Road to…

first_img…a dictatorshipIt’s said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, if that’s so the road to a dictatorship, on the other hand, is paved with official actions that place power over the people in the hands of individuals and not institutions. Or like Burnham did – create institutions that are one and the same as self-selected men. Did anyone ever think Burnham intended the powers authorised by his 1980 Constitution were to be exercised by his political opponents?The Constitution was just a fig leaf to hide the dirty big secret of the existential dictatorship embodied by Burnham. And we come to the powers of the SARA Bill now being conferred on the SARA Head, Clive Thomas. Which was recently staunchly defended in the press by fellow adviser in the Ministry of the Presidency, Tacuma Ogunse. Purely by serendipity or coincidence, Ogunseye and Thomas are also Executive Members of WPA and members of ACDA!Now, what could these powers be that they elicited concerns from the Guyana Human Rights Association, Transparency International, the Bar Association etc that can’t be accused of being alarmists, or in bed with the big, bad Opposition? First of all, you have the fact that it’s not SARA the Agency that’s a corporation – but the Director Thomas!! The man is a corporate sole of an Agency that has no soul!Imagine Thomas can demand any information from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Commissioner of Police, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Head of the Special Organised Crime Unit, Chairman of the Integrity Commission, Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority, Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Head of CANU, Chairman of the Gold Board and Chairman of the National Procurement and Tender Administration! And this is so even though some of these agencies are constitutionally forbidden from sharing info excepting in specified cases. Now, Thomas will be doing the “specifying”.Thomas will also decide which of the cases he’ll prosecute through the DPP. In this he has been empowered to act as if he’s the Police! But in any case, he can explicitly demand from their respective heads – Police powers, immigration officer powers, customs officer powers and revenue officer powers!! Why would anyone with the slightest knowledge of Guyana’s previous PNC regime give any one man such sweeping powers? Even if there were some assets filched – which both Jagdeo and Ramotar concede must’ve happened – isn’t the SARA Bill like using a hammer to kill a mosquito on Guyanese heads?Even Burnham didn’t have these powers – yet Rodney called him “King Kong”.What say Thomas, who with, Ogunseye echoed Rodney with clenched fists thrust into the air??!!…City HallCity Hall’s flailing around frenetically trying to work out something to save the Parking Meter Contract with some “amendments”. But that’s like putting lipstick on a pig! Folks are also wondering why the PNC isn’t saying anything about the matter – that’s fast developing tsunami like features.  Well, the City Hall Gang of Four are all PNC – two in the Executive for that matter. One possibility that must be considered is there are others higher up the PNC food chain who’re also neck deep in whatever graft it took to sign away the Georgetown to this bunch of grifters.These fellas from Smart City may not be up to the level of Meyer Lansky who ran Havana on behalf of the mob before Castro kicked them out. But they’re both convicted criminals who served prison time in bright orange   jumpsuits and would’ve made some serious contacts behind barsThe PNC types are worried not to save their faces but their necks!!…Presidential collisionAG Basil Williams, SC claims the CJRC can’t challenge President Granger’s revocation of the Red House lease. Article 182 places a President above civil suits.But since President Ramotar ISSUED the lease, shouldn’t the court decide where Granger gets the power to revoke the act of another President?last_img read more

