Gibson/McCook Relays eliminates dilemma

first_imgAll season, track and field fans have had a dilemma. With the JAAA schedule packed on every Saturday from the start of the year, hard choices have been made. If you saw the slip-surge 10.44-second run by Calabar High School’s Christopher Taylor at the Camperdown Classic, it meant you missed the determined 52.4 4x400m anchor leg by Junelle Bromfield for STETHS at the Western Relays. Choosing either one meant almost certainly missing the 51.91-metre record discus heave by Excelsior throws princess Shanice Love at the King of the Rings at the Antrim-Mountain View Avenue-based institution. That dilemma disappears on Saturday with the Gibson/McCook Relays. As is customary, there are no other meets on the JAAA schedule on the day when the Gibson/McCook Relays presents a feast for sprint fans. First staged as the Gibson Relays in 1973, the meet is a festival of speed. The 4×100-metre relay is at the foundation of the meet, with preparatory, primary, secondary and tertiary student-athletes all attempting to move their batons around the National Stadium track at high speed. Bordered by the meet-opening and meet-closing 4x400m relays, Gibson/McCook also has competitions in the 4x200m, 4x800m, the sprint medley and selected individual events. Jamaica has always loved the sprints, so while other meets have come and gone, the Relays has retained its appeal. Many view it as a prelude to the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships and use it as an indicator for the results of that high-energy high-school meet. Hence, the core of the support of the Gibson/McCook has long come from past students of the champion teams in the land. With no scheduling dilemma to split the attentions of the fan base, this Saturday should be no different. In recent years, interest has been boosted by the presence of superstars who have foregone the traditional move to the United States of America to study and train. This has given fans an early-season glance at Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Brigitte Foster-Hylton and the like. Very few have the opportunity to see them at the Olympics or the World Championships, so it’s a day aficionados cherish. Bolt has been a brilliant source of speed and excitement. His Racers team holds the men’s 4x100m record at a phenomenal 38.08 seconds. That was at the 2010 renewal, when the tall man also zipped through a 4x400m anchor leg in 44.2 seconds in vain. Last year, he made the news worldwide for a race his Racers team lost by inches, the men’s 4x100m to the University of Technology. Relays are the team event of athletics. It takes co-operation to pilot the baton, from start to finish, safely and quickly enough to win. The speed, the fine margins for error, and the excitement, has kept fans on the edge of their seats and on their feet during each of the previous 39 stagings of the event. Don’t be surprised if it happens again on Saturday. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.last_img read more

Fit-again Folau to start on wing for Wallabies

first_img0Shares0000Israel Folau has been declared fit ahead of the Wallabies clash with Argentina © AFP/File / Patrick HAMILTONGOLD COAST, Australia, Sep 13 – Israel Folau will start on the wing for the first time in five years against Argentina this weekend in a surprise tactical shift after the Wallabies’ star fullback was declared fit Thursday along with influential flanker David Pocock.Both players were late scratchings from Australia’s team against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday, but were named in the starting XV for their Rugby Championship showdown against the Pumas on the Gold Coast. Folau injured his ankle in the opening Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand on August 18, while Pocock has been struggling with a neck problem after being targeted by the All Blacks in Auckland three weeks ago.While Folau is back, with Jack Maddocks dropping to the bench, it will not be in his favoured fullback position with coach Michael Cheika opting to keep Dane Haylett-Petty in the number 15 jersey after two standout displays in his team-mate’s absence.It is another big gamble by Cheika after he dumped veteran Bernard Foley for the Springboks clash in favour of Kurtley Beale at fly-half and Matt Toomua at inside centre.While the two players didn’t always gel, the fresh approach paid off with the Wallabies snapping a four-match losing streak to win 23-11.Folau has started 61 Tests at fullback dating back to the 2013 Bledisloe Cup, and Cheika has repeatedly stated he regards the NSW Waratahs star as too valuable there to shift him to centre or wing.But that has all gone out of the window as he mixes it up with an eye on next year’s World Cup in Japan.“Dane’s played well at fullback and I’d like to give him an opportunity to have a another go. And with Israel back in, it’s just a slightly different look and we’ll see how we go,” said Cheika.“I think everyone knows how highly I regard him (Folau) at number 15 and I’m sure he’ll want to get that jersey back.“They’ll be working together in a lot of situations, Israel is very keen and very much up for it.”– ‘Ready to go’ –The return of breakdown specialist Pocock is another huge boost for the Wallabies, who have beaten Argentina in 15 of their last 16 meetings.His treatment at the hands of the All Blacks sparked calls for rugby chiefs to start taking illegal neck roll tackles, employed to shift him from the ruck, more seriously.Cheika said Pocock had told him he felt ready to return and had taken part in contact training on Thursday morning.“He got into some contact work today and he got knocked about a bit,” he said. “No one knows himself better than David and he has declared himself ready to go.”Adam Coleman returns to the Wallabies camp after the birth of his first child and will be a replacement, with Izack Rodda starting alongside Rory Arnold in the second row.Sekope Kepu, who was axed from the Springboks squad, is set to earn his 97th cap after also being named among the reserves.Australia (15-1): Dane Haylett-Petty; Israel Folau, Reece Hodge, Matt Toomua; Marika Koroibete, Kurtley Beale; Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper; Lukhan Tui, Izack Rodda; Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio.Replacements: Folau Faingaa, Sekope Kepu, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

