24Hendrick MotorsportsJeff Gordon 17Roush Fenway RacingRicky Stenhouse Jr. 39Stewart Haas RacingRyan Newman Robust roster of 35 Sprint Cup teams set for three-day test Car No.Team NameDriver 16Roush Fenway RacingGreg Biffle 21Wood Bros RacingTrevor Bayne 55Michael Waltrip RacingMark Martin PRESEASON THUNDER BROADCAST SCHEDULESprint Cup Series testing; all times EasternLive stream: Watch Preseason Thunder morning sessions on SPEEDtv.comThursday, Jan. 109 a.m.-noon – SPEEDtv.com1 p.m.-5 p.m. – SPEEDFriday, Jan. 119 a.m.-noon – SPEEDtv.com1 p.m.-5 p.m. – SPEEDSaturday, Jan. 129 a.m.-noon – SPEEDtv.com1 p.m.-5 p.m. – SPEED The entry list, which includes defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, was released Tuesday by NASCAR in advance of Thursday’s opening day of the three-day test at Daytona International Speedway.The test session features seven hours of testing each day, providing teams the chance to shake down the sixth-generation Sprint Cup car that will make its competition debut on the 2.5-mile oval next month. A select number of teams will participate in the newly renamed Sprint Unlimited (formerly the Budweiser Shootout) on Feb. 16 as a prelude to the Feb. 24 Daytona 500 — NASCAR’s crown jewel race.The test, which includes a fan festival and autograph session for spectators, will mark the first laps for the Gen-6 car on a restrictor-plate track since October’s one-day session at 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. SPEED will broadcast live coverage of testing on all three days from 1 to 5 p.m. ET, and have live streaming coverage here from 9 a.m. to noon ET each day.Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing will have the most representation at the three-day event with four teams each in attendance.While the Hendrick contingent will comprise its four full-time drivers from last season, the Childress bunch will include an extra entry for Austin Dillon, last year’s top rookie in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.Dillon is scheduled to make his Daytona 500 debut and compete in a handful of Sprint Cup races this season in preparation for a full-time ride in NASCAR’s premier series in 2014.While Keselowski returns with the same crew chief, car owner and car number all intact, the Roger Penske-owned championship team will continue to bond with new teammate Joey Logano and adjust to a switch in manufacturers. Penske changed from Dodge to Ford in the offseason, returning to the blue oval fold after a 10-year absence.See below for the complete preliminary entry list: 88Hendrick MotorsportsDale Earnhardt Jr. 99Roush Fenway RacingCarl Edwards 95Leavine Family RacingScott Speed 42EGRJuan Pablo Montoya 5Hendrick MotorsportsKasey Kahne 36Tommy Baldwin RacingDave Blaney 11Joe Gibbs RacingDenny Hamlin 20Joe Gibbs RacingMatt Kenseth A total of 35 cars make up the preliminary entry list for this week’s Preseason Thunder, the first on-track activity for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year. 31Richard Childress RacingJeff Burton 47JTG-Daugherty RacingBobby Labonte 33Richard Childress RacingAustin Dillon 9Richard Petty MotorsportsMarcos Ambrose 83BK RacingTravis Kvapil/David Reutimann 14Stewart Haas RacingTony Stewart 15Michael Waltrip RacingClint Bowyer 10Stewart Haas RacingDanica Patrick 18Joe Gibbs RacingKyle Busch 29Richard Childress RacingKevin Harvick 43Richard Petty MotorsportsAric Almirola 51Phoenix RacingRegan Smith 38Front Row MotorsportsJosh Wise 48Hendrick MotorsportsJimmie Johnson 22Penske RacingJoey Logano 56Michael Waltrip RacingMartin Truex 27Richard Childress RacingPaul Menard 78Furniture Row RacingKurt Busch 2Penske RacingBrad Keselowski 1Earnhardt Ganassi RacingJamie McMurray 13Germain RacingCasey Mears
Details for this year’s The Bridge School Benefit have emerged, and music fans should be very excited about this one. The annual show, which will take place this year on October 22nd and 23rd, acts as a fundraiser for The Bridge School, a non-profit organization that aims to provide people with severe speech and physical impairments with the help they need to lead normal and active lives in their communities. Neil Young and his former wife Pegi organize the event each year at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA, and they’ve put together a truly stacked weekend for the event’s 30th anniversary.Neil Young & Promise Of The Real sit at the top of the card, and they’ll be joined by rock heavyweights Metallica, Roger Waters, and My Morning Jacket. Willie Nelson. Additionally, the festival will see sets from Norah Jones, Cage The Elephant, Nils Lofgren, and case/lang/viers. The shows at The Bridge School Benefit are typically all acoustic sets, so we’ll be interested to see what Metallica has in store for the crowd, and of course we are hoping Roger Waters and MMJ collaborate in some way after their epic joint performance at Newport Folk Festival in 2015.See below for the official lineup announcement video:Tickets go on sale next Monday, August 29th, and you can find more information via the official Bridge School Benefit website.