Schumi quickest, Webber on pole

first_img0Shares0000MONTE CARLO, Monaco, May 26 – Michael Schumacher rolled back the years on Saturday with the fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, although Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber will start the race from pole position.In this season of the unexpected and the unpredictable, few could have suggested that the 43-year-old German, a seven-time champion who has been under fire for his poor form, would have produced such a performance ahead of the season’s most glamorous race. But he did it in astonishing fashion with a flying late lap in his Mercedes around the twisting barrier-lined street circuit to outdo the Red Bull of Webber.It was a great lap, but to little real avail because he brought a five-place grid penalty with him to the Monaco race weekend from the Spanish Grand Prix, following his collision there with Brazilian Bruno Senna of Lotus.As a result, pole will be taken by Webber, who posted the second fastest lap.Schumacher’s best lap of 1min 14.301secs stunned his team and his rivals and he drove a lap of the circuit with one finger in the air in celebration before blowing kisses to the fans and then kissing his car.It would have been the 69th pole position of his astonishing career and would have given him a great opportunity — having made his comeback after a three-year retirement — to deliver a 92nd win. But, from sixth, it is a different story.Fellow German, and Mercedes team-mate, Nico Rosberg was third fastest ahead of Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Lotus, two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and his team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa.Finn Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 champion, was eighth for Lotus ahead of Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams and defending champion German Sebastian Vettel, who qualified 10th for Red Bull.Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn said of Schumacher’s efforts: “I have to confess it took a little tear from my eye. He’s been in good shape all weekend.“It all came together in qualifying. The penalty is frustrating but that’s the way it is.“Making the best of the tyres is going to be the critical thing. That’s going to be the next challenge.”STARTING GRID1st rowMark Webber (AUS/Red Bull-Renault)Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes-AMG)2nd rowLewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus-Renault)3rd rowFernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari)Michael Schumacher (GER/Mercedes-AMG)4th rowFelipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari)Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Lotus-Renault)5th rowSebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull-Renault)Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Force India-Mercedes)6th rowKamui Kobayashi (JPN/Sauber-Ferrari)Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)7th rowBruno Senna (BRA/Williams-Renault)Paul di Resta (GBR/Force India-Mercedes)8th rowDaniel Ricciardo (AUS/Toro Rosso-Ferrari)Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso-Ferrari)9th rowHeikki Kovalainen (FIN/Caterham-Renault)Vitaly Petrov (RUS/Caterham-Renault)10th rowPastor Maldonado (VEN/Williams-Renault)Timo Glock (GER/Marussia-Cosworth)11th rowPedro de la Rosa (ESP/HRT-Cosworth)Charles Pic (FRA/Marussia-Cosworth)12th rowNarain Karthikeyan (IND/HRT-Cosworth)Sergio Perez (MEX/Sauber-Ferrari)Note – Michael Schumacher relegated from 1st place on grid to 6th. Pastor Maldonado starts in 10th row after 10-place penalty0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Enbridge offers $11.4 billion in stock to investors in four affiliate companies

first_imgThe plan, if accepted on the proposed terms, will have a neutral impact on Enbridge’s current three-year financial guidance and result in a positive impact after 2020, it said Thursday.Monaco said the company is aiming to complete the transactions by the fourth quarter of 2018.Earlier this month, the company announced more than $3 billion in asset sales in a pair of deals including a $1.75-billion agreement to sell a 49 percent stake in a group of renewable power assets to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.In a separate deal, Enbridge said it will sell Midcoast Operating LP to an affiliate of private equity firm ArcLight Capital Partners LLC for about $1.44 billion.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – A U.S. agency’s move to kill off a tax loophole enjoyed by certain Enbridge Inc. pipeline subsidiaries in the United States has prompted the company to launch an $11.4-billion initiative to buy back those entities and fold them into a simplified corporate structure.And the Calgary-based company is not alone.Its announcement Thursday coincided with news that American pipeline operators The Williams Cos. and Cheniere Energy Inc. have launched similar multibillion-dollar offers to use their shares to buy out partners in their master limited partnerships (MLPs).- Advertisement -MLPs are tax-exempt corporate structures in the United States that pay their profits to investors in dividend-style distributions.In 2016, a U.S. Appeals Court ruled that energy regulators were allowing these companies to benefit from a “double recovery” of taxes, prompting a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision in March to end the tax breaks.Enbridge said the decision hurts its subsidiaries by cutting their distributable cash flow. It also has weakened their creditworthiness and ability to raise money from investors, a process that fuels `”drop-downs” of assets from Enbridge Inc. in return for cash to support its growth.Advertisement Enbridge is proposing separate all-share offers with the boards of Spectra Energy Partners, L.P., Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P., Enbridge Energy Management, L.L.C. and Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc., offering them company shares worth a total of roughly $11.4 billion based on current stock prices.Only Enbridge Energy Partners and Spectra Energy Partners are MLPs but Enbridge said the FERC ruling has negatively affected all four.While Enbridge is the leading investor in each of the businesses, which are considered “sponsored vehicles,” each has a board with a duty to get the best possible deal for other stakeholders.Monaco said Enbridge believes that its proposal will benefit other investors as well by providing them with a direct equity stake in the main company, but acknowledged that it’s possible not all of the transactions will be accepted.“If for some reason we can’t proceed with one of them, because we can’t come to an agreement, then obviously we’ll have to think about other things,” he said.Advertisement “Having all of our core assets under one roof will further surface the value of these highly strategic and irreplaceable systems, which should attract a premium valuation,” Enbridge CEO Al Monaco told analysts on a conference call Thursday.He added the moves will be good for credit ratings and funding arrangements because 100percentt of the cash flow generated by the assets would be “kept in the family and not paid out in third-party distributions.”Analyst Gavin MacFarlane, a vice-president at Moody’s Investors Service, agreed that the Enbridge move is “credit positive” although it doesn’t address all concerns about the company’s complicated debt structure.“Clearly, this type of transaction would be a big first step toward simplifying the organizational structure of the company,” he said.Advertisement “It doesn’t address the structural subordination of Enbridge Inc. creditors but on the call, they indicated they will look at different ways of addressing some elements of the capital structure around the time of completion.”Moody’s downgraded its Enbridge credit rating last year after the company’s $37-billion takeover of U.S.-based Spectra Energy inflated its debt.Earlier this month, TC PipeLines LP, a U.S. pipeline partnership 25 percent owned by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., said it would slash distributions to unitholders by 35 percent due to the FERC move to kill the tax break. It said it is also considering a corporate reorganization.TransCanada filed a request in April for clarification and, potentially, a rehearing on how the FERC’s proposed changes will affect entities that don’t have typical MLP ownership structures. A spokesman said Thursday there was no update on the situation.If the series of transactions unfold as anticipated, investors in all the Enbridge companies and limited partnerships will exchange their shares for shares in Enbridge Inc., one of North America’s largest energy infrastructure companies.Advertisementlast_img

