Prison Service refuses assistance on training

first_imgDear Editor,The Central Advisory Services of Guyana and Barbados wishes to express its regret in relation to the offer made to the Guyana Prison Service, based on a needs assessment done by the agency, to have a former FBI Agent and a Former Director of the Bureau of Prisons to travel to Guyana free of cost to conduct a one week specialized training programme for senior ranks of the Prison Service. Even though the offer was made since November 2016, and despite the CVs of the two (2) proposed presenters being sent to Prison Admin, Admin did not have the common courtesy to even send to CAS an acknowledgement letter.In our letter to the Prison Director, dated November 2016 and copied to the subject Minister, it was requested that a response should be forthcoming within 30 days, in order for CAS and its international associates to confirm arrangements with the presenters, who in turn must seek approval from the US State Department. Regrettably, three (3) months later, not even an acknowledgement letter has been received.Despite this development, CAS and its international associates will continue to do whatever it can to help the Criminal Justice System in Guyana know it’s riddled with defects. It is also public knowledge, by virtue of my instrumentality, that the Guyana Prison Service, Guyana Defence Force, ranks of the Police Force, GRA, Presidential Security, Guyana Energy Agency, GPL, and others too numerous to mention benefitted from specialized training on Security, Investigations and Intelligence. This was also made possible through my colleague, well known Criminologist Mr. Errol Vanooten MSC, BSC, ASC, who later served as task force head of the Ministry of Home Affairs under Mr. Rohee.I again reiterate my commitment and that of those serving under my command, who are all former members of the disciplined service, to assist in the fight against crime, and our full support to the Government of the day.Yours respectfully,Allan Robert Gateslast_img read more

Box office bounce resuscitates morale

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Now fast-forward 12 months. Propelled by crowd favorites “The Da Vinci Code,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Cars,” “The Break-Up,” “Over the Hedge” and “Nacho Libre,” the movie industry is riding a five-week winning streak and celebrating 12 out of the past 13 weekends that have outgrossed 2005. “Bottom line is, it’s about the movies. Occam’s razor is in effect here,” said Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo. “You make compelling movies, and people will see them at a greater rate.” The only major box office disappointment has been the disaster flick “Poseidon,” which was ripped apart by critics and has stalled domestically at $56.5 million. Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible III” took in $130.2 million, but the movie was widely considered an underachiever. Year-to-date, domestic box office revenue is up 4.81 percent compared with 2005, and attendance is up 1.64 percent. “This is partly a numbers game, but it’s also a psychological game,” said box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations Co. “If you just look at sheer numbers versus last year, we’re not even up 2 percent. “But we are way up in terms of morale. Simply the fact that we have had our up weekends outnumbering our down weekends by a huge measure, that just gives us a jump.” But the widespread bashing the movie exhibition took last summer for everything from high ticket prices to rude patron behavior to preshow commercials did not fall on deaf ears, according to John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners. “It’s got to be good movies and a good movie experience,” he said. “Theater operators aren’t ignoring longer-term challenges. We have to innovate and improve the theater-going experience.” Among the issues theater owners are focusing on are transitioning to digital cinema, which will provide sharper images and sound. Also, Fithian said many theaters are trying to combat rudeness with public service announcements and extra vigilance from ushers. He said the preshow commercials, an ever-growing source of income for theater owners, are often being shown now with a mix of behind-the-scene moviemaking featurettes and short films. “We continue to believe that the short-term business is cyclical, and we are in an up mode now, whereas we were in a down mode last year,” Fithian said. “We are glad business is coming back, and that is primarily the result of great movies in the marketplace.” Moviegoers interviewed Monday seem happier overall with this summer’s flock of major films. Raul Gomez, 16, stood in line with friends to buy tickets for “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” Monday afternoon at the AMC Promenade multiplex in Woodland Hills. In recent weeks, Gomez and his pals have seen “The Da Vinci Code,” “Cars” and “Poseidon,” and rated each highly. Compared with last summer, “the movies are getting better and have solid story lines,” said the Birmingham High School student, who prefers a theater to DVD. “I like seeing something on the bigger screen and coming to the movies with my friends and my family.” Standing nearby was Heather Cochran, 23, waiting to buy tickets for “Nacho Libre” with friend Billy Greenburg, also 23. “I’ve been coming to the movies more because they’ve been coming out with less cookie-cutter movies,” Cochran said. The Pierce College student said her favorites so far this summer have been “X-Men” and “Da Vinci.” “There are more movies where they aren’t just catering to teenagers, using a lot of pop music for sound,” Greenburg added. While this year’s revenue is ahead of 2005’s dismal figures, it still pales in comparison with 2004, when Hollywood enjoyed a record year of $9.4 billion in ticket sales. Current grosses are down 2.25 percent compared with two years ago, while attendance is behind by a whopping 8.17 percent. The industry hopes to further close that gap in the coming weeks with some releases that have tremendous commercial potential: the Adam Sandler comedy “Click,” which opens Friday; the highly anticipated and well-reviewed “Superman Returns,” opening June 28; and “Pirates of the the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which bows July 7. “The schedule continues to look strong through the summer, and we’re optimistic,” Fithian said. “But just as we always try and focus on the long term and didn’t get too disturbed by a downswing last year, we won’t get overly optimistic about a short-term upswing this year.” (818) 713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Movie theaters were dead. Tickets and popcorn just cost too much. People preferred DVD over the big screen. Remember a year ago? In June 2005, the movie industry was in the 16th week of a record 19-week box office slowdown – the worst slump in two decades – raising questions about whether a major cultural shift was taking place. At the time, an Associated Press-AOL News poll of 1,000 adults found they preferred watching films at home instead of a theater by almost 3-1. last_img read more