The street parties and protests across the nation ignited on Saturday by the presidential election results have quieted, for now. President Trump and the vast majority of Republican political leaders have steadfastly refused to concede, with some vowing to pursue congressional investigations of the balloting and a notable few like, former President George W. Bush and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, offering their congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The Democrats, meanwhile, are moving quickly to set up transition teams in key areas, announcing a coronavirus task force, mulling potential candidates for cabinet posts, and taking a hard look at regulatory and other changes they want to and can make unilaterally, virtually upon taking office. The dust is beginning to settle, but much is still unclear. The Gazette turns once again to scholars and analysts across in the University to get their views of what happened and what comes next.,On the first woman vice presidentWhat are your thoughts on the historic selection of a Black and Indian American woman?Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photoMaya JasanoffX.D. and Nancy Yang Professor, Coolidge Professor of History, and Harvard College ProfessorHistory books will register Kamala Harris as a “first” on many fronts, and I’m very pleased by all of them. As a historian, I’ll note that “firsts” usually have forerunners. Coming more than 30 years after the first woman appeared on a major party’s national ticket, Harris’ election feels, if anything, overdue. And the historical significance of “firsts” may depend, in turn, on what follows, as Harris graciously acknowledged when she said, in her victory speech, that “while I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”Many will see Harris, the first Black vice president, as a figure ideally situated to advance the urgent work of racial justice. But I also hope that her own mixed and immigrant heritage — half-Indian, half-Jamaican, and all-American — will bring nuance and depth to the national conversation about identity and belonging. In every election cycle, for instance, we hear pollsters and pundits slicing the electorate into demographic blocks that can end up reifying racial and ethnic categories in ways that are neither constructive nor especially accurate. It was only two decades ago that the Census Bureau started allowing people to place themselves in more than one racial category.On a personal note, as the daughter of an Indian immigrant mother — and granddaughter of a woman named Kamala — I hope that Harris’ prominence will raise Americans’ basic cultural and geographical awareness about the Indian subcontinent. I’ll welcome a time when more Americans know that Hindi is a language, while Hindu is a religious affiliation; that India is in South Asia, not “Southeast” Asia; and that Indian food can be “spicy” (as in, flavorful) without being inedibly “hot.” Most of all, after the last four years of chaos and division, I am delighted to see a person in this role who understands what America is and might yet be, from perspectives no vice president has had before.First takesWhat can we take away from the results of this election?Kris Snibbe/Harvard file photoJames T. KloppenbergCharles Warren Professor of American HistoryWe should remember that almost half the electorate voted for a man whom serious scholars consider the worst president in U.S. history. That fact should sober those of us who expected a Big Blue Wave to bring sweeping progressive change. Instead the election reminds us how deeply divided our nation is. The anguish we progressives felt four years ago now darkens sections of the U.S. that voted as heavily for Trump in 2020 as Massachusetts and California voted for Biden.If we keep telling ourselves that we see the world clearly while our opponents are blind, we will continue to antagonize voters we need. Partisans of equality will never persuade plutocrats or racists to change their tune. But instead of wondering why nearly half the nation preferred a lying, self-dealing con man to a decent, empathetic moderate, we must try to respect the different perspectives and genuine grievances of people whose lives and convictions many progressives have denigrated and dismissed for decades.Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photoDaniel CarpenterAllie S. Freed Professor of GovernmentGenerally, the results to date have shown a system of election administration that is more robust than many had feared. There were concerns about foreign interference, suppression of turnout through voter intimidation and postal delays, and massive court interference with balloting. All of those are serious concerns, and we still need stronger judicial deference to the republican principle of popular majorities. Yet massive turnout happened anyway, in part because people across the spectrum wanted their votes counted and because hundreds of thousands of volunteers and civil servants worked diligently to uphold the rule of law.That’s some good news, but there is bad news to go with it. The crisis we are in is not merely polarization but a world of what you might