Adopted woman reunites biological parents after 50 years

first_imgCourtesy of Laura MabryBy ERIC NOLL and HALEY YAMADA, ABC News(SPRINGDALE, Ark.) — One woman’s journey to uncover her past led to a future for two reunited high school sweethearts.Laura Mabry of Springdale, Arkansas, was adopted by Wayne and Darline Montgomery in 1968.At 52 years old, she decided that she wanted to learn more about her biological parents. In 2019, she took a DNA test and was able to track down her biological mother, Donna Horn.“We started communicating by text and email,” Mabry said. “She said, ‘Are you interested in knowing who your father is?’ I was like ‘Of course I am!’”Horn told Mabry that she and Mabry’s biological father, Joe Cougill, were high school sweethearts in Indiana who got pregnant at a young age and decided on adoption.After tracking down her father, Mabry put Horn and Cougill in touch again.“I gave him her phone number, and they started to talk immediately, and they just immediately bonded because, you know, he was divorced and her husband had passed away,” Mabry said. “So they were both single. And they immediately started talking, and I mean that was just that.”Last May, half a century after the two were separated, Horn and Cougill were married.“This has fulfilled something in my life that even I didn’t realize I needed so much,” Mabry told “World News Tonight.”Mabry said that their love story has shaped her into the person she is today.“I think that’s been a key part of just knowing my history, [their story] has been so important in my life,” she said. “That helped complete my whole identity, which has been great.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

