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Staff Writer By chris kelly Brookdale baseball is back as Blues capture Region title Super Region is next for Johnson’s nine FARRAH MAFFAI Brookdale’s Stephen Echevarria is congratulated by teammates after crossing home plate during the Jersey Blues’ win over Sussex on Thursday in Lincroft. It’s never easy replacing a legend, let alone a hall of famer. In Johnny Johnson’s first three years at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft section of Middletown, he had his Jersey Blues in the finals of the Region XIX Tournament each year and had never won fewer than 24 games. By any measure it was success. Unless, the yardstick you are being measured against is a hall of famer like Paul MacLaughlin. “Everything at Brookdale is measured by wins and championships,” said Johnson, a star catcher for Middletown High School from 1979-81. MacLaughlin, who started the Brookdale program from scratch and went 829-235 during his 28 years at the helm, built Brookdale into a junior college national power in which region championships and trips to the national championships were a habit. Last weekend, Johnson took a major step in forging his own identity at Brookdale when the Jersey Blues beat Mercer, 12-5, in Lincroft to win the Region XIX crown, the school’s first since 1997. “It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had, except for the birth of my daughter,” said Johnson. “It’s a big monkey off my chest. I’m proud of the kids.” The Jersey Blues, who also won the Garden State Athletic Conference regular season title, have become Johnson’s kids, and they won one for him Sunday. When Mercer jumped all over Brookdale, 11-2, to force a deciding game in the double-elimination tournament Sunday, the Blues were in an all too familiar position. Brookdale had been down this road before. In each of the last three years, Brookdale had advanced to the final game of the Region XIX Tournament only to come up short. The 2002 edition of the Blues let their coach know it wasn’t going to be deja vu. “When we got into a huddle before the game, the kids said, ‘We’re not going to let you down; we’re not leaving here losing,’” Johnson said. “They just wanted it. After three tries, it was finally our turn.” While losing the region finals, Johnson learned what it took to get over the hump. He needed quality pitching and plenty of it, and that’s what he went out and got, stacking his team with arms. He also built a very athletic team designed to put constant pressure on a team. A walk or a single could be as good as a double because the Blues were going to run no matter what the score or situation. They also had something else working for them, a No. 1 starter a team can jump on the shoulders of and ride to a victory in the overpowering left-hander Alex Perez. “We’ve never had a legitimate No. 1 pitcher who can dominate,” said Johnson. Perez was 2-0 over the weekend, earning the Most Valuable Player award. He won his Saturday start against Mercer when he fanned 14 in Brookdale’s 8-3 win. The sophomore came back on Sunday to pitch three strong innings in relief and pick up the win as Brookdale scored nine runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to run away from the Vikings. “After throwing 130 pitches the day before, Alex gave us three great innings,” said Johnson. “Our bats came to life in the late innings. “Of all the teams I’ve ever coached, this team is never out of a game,” he added. “Our hitting is very contagious. We can score runs quickly.” That’s what the Blues did against Mercer when, trailing 4-3 after five and one-half innings, the bats caught fire. Mike Pierre, Antonio Mirando and Dave Komar sparked the late-inning rally. Komar, starting his first game on a coach’s hunch because Mercer was starting a lefty, had three RBIs, one on a sacrifice fly, another on a squeeze and the third on a single, which was his first hit of the season. Marc Savard’s double was the only extra base hit as the Blues relied on their running game to make things happen. Pierre lifted his single-season and career school stolen bases mark to 52 over the weekend. He has only been thrown out one time. Brookdale has stolen a school record 175 bases this year. The Blues took Johnson and their fans on a very wild ride over the weekend. It all began Friday morning against Sussex, a team that Brookdale had handled easily twice during the regular season. Johnson gambled by holding Perez out, figuring he could out hit Sussex. Falling behind 6-1 was not in the game plan, but that’s what the Blues did. Kyle Boturla gave the Blues seven and one-third innings of strong relief to keep the team in the game. A two-out, two-RBI single by Marc Savard in the fifth seemed to wake the Blues up. They would tie it at 6-6 with three in the seventh, but Sussex would get two in the top of the ninth to regain the lead, 8-6. Staring at a quick trip to the loser’s bracket and the hard road to the final, the Blues came up with three