call “alternative reality factions,” and it is a phenomenon that is especially accentuated on the far right. The birthers of 12 years ago have become the #StoptheSteal crowd today. In 2008, they contested the election of President Barack Obama not on the basis of numbers, but on the basis of his identity and eligibility.In 2020, in a closer but still decisive victory for President-elect Biden, they are now questioning not even late-arriving ballots but the fact that fully legal, on-time ballots were counted after Nov. 3. Votes have been tallied well after Election Day for over a century in our country. The common element to these alternative realities of birtherism and stolen elections is, unsurprisingly, racism. The #StoptheSteal faction has focused its ire upon vote aggregation in cities, especially those dominated by Black people and other people of color.The rejection of Trump is an important moment. The difficulty is that Trump’s caustic brand of white-resentment politics brought a lot of Republicans to the polls in 2020 and benefited a number of down-ballot Republicans in the House and Senate races as well as at the state level. There will be a durable incentive for Republican candidates to recreate and harness that energy, and if Trump is eligible in 2024 he might try to run again.Photo by Sam BondSandy LevinsonVisiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law SchoolThe election of Joe Biden certainly means that a majority of the electorate has had it with Donald Trump. That being said, one should acknowledge that Biden’s “coattails” were minimal. Although we won’t know for sure about control of the Senate until the two Georgia runoffs in January, it would be near-miraculous if Georgia fired both of its incumbent Republican senators in favor of distinctly more liberal Democrats. So we should assume that once again we will be faced with a “divided government,” where Republicans in the Senate will be able to stymie most legislative programs passed by the House and supported by the president.And Republicans will have the power to do that only because of the scandalously undemocratic (and not only un-Democratic) reality of the U.S. Senate, which allocates equal voting power to Wyoming and California, Vermont and Texas. President Biden, like his immediate predecessors, will draw on all of his purported executive powers. That will not be good for the country inasmuch as it will only further confirm the reality of a truly dysfunctional Congress and exaggerated hopes placed in presidents who, even if they are not authoritarians, feel compelled to push the envelope of what might be described as near-dictatorial powers.I continue to believe that the country very much needs a new constitutional convention capable of addressing the adequacy of our present arrangements with the “reflection and choice” praised by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 1. For me, the Constitution is certainly as much the cause of our problems as the potential solution. Unfortunately, it has been years since we have had political leaders willing to acknowledge the need for constitutional reform.It may, therefore, be whistling past the graveyard to exhibit much genuine optimism about the prospects for a successful Biden presidency save for the fact that he is at the other end of the spectrum in terms of basic decency, empathy, and concern for the American public than the man he will replace. (But remember that Trump, thanks to the Constitution, will remain in office, with all of his malign character and rage, for two more very long months, until Jan. 20, 2021, another aspect of our system that might well be addressed by a constitutional convention.) I share the sense of elation and hope that our national nightmare is drawing to an end. But inasmuch as I believe that our nightmare is in part the result of a truly defective constitutional system, I fear that we might be hoping for too much.What might a Biden agenda look like? In what areas can we expect him to lead?KLOPPENBERG: The history of democracy shows that it must rest on cultural commitments to deliberation, pluralism, and reciprocity. Willingness to allow the winner of an election to govern, even if the winner is one’s worst enemy, rests on a reservoir of trust, which has been receding in the U.S. since the 1990s.If Democrats win both Georgia Senate seats in January, President Biden can push an agenda as progressive as conservative Democratic legislators will allow. If not, he will be forced to follow his coalition-building instincts. If he proves no more successful than Barack Obama was, we face four more years of government by executive order rather than legislative compromise. That formula guarantees accelerating polarization.For decades, three-quarters of the public has preferred incremental problem-solving to the most ambitious policies proposed by activists on the ends of the political spectrum. Unless both parties surrender some currently non-negotiable demands in order to find common ground, the continuing stalemate will prevent progress toward dealing with the pandemic, the climate crisis, or rampaging inequality.CARPENTER: Especially on the pandemic, I suspect President-elect Biden will focus his efforts on the issue and not ignore it. He will defer to scientists, academics, and industry in setting policy. He is likely to have the nation rejoin the Paris Agreement to fight climate change. Important changes will also occur in the management of the federal government.Politically, and whether or not the Democrats retake the Senate, Biden will likely reach out to moderate and amenable Republicans such as Sens. Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins, and possibly Pat Toomey and Rob Portman as well. Cooperation with those Republicans may be crucial to his presidency.But I think one of the most important areas of leadership will come in daily behavior or the set of things President-elect Biden will not do: He will not send angry tweets on a daily basis, not fire off inflammatory missives, and not hold rallies. He will try to return the country to a sense of calm by modeling calmness in his person. I dearly hope he succeeds, but there are strong winds pushing in the other direction.On the economyWhat does a Biden win mean for the economy, especially in regard to COVID, and what’s likely to change going forward and how?Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photoJames StockHarold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political EconomyA useful way to think about the medium-term economic outlook is that there is an unprecedented part — before we have a widely adopted vaccine — followed by a normal part. Over the past three decades, normal recoveries have been slow, with the unemployment rate falling by about 0.7 percentage points per year. This slow speed largely stems from everyday dynamics in which it simply takes time for people to find jobs (especially if they have been out of work for a long time), for firms to grow, for demand to expand, and for people to move for new opportunities. So the strength of the economy two or three years from now hinges critically on where we start that normal recovery, which in turn depends on what happens between now and when a vaccine is widely adopted.I believe a strong prevaccine recovery is possible, but whether that happens depends more on the Biden administration’s success on public health policy — and in working with Congress — than on traditional economic policy actions it might take.The economy has come a long way from the depths of March, April, and May. Some sectors, such as information technology and residential construction, are doing as well or better than before the virus hit. But sectors that rely on in-person activity remain far below normal levels. A large body of post-March economic research indicates that this contraction is largely the result of self-protective behavior, not government lockdown orders. Moreover, many school districts have chosen remote or hybrid learning, making it hard or impossible for some parents to continue working or to return to work.Thus, the first economic task facing the Biden administration is a public health task: getting the prevaccine pandemic under control. Some of this work, like depoliticizing masks and providing credible guidelines supporting safe school reopening, can be undertaken administratively. Having rapid, widely available, cheap or free coronavirus screening testing with a low false-positive rate, combined with providing support for self-isolation, is within reach and could be highly effective in supporting a prevaccine recovery, but would require congressional cooperation.The recovery so far has benefited from massive federal fiscal support. Plausibly, the hopes for that support continuing will be less if the Senate remains under Republican control than under a single-party scenario. Moreover, there isn’t much more that the Fed can do. So on horizons both of months and years, our economic health depends on the Biden administration’s success in public health.Health careWhat do you see being the most likely shift in health care policy under a Biden administration?Kris Snibbe/Harvard file photoBenjamin SommersHuntley Quelch Professor of Health Care Economics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolThe big question is what happens to control of the Senate. If Republicans maintain control, Biden will mostly be pursuing changes through executive orders, regulations, and oversight. This means likely reversing Trump policies like work requirements in Medicaid and rules aimed at keeping legal immigrants from participation in certain public programs, restoring funding for family planning services, and encouraging states that want to pursue progressive policies to shore up coverage and access to care. If Democrats regain the Senate, which it looks like they might depending on the Georgia runoffs, then the door opens to legislative changes like a public option or Medicare buy-in, bolstering subsidies in the ACA [Affordable Care Act] marketplaces, and sending more federal funds to support state Medicaid programs during the recession.With respect to COVID, I expect we will see a much more hands-on approach from the Biden White House, working closely with states and federal scientists at the CDC to develop more consistent guidelines on a host of issues — masks, reopening policies, school safety, and more. They’ll certainly continue to watch vaccine development closely and getting large-scale public trust for that will be key. Whether or not they can also pass additional emergency relief to health care providers, schools, and state/local public health agencies will depend on whether the Senate is willing to cooperate.Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerDavid CutlerOtto Eckstein Professor of Applied EconomicsThere will be many. To start, there will be a shift from undercutting the Affordable Care Act to enhancing it. That will show up in many guises, likely not legislation (if the Republicans control the Senate), but in other ways.In the fight against COVID, the power of the president is limited, but the example is really important. Biden will push for masks, testing, tracing, etc. If a new COVID agreement is not reached in Congress before Jan. 20, Biden will need to take that up as well. Even before Jan. 20, Dems will look to him for advice.If you were advising the new president — any new president — what would be your No. 1 priority for change?CUTLER: In my opinion, the single most important economic issue facing the country is that a large share of the population feels like it has been left behind economically. The new president will need to deal with that. There is not one single policy or piece of legislation that will address it. It will require hard work at many levels and throughout the government and private sectors. But it must be addressed.— Alvin Powell, Juan Silezar, Liz Mineo, and Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite Looking for hints of future prospects in the past and predicting what lies ahead After a hard election, the real work begins Scholars, analysts examine possibilities in foreign policy, intelligence, and defense Legal experts shake their heads at GOP election suits Related Chan School economist sees peril in shifting branches of government after election Don’t expect them to be successful, but they could prove useful to Trump in other ways How might the election change the nation’s place on world stage? A fraught season for health care
Photo: Luke Hopkins Surf’s up at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in N.C. Wet at the Dries: Bryan Kirk gets creative on the put-in waves of the New River Dries, WV. Photo: Shane Groves Wet at the Dries: Bryan Kirk gets creative on the put-in waves of the New River Dries, WV. Photo: Shane GrovesEd Montgomery has paddled all over the country, but the Tennessee native says boating in the Southern Appalachians is as good as it gets.“The water is just so condensed here in the Southern Appalachians. There are a lot more options for boaters in a relatively small region,” says Montgomery, who’s been a member of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoe Club for 28 years.Choosing a favorite among those rivers can be tough. But that’s exactly what we asked them to do. We polled some of the South’s most experienced boaters, from world-class pros to local gurus, to pick their personal favorite rivers. Here are their selections.Favorite Beginner WhitewaterPotomac River, MD —Tom McEwan, long-time boater credited with the first descent of the Great Falls on the Potomac and founder of Liquid Adventures Kayak SchoolThe Potomac is a river with many different reputations. It’s a hair-boater’s delight with the massive Great Falls, an intermediate boater’s in-town blast with stretches of class III water, and a beginner boater’s dream, with a progression of water ideal for learning the ins and outs of river running. The diverse nature of water on this single river in a relatively short expanse is exactly why Tom McEwan based his kayak school on its banks.“You get the whole spectrum of boating on this one river. There’s something for every level of boater, particularly beginners looking to progress from their first time sitting in a boat to running class I-II comfortably.”If it’s your first time in a boat, you can paddle the flat C&O Canal next to the Potomac, then move to the 3.5-miles of class I riffles that occupy the water between Lock 10 and Sycamore Island. When you’re ready for your first taste of real whitewater, the Violet’s Lock run is waiting.Beginner River Cred: The Potomac could be the most popular place to learn how to kayak in the South, period. The myriad of canoe clubs and pay-to-learn kayak schools that occupy the greater D.C. area lean on this stretch of the river to teach a boater their first strokes. On any given weekend, dozens of newbie boaters flock to the gentle waters around Anglers Inn. While the “crowded” water can be frustrating for experienced boaters, it’s reassuring for beginners to know they’re not in it alone.Rapids: From Violet’s Lock downriver, expect Class I-II rock gardens and ledges, ideal for practicing key river running moves like catching eddies. The most notable rapid is the class II Surfer’s Hole, a fun hydraulic that invites surfing from all boaters, regardless of skill level. You’re actually paddling a portion of the failed George Washington Canal through this stretch, which has been reclaimed by the