PREPA’s history taints its drive to privatize

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Intercept:If you happen to take tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry, the economics of phasing out fossil fuels in Puerto Rico look fairly straightforward. There aren’t any fossil fuel reserves on the island to be mined, meaning that all traditional fuels need to be shipped there. Currently, Puerto Rico gets about 90 percent of its fuel from costly imported oil, having spent $27.7 billion on it between 2002 and 2017 — in some years, as much as 61 percent of its yearly operating budget. Renewable energy can be produced locally, and the island is particularly well-equipped to produce high-quality wind and solar power. One report estimates that Puerto Rico could get 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2028.PREPA’s acquisition of fossil fuels has also been wrought with corruption. A recent study from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis finds that PREPA’s Fuel Office arranged through a series of doctored lab tests to pay premium prices for low-quality fuel for as long as the last three decades. The report’s authors argue, as well, that this kind of chronic mismanagement when it comes to contracting is unaddressed in the bill authorizing PREPA’s privatization, passed through the island’s legislature and signed by the governor in June.The proposed privatization would, in fact, see PREPA strike more deals with private contractors, not less, as they bid to take over different pieces of the island’s energy grid. Bishop, who oversaw yesterday’s hearing, this spring suggested turning Puerto Rico into an “energy hub” for the Caribbean, a base from which U.S.-based fossil fuel companies could ship imported natural gas out to the region. He said as well that he had been in conversations with oil and gas companies about the idea.“They want to keep Puerto Rico energy dependent as an energy market for fuels, instead of promoting energy self-sufficiency for the island. I think that’s the main struggle,” Arturo Massol told me of Congress’s designs for the island. “It’s not so much if it’s public or private. It’s a matter of being energy self-sufficient or fossil fuel-dependent.”Massol is the director of an organization called Casa Pueblo, based out of its titular pink house in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. They were an early adopter of solar power on the island, first installing panels onto their headquarters in the late 1990s. After Maria, those same panels meant that Casa Pueblo was one of the only places in the area with power — an “energy oasis,” as Massol calls it.“The conversation has completely shifted” on solar after the storm, he said. In an effort to spread decentralized renewables around the island, Casa Pueblo is trying to proliferate energy oases and has hosted several workshops on how to install your own solar arrays. Massol said they “fill up in 24 hours every time we do it. … People see solar power now as a way to modernize and move forward. They know the quality of life can improve through it.”The group has installed solar systems at two hardware stores, one barber shop and several corner stores that activists hope will serve as a power oasis where people can charge their phones and store medications during a storm if needed.Seeing that excitement and the transformed conservation around energy in Puerto Rico has made him still more leery of how decisions about its future are being made. “The country has to define the role of PREPA. PREPA shouldn’t be deciding what Puerto Rico’s energy landscape is going to look like,” he added, explaining the importance of making it easier to generate power at the point of production, rather than running it through costly transmission lines that are vulnerable to heavy weather. “The idea is not to disappear all the power plants that are already built. But we need to invest in what is missing, and what is missing is clean energy power generation in Puerto Rico.”Energy sourcing is just one of many challenges facing PREPA, the island’s monopoly public power provider. The utility has suffered from years of disinvestment that became apparent after Hurricane Maria battered the island and its electricity infrastructure, which still hasn’t been fully repaired. PREPA currently sits in about $9 billion in debt, part of the at least $74 billion that the island is now saddled with and that the Washington-appointed fiscal control board is tasked with reigning in. The utility has shuffled through three separate directors in the last several weeks, with five out of six board members resigning at one point after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló urged them to rein in short-lived director Rafael Diaz-Granados’s $750,000 salary following public outcry.In keeping with other privatization efforts in sectors like education and transportation, federal authorities and politicians on the island have, since before Maria hit, been keen to privatize PREPA, ostensibly to correct for persistent mismanagement and the slow pace of recovery. Yet while there’s a virtual consensus on the island that PREPA is in need of serious reforms, many doubt that selling it off — especially to fossil fuel interests — will improve matters.It’s not as if PREPA is completely public as is. About 30 percent of its power generation capacity comes from two privately owned plants, and PREPA management have awarded generous contracts out to private contractors post-Maria — most infamously a $300 million deal with the novice Montana-based firm Whitefish Energy.“PREPA’s past history of contracting scandals kind of taints the credibility of what they say they’re trying to do with this privatization,” report co-author and IEEFA Energy Analyst Cathy Kunkel told me. “A very large amount of money has been extracted through these contracts, stolen really.  If you are going to do a privatization that is basically just a series of more contracts — and do that without reforming in a serious way the contracting processes and the failures that have already happened — why is that going to result in anything that’s any better for the consumers?”More: House Republicans Deeply Confused About Why Puerto Rico Might Benefit From Win and Solar Power PREPA’s history taints its drive to privatizelast_img read more

