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf for a misdemeanor assault charge for pointing a gun at a woman outside a strip club. Attorney George Laughrun said a trial date was set for Oct. 2. Raiders: Coach Lane Kiffin narrowed his choice for a starting quarterback down to two players, but he isn’t ready to announce whether Josh McCown or Daunte Culpepper has won the job. Both will play in Thursday’s preseason finale in Seattle, with McCown starting and Culpepper coming in as his backup. Each quarterback has started one game in the preseason. McCown got the call against Arizona on Aug. 11, and Culpepper took his turn last week against St. Louis. Ravens: Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith has earned the job as the team’s third-string quarterback after former UCLA quarterback Drew Olson was cut. Vikings: The team traded an undisclosed draft pick in 2009 to get veteran backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb from the Philadelphia Eagles. The 34-year-old Holcomb is entering his 12th season and has 21 career starts. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The day began with Vick pleading guilty to federal dogfighting charges in Virginia, followed a short time later by Falcons owner Arthur Blank saying he won’t cut the quarterback immediately, mainly because of salary-cap issues rather than any desire to bring him back two or three years from now. Against that wrenching backdrop, Harrington and the Falcons (2-1) played their first home game of the preseason. Small groups of dueling protesters faced off outside the Georgia Dome, while hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of fans showed their support for Vick by wearing his jersey – the best seller in team history. The Falcons spent the day trying to avoid an overload of news about the Vick case, but it was virtually impossible to watch TV without catching some of the massive coverage. “I would be lying if I said I didn’t” see any of it, Harrington said. “Between the Cartoon Network and NFL Films, I stopped by CNN once or twice.” Harrington received a smattering of applause when he trotted on the field for Atlanta’s first offensive series. He was sacked on his very first snap, a jarring reminder the Falcons no longer have the quarterback who rushed for 1,000 yards last season. last_img read more

Airport entrance to be repaved

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BURBANK – The main roadway entrance to the Bob Hope Airport at Hollywood Way will be closed from 6 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Sunday for repaving before the Thanksgiving holiday traffic begins, said airport chief Victor Gill. During the closure, traffic will be diverted to the airport’s Empire Avenue entrance along the south side of the airport, opposite the airport train station. All traffic leaving the airport will exit at the same spot. Detour signs will be posted for drivers to follow. The improvements at the Hollywood Way main airport entrance will align the airport roadway with Thornton Avenue, add a second left-turn lane from the airport onto northbound Hollywood Way, and provide a dedicated right-turn-only lane from the airport onto southbound lanes of Hollywood Way. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Pedestrian crosswalks will also be provided across Hollywood Way to the airport on both north and south sides of the intersection.last_img read more

