Oral Tracey: Early exit for disintegrating Windies?

first_img ENOUGH DAMAGE Despite the reasonable quality of the replacements in Carlos Brathwaite, Johnson Charles and possibly Dwayne Smith, enough damage I think has been done to the core of the West Indies unit that they will now struggle to lift that trophy. Losing all of five first string potential match winners has destroyed the blueprint for the success of this team. The injuries to Simmons and Pollard apart, the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of Bravo especially, is disappointing, to say the least. To my mind, it could give the impression that the Brian Lara look alike has basically deserted the team. In instances of desertion, the West Indies Cricket should fine and sanction players. As a general principle though, no player should have the right to dictate when and where he plays. The Russell indiscretions are also unforgivable. I am still in shock and disbelief that a player at this elite level of cricket is not able to navigate his way through such basic obligations as adhering to the drug-testing requirements. Narine’s decision to opt out, while still disappointing, is more understandable due to the recent woes relating to his bowling action. The wish was that the desire and passion of this group of players to represent the West Indies in this format of the game would overcome all else. That is obviously not the case. Our recent pathetic performances and embarrassing results at the Test and ODI levels are well documented and with our Twenty20 team representing the only credible unit on the international stage, it basically tugs at the heart to see this team falling apart. Our last hope of immediate international success is rapidly evaporating. One could venture into being extremely optimistic and hope that the remaining members of the squad will use the absence of these key players as motivation to energise and lift their individual efforts enough for them to march on and win the trophy. That would make good material for a dressing room team talk, but is a stretch of the reality. Confidence and optimism about the West Indies winning the World T20 have now been reduced to nonchalant hope. The fact of the matter is that the team has in part disintegrated and from here could struggle to make a significant impression. Indeed it is quite possible that the West Indies could make a very early exit from World T20. It was with genuine belief and optimism that some weeks ago I predicted that the West Indies should and would win the 2016 ICC World Cup T20 title. My impression then was that the 2012 champions, like the other top contenders India and Australia, possess the necessary skill and experience to get the job done. Fundamentally, I thought then the Caribbean team, compared to the others, had more individual match winners in their ranks, which in the end would get them over the line. Fast forward to here and now, days before the start of the tournament. The West Indies are absolutely falling apart. Four of those potential match winners, for one reason or another, are no longer in the squad, while a fifth, Andre Russell, will be playing with additional after news emerged that he shockingly missed three drug tests and could be banned for up to two years. Lendl Simmons is the latest to withdraw from the squad with an injury. Before him there was the mystery withdrawal of batsman Darren Bravo, who said he wants to concentrate more on playing the longer versions of the game. Kieron Pollard failed to recover from injury, while mystery spinner Sunil Narine said he was not confident enough in his bowling action to take part in the tournament.last_img read more

Margibi Battle Nimba for 3rd Place

first_imgAfter conceding defeats in their semi-final matches of the ongoing National County Sports Meet, Margibi and Nimba Counties will today face each other in the 3rd place playoff of the tournament at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.Margibi on Tuesday lost to Montserrado County 5-3 in a penalty shootout, while Nimba were on Wednesday edged out by Maryland in a 2-0 encounter at the ATS.The last time the two teams met in the finals of the competition was in the 2011 when Nimba defeated Margibi and 2012 when Margibi defeated Nimba two goals to nil to clinch the trophy.Also in kickball, Grand Bassa will go against Montserrado for the third place at the ATS.Bassa were on Wednesday defeated by Margibi in the their semi-finals match 2-1 to overcome them by three to two points, while Montserrado were on Tuesday beaten eight to one by defending champions, Nimba County. The third place play bronze medal game or consolation game is a single match that is included in many sporting knockout tournaments to decide which competitor or team will be credited with finishing third and fourth.In another development, ahead of Sunday’s finals between Montserrado and Maryland Counties, the coach of Montserrado, Samuel Sumo has expressed confidence of his capturing the trophy against the Marylanders.According to Coach Sumo, his boys are fully prepared finals and will use his same system that qualified his side to the finals.The last encounter between the two sides in the second group stage of this year’s edition ended in a one-all draw.According to records, the last time the two met in the final was in 1956 when Maryland won the trophy and did not reach the finals until 2017.Montserrado, this will mark the fifth time the county has appeared in the finals, but are yet to win the trophy.It is now a challenge for Coach Sumo of Montserrado to end the county’s record of losing in finals and also a huge task for Maryland’s Coach Emmanuel Baffoe to make a historic win for Maryland after 61 years. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Lawrence to lobby for higher salary for health workers

