Dear Editor,It is public knowledge that my contract with the State-owned Guyana National Newspaper Limited (GNNL) for the column “Eye on Guyana with Lincoln Lewis” was terminated. This did not come as a surprise to me for recent developments suggested that the powers that be were not comfortable with my points of view, particularly those that sought to hold them accountable as a caring representative, inclusionary Government that is just and fair.Let me state upfront as a trade unionist I understand it is the right of any employer to terminate a contract. What bothers me most is not the mere termination of the contract which is within their right to so do; it is the insidious nature of the act that suggests that Guyana is not moving forward. This termination is interpreted by me as an act of suppression in the State-owned newspaper that is responsible to the people of Guyana, but continues to see Government moving to manage and control.It is time for change where every citizen and group, regardless of political affiliation, be given un-biased access and coverage in the people’s organ. A strong and astute government functioning democratically should have the ability to counter views and create an environment of public education and gain support for their programmes, which will only happen if people see these as progressive and beneficial to them. In reality this Government’s weakness is its inability to avoid public consternation on basic matters and requirements that speak to good governance. In fact, many in this government are thin-skinned and petty.In this information/communication era the Government should be mindful that they cannot stop the people’s desire for transparency, inclusion and accountability which international expectations and relations are built on. It is backward and counter-productive to want to do otherwise.Society expects successive governments to do better than its predecessor because it is based on discontent with the predecessor that the incumbent would have gained power. State media, fundamental rights and freedoms suppression are some of the things the people expressed their discontent with prior to May 2015. These must not now continue under this Administration and they must know they will not have our silence or support. Many supporters and well-wishers are being done an injustice and rightfully feel dissatisfied.For two years I have written the Sunday column “Eye on Guyana with Lincoln Lewis.” In my lifetime as a trade unionist I have discharged of my duties without fear or favour through successive governments and oppositions. I have held all and sundry accountable. I will not stop now. The termination of this column will not still my interest or activism- it will not still my voice, for as long as they are politicians, leaders or anyone whose action threatens society’s well-being that is conducive to labour’s survival they shall hear from me. My eye remains focused on Guyana.This opportunity is taken to thank the many who have supported my column throughout the years and those who offered valued advice, including those who have expressing concern for the implications to society and development.It would be naïve to think that the Editor-in-Chief Nigel Williams unilaterally disposed of myself and David Hinds as columnists in the State newspaper. Hopefully he will not be made the fall guy for adhering to what is evidently political interference.Sincerely,Lincoln Lewis
As I took a stroll behind the Point Four Junction vicinity located on Bushrod Island, I noticed the further I walked in, the more it became polluted.Human feces could be spotted near and around cook shops, homes and playing areas where children of all ages ran around bare footed, un-kept and without parental guidance.Zimbabwe, a housing project behind Point Four, is over populated with some of the poorest families. There you will find patched zinc houses, loud music, drug users, criminals, gambling, prostitutes and no control.Darius, a toddler who I met sitting unattended right near a drug-infested house immediately raised his arms when he spotted me. Unable to walk yet, he placed the dirt he was nibbling on down and cried for me.“ Mama” he cooed.Near the same house stood dozens of men who hung their heads low to focus on the dice that was being thrown to the ground. They were unaware of my presence.“My man, your turn to roll is over. Pass me the dice you dirty dog,” shouted a man wearing a filthy pair of jeans with a cigarette hanging from his lips.While trying to pick up the toddler, a woman who appeared to be the child’s mother began to ask questions.“My son will dirty you, are you sure you want to pick him up? He’s rude and not a child that you’ll want to hold,” she warned.I picked him up anyway. Within minutes he began to breathe steadily until he fell asleep in my arms. I used the opportunity to ask his mother about the whereabouts of his father.“He doesn’t have a father,” she brushed my question off.Meanwhile, the scent of marijuana (weed), cigarette and garbage being burned all at once marinated in the closed up community.I handed the child to his mother and to my surprise, she sat him back down where I had picked him up. He wailed.I walked over to the drug-infested house and met a woman who says she has been selling weed for the past eight years.“It supports me and my two daughters and I don’t have a problem with telling people about why I sell it,” she added.According to Brenda who asked that her real name not be used, during the Liberian civil war, she was raped and gave birth to a daughter who she says loves the street.“Because of the ordeal, I have a large growth in my stomach that has been there for years. I can’t stop crying when I think about how my life is and will probably end if I don’t get help quick,” she cried.As we talked, men, girls and women of all ages came to buy weed that Brenda says cost less than a US$0.50.