5 ways to lose your audience

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dana Dobson Dana Dobson is an award-winning public relations expert, keynote speaker and author of, “How to Reach Millions with Artful PR.” Over her 30-year career, she has developed winning PR and … Web: dana-dobson.com Details Has your credit union’s appeal to large audiences been trailing off lately? Are you getting fewer and fewer “likes” or “shares” on your content — none, maybe? We can blame changing algorithms, insufficient SEO, and the ever increasing shrieking noise of the online marketplace. But if your sales have been flat since Q1 2018, then consider something else — you, yourself may be to blame.There are lots of ways to attract an audience, but there are even more ways to drive them off. I call them “audience repellents.” Here are five that I see most often with credit unions:1. Bragging and Humble BraggingWhereas, “bragging” is a self-inflicted wound, and “humble bragging” is pouring lemon juice on it.We don’t like braggarts at a cocktail party, so it stands to reason we don’t like a business braggart, either. Humble bragging is bragging online about your credit union’s accomplishments, but pretending to be modest while you’re doing it.A business humble brag usually starts with the words, “We’re just thrilled to announce that…,” Or, “We’re so humble and honored to have…” We all like attention for our business achievements, but when bragging is the main substance of almost all of your public interaction, and you feel you have to brag to get people to notice you, you become repellent in the minds of your audience.I don’t think perpetual braggers are deliberately trying to turn people off. You might think that your audiences will be impressed and even love you more. But actually, the opposite is true!There is a Harvard business study that proves that people dislike and lose respect for companies and individuals who brag, and especially who humble brag. So, lighten up on bragging and opt for achieving “3rd party credibility.” People believe what other people say about you, not what you say about yourself. Send out a press release so that the media can make your announcement. If you’ve won an award from an entity, let the entity make the announcement on your behalf. Hide it on your website somewhere.Just resist the urge to run out into the town square and shout, “Look at me! Look at me!”2. Failure to Connect and EngageYou can visit many financial institution social media business pages, websites and posts and see nothing but brags and self-serving sales messages, as if social media itself was created just so marketers could advertise for free. You will also observe that there’s not much of an audience there, either.To attract an audience, you need to make the bulk of your communications strategy about delivering the information they want, not what you want. If someone’s not interested in you as an organization or as a solo professional, they certainly won’t care about your sales agenda.3. Failure to Understand Your AudienceI learned this the hard way, back when we were trying to make our rock band famous. More often than not, in order to pay the rent, we had to play gigs to please audiences who were more into hearing Top 40 music than any of my original tunes.Once we were booked as an opening act for David Brenner, and his audience comprised the blue hair casino crowd who lived for Frank Sinatra and yelled “turn it down!” when their grandkids had the radio on.Anxious to show off on a big stage, my band played mostly our original rock tunes. After each one, all we got were golf claps. But when we played “The Rose” at the end, back then a top-of-the-charts ballad, we got a standing ovation.There’s something to be said for “givin’ ’em what they want.”3. Giving Up too SoonIt takes time, and lots of repetition, to get people to notice you. Unless, of course, you’ve just landed a jet in the Hudson River without killing anyone.And by time, I mean months, even years. There was a saying long ago: “Just when you’re getting sick of your own messaging is when people start paying attention.”Keep your communications frequent, relevant to your audience and consistently value-driven.4. Your Website Isn’t Media FriendlyNever forget that the “media” is one of your most important audiences. The people most likely to tell others about you and give you mass exposure are journalists, editors, TV producers, radio talk show hosts, podcast hosts, and thousands of bloggers. They’re always looking for experts to interview.To research your credit union and judge whether you’re credible, they’ll look at your website. If you don’t have an online pressroom providing the kind of information a journalist needs to do his/her job, they’ll probably blow you off. Either that, or they’ll search LinkedIn for your leadership’s LinkedIn profiles. No LinkedIn profiles?They will move on to another company or expert who has their act together. It wasn’t you.5. Failure to be Passionate about Your BrandAn audience-attracting credit union regularly expresses genuine passion for something greater than itself. Apple has a passion for beautiful design. Nike is passionate about athletes. Harley Davidson is passionate about freedom and adventure. Ben & Jerry’s passion is about the earth and the environment. Perhaps your credit union’s passion is about healthcare, law enforcement or a community.Get your positioning team back together and commit yourself heart and soul to ONE ideal you can stand behind. Your passion is a magnet for people who share your values, because it inspires trust and a sense of loyalty.A business without authentic passion resorts to humble bragging.I am thrilled and honored that you have read this post.last_img read more