La Liga news: Ex-Watford boss appointed by Espanyol

first_imgQuique Sanchez Flores has been named as the new coach of Espanyol.The former Atletico Madrid and Valencia boss, who spent last season in charge of Premier League side Watford, takes over the Espanyol reins from Constantin Galca.An Espanyol statement read: “Quique Sanchez Flores will be the Espanyol coach for the next three season after an agreement between the coach and the club was reached in the last few hours.”Flores took charge of Watford last summer, replacing Slavisa Jokanovic, and led the Hornets to mid-table security in their first season back in the Premier League and an FA Cup semi-final.Despite that, Watford announced in May that the Spaniard would be leaving his position at the end of the season and Walter Mazzarri has been appointed as his successor.Prior to his stint at Vicarage Road, the 51-year-old Flores also coached the likes of Getafe, Benfica and Al-Ain while as a player he represented Valencia, Real Madrid, Real Zaragoza and Spain.The Espanyol statement added: “The same as Angel Gomez, new sporting director of the club, Quique Sanchez Flores will sign for three years (2019), consolidating the beginning of Espanyol’s sports project in this new and exciting stage for all our fans. In the next few days the club will confirm Flores’ staff.“Espanyol is proud to incorporate a successful and prestigious coach and to lead the first team in this new project.” Quique Sanchez Flores left Watford after one season at Vicarage Road 1last_img read more


first_imgA mother and daughter escaped serious injury after their family chip-van was hit with a bullet on Saturday evening.A pellet gun is believed to have been used in the attack.The well-known chip-van located at Newmills, Letterkenny was shot at just before 7.30pm on Saturday night.The van is operated by local couple Sabrina and David Mackey who also live locally. It is understood that Ms Mackey and her young daughter were working in the van at the time of the attack.Letterkenny Town councillor Tom Crossan has slammed the incident.He told Donegal Daily “This is absolutely scandalous and I would appeal to anyone who saw anything to contact Gardai.“If anyone knows this chip-van, there is quite a large hatch at the front. “If this bullet have had went into that hatch and hit one of these people, then there could have been very serious consequences.”The incident has been reported to Gardai who have carried out an examination of the scene.It is understood that the gun used to fire the bullet may have been a high-powered pellet gun.  MOTHER AND DAUGHTER TARGETED IN GUN ATTACK ON CHIP-VAN was last modified: December 9th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:chip-vanCllr Tom CrossanNEWMILLSpellet gunlast_img read more

