70-year-old athlete commits suicide in the Los Angeles River

The 70-year-old retired physician disqualified from the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon after allegations of cheating died by suicide, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office has determined.

Dr. Frank Meza was found dead in the Los Angeles River Thursday, days after he was disqualified from the March race, in which his 2:53:10 finish time would have set a record for his age group—but officials determined the running time for one course segment was actually impossible, and found video of Meza leaving the course and then reappearing at different spots.

His cause of death was listed as “blunt force traumatic injuries,” CNN reports.

NBC 4 reports his body was found near a bridge by police responding to calls about a possible jumper.

Meza and his family had insisted he did not cheat, and last week, Meza’s widow said she did not believe he would have taken his own life either. But his family also said the scandal had put him under a lot of stress.

“He was targeted, bullied and we tried to defend him the best we could,” his daughter said Friday.

“He was so devastated that people could actually believe this.” The blogger who first called attention to Meza’s possible cheating alleged he may have done the same at other marathons, and prior to his death, the Los Angeles Times reported Meza had been twice disqualified, then banned, from the California International Marathon.

Meza, who founded the Aztlan Track Club in 1974, had in June stepped down from his position coaching cross-country and track at Loyola (Los Angeles) High School, citing health reasons, USA Today reports.

Los Angeles teachers to begin strike on Monday

 

los angeles teachers in red.jpg

Long announced to begin on Thurs., Jan. 10, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) strike will now begin on Mon., Jan. 14. Questions had been raised internally whether or not UTLA had given proper 10-day legal notice of the impending strike to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Rather than launch a massive District-wide job action one day and then have a judge rule it illegal the next, only to revive it several days later with lost momentum, UTLA decided to simply delay the start date four days.

Day-long bargaining sessions this past week failed to produce an agreement, as mutual accusations flew back and forth between the union and the District.

LAUSD maintains there simply isn’t enough money in the coffers to satisfy the union’s demands, and the union replies with charges of flagrant lying. Negotiations continued on Friday and may last through the weekend.

At the heart of this monumental struggle, not dissimilar to other teachers strikes that have rocked even conservative states this past year, is the future of public education in America. Do our cities and states—does our country—have the political will to maintain public education as the bedrock of democracy? An educated population is simply better prepared to take on the new jobs and careers of the future, and can manage the affairs of day-to-day living with informed intelligence.

More and more, as the United States becomes more demographically diverse, public schools become the single most important place where children learn about other races and cultures, form friendships, work on school assignments and sports teams together. In Los Angeles, where the public school population comprises some 600,000 students, most are people of color—Latinx, Black and Asian. Important, too, is that kids also see how the multiracial teachers and other staff work together as union members to advance the cause of education.

Among UTLA’s concerns is that the proposed educational system reorganization plan millionaire Superintendent Austin Beutner has been developing would favor a radical breakup of the District into smaller, unaccountable “portfolios” that is little more than a fig leaf for citywide charterization. His backing by industry titans not only from the Los Angeles area but by one-percenters such as the Walton (Walmart) family, suggests that one goal of making L.A. a charter school city is to bust the teachers union, as was largely done in hurricane-ravished New Orleans.

In a full-page ad the District took out in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 9, Beutner highlighted quotes from local editorials and educational authorities to buttress his posture. The final word went to Arne Duncan, former secretary of education in the Obama administration, who regurgitated the District’s “insolvency” argument.

An open proponent of charter schools, Duncan had been one of President Obama’s most controversial Cabinet choices.

Beutner made a quick run this week up to the state capital, Sacramento, to personally declare his agreement with the union’s goal of securing greater state support for schools.

The newly inaugurated Governor Gavin Newsom has made education an early priority in his administration, reflected in the budget he released on Jan. 10. Positioning himself as a committed progressive, and not so fiscally cautious as outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown, Newsom and his forward-looking allies in state government, where Democrats hold super-majorities in both the Senate and the Assemble, may indeed hold the key to resolving LAUSD’s problems, and those of other school districts around the nation’s most populous state.