All in the mine

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Govt to disburse Rp 2.4 million in aid for small and micro enterprises

first_imgAs a potential COVID-19 vaccine is in the making, Jokowi expressed optimism that the country’s economy would get better by early next year. Thus, he hoped micro enterprises could stay afloat until then.Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Teten Masduki called for micro and small enterprises to actively register themselves to their local cooperative agency in order to receive the government aid.“We encourage small and micro enterprises that have not yet received any capital and investment banking to actively enroll in their nearby cooperative agency,” he said.Teten said the government had so far collected data on 17 million micro enterprises nationwide.Under the aid scheme, Rp 2.4 million in cash benefits would be transferred directly to a recipient’s bank account following a thorough data verification process. (trn)Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Wednesday that the government will disburse Rp 2.4 million (US$161) in cash aid to micro and small enterprises starting next week to support businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.“Starting next week, the government will disburse an emergency capital fund, or what is called productive presidential aid. It is worth Rp 2.4 million per person for 9.1 million vendors, micro and small enterprises,” Jokowi said on Wednesday.“We all know how the pandemic has hit hard not only the small [enterprises], but also medium and large [businesses].”last_img read more

Rare Mermaid Waters estate listed for a cool $8 million

first_img The property is well set up for water-based recreation.In another unusual bonus, the property overlooks canals on two sides which affords water views from every room.“There are balconies on either side of the house to make the most of those water views,” Mr Mian said. “The location is also ideal, with the Q Super Centre, Pacific Fair and the beach all a short drive away.”The 2434 sqm estate is being marketed by Amir Mian and Nat King, Amir Prestige Property Agents. Tennis court runs beside the water.A second pool was also filled in to make way for a vegetable garden and fruit orchard with more than 20 varieties including mangoes, guava and peach trees. “Although you’re in Mermaid Waters it feels more like being in Mount Tamborine,” Mr Mian said. Inside the main residence, French windows, marble floors and benchtops, and crisp white walls invoke the Hamptons style. The house at number 27 could be a guest retreat or accommodate extended family.The second residence — with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a study — is an ideal guesthouse, caretaker’s residence or to accommodate extended family.“It is a fully-fledged house in its own right,” Mr Mian said. “It is ideal for guests or multi-generational living arrangements.” The extensive grounds lend themselves to outdoor pursuits, including tennis, swimming and fishing, boating or jet ski use from the sandy beach. “The property makes a statement but it’s also built with family in mind,” Mr Mian said. “Between the gardens, the pool and tennis court, the set up really is brilliant.” 27, 29, 31 Cessnock Close, Mermaid Waters is listed for $8 million.The property is being sold by Tianwei Li, whose father Riyu Li founded Ridong Group. The developers are known for their involvement in luxury apartment project Jewel Residences in Surfers Paradise. The Li’s have made many improvements on the property over the past two years, including removing a wall which separated the house on number 27 to create a closer connection to the main house and grounds. The statement property includes two houses on three waterfront blocks.The words rare and unique get bandied about quite loosely when it comes to real estate.But that distinction is justified in the case of this grand two-house estate which occupies three waterfront blocks in the heart of Mermaid Waters. “The offering is unique,” said agent Amir Mian who is marketing 27, 29 and 31 Cessnock Close with a price tag of $8 million.“This is not just a home, it’s an estate. To find a statement property of this calibre in the centre of the city is rare.” Custom cafe-style seating is ideal for families.An expansive kitchen forms the heart of the home, branching off to multiple living areas including a formal lounge room with a cosy fireplace and custom cabinetry.An entertainment wing is generously appointed with a games room, bar, wine cellar and a home theatre with tiered leather seating and an 170-inch screen. “I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s like a gold class cinema experience,” said Mr Mian. The upper level is devoted to sleep and study with five ensuited bedrooms of hotel suite proportions. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago Chandeliers create a focal point in the dining area. Secret buyers of mega mansion revealed MORE: Clive Palmer snaps up prize beachfront mansionlast_img read more

