Crucial drop catches cost Guyana U-15 title – Moore

first_imgSingh, Nedd and Torrington in W.I squad for England invitational tournamentBy Rajiv BisnauthDESPITE finishing joint-second place with Barbados in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) 50-Overs regional tournament which ended on Wednesday in Grenada, coach of the national team, Julian Moore said his charges played good cricket until their final round game against Trinidad and Tobago. The Guyanese won three out of their four games played, and accumulated 20.8 points to tie with Barbados, but Moore said Guyana could have easily defended their title, if wasn’t for the crucial drop catches in the final round.“Despite not winning, and those crucial drop catches, I thought the youngsters played good cricket. Most of our goals were achieved,” Moore told Chronicle Sport yesterday.The 30-year-old added “The last round was not the best conditions for batting, there was a lot of moisture on the pitch, and we simply did not adjust to that, but having said that, our bowlers showed a lot of spirit, took six T&T wickets. But if we had latched on to those catches, the result could have been better.”Further, the former youth player pointed out that the experience and opportunity to play at that level will definitely boost the youngsters’ cricket.To this end, Moore pointed out that captain Sachin Singh, along with his last year’s teammates, Ashmead Nedd and Qumar Torrington were chosen on the West Indies youth squad for the England limited overs Youth Invitational tournament from August 10 to 21.Meanwhile, during the tournament, T&T played unbeaten, and finished with 31.5 points.Windward Islands had 13.5 points, Leeward Islands and Jamaica finished with 9.9 points..The Regional Under-15 tournament commenced in 1996 with then hosts T&T taking the inaugural title.The reigning champions hold the record for the most titles with eight, also winning the title in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2010 and 2013.The Guyanese captured the title last year on home soil by topping the points table. Guyana have claimed the top prize four times comprising back-to-back titles twice in 1998 and 1999, and again 2014 and last year.Jamaica have won the title on four occasions (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011) and Barbados have won three times (1997, 2004, 2012).Windwards emerged champions eight years ago, leaving Leewards yet to win the title.last_img read more