L.A. second-safest big city

first_imgSimi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Santa Clarita have long ranked among the safest cities in America, but Los Angeles? In fact, with crime on the decline, L.A. now stands as the second-safest U.S. city among those with more than 1 million residents, based on per-capita statistics released Tuesday by the FBI. Los Angeles’ suburban neighbors historically score well among cities with populations over 100,000. And Los Angeles’ feat is all the more remarkable, officials said, because its police force – roughly one-fourth the size of No. 1-ranked New York City’s – patrols a sprawling 469 square miles. “It’s a feather in the cap of the officers who work here,” said Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton. “Continued crime reduction is what we take great pride in in the department.” And at a downtown news conference, Bratton also gave a brief overview of the city’s plan to deter crime on Skid Row. An American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit has prevented the LAPD from arresting homeless residents camped on downtown sidewalks. “I’m not proud we have the largest open drug market in America,” Bratton said of the crime that plagues the homeless district. “None of us should be proud. It’s a disgrace.” Apprehending drug dealers and addicts with the help of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s, Health and Probation departments remains a clear priority for Bratton. But the chief also reiterated the city’s critical need for more police officers to quell gangs and other criminal activity. Officials say they have identified 178 gangs whose members sell drugs in the downtown area. “Gangs are still our source of violent crime,” Bratton said. “One, we’re small in size as a department. Two, we have a great deal of gang problems and, three, this is a large city.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the crime statistics demonstrate the city’s commitment to law enforcement. “It’s a reflection of the tremendous work by the men and women of the LAPD and the strong leadership of Chief Bratton,” the mayor said in a statement. “It also underscores the need to expand the Police Department by the 1,000 officers we are seeking.” City Council President Eric Garcetti said the FBI numbers confirm the city’s progress in dealing with crime issues, but that more still needs to be done. “There are still too many neighborhoods where people don’t feel safe,” Garcetti said. “We have set aside more money to hire more police and, hopefully, we will soon start to see more officers deployed. “We are on the right track and the city is safer than at any time I can remember in my life, but we can’t rest on our laurels. It is something we need to work on constantly.” Councilman Jack Weiss, who chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee, said the reduction in crime shows that the city has been on the correct path. “Ever since Chief Bratton has come here, we have seen declines in crime and it seems like we have been able to hold it down,” Weiss said. “That’s not to say we can’t do more, but I have confidence we are moving in the right direction.” However, Councilman Bernard Parks, whom Bratton replaced as police chief, questioned the validity of the statistics, noting that ways of reporting some domestic-abuse and theft cases have changed. “We have changed the crime we count as Part One crimes, so I don’t know if we can trust any of these figures,” Parks said. “We made a decision to not count certain crimes, so we don’t know what we have going on out there.” LAPD officials said they made the changes to meet federal guidelines. Despite the statistics, residents voiced skepticism about the safety of L.A.’s streets. “How can they say it’s safe?” asked Max Garcia, 36, of Northridge. “They should take a few rides through Pacoima and Van Nuys. It’s filled with gangs.” Many remained suspicious of the list of safe cities, given their day-to-day experiences living and working in an area where they’ve either seen or experienced crime. “I still wouldn’t leave the doors unlocked in my car,” said John Wright, 27, of Winnetka, who grew up in a tiny Illinois town where neighbors were trusted friends and doors were never locked. But his concept of safety changed dramatically 10 years ago, when he moved to Southern California and locking up the house became a normal part of life. Still, his car has been stolen, his garage broken into and all his tools ripped off. He chuckled at the notion that Los Angeles could rank high on any safe-city list. Sara Llanos, 65, of North Hollywood recalled that just a year ago, a man pressed a knife against her side and robbed the Panorama City dry cleaners where she worked. “I’ve heard of other robberies in the neighborhood,” she said and glanced out the window of her Tarzana shop. “We have to be very careful now.” Weaving extensions into her client’s long brown hair, hairdresser Erica Barrett of Reseda said she frequently hears gunshots and definitely doesn’t feel safe. “There are too many gangs,” she said. “There are always shootings.” Sherman Oaks’ Moe Hutchison was puzzled that Los Angeles is deemed safer than either Phoenix, Ariz., or Dallas, Texas, where he’s lived previously and which were ranked as Nos. 9 and 10, respectively. His car has been burglarized, but he never reported it, figuring that the LAPD had more pressing crimes to investigate. He wondered how many others haven’t reported crimes, and whether those numbers would alter the city’s standing. “I wouldn’t say I feel safe in L.A,” the 36-year-old said. “But I don’t feel unsafe.” Staff Writer Rick Orlov contributed to this report. (818) 713-3664160Want 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 MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleThe statistics are based on each city’s population, number of police officers, and total violent crimes reported, including homicide, robberies and assaults. The FBI doesn’t rank the cities, but releases the raw numbers, based on information provided by local agencies, said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI. The figures showed that violent crime nationwide rose 2.3 percent from 2004 to 2005, while property crime fell 1.5 percent. Los Angeles, however, showed drops of 1.1 percent in violent crimes and 9.9 percent in property crimes. In the San Fernando Valley, violent crimes ticked up 1.8 percent, while property crimes plunged 20 percent. And homicides in L.A. fell 3.4 percent from 2004 to 2005, when 355 cases were reported. That’s a significant improvement from 2002 – the year Bratton was hired – when Los Angeles was singled out as the homicide capital of the nation with a total of 656 slayings. The crime statistics were released the same day as Bratton’s performance evaluation by the Police Commission. last_img read more