EQUALITY? Dunedin father and daughter sentenced over incest

first_imgNZ Herald 25 January 2017Family First Comment: If consenting loving adults means equality and we should be ‘free to love’, then here’s an interesting statement by the judge …“Judge Kevin Phillips said it was very serious repeat offending which strikes at the heart of what the community would consider right and proper conduct.”Maybe now – but for how long?#slipperyslopeA Dunedin father and daughter have been ordered to stay away from each other for two years after being sentenced for incest for the second time.The pair – aged 37 and 23 – were last year convicted of incest for the second time after the discovery of the pair’s second child.At this morning’s sentencing, the father was sentenced to six months community detention and two years’ intensive supervision. The daughter was sentenced to two years of intensive supervision.The pair are not to associate during that time and the father is not come within 100km of Dunedin, and reside elsewhere in the South Island.Judge Kevin Phillips said it was “very serious repeat offending which strikes at the heart of what the community would consider right and proper conduct”.The offending came to light after police attended a domestic disturbance at the pair’s home in 2013 and found an infant at the residence which they suspected was fathered by the defendant.The pair were first convicted in 2012 after the birth of their first child.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11788494Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Ronaldo, Messi tipped to retire at David Beckham’s Inter Miami

first_imgThe prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo playing alongside Lionel Messi might sound like a dream to many football fans, however it might be possible. That is according to MLS manager Adrian Heath, who believes that the pair could both end their careers at David Beckham’s new Inter Miami team. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been tipped to finish their careers at Inter Miami The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder has ambitious plans for his new franchise and Heath believes Beckham has the power to pair-up the long-term rivals. Minnesota United boss Heath told the Daily Mirror: ‘That would be incredible for football in the USA and if anyone has the global profile to make that dream a reality then it has to be David Beckham. “It may not happen just yet, but I can see Ronaldo following in the footsteps of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard playing in the MLS. “For Ronaldo and Messi, the two obvious destinations if they came to the MLS would be Los Angeles and Miami.’ Beckham has a strong relationship with Ronaldo, who at the age of 35 could potentially eye a new challenge outside of Europe before he retires. Promoted ContentBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?7 Facts About Black Holes That Will Blow Your Mind8 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Incredibly Strange Facts About Hurricanes10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love With5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks8 Surprising Ways Drones Could Be Used In The FutureLook At Something Beautiful That Wasn’t Made By A Human Being Loading… center_img Barcelona superstar Messi has more time on his side at 32, but Heath believes both could be tempted by Beckham’s new venture. The pair have dominated European football for more than a decade, breaking many records and winning many trophies along the way. David Beckham’s Inter Miami team are set to compete in their first MLS campaign this season Read Also: Defiant Messi gives troubled Barca hope of UCL glory They also fought for personal honours as well, with Luka Modric the only player to break the Messi and Ronaldo stranglehold on the Ballon d’OR since 2008. For many years they were rivals on opposing sides as Real Madrid and Barcelona competed for league and European success. Should Beckham’s pulling power be enough to tempt the pair to join forces in Miami, it would put MLS defences on alert and create a dream attacking duo. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