The NFL is now betting big on once-taboo gambling industry

first_imgFreeman said the trio of deals with three very different gambling outfits is a result of the Broncos “bringing order to what was sort of a chaotic environment.”“Because in the clutter just taking any deal you can get, probably no one actually gets true value out of it. So, I think we got a very favorable response from all of the partners and they were thrilled that we were going to limit these and then work hard to craft space for all of them so we could deliver a real value for them,” Freeman said.No, the new gambling partnerships won’t make up for revenue lost during the coronavirus crisis, which has forced many teams, including Denver’s, to open the season without fans but with crowd noise pumped in instead.“It’s great that we were able to get these deals done. It’s material revenue for the organization,” Freeman said. “The reality is I think you know the other revenue (dips) we’re going to see this year will dwarf what probably we were able to do in this category.” Another no is this one: the Broncos won’t benefit from any bets from their fans. The Broncos capitalized on a confluence of events: Colorado’s new sports gambling law that was approved by voters and the league’s lifting of its ban on sportsbook advertising.During a pandemic when new sponsorship opportunities were nearly non-existent, the Broncos signed a trio of gambling sponsors: one with FanDuel Group that includes stadium signage, another with Betfred USA Sports that features a sports betting lounge at Empower Field and a sports betting app and lastly, one with BetMGM, which launched a full sportsbook at Saratoga Casino Black Hawk, about 45 minutes away in the mountains.(Fans won’t actually be able to place wagers at the stadium betting lounges like they would at a sportsbook but will have to place their bets through an app, and the stadium signage won’t be showing up on broadcasts.)“There’s sports betting, there’s daily fantasy, there’s casinos, so there’s a lot of different aspects to these businesses,” said Mac Freeman, the Broncos’ chief commercial officer. “I think what you’ll find with us carving those first tracks through the field you’ll see other teams follow pretty quickly as states come on” board with sports gambling, Freeman said. The NFL is now betting big on once-taboo gambling industry Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditWhatsappDENVER (AP) — It wasn’t that long ago that the NFL nixed Tony Romo’s fantasy football convention at a Nevada casino because of the league’s strict policy against having anything to do with sports betting. Now, the NFL is betting big on the once taboo industry, loosening its gambling policies just as the finishing touches were being made at Allegiant Stadium, the Raiders’ spiffy new home within earshot of the neon-soaked Las Vegas Strip.When the league voted in May to allow teams to sign sponsorship deals with gambling entities, the first team to place its bets was the Denver Broncos. Associated Press “And for the rest of the world I guess this is just status quo, but it is very different for us.”___Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL “No, we are not able to sort of participate in the actual betting volumes or revenue generated,” Freeman said. “No, this is a very classic sponsorship structure where they are paying a fee for assets that we will use to leverage their brands. So, no, there’s no share of any of the actual betting activity coming back to the team.”Just six years after nixing Romo’s fantasy football camp in Las Vegas, the NFL is all in on gambling in 2020.“The approach to the licensed sports betting has evolved as the league and teams entertain new fan engagement opportunities through commercial partnerships,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Associated Press. “What has not changed, however, is our relentless protection of the integrity of the game,” McCarthy added. “These new partnerships have no impact on the play on the field. We have continued to study the rapidly changing landscape and felt comfortable with clubs executing partnerships such as these.”Even with integrity measures in place, the league and gambling interests are linked like never before. September 4, 2020 “We’re all on a path to we don’t know exactly where but I’m as curious as anybody,” said NBC longtime play-by-play man Al Michaels. “I don’t know what the end game is here, I don’t know that anybody does. But I do think that it’s pretty fascinating that yesterday DraftKing announced that Michael Jordan is going to be part of their operation and on the board and the stock went up about 10%. “It’s a fascinating dynamic that’s developing right now and I wish I could predict what’s going to happen here but clearly everybody feels that they want a piece of the pie, of the gambling pie,” Michaels said. “People are interested in putting down a couple of shekels during the game or even inside the game, not just the end result and how many points will be scored and all of that. But this is a mystery. It’s a mystery right now. I don’t know where it goes. I do know the leagues are very excited to be a party to what could be a gigantic industry.”Michaels’ broadcast partner, Cris Collinsworth, is the majority owner of Pro Football Focus, a subscription-based analytics service founded in England in 2007 that studies and grades every player on every play in every game.“It’s kind of interesting. With PFF I have a lot of people who are from Europe that work here … they laugh at us with all of this because it’s been such a part of their culture for so long that you could bet on anything,” Collinsworth said. “And when they see the gnashing of teeth and everything that we’re going through in this transition period, they just find it very, very entertaining.last_img read more