in the ninth to win it. Pierre got the game-winner on a single with two outs. It was part of his 4-6, three stolen bases and two runs scored. John Kokotajlo, who always seems to deliver the clutch hit for Brookdale, had tied the game with his two-out double and he scored on Pierre’s single. Antonio Mirande (3-4, two doubles, two runs and RBIs) had brought in the first run of the game with a double. In relief, Matt Cangilose picked up the win to improve to 3-1. “I rolled the dice there,” Johnson said of his decision to hold Perez back. The poor start, as much the result of some poor field conditions as anything, was attributed by Johnson to the youth of his club. “You never know what you’ll get with freshmen,” he said. “We had seven on the field and I think they were a little nervous at first, but they settled down.” The come-from-behind win put Brookdale up against Mercer Saturday morning in a winners’ bracket game. Perez had things in hand with his 14-strikeout effort, and Brookdale had the 8-3 win and a trip to Sunday’s final. The loss put Mercer in the losers’ bracket and it came back later that day to best Del-Tech Owens, 12-2, to get another shot at the Blues for the regional title. Mercer, coached by former Major Leaguer Dave Gallagher, had to beat Brookdale twice on Sunday to win the title. The Vikings (32-9) showed they were serious when they hit the Blues hard, 11-2, to force a second game for all the marbles. Brookdale’s depth at pitching proved to be decisive. The Blues got six good innings from Brian Rabbit and then handed the ball to Perez for the final three innings. Despite his 130-pitch effort on Saturday, the big lefty, who is headed for the University of Miami, Florida, fanned five in his three innings of work as he improved his record to 8-1. “Alex promised that we’d win a region title while he was here, and he delivered on it,” Johnson said. The offense went to work in the last three innings and it was Brookdale that was moving on. “Mercer is a well-coached team and they’re the best defensive team in the region,” said Johnson. “They had no pitching left and got tired in the second game.” Brookdale will take a 32-12-1 record and the No. 11 ranking in the country to the Super Region, the Northeast District Tournament in Mercyhurst, Pa. This is a four-team double-elimination format of regional champions with the winner advancing to the World Series in Millington, Tenn., May 25-June 1. Brookdale’s last trip to the series was 1997 when the Blues finished fifth. Postseason awards followed the Blues’ big season. The Blues who made the 2002 Division II All-Region XIX first team were Pierre, Perez and outfielder Jon Forte. Making the second team were outfielder Steve Echevarria and pitcher Boturla. Pierre, Forte and Perez also made the 2002 All-GSAC first team. Infielder Savard, Echevarria, catcher Yuri Lopetegui and Boturla made the second team.
By Andreas VouMARCOS Baghdatis came close to pulling off another major upset in the third round of the Australian Open but eventually bowed out after an enthralling five-set encounter with world no.11 Grigor Dimitrov on Friday.The 29-year-old Cyprus star matched one of the most highly-rated talents on the ATP Tour stride for stride, but the Bulgarian took the deciding set and won 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in a contest which lasted three hours and 30 minutes.Baghdatis’ performances in the previous two rounds against Teymuraz Gabashvili and David Goffin, both higher than him in the rankings, looked to have given the Limassol native the confidence to achieve another big win.The former world no.8 was at his brilliant best in the opening exchanges and performed ruthlessly to take the set with a love service hold.Even though Dimitrov responded in the second set to bring the match back to level terms, Baghdatis was back on the front foot in the third. Dimitriv, 23, was unable to capitalise on four break point chances in the ninth game of the set and Baghdatis went on to take a 2-1 lead.With the vocal backing of hundreds of Greeks and Cypriots in the Melbourne crowd, the world no.78 looked to be heading towards a famous victory.However, as Dimitrov grew more into the match, Baghdatis began to show signs of self-doubt and frustration which would take a toll on his performance.The Bulgarian fought his way back and eventually turned it around to take a thrilling five-set win.Dimitrov – the famous boyfriend of Maria Sharapova – paid homage to Baghdatis’ performance but was ultimately content with a hard-fought victory.“Marcos was playing extremely good tennis,” Dimitrov, dubbed ‘Baby Fed’ for his playing similarities to great Swiss Roger Federer, said after the match.“At the same time early in the match I didn’t go for my shots. Marcos, the crowd was for him. But at the end of the day, I kept the good composure, I won.”Baghdatis’ six-year wait to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam continues while Dimitrov will now face Andy Murray in the next round.