No monkeying around now

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Wednesday in Chicago, an umpire’s right fist in the air signaled a gross lapse of competence by MLB’s Finest and set up the ninth-inning White Sox victory over the Angels that tied the American League pennant series at a game apiece. Tonight at Angel Stadium, at a Game 3 likely to be played amid an atmosphere of most un-O.C.-like edginess, fans’ right fists can signal determination in a way that no amount of angry screaming can. In the four decades before their 2002 World Series victory, the Angels and their public had many occasions to feel like losers, like chokers, like tragic figures. They never felt like the victims of a sporting injustice, though, the way they do now. First nature turned against them, raining out an opening-round game at Yankee Stadium and forcing the Angels to play in New York, Anaheim and Chicago in the span of three nights. Then a home-plate umpire named Doug Eddings ruled against them. They were good enough to overcome nature. They weren’t good enough to trump the ump. ANAHEIM – Raise your right fist tonight. Assuming you’re an angry Angels fan, if that phrase isn’t redundant right now. Tuck your fingers into your palm, cock your elbow, pump your fist. Make it the gesture of the 2005 Angels fan, an emblem to replace the monkey and the ThunderStix. center_img The White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski swung and missed at a low pitch from Kelvim Escobar to end the bottom of the ninth with the score tied, and Eddings raised his fist in an “out” sort of way, and Angels catcher Josh Paul rolled the ball to the mound and jogged to the dugout. Then Pierzynski bolted toward first base and Eddings froze and wondered what the batter knew that the umpire didn’t know. Eddings reversed himself, figuring the pitch from Escobar might have been in the dirt, giving Pierzynski the base and Chicago the runner who came home on Joe Crede’s double. Eddings would say later that the fist in the air didn’t mean “out,” it was just “my strike-three mechanic.” Tonight, show him the Angels fans’ new You Screwed Up mechanic. The Angels themselves can’t play angry, and with manager Mike Scioscia establishing the usual even tone, they probably won’t. That doesn’t mean the home crowd can’t root angry, knowing their club was robbed of a chance to atone in extra innings for their weak hitting and erratic fielding. The question is what to say, what to do. No need to yell crude things about the umpires, to drag their families into this or to impugn the dignity of innocent farm animals. Absolutely no call to throw things. This isn’t a political revolution (the revolution will not have instant replay), so there’s no bloody shirt to be waved. Not even a Curt Schilling bloody sock. Just a little baseball championship at stake here. A simple quiet wave of the fist will do. The Angels flew home right after Wednesday’s game. They canceled an off-day workout, preferring to get some overdue rest and maybe to hide from whatever dark forces are next in line. The White Sox took batting practice at Angel Stadium. They know they stole one, and they only jokingly feigned uncertainty about whether the third strike to Pierzynski had hopped into Paul’s mitt. “We were flying last night, so I didn’t see any replays,” Crede said to laughter from the writers around his locker. “And I slept all day today. I guess I think he made the right call. We’ll take it any way we can get it.” Nice try by the umpires afterward to say the ball must have hit the dirt because “there was a change of direction there.” Thanks to the Warren Commission for that analysis. Nice diplomacy by the TV guys laying part of the blame on Paul for not tagging Pierzynski even though the catcher thought he caught the ball, knew he caught the ball, did catch the ball, saw Pierzynski take a first step toward the dugout and would have seen – if his back hadn’t been turned by then – Eddings put up his fist for an out. Why should Paul have thought there was any doubt about the pitch? You can blame the Angels for not hitting Mark Buehrle, for throwing the ball all over the South Side, for not getting Crede out. You can’t blame anybody else for the third-strike screw-up until you blame the umpire. Make this a rallying point tonight. With a five-knuckled salute, five times better than one finger. Raise that right fist, as if it’s holding a hammer of baseball justice, at the pregame introductions, after Angels hits, after White Sox strikeouts. Especially White Sox strikeouts. Kevin Modesti’s column appears in the Daily News three days a week. He can be reached at 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