At last, global fretting on climate change

first_imgAs negotiators make their way back to their home countries from the Paris climate talks, the world is taking stock of the agreement that many analysts describe as a landmark shift in global climate cooperation but some criticize as lacking mandatory targets to keep temperatures to a rise of less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.To gain a greater understanding of the agreement, the Gazette spoke with Robert Stavins, the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and head of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, who traveled to Paris and conducted briefings and side discussions for delegates from various nations. GAZETTE: From your perspective, were the Paris talks a success or failure?STAVINS: The Paris talks were absolutely a success in that the agreement that was achieved is one that meets all of the requirements of what would be a meaningful foundation for long-term action. But it’s only a foundation, so whether the agreement itself is ultimately successful, that’s something that can be judged only 10, 20, or even 30 years from now.GAZETTE: You call it a foundation, but some scientists have gone on record calling it a fraud and saying it falls far short of action needed to reach the 2-degree-Celsius target to avoid serious global impact from climate change. Where do you think the difference in interpretation is there?STAVINS: Can I answer that with a metaphor? You and I are walking down the street and we see a construction site. There’s a sign with an artist’s rendering: “70-story office tower going up on this site.” That’s pretty impressive, and so we walk over to get a closer look. We can see two stories of the 70 are already above ground level. But when we look down into the construction site, we are shocked to see that the foundation for this 70-story office tower is 10 feet by 10 feet. We know it’s going to collapse on itself — they’ll never be able to build to that height.That’s the Kyoto Protocol, the current approach. Participating countries account for only 14 percent of global emissions: the European Union (EU) and New Zealand.Under the new approach, you and I go back to the construction site. We look: The same sign is there for the 70-story office tower, but we don’t see the two floors. We look over the edge and discover that they’re constructing a new foundation, but now the foundation is not 10 feet by 10 feet, it’s a full square block. That’s a lot more meaningful than a two-story building that’s going to collapse and not go anywhere. This new foundation is what the Paris agreement provides.It was absolutely impossible with the previous structure to make meaningful emissions reductions, because 100 percent of the growth in emissions is outside of the OECD countries — the wealthier countries of the world [in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that are covered by the Kyoto accord]. The growth is the large emerging economies: China, India, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia.So unlike the 14 percent of the Kyoto Protocol, there are now 186 countries that have submitted what are called “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs), and together they account for 96 percent of global emissions. That’s a dramatic change, and it is a necessary condition for meaningful progress. It’s not a sufficient condition; one also has to look at what the stringency is, of course. Now the stringency of even this very first step, I think, is remarkable, because the business-as-usual predictions of temperature increase by the end of the century without the Paris agreement were about 6 degrees [Celsius]. With the Paris agreement, if it’s fully implemented, even a conservative estimate would be 3.5 degrees [Celsius].Is that more than the 2 degrees? Yes, it is, but it still represents a very significant bending of the emissions trajectory, and, more importantly, this is only the first step. Part of the Paris agreement is that every five years they revisit progress; there’s monitoring, reporting, verification, assessment. In this “stock-taking,” they compare the overall effects to the 2-degree target, and then countries submit new, more stringent INDCs. So it would be shortsighted to focus on the immediate temperature effects of what is a foundational agreement that establishes a system for progressively greater emissions reductions over time.GAZETTE: What about the impact on the business community, and how important is the signaling to business and to everyone else?STAVINS: There are signals to the business community and others in two ways. One way is that, for example, people listened to the radio this morning, and if you’re a CEO, then when you get to the office you might be likely to have a conversation about the possibility of carbon prices increasing. I don’t mean actually a carbon tax or cap-and-trade carbon allowance price, but simply a shadow price on carbon — it being more costly to use fossil fuels. That will be perceived to be more likely than it was the day before. That’s the direct effect.The indirect effect, which is the more important one, is through domestic policy in the 186 countries that submitted INDCs. In the case of the United States, for example, the INDC target is a 26 to 28 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions below the 2005 level by the year 2025. That’s going to be achieved through a combination of federal actions: the Clean Power Plan in the electricity sector, CAFE standards — Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards on motor vehicles — appliance efficiency standards, California’s very ambitious climate policy, and the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). That’s how companies and individuals will really feel it. It’s the domestic policies used to implement the international agreement. The same is true in the EU, and the same is true in China. It’s through domestic policy actions that individuals and firms will feel the effects of the agreement.GAZETTE: How comfortable are you that the voluntary nature of this agreement will actually result in meaningful change?STAVINS: The