John: SU needs to fix offensive ineptitude, inconsistency heading into bowl game

first_img Comments For a single five-and-a-half minute stretch Saturday, Syracuse fans were shown a glimpse of what they’ve been missing seemingly all season. For that one little blip, the Orange offense cruised down the field en route to a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that could have easily added to the frustration of SU’s largest home crowd of the season. Frustration because of how well the Orange has performed at various times this season, but without a hint of consistency. During those 12 plays, quarterback Ryan Nassib efficiently ran the offense, hitting on all five of his passing attempts for 57 yards. Antwon Bailey ran for 31 yards and SU’s only touchdown. It was a sight rarely beheld by the Carrier Dome crowd this season, especially during the final stretch of the season. All this despite not having starting running back Delone Carter available, as he stood banged up on the sidelines for the second half. It was the proverbial ‘Where has this been?’ moment for the Orange during its final stretch of the regular season. The results of the last four games have been evidence for Syracuse. Three losses, only four touchdowns during that four-game stretch. Just 11.5 points per game. In the process, the Orange went from second in the Big East standings, with a chance at a BCS bowl berth, to now sitting fourth in the league with a week to go.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Those recent offensive struggles have been the prime subject of nearly every one of SU head coach Doug Marrone’s press conferences over the last four weeks. It has been noted that this is a young offensive squad with multiple first-year starters. The depth chart is thin. Players are nicked up after eight consecutive weeks without a break. Though Marrone doesn’t like to make excuses, the reasons for the struggles are valid. ‘Consistency is important. Playmakers are important, and making plays is important,’ Marrone said. ‘What has happened is we have been beat up. We don’t have the same speed and efficiency that we had earlier in the year because of injuries that you do not want to have right now.’ But despite the reasons for the ineptitude, any team playing in the postseason shouldn’t be having such a difficult time putting points on the board. Even a year ago, when SU won just four games, its offense didn’t have a four-game stretch as bad as this one. And heading into a bowl game in a matter of weeks, it’s the one thing that could spell disaster for a team many pegged as one that has turned a corner on the rough days of yesteryear. When asked about the offensive issues Saturday, all Marrone could do was smile and shake his head to prevent the poignant frustration from boiling over. ‘If I knew the answer to that, I would attack it and go,’ Marrone said. With the exceptions of Carter and center Ryan Bartholomew, every other player on the offensive side of the ball has stepped into a new role this season. Yes, Nassib still has two years of eligibility after this season. Yes, in theory, the Orange offense should have some returning experience coming back next season. But Marrone has never been one to look too far ahead. He’s likely focusing on how to fix the problem now. With SU now focusing solely on a bowl game, it’s safe to say the offense will be under the microscope over the next couple weeks. ‘Being the quarterback, I almost try to do too much, which usually comes back and gets you,’ Nassib said Saturday. ‘Everyone is trying to make plays, and we just have to relax and play ball.’ Syracuse has now finished its regular season and has secured itself a spot in a bowl to be determined later. But to avoid an embarrassing performance when it gets there, the kinks on offense need to be worked out. In spite of the fact that Marrone and Co. will have a few weeks to rest and prepare for its next opponent, it will be nearly impossible for this offense to suddenly start hitting on all cylinders. But well rested and perhaps a bit healthier, the Orange offense will need to improve for SU to capture a bowl victory. And after that small glimpse into just how efficient its offense can move the ball, anything less would be a disappointment heading into the offseason. Andrew L. John is the sports editor at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at aljohn@syr.edu. Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on November 27, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

Editorial: Christmas gifts bringing no joy

first_imgYes, it is Christmas Day. The annual traditional celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, marked by good cheer, and the exchange of greetings gifts.This Christmas, some “gifts” are being offered which seems to be coming from the Grinch, who according to the popular ‘Christmas Story’ is bent of stealing the joy out of Christmas.For several weeks now, the Republican administration and the incumbent US president has been furiously trying to put together a tax package they claim benefit the middle class. The plan was approved last week, rushed to the president’s desk and signed into law before Christmas Day. President Trump says the new tax package is the “best Christmas present” Americans will receive. Gift of nasty needlesBut this gift seems to be one wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a golden bow, but inside the wrapper is a porcupine with nasty needles.On one hand, the promo surrounding this tax package claims it will result in most Americans paying less taxes, placing more spending money in their pockets. However, on the other, and most importantly, the implementation of this new tax package means the government will increase the national debt by well over a trillion dollars.Govt will be forced to cut social programsTo reduce this massive increase in the national debt, the government will be forced to cut programs funded from the federal budget. Already, the Republican leadership in Congress has indicated among the priorities of the 2018 agenda is the reduction of entitlements. These entitlements include programs for senior and low-income Americans; programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Meals on Wheels, Food Stamps, WIC, and the Children Health Program.So this much hailed gift of a beneficial tax package is being given with the right hand while the left hand is poised to take away the benefits it’s proposed to give.Net neutrality another bad giftAnother package that the Republican administration has been preoccupied in preparing for American consumers,  one which seems determined to take the joy out of this Christmas is changing the way the Internet is used.Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to end the policy of Net Neutrality which the Obama administration introduced in 2015 to govern the operations of Internet providers like Comcast and AT&T.Under net neutrality, Internet providers are required to provide all content equally without giving preference to some digital content providers. In other words, under net neutrality consumers are free to access any website, app, video, etc., equally, regardless of where the content is hosted.The intent of the Obama administration was to ensure  information provided over the Internet is as open as possible. Comcast, for example, was not permitted to make access to one website slower than another, or charge a fee to access more popular websites like YouTube.Threatens the open InternetThe FCC vote now threatens the open Internet. If this policy is implemented it means that Comcast, ATT, Verizon etc., could make it more difficult to access popularly visited websites. Internet providers would be able to operate the Internet similar to Cable-TV providers. The latter markets some channels as part of a basic, less expensive package, but market channels like HBO and Showtime as primary channels at a higher fee to consumers.This reversal of the net neutrality policy could have  negative impact on how businesses conduct research on the Internet; how students access information related to their respective courses of study; and how the general public access information and use the Internet.Of course, the Internet providers will benefit significantly if the policy is implemented. Democrats must be more aggressiveThe impact of the new tax package and net neutrality can be averted if members of Congress, mostly Democrats,  be more aggressive in opposing them. It’s anticipated Congressional Democrats will be more aggressive in ensuring that entitlements due to seniors and low-income Americans are not compromised. These Democrats also have a responsibility to ensure Americans have access to free, easily accessible information through an open Internet.Greetings from Caribbean National WeeklyMeanwhile, we at Caribbean National Weekly.com hope our readers, associates, and advertisers will receive other gifts they truly deserve this Christmas.We also hope the message of “Merry Christmas” will resonate with meaning throughout your families and businesses.last_img read more

