VP Taylor (4th from right with hands crossed) poses with local officialsCitizens demand that she apologize and desistSeveral Bong County citizens have blamed Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor for the confusion in the county because of statements attributed to her. The citizens condemned the Vice President’s statements and called on her to return home to make an open apology to the people.Some of the citizens, who spoke on the community radio station’s Saturday morning phone-in program on June 2, claimed that the VP’s recent statement threatening the dismissal of local officials who will not join the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has the propensity to further divide the locals and stir up confusion in the minds of their leadership.The citizens made the statements on several radio talk shows like the Kwatekeh, “Open Platform, which is Radio Gbarnga Rendezvous and the Super Bongese Morning Show.Recently, VP Taylor, who served as Senator for 12 years, while installing local officials into their respective offices in Gbarnga, said it is impossible for the government to work with people with whom she does not share the same political ideology.“The Bible says how can two walk together if they don’t agree. For us to agree, we must be on the same side, so if you think you can’t make it, tell us and we’ll find somebody else,” the VP warned the local leadership. “If any chief wants to see me, you have to get to Representative Marvin Cole and the Superintendent of Bong County, Madam Esther Walker. If you don’t get to them and approve your problem, please don’t come to me,” the Vice President told the inducted officials.“I am not scared of anybody, only God and the President of Liberia, so if you feel you will not work with us, you’ll be replaced,” Madam Taylor informed the local officials. The Vice President, who is known for making controversial statements, said similar actions were taken during the Unity Party regime when people were made to join the ruling establishment at the time.Barely a week following the VP’s threat, some of the citizens have raised objections to her statements which they said were causing further confusion in the county, adding, “the Vice President is the highest government official there, and should therefore be the one to take the lead to reconcile, but not to make these kinds of declarations. It scares us as citizens,” each of the callers emphasized.The citizens said it was unfortunate that anyone in the county who holds a contrary position to the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) were being subjected to intimidation and harassment with the use of the coercive apparatus of the state.“Most of the people who worked with the local government have been removed from their posts by Electoral District #3 Representative Josiah Marvin Cole, and replaced by CDC partisans, a situation that is creating bad blood among the citizens” the talk show callers stated.Jackson Quianbian, a supporter of the former ruling Unity Party, who opposed Rep. Cole’s election in 2017, was replaced by the secretary-general of the CDC in Bong, Sayblee Weyea as Labor Commissioner, while Quianbian’s Deputy, William Summorward, chairman of the People’s Unification Party (PUP), was replaced by C. Tarwoe Walonfa, a fanatic of Rep. Cole.A week ago, on the recommendation of Rep. Cole, the County Education Officer, Samuel Koenig, was replaced by James Zuannah, a staunch supporter of the CDC in the county.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
CASTAIC — Becky Cordova’s never been the princess type. A truck driver for the past 18 years, Cordova is more accustomed to engines and over-size tires than tiaras and flowers. But after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she is willing to do and try almost anything. “When you deal with something like cancer, you enjoy every day like it’s your last,” Cordova said. “I am having fun with it.” Cordova will be one of three princesses crowned today at Circle of Hope’s third annual Walk for Hope fundraising event at Castaic Lake. Proceeds of the daylong event, starting at 8 a.m., will go to the nonprofit, which provides financial and emotional support for breast cancer patients. But Cordova’s crown carries with it more weight than most pageant headpieces. And she decided that if she didn’t get her trucker buddies to come along for her moment in the sun, they might never believe her. “I have over 50 trucks coming with me,” Cordova said. Sporting pink-ribbon decals, the big rigs will make their way from Palmdale to Castaic Lake at the break of dawn today. Cordova, who got each of the truckers to donate $100, thinks the Convoy for Hope will become a tradition at the Circle of Hope springtime fundraiser. “These men were so eager to show their support. Many of them have dealt with this disease with their sisters, mother or wives.” In addition to champion princesses and big rigs, Colleen Schaffer, founder of the Circle of Hope, said at least 65 pink-ribbon-wearing dogs will also be joining the day’s festivities, making this year the most successful year for the organization. “We have more than 500 people registered this year,” Schaffer said. “Last year, we had 310.” Schaffer, who has battled metastatic cancer for five years, said the increased support couldn’t have come at a better time. As technological advances detect breast cancer earlier and more effectively, more and more women are being diagnosed and spending longer periods of time on costly treatments and medication. Cancer experts say a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes. Schaffer said what most people don’t understand is how expensive it is for these women to beat their disease. “People will spend anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000,” Schaffer said. “Even if you are paying 10 (percent) or 20 percent of those prices, that adds up really quick and you still have insurance premiums and deductibles.” But beyond doling out financial relief for breast cancer patients, Schaffer and her helpers at Circle of Hope also provide support and comfort for women. Schaffer said crowning princesses was simply another way to have women understand that breast cancer is beatable, and they should be praised for their strength and resiliency. “We have a princess of hope, of determination and of perseverance,” Schaffer said. “Most breast cancer patients, the last thing they want to hear about is a beauty queen. But this is about the beauty within that these three women are embodying while they are fighting their disease.” Carolynn Martin, mother of two, was diagnosed with breast cancer in both her breasts in November. “It was completely overwhelming,” Martin said. “When you hear the word, cancer, you instantly think of death.” Martin, who will be joined by most of her family during the 5 kilometer walk, said being crowned princess of determination fits her well — beating the disease is her only option. “My job is to be there for my kids,” said Martin, who has a 10-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. “I want to be there to answer their questions, that is my job.” For Schaffer, being able to help women such as Martin is what the event is all about. “Cancer doesn’t distinguish if you have money or not,” Schaffer said. “Many people think that they have enough financial support and normally underestimate how much the expense is going to be. That is where we come in; if you can’t walk, we’ll carry you … you can lean on us. — Connie Llanos (661) firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!