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first_img Officials from Sonnenblick-Del Rio Development Inc., in which the two men are partners, did not return phone calls for comment. In a phone interview, West denied that he had any inappropriate dealings with Sonnenblick-Del Rio, including providing them with inside information or allowing them to pay for his vacations to Jamaica, Europe and Breckenridge, Colo. Sonnenblick-Del Rio owns three of the four buildings that are the subject of McCauley’s investigation. The fourth is owned by Chase Glendale Services LLC, whose representatives did not return calls. The county spends about $14.4 million in annual lease payments on those four buildings and another office building in Exposition Park. The county owns about 5,100 buildings many of which are for storage and leases 358 additional facilities. “The way we handled these buildings was not specifically provided for in federal regulations,’ Chief Administrative Officer David Janssen said. “We’ve had the same kind of situation in health care where we try to figure out the most aggressive ways to draw down federal dollars for health care.’ But in a March 2003 letter to McCauley, David Low, Program Support Division director for the Department of Health and Human Services, questioned the lease-back deal on a Sonnenblick-Del Rio building in West Los Angeles. He noted that the parties established a private, nonprofit corporation and that the city of Los Angeles issued a tax-exempt bond to finance construction. As part of the deal, the city expects to receive title to the building at the end of the 30- year lease. At the same time, the county entered into a 30- year operating lease with the city for the facility. “Because of recent corporate financial scandals, these types of leases have been under fire by users of financial statements and regulators,’ Low wrote. “We suspect that the county entered into this lease because of its belief that it would receive greater reimbursement under federal and state programs from an operating lease than from a capital lease.’ At the end of the 30-year lease, the county will not own the facility and will have to extend the lease or purchase the building. If the county had sought a capital lease, it would own the building valued at up to $189 million once the lease was complete. Instead, the county now will have to pay $29 million to purchase the facility. The criminal investigation of West follows the prosecution of the Chief Administrative Office’s Real Estate Division lease acquisitions manager, Cheryl Fuerth, 57, of Long Beach. Court records show Fuerth had married Claus Marx, the former director of the CAO Real Estate Division, in 1998 and that the two filed for a confidential marriage license. In her statements of economic interest, Fuerth failed to disclose three properties she and Marx own in Hermosa Beach, Long Beach and Whittier. Originally charged with seven felony counts of perjury and three misdemeanor counts of failing to disclose economic interests, Fuerth pleaded no contest Sept. 15 to one misdemeanor count and will be sentenced Dec. 13. Troy Anderson can be reached at (213) 974-8985 or by e-mail at [email protected] 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 top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Government watchdogs said the investigations raise serious questions about contracting practices at the Hall of Administration. “If these allegations are proven, then all contracts and all permits should be re-examined to determine whether the developers have been providing financial inducements to county employees,’ said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that looks at campaign financing and ethics. McCauley said he expects to finish his investigation soon, adding that his office also is calculating whether the county might have to reimburse the state and federal governments, and for how much. “We are working to determine if claiming these costs from the state and federal governments was appropriate,’ McCauley said. The district attorney’s probe led to West, also known as Charles Mazouch, 55, of South Pasadena, being put on paid leave Sept. 14, the day before investigators served search warrants seeking financial records and vacation photos of West and his wife. Warrants seeking similar documents and photos also were served on developers Robert Sonnenblick and Nelson Del Rio and their wives. The Los Angeles County auditor is investigating lucrative lease-back deals approved by the county supervisors and handled by the county’s real estate unit for potential misuse of state and federal funds, officials say. The probe comes on top of a district attorney’s inquiry of potential improper activity by the head of the agency, officials say. The latest investigation by Auditor-Controller Tyler McCauley was requested by the federal government in 2003. Federal officials had raised concerns about leases for welfare offices and the possible waste of federal dollars intended to help mostly poor people. Under the lease-back deals, the state and federal governments provide a higher rate of reimbursement to counties that lease space rather than own it outright. The District Attorney’s Office said it is investigating the Chief Administrative Office’s Real Estate Division to determine whether its chief, Chuck West, provided inside information to a prominent Westside development company that built three of the office buildings, then leased them back to the county. last_img read more

first_imgDid we just witness the end of the Warriors’ dynasty? The oddsmakers certainly see it that way as Golden State, for the first time in years, is no longer favored to win the next NBA championship.The devastating injuries to both Klay Thompson (torn ACL) and Kevin Durant (torn Achilles), as well as the uncertainty of their free agency statuses, have allowed the Milwaukee Bucks to become the favorite to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy next season.BetOnline.Ag has made the Bucks the top bet for …last_img read more