first_imgPublic Health Minister Volda Lawrence said she would be lobbying for an improved salary scale for persons working for basic wages within the health sector.She was at the time speaking to staff members of the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre last Friday, during the closing ceremony of a two-week capacity-building programme for orthotic and prosthetic technicians.The technicians, most of them hailing from the Centre, were very instrumental inPublic Health Minister Volda Lawrenceproviding prosthetic limbs and orthotic devices for some 25 persons.Minister Lawrence said while she was grateful for the work put in by the technicians and other staff, there was no doubt that the salaries of those who labour so strenuously needed to be improved.“We are presently at the Ministry of Health trying to work with the Public Service Ministry so that persons who are branded in some particular fields and have been left there to languish, to address your salary scale so you can be remunerated properly for the important services you provide,” the Minister is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.She noted that the process was “taking a little longer than we thought it would have taken, but good things come to those who wait,” she assured.“We will continue to fight that fight so that persons in those other Ministries understand the important role that many of you play in the health sector, especially you here at the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre.”Director of the Rehabilitation Centre, Cynthia Massay lauded the Minister’s commitment to health workers particularly those working at the centre.last_img read more

Who will be Democratic nominee?

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Bush, breaking his rule not to talk about presidential politics, says he believes Hillary Rodham Clinton will defeat Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primaries. Bush also predicts that Clinton will be defeated in the general election by the GOP nominee. “I believe our candidate can beat her, but it’s going to be a tough race,” the president said. It has been difficult for Bush to remain silent about the 2008 presidential race, despite his promises not to be the “prognosticator in chief.” He finally went public with his Clinton prediction in an interview for a book by journalist Bill Sammon. “She’s got a great national presence and this is becoming a national primary,” Bush told Sammon. “And therefore the person with the national presence, who has got the ability to raise enough money to sustain an effort in a multiplicity of sites, has got a good chance to be nominated.” – The Associated Press 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Northern Ireland defender agrees new one-year contract with West Brom

first_img Gareth McAuley 1 Gareth McAuley has signed a new one-year contract with West Brom.The 35-year-old defender’s previous deal was set to expire at the end of the month, but he has committed his future to the Baggies for another season. The Northern Ireland international had been linked with Leicester, but Albion boss Tony Pulis has convinced him to stay at The Hawthorns.McAuley made 31 appearances last season as the Baggies finished 13th in the Barclays Premier League after Pulis replaced Alan Irvine in January. He joined from Ipswich in 2011 and has played 138 games for Albion, scoring nine times. McAuley also played in Northern Ireland’s 0-0 Euro 2016 draw with Romania on Saturday.last_img

Bill would add flexibility for college growth

first_imgLANCASTER – Legislation intended to give community colleges more flexibility in providing classroom and laboratory space passed the state Senate on a unanimous vote and heads to the Assembly. Senate Bill 1304 by Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, authorizes community colleges to use state funds to acquire already-built facilities, whether owned privately or by government, for school use. Runner said the legislation will help community colleges meet their needs without construction. “California’s community colleges are vital to our educational system, and we must ensure community colleges are given all the tools necessary to acquire adequate classrooms and facilities,” Runner said. Current law prevents community colleges from receiving state funds to buy property unless it is recommended by the California Postsecondary Education Commission. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Current law also requires buildings used by community colleges to comply with school seismic-safety standards under the state’s Field Act, adopted after the Long Beach Earthquake of 1933 and periodically updated. Under the act, the Division of the State Architect reviews construction plans for school buildings for students from kindergarten through community college, and school districts must hire on-site construction inspectors to ensure compliance with the structural safety standards. The act doesn’t apply to state universities. The Runner bill authorizes community college districts to use state capital-outlay funds to acquire buildings that meet certain conditions and to convert them for school use. The building must have been constructed for school use under Field Act standards or else meet safety standards equivalent to those of the act. The bill also would require that the cost of buying and converting a building would be equal to or less than the estimated cost of constructing a new building. A third condition is that the community college district would own the land under the building or hold a long-term lease for the site. “This is a common-sense approach toward meeting the facilities needs for community colleges,” said Jackie Fisher, president of Antelope Valley College. “This legislation will give us more flexibility to use existing buildings that meet appropriate safety standards.” james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Steve Kerr clarifies comments, says Klay Thompson could play this season

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — On the heels of an earlier comment, Warriors coach Steve Kerr clarified that he wasn’t breaking news when he said guard Klay Thompson is unlikely to play this season. He was just doing math.“I wasn’t announcing anything. He’s doing great with his rehab. It’s still possible he could play,” Kerr said after practice on Tuesday.Kerr was referencing an interview published by NBC Sports Bay Area this week in which he called the prospect of Klay Thompson playing this year …last_img

