ROY KEANE suggests Tottenham players may be fed up of listening to Mauricio Pochettino.Spurs take on Liverpool in the Premier League this afternoon with Pochettino’s side struggling so far this season.1 Spurs boss Mauricio PochettinoCredit: AFP or licensorsTottenham are currently 10th, 13 points behind the league leading Reds, having won just three of their opening nine games.And while Keane believes Pochettino is ‘a brilliant manager’, the former Manchester United captain thinks things may have gotten stale in North London.He said on Sky Sports: “We can make excuses for clubs a lot, but I think these are key factors that seem to be affecting the players.”Obviously the big issue is the three or four players whose contracts are running out and don’t seem to be at their best.HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT”Obviously they may have already made their minds up. Clearly Tottenham aren’t going to give the wages they are after. I think there is injury problems.”Huge disappointment in the Champions League, players at the World Cup, these are important factors. Maybe speculation of the manager last year that he was going to leave.”He’s been there five or six years now. Maybe players do get fed up of listening to a certain manager.”Clearly a brilliant manager and I agree with Gary (Neville) earlier that they have been outstanding the last three or four years.”I don’t want to be too hard on them, and saying they are going back to the old Tottenham ways of there being a softness to them.”I still think there is enough quality in their squad to turn their season around.”It will take a big ask but I still think there is enough good quality players, when you have (Harry) Kane up front, to get their season up and running.”MOST READ IN SPORTTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubKeane has already suggested that his former club United should make a move for Spurs ace Kane to solve their attacking woes.Pochettino feels it’s no surprise that Keane rates his star striker as one of the top players in the game.But United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put the focus on the attacking players he already has at his disposal when asked about Roy Keane’s transfer advice.
TRACK AND FIELD GLORY DAYS MONEY IN SPORTS The sport of track and field continues to enjoy days of glory. Jamaican sprinters are the envy of the world. The quarter-milers are ganging up for a return to the days of the Helsinki 1952 Olympics foursome. The Racers and MVP track clubs are churning out quality athletes, some to the benefit of adopted countries to whom they have redirected their allegiance. Through the dreams of a few coaches, dedicated to sharing the spotlight – and Julian Leonard Robinson and Michael Vassell must be mentioned – world-class throwers are emerging. Jamaica, with sports aficio-nados gaping in disbelief, qualified three discus men to be at the Beijing World Champs last year. Having two of our male sprint hurdlers making the final at that elite event was both startling and spoke to good days ahead in the discipline for that gender. The women had accomplished that time and again. None other than five-timer at the Olympics, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, with the added benefit of a political platform, said recently on social media that more medals than the 12 mined at London 2012 could be expected this summer in Rio. All that said, where is Foster’s Fairplay taking its highly respected readers this week? The image of West Indies cricket, built on the real version, is taking a severe beating. One has to be prepared for a verbal broadside from friend and fellow analyst, Oral Tracey, for the usage of the word ‘real’. He is known and respected in the arena of comedy. However, he sees nothing comic in his often-stated view that Test cricket, as a spectacle, is like a three-dollar bill – non-existent. However, that scenario is not of immediate concern to this column. Followers of sports Jamaica-style still hold fond memories of the world dominance of West Indies cricket. To avoid confusion with the versions in which regional teams claimed three titles recently, the reference is to the Test format. With the land of Bob Marley and the Reggae Boyz having a significant player input, the breathtaking brilliance touched three decades. With minimal threats to the ascendancy established under skipper Clive Lloyd to be continued with Viv Richards at the helm, there were series whippings administered one after the other. Scheduled five-day matches, being completed in three days, became a feature. The most fearsome foes, England and Australia, were flattened at home and abroad. The former suffered on two occasions what was first called a whitewash – five Test match batterings to nil. In short order, to highlight the ethnicity of the victors, the term ‘blackwash’ was coined. All this came to a sad end in 1995, when the Aussies injected their earlier conquerors with a losing serum. The effect is long and lasting. Debate as to what went wrong continues to rage. Taking the parlous state of Test cricket into active consideration, one fears a trickle over into the sport that is now bringing such joy to our people. It is also advertising the nation and its attributes to the world, who is watching on television, when the little rock called Jamaica blows away the most powerful nations on the global stage. The Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce breakout in 2008 in Beijing and their prolonged maintenance of tenure at the top rung have taken effect. All actors have been alerted to the reality that there is money in the sport and in copious quantities. There is a host of cloak and dagger games being played out with the ‘innocent’ athletes as the carrot. Allegations state that they are being forced into contracts with them as the silent partner. Uncaring coaches, the big cash returns superseding sound judgement, are left unmolested to exploit the talents of their charges. Shoe companies, too, play their role. The sickening effect mushrooms as parents and guardians are in need of the newly injected funds to keep household pots on the fire. What is missing is the knowledge required to be able to properly monitor the coaches, who them as their meal ticket to prosperity. Someone or organisation has to either ‘bell the cat’ or ‘sound the trumpet’ on these questionable activities threatening to destroy the Beijing 2008 template. The case rests, as the show of hands is awaited. – Send feedback to email@example.com.