river.Logistics: For solid beginner whitewater, put in at the picnic area for Violet’s Lock, a low-water dam you can paddle across and play on, and head downstream for 1.5 miles of class I-II rock gardens and rapids. You can combine this run with a flatwater paddle on the adjacent C&O Canal in the opposite direction for a 4-mile loop paddle with no shuttle.Tuckasegee Gorge, NC —Anna Levesque, former freestyle world champ and founder of Girls at Play, an organization that provides instruction and guided trips for womenIt’s easy to overlook the Tuckasegee River as a paddling destination. Just pass through this section of Western North Carolina and you’d see a river banked by flea markets and gas stations along a four lane highway, but just upstream of this well-traveled stretch of water is the Tuckasegee Gorge, a five-mile run of mellow class I-II water that’s ideal for boaters just getting their sea legs.“The gorge is perfect for true beginners, but it’s completely underrated,” says Anna Levesque, the founder of Girls at Play who uses the Tuck as a teaching destination for her clients. “There are tons of spots for eddy turns, peel outs, ferries—the kinds of river-running skills beginners need to work on in a slower moving river.” Even better? The water is warm, typically in the high 60s, which can make all the difference in the world for a first-time boater.Beginner River Cred: The Tuck Gorge was made for learning how to kayak. The section between access points is relatively short (five miles) so you don’t have to constantly worry about moving downriver to make the take out. You can take your time and work on the quintessential skills at your own pace. There are beaches where you can pull over and practice rolling. Wave trains are common and the safest lines through rough water are usually easy to discern. Between any notable rapids, you’ll have the opportunity to catch eddies and gather your senses.Rapids: The five-mile run between Dillsboro and Tuck Outfitters is full of mellow class I and a handful of named class II rapids, but forget the names. “People get freaked out when they hear the names of some rapids,” Levesque says. “If you don’t tell them the rapid is named ‘Hell Hole’ or ‘Frankenstein,’ they tend to focus more on what they have to do to navigate the water.”Logistics: Put in at the public access point in Dillsboro near the train station and arrange for a shuttle, gear, or guide with the Dillsboro River Company, across the street from the put in.Girls at Play: Watch video of Anna Levesque discuss kayaking for women and beginners. 1 2 3 4 5 6 North and South: Rick Koller paddles an open canoe near the North River, a tributary of the South Fork of the Shenandoah.
To help prevent gangs like MS-13 and Barrio 18 from taking root in Nicaragua, Nicaraguan security officials are taking a holistic approach, combining police patrols and investigations with efforts to help “at risk” youths. The Juvenile Affairs Division (JAD) of the Nicaragua National Police operates a Gang Resistance Education and Training program, which in 2013 graduated approximately 2,500 students. From their 42 after-school home intervention programs to over 14,000 drug prevention social activities, the JAD has maintained a number of initiatives designed to keep youths out of gangs. As many as 70 percent of Nicaraguan youths who are considered “at risk” for gang activity are enrolled in gang prevention programs involving sports or music or vocational training. Consequently, Nicaragua has succeeded in lowering the country’s rate of violence in recent years. The country’s homicide rate dropped from more than 12 killings per 100,000 residents in 2012 to 8.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to a 2014 United Nations Development Program report. “The authorities have a clear idea that the gang phenomenon has a social complexity that requires a comprehensive approach,” said Francisco Javier Bautista Lara, an independent security analyst in Nicaragua. Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article. Helping ‘at-risk’ youths By Dialogo October 03, 2014 Groups of youths in northern Nicaragua are starting to copy the style and tactics of the violent street gangs known as Mara Salvatrucha, which is also known as MS-13, and Barrio 18. But Nicaraguan National Police have mobilized to fight this alarming trend. Nicaragua has been largely free of street gang violence, and police are working hard to keep it that way. Reporting on the trend, appearing in La Prensa and elsewhere, has largely focused on the town of Somoto, an area of about 40,000 people near the border with Honduras. Since 2008 the area has seen the rise of ten well-organized criminal youth gangs whose more than 500 members commit armed robberies and extort money from taxi drivers, truck drivers and passersby on the streets. The gangs have adopted the extensive tattoos and gang graffiti associated with MS-13 and Barrio 18. And Nicaraguan police have documented contacts between gangs in their country, specifically from the Somoto region, and Salvadoran factions of MS-13. For example, in June 2013, Nicaraguan police arrested an alleged Salvadoran MS-13 gang member named Erick Maldonado Alexander Orozco, who is also known as “Suvajo.” Before police arrested him, Suvajo was developing contacts with Nicaraguan gangs in the Somoto area, according to a report on the website Hoy.