One Flood Can Cause Major Change

first_imgSingle large floods can change landscapes more than precipitation, a study in the Himalayas shows.European geologists went to Tibet to figure out the role of large floods in the complex landscape of the Himalaya Mountains. They conclusions are stated in a preface:Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are exactly what they sound like. The sudden emptying of a glacial lake in high-topography regions like the Himalaya can quickly destroy everything in its path. Cook et al. intercepted a GLOF in the Bhotekoshi and Sunkoshi river valleys in central Nepal as they were monitoring the region in the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. They found that a massive amount of erosion occurred during the outburst flood, which suggests that GLOFs may be the primary factor in landscape evolution for these regions.The paper by Cook et al, “Glacial lake outburst floods as drivers of fluvial erosion in the Himalaya,” was published in Science. The team says that these large floods, which can transport boulders a meter or more in diameter, are not that rare.The frequency of GLOFs in the central Himalaya is difficult to establish, because records are incomplete and recorded floods may not be correctly identified as GLOFs. Nevertheless, GLOFs are relatively common in the Himalaya, with a major flood occurring at least once every 2 years on average.The site this team studied was instructive, suggesting that a GLOF can hit a particular site once every 30 years. The Abstract says,Himalayan rivers are frequently hit by catastrophic floods that are caused by the failure of glacial lake and landslide dams; however, the dynamics and long-term impacts of such floods remain poorly understood. We present a comprehensive set of observations that capture the July 2016 glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in the Bhotekoshi/Sunkoshi River of Nepal. Seismic records of the flood provide new insights into GLOF mechanics and their ability to mobilize large boulders that otherwise prevent channel erosion. Because of this boulder mobilization, GLOF impacts far exceed those of the annual summer monsoon, and GLOFs may dominate fluvial erosion and channel-hillslope coupling many tens of kilometers downstream of glaciated areas. Long-term valley evolution in these regions may therefore be driven by GLOF frequency and magnitude, rather than by precipitation.The classic GLOF in the western hemisphere was the one that caused the huge Lake Missoula Flood. That GLOF carved the extensive Channeled Scablands in eastern Washington State, cutting through solid lava rock in a matter of hours or days. The authors do not mention that case, but the evidence for a flood as the cause of the scablands catapulted J Harlan Bretz from scorn to fame. His flood theory went from maverick to mainstream quickly, after decades of ridicule by his peers. Other notable dam-breach events in the western hemisphere include Mt St Helens, Earthquake Lake, and Gros Ventre. Search “dam breach” for more examples.Falling rocks can explode so hard that only nuclear weapons beat them (New Scientist). The power of falling rock is described as much greater than expected. “If falling rocks are big enough and hit the ground hard enough they can create a blast so intense that the rocks are pulverised into powder. Such extreme rockfalls are followed by a shockwave that can snap trees hundreds of metres away.”Explosive lies: how volcanoes can lie about their age, and what it means for us  (The Conversation). If volcanoes can lie about their ages, what else in geology is lying?Looking at those GLOF floods, if we took just half the assumed age of the Earth, rounded down to 2 billion years, that would translate to 67 million GLOFs! Does that make any sense? Maybe the Earth is much younger, would you think?The fact that this team states that “the dynamics and long-term impacts of such floods remain poorly understood” speaks poorly of open-mindedness in the geological community. When will they learn their lessons? Landscape changes don’t have to take millions of years. Forces of sufficient magnitude can accomplish a lot of change quickly.(Visited 660 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