Real Madrid’s struggling defence will probably have to keep Bayern Munich’s deadly striker Robert Lewandowski at bay in the Bernabeu to reach the Champions League semi-finals.Real will be defending a 2-1 lead from the first leg of the quarter-final, which the Polish hitman missed with the shoulder injury that also kept him out of the German side’s 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday.However, Lewandowski trained on Sunday and is poised to return as Bayern look for goals on Tuesday against a Real side that have kept only one clean sheet in their last 12 games.“I’m fine. I’m very pleased I was able to take part in training today. Everything’s OK,” said the Pole, who is Bayern’s top scorer with 38 goals in 40 games in all competitions.Javi Martinez is banned after his first-leg red card, while Bayern may also be without the injured Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, who both missed the Leverkusen clash.“Of the three (injured), Lewandowski has the better chance of being fit to play,” said Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti.“It will be very difficult in Madrid but we still have confidence. We still have an opportunity and we’ll do our best.”GOAL THREATLewandowski has seven Champions League goals, level with Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and only behind Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (11) and Paris St Germain’s Edinson Cavani (8).He is also joint top of the Bundesliga scoring charts with Aubameyang on 26 goals this season.Lewandowski joined Bayern from Dortmund in 2014, a few months after Real Madrid knocked the Bavarians out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage.Bayern were thrashed 5-0 on aggregate three years ago but Madrid’s defence is weaker now than it was then.Pepe broke two ribs in this month’s Madrid derby with Atletico and misses the Bayern game along with French centre-back Raphael Varane who still has a hamstring problem.That leaves Sergio Ramos and Nacho Fernandez as the pairing at the heart of the defence for Real, who are also without forward Gareth Bale due to his calf injury.Madrid last kept a clean sheet against minnows Alaves on April 2 and have not looked solid at the back all season.They beat Sporting Gijon 3-2 on Saturday but conceded two sloppy goals, needing a 90th-minute winner from Isco to help them keep title rivals Barcelona at arm’s length.“They had two chances and scored two goals,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane said after the game. “(The players) all lost concentration, we weren’t switched on for the free-kick (that led to Sporting’s second goal).”The Madrid side could pay a high price for any similar slip-ups against Bayern, particularly with Lewandowski lurking.
English football clubs were raided early on Wednesday morning by tax officials as part of a wide-sweeping probe, with several men arrested for suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud.British media were reporting that West Ham United and Newcastle United were targets of the investigation.The London club did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment, while a Newcastle spokesperson said she expected to issue a statement “in due course”.West Ham issued a statement to local media, saying the club was “cooperating fully with HMRC to assist their enquiries”.The body responsible for United Kingdom’s tax collection said: “180 HMRC officers have been deployed across the UK and France today.“Investigators have searched a number of premises in the North East and South East of England and arrested the men and also seized business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones.“This criminal investigation sends a clear message that, whoever you are, if you commit tax fraud you can expect to face the consequences.”HMRC said French authorities were assisting the UK investigation, that they have made arrests and that several locations have been searched in France.A French judicial source with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to Reuters that a preliminary investigation has been opened and that operations were underway in France and in the UK.The source, who declined to be named, would not elaborate.