voluntary nature of it internationally is not, from my perspective, an issue, because all international agreements, with the partial exception of trade agreements, are fundamentally voluntary.In the case of the Kyoto Protocol, which was binding under international law, when it got to the end of the first commitment period, 2008-2012, Canada recognized it was going to be very costly or difficult for it to comply, and if it didn’t comply, it would face a fine. So you know what it did? Canada withdrew; it dropped out. So the key binding law is not at the international level. Where these agreements bind is in domestic laws and regulations that themselves are binding under domestic law.So in the United States, for example, if the automobile companies did not comply with the motor vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, they’re going to be fined and possibly find themselves in court. If the U.S. government itself does not follow through on the Clean Power Plan, it will be sued by green organizations. This is where the agreement’s provisions are not voluntary — in domestic laws and in regulations used to implement the deal in each country.GAZETTE: What happens going forward? When is the next big conference?STAVINS: One year from now in Marrakesh, Morocco. They happen every year, and during the year there are also meetings that take place, typically in Bonn.The big work now is going to be implementation. In the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements we’re going to be working on a wide variety of research questions that come up in regard to how the Paris agreement is implemented. So, for example, something that we worked on a great deal — and I’m proud to say we had a significant part in — is Article 6 of the Paris agreement. That is where linkage comes in, the ability for countries to share their emissions-reductions responsibilities. There are many questions now of how that will be done, how that will be tracked, how double-counting will be avoided. So for us, it will be research on implementation. For the parties involved, it will be a whole series of decisions that will have to be made in order to implement.GAZETTE: Can you suggest how linkage might work?STAVINS: I’ll give you an example of two cap-and-trade systems. Europe could say to the firms in Europe that, in addition to using one of the emissions allowances they get from the EU to comply, they can use an Australia allowance. If Australia says the same thing about European allowances to its firms, then we have a bilateral linkage. And if the allowance price was initially different in the two jurisdictions, which it inevitably is, firms would trade, and that would lead, if the market is robust enough, to a convergence of allowance prices, and cost-effectiveness is achieved.Now that’s the example of two cap-and-trade systems, but linkage can also be between a cap-and-trade system and a carbon tax. It can also be between a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system and a performance standard. It’s a very important issue, so we’ve done a great deal of work on this in the Harvard Project.GAZETTE: What would you say is the most vulnerable part of the U.S. carbon-reduction plan should the next president be hostile to the idea of fighting climate change?STAVINS: The most vulnerable part is the Clean Power Plan, without a doubt. The CAFE standards on motor vehicles are already in place, are bipartisan, and were approved by Congress. The appliance efficiency standards are in place and are bipartisan. The California climate policy is important because that state is a large part of the U.S. economy. Both houses of the California legislature are controlled by Democrats, and the governor is a Democrat. Given demographic change in the state, that’s unlikely to change.In regard to RGGI in the Northeast, these are among the most liberal states in the country, so they’re not going to reverse their policies. That leaves the federal Clean Power Plan under the Clean Air Act. It’s the only vulnerable component. It’s vulnerable to being invalidated through the courts. Several states’ attorneys general have sued the government, and are asking for a stay while lawsuits proceed in order to stop implementation. I don’t know if those will succeed.But if the stays do not succeed and the lawsuits go forward, my view is that the next president — even a Republican — will not try to overturn the Clean Power Plan. I say this because the electric utilities are already planning how to comply. If the federal government then comes forward a few years from now and reverses course, that’s going to create stranded assets for those companies. The utilities will want it to go forward at that point. So I think it’s less threatened than commonly thought. That question about what a future Republican president would do with the U.S. policies to implement the INDC was the most frequent question I received when I spoke with delegations from other countries — Europeans, Chinese, everyone. They’re very aware of U.S. politics, and very concerned.GAZETTE: How long do we have to get to standards that would limit the globe to a 2-degree increase? Do you think that will be a natural process, or at some point is it going to require a lot of pain?STAVINS: It’s very difficult to make predictions about this, partly because of technological change, which is notoriously difficult to forecast. Price signals exist in the private sector to carry out research and development of less carbon-intensive technologies across the board. That kind of technological change can turn out to be very important, but it is very difficult to predict.The 2-degree target may be an important political target, but it is not a target that comes directly from the science, although most scientists seem to support it. There isn’t a bright line, a discontinuity in the damage function that occurs at that specific level. Nor does it come from economic analysis. Higher levels are worse, that’s clear, and there are probably increasing marginal damages at those higher levels. I’m not saying there isn’t urgency. It is important to be working as hard as we can right now.last_img read more