The Latest: 2 Madison Square Garden boxing cards called off

first_imgAs the Bluejays and Red Storm were playing, a few subway stops away at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Atlantic 10 Conference was holding a news conference to called off its tournament.___11:40 a.m.Major League Soccer is shutting down because of the coronavirus, according to Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas.Mas says the target period for the hiatus is 30 days. ___2:30 p.m.Football season is months away, but spring practice for college teams was in full swing around the country. That is being put on hold in many places, too. USC and Notre Dame both announced they would suspended practice as their campuses shut down. The SEC’s suspension of sport through March will also take football teams off the practice fields.___ Formula One organizers canceled the season-opening Australian Grand Prix hours ahead of the first official practice sessions because of concern over the spreading coronavirus.The sport’s governing body, FIA, issued a joint statement with F1 and the Australian Grand Prix to confirm the cancellation of the race. It followed McLaren’s decision to withdraw after one of its team members tested positive for the virus.The statement says discussions between F1 and the other nine team principals “concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead.”There had been two practice sessions scheduled Friday, with qualifying Saturday for Sunday’s GP. No fans had been allowed into the Albert Park circuit on Friday morning.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s affect on sports around the globe (all times EDT):10 p.m.Two boxing cards at Madison Square Garden have been called off because of the coronavirus outbreak. A few hours after announcing the fights would proceed without crowds, promoter Bob Arum said Thursday they are off because there was no way to test the fighters themselves for the virus. Arum’s Top Rank company had planned to show off two of its young cards, with Shakur Stevenson defending his featherweight title on Saturday in an ESPN fight and Ireland’s Michael Conlan fighting on St. Patrick’s Day on the ESPN+ streaming service.“We thought we had solved the problem by saying no audience, but then the question became whether any of the fighters had the virus,’’ Arum said. “There was no way to get testing for them so we agreed with the New York Athletic Commission that the fights would be called off.’’Unlike most sports organizations, the UFC is still planning to proceed with its full slate of upcoming events, albeit with some serious modifications.___ 9:50 p.m.UFC President Dana White said Thursday that the promotion will hold its show Saturday in Brasilia, Brazil, with no fans in Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. The UFC’s show at London’s O2 Arena next Saturday, March 21, is scheduled to proceed as planned, with fans in attendance.The UFC then will move its next two shows to its new UFC Apex complex in Las Vegas, where the promotion has a small arena used for filming television shows and online content. The two fight cards initially were scheduled for March 28 in Columbus, Ohio, and April 11 in Portland, Oregon.The UFC’s next pay-per-view show is scheduled for April 18 at Madison Square Garden featuring lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov against longtime challenger Tony Ferguson. The duo has been scheduled to fight four previous times, but the fight was scrapped each time for various reasons.9:45 p.m. While Baylor coach Scott Drew understands the decision to cancel the NCAA Tournament, he said Thursday night that he is “overwhelmingly disappointed” that the No. 5 Bears won’t have the opportunity to finish “arguably the best season in program history.”The Bears (26-4) were the Big 12 runner-ups in the regular season behind No. 1 Kansas, and spent five consecutive weeks as the nation’s top-ranked team before a home loss to the Jayhawks last month. Baylor was likely going to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, something Drew said his team had worked for all season.“To have that opportunity abruptly taken away by something out of our control is devastating for our team, coaches and fans,” Drew said. “At the same time, we will keep perspective on life’s greater challenges, continue to focus on using our platform to honor God, and we’ll keep everyone affected by this situation in our thoughts and prayers.”___ 9:35 p.m.Horse racing is continuing to operate in North America and abroad without fans in the stands.Races at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields in California, Aqueduct in New York, Gulfstream Park in Florida, Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, Laurel Park in Maryland and Turfway Park in Kentucky will go on without spectators. The upcoming Dubai World Cup will be held at an empty Meydan Racecourse on March 28. Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, says when it opens for racing again in April there will not be fans allowed in.Churchill Downs said preparations to hold the Kentucky Derby on May 2 are up in the air. According to a statement from track officials: “With the event still seven weeks away, a decision will be made closer to that date with respect to postponing the event until later in the year, using the most recent information while working with and seeking guidance from public health experts and authorities.”___ Associated Press Little League International has recommended that its leagues “exercise an abundance of caution and implement a temporary suspension of all league activities until no earlier than April 6.”Little League International operates more than 6,500 programs in more than 84 countries.___7:35 p.m.US Sailing has advised all American Olympic-class sailors who are training in Europe to return home and resume training domestically. The move came after the 470 World Championships in Spain were postponed until officials can re-evaluate the situation in April. Organizers said if a later date this year is not possible, the race will return on April 18, 2021. ___6:27 p.m.Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the club to close its training complex and put the entire first-team in self isolation.Arsenal was due to play at Brighton on Saturday, with the Premier League pushing ahead with a full fixture list and stadiums with fans — unlike most other major sports. The LPGA Tour has postponed golf’s first major championship of the season and two other events because of the coronavirus.The tour called off the Volvik Founders Cup in Phoenix on March 19-22, the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California, on March 26-29 and the major ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California, on April 2-5. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement he’s “fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule,” especially the ANA Inspiration.Earlier, the tour called off events in Thailand, Singapore and China.Two California events on the developmental Symetra Tour also were postponed, the IOA Championship in Beaumont from March 27-29 and the Windsor Golf Classic in Windsor from April 2-4. 1:45 p.m.The NHL is following the NBA’s lead and suspending its season.NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the pause of the season amid concerns about the new coronavirus. The NBA announced Wednesday night it was suspending play, after a player tested positive for COVID-19.Several NBA and NHL teams share arenas. The NHL has not said any player has tested positive for COVID-19. The league is halting play with 189 games left in the regular season, sparking uncertainty about how many more, if any, could be played before the playoffs. Many of the country’s elite cyclists train in Europe, where the track cycling world championships were recently conducted.The organization also said that the collegiate BMX national championships April 4-5 have been postponed, but that the remainder of its national championship schedule will continue as planned. The biggest events on the upcoming schedule are the road, time trial and criterium national championships scheduled for June 18-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee, and mountain bike nationals July 7-12 in Winter Park, Colorado. Both are crucial races for determining the U.S. team for the Tokyo Olympics.___7:10 p.m. 3:30 p.m.The Atlantic Coast Conference has suspended all athletic-related activities. That includes all games, practices, recruiting — and participation in NCAA championships until further notice.The NCAA has not — at this point — postponed the men’s basketball tournament that’s scheduled for next week, but several individual schools have announced they’re taking a break from sports due to the coronavirus pandemic.ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement that “this is uncharted territory and the health and safety of our student-athletes and institutions remains our top priority.”___ 3:15 p.m.IndyCar will open its season on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, without spectators.The three-day event typically draws more than 130,000 fans. Local officials said earlier Thursday that no general admission would be permitted. Only essential personnel will be permitted inside the fencing that surrounds the course.The event will also be shortened to two days, with Friday used for driver health screenings and determining who is considered essential.___ However, Arsenal said “it is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates.” The club issued a statement quoting Arteta as saying: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.” Arsenal’s game at Manchester City was called off on Wednesday after players came into contact with a rival team owner who announced Tuesday that he had contracted COVID-19. They met Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis after the Greek team won at Arsenal in the Europa League on Feb. 27.___6:17 p.m.center_img March 12, 2020 6:09 p.m.The Colonial Athletic Association says an official who worked a game during its men’s basketball tournament has tested positive for the coronavirus.The league says the official did not exhibit symptoms of the virus until 72 hours after the game he worked. The conference says it has made the institution involved and tournament personnel aware of the situation so they can take proper precautionary measures.___5:55 p.m. “We strategically kept training boats stateside, so we will go home to train efficiently on our own,” Olympic head coach Luther Carpenter said.The postponement of the 470 World Championships and possible changes to the 2020 Finn Gold Cup in May will impact the U.S. Olympic Trials. US Sailing said it will re-evaluate the selection procedures for the Olympic team.___7:25 p.m.USA Cycling is recalling its athletes, coaches and support staff from locations abroad and curtailing all international travel for teams and staff members as the national governing body responds to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, arena CEO Len Komorwski said despite the cancellation of the Mid-American Conference tournament that employees will be paid as if the event was held.___6:58 p.m.The Grand Prix of Long Beach scheduled for April 19 has been canceled because of a ban on large scale gatherings in the California city.Race organizers said they are in conversation with the city of Long Beach and the Convention Center about potentially rescheduling the street race. Long Beach is the second most popular event on the IndyCar schedule behind the Indianapolis 500. ___5:40 p.m.Horse racing is continuing to operate in North America and abroad without fans in the stands.Races at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields in California, Aqueduct in New York, Gulfstream Park in Florida, Laurel Park in Maryland and Turfway Park in Kentucky will go on without spectators. The upcoming Dubai World Cup will be held at an empty Meydan Racecourse on March 28. Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, says when it opens for racing again in April there will not be fans allowed in.Churchill Downs said preparations to hold the Kentucky Derby on May 2 are up in the air. According to a statement from track officials: “With the event still seven weeks away, a decision will be made closer to that date with respect to postponing the event until later in the year, using the most recent information while working with and seeking guidance from public health experts and authorities.” ___5:30 p.m.USA Gymnastics has canceled all sanctioned events through the end of March, which includes local meets scheduled at hundreds of USA Gymnastics-sanctioned clubs throughout the United States. The cancellations also extend to USA Gymnastics-sponsored workshops and clinics as well as any national team camps. The organization had already limited travel for USA Gymnastics staff and national team athletes.___ 4:30 p.m.The NCAA has canceled the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments because of the spread of coronavirus. The decision came one day after the NCAA announced games that were scheduled to start next week would be played in mostly empty arenas.That plan was scrapped as every major American sports league, beginning with the NBA, put the brakes on their seasons due to concerns about the pandemic.The NCAA also canceled all of its championships in every winter and spring sport, including hockey, baseball, lacrosse and several others.___ Bettman said the NHL has tried to follow mandates of health experts and local authorities without taking premature or unnecessary measures.” Bettman’s statement said the NBA’s news made it “no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.”___1:05 p.m.The Big East Conference basketball tournament has been canceled at halftime of Thursday’s first game because of the coronavirus outbreak.As several other big conferences around the country canceled their postseason tournaments, the Big East resumed on schedule at New York’s Madison Square Garden. It started its second-round game between top-seeded Creighton and St. John’s at Madison Square Garden and not until halftime was the tournament called off with St. John’s leading 38-35. The Latest: 2 Madison Square Garden boxing cards called off 3 p.m.The NFL has canceled its main owners meeting scheduled for later this month in Palm Beach, Florida.Commissioner Roger Goodell notified the 32 teams “after careful consideration and consultation with medical experts,” according to a league statement. Goodell said the decision was made out of “concern to protect the health of club and league employees and the public while enabling the league to continue with its essential business operations.”Further changes could be coming for the draft, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from April 23-25.Major football issues, including playing rules, bylaws and resolutions, as well as other business matters on the agenda for the March meetings will instead be handled at the May 19-20 spring meeting in Marina del Rey, California. 7 p.m.Cavaliers star forward Kevin Love is committing $100,000 toward helping arena workers in Cleveland who were impacted by the shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.Love announced his intentions to make the donation through the Kevin Love Fund on Instagram.Love, who has been very open about his struggles with anxiety, said he appreciates how the outbreak can be “extremely overwhelming” to people and that the suspension of the NBA season has caused a “sudden life shift” for workers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse — home of the Cavs.The team announced plans to financially help staff during the interruption. NASCAR has put strict regulations in place for this weekend’s race at Atlanta, which will be held without spectators. Photographers will not be permitted at the event beyond a pool photographer, and media will not have access to the garage area or pit road. All driver availability will take place via teleconference, fed into the media center. The NASCAR Cup Series race winning team and second- and third-place finishers will be available via teleconference. In short, there will be no in-person competitor availability this weekend outside of live broadcast partners and NASCAR Productions.___ “These are unprecedented circumstances, and it’s just much bigger than athletics,” Rhoades said. “I think the right decisions have been made.”Rhoades said he felt for all of the players whose seasons suddenly ended, and had spoken to both coach Scott Drew and Mulkey.“I think the first (thing) was I’m sorry. I’m sorry because both both had such great seasons,” Rhoades said, when asked what he told them. “The decision is much bigger than me, or certainly any one person, but you just feel bad.”___7:58 p.m. 8:10 p.m.Defending women’s national champion Baylor was on a plane on the tarmac in Waco, Texas, preparing to leave Thursday for the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, when coach Kim Mulkey got a call from athletic director Mack Rhoades.The No. 3 Lady Bears went into a holding pattern for about a half-hour and never got off the ground after the Big 12 men’s and women’s tournaments were canceled. The No. 5 Baylor men, who spent five weeks at No. 1 this season and set a Big 12 record with 23 consecutive wins, were already in Kansas City, where they had been scheduled to play Thursday. The NCAA later canceled its men’s and women’s tournaments, where both Baylor teams were likely going to be No. 1 seeds. The Lady Bears were set to host first- and second-round games. He told players and coaches, then held a news conference and says, “We’ve made a decision as a league this morning, as owners, that play will be suspended temporarily.”The expansion team owned by Mas and former England captain David Beckham had been scheduled to play its home opener Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