Another moving piece in this story is the upcoming special election for the Los Angeles School Board to fill a seat vacated by school board member Ref Rodriguez who resigned in disgrace. Rodriguez had won election only by dint of electoral fraud. He had been backed by charter school advocates and his win gained a 3-2 majority for the charter side. It was that majority that hired Austin Beutner, who had no previous experience in the education field. A primary election takes place on March 5, with the general election for this seat on May 14 if necessary. That race may well reverse the pro-charter majority and realign the school board with its historic (at least in recent years) pro-labor legacy.

UTLA’s basic demands fall into two categories: First is the welfare of the students themselves. The union wants to see schools fully staffed with support professionals such as psychologists, librarians, counselors and nurses. And it has drawn needed attention to the dilemma of trying to teach difficult subjects, such as writing, science and math, in classrooms packed with up to 45 students.

Second, the teachers want a raise of 6.5 percent retroactive to last year when their last contract expired. Teachers in the high-priced L.A. market are compensated far less adequately than teachers in neighboring school districts.

Bottom line: Only the highly visible public drama of a District-wide strike will draw sufficient attention to the multiplicity of problems, many of them of a fiscal nature, that plague public education. The 31,000 UTLA educators believe that the money exists, in a highly developed economy such as the United States, to support a glorious public school system that will provide kids with all the tools they need for success. The single most relevant factor that drags education down into the muck of poorly performing mediocrity is the short-sighted movement to lower taxes and revenue from the one percent. Without mentioning bottomed-out state support for education, the right wing then points to “government” for “our failing schools.” Since many of our urban school systems are heavily populated by racial minorities, there is an obvious racist tinge to such accusations. Progressive political rejuvenation at every level of government is required to turn back corporate power.

Angelenos have many opportunities to support the teachers who have made the difficult decision to strike as a last resort. Solidarity and joint struggle will break down the barriers between “worker” and “community.”

There are several ways parents, labor allies and community members can support educators during the strike:

  1.  Adopt-a-School: If you live in the L.A. area, adopt one or several schools where parents and community members can join the picket lines before and after school.
  • Follow this link to find the school closest to you.
  • Help the labor movement track support for the teachers by filling out this form.
  • Check WeArePublicSchools.org for picket and rally locations and times.
  1. Social Media: On Friday and over the weekend, in advance of the Mon. morning strike launch, join the union movement in wearing red to support educators. Take a selfie and post to social media. Use the hashtags #strikeready  #redfored #UTLAstrong and tag @UTLAnow. Sample social media posts and graphics to show #solidarity with educators are given below.

For updates on the strike follow @UTLAnow and @ReclaimLASchls.

Also visit www.WeArePublicSchools.org for announcements and resources. Amplify the strike by posting on social media that you won’t cross the line! Stand up for public education and the future of our kids!

  1. Sign a petition to support striking educators! The California Teachers Association has set up a petition for people to share messages of support with striking educators at UTLA and the Oakland Education Association, which is also preparing to strike. Share far and wide to amass as many supportive messages as possible!
  2. Leadership School for Education and Action: Recruit members of your organization to be a part of the Leadership School for Education and Action that will bring together parents, students, union members and others in an intense and exciting week-long program of political education and action. Check out this bilingual attached flyer for more information.

Sample Tweets & Messaging:

  • We stand with LA educators in their fight for a fair contract that benefits educators, students & the community. Support @UTLAnow in their fight for schools our students deserve by joining a picket line here: http://www.wearepublicschools.org/ #UTLAstrong #red4ed
  • We’re wearing #Red4Ed to stand in strong #solidarity w/ our sisters & brothers @UTLAnow. Dignity & respect for educators are fundamental to student success! When we stand together, we win! #UTLAstrong
  • Students deserve smaller class sizes, counselors, and nurses. Educators deserve dignity and respect on the job. That’s why I’m standing with @UTLAnow. When we fight, we win! #red4ed #UTLAStrong
  • We stand with @UTLAnow educators as they fight for a fair contract, smaller class sizes, full & equitable funding to support students, and RESPECT. Their fight is our fight! #Red4Ed #Strikeready #UTLAStrong

Sample Letter of Recommendation 3

To Whom It May Concern

I am writing to recommend Chimezie Irobiko for a master’s degree program in Computer Science at Marist College, California State University, Los Angeles. He is a young man with tremendous drive and unlimited potential. I consider him interestingly sociable, courteous and time-conscious; he also exhibits strict adherence to given instructions.