Rewards offered in search for ‘Most Wanted gang members

first_img— Rodolfo Diaz, a 31-year-old member of the 38th Street gang, wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of his girlfriend’s mother; — Dennis Arnold Figueroa of the Al Capones gang, accused of stealing wallets and watches from the victims of a traffic collision, then ordering a fellow gang member to shoot one of the victims; — Oscar Enriques Flores of the San Fers gang, for allegedly beating a victim to death with a metal rod; — Dion Durell Hayes of the Swan’s, wanted for allegedly chasing a man into an alley and shooting him; and — Mario Lemus of the Rancho San Pedro gang, who is accused of fatally kicking a man in the head. For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! — Fernando Araujo of the Canoga Park Alabama gang, who allegedly committed a drive-by shooting that left an 18-year-old college football player wounded; — Eric Robert “Lil’ Man” Cahuex, a 37-year-old member of the Magician’s Club gang, who is wanted for the 1999 shooting death of a man who was sitting on a porch with family members; — Merced Cambero Jr. of the Avenues street gang, who is suspected of killing several black men in Los Angeles; — Ismael Alejandro “Chongo” Campos, a 32-year-old member of the Crazy Riders gang, who is wanted for the 2004 shooting death of a rival gang member; — Soperry “Baby Face” Chea, an 18-year-old member of the Van Nuys Asian Boyz gang, who is accused of a stabbing death on New Year’s Day 2005; The Los Angeles City Council today renewed $50,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the city’s “10 Most Wanted” gang members. The “Most Wanted” list, compiled by the Los Angeles Police Department, is a strategy to target the city’s most violent street gangs. The anti-gang plan identifies gangs and their members, a change from the LAPD’s past policy of not identifying street gangs so as not to glorify them. Five people on the “Most Wanted” list have been arrested since February. The “Most Wanted” gang members are: last_img read more

Man United transfer blow! Defensive target to remain in Italy

first_imgManchester United target Stefan de Vrij says he will not be leaving Lazio at the end of the season.The Dutchman’s performances have attracted interest from a host of top European clubs, with United among the favourites to capture the defender.However, club owner Claudio Lotito is not prepared to sell De Vrij this summer, and the 23-year-old centre-back – who has been sidelined for several weeks through injury – is adamant that his future does not depend on whether Lazio qualify for next season’s Champions League.“I’m happy at Lazio and I’ll still be here next year,” he told Fox Sports.“I hope to play in the Champions League with this shirt, but that doesn’t determine my future. If we don’t qualify, it wouldn’t change anything – I want to stay here.“Here in Rome, I’ve learned a lot and become a better defender. I’m really happy with the choice I made.” 1 Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij last_img read more