Tesco plans £125m rival High Wycombe scheme

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

Action in Premier League Tonight

first_imgIn the Scottish Premiership second placed Aberdeen can cut the gap on leaders Celtic too just three points tonight with a win at Pittodrie.Former Ireland Under 21 winger Johnny Hayes is available for the hosts after recovering from being bitten by a dog.Uncapped striker Adam Rooney who has been named in extended squads by Ireland manager Martin O’Neill will hope to add to his 16 league goals so far this season. All of those games kick off at 7.45last_img

Bolt has ‘touch like a trampoline’ – A-League striker

first_imgSydney, Australia | AFP | Former Ireland striker Andy Keogh blasted Usain Bolt as having “a touch like a trampoline” Friday as the coach of the Central Coast Mariners refused to say whether he believes the sprint star can make it as a footballer.Keogh, who plays for Perth Glory, said it would be a “kick in the teeth” to footballers if the eight-time Olympic champion earns a professional contract with Australia’s Mariners.The 32-year-old Jamaican, who retired from athletics last year, has been on trial with the A-League club since August but contract negotiations have stalled and he is no longer training.Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported this week that Bolt’s representatives were initially seeking Aus$3 million (US$2.1 million) but the Mariners have offered closer to Aus$150,000.The Mariners have said it appears unlikely the Jamaican will sign unless a third-party agreement can be found to deliver him more money.Keogh, who used to play for Wolves and Cardiff, was blunt in his assessment of Bolt’s footballing prowess.He told Fox Sports the 100m world-record holder had a touch “like a trampoline” and that “he’s not going to be able to make it”.“It’s nice to have the attention on the A-League but him playing in the A-League, that’s not for me,” said Keogh, who made 30 appearances for his country. “He’s shown a bit (of potential) but it’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth to the professionals that are in the league.”He added that “if there’s someone who genuinely thinks he’d be a good football addition, I don’t think they should be in a position to make those calls”.Mariners boss Mike Mulvey was peppered with questions about Bolt at a press conference Friday, batting most of them away.“There’s no update. He’s not at training and I’m just concentrating on the lads I have here,” he said, insisting the Bolt saga was not a distraction.Pressed on whether Bolt had the ability to make it as a footballer, he replied: “I’ll say this one more time — my focus is on the game on Saturday and on the players contracted for the Central Coast Mariners and that is how it should be.”Bolt, who retired from athletics last year, has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway.He recently turned down a two-year, trial-free deal from cashed-up Maltese champions Valletta.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Sailing in a paradise not lost –Thailand’s marine sector promotes a…