During his time at Mumbai University (2010 – 2014), I taught him Advance Computer Network & Web Engineering, a course which laid the foundation for our close relationship. I found Chimezie to be conscientious, thorough and curious about learning new developments in computer science and technology; his predilection for knowledge is unquenchable. He showed good understanding of the course outline, among various concepts, which stand as part of the underlying force behind his blossoming career. I was fascinated by his language skills in Java, SQL and JavaScript, as well as his competitive knowledge in the workings of Hibernate 3, Struts MVC, Spring MVC and JSP.

I had the opportunity to supervise his participation in group and individual tasks, as well as monitor his overall progress. Chimezie did not only earn a high grade in my course but achieved very good results in other academic and student fields. He is an effective and efficient team player, and having self-studied most courses, he exhibits a highly competitive knowledge and ingenious skills required to embark on a higher-level research program in the field of Computer Science. I am very confident that he has an exhaustive understanding what if expected of him in academics, attitude and overall contribution to institutional growth.

In addition to his premier leadership skills, Chimezie has the capacity to thrive in a multi-cultural environment; his strong inter-personal skills, good command of oral and written English, as well as demonstrated hunger for success, are indications that he will enjoy a rewarding adventure at CSU.

I believe a master’s degree program at your renowned institution will provide him with a variety of exciting careers in the field of science and technology.

Do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Professor XYZ

Sample Letter of Recommendation for Admissions

 

Subject: Letter of Recommendation for Chimezie Irobiko

To Whomever It May Concern,

I am pleased to recommend Chimezie Irobiko for admission to the master’s program in Computer Science at Marist College, California State University, Los Angeles.

In my position as his project guide and mentor during the last semester of his 4-year academic studies at Mumbai University, I humbly confirm that he completed his bachelor’s degree with excellent grades in 2014. He has been an exemplary student and an asset to our institution. I am confident that he will certainly excel in this study as an energetic, highly-motivated, intelligent, and law-abiding young man with good prospects.

My most memorable time with Chimezie was as his Graduate Student Instructor for Global Leader in Email Intelligence, a research project which aimed at developing an all-in-one module for synchronizing email addresses. I was exceptionally impressed with his early submission of a well-researched blueprint. For his research skills, creativity, ingenuity, enthusiasm and adherence to role, I will rank him among the top 5% students I have taught in my career as an academician.

Chimezie is best described as a complex and complete human being: delightfully reserved but unpretentiously ambitious; gracious, even with the most unpopular students in school. He was simply adorable. His brainpower is not only marked by his high scores, but a characteristic inquisitiveness which was evident in his choice of electives and love for scientific concepts. He enjoyed the most technical courses just to dare his acquired skills and intellectual reasoning. In furtherance, while working on his project under my supervision, I found he has the ability to engage in difficult tasks and produce agreeable results.

Your institution will surely benefit by offering Chimezie an admission, for he is guaranteed to add more value to it, mainly in research fields, where I have had the opportunity to see him persuasively supporting arguments with precision. He also proved himself a reliable team-player during group assignments.

I consider it an understatement to add that I would be honored to teach a class full of “Chimezie Irobikos”. I highly recommend him to you, if his performance at Mumbai University serves a clue to how he would perform as a graduate student.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further information.

Yours sincerely,

Professor XYZ

*  The recipient’s identity was changed for security reasons. 

12-year-old girl accidentally shoots 2 students

Barely a week after shootings were recorded in two U.S. schools, a 12-year-old girl has been arrested on charge of negligent discharge of a firearm.

In the horrific incident which occurred at a Los Angeles middle school on Thursday, two students sustained gunshot wounds.

shooting

According to a report from NBC News, police said a 15-year-old boy was shot in the head and another girl, hit in the arm. While the second victim suffered minor wounds, the boy is in a critical condition.

Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center said both were expected to make full recoveries after the ugly classroom mishap.