“I spend over US$20 to buy it once a week and I make over US$10 profit on it. But the police at zone 1 raid me all the time and take away my earnings,” she added.Brenda’s youngest daughter, Mami, served people as they came whenever her mother was too busy“Sometimes my mother leaves me here to sell. Some crazy men come to buy and try to act like they want to hurt me and a lot of times my mother has had to fight for my business,” she shared.A group of children who Mami says are her friends gathered around the house. A little girl who wasn’t wearing a shirt began pulling at my bag asking if I had any candy. The group of children followed in pursuit as Brenda and I toured her small sized apartment.After asking them for their names, the children shared that they were the children of the men who I had spotted gambling.“Our parents are over there shooting dice and in there smoking,” they giggled.After gathering my bags and camera to leave Zimbabwe, I realized that I had become the center of attraction.‘You better not put our faces in the news or tell the police that drugs are here,” one filthy man screamed at me.I was told by Brenda to hurry up and get away before someone robbed or hurt me.I ran.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Ethiopian government has done a remarkable job in economic recovery. From one of Africa’s poorest nations, it has emerged in the past several years as one of the world’s fast growing economies. At last count, Ethiopia has been growing at the rate of 10% per annum. That is even greater than the mighty China and most other advanced economies.Not only that. Ethiopia has a fast growing industrial enterprise. It is manufacturing beverages, sugar, and steel, and grows and exports coffee, cut flowers, oilseed and cotton.These are in addition to the mighty Ethiopian Airlines, a world leader in the business, reputed to be almost crash-free, and also time-conscious. Recently, with the help of the People’s Republic of China, Ethiopia inaugurated a railway from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, giving the empire direct access to the sea, from which to export its products. This is a critically important new development since Ethiopia lost its access to the sea through Eritrea’s Asmara seaport. Eritrea gained its independence in 1993; and in 1998, war between the two nations broke out. But after Ethiopia, with the upper hand in the conflict, entered Eritrea in May 2000, a peace treaty was signed.But all of Ethiopia’s impressive accomplishments have been marred by conflict with her two largest ethnic groups, the Oromo and the Amhara. Both groups feel they have been marginalized by the Ethiopian government. The Amhara are the ethic group of the late former Emperor, Haile Selassie who, along with Liberia’s President W.V.S. Tubman,Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah, Guinean President Sekou Toure and Nigeria’s Prime Minister Tafewa Balewa, laid the foundation for the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU—now African Union). Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974, followed by the ascendancy of the ruthless and brutal dictator, Menghistu Haile Merriam. He was later overthrown and sought exile in Zimbabwe, where he still lives. We urge the Ethiopian government to negotiate immediately a ceasefire with the Oromo and Amhara and begin talks with them toward ending their marginalization, bringing them into the government and reaching out to their areas with education and development. This marginalization, we submit, is the root cause of the conflict, and the Ethiopian government must develop the political will to sit with the leadership of the two groups toward reconciliation.The Ethiopian government must remember the experience of Liberia, its closest ally in Africa over many decades since the Second World War. Ethiopia and Liberia were the only two independent African nations that helped form the United Nations, and were part of the decision making leading to the formation of the major UN Agencies, including the United Nations Development Program, the UN Declaration on Human Rights, World Health Organization, and the Bretton Woods organizations—the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the International Finance Corporation, etc.What is happening in Ethiopia is exactly what happened to Liberia. The settler elite which founded Liberia in 1822, led by the American Colonization Society, wielded power exclusively, especially since the founding of the Commonwealth of Liberia in 1839 and more especially since Independence in 1847. This was done to the exclusion of the indigenous majority, comprising Liberia’s 16 ethnic groups.All of this lasted until April 1980, when a bloody military coup d’état occurred, overthrowing the government of President William R. Tolbert Jr. A military dictator, Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, emerged. He, along with 16 enlisted men, had staged the coup. They killed President Tolbert and his topmost officials. Unfortunately, Doe proceeded to exclude most of the other coup makers, except those of his ethnic Krahn group. And this helped lead the country to civil war. It was marginalization that led to conflict in Senegal, when the people of the Casamance region took up arms against the Senegalese government. The Casamance people felt excluded, contending that all the development was taking place only in and around the capital city, Dakar. Fortunately, the government has finally commenced fruitful talks with the Casamance leadership, leading to peace.We pray that Ethiopia’s main partners, especially the African Union, People’s Republic of China, United States and the European Union, will diplomatically engage Addis Ababa towards forging reconciliation with the Oromo and Amhara. The key to this is power sharing and bringing the benefits of development to all parts of the country.Without this, all of the admirable development gains taking place in Ethiopia will not be sustainable.Remember the prosperity of Southern United States, created on the backs of African slaves. Was it sustainable? No! It led to civil war and the total destruction of southern civilization, classically epitomized in Clark Gable’s epic American movie, Gone With the Wind!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