first_imgAn old sea dog takes his OK dinghy for a spin around the bay.Much as I disdain power boats, jet skis and other mechanical forms of marine activities, these contraptions do, no doubt, contribute much to the tourism sector.  Tourism, because of the political problems in the kingdom, is coming under increasing pressure, but the marine sector is still flourishing and is continuing to draw hard currency into the nation’s coffers.A fully-fledged sailing boat is somewhat akin to a floating billboard and regattas are therefore a magnet for both local and international sponsors who wish to have a craft’s sides and sails festooned with their company’s own name and logo.  The sailors themselves also do their bit and just last month at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien, a huge regatta featuring some 250 boats took place and 1,000 sailors from all corners of the globe added millions of baht to the Thai economy.The solar-powered “Heliotrope” provides a new, environmentally conscious blueprint for boat builders worldwide.Regattas are held annually up and down the coastlines of the kingdom, from Phuket to Pattaya, and the recently concluded Koh Samui Ragatta contributed greatly to “full house” signs going up around the island, with regatta organizers having to scramble to find accommodation for all those involved in the event.The welfare of less-advantaged citizens, especially youngsters, can also benefit from the sport of sailing.  An example of this is the annual “Pattaya Mail PC Classic” yacht race held off the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in south Pattaya.  For the past two decades this race has been sponsored at various times by the Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Jomtien Pattaya Rotary Club and numerous hotelier groups and businesses from the private sector.  This event alone has raised millions of baht for many charities around the region, and especially to help the two groups at the opposite ends of society – the young and the aged.Thailand is producing more and more champion junior sailors in the worldwide Optimist series.On the subject of the environment, a classic case of sailing doing its ‘bit’ is the award-winning Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, held in July each year, which promotes a clean and green event.As regatta organizer Byron Jones explains: “We are excited to lead the way in South-East Asia and introduce the Clean Regatta program to our event.  We are keen to help preserve the coastal areas of Phuket and ensure the marine environment is left in a better state for future generations.”The Clean Regattas program is a global certification system that encourages regatta organisers and yacht clubs to manage and run environmentally-responsible events.  Its main initiative is to reduce marine debris and preserve coastal land and waters.Buoyed up (to use a nautical term) by these environmental-protection measures, which add so much to the joy of sailing and guarantee its continuation, thousands of yachting aficionados from the temperate and cold northern climes of Europe, North America and elsewhere are lured here by tales of Sailing in Paradise, carried back first-hand by those who have participated in events here.Sailing a boatOwning a yacht is always regarded as the prerogative of the wealthy – a “rich man’s sport” so to speak, and it certainly is that.  Compared to the usual paraphernalia required to participate in active sports, a yacht is an extremely heavy investment and beyond the means of most ordinary folk.  But, there are ways of joining the fray.Opportunities abound to crew on someone else’s boat and enjoy all the action, fun and adventure without the expense.  To be out on the sea, matching your wits with Mother Nature’s forces of wind, climate and tide and enjoying the fresh air, the tang of the sea, and the huge dome of the heavens above is rather hard to beat – even as a crew member!Juniors: the momentum for sailingCuriously, when the sport of sailing was in its infancy many years ago, a well-to-do Thai’s idea of a day on the sea might have been to drive his or her limousine down to an air-conditioned launch, do a few circuits of the bay and then reverse the journey.  A “hard day at the sea” he or she would recount to colleagues ashore of the weekend’s activities.Sailing offers great fun and the chance to reconnect with the natural environment.Perhaps this ideal of a day on the briny still goes on, but nowadays Thais are excelling on the world yachting stage, from local events right up to Olympic standards, and the nation is producing some top-class sailors.Much of the new popularity of sailing is nurtured in the junior (under-16) ranks, where Thai and ex-pat children compete frequently – and successfully – in the worldwide Optimist dinghy series.  Thailand has improved so much that the kingdom’s teams have gone on to become world champions on several occasions.  The main problem for Thai youngsters who compete overseas is that the waters elsewhere are invariably colder than at home, and there is also no khao-pad readily available!There are numerous sailing groups up and down the kingdom that cater specifically for children; the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya, the Royal Thai Navy at Sattahip, Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien, while both Koh Samui and Phuket conduct vigorous training and racing programs for juniors.A racing fleet under full sail in the waters off Phuket.At this year’s Top of the Gulf Regatta at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, some 150 boys and girls from all over Thailand competed in the Optimist National Championships.  Some of these sailors were as young as seven years old yet all thrived in the fickle weather conditions.  These youngsters know that a few hours sailing in the fresh air, the beauty of the environment and the challenge to their young minds certainly beats hours in a noisy, cluttered shopping mall, competing with television fare and brain-numbing game machines.Tales of survival (or otherwise) at seaOf course, there are horrendous stories of sea-borne disasters (Titanic, anyone?)   Nevertheless, facing the challenge of the sea, despite being fraught with peril, is inherent in our nature.  The sea is a hard master, but putting aside the usual Hollywood glorification of survival in films such as Robert Radford’s “All is lost;” and Tom Hanks in “Castaway”, there have also been real life heroic epics of adventure, such as the ongoing single-handed trans-oceanic races.Over the last two years, in fact, two teenaged girls have sailed single-handedly around the world.  