In a press conference held after the shooting, Los Angeles police said Thursday night that more people were wounded: a 30-year-old woman on the staff of Salvador Castro Middle School and two other students, an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl suffered superficial face and head injuries.

The shots were fired shortly before 9 a.m. (noon ET) at Castro, a location in the western part of downtown Los Angeles.

A semiautomatic handgun was recovered after the gunshots, authorities said.

The campus was declared safe following thorough police investigators which confirmed the shooting was “an isolated incident involving negligence.”

“We know this a very traumatic incident for all the children involved, particularly inside that classroom,” said Steven Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles school system police department.

The shooter’s name was not released because she’s a juvenile.

“One of the main missions we will have is the issue of finding out how a young person had access to a weapon,” Zipperman added. “I assure you, if it came from an adult in a home, that the proper prosecutorial procedure will occur.”

Looking distraught and terribly sad, father of a 12-year-old student told NBC Los Angeles that he quickly went to the school after learning his daughter’s involvement.

He said, “You can’t process it…It’s my son and everybody else’s kids in that school.”

Last Week, a 16-year-old boy was arrested after he opened fire at a Texas high school. Although only a teenage girl sustained injuries from the shooting, another 15-year-old boy was charged with opening fire at a Kentucky high school, killing two students and wounding 18 other people.

Chrissy Teigen reveals her anger towards ANA after flight with husband John Legend was canceled

John Roger Stephens, who is popularly known in the music world as John Legend, and his American model wife Chrissy Teigen were among passengers stuck in a grounded flight.

The celebrity couple reportedly spent over eight hours on a flight “to nowhere” due to passenger/airline errors which made a mess of their holiday travel on 26 December, 2017.

In the anger-provoking event, John Legend and his wife boarded an All Nippon Airways Tokyo-bound flight from Los Angeles, and after spending long hours in the air, they landed, but not at their destination point.

Media reports confirm the Tokyo-bound plane was forced to turn back to Los Angeles after a mysterious passenger boarded the wrong plane.

All Nippon Airways flight NH175 departed Los Angeles International at 11:36am (1936 GMT) on Tuesday for Narita Airport, but returned to the United States after several hours, the airline told AFP.

“As part of the airline’s security procedure, the pilot in command decided to return to the originating airport, where the passenger was disembarked,” ANA said.

“ANA is researching the situation currently to determine how the passenger boarded the flight.”

ABC News reported that the plane made a U-turn 4 hours into the 11-hour trip after discovering that one of its 226 passengers had boarded the wrong flight, but Teigen took it with smiles, firing a few hot tweets on social media.

Teigen, 32, posted on Twitter that every passengers aboard the plane had to disembark for police to interview those seated around the “missing Santa”.

Media reports said the man had a ticket for a United Airways flight, and CNN quotes a spokesperson for ANA as saying, “During the flight, the cabin crew became aware that one of the passengers boarded the incorrect flight and notified the pilot…As part of the airline’s security procedure, the pilot in command decided to return to the originating airport, where the passenger was disembarked.”

The mother-of-one re-tweeted a post from a fan alongside a selfie with her and Legend.

“My first tweet can’t be more epic than this: just survived an 8-hour LAX-LAX flight with @chrissyteigen and @johnlegend on #ANA#NH175”, the fan said.

After a series of tongue-in-cheek posts, Teigen expressed concern that all passengers had to suffer for one person’s mistake.

“Why did we all get punished for this one person’s mistake?” she wondered. “Why not just land in Tokyo and send the other person back? How is this the better idea, you ask? We all have the same questions.”

In another post, the Utah-born model complained that she won’t be able to sleep until an explanation is offered on how the passenger figured out he was on the wrong flight.

“That’s all I ask. 150 people have been majorly inconvenienced, please, just tell me,” she added.

“They keep saying the person had a United ticket. We are on ANA. So basically the boarding pass scanner is just a beedoop machine that makes beedoop noises that register to nowhere.”

“I have been moved to a room with Bravo. Clearly the authorities are trying to keep me quiet so I don’t BLOW THE LID OFF THIS ‘SITCH.'” she later joked after ANA issued her a spot at its lounge.