first_imgThe gorgeous model and actor, having beaten her illness, is right on top now.Her 38th birthday celebrations this year were a grand affair, full of life and new-found joy. She had just conquered cancer to be gifted with a new lease of life. One that she calls her second innings; one she intends to live better, having realised its preciousness. Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, the incredibly gorgeous Indo-Canadian model and actress Lisa Ray has become a poster girl for cancer survival ever since she battled her illness to emerge completely drug-free and on top of herself earlier this year.Back to her routine of shuttling between India and Canada, Lisa has now taken it upon herself to champion the cause of cancer and stem cell transplants amidst other plans: starting work on a book, public speaking across North America, ad campaigns and revisiting her film career. However, even as she juggles roles with lan, she has slowed down. Before her illness, she was “always racing against time”. She now makes sure she has time for herself, which she says is key to good health. Here, Lisa shares with us her journey through cancer.The EncounterEven though I practised yoga regularly, I would feel fatigued all the time. However, with a packed work schedule and loads of travelling, like most people I too had been ignoring the signals my body had been trying to send for a very long time. Disaster struck when I was at a yoga retreat in Kerala last year. Suddenly at the end of my second yoga session, I just wasn’t able to get up from the floor: I lay there shivering for almost an hour. My partner flew down from Canada, and immediately took me back, booking me into a full body Medscan which revealed drastically low haemoglobin levels. My RBC count had fallen to 30, way below the normal range of 90-120. Almost immediately, I was asked to go in for a blood transfusion, after which I started feeling better again.However, a relapse occurred within a very short time and I was asked to go in for a battery of tests again. The last was a bone marrow biopsy that involved drilling into my hip. My partner, who had come with me, fainted at the sight. However, I went through it all with much grit and determination 2010 and waited for the results. All the while, we had a feeling the outcome wouldn’t be all that great. Finally, my partner came back with the reports. Without making it sound overwhelming, he told me I had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a malignancy of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, considered fatal.Face to faceIt may sound a bit unusual, but I felt a strange sense of relief initially. At least I knew what had been wrong with my body for many, many years now. Immediately I wanted to know more about it.Mine was a form of cancer that mostly affected people over 60. Its very rare among people of my age group. This was, of course, difficult to accept, and I later realised that the sense of relief that had come over me initially was actually denial in another form. It was hard to accept that it had happened to me and I was dying. I remained in this state of denial, and sometimes anger, for a good two months, just reading a lot and thinking. Slowly, I gathered my senses, collected myself and knew something had to be done before it was too late. It was then that I miraculously met my Canada-based haematologist Dr Ahmed Galal, whom I now consider my guardian angel. When I met him for the very first time, he told me,”Let’s kick the cancer together”. His fabulous attitude and unorthodox method of treatment helped me cope with things almost instantly. I knew this was the “new normal” and gradually accepted my condition. And thus began a series of chemotherapy sessions and steroid doses.The battle for survivalAlthough I did not lose hair in the initial round of the chemo sessions, being on steroids had caused me to put on a lot of weight. So much so that I couldn’t bear to look at myself. The Toronto International Film Festival was coming up and I was scheduled to walk the red carpet. But I could see I wasn’t glamorous any more, something that had been the basis of my career for many, many years. A lot of people told me not to come out in the open about my illness and to just skip the event. But I followed my heart and decided to use the media attention as a platform to reach out to people about my illness and make multiple myeloma sexy.I wanted to share with everyone that being famous doesn’t ensure a ‘perfect’ life and that we are as vulnerable as anybody else is. It was also the time that I started writing about my condition. Being able to reach out to so many people was empowering and the overwhelming response I received actually gave me the strength to carry on with my treatment which only got intense by the day.I also knew the next round of chemotherapies would cause me to lose my hair, as a result of which I chopped it off myself. I found that so liberating! Having come out in the open about my condition, I was no longer under pressure to sport a glamorous image. Through all this, I had the unflinching support of my partner, a well-known philanthropist in Canada, who has been a cancer survivor himself. We would read together, laugh together and also travel together in the initial months. However, the best part was that he kept me going with his endless positivity throughout the course of the treatment. And after four months of regular chemotherapy sessions, I finally went in for a stem cell transplant on December 25 last year, which was the last stage in my treatment. Yes, I was afraid, but I had to take a chance. I believed in myself and I believed in my doctors. And I survived: I was reborn. After being in hospital a little while longer, I was back in India in February,cancer-free and raring to go.A new lifeWith my cancer in remission, I’m back. Not to just an ordinary life, but an extraordinary one. I’m now more content and aware about every single moment. And I’m completely comfortable with my body without being overtly obsessive about it. Thanks to the insights, I’ve now brought about certain changes to my lifestyle. In short, I have simplified it. I now spend a lot of time with nature rediscovering myself. Cancer has just been one aspect of my life, an experience, not a condition, from which I have emerged wiser. It has been like a wake-up call for me.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