First Dutch girl Laura Dekker, and then an Australian girl Jessica Watson, both displayed incredible stamina and adaptability as they faced some 250+ days at sea – all alone!Feats like these represent the triumph of the human spirit as the two girls took on stupendous odds, fighting for survival in the treacherous Southern Ocean with winds raging at 80-knots and sea swells as high as city skyscrapers.There are also any number of family groups who regularly take to the seas, sailing around the globe to educate their children, both onboard and at visiting ports.  One such marine “globe-trotter” and his family made landfall at Phuket some years ago.  The captain was cajoled, urged and likewise press-ganged into joining the ongoing regatta.  He unloaded all excess materials to make his craft race-ready; this included a live-aboard resident pet dog, which was deposited into the anchored dinghy.  After the race, he returned, but no dog!  Both he and the family were heart-broken.At the prize-giving, our sailor went up to receive his second place prize which, along with the usual silverware, included a huge box.  And out jumped his beloved dog!  One of the competitors had seen a dog swimming alone in the Andaman Sea, picked it up and brought it ashore.HM the King:Imprimatur of sailing in the KingdomSpeaking of single-handed sailing, as we all know, the King of Thailand, an avid sailor, boat-builder and competitor has set a number of sailing records.I have had the extremely good fortune of having sailed with His Majesty out of the Klai Kangwon Palace, where the King keeps a flotilla of sailing dinghies.  First through the Bangkok Post and then through successive issues of the Pattaya Mail I have written a number of first-person narratives of these treasured encounters.The King’s love of the sea and sailing has been legendary and is inherent in the development of the folklore of sailing in Thailand.  For example, on 19 April, 1966, the King sailed the OK dinghy he had built himself across the Gulf, from the Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin to the Royal Thai Navy base at Sattahip.  This distance of 60 nautical miles required tremendous stamina and determination for some 16 hours of concentrated helming.  At the time it was mooted as the longest single-handed dinghy crossing, out of sight of land, in the world.On another occasion, on 16 December, 1967, His Majesty was awarded a Gold Medal by Queen Siirikit, as the winning helmsman (OK dinghy) in the then South East Asian Peninsular Games (now the SEA Games).  Actually, sailing history was created when the King’s daughter, HRH Princess Ubolratana, came in equal first.  This day has since been celebrated as Thailand’s National Sports Day.Besides having his own yacht club at the Klai Kangwon Palace, the King is also Royal Patron of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, the centre of most of Thailand’s sailing activities.  With full support from the Royal Thai Navy and the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Royal Varuna has hosted innumerable world, national and local championships in its 60-year history.In the early days of sailing, the King and Queen, together with members of the Royal family, frequented the then Varuna Marine Club, located on a pristine beach in south Pattaya, now unrecognizable as a sea-front restaurant.Many times the Royal family entertained visiting dignitaries at the old Varuna Marine Club.  On one particular weekend, in March, 1965, there was a gathering of Sweden’s Royal Family, the UK Royal Consort, Prince Phillip, Prince Bhisadrj Rajani, the incomparable Prince Birabongse Banubandh and the Portuguese Ambassador.  Of course a race around Koh Larn eventuated and The King won, but, for matters of protocol, Prince Phillip’s placing was not mentioned!His Majesty has always looked on sailing as a marvelous escape from his Royal duties, while nurturing both the environment and a healthy lifestyle.Sailing infrastructureThe growing popularity of sailing has seen the inevitable build-up and development of related marine infrastructure around the kingdom.  Marinas, boat yards and chandleries have evolved around all the main venues: Phuket, Koh Samui, Hua Hin and, as noted before, the Ocean Marina at Jomtien.Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien offers one of the finest sailing facilities in Southest Asia.Boat-building in the kingdom has also seen an exponential development.  The world’s largest production yacht, the Mirabella, was designed, built and launched from the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in September, 1991.  And earlier this year the same venue saw the launch of the world’s first “solar-powered catamaran” the Heliotrope – a craft eventually capable of trans-navigating the world by solar power.  The environment wins big around here as the rich boys with their rich toys can help Mother Nature along the way.This, then, is a ‘superficial’ view of some of the pros and cons of sailing.  I could write much more, but I pity the readers and also I must hurry, for my yacht will be leaving the Ocean Marina very shortly for a jaunt around the bay.  Incidentally, my ‘yacht’ is a 3-metre open dinghy, a replica of His Majesty’s OK dinghies.  But, nevertheless, in a short time, I, too, will succumb to the joys and freedom of “sailing in a paradise not lost.”NB:  For more information about sailing opportunities in Pattaya, go to website: http://varuna.org or www.oceanmarinayachtclub.com.The pristine waters of Thailand are the nation’s treasure and can still offer a veritable paradise for sailing enthusiasts. (Photo/ArtAsia/Everingham)The Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya. To play somewhat on the title of the masterpiece by British bard John Milton, I shall attempt in the following article to show how sailing, and its related water-borne activities, can greatly contribute to protecting and saving the environment and also help to promote a healthier and better lifestyle. According to authors Beard and McKie, in their riotously funny book A Dictionary for landlubbers, “Sailing is the fine art of getting wet, and becoming ill while going nowhere at great expense.”  While admittedly, sailing is not for everyone – for only a few, in fact – there are some most positive aspects, which I shall try to emphasize here.His Majesty the King of Thailand has been a driving force in the development of sailing in the kingdom.Environment & EconomicsSailing is both environmentally-friendly and economically sound.  Many years ago, when I first entered this delightful country, I wrote an article, entitled “Sailing: a panacea for tourism.”  Now, a decade or two down the line, the environment is under constant siege and the ‘fixes’ have reached a greater urgency and are much more expensive to implement, but not impossible, and sailing can help.last_img read more