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Rep. Tim Bishop held a meeting in Rocky Point on Sandy aid Thursday.Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Long Island’s congressional delegation are hopeful that the remaining $50 billion in the Sandy relief aid package will pass next week, although doubts linger after the initial snub.Reps. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and Peter King (R-Seaford) have said the legislation is expected to come up again after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last week refused to schedule a vote for the full $60 billion bill. Both LI congressmen expressed cautious optimism.“I am reasonably confident that we will get enough votes to pass it,” said Bishop. “We’re hopeful that [our] colleagues will recognize that it’s now the time for New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to receive the assistance that we have provided to other states.”King said on his Facebook page Thursday, “I don’t want to be overconfident, but I think we’re going to have the votes to pass $50B Hurricane Sandy aid package next week.”The House, which approved more than $9 billion for the national flood insurance program last week after sparking outrage by not passing the full $60 billion bill, is expected to vote on the rest of the aid in two parts.Bishop said the $18 billion bill to address emergency needs should first pass relatively easily. But a $33-bill appropriation for longer-term projects to prepare against future storms is more controversial.Sandy destroyed thousands of homes across the Long Island area, like this on on Fire Island.Some members of the House GOP majority argue that the aid should be offset by spending cuts. The original proposal easily passed the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.The two bills will fund key federal agencies involved in the recovery efforts, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others.The deadline is Jan. 28 for residents to apply for the FEMA Individual Assistance program and for businesses to request low-interest Small Business Administration loans.King made national headlines when he blasted his own party last week for leaving Sandy survivors out in the cold by not passing the aid bill two months after the Oct. 29 superstorm.“Anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds,” he was widely quoted as saying. “Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”
TOWN OF CHENANGO (WBNG) — The public hearing for the cell phone tower proposal will be postponed as the town zoning board addresses conflicts of interest regarding attorney representation. “The whole deal with property values… they’re going to go down,” said Douglas Bernard, who lives on Brotzman Rd. “Who’s going to want to buy my house across the road from a cell tower?” This comes after an agent for New Cingular Wireless, PCS, LLC, called Airosmith, applied for a permit in March to construct and operate a wireless telecommunications tower at 735 Brotzman Rd. Meanwhile, concerned residents along Brotzman Road say they don’t want the cell tower put in their backyard for a number of reasons. The Town of Chenango Zoning Board Chairman, Jim Brewster, says the board does not have specific concerns yet, since it is still too early in the process for the permit. The public hearing set to take place through Zoom Tuesday evening has been postponed until at least June 23. A possible earlier date could be set by the board and residents will be notified. Another family living along the road says it is concerned for health safety and having an eyesore behind the homes. “We’re very concerned for the health of our family, our children, for our property value of our home, resale value,” expressed Ronda Swindle. For more information on the proposed cell tower, go to the Town of Chenango’s main website. The law firm representing in this case, Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, says it has represented a number of property owners where the cell tower is proposed to be built many times in the past. The board member say this could create a conflict of interest, so they decided to withhold the public hearing until they can get further clarification with their attorney. “We’re evaluating the evidence for the project for both the applicant and the concerned citizens and we go from there,” said Brewster. “Everyone will have their say.”
By Lonnie WheatleyPEORIA, Ariz. (May 9) – Ricky Thornton, Jr., picked off a pair of feature wins at Saturday’s fifth annual Mother’s Day Race for the Cure at Canyon Speedway Park.Thornton raced from the 10th starting position in both the 9th World Vapor IMCA Modifieds and Arizona Differential Pure Stocks for victory honors.The defending track champion in the Modified ranks, Thornton made the most of his first regular season appearance of the year by rallying from the fifth row to take the checkered flag ahead of Brian Schultz, with Mike Strobl, Don Hagan and George Fronsman in the top five.