Cowboys’ Amari Cooper lobbies for teammate Dak Prescott to get paid

first_imgAmari Cooper sees no problem with Dak Prescott’s asking price.In fact, the Cowboys wide receiver believes his quarterback deserves to be among highest paid players at his position, noting Prescott’s drive and dedication as primary reasons. “Most quarterbacks don’t have the best bodies or probably don’t really care much about the weight room because they’re more on the cerebral side of the game, but this guy takes every rep seriously,” Cooper said Monday on ESPN.”He doesn’t miss a rep and I think that’s a big part of who he is. He’s just a competitor, he wants to do everything the right way. I haven’t played with too many guys like Dak Prescott, so I think he definitely deserves everything that’s coming to him. He definitely deserves to be paid amongst the highest paid quarterbacks in the league.” Related News Prescott, entering his fourth year in Dallas and the last on his rookie contract, said earlier this offseason he hopes to retire with the team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. His agent, Todd France, has reportedly thrown out a range of $34 million per year on the heels of Carson Wentz’s record-breaking four-year, $128 million contract with the Eagles.When asked about his own payday and if he should be the highest-paid receiver in the league, Cooper expressed patience for the process and said it will come in time. Bills’ LeSean McCoy predicts comeback campaign in 2019 Dak Prescott says there’s no ceiling on what Cowboys can do “Not now,” Cooper replied. “Definitely looking forward to earning that respect and definitely looking forward to coming into this year and just putting up those numbers for my team and really showing what I can do in a full season as a Dallas Cowboy. I know that I have the skill set to be one of the highest-paid receivers. I’m just all about going out there and proving it.”Amari Cooper spoke glowingly of Dak Prescott on Monday, said Dak deserves everything that’s coming to him and to be paid among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. (via @FirstTake) pic.twitter.com/yLizBC2YQZ— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) June 24, 2019Prescott, who turns 26 next month, has thrown for 10,876 yards and 67 touchdowns to go with 25 interceptions in his career. The Cowboys have a 32-16 record in his starts and have made the postseason twice in his three NFL seasons.As for Cooper, he led Dallas with 725 yards on 53 catches and had six touchdowns in nine games last season after being acquired from the Raiders in October. Jalen Ramsey restrains himself from ripping opposing QBslast_img read more