Peculiar Decisions The year 1964 saw the first International Conference on doping in sport, and in the1964 Tokyo Olympics, drug testing in cycling began. However, it wasn’t until 1998 when a police raid on the hotel rooms of teams involved in the Tour de France yielded copious amounts of drugs and drug paraphernalia that the world began to take notice of how widespread this search for, and discovery of the edge had reached. This scandal forced the International Olympic committee to organise the first world conference on doping in sport. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established on November 10, 1999. On October 19, 2005, there was the International Convention against Doping in Sport and the implementation and enforcement of the World Anti-Doping Code (Copenhagen Declaration). Since that time, history has recorded the many instances where athletes who have been found to be in violation of the code, regarding the use of prohibited substances or methods, have had their guilt hidden, excused, or ignored by local anti-doping bodies, determined to minimise, excuse, or even ignore the fact that winning was obtained by illegal and unfair methods. One aspect of the code insists that local anti-doping bodies should not have as members individuals who hold government positions or who are on the executive of sporting organisations that are subject to drug testing. Jamaica has had two such bodies dissolved on the instructions of WADA for ignoring this important and transparent directive. Jamaica has been at the forefront of transparency in having the hearings of its anti-doping commission (JADCO) open to members of the public, who have a vested interest in the determination of guilt or innocence of their fellow citizens accused of illegal and unfair practices in the desire to win at all costs. DOPING CONFERENCE In the minds of some Jamaicans, participating in sports was the ultimate fun. The joy of good, clean competition, where rules are adhered to and opponents respected. Unfortunately, modern sports have descended to the point where winning is everything. There is one famous quote where legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi said, “Winning is not everything. It is the only thing”. There is much support for the “winning is everything” mantra, as the rewards for winning, and the improved lifestyle and economic well-being of those who win makes winning the ONLY thing. As a result, participants in sport are constantly in search of the edge. That magical tablet, injection, diet, equipment, training method that guarantees improvement in performance that ultimately will enable one to win, to defeat their opponent. The search for that edge has resulted in death, illness, and other unwanted consequences, but importantly, the search for the edge has also resulted in improvements in performance that ends in winning. The modern reason for competing. The history of doping in sports goes back to 393 AD when the Olympics was cancelled mainly because of the prevalence of the use of mushrooms and seeds by competitors seeking the edge. In 1806, the modern Olympics were restarted, and even then, it was noted that athletes were using strychnine and codeine to improve performance. In 1930, Nazi doctors developed anabolic steroids to increase aggression in troops. In the 1932 Olympics, the USA won 102 medals, and Germany won 20. In the 1936 Olympics, Germany won 89 medals and the USA won 56. During the Second World War, captured German scientists were now working in the USSR and the USA. In 1952, the USSR entered the Olympics for the first time. The US won 76 medals, USSR 71 and Hungary 42. In the 1960’s, anabolic steroids were refined and began turning up in sports. It is this very openness and transparency that has resulted in unusual and peculiar decisions at these hearings to be successfully appealed. The present desire to hide the proceedings of this process will seriously damage the legitimacy of Jamaica’s global athletic prowess, at a time when international naysayers question Jamaica’s credibility and its willingness to police Jamaican athletes. This prevailing desire to close the doors of the process to the public, juxtaposed with revelations of Government-appointed bodies taking decisions contrary to internationally accepted norms, makes one wonder if there are revelations to come that would make transparency embarrassing. The Gleaner editorial of August 12 and the opinion of internationally acclaimed sports attorney Dr Emir Crowne, which are diametrically opposed to the proposed secrecy of JADCO’s tribunal hearings, should be enough for us, the public, to let our voices be heard insist that “transparent hearings should be JADCO’s default”. Nothing else will suffice!