Top educators put young minds first

first_imgUNIVERSAL CITY – They can turn science into game shows, history into classroom theater and school into a stage for lifelong learning. They’re the dynamos of the blackboard recalled by students years after chalk dust vanishes into daily life. On Friday, 16 of the 80,000 educators in Los Angeles County were named Teachers of the Year during the largest such contest in the state. Five of the winners hailed from San Fernando Valley area schools. “What you do will turn children’s lives around,” Darline P. Robles, superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, said during the 25th annual banquet, attended by 700 teachers at the Sheraton Universal Hotel. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“Thank you for making a difference in children’s lives and the lives of their families. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.” Dubbed the “Sweet 16,” the recipients were selected from 67 finalists. They will now compete in the state contest, with that recipient representing California at the national level. Among them is Jennifer Almer, who teaches second grade at Joaquin Miller Elementary School in Burbank, where she brings history to life through classroom re-enactments. “We become the people we study,” said Almer, 31, who recently taught her students about Ellis Island. “We dress up. We have IQ tests, quarantines. We change our names. Some people make it through; others are deported. “It’s involvement, it’s taking kids as they are and moving them as far as they can go. I don’t believe in stupid kids. All kids have smarts.” The top teachers spoke of leading children to want to learn, and of believing in those entrusted to their care. Of singing “Zippity Doo-Dah” before unlocking their classrooms and “expecting great things will happen today” – and they do. Of half-eaten sandwiches, piles of ungraded papers, of lesson plans at home that can eat into time with family. In all, they spoke of the power of the teacher to help youngsters grow to lead rich and fulfilling lives. “It’s incredible,” said Alan Sitomer, a Teacher of the Year from Lynwood. “What we do really matters.” Castaic Middle School teacher John B. de Lemos recalled leaving the profession to become a chiropractor but being drawn back to the passion of teaching. “I’m accused of being a game-show host – firing questions, keeping the kids on their toes, giving them motivational points,” said de Lemos, 31, who makes a game out of his science and health classes. “While I’m entertaining them, they don’t realize that I’m sneaking in the science along with the fun.” Ruth Kritz, who teaches computer tech and physical education at A.E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas, has engaged each and every student for 26 years in the classroom. “I really believe in kids, truly,” said Kritz, of West Hills. “I believe that all kids can be successful. You have to feel what their passions are, what they love. Kids are our future, it’s important they know that we believe in them.” Laura Arrowsmith was seated in an 11th-grade history class studying the likes of Lewis and Clarke when she suddenly knew she would teach history. Today, the teacher at West Ranch High School in Saugus aims to make teaching social studies and history fun – and stress-free. “I want my students to become civic-minded, knowledgeable, skilled readers, skilled writers,” said Arrowsmith, of Saugus. “By the time they are my age, they will have forgotten their history, but they will be solid readers, solid writers and good thinkers – that will stay with them forever.” When Dawna Countryman was in kindergarten in Los Angeles, family strife at home compelled her teacher to sometimes let her stay the night. And when her mother had to get on a bus at dawn, her second-grade teacher would make it a point to open her classroom early so that Dawna had a warm place to sit. In high school, it was her teachers who helped her get scholarships to camp and college. Now a fifth-grade teacher at Tesoro del Valle Elementary in Saugus, Countryman has become the same kind of advocate for her students. “Connecting, motivating, expecting the best from my scholars,” said Countryman, 41, of Saugus. “I’m as involved in their learning as they are. “It’s validating because I make the same connection with my students that my teachers made with me.” (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more