President George M. Weah last Monday delivered his first State of the Nation Address to the National Legislature.Without reporting on the state of the economy, with the justification that he did not have enough information on the performance of his predecessor, President Weah assured Liberians that he would bring power to the people; and in this process, asked for legislative and judicial support as called for by the Liberian Constitution.He vocally expressed his willingness to defend the Constitution fully, and went on to read specifically the “General Principles of National Policy,” which calls in various articles for national integration and unity, preservation, protection and promotion of positive Liberian culture, and elimination of sectionalism and tribalism and abuses of power, such as the misuse of government resources, nepotism and all other corrupt practices.Listeners especially became excited when the President said he would reduce his salary by 25% and called on the Legislature to support him by following his lead by themselves doing the same thing.What the President said, however, that raises eyebrows and sparked this editorial is that he would seek “guidance from my predecessor.”Seeking guidance from his immediate predecessor, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is not necessarily the wrong thing to do because it directly goes in line with the old adage, “Sit on the old mat to plait the new one.”There is fear, however, that given the predecessor’s administration that was marred by rampant corruption and nepotism that left the country “broke” and run down, how much sound advice can President Weah expect from his predecessor?This is also a predecessor whose administration did not address the poor sanitation, debilitating education and health systems; nor did it carve (fashion) a road map for Liberia’s agricultural development.Despite the enormous diplomatic, financial and technical support that came from international partners to support President Sirleaf’s administration, agriculture, health and many other sectors remain desperately wanting. In the health sector, there is an audit report published late last year revealing how over US$2 million was mismanaged during the Ebola crisis.At the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), your predecessor’s son, Robert Sirleaf, presided over this company on a “pro-bono” basis, but in the end, led the company to bankruptcy, from which it has never recovered up to now. Some say between US$40 million or more was lost under his watch.The Constitution that you promised to go by without compromise has a clause in Article 5(c) that talks about discouraging tribalism and sectionalism. Under your predecessor, we observed that after years of war there was no effort to reconcile the people and tribalism, sectionalism and religious intolerance remained a threat to Liberians’ peaceful coexistence. What happened to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report—a document which, despite its shortcomings, clearly pointed the way to national reconciliation?We further recall the violent confrontation that existed between a church and the Muslim community in Lofa County in 2010, the tribal differences between the Sapo and Kru in the south-east and other tribal differences emerging among the people of Nimba County.So, as you intend to seek guidance from your predecessor, it beats the imagination as to what guidance you wish to seek and what will you get in return.Your campaign won the minds of Liberians to vote you to the presidency because you told them that you would bring change that will positively impact the poor.Knowing the level of poverty, poor education, corrupt justice system and other vices that permeated the administration of your predecessor, this newspaper, the Daily Observer, urges that you be careful what advice you receive and how.We recalled the time when the political difference was strong between you and your predecessor, and the time both of you became close and intimate. Equally, you have promised to fight corruption to the fullest extent.Holding onto this promise, you need to be cautious, conscious and vigilant as to what advice you receive from your predecessor, in case you receive such advice, that may break the confidence Liberians have developed in you.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Residents of Lamaha Springs, Georgetown are furious over the deplorable condition of their roads which they said are becoming more appalling each day.Potholes in Lamaha SpringsOn request of residents, this publication visited the area on Wednesday. One resident said that about a month and a half ago, workers – they presumed were from the Public Infrastructure Ministry – showed up with bulldozers and started to dig the roads but subsequently left, leaving their vehicles parked in the area.