One year to 2010

first_imgSouth Africans buying tickets are issued with this prepaid ticket card. (Image: South Africa 2010) Excited fans cheer for South Africa’snational team Bafana Bafana. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more photos, visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialIn exactly a year’s time one of the greatest sporting events in the world will take place for the first time on African soil. The long-awaited 2010 Fifa World Cup kicks off on 11 June 2010.But before then the country will see another football spectacle in the form of the Confederations Cup, viewed as the forerunner to the World Cup, and the chance to test security strategies, health services, and infrastructure.The tournament, which features eight top teams including the winners of each of Fifa’s six football confederations, the world champions Italy and hosts South Africa, runs from 14 to 28 June 2009.With a massive US$17.6-million (R142-million) in total up for grabs, of which the largest stake is the $3.25-million (R26-million) for the winner and the smallest cut $1.4-million (R11.3-million) for each of the four last-placed teams, the Confederations Cup is a prestigious event in its own right.South Africa has spent billions on renovating stadiums, improving transport, including airports and new bus rapid transport systems, and upgrading telecommunications.The country is in the process of rolling out its digital broadcasting infrastructure, which will see all 64 games of the World Cup broadcast in high definition to selected networks around the world.President Jacob Zuma, in his maiden State of the Nation address on 3 June, declared that all preparations were on track for a wonderful sporting event that would leave lasting benefits not just for the host country, but for the southern African region and all of Africa.“We have, as government and the nation at large, pledged that the World Cup will leave a proud legacy from which our children and our communities will benefit for many years to come,” he said.Stadiums will be readyAll ten venues are in advanced stages of construction, with half that number already complete.One of them, the Nelson Mandela multi-purpose stadium in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape province, was unveiled this week ahead of the Confederations Cup.The stadium is the first newly-built stadium to be officially opened and will shortly be put through its paces with an international rugby match on 16 June between the British and Irish Lions, touring the country at the moment, and the invitational Southern Kings team.Both Fifa and the Union of European Football (Uefa) have expressed great satisfaction at the progress, in terms of physical preparations and ticket sales.Over 1.8-million applications from over 200 countries were received, of which just over half a million were allocated. While 44% of the applications came from South Africa, the majority that arrived from overseas indicates that football fans around the world are already planning their South African trip in June 2010.The second phase of ticket sales is currently underway and will run until 16 November 2009, or until the 100 000 available tickets have been snapped up.Former English Football Association chair Geoff Thompson described the stadiums as “superb”.“To have a World Cup in Africa is something many of us have dreamed of for years,” he said at a Uefa gathering in Denmark in March, “and without a doubt entrusting South Africa with the 2010 Fifa World Cup has been well placed.”The remaining five stadiums will all be complete by the end of 2009.National pridePublic opinion is running high and excitement and confidence is mounting amongst South Africans. A market research campaign commissioned by Fifa in January revealed that three-quarters of South Africans polled believed that the country will be ready and that the event would be a success.The survey, conducted by German research company SPORT+MARKT, also proved that a whopping 88% of South Africans are proud to be hosting the World Cup, and that three out of four believed that the tournament would further unite South Africans as a nation.It has taken five years for public sentiment to reach these levels, Back in 2004 when Fifa president Sepp Blatter made the announcement that the World Cup would travel to Africa, there was more a sense of trepidation than excitement. However, the January survey showed that 77% of respondents now feel more confident about the success of the tournament than they did in 2004.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at  janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesBrand SA unveils 2010 campaign Second chance for 2010 tickets Uefa praises SA’s 2010 readinessUseful linksFifa 2010 World Cup2009 Confederations CupSouth Africa 2010SPORT+MARKTlast_img read more