Dear Editor,The Ministry of Communities has made a mockery of the Local Government Elections (LGE) system, as it relates to the binding legal framework for the expected necessary Government to provide support, contrary to the expectations of elected councils, however, the Ministry has been partisan and administratively suppressive in the context of Local Government jurisdiction. Their adjusted strategy is now premised on countering lost image in view of the obviously inexorable elections. As such, the Government has set about creating another deceptive framework intent on fooling citizens with undelivered promises.It is a fact which should be widely recognised that the Government, over the past three years, through their Ministry of Communities, imposed policies to take the wind out of the sail of councils won by the PPP/C. This turned out to be futile in light of the LGE results, forging some very desperate measures. Administratively, they initially moved to deflate decisions made by the councils by flagrantly encouraging abuse of authority by Overseers and Regional Executive Officers (REOs). The Ministry of Communities has been commandeering and approving actions by these officers regarding where finances should be expended which run in conflict with decisions made by councils.One can obviously deduce from the Ministry’s concurrent actions that they seek to run things at the NDCs from the inside. The Government imposition of delaying tactics related to the full establishment of the Local Government Commission (LGC) has been deliberate, given that this entity has the constitutional authority for investigating and monitoring Local Authority Area Councils. This is clear after the numerous delays and continued manipulating manoeuvres which negatively affect the timely release of appropriated financial appropriations for the effective operations of the LGC.It is quite embarrassing that the cabal seems to have succeeded in pauperising and limiting the investigative teeth of the LGC, which in effect, makes the entity an ineffective paper tiger. Chairpersons of LAA Councils have informed that the LGC frequently fails to formally acknowledge or treat with convenient speed, their complaints and reports. At the same time, the Government-appointed Chairman and leaders of the Commission remain disappointingly silent. It is notable that the Ministry continues to drive a system in which approvals of spending on projects by NDCs are subject to approval by Government controlled REOs when such actions fall under the functional mandate of the LGC.This situation runs counter to the position of Government Ministers who were part of the Select Committee of the National Assembly prior to 2015. The records of Parliament confirm that they advocated for amendments now adopted in existing legislation that correctly recognises the need for expansive empowerment at the Local Authority level together with appropriate monitoring by the LGC.Now that they have been found wanting for breach of contract to the people, however, the strategy has changed in accordance with their true nature. In reality, the new position can be described as nothing but a woeful attempt to neutralise citizens’ rejection of their incompetent, fraudulent, vindictive and increasingly unpopular behaviour.The sinister guile contemplated in the design of the so-called ‘bringing the Government to the people outreach’ approach is obvious. It is nothing but short of vacuous gaff intent on overriding the LAA Councils in some respect, which significantly undermines their empowerment while creating a false image of the Government’s ineptness in the system of local governance across the country. They simply do not have the time to fulfil these promised announcements and it is evident that they are illegal and on borrowed time.As if the foregoing is not shamefully revealing enough for the coalition, the appalling manipulation seems to be everywhere. It stems from the slaughtering the APNU/AFC received at the 2016 Local Government Elections when the PPP/C captured forty thousand votes more than the coalition.Sincerely,Neil Kumar
The officer of Plant Protection Division (PPD) of Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC), Obenco Yarpa, has taken the stand and gone public with how his charge, Michel Bruno, was ambushed, shot and killed in a District # 3 Grand Bassa County forest, hundreds of miles away from his home, in Belgium.He died instantly from a bullet wound to the torso (upper body, chest) (launched from a single-barrel gun. The weapon was wielded by an unknown assailant who has remained at large over the past seven years, according to the facts elicited (obtained, drawn out) by the Prosecution.During his testimony as the Prosecution’s second witness in the ongoing murder trial of twelve persons, on Friday, April 4, at Criminal Court ‘A,’ Yarpa a bodyguard assigned to Bruno prior to his death, said that he was on the spot when his boss was shot. When they defendants appeared in Court, they denied that they had done the deed.Bruno, a Belgian national and Plantation manger of LAC, was allegedly shot twice with a single barrel gun in November, 2007, while surveying a site for his company in District #3, Grand Bassa County.Testifying on Friday, prosecution second witness said, the shooting happened when Bruno, along with LAC’s surveyors and the company’s Superintendent, went to survey land for extending the company’s compound.