Inside Conditions…Jet lag

first_imgLeading up to the Steelers, Jets matchup last weekend there was all sorts of useless verbiage being spewed regarding the Jets and their willingness to come into Heinz Field and mix it up with the cousins of “bad, bad, Leroy Brown” the mighty Steelers. The Jets won the game 22-17 on sheer willpower along with “horrible” special teams coverage combined with questionable offensive play calling by the Black and Gold around the goal line that ultimately ended in a safety for New York.Those two points and the extra possession by New York caused a loss that may be more troublesome for the Steelers than they realize as they march into the post season. The Steelers were victimized, not so much by the Jets, but once again by the knuckleheaded play calling of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. His strategy inside of the 5 yard line did not make sense. In my opinion a simple dive play with the fullback hitting the 1 hole or the tailback hitting the 2 hole would have gained a yard just by the fullback or tailback falling forward. There cannot be any lateral movement behind the plane of the goal line by any back, period. Why would you use Mewelde Moore, your third down tailback, for such a crucial play instead of your first string tailback or fullback? When asked about the play, Mike Tomlin had a very cerebral and intellectual answer. “We didn’t come off the back side free technique. He [Jason Taylor] got penetration. He was very disruptive of course, and he had a tackle for a loss right there,” he said. Ah, excuse me Monsieur Tomlin. If the play had never been called, the safety would have never happened. Even ole Ben Franklin knew that. Remember he said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” you dig.Even though the Black and Gold lost the game the team was informed by the NFL’s resident mathematical geniuses that they had mathematically secured a playoff spot.Rule rather than the exception.Extra, extra read all about it. Michael Haywood installed as Pitt’s next head football coach. This is such a hunky dory, feel good story. To quote the old gospel hymn, “I said I wasn’t gonna tell nobody but I couldn’t keep it to myself.”  The Haywood hire bodes well for the University of Pittsburgh.However, Haywood is also going to have to be a fireman over, around and near the “Cathedral of Learning.” There are a few embers smoldering over at the football program. Those hot ashes better be extinguished quickly and the “Phoenix” had better be rising from those ashes sooner than later. There have been a comparable amount of  “newsworthy” stories written concerning the Pitt football team off the gridiron as there have been about Panthers victories on it especially concerning the behavior of a few of the student-athletes who were or still are members of the student body and/or the team.Flight BS 1 now departing the terminal. Please reach up into the overhead compartment and grab me a barf bag will ya? It is almost 150 years since slaves were emancipated yet we are still forced to remove the “shackles of perception” to get around the “barriers of normalcy” in order to achieve artificial “firsts” as African-Americans. It has been 147 years since the chains of bondage were removed from Americans of African descent, yet Michael Haywood is the first Black head coach to reside in the lair of the University of Pittsburgh men’s football program. Where have they been?  In my opinion, the focus on Haywood’s hiring merits acclamation but also may be a bit shameful. Pitt was forced to do something drastic. Nothing else was working. Flashing his Super Bowl rings helped ex-Pitt Head Coach Dave Wannstedt  as a recruiter but he grossly under achieved as a coach, teacher and motivator because very seldom were his athletes able to transfer their preparation from an X and 0s standpoint to being mentally sharp enough to win the big game. Also, hiring coaches and awarding scholarships because of their “Pittsburgh pedigree” is good for public relations purposes only.It is a travesty that in the year 2010, there are elements of our society that will not perform certain actions unless they are pushed into a corner. It is being said that some of Pitt’s fan and alumni base are not very pleased with the choice of Mr. Haywood.  Is it possible that the powers-that-be felt that the program could only get better? It sure could not get any worse.Black head coach or not, Pitt like all of the rest of the NCAA Division 1 football programs would be better served hiring Haywood and others like him because they are good coaches and evaluators of talent, not because they may relate to or be more compatible with the large pool of African-American athletes that are a part of the NCAA “system.”(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at:  [email protected]­pittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.)last_img read more