COMMENT: Let us welcome Sports Broadcast to Ugandan football

first_imgRole-4 BroadcastThere is need for the mass media channels to broadcast the signal to the intended recipients. Radios, Internet (Streaming) and Television are the commonly used channels.Role-5 Marketing and SalesTaking football for the fans to watch on Television or listen to on radio does not make commercial value to the product chain until commercial partners that pay are brought on board. It is therefore paramount that marketing and sales efforts must be put in place like any other business to get the money. Professionals must be recruited to play this roleRole-6: The Consumers RoleBecause of the popularity of football, many companies would love to position their brand and sales messages to the football fans consuming football off the media. Most times the fans pay subscription fees for the access to football channels. This is the source of money to football that is used to pay all value addition entities along the product production chain and also pay FUFA, the Clubs and Players to reinvest into making a better productThe Current TrendsThe old school football persons still don’t understand that every player in the product chain must be paid. Many people are stuck in the era of volunteers who did not have the expertise to make money.CAF and its Members sold the television rights of the CAF Competitions and Events to French Company called “Lagardere”. This company does not own any TV Channel nor any Camera but has turned around CAF & Its Members Revenues tenfold.Let us welcome Sports Broadcasting, an indigenous Ugandan Company that has the vision to put Ugandan Sport to the living rooms of Ugandans. They don’t have to own a channel when Bukedde, UBC, NTV, NBS, BBS are in the business of Channels. Is it not that simple?***Magogo is the President of FUFA***Share on: WhatsApp The recently signed deal between UPL and Sports Boradcasting LtdKampala, Uganda | MOSES MAGOGO | COMMENT | My experience is that leadership is about seeing tomorrow from the position of today. Humanity naturally resists change and introducing new ideas definitely meets a lot of resistance of moving from the comfort zone. It is also true that you cannot achieve what you have failed to achieve over years using the same means.When I first said that Football today needs people to provide the brains more than the money, I was quoted out context, ridiculed and my comments were politicized to mean to target certain individuals. As a leader I had seen what tomorrow can bring and here we are.I am very proud that today many voices have joined my call and belief that Ugandan Football can generate its own money if brains are put to useHowever, in the days of liberalized media and the advent of Social Media where everyone has direct access to masses without control of quality of content, a new challenge has emerged of a few individuals positioning themselves to claim to understand what they have no idea about.I am an Engineer and I can never criticize nor challenge a surgeon. This is what professionalism calls for. Many pundits and bloggers with the experience of watching television football have become experts of Broadcasting Business. I have found it prudent to share my one cent of understanding;Football eMedia Business is a huge industry that is employing many people and making profits for those involved. It is a new thing in Uganda and definitely not many people understand the conceptThere are 6 Roles involved to make the business a going concernRole-1: Rights OwnersFUFA, Clubs and the Athletes create the sport of football that is loved and followed by many people. The modern game now demands lots of monies to identify, nurture, prepare and present players or teams that entertain fans. Therefore the owners of the sport have the treasure of the ownership of a product (Media Rights) that can be sold to masses. Therefore Role-1 is to allow other parties to record the proceedings of the matches.Role-2: ProductionUsing Media (Television, Radio and Internet), proceedings of a match are brought to the fans wherever they may be. Rights are useless if not commercialized. Role-2 is played by the Production team that uses the Cameras, and related equipment to capture the proceedings of the matches in textual, pictorial, audio and video formats. It is at this point that football has become what is called a signal.Role-3 TransmissionThe signal that is created at the match venues has no commercial value if not transmitted for the access of the fans. Transmitting a signal from one part of the world or country to the other takes it through several hands. There is a whole engineering of transmission that will ensure quality and timely reception of the signal is achieved. This is when High-Definition, Digital and Satellite terminologies come into play.last_img read more