“Two shots went off as soon we entered the forest…we all then ran helter-skelter (chaotically, in confusion). When we could not find Bruno amongst us, we immediately contacted the office for reinforcement,” Yarpa alleged in his testimony.“When the reinforcement arrived,” the witness said, “officers of the United Nations Mission in Liberia, (UNMIL) and the Liberia National Police, (LNP) were [among them].”“They arrived and we all started to search for Bruno. It was during the search that the team came across the defendants; “We asked them to join the team to find Bruno.”“After we discovered Bruno lying on the ground, we lifted him up; we found two bullets marked on his body and immediately arrested the defendants. We packed them into truck and took them away,” the state witness recalled.Interestingly, when earlier asked where the 12 had been headed that fateful morning, the defendants told us that they were headed for a farming trip.Before, the shooting incident, he said, some employees of LAC had advised him not to allow Bruno to go to the forest on that day; according to them, some people had already set an ambush to kill him.He did not say who had planned the ambush; instead, he based his testimony on what he claimed had amounted to a veiled threat said defendants had issued to LAC’s employees.“The defendants, earlier, had promised to deal drastically with any of LAC’s employees that dared to occupy their land,” Yarpa said, when responding to ‘how he concluded that the defendants had fired the fatal bullet (the shot that killed Bruno).During cross-examination, chief defense lawyer, Atty Arthur Johnson sought to discredit Yarpa’s testimony by asking whether the deceased, Bruno, had been shot in his presence, the witness replied: “yes.’Again asked if he was aware about the threat to kill Bruno, he once again replied, “yes.”Further asked when he heard the gun sound, Yarpa replied “I heard the shots sound immediately after we entered the forest.”Further asked to explain Bruno’s position before he alone was shot, the PPD officer response, “he was between one of my bosses, Prince Tarwo and the Surveyor team that included the Company’s Superintendent.” Asked again what the distance between him and the victim was before the shooting, Witness Yarpa again replied: “I was standing behind Bruno. But I did not see or know who shot the gun.”“As a PPD officer, what was your responsibility, the witness was asked,” “My responsibility was to protect Bruno and other LCA’s staff as well as the company’s property.”Asked why he had allowed Bruno to travel to where he was killed, witness Yarpa explained that Bruno had insisted that we went to the location, as nothing was going to happen to him. “That was how I followed him. He was my boss; and anything he said, I did.”The case continues.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
It is hard to find anyone in our entire education spectrum more qualified than this young man from rural Rivercess, which is yet one of Liberia’s most backward counties. Yet, it is Rivercess that gave Liberia its first PhD, in 1956, Dr. John Payne Mitchell. He was Secretary of Education from 1962 to 1965. The Mitchell family has produced several other educated sons and daughters, one of them Sam, Jr., who is running a successful hotel and entertainment business in Sinkor, Monrovia. Unlike the children of many highly privileged Liberian families—and some churches, too—leasing their prime property to foreigners for 30 to 60 years, Sam is now building a multi-storied building on the small property bequeathed by their father, former Rivercess Representative Samuel Mitchell.Young Sam’s eldest brother, Dr. John Payne Mitchell, and the eminent Liberian lawyer and one time pastor of Providence Baptist Church, Peter Amos George, were sons of a Rivercess mother, Madam Nyon Ware. But guess who else hails from Rivercess? Emmanuel Bowier, Toga Gayewea McKintosh, Othello Gongar, Gabriel Williams, Christopher Neyor. Does everyone recognize these eminent names?But this Editorial is not about the other Rivercess greats. We only thought to inject a little historical background of the place from which our main subject hails, another Rivercess son slowly rising to eminence: Moses Blonkanjay Jackson.Young Jackson is a talented Liberian, who has so far made good use of the brains and opportunities that God has given him. We pray that all other young Liberians will do the same—make use of the brains and opportunities God has bestowed. A product of Tubman High, Blonkanjay is a triple Ivy League product—Yale, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. Who can beat that? Blonkanjay did his work in Math. He could have gone on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the world’s preeminent technological school. There he could have studied Aeronautical Engineering and landed a job at the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), where he could have been on his way to the moon or Mars. But no, he chose Harvard’s School of Education, where he took his degree in Math Education.Blonkanjay did one thing more: He could have landed a top job in some American school, college or university; but no, he returned to his war-torn country to serve his people. How commendable. He could have yet decided to spend his youthful dynamism serving American academia or industry and only opted to return “after retirement with all my benefits,” as we have heard so many Liberians say. Not Blonkanjay.Now to the theme of this Editorial, here are what we consider to be his three challenges: First, to tour all our Teachers Colleges—Kakata, Zorzor, Webbo, etc.