first_imgTORONTO — Marcus Stroman got worn down by a patient Yankees lineup when he faced them in the Bronx last week.The Blue Jays rookie right-hander was more efficient on June 23 — and way more effective.Adam Lind hit a three-run home run in his return to the starting lineup, Stroman won for the first time in three starts and the Toronto Blue Jays beat New York 8-3, handing the Yankees their third straight loss.Stroman (4-2) allowed one run and three hits in a career-high eight innings. He walked one and matched a career high with seven strikeouts. “It was a fantastic job,” Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons said. “We needed that.”Stroman took the loss in a 3-1 defeat at Yankee Stadium on June 17, throwing 98 pitches in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest start of the year.This time, Stroman made sure the pitches didn’t pile up early by pounding the strike zone. “Better overall command,” Stroman said when asked what was working this time around. “Throwing the ball in the strike zone more and making better pitches.”Lind drove in four runs and Dioner Navarro had two RBIs for Toronto. “Lindy is a big part of this offense,” Gibbons said. “He kills right-handers.”The AL East-leading Blue Jays scored as many runs in this game against New York as they managed over three games while being swept at Yankee Stadium last week.New York rookie Chase Whitley (3-1) saw his three-start winning streak snapped, allowing season highs of 11 hits and eight runs over 3 1-3 innings, the shortest of his eight outings this season. Whitley walked three and struck out two.“I couldn’t command the ball at all, like I have been in the past,” Whitley said. “I got away from the game plan.”Mark Teixeira homered off Stroman in the fourth for New York’s only run. The Yankees, who lost 8-0 to Baltimore on June 22, have scored just four runs during their three-game skid, two of them on solo homers by Teixeira. They did not put a runner in scoring position until the ninth inning against the Blue Jays.Girardi said he hasn’t lost faith in his lineup despite the recent run of meager production. “The last three days we’ve struggled a little bit but tomorrow’s a new day,” Girardi said.New York averaged more than five runs per game in the five contests before this skid, and Girardi said more dependable production is a must. “We have to become more consistent,” Girardi said. “That’s one thing that we have to do.”Lind started for the first time since June 14 at Baltimore, when he fouled a ball off his right foot and sustained a bone bruise. He had made three pinch-hit appearances since.Lind hit an RBI single in the first, then added the big blow in Toronto’s six-run, 10-batter second. Jose Reyes drove in a run with a bases-loaded fielder’s choice, Melky Cabrera hit an RBI single and Navarro capped the inning with a two-out RBI double.“That gave us a little breathing room and guys could relax,” said Gibbons, whose team had lost 11 of its previous 15.Teixeira’s two-out blast in the fourth cut it to 7-1, but the Blue Jays answered in the bottom half when Navarro ended Whitley’s outing with an RBI single.New York’s Yangervis Solarte came on defensively in the eighth and snapped an 0-for-28 slump with an RBI single off Chad Jenkins in the ninth. Kelly Johnson added an RBI double before Aaron Loup came on and finished it by getting Brian Roberts to fly out.(IAN HARRISON)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgAt the X-Blades National Youth Champs in September in Coffs Harbour, Tony El Takchi and Jason Stanton entertained the crowds with their antics.To see this and other footage from NYC, click on this link:http://www.austouch.com.au/index.php?id=865last_img

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd chief Woodward reveals recruitment overhaulby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward admits the club’s recruitment team has been completely overhauled.Woodward explained how changes had been made behind the scenes to their scouting. He told fanzine United We Stand: “The system wasn’t set up in the right way. Twelve scouts reporting to one chief scout was more set up to say no – too many exceptions to the process were made historically while this was being fixed.”We also have to hold our hands up and say that recruitment wasn’t at its best in recent years. We feel that we now know who our best scouts are.”The idea is to recruit in a closed environment, rather than listening to the press or getting distracted by conflicting agents’ claims. We try and make cold decisions based on information.”Judge the recruitment department in the coming windows where hopefully we can get a team to be at the level we want to be.” last_img read more

first_imgTennessee fans cheer in support during a game.KNOXVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 16: Fans have painted their bodies in support of the University of Tennessee Volunteers during the game against the University of Florida Gators on September 16, 2006 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Gators won 21-20. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)You don’t have to worry about Kahlil McKenzie Jr. flipping to another school on National Signing Day, Tennessee fans. The five-star defensive tackle basically bleeds orange and white at this point. McKenzie, a 6-foot-3, 354-pound defensive lineman ranked the No. 6 player in the country by 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings, is as passionate a commit as we’ve seen. He’s talked trash about Tennessee’s rival schools. He’s helped recruit other top prospects to Knoxville. And he’s a very big fan of the song, Rocky Top.Here’s the elite recruit blasting Tennessee’s unofficial fight song in his car Tuesday morning. I will be blasting Rocky Top for the rest of the day #VolNation  pic.twitter.com/zeY13auBbm— Kahlil McKenzie Jr (@KM1_Era) February 3, 2015You’ve got a good one in McKenzie, Tennessee fans. The Volunteers’ 2015 class is ranked No. 4 in the country by 247 Sports’ Team Rankings.last_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Cree Nation of Mistissini and Stornoway Diamond Corporation are set to work together on a new diamond mine on Mistissini traditional territory, ten hours north of Montreal.Their agreement, called the Mecheshoo Agreement, will see the Crees of Mistissini supply 50% of the workers for the Renard diamond mine. As well, a share of profits from the diamond mine will also go to the First Nation.It’s being heralded as a new way of working with First Nations, and as APTN National News reporter Danielle Rochette reports, it could bring another boom to an already booming town.last_img read more