“Just so you see a morning they came and they start with this bulldozer digging,” the resident said.Another resident told this newspaper that the roads were in a better condition prior to the commencing works. They also said that the roads have now become smaller by some four feet in width since the mud that was placed along the edge of residents’ parapets have encroached on the roadway.Potholes in Lamaha Springs“If we had ten potholes, we had nuff,” the resident stated.Residents also expressed concerns about their safety and the damages caused to their vehicles from traversing the area which has been filled with “big bricks” by the residents to facilitate proper passage for vehicles.A resident further stated that persons living in the area have found this project by the Ministry to be extremely frustrating and inconvenient as they now have to find alternative routes to drive.Guyana Times was told that when they expressed concerns to the workers on-site, they were unable to get any information but are rather told to call the Public Infrastructure Ministry.In July, the residents raised concerns about the condition of the roads which they stated were badly damaged as a result of heavy-duty trucks traversing frequently at the time. However, the issue has worsened in the span of a few months.Guyana Times understands that most of the persons living in the community, including top officials from the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, are fearful of being victimised so they prefer to remain silent on the issue: “The position they’re in they don’t want to be victimised, is the same thing with me”.The bulldozers which have been parked and left in Lamaha Springs for over a month and a halfThe residents mentioned that the project started by the APNU/AFC Government has instead destroyed their roads completely and had proper maintenance been conducted the current issues would not have been experienced.
Auditor General Report findingsThe Government’s misuse of the Contingency Fund, as highlighted by Auditor General Deodat Sharma in his 2016 report, is being described by the political Opposition as “executive lawlessness.”PPP parliamentarian Juan EdghillDuring a press conference on Saturday, People’s Progressive Party parliamentarian Juan Edghill took the Government to task for dipping into the Contingency Fund. These withdrawals were for what the Auditor General had described as “routine expenses.” According to the law, the Fund should only be accessed for emergency purposes.Speaking to reporters at the Opposition Leader’s office on Church Street, Georgetown, Edghill pointed out that the Contingency Fund is a subset of the Consolidated Fund.“About two per cent of the Consolidated Fund is in the Contingency Fund. So more than (what) should have been used was used, so that’s one breach. The second breach (is that) to get access to the Contingency Fund is only based upon certain criteria, according to the fiscal management and accountability act.”He added that the Government broke the law when they tapped into the Contingency Fund for monies for “normal expenditure which should have been drawn from the Consolidated Fund. It’s what is called executive lawlessness. They accused us of doing those things when we were in Government and promised the people of Guyana that they would never do it.”The controversial Sussex Street bond, for which $63.5 million was withdrawn from the Contingency FundZeroing in on withdrawals from the Contingency Fund for the D’Urban Park Project, Edghill was highly critical of the fact that payments for works on the edifice even featured on the statement of receipts. He noted that the structure was used for entertainment and national celebrations and as such, could not be classified as emergency expense.The 2016 Auditor General Report had red flagged the fact that the Consolidated Fund of Guyana is in an overdraft status. As at the ending of last year, the Fund reflected an overdraft of $67.5 billion and the cash book, $86 billion. In 2015, the Fund was overdrawn by $42.6 billion.According to the Auditor General, the difference of $18.5 billion between the bank and the cash book was due to a deposit of $6.7 billion not being debited to the cash book. There was also some $22.7 billion in un-presented cheques. It was also revealed that deposits totalling $5.3 billion were not credited to the bank account, while debit advances of $1.6 billion were not credited to the cash book.In its response, the Finance Ministry affirmed that the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003 makes provisions for the account to be overdrawn in order to make up for cash shortfalls while implementing the budget.“The Ministry of Finance also ensured that no further expenditures were being affected against the appropriation allotments after December 31, 2016, by activating the controls within IFMAS (Integrated Financial Management System).”Article 216 of the Constitution of Guyana states, “All revenues or other (sums of) money raised or received by Guyana (not being revenues or other sums of money payable by or under an Act of Parliament into some other fund established for any specific purpose; or that may, by or under such an Act, be retained by the authority that received them for the purpose of defraying the expenses of that authority) shall be paid into and from one Consolidated Fund.”Article 217 stipulates that money cannot be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except: “(a) to meet expenditure that is charged upon the Fund by this Constitution or by any Act of Parliament; or (b) where the issue of those (sums of) money has been authorised by an Appropriation Act; or (c) where the issue of those (sums of) money has been authorised under Article 219.”Contingency FundThe report had also found that Government made withdrawals that totalled over $900 million from the Contingency Fund. The monies were used for expenses related to the Army, the D’Urban Park Project, and the Sussex Street drug bond. The Sussex Street bond had come in for much public scrutiny after it was discovered that is was owned by a A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change party affiliate.In his statement on the issue, the Auditor General had expressed disappointment that for the period under review, nine advances were granted from the Contingency Fund for routine expenditure.