—study all their needs and problems and make a plan to turn them into first class teacher training institutes. Here, he will make sure that the teachers are especially trained in Math and the Sciences—his area—so that they may go out and rejuvenate learning across Liberia in these critical disciplines.His second challenge is to lead the government in creating more teacher training institutions. He knows what we are talking about because in his impressive think piece in last Thursday’s Daily Observer, he wrote about the proliferation of what he called “Trojan” teachers in our school system. We need at least 10,000 more trained teachers NOW for Liberia’s schools and who else but this Harvard-trained educator can help make that happen? Here, President Ellen Sirleaf’s government must SEIZE this great opportunity to have this highly educated and committed young man lead this charge and give him and the Education Ministry the necessary resources to do it. We could begin, within three years, to feel the impact.Third, Blonkanjay should, if he has not already done so, start a Math Club with membership across all 15 counties to rekindle our young people’s interest in this vital subject. This would facilitate the revival of strong Math and Science teaching in the schools and nurture the young through high school, college and on to graduate school, just as Blonkanjay himself has done.How are your first three challenges, Blonkanjay? We wish you Godspeed! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Authorities of the Ministry of National Defense last Wednesday dedicated and renamed the Brigade Preparatory School (BPS) to Linda Thomas Greenfield Preparatory School. The Linda Thomas Greenfield Preparatory School located in the Edward Biyan Kesseley (EBK) Barracks along the ELWA/RIA highway runs from nursery to junior high (9th grade).Last week renaming and dedicatory ceremony was part of series of activities that marked the observance of this year’s 59th Armed Forces Day, which is held on February 11 each year at the Barclay Training Center. At the ceremony, the Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai Jr., disclosed that the BPS was dedicated and renamed in honor of former United States Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas Greenfield for her “dedicated services over the years to the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).Samukai remembered how Ambassador Greenfield played a pivotal role in molding the minds of Liberian children by getting the best education when the idea of establishing a school in the barracks was borne. Idea for the establishment of the school, he said became necessary to promote quality education for children of the soldiers as well as those from the surrounding environments.Minister Samukai also recalled how the former female Western diplomat joined the process that led to the establishment of the school when she provided material supports to the military to construct the BPS in 2010. “This newly dedicated and renamed school will bring the AFL children and other residents together to acquire better knowledge that they would use to improve the lives of the country,” Samukai said.He extoled the American Government and Ambassador Greenfield when he expressed joy over what he termed as “a true partnership between Liberia and America.”In remarks on behalf of Ambassador Greenfield, the newly assigned U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Mark Boulware, described the ceremony as a “true partnership and a demonstration of lasting relationship between the US and Liberia.”He also conveyed Ambassador’s Greenfield sentiments to the people of Liberia with a promise to keep the support to the school for the promotion of the country’s future leaders and also building vibrant armed forces. “Ambassador Greenfield is very pleased and honored to have gotten involved in the process of providing adequate educational services to the children of Liberia.” Ambassador Boulware said, adding, “We are very proud of the AFL many accomplishments as they get prepare to handle the affairs of the country in the wake of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)drawdown.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…claims medicinal use to treat asthmaHarvey Moonsammy told Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan that he was using the ‘boiled herb’ to treat his asthma when he appeared before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to the charge of trafficking in narcotics on Thursday afternoon.It is alleged that Moonsammy was in possession of 90 grams of cannabis on December 23, 2017, at Parika, East Bank Essequibo (EBE).The 26-six-year-old readily admitted to the charge while adding that a daily dose of the prohibited herb does well for his illness.Prosecutor Arvin Moore said that on the day in question, Police on patrol spotted the defendant with a haversack, acting in a suspicious manner. After stopping him and searching the haversack, they found a quantity of leaves, seeds and stems suspected to be cannabis, in a ziplock bag. He was taken into custody and the suspected illegal substance was weighed in his presence. He was then charged shortly after.The carpenter was ordered to pay a fine of $135,000, three times the street value of the drug and sentenced to three years in prison.