Trash haulers strike against Waste Management

first_imgSUN VALLEY – Waste Management Inc. workers went on strike Friday, affecting hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses in Los Angeles County, but mostly just commercial customers in the San Fernando Valley. The strike began about 3 a.m. when union representatives for the sanitation workers turned down the latest contract offer made by Waste Management. “Frankly, I think it’s shocking and it’s disappointing that the workers chose to strike when their leadership was recommending ratifying this deal with Waste Management,” said Kit Cole, a company spokeswoman. About 450 Waste Management workers went on strike Friday at locations in Sun Valley, Long Beach and Compton, said Jay Phillips, president of Teamsters Local 396, the union representing the workers. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. The company made three offers since negotiations for a new contract began in July, Phillips said. The union decided not to recommend ratification of the first two offers, but after the latest offer, union officials told workers they should ratify it, he said. Despite that, the workers voted Wednesday to reject what Waste Management called its final offer. The truckers make up to $17.80 an hour, which is less than trash haulers make in other major metropolitan areas, Phillips said. “We’re not going after a company that doesn’t have the resources to compensate our workers,” Phillips said. “They’re a very profitable, publicly traded company.” Los Angeles is the most competitive trash market in the country, and Waste Management is worried businesses will use other trash haulers, Cole said. The company is bringing in workers from California and other parts of the country to replace the strikers. “It’s not acceptable to us that our customers should have to suffer service interruptions because of a strike,” Cole said. On a dust-caked industrial road in Sun Valley, more than 100 workers carried picket signs outside Waste Management’s Bradley Landfill. Picketers chanted and briefly blocked trucks pulling out of the facility before letting the trucks drive by. “We feel that we have proven our point, let’s put it that way, because I know pretty much that they’re hurting, and I hope we come to an agreement soon,” said striking trucker Adam Sanchez, 52, of North Hollywood. Waste Management serves about 12,000 customers in the city of Los Angeles, said Enrique C. Zaldivar, interim director of sanitation for the city. Most of those are businesses – everything from shopping centers to factories – but a few customers are large apartment complexes, he said. Waste Management competes with 140 private trash-hauling companies serving L.A. businesses, Zaldivar said. The city’s own sanitation workers pick up residential trash.160Want 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


first_imgA Donegal family has turned their countryside home into a stunning Christmas grotto to help their autistic son.Every inch of the Cullen family home in Newtowncunningham is covered in Christmas decorations from giant snowmen to life-size Santas.The family has spent thousands of euro on the decorations in the past ten years after son Kieran became fascinated with a small snowman which he put in the family’s front garden. Since then his fascination with the decorations has ‘snowballed’.The family has just spent a full week putting up the decorations which attracts visitors from across Co Donegal.Dad Michael said it’s a lot of work but he said it’s all worth it to make Kieran and his brother and sister, Jamie, 11, and Shauna, 18, happy.“It started off when we put a snowman in the front garden about ten years ago and Kieran really took to it. “He asked for a couple more and it literally snowballed form there.“It’s a lot of work and some people think we’re a bit mad but it’s worth it to see the children’s faces and it really helps Kieran,” he said.Michael has also put an offertory box outside his garden and last year raised €3,500 for charity – despite an incident when the garden was attacked and many decorations damaged.Michael is hoping this year’s charity appeal can help cancer services in Donegal.“It was great to raise the money last year but we are hoping people can dig into their pockets again this year,” he said. The Cullen’s annual ESB bill rockets by more than €200 each Christmas but Michael said he doesn’t even think of the cost.“We all love Christmas and if we can do a little bit of good then that’s al that matters,” he said.DONEGAL FAMILY TURN THEIR HOME INTO CHRISTMAS GROTTO FOR CHARITY was last modified: November 27th, 2011 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:KIERAN CULLENLIGHTSNEWOWNCUNNINGHAMSANTAlast_img read more

Fergie the skunk gets a license to smell

first_imgNEWHALL – Ferguson the Skunk, a resident of the Placerita Canyon Nature Center for the last year, is finally a certified Californian, having passed a battery of screenings and tests just in time for the center’s open house on Saturday. He came to the center last spring, after a Texas family moving to Santa Clarita gave him to a wildlife rescue group. In Texas, skunks are legal pets; in California, they are not. “He was a little black ball of fur when they got him,” said Ian Swift, superintendent of the center, as he cuddled the black-and-white striped animal. “But skunks have the highest rate of rabies among all the wild animals. “People have to remember that they are wild animals and react that way, unlike dogs or cats, which are bred over thousands of years to become domesticated and somewhat goofy.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventSwift said that Ferguson’s new role as spokesanimal for wildlife preservation will help reinforce the state’s position of respecting wild animals. “They have long claws and they dig and dig and dig,” he continued, splaying Ferguson’s feet wide with his fingertip. “They could wreak havoc on a yard.” The skunk has been checked over for any problems and has had his scent glands removed, Swift said. When he’s not putting on a show, Ferguson has a comfortable shaded enclosure with a fleece blanket, water pan, a cinder block on which to sharpen his nails and a “behavioral enrichment” box filled with sawdust and sand so he can dig up crickets and mealworms, just like he would do in the wild. In the meantime, the young skunk enjoys a diet of kibble, lettuce, bananas, mealworms, carrots, apples and bugs. Along with Ferguson, several other celebrity residents of the center will be on display, including OJ, the center’s 22-year-old horned owl and a 12-foot-long Burmese python. The open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and also features panning for “gold,” nature art, rubber ducky races and other family activities. Admission to the open house is free. The Placerita Nature Center is located at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road. Off-site parking is available with a shuttle to the park. For information, call (661) 259-7721. (661)257-5252160Want 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