Colton threesome leads rout of Redlands

first_img Colton (5-1, 3-0) was bruising on the ground, running for 324 yards. Sorensen was unerring through the air, competing 7-of-7 for 110 yards and one touchdown. Colton led 36-6 at halftime. “They had some big guys and they were tough, but we practiced hard all week,” Colton offensive lineman Mario Perez said. “We knew they’d come out hard in the second half and that we’d need to match their intensity.” Redlands (2-3, 1-2) actually led 6-0, scoring on its first possession on a 51-yard touchdown run by Jeff Duran. But it was all Colton after that as the Terriers could not slow down the Yellowjackets’ double-wing attack, nor generate enough offense against Colton’s hard-hitting, ballhawking defense, led by linebacker Bradford who dished out several of his trademark punishing hits. “It helps to have the horses,” Redlands coach Jim Walker said. “We made some stupid mistakes that helped take us out of the game and (Colton) did a good job. “We wanted to stay in the race for a CBL title, but now we’ll have to shoot for a playoff spot.” Pat Alvarado and Daniel Soren sen (brother of the quarterback) each had interceptions for Col ton. Running backs Antwane Al mendarez (bruised knee) and Ashton Howard (ailing shoul der) played for Redlands, but both were hurting and were not big factors. Redlands gained just 156 yards on the ground and 167 overall. The only negative for Colton was again penalties, a problem all season. They had 138 yard on 15 flags, including a 15-yarder on Smith for showboating in the end zone after his TD catch. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Wright, who has a recruiting trip to Oregon today, gained 60 yards and scored two touchdowns. It was Wright’s first appearance since breaking his hand in Game 3 against Los Angeles Crenshaw. “It felt good to be out there again,” he said. Smith, who has been offered scholarships by Nebraska and University of Nevada, caught five passes for 110 yards and one TD, a perfectly thrown ball from quarterback Brad Sorensen covering 26 yards that was part of the Yellowjackets’ 28-point second quarter blitz. Bradford, Wright and Smith all shined on defense as well. “We were more physical and we were firing off the ball,” big Colton offensive lineman Roman DeCastro said as he walked off the field. “And then we have our three-headed monster (Bradford, Smith and Wright) and they’re tough to stop.” Bradford gained 194 yards and scored four touchdowns on 20 carries. He was a man among boys. center_img REDLANDS – They say two heads are better than one. In the case of the Colton High School football team, three heads works just fine. Led by the trio of Allen Bradford, Shareece Wright and James Smith, Colton pummeled Redlands 50-12 in a Citrus Belt League game. A crowd of 3,200 watched the rout at Ted Runner Stadium. last_img read more

Wilma affects NFL, NCAA

first_imgMIAMI – Trying to beat the arrival of Hurricane Wilma in Florida, the NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs was moved up two days to tonight and will not be televised nationally. The game will begin at 7 p.m. EDT will be televised by CBS affiliates in South Florida and Kansas City. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We are not extending the telecast to more markets because we want to adhere as closely as possible to the spirit of our long-standing policy not to conflict with high school and college football during their seasons (which means Friday night and Saturday),” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. It’s the third time since the start of the 2004 season that the Dolphins have rescheduled a home game because of a looming hurricane. Last year’s home opener against Tennessee was played a day early because of Hurricane Ivan, and the Dolphins’ game two weeks later with Pittsburgh was pushed back 7 hours by Hurricane Jeanne. center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Meanwhile, the NHL’s Florida Panthers delayed any final decisions on their game Saturday night against Ottawa. The league and team officials planned to make that call today. Wilma’s pending arrival has affected virtually every athletic event scheduled for the Sunshine State this weekend. The Nationwide Tour’s Miccosukee Championship in Miami was canceled. The Georgia Tech-Miami and West Virginia-South Florida football games were postponed from Saturday. And tonight, Central Florida will host Tulane one day ahead of schedule. Wilma’s progress slowed a bit Thursday, and forecasters who originally thought the giant system could start a potentially devastating path across the Florida peninsula by Saturday now believe landfall in the Sunshine State might not occur until Sunday. Still, the storm was a Category 4 – severe enough that Gov. Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency. last_img read more