Dear Editor,The continued reference by the Mayor of Georgetown and the Town Clerk to the jumbled tent city type shantytown arrangement south of Public Building at Hadfield and Lombard Streets where the vendors have been crammed into by the Council as ‘Parliament View Mall’ is pure and simple disrespect and disregard for the vendors and shoppers in our capital city.These two individuals have been travelling all over the world and know what a shopping mall looks like, which is a large retail complex containing a variety of stores and often restaurants and other business establishments housed in a series of connected or adjacent buildings or in a single large building. Apart from the average mall being simply a place to do some shopping, grab a snack and catch a movie, some malls, such as Giftland Mall, offer a spectacular selection of shopping, entertainment and dining options. To refer to these rows of flimsy and porous tents, most of which are already damaged, under which there are pallets, rickety tables and chairs made from old bits and pieces of wood strapped with scraps of tarpaulin and sling rope with insufficient facilities and conveniences such as poor drainage, non-existent lighting, potable water, and few toilets as a shopping mall is just depraved.It suggests that they are of the view that Guyanese are unaware of what a shopping mall is, or that we should all pretend that this facility is an acceptable part of the landscape of the city. Do these individuals or their families shop there? I’ll bet not. They will more likely than not shop at the upmarket malls when they frequently travel, and when compelled to purchase items locally go to the real malls with a retinue of bodyguards and other support staff in tow.It is time for the Mayor and Town Clerk to stop trying to fool the vendors who were forced to occupy that area that they have their best interest at heart, when they don’t, it is time for them to stop coming up with these foolish and impossible pie-in-the-sky ideas of installing a double-deck at the Bourda Green and extending the Stabroek Market to accommodate these vendors, as they have not the financial resources to do either, but most of all they should stop making these ridiculous pronouncements that they are trying to organise the city that will make it comparable to modern cities and which would allow it to stand shoulder to shoulder with the great cities of the world, which is an insult to the intellect of Guyanese. City Hall with its present human and other resources cannot make good on such a promise. Lacking within the Georgetown Municipality is the technical and political capacity to provide even the most basic of cultural, environmental, social and sustainable living needs for present and future citizens of Georgetown. Especially when one checks on the background of the Mayor and her Town Clerk.Sincerely,Debra Gibson
CALGARY, A.B. – Forced Alberta government crude oil production cuts next year will result in “unintended consequences” that could include increased safety hazards for its employees, Suncor Energy Inc. warned Friday.Despite the curtailments that begin Jan. 1, Canada’s largest integrated oil and gas company forecasts its production will grow by 10 percent in 2019 on a stand-pat capital budget of between $4.9 billion and $5.6 billion.The issue has opened rifts in the Calgary-based oilpatch with companies like Suncor, Imperial Oil Ltd. and Husky Energy Inc. opposed to curtailments which are supported by bitumen-weighted producers like Cenovus Energy Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.- Advertisement -The cuts announced by Premier Rachel Notley earlier this month are intended to bring industry output in line with pipeline capacity to drain trapped oil from the western Canadian market and reduce resulting steep discounts for crude oil.Suncor says it is largely insulated from low local prices by its Canadian upgrading and refining assets and firm pipeline contracts.“In the short term, the government of Alberta action has resulted in winners and losers in the market, shutting invaluable upgrading throughput and has made transporting crude oil out of the province by rail uneconomic,” Calgary-based Suncor said in a news release.Advertisement But she said it fails to properly consider the uneven historic and recent performance of Syncrude (the oilsands mine and upgrader in which Suncor has a 58 percent interest) and gives only partial consideration for the fact that Suncor’s new 194,000-bpd Fort Hills oilsands mine did not have a full year of production in 2018.Throttling back production during the coldest months of the year, when it typically operates full out without stopping for maintenance, could increase risks to safety and reliability, the company warned.“Suncor will not put the safety of our employees and contractors at risk,” it stated.Mike McKinnon, spokesman for Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd, said the province’s decision to curtail production was a difficult but necessary one to prevent job losses in the industry.