Pickwick Place connects community with agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Every small town has its landmarks, whether it’s the historic buildings in the town square, a unique house, or the rundown barn on the side of the road. They stand the test of time and become part of the landscape, providing roots for the community through decades of progress.The long brick barns of Pickwick Farms have become a landmark in the Bucyrus community. The history runs deep with beginnings in dairy cattle and a claim to fame as the Standardbred horse farm where artificial insemination gained significant momentum. But the horses left in the 70s and the barns recently hit a tipping point — they either needed rejuvenated, or they needed to go.Fortunately, local 16-year-old, Ethan Stuckey had a vision and his parents, Kent and Laura Stuckey, had the faith that they could make it happen. Now, after building on Ethan’s vision, the Stuckeys are working alongside two other local families — Greg and Rose Hartschuch, and Chris and Andrea Schimpf — to reclaim the barns and put The Pickwick Place back on the map as a farm market, event center, and a destination to connect with agriculture. Working as a team — or being part of the “farm-ily” as they like to say — combines the talents of each individual to make the venture more successful as a whole.“Ethan wanted to raise produce and we were looking for a spot to set it up, so we purchased this and decided to renovate it,” Kent said. “I grew up in the produce business; in Indiana my dad had about 5,000 apple trees and 30 acres of u-pick strawberries at one point. Ethan really encouraged me to purchase this property and go ahead with it.”While this year’s produce including bell peppers, broccoli, butternut squash, cabbage, cantaloupe, cucumbers, green beans, onions, potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini is being sold at the roadside stand, the south barn is being renovated to house the full farm market where they hope to include more local products.“What we want to do is showcase local people. Right now we have local maple syrup and honey. We want to have high quality, reasonably priced, local products. We want to showcase the community and make it a showplace for the community,” Kent said. “It’s also about transparency and knowing where your food comes from. That’s a theme Rose has built Acres of Adventure around — educating the public about what happens on the farm and why it happens. We want to carry that through on the retail side.”Acres of Adventure will find its home in the north barn with games and activities to educate students and the public about farming. Featuring a petting zoo and corn maze, this portion of Pickwick is an expansion of what the Hartschuhs were already doing on their own farm. Moving to Pickwick offers new opportunity and a location that is easier to find.“When I stopped teaching agriculture I knew I still wanted to be involved in education somehow, so we started a fall field trip program. It has really taken off over the last few years and we look forward to growing that here,” Rose said. “Any time that people can get out and see and touch and feel — really feel connected to farming — they’ll leave with a much better impression.”The building will provide a space for the hands-on learning activities as well as a new classroom space to better facilitate field trips and groups. Rose is also doing much of the marketing and outreach for the new venture and has been pleasantly surprised by the interest in the event space which will be housed in the center barn. The space is slated to open for use on June 1, 2016, and many dates have already been booked for next year with some interest for dates in 2017.The Loft at Pickwick Place features a rustic reception hall on the second floor of the barn that can seat up to 240 people. Renovations in this building will include dressing rooms for bridal parties and a 30-foot addition on one end for bathrooms, a prep kitchen, elevator and second stairway — one of the many things needed to bring the buildings into compliance.“We are in city limits here, so codes and ordinances dictate a lot of what we do. There are some hurdles we’re working around — a lot of inspections and permits — but we have some great people guiding us through the process. We have contractors from here in Bucyrus working with us, we’ve had engineers evaluate the buildings and we’re working with an architect to design the improvements,” Rose said.The interest in the event space is encouraging, but what might mean a little more to the crew is the general outpouring of support from their community. Within a week from creating a page for The Pickwick Place on Facebook, they received more than 1,000 likes and that continues to grow.“If the barns were going to be saved, something needed to be done. And the community has just jumped on board with that. They are excited to see something happening here,” Rose said. “With the local food movement picking up, people really have a new found interest in knowing where their food comes from. This is a way that we can take what we’re doing already on our farms to the next level and connect with the consumers more directly. They might not drive out to the farm and stop in, but they will stop here and start a conversation.”And when people are stopping in, it’s Chris Schimpf who may be the most excited. Chris and Andrea Schimpf bring customer relations expertise and farm market experience to the table, having spent 12 years growing and selling fresh cut flowers at Columbus markets. While the business was a success, they gave it up a few years ago as they simply didn’t have the time. The venture at Pickwick is much closer and gives them the opportunity to be involved locally.“We did about two or three acres of cut flowers working in the Columbus markets. It was oriental lilies, gladiolas, sunflowers, azaleas and some others,” said Chris Schimpf. “I learned a lot about customer service at the farm markets. This is a little different than Columbus, but you still have the basics. I enjoy interacting with all the customers. To me, that’s the exciting part. I think one unique thing about Pickwick is that, especially in Bucyrus, a lot of landmarks are coming down. We’re preserving this one in a very productive fashion. It’s not just something they’re going to see and take a picture of; they’ll be able to experience it.”The farm market it also providing an experience for Ethan Stuckey  — a supervised agricultural experience (SAE), to be exact. Ethan has taken on the role of managing the produce at Pickwick as part of his SAE project in the FFA program at Wynford High School, where he also serves as chapter president.“I grew up on a dairy farm so I’ve always worked. I sort of got involved in sports, but felt more productive on the farm,” Ethan said. “At times, the dairy can be frustrating for me, but working with crops really appealed to me. I always enjoyed going to my grandparents’ farm in Indiana, then one of my brothers threw out the idea of planting an orchard and it stuck with me.”Ethan has jumped right in to the produce industry. After attending a few conferences in Ohio and Michigan this year and gleaning knowledge from his grandfather, Ethan knows what practices he wants to use.“My biggest goal is to use integrated pest management and focus on reduced risk pesticides. Next year, I’ll transition into some no-till,” Ethan said. “The hardest part has been learning which weeds are which so I can properly spray for them and trying to stay ahead of diseases. It’s easier to control diseases through prevention.”The farm market barn is the longest building at Pickwick, nearing 200 feet in length. All three of the steel framed, brick barns are receiving a facelift with new windows, roofs and floors.In addition, many berries have been planted for u-pick patches next year. Ethan has two acres of trees ordered to plant in upcoming years and with the Stuckeys and Hartschuhs operating dairy farms, ice cream has been mentioned.With optimism from the Pickwick “farm-ily” and the feedback from the community it seems evident that this is only the beginning. Wherever the adventure leads, customers and fans can follow along with The Pickwick Place on Facebook or learn more about the families and the business at www.thepickwickplace.com.last_img read more