Key UEFA meeting to decide on way forward for suspended Champions League

first_imgThe latter stages of this season’s Champions League could go ahead in August in Lisbon in a “Final Eight” format, according to reportsParis, France | AFP |  As football around Europe returns after a long suspension, UEFA is set to announce the format for the latter stages of the Champions League at a key meeting on Wednesday which will also raise the thorny issue of the postponed, pan-continental Euro 2020.The Champions League was frozen in mid-March before the last-16 stage had been completed, as the sport ground to a halt when the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold.Initially, European football’s governing body had hoped to finish its flagship competition — along with the Europa League and women’s Champions League — by the end of June.It soon became clear that such an outcome was overly optimistic, and during the peak of the pandemic in Europe any prospect of finishing the season at all looked slim.Nevertheless, UEFA has for some time been working on a way of completing its season in August, which looks feasible as leagues restart and the European death toll from Covid-19 slows.With that in mind, the Executive Committee meeting, to be held by videoconference, is set to approve the idea of a “Final Eight” in Lisbon, as widely reported by media across Europe in recent days.That would mean finding a way to play out the four remaining last 16, second legs before bringing together all the  quarter-finalists in Portugal’s capital for a series of one-off games to crown the European champions. According to reports, the final would be on August 23.In the current context, grouping all teams together in one place and reducing travel is the wisest solution, although it remains to be seen how many fans, if any, could attend.Football in most countries is being played behind closed doors, yet UEFA’s meeting comes in the same week many EU member states — Portugal among them — opened up once again to foreign visitors.The final was scheduled to be played in Istanbul on May 30 and only last week Turkey’s Sports Minister, Mehmet Kasapoglu, expressed confidence that the city would not lose out.“I have no doubt it will take place in the best way in Turkey. We’re confident that we will receive good news on June 17,” he said.However, last month the New York Times reported that Istanbul could instead be awarded a future final, when it is safe for fans to travel in large numbers. – Fewer hosts for Euro 2020? –Gdansk in Poland was slated to host the Europa League final but that competition also looks set to finish in a watered down “Final Eight” format.German newspaper Bild reported last week that the closing stages would be switched to the region around the western city of Cologne.A similar format could be brought in for the women’s Champions League, the final of which was due to be played in Vienna.UEFA’s announcements will have a knock-on effect on when next season can start around Europe. Everything could be derailed by a second wave of coronavirus infections.Euro 2020 was meant to be in full swing by now, but postponing the tournament by 12 months was one of the first big decisions taken as the crisis intensified.Staging the European Championship in 12 different countries, from as far apart as Baku and Saint Petersburg to Dublin and Bilbao, already looked questionable before the virus struck.Now UEFA must potentially make some big decisions about its format, and president Aleksander Ceferin recently hinted that the number of host cities could be reduced.In an interview with beIN Sports, he admitted to having “some issues” with three unnamed cities. “In principle, we will do it in 12 cities. But if not, we are ready to do it in 10, nine or eight,” he said.That could leave some hosts — just like Istanbul — less than happy, making this week’s meeting a potentially delicate diplomatic operation for UEFA to go along with all the logistical challenges. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Woman accused of throwing 11-year-old son off balcony

first_imgA Minnesota woman is accused of throwing her 11-year-old son off their apartment’s fourth floor balcony, leaving him with traumatic injuries, police said Monday.Police responded to a call of an attempted suicide after another resident in the apartment complex thought the child jumped, reports say.Investigators later learned that the 33-year-old mother pulled the boy out of bed, dragged him to the balcony and threw him over the railing.The boy is expected to survive, but he suffered injuries including at least one broken leg, a fractured jaw and head injuries, St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders said.Police say the motive is still unclear.The woman was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault and malicious punishment of a child, but was not formally charged. The mother’s girlfriend was also questioned.last_img read more

Local organization to camp out on pool roof

first_imgThe Fort St. John Big Brothers Big Sisters is holding their annual Rooftop Challenge on top of the North Peace Leisure Pool.The Challenge is put on to raise public awareness of the organization and to recruit new volunteers, says Executive Director Danielle Armstrong. – Advertisement -This year’s Challenge – sponsored by Terra Energy Corporation – will allow the organization to raise awareness of the various programs it offers for children in the community, including help with sports funding.[asset|aid=3172|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=3d58b17bb03370335d0a41db24f708c5-Armstrong – Rooftop Challenge 1_1_Pub.mp3] She says the challenge will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday and participants will be staying on the roof throughout the day and overnight until 3 p.m. Friday or until the organization gets between 20 and 25 volunteer inquiries.As an added incentive for residents, the organization will also be sponsoring a free family and public swim from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday evening.Advertisementlast_img read more