1 Nicklas Helenius in action for Aston Villa Aston Villa striker Nicklas Helenius has returned to Aalborg on a season-long loan deal, the Premier League club have announced.Helenius has struggled to make an impact since joining Villa from the Danish outfit last summer, making just six appearances – each of which were as a substitute – in all competitions.The 23-year-old Denmark international scored once during those games, netting in the 2-1 home FA Cup loss to Sheffield United in January.
1 Everton manager Roberto Martinez Everton manager Roberto Martinez was disappointed with Everton’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane, claiming his side were denied a “clear penalty” towards the end of the match.Spurs defender Federico Fazio appeared to handle Romelu Lukaku’s header as the Toffees pushed for a late equaliser after strikes from Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado cancelled out Kevin Mirallas’ spectacular opener.But Martinez praised his players’ effort in what he described as a “demanding” week for the Merseysiders, which included a 2-0 Europa League win against Wolfsburg on Thursday.“The game finished with a clear penalty and you need that little bit of luck to be given,” said Martinez.“I did feel that the game was level so taking the result is very difficult and harsh because the effort was monumental in such a demanding week.“His [Fazio’s] arm is not in a natural position. If the ball hits you in the chest then you’ve done great but if it hits you in the arm then it’s a penalty.“It [Fazio’s arm] is so high up that the view shouldn’t be obstructed for the referee.”However, Martinez admitted his side should have taken greater control of the match when they were ahead, while admitting he was frustrated with Tottenham’s “fortunate” goals.“We did the hardest thing which was to start well, impose ourselves and score a magnificent goal from open play,” added the Spaniard.“From that point we didn’t keep calm and control the game. It was a strange period and that strange period ended up with two fortunate goals from Spurs’ point of view.“You feel like you have a big mountain to climb but we took the momentum from Spurs and we had good opportunities.”
Signing goalkeeper Petr Cech may have given Arsenal the edge in the Premier League title race, according to club legend Ray Parlour.Cech has been a huge hit at the Emirates Stadium in his first season for the Gunners, having joined from rivals Chelsea for just £10million in the summer.The 33-year-old has been the top flight’s best goalkeeper this season with 12 clean sheets, and recent reports claim he will be made the new Arsenal captain with current skipper Mikel Arteta primed to leave when his contract expires.Gunners great Parlour believes Cech’s professionalism and leadership makes him the natural choice for the armband, and insists his presence between the sticks is a huge plus as the club hunts for its first league title in over a decade.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, three-time Premier League winner Parlour said: “Petr Cech has been such an important player for Arsenal this season.“I was absolutely delighted when the club signed him from Chelsea and that signing could be the difference for Arsenal this season.“John Terry said Cech could save you 12 points a season, and I genuinely believed he will.“Arsenal had top class goalkeepers when I was playing – David Season and Jens Lehman – and after that they had a little bit a problem with goalkeepers.“But now they’ve got a man who has been there and done it all. He’s played in big tournaments, played in big games and he’s won the Champions League.“I wouldn’t have a problem with him being captain. Ideally, I would have a centre-half as captain but at least you know Cech would play every single game.“He’s been very good not just on the pitch, but off it as well. He’s very important in the dressing room. Having that level of professional in the dressing room has been very important for Arsenal this season.”