Shop For Gifts At Great Harvest Bread Company In West Olympia

first_imgOpen Monday – Saturday from 6:30 am – 8:00 pm and Sunday from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm. Submitted by Great Harvest Bread Co.An inviting display of Northwest products and tasty mixes greet shoppers when they enter the Great Harvest Bread Company in West Olympia.“We can prepare a gift basket for any budget,” explains Kerry Norem, owner of Great Harvest Bread Company.Whether you are looking for a way to thank a friend, buy a holiday gift or just bring a treat to a hostess, Great Harvest Bread Company can assist in preparing an ideal gift.The bakery stocks baskets so shoppers can create their own gift stocked with products made exclusively in the Pacific Northwest.  Pick up a box of Market Spice tea, add a tin of Cougar Gold cheese and a jar of Ila’s Jam.Or, simply purchase a Bread Kiss – a loaf of your favorite bread wrapped in a delightful kitchen tea towel – which retails at an “easy on the pocketbook” price of $12.“We also prepare tasty granola and oatmeal mixes which make a unique gift for a hard-to-buy-for person on your list,” adds Norem.Gluten-free breads, biscotti, and soups are also available in the locally owned and operated shop.For more information about Great Harvest Bread Company, click here.Great Harvest Bread Co.1530 Black Lake BlvdOlympia, WA 98502 Facebook5Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

ThurstonTalk’s Weekend Event Calendar – Easter Weekend In Olympia Washington

first_imgFacebook1Tweet0Pin0 Easter weekend is the start of Spring Break for most Thurston County public schools.  As families prepare to take a few days off, turn to ThurstonTalk’s event calendar for all the activities around town.  Use our *new* Kids & Family section to find a new place to play or rediscover an old favorite haunt.  Using the Activities drop down menu, you can sort for either indoor or outdoor stories.Here is a recap of the Easter Egg Hunts happening around Olympia this weekend.  For more specific details, click here.Friday, March 29 –Adult Flashlight Egg Scramble at the RAC at 8:00 pmSaturday, March 30 –10:00 am – Westfield Capital Mall10:00 am – Dog Easter Egg Hunt at the RAC10:00 am – New Apostolic Church11:00 am – Tumwater High School11:00 am – Bucknell Field in Lacey12:00 pm – South Sound Church1:00 pm – Lattin’s Country Cider Mill & FarmSunday, March 312:00 pm – Priest Point Park2:00 pm – South Sound ManorOther events happening this weekend include:Dig razor clams in Ocean Shores this weekend.Play outside on Saturday, in honor of the 100th birthday of the Washington State Parks system.Visit the WET Science Center.Gather ideas for activities during Spring Break.Attend a performance at Olympia Family Theater or Harlequin Productions.  Both local theater groups have shows throughout the weekend.Catch a roller derby bout between #1 Oly Rollers and #2 San Diego Starlettes on Sunday evening.ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia.  If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at [email protected]  For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.last_img read more

Matuidi a doubt for Spurs clash due to thigh strain

first_img0Shares0000The combative Matuidi is a vital component in the Juventus midfield © AFP / MARCO BERTORELLOPARIS, France, Feb 5 – France international midfielder Blaise Matuidi could miss next week’s Champions League clash with Tottenham Hotspur due to a thigh strain, his club said on Monday.The former Paris-Saint Germain player was injured during Sunday’s 7-0 thrashing of Sassuolo, leaving the field after just 26 minutes. He underwent tests that found a “slight” strain.“More tests are needed to better evaluate for how long he will be out,” Juve said in a statement.The injury could not have come at a worse time with the Italian champions due to face Tottenham in their Champions League last 16 first leg next Tuesday.Matuidi was replaced by Italy international Claudio Marchisio at the weekend.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more