County budget funds to turn Castaic library dreams into reality

first_imgActon’s library got its start from a state bond measure passed by voters in 2000 for $350 million in library construction. From the bond, the library system received about $4.6 million for Acton’s library and then found matching funds from the county, said Nancy Mahr, Los Angeles County Public Library spokeswoman. Castaic and Acton residents have long clamored for nearby public libraries and today can receive their spy novels, love stories and children’s books from bookmobiles that ramble across the area’s winding canyon roads. These bookmobiles will find their routes coming to an end when the new libraries open. But the books-on-wheels service will continue to hit the road. “It just may mean that we can find some new stops for the bookmobile,” Mahr said. “The area keeps expanding.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Tales of new libraries coming to north Los Angeles County have at times seemed more fiction than fact, but now they can be classified as real life. Two new branches of the Los Angeles County Public Library are in the works to serve Castaic and Acton, with $3.4 million earmarked for them in the county’s 2006-07 budget. The county Board of Supervisors approved the budget Monday. Although plans for the Acton branch are already under way, this is a first step for a library to serve Castaic. About $2 million was budgeted for design plans and development of the future facility. “It’s nice to see the money. We don’t feel we’re getting enough of it,” said John Kunak, Castaic Town Council member. “It’s nice to see they’re working toward it, and we’d like to see it happen.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Kunak said council members have been looking at ways to bring a public library to the area for the last six years. Talks have included joint use with the county and William S. Hart Union High School District to make it part of Castaic’s new high school, planned to open in 2010. The school will sit in the 3,900-unit Northlake housing development being built along Castaic Lake’s northern bluffs. Although the new high school is one possible location for the library, the county is also considering other places and recently hired a consultant to evaluate the needs of the area, said Lori Glasgow, budget and library deputy for county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. “We’re open to all options,” Glasgow said. “At this point, nothing has been closed out.” Meanwhile hammers will start swinging soon in Acton as the 10,874-square-foot public library is nearing construction time. Planned to open in January 2009, the building will sit on Crown Valley Road on land donated by the Brevidoro Family Trust. A legacy in the area, the Brevidoros moved to Acton in 1935 and started a lilac ranch. last_img read more

A-list speakers at women’s event

first_imgThe luncheon session features a panel discussion by Ferguson, columnist Anna Quindlen and ABC Television President Anne Sweeney. Tim Russert of NBC’s “Meet the Press” will moderate. Culminating the event will be presentation of the Minerva Awards to women who have made contributions to the state, followed by a spiritual session with the Dalai Lama. There are 14 seminar sessions throughout the day including: “Are Men Necessary? A Conversation with Tim Russert and Maureen Dowd,” “How Women Are Changing the World Today: A Conversation With Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes,” and “Entrepreneurs 101: Think it. Do It. Start Your Own Business.” (562) 499-1281160Want 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 joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsCountless more will be watching and listening on cable television, via podcast and on the Internet. “This event comes at a crucial moment in the fall election period,” Baldassare said, allowing Schwarzenegger to reach out to women voters. A poll in mid-August by the Public Policy Institute showed Schwarzenegger with a 13-point advantage over Treasurer Phil Angelides, his Democratic challenger. That poll also showed 40 percent of women voters planned to support Schwarzenegger, 30 percent backed Angelides, 5 percent for other candidates, and 20 percent undecided. “If Arnold Schwarzenegger can make a positive impression during the women’s conference next week it helps him with a crucial block of voters who are right now sitting on the fence in terms of who they are going to support,” Baldassare said. The event begins with ABC 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Leslie Sykes, Shriver, financial guru Suze Orman, Stewart and then Schwarzenegger. LONG BEACH – California’s first lady Maria Shriver has again gathered A-list speakers for the nation’s largest one-day women’s conference, continuing the star power that has marked the event since husband Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor. The Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women, slated for Tuesday at the Long Beach Convention Center, will feature the Dalai Lama, business and homemaking magnate Martha Stewart, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and supermodel Tyra Banks. “It’s a big deal for the state,” said Mark Baldassare, director of research at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. “Now, it’s just gotten to be this huge event in terms of the star power that the two of them have and in terms of the people they bring.” The daylong conference is expected to draw about 11,000 women, with 2,000 more attending only the afternoon session, which features the Dalai Lama’s 30-minute speech and a meditation session. last_img read more