Everton defender John Stones is the future leader of England’s defence, Three Lions legend Terry Butcher has told talkSPORT.With Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka approaching the latter stages of their careers, Roy Hodgson will soon have to consider replacing them but Manchester United duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are yet to inspire confidence at the highest level.And Butcher has backed Toffees starlet Stones, 21, to force his way into the reckoning as he develops at Goodison Park.Asked who he thought would be a mainstay of the England defence in the future, he replied: “I think John Stones will graduate [from England’s Under-21s] and play there.“I like him, he’s got good ability, he’s quick and he’s sharp, he reads things well. He’s mature beyond his years. He’s one who you would say will assume that role [as a leader] but who plays alongside him?“Look at Phil Jones, eventually he’ll get there but we’ve been saying this now for some time and injuries are a problem for him. Jones and Stones could work together but he’s got to prove himself at Manchester United first and have a consistent run.”
Many ageing players that have proven their worth in the European game head off to MLS to see out the twilight years of their careers.However, it’s not just a walk in the park on the other side of the pond these days.The division that was once deemed to be ‘Mickey Mouse’ has developed rapidly and the competition has improved vastly.Yet that’s not the only reason why plenty of players are keen to test themselves in the states.The opportunity to receive rather healthy salaries also plays a part in their decision making.But which players are among the top earners in MLS? Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out the top 10.Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are probably going to be a bit disappointed…Sources: MSN, Daily Mail. 10 10. Pedro Morales (Vancouver Whitecaps) $1.4m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out talkSPORT’s full list of the top earning MLS players – The Chile striker is not a household name on these shores. In fact, many will never have heard of the 30-year-old attacking midfielder. However, Morales has carved out a credible career for himself in America and won the MLS Newcomer of the Year award during his debut season. 3. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) $6.5m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out more of the top earning players in the MLS next season – Although it is widely believed that foreign players populate the upper echelons of the highest earner list in the MLS, the New Jersey born midfielder has claimed third place for his own. Johnson’s spell with Roma was not deemed to be a success, the 27-year-old is a force to be reckoned with for Toronto. 10 10 9. Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders) $1.75m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out more of the top earning players in the MLS next season – The Nigerian striker, who seems to have been around forever, is still just 30 years of old. Martins is a key member of the Seattle Sounders’ front line and his power and thunderbolt of a shot has proven to be a hit in the States. His trademark acrobatic celebration isn’t bad either. 10 1. Kaka (Orlando City) $7.16m – The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner will be the top earner in the MLS next season – The 33-year-old had the world at his feet when he signed for Real Madrid and became the world’s most expensive footballer in 2009. However, his spell at the Bernabeu was a nightmare. Not even a subsequent move to Milan helped to reignite his career. He couldn’t turn down the chance to become one of the leading lights in the MLS and is now earning an absolute fortune with Orlando City. What could have been? 5= David Villa (New York City) $6m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out more of the top earning players in the MLS next season – The Spanish striker was once the most feared front men in world football. His goals helped La Furia Roja earn success on the international stage, while he also helped himself to an abundance of trophies with Barcelona. The 33-year-old is past his prime, but he certainly hasn’t lost his touch and could score bucket loads when Frank Lampard arrives to give him the quality service he craves. 8. Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution) $3.25m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out more of the top earning players in the MLS next season – The dreadlocked midfielder is one of few American players to have spent a large portion of their career in European football. Jones enjoyed spells with Schalke and Besiktas before returning to his homeland with the New England Revolution and has been deemed worthy of an excellent pay package due to his standing in the USMNT. 10 4. Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy) $6.2m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out the top three highest earners in the MLS next season – The former Liverpool skipper recently admitted that he thinks about his infamous slip against Chelsea on a daily basis and a highly anticipated move to LA Galaxy will allow the veteran midfielder to embark upon a new challenge. Having carried the weight of expectation of the whole of Merseyside on his shoulders for so long, it will be exciting to see Gerrard operate in a new environment. Expect him to be compared to Lampard (constantly). 10 7. Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) $4.5m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out more of the top earning players in the MLS next season – The Republic of Ireland international raised a few eyebrows when he decided to join LA Galaxy in 2011 as most fans believed that he could still do a job for a Premier League side. Keane is now the team’s captain and has thrived in his new surroundings. The forward boasts a superb strike rate and will relish an opportunity to be reunited with Steven Gerrard. 5= Frank Lampard (New York City) $6m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out the player who will earn the same salary as the veteran Englishman in the MLS next season – Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer agreed to sign for New York last summer, before deciding that he would stick around in the Premier League with Manchester City for another season. Lampard proved his worth for the Citizens on several occasions to disprove theories that he was no longer a top class player. The 37-year-old’s unflattering effort and eye for a goal should see him become a leading player once he finally gets started in the MLS. 10 10 2. Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) $6.7m – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out more of the top earning players in the MLS next season – Dempsey’s career began with the New England Revolution in 2004 but two years later he was snapped up by Premier League outfit Fulham. A lucrative move to Tottenham Hotspur followed but he decided to return to the country of his birth in 2013. Seattle Sounders have had to shell out a huge salary to secure the 32-year-old’s signature, but the forward has proven to be a sound addition. However, hitting a notebook out a referee’s hand is never a good idea. 10 10
They’ll even head out in the dark to track owls. For morning devotees, the weather could be brisk. “Better than the pouring rain during the last two years,” said Arthur Langton, who will head into the Chatsworth Reservoir to spot up to 200 species, including meadowlarks, hawks and herons, before adding up the Valley’s final tally. “If it’s merely cold and clear, we’ll bundle up and go with it. When the sun comes out, we’ll be OK.” More than 500 species of birds have been identified in Los Angeles County. But this summer, the National Audubon Society reported a dramatic decrease in common birds over the past 40 years. Of the nation’s 700 species, the Audubon reported last month that 217 were imperiled, with more than 100 more in serious decline. Conservationists say bird counts in remote areas help guide public policy. “This is the biggest citizen science project out there,” said Hardesty, who expects to count road runners and yellow-rumped warblers in Wilson Canyon in the Northeast Valley. “It’s important to me. I enjoy birding and am trying to maintain the species that we have. The numbers are declining. With hard work, there are species to be found – but it’s getting harder and harder.”160Want 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 MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe data are compiled at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in New York to track imperiled species and the effect of development and climate change on birds. “The nice thing about the Christmas bird count is that it enables bird lovers to do what they love doing, which is to go outside and experience these birds in their natural habitat and at the same time make a tremendous contribution to science,” said Garrison Frost, spokesman for Audubon California. In California, more than 5,000 enthusiasts are expected to crane their necks to tabulate birds now through Jan. 5. In the San Fernando and Antelope valleys, the count will take place today. Malibu is Sunday, the Santa Clarita Valley is Dec. 29 and the rest of L.A. is Dec. 30. Bird lovers across the Valley will count birds at seven locations, including the Sepulveda Basin, the Chatsworth Nature Preserve, Pierce College and in various canyons. A rustle of underbrush. A peep on a power pole. A rush of feathered wings. Jim Hardesty will be among dozens of San Fernando Valley birders to raise their binoculars today for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. “We’re trying to find every bird that’s out there,” said Hardesty, a past president of the San Fernando Valley Audubon chapter. “We encourage birders of all skills to be a part of the project.” During the 108th Audubon Christmas tally, an estimated 50,000 birders across North America will hike into the weeds to count as many birds of as many species as possible. Another backyard count will take place in the spring.