The USBSF picked its skeleton and women’s bobsled teams; the nine-member men’s bobsled team will be formally announced Monday. Suspended skeleton coach Tim Nardiello, who has been accused of sexual harassment, will be among the names sent this week by the federation to the U.S. Olympic Committee for final approval. The USOC is investigating the claims against Nardiello and the coach’s conduct, and has final say over which athletes and coaches will be part of the American delegation for the Turin Olympics next month. The USOC must finalize its roster by Jan. 30. Lueders on track: Pierre Lueders of Canada won his second straight World Cup event, setting a track record in the four-man race in Koenigsee, Germany. Lueders, who won the two-man race on this fast track, teamed with Ken Kotyk, Morgan Alexander and Lascelles Brown to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 37.26 seconds. The Canadian quartet set the track record on the first run with a time of 48.42 seconds. Todd Hays of the United States was fourth after the first run but finished second as his unit clocked 1:37.46. Rene Spies of Germany took third in 1:37.57. Also: Enrico Fabris became the first Italian to win a men’s title at the European Speedskating Championships in Hamar, Norway. Claudia Pechstein of Germany won the women’s gold medal. … Andre Florschuetz and Torsten Wustlich of Germany celebrated their first World Cup luge win this season, capturing a doubles race on the Olympic track in Igls, Austria. Silke Kraushaar of Germany won the women’s event and is only one point from winning the overall World Cup title. … Philipp Schoch of Switzerland won the final of the men’s parallel giant slalom in Plan de Corones, Italy, for his third World Cup snowboard win this season. World Cup leader Daniela Meuli of Switzerland won the women’s parallel GS. … Hannu Manninen of Finland clinched his seventh World Cup victory of the season in Nordic combined in a 7.5-kilometer event in Predazzo, Italy. … Liv Grete Poiree of Norway beat Kati Wilhelm in a photo finish to win in a World Cup women’s 10-kilometer biathlon pursuit race in Ruhpolding, Germany. In the men’s 12.5K pursuit, Michael Roesch of Germany earned his first career biathlon World Cup victory… Christian Zorzi of Italy edged World Cup leader Tobias Angerer in a dramatic sprint finish to win the men’s 40-kilometer relay race in Val di Fiemme, Italy. Finland took the women’s 20K relay ahead of Russia and Norway. … Roar Ljoekelsoey of Norway led his country to a second consecutive team ski flying world championship in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Janica Kostelic, the three-time Olympian, captured her first World Cup super-G, becoming the first woman to claim wins in six different disciplines on the skiing circuit. “It’s funny. I feel like laughing, like crying – it was my goal,” Kostelic said. She finished in 1 minute, 9.41 seconds on a demanding slope in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, .10 ahead of Austrians Michaela Dorfmeister and Alexandra Meissnitzer, the season’s top two super-G racers who tied for second place. Kirsten Clark of the United States was fourth in 1:09.63. Americans Libby Ludlow was seventh and Julia Mancuso was 13th. Kostelic claimed her first World Cup downhill Saturday and her first giant slalom on the tour three weeks ago. Among her 24 World Cup wins, She has captured all five main disciplines, the giant slalom, downhill, slalom, super-G and combined, and also won in the new super-combi race. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Kostelic, who had never done better than second in the super-G, is the runaway leader in the overall standings. She has 982 points to Dorfmeister’s 730, with Anja Paerson of Sweden third at 685. Rocca wins again: Giorgio Rocca won his fifth consecutive slalom race Sunday in Wengen, Switzerland, joining Alberto Tomba, Ingemar Stenmark and Marc Girardelli as the only men to accomplish that feat in a single season. “It is a big honor to have my name in the history of skiing,” said Rocca, who finished with a combined time of 1 minutes, 42.28 seconds. Overall World Cup champion Bode Miller’s day wasn’t nearly as successful. Miller was 20th in the opening run after going sideways following a tight turn, and brushing his right hip on the snow before pulling off another trademark recovery. He switched to a different pair of skis and delivered the day’s fastest second run to finish in eighth place with a time of 1:43.67. Bobsled team hands out spots: Returning gold medalist Vonetta Flowers was among nine athletes awarded Olympic spots by the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.