LAUSD knows how to raze a community

first_imgHERE’S a message for the people of Van Nuys who are in the path of proposed Elementary School 14: Be wary of school officials’ claims about needing new schools. Very wary. The Los Angeles Unified School District has long-term plans to build a new elementary school off Vanowen Street, where several houses now stand. The residents, as you might expect, are a little concerned about that, even though it’s years in the future. Imagine how they might feel if they knew the district didn’t really need the new school. More than one neighborhood has already experienced that, and some are questioning the logic behind the LAUSD’s massive building program. The school district has more than $15 billion of bond money to spend – money that you and I generously donate through our property-tax bills twice a year. While the building spree has produced some truly attractive, not to mention desperately needed, campuses, not all of the projects seem to be in the best interests of their respective communities. It’s almost as if school officials are committed to the overall master-building plans and are damn sure not going to let little things like facts, changing demographics or community opposition get in their way. Case in point is LAUSD site 9A, an unlovely name for what is now an extremely unlovely city block. Site 9A is how the LAUSD refers to the one-block area just south of Sunset Boulevard and west of Alvarado Boulevard in Echo Park, one of L.A’s oldest neighborhoods, where it wants to build an elementary school. But the LAUSD ran into stiff opposition by residents and community activists who didn’t want to see the historic neighborhood bulldozed. Even City Council President Eric Garcetti, who represents the 9A area, asked the district to find another site. LAUSD officials didn’t listen and pressed ahead. They condemned the homes of 200 people – some of whom had lived for generations in their old homes. LAUSD officials did this with full enmity of the community and despite the fact that even their own figures show that enrollment has been dropping – not just districtwide, but also at the nearest neighborhood school, Logan Elementary, which has lost more than 500 students in five years. This is in no small part due to the fact that Echo Park is gentrifying in a manner similar to what neighboring Silver Lake went through a decade ago. What that means, besides higher property values and hip coffee joints, is a declining kid population. Yuppies and hipsters have fewer babies than poor immigrants. That’s not a judgment; it’s a fact. However, this fact didn’t deter the LAUSD one bit. So opponents instead took the district to court on the basis of an environmental impact report. In December, a judge ruled against the district in a surprising but bittersweet victory. The hope is that after the court smackdown, the LAUSD will finally drop plans for 9A forever and allow those who want to – and can – to buy their homes back, less the cost of depreciation from sitting empty so long. Meanwhile, the condemned homes sit vacant, making a virtual ghost town out of what was a once-vibrant community of middle-class families – families that might have been served by that school. Residents in Granada Hills are currently living through another version of Site 9A. The district is hellbent on building a new high school on the site of the vacant Granada Hills Community Hospital, despite community hope that someday a hospital might return. Besides, doesn’t the district already have a half-dozen vacant campuses in the West Valley? What’s more, the LAUSD’s total enrollment continues to drop by thousands every year. This year, K-12 enrollment is down to 708,461 from 746,610 in 2003. That’s a decline of more than 38,000 students. Who can estimate how much more those numbers might drop by the time the LAUSD has evicted residents of 22 homes and built Van Nuys Elementary School 14? The moral of this story is that the district’s building plans aren’t necessarily in the best interests of every community. Of course, the LAUSD still needs to build schools, but it also needs to be flexible enough to be both relevant and welcome in each neighborhood. A lawsuit and a bitter community are no way to start a new-school relationship. But this story is also a message of hope. The LAUSD might be an intimidatingly huge bureaucracy with a tendency to marginalize community members, but it doesn’t always get its way. Mariel Garza is a columnist and editorial writer for the Los Angeles Daily News. Write to her by e-mail at mariel.garza@dailynews.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more