Investors betting on GM bankruptcy

first_imgNEW YORK – An increasing number of investors are betting that General Motors Corp. could be forced to seek bankruptcy protection within the next 12 months as it struggles with slumping sales and high health care costs for workers and retirees. Concerns about the future of the world’s largest automaker are showing up in the credit default swaps market, where investors effectively buy insurance protection against defaults. Holders of GM debt who want to arrange a hedge against the risk that they won’t be repaid are finding that the cost of buying the protection has risen dramatically in recent days. “The markets are telling you that more traders are starting to see a greater risk that a default scenario could happen sooner in time than later,” said John Tierney, a credit strategist at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York. “You cannot deny there is a pattern here.” GM spokesman Jerry Dubrowski responded by saying the automaker has “no plans to declare bankruptcy,” and he noted that GM has about $19 billion in cash on hand. Beyond that, he declined to discuss recent pricing trends for credit default swaps. “Typically we don’t comment on stock prices or bond prices,” he said. “We don’t think it is appropriate to do that.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week At issue is the nearly $31 billion in debt related to GM auto-making operations that ratings agencies already have downgraded to junk status, or below investment grade. Dubrowski said GM’s total debt, including debt sold by its General Motors Acceptance Corp. unit, now stands at $276 billion. Credit default swaps for GM are now trading at what is known as an “upfront” basis, meaning a bondholder seeking protection against a default has to pay more money up front because the Wall Street firms arranging the hedges have to pay more to protect themselves. Michiko Whetten, a quantitative credit analyst at Nomura Securities International Inc., said GM debt had previously never traded on an upfront basis. But now that it is, it puts GM in an unenviable category with Delphi Corp. and Delta Air Lines Inc. – other companies whose debt traded on an upfront basis ahead of their petitioning for bankruptcy. Auto parts maker Delphi, once owned by GM, declared bankruptcy in October, and Delta, the nation’s third-largest carrier, went bankrupt in September. GM lost nearly $4 billion in the first nine months of this year. The Detroit-based company has been hammered by high labor costs and rising prices for raw materials such as steel. And while it recently reached agreement with the United Auto Workers union to temper the rise in health costs, GM still has been losing U.S. market share due to competition from healthier foreign rivals and weakened demand for sport utility vehicles, its longtime cash cows. Wall Street’s credit default swaps traders view GM as a company so risky that a holder now must pay as much as $12 per year for every $100 of the automaker’s five-year corporate debt if they want to hedge against a default, up from $8 to $9 just several weeks ago. In addition, credit default swaps traders are now demanding more of that money up front from investors looking to protect their GM holdings. These losses might not actually occur, but the pricing moves in the swaps market are a good indication of how Wall Street traders and investors are judging the risk of a GM default. GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said in an October interview with The Associated Press that unlike the airline industry, in which some bankruptcy filings haven’t had a big effect on business, even speculating about bankruptcy hurts the auto business. “When you’re buying a car, it’s a very different thing,” Wagoner said. “It’s a massive financial commitment. You expect to own it for a long time, and (bankruptcy) is something that’s going to have an impact in the consumer’s mind.” On Monday, GM, whose stock is trading at nearly half of its 52-week high, announced price cuts to shore up its sales. Its shares fell $1.13, or 4.76 percent, to close at $22.61 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. GM’s outlook in the credit default swaps market took on a bleaker tone after last week’s disclosure by GM that it plans to restate its earnings for recent years. GM said its 2001 earnings were overstated by approximately $300 million to $400 million, but the final amount hasn’t been determined. GM plans to issue the restated earnings for 2001 and any subsequent years before it issues its 2005 annual report next year. That triggered what is known as an inversion in the credit swaps curve – a measure of risk between short- and long-term GM debt – meaning that Wall Street traders are betting the risk of GM declaring bankruptcy is greater in the next six months to a year than over a longer period of time like five years. In a Nov. 10 report, Banc of America analysts reiterated a sell rating on the company’s stock, saying they believe that the odds that GM management could be held accountable for the accounting woes has risen and that this could accelerate a bankruptcy protection decision they judged to be “inevitable.” According to Deutsche Bank’s Tierney, the accounting problems caught investors by surprise and “contributed to a sense that GM problems are very deep.” 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

Project a big step for green power

first_img The head of Citizens Energy, former Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, joined city leaders at a news conference in North Hollywood to announce the project. Green Path will protect Southern Californians from the types of problems encountered during the energy crisis, he said. “We will not only address the important issues of reliability, redundancy and transmission bottlenecks but also produce benefits to serve low-income households,” Kennedy said. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, called the project a “critical link in the statewide transmission system.” Speaking at a Board of Water and Power Commissioners workshop on renewable energy last week, White strongly criticized the DWP for being historically slow to adopt green power. He warned that unless it fundamentally changed the way it did business it would not meet the 20 percent goal in time. White said that Green Path represents just that sort of change. He attributed the progress to new city leadership and to factors like high natural gas prices making renewable energy more attractive. “The economic rationale is now more obvious,” he said. The 12 percent of the city’s power needs that Green Path may provide comes on top of about 3 percent of the existing portfolio that is considered green. The DWP commissioners approved key components Tuesday of a wind energy project that would add an additional 1.5 percent. White urged the city to take the opportunity to divest from some of its older, pollution-generating power sources. The DWP will discuss the matter, Deaton said, adding that he would like to see the utility become less reliant on natural gas in particular. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “This project very quickly gets at all those issues,” he said. The utility has money for part of the project in its budget for capital projects, Deaton said. While revenue from power rates would also pay for Green Path, he said rates would not go up as a direct result of the project. Van Nuys-area Councilman Tony Cardenas, who chairs the council committee that oversees the DWP, said any power rate hike is likely three or four years away. Meanwhile, through an agreement with a third partner in the deal – the nonprofit Citizens Energy – low-income ratepayers would receive assistance such as rebates. “Not only is Los Angeles going to be greener, there’s going to be more green in the pockets of low-income families,” Cardenas said. A $300 million venture designed to draw geothermal energy from the Salton Sea should account for 12 percent of Los Angeles’ power needs, officials said Wednesday, bringing the city significantly closer to the goal of having 20 percent green power by 2010. The Department of Water and Power announced it will commit $240 million to the Green Path project, which will build and upgrade transmission lines throughout Southern California to give populated areas access to power from pockets of heat deep beneath the Imperial Valley. “With this project we’re taking a major step forward in our effort to shift away from the outdated fossil fuels of the past,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. The project, which was initiated by the Imperial Irrigation District, comes amid a shortage of new power generation in California and congestion on existing transmission lines, said DWP General Manager Ron Deaton. last_img read more