McBain opts out of senior year

first_imgWisconsin defenseman Jamie McBain will go pro after earning WCHA player of the year honors.[/media-credit]The decision Jamie McBain made may not have been an easy one, but it certainly wasn’t a surprising one, either.McBain, a junior defenseman on the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team, announced Thursday he will forgo his senior season and turn pro, joining the Carolina Hurricanes’ minor league affiliate — the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League — for the final 10 games of the season.“It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” McBain said in a phone interview. “I loved it there. I loved everything about it. I loved the coaching staff and the guys who were always around.”While the choice was a tough one, it was simply the right time for McBain, a second-round pick of the Hurricanes. The junior led the Badgers in scoring with 37 points on the season and played in all 40 games. In the process, he was named the WCHA’s Player of the Year and is a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.“As far as from a hockey perspective, it was just time to move on in that aspect,” McBain said. “It all worked out for this being the best decision for me and my hockey career to move on.”McBain was in a similar position just a season ago, as speculation arose he may leave after just his sophomore year. But he announced his decision to return, which seemed to benefit both him and the Badgers.When the end of the season rolled around this time, the speculation arose again. No one was surprised, though, when McBain decided to go pro.“It’s a little bit different as far as the year I had,” McBain said.“It terms of Jamie signing, we knew from the beginning of the season that it might be a possibility,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “Then that possibility got stronger based on his performance this year.”With McBain’s departure, Eaves’ squad will be losing not only its top scorer but also one of its assistant captains. While McBain remains soft-spoken off the ice, Eaves said the junior showed leadership on the bench and on the rink.“I think his strong suit was on the bench,” Eaves said. “As quiet as he is, he’s really a competitive kid on the inside. In the middle of a battle on the bench, he was one of the guys that … was … leaning down to the forwards, ‘Hey, we need to get this done.’”McBain’s contract, according to the Hurricanes’ team site, is a three-year deal that will pay $600,000 a season at the NHL level and $62,500 on the minor league level. McBain will also collect a $255,000 signing bonus.“He got the max that he could get as an entry-level athlete,” Eaves said of McBain’s contract. “As a second-rounder, that’s pretty nice.”So, what’s the 21-year-old McBain going to do with his newfound riches?“I’ll probably just put it in the bank and save it for a rainy day,” McBain said.Before he can collect the NHL money, however, McBain will play for the River Rats in their final 10 games this season and likely for part of next season as well.“Carolina was really honest with him,” Eaves said. “They didn’t sell him the moon. They told him exactly that he’s going to play 10 games in Albany right now.”As for McBain’s expectations of his first taste of the big leagues?“Just kind of get a feel for the pace, the atmosphere at the professional level and just kind of get the feel for the game and get associated with the guys I could be around next year in the organization,” McBain said.After his time in Albany, McBain will return to Madison to finish out the semester — something his coach sees as an added bonus.“If you’re looking at moments for young athletes to take that next step in today’s age, there’s the fact that he’s got three years of education under his belt,” Eaves said.Once school finishes, it will be back to work for the WCHA Player of the Year, as he’ll split time between his home in Minnesota, the UW campus and Carolina for offseason training. But as he leaves his Badger career behind, he’ll always have memories of his time at Wisconsin.“Just being around the guys in the locker room, just that close-knit bond you get with all the guys on your team, especially the guys in my [junior] class. You’ve grown up with them the last three years,” McBain said. “Definitely an experience I’ll never forget.”last_img read more

No changes for Wales Six Nations team

first_imgThe same starting fifteen that got past France last time out will take on their title rivals at Twickenham on Saturday.Wales are unbeaten in the tournament, having drawn with Ireland, while they picked up wins over Italy and Scotland.last_img