“I’m in a room with water and a tv!” she also said, adding that she was only using the word “room” for dramatics sake. “The government is using Real Housewives to keep me quiet !!!!!!”

The supermodel who was co-host with rapper Ludacris at the Billboard Music Awards in 2015 later updated on Wednesday that she was about to board another flight, but prayed for a smooth journey.

The airline tendered an unreserved apology to passengers for the inconvenience.

Paul Pogba doing crazy things with Manchester United’s new signing Romelu Lukaku

If there’s any footballer at Manchester United who’s going crazy about Romelu Lukaku’s transfer to the club, that person is Paul Pogba. The two friends are having a swell time off the pitch for now, and doing crazy things, too.

Images show Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.

Pogba was with his longtime buddy at UCLA prior to the Belgian’s medicals, ahead of United’s arrival in the states today.

One lesson learnt, weird things happen when best friends are super-excited about an unexpected or nearly-impossible occurrence.

An ESPN journalist Alexis Nunes who dared the duo to a game and unfortunately lost, will never forget her mistake.

Classic japes

The pretty reporter engaged Pogba and Lukaku to a rock, paper, scissors game, but got pushed into a swimming pool after she played paper while the footballers went for scissors. That was an agreement — sadly.

Luckily for Pogba, who has been on social media for his happy dance moves since news of his friend’s deal was made public, the lady survived from drowning.

It was just a fun game for the former Juventus midfielder, but less of that for the 24-year-old Belgium international who looked on in shock.

That’s what she got for getting an interview with superstars and celebrating the successful interactive session with a game, and a weird agreement.

Manchester United paid a whooping  £89 million to get Pogba’s signatures from Juventus.

Meanwhile, Lukaku, a former Everton and Chelsea forward, got something very close at £75 million.

The bosom friends have been in L.A., conducting series of interviews and must be forgiven for getting overwhelmed with excitement.

Lukaku trained with the rest of Red Devils today in Los Angeles, and coach Jose Mourinho found time to taunt his rival team Chelsea, which showed interest in the player but lost at the last minute.

Pogba was believed to be the brainchild behind the successful deal.

“He’s a natural fit for Manchester United,” said Mourinho of Lukaku on the first day of the club’s US tour.

“He’s a big personality and a big player. It’s only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club.

“He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome.

“I’m really looking forward to working with him again.”

Lukaku signed a 5-year deal with United, and has an option for one more year.

The Most Hated Celebrity’s Walk Of Fame In Hollywood Suffers Disrespect.

Hollywood celebrities work so hard to be inducted into Walk of Fame but one celebrity has suffered worse humiliation that others in history as his “star” is being vandalized. People are scrapping off his name, urinating on it while some haters even let their dogs poop on him.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Image: The Hollywood Walk of Fame boasts of more than 2,500 celebrities.

Every day people walk over some 2,500 star-shaped tiles which line the floor of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, paying tribute to celebrities past and present.

The late boxer Muhammad Ali was famously allowed to have his star mounted on the wall because he didn’t want his name to be walked on by people who ‘have no respect’ for him.

Continue reading “The Most Hated Celebrity’s Walk Of Fame In Hollywood Suffers Disrespect.”

Why You Should Uninstall ‘Apple’s QuickTime’ Right Now.

Trend Micro Inc.  is a global security software company which was established in Los Angeles, California, USA. Its global headquarters is in Tokyo, Japan while there are other regional headquarters in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

The company develops security software for servers, cloud computing environments, and small business. Its cloud and virtualization security products provide cloud security for customers of VMware, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and vCloud Air.

Eva Chen is the serving Chief Executive Officer (2005 – till date) since taken over the position from founder Steve Chang who was now serves as the Chairman of Trend Micro.

The company’s”Zero Day Initiative” has notified the general public of two listed remote code execution vulnerabilities that could allow an internet attacker (or simply a hacker) to gain control of the victim’s system and access larger company-wide networks.

“We are not aware of any active attacks against these vulnerabilities currently. But the only way to protect your Windows systems from potential attacks against these or other vulnerabilities in Apple QuickTime now is to uninstall it,” Reuters quoted the company.

Continue reading “Why You Should Uninstall ‘Apple’s QuickTime’ Right Now.”