Old buddies were vets’ champions

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “Don’t forget what tomorrow is,” Bob would say. “I won’t, Bob,” I would promise. “Good,” he’d say. “So how are things going?” The city of Los Angeles made the mistake of getting on Norm and Bob’s bad side once, and City Hall never knew what hit it. Norm and Bob were talking to the son of a World War I veteran one day in 1996. The man’s father had belonged to their Van Nuys American Legion post back in 1945 – when Norm was busy fighting in Iwo Jima and Bob was fighting in the South Pacific. I figure that by now, Bob Myers has found his old buddy Norm Berney up in heaven. The two World War II vets and American Legion pals from Post 193 in Van Nuys are probably catching up on old times and plotting their next move on behalf of all veterans. They were inseparable when they were living here in the San Fernando Valley carrying on their two-man war – making sure people never forgot the veterans who didn’t make it home. Bob, who died at age 84 last week, and Norm, who passed away last year, bled red, white and blue. I could set my watch by their phone calls every year before Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and POW/MIA Day. The man said his father had always wondered whatever happened to a deal his post cut with the city back in 1947. What deal? Bob asked. It turns out the post had formed a War Memorial Park Association and raised money to buy 70 acres along Van Nuys Boulevard for a memorial park dedicated to war veterans. The association turned the land over to the city of Los Angeles to build a public park, and in return, the city was to erect a big veterans memorial in the park. The city got around to opening Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Park, but it never got around to putting up the memorial. And many of the old vets who remembered the 1947 deal had either died or moved out of the Valley. In short, the city never paid its IOU to veterans. After the man left, Bob looked at Norm and shook his head. “What do you say we go get that memorial, Norm?” he asked. And that’s exactly what they did. They spent months knocking on doors at City Hall – and getting the runaround. The city owes you a memorial? What memorial? From 1947? What are you talking about? Politicians can’t remember promises they made last week; how are they going to remember one from 50 years ago? Good luck, fellas. Bob and Norm just nodded and went back to doing what they did best: Dig in and keep fighting. They went deep into the city archives and found the transfer of land from the association to the city. And with the help of former Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Feuer, they finally got that memorial built. So the next time you’re driving by Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Park, stop and take a look. It’s pretty impressive. And say a few words of thanks to a couple of great guys who never let us forget. A service for Bob Myers will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 29 at Utter McKinley Mortuary, 11071 Columbus Ave., Mission Hills. He will be buried at Riverside National Cemetery. El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills is having a “Search Party” next week for one of its own – 17-year-old Jeff Mailes. With the help of City of Hope, Jeff’s friends and teachers are searching for a bone marrow donor for the popular senior, who has been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma. It will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday Dec. 22 at Shepard of the Valley Church, 23838 Kittridge St., West Hills. And finally, kudos to all of the members of the Northridge Seventh-day Adventist Church for adopting 11 soldiers currently serving in Iraq. “My son, Benjamin, called to tell me about one of the young men in his unit who had been there for two months without anyone writing to him,” said Irma Torres of Arleta. “I started writing to him and when the church members found out, they wanted to adopt six other soldiers – five men and one woman – who were not getting any mail or care packages from home. It’s up to 11 now and we’d like to adopt more.” If you’d like to help, give church secretary Kathy Eklund a call at (818) 349-8770. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Dennis McCarthy, (818) 713-3749 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