“We take concerns about safety and long-term resource stability very seriously, and have been engaged with Suncor and other companies on a daily basis to understand these challenges,” he said in an email.Advertisement He said the province is working with companies on how much they must cut through an AER review panel and has made temporary adjustments to curtailment thresholds for companies facing higher reductions.Suncor said the cutbacks will result in higher operating costs per barrel, could affect the supply of crude oil to Alberta upgraders and refineries, may raise issues with its contracted pipeline commitments and could cause problems with the in-house consumption of diesel produced at its oilsands mines.The company said it expects average upstream production of 780,000 to 820,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day next year, up from about 730,000 boe/d in 2018.Suncor’s guidance matched analyst projections, with researchers at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. saying in a note it is “the ‘just right’ bowl of porridge for an uncertain outlook.” It added it is co-operating with the government and the Alberta Energy Regulator and “working hard” to minimize associated contractor layoffs.The province said it will order the suspension of 325,000 barrels per day or about 8.7 percent of overall oil production for about the first three months of 2019 before reducing the cuts for the rest of the year. The cuts only affect producers with more than 10,000 bpd of output, limiting curtailments to about 25 companies, mainly in the oilsands.Suncor said it will suffer from a “disproportionate allocation” of production cuts, adding its budget assumes the curtailments will be in place for three months before falling to 30 percent of initial levels for the remainder of 2019.In an email, Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal wouldn’t reveal the company’s cutback number for competitive reasons.Advertisement
WAILUA, Hawaii — In a clearing within Kauai Aadheenam’s lush gardens, the ping, ping, pinging of metal chipping at stone can be heard as a half-dozen artisans from India put the finishing flourishes on the Hindu monastery’s legacy for the ages. Hand-carved in granite and shipped in pieces to the island from India, the Iraivan Temple is faithful to the precise design formulas defined by South Indian temple builders a thousand years ago. The $8 million temple to the god Shiva is the first all-stone Hindu temple outside India, according to the Kauai monks. The project is a rarity even in India. The ranks of skilled carvers from India have dwindled in recent centuries, as stone has yielded to concrete and steel. Design modifications in new temples outside India have become a necessity to make worship at the traditionally open-air spaces bearable during the winters in Canada or New York City. Lush, tropical Kauai, known as Hawaii’s Garden Isle, doesn’t have that problem. “Actually, it’s the first all-stone temple made anywhere in quite a while. I think our architect in India said he’s made two in 50 years,” said Sannyasin Arumugaswami, a generously bearded monk enveloped in an orange cotton robe. Construction began in 1990 and could take an additional 10 years to finish because of the mass of the structure and the skill needed to build it. The temple has already incorporated 80 shipping containers worth of stone and is surmounted by a gold-gilt cupola carved over three years by just four men. The temple is the vision of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, a former ballet dancer and Californian who founded the monastery back in 1970. Subramuniyaswami, who died at 74 in 2001, embraced Hindu monasticism in the late 1940s. Today his Kauai monastery is home to 22 monks who spend their days in prayer at the monastery’s current Kadavul Temple, tending the monastery’s fruit orchards and livestock, or putting out the order’s quarterly publication “Hinduism Today.” While many of the Kauai monks are converts, hailing from about six different countries, the order’s focus, as reflected in its stone temple, is on tradition. And the rules here are strict. While day-trippers are welcome, the monastery does not allow the curious to try out monastic life for a few days or weeks. The minimum stay is six months. And all the monks are celibate, single and male. Once they take their permanent vows, they do not speak of their lives before the monastery. “It’s like the institution was picked up in India and plopped down here … Something our founder purposely tried to do is not dilute it or change it seriously because of where it is,” said Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, the current guru and abbot of the monastery. Still, the ascetics’ traditional orange, yellow or white cotton robes and shaved or bearded appearances belie their modern savvy. These monks have cell phones, digital cameras, podcasts and widescreen computer monitors to put out their magazine, with a worldwide circulation of 15,000 print and 5,000 digital. The monastery’s Web site gets up to 40,000 hits a day. “If you start searching Hinduism on the Web, you come to us in a hurry,” said Arumugaswami, who is also managing editor of the magazine. The monastery’s partially constructed temple now stands at the edge of a small valley that plunges down to the Wailua River, a pond and a few rushing waterfalls, and against a distant backdrop of soaring green mountains. Complete with tropical flowers and other plants — some purchased from the National Tropical Botanical Garden headquartered on Kauai — the monastery’s landscaped gardens are awe-inspiring. “Part of the object is to place the temple in just the most beautiful Hawaiian environment possible,” said Arumugaswami, explaining that the temple’s surroundings are a “natural” temple. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!