49ers pregame: Garcon, Ward trade bait; Richburg, Savage inactive

first_imgGLENDALE, Ariz. — Two days before the NFL trade deadline and a couple 49ers have surfaced on the rumor mill.Wide receiver Pierre Garçon and defensive back Jimmie Ward are drawing interest, according to reports from ESPN and Sports Illustrated.San Francisco 49ers’ Pierre Garcon (15) reacts to call against Carolina Panthers in the third quarter of their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, September 10, 2017. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)Garçon offers veteran …last_img read more

The Patriots exposed Jared Goff, raising a big question about the Rams’ future

first_imgPatriots coach Bill Belichick won his eighth Super Bowl ring on Sunday, as New England won the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, 13-3. The win further cemented his place as the greatest head coach and defensive mind in the history of football.Frankly, it was easy work: all Belichick and his Patriots had to do to claim that historic win was overwhelm the Rams’ young quarterback, Bay Area native Jared Goff.ATLANTA GA. – FEBRUARY 3: New England Patriots’ Adrian Clatborn pressures Los Angeles …last_img read more

South African Music Awards has a new venue

first_img1 April 2016The South African Music Awards (Samas), regarded as the premium music awards in the country, will be hosted in Durban for the first time later this year. The ceremony takes place on 4 June.That is indeed correct. The 22nd annual @TheSAMAs will be taking place at @DurbanICC in association with @eThekwiniM https://t.co/XlgS30YMg1— Refiloe Ramogase (@refiloer) March 30, 2016“We are pleased that this prestigious awards ceremony is being held in Durban as we constantly strive to ensure our highly talented musicians are provided with opportunities and the necessary platforms to showcase their talent,” eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo said on Wednesday, 30 March.The 22nd Samas will take place at Durban’s main convention centre, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, with the eThekwini Municipality as the hosting partner.“Music brings people together, irrespective of race, creed or culture and eThekwini is proud to be hosting the 22nd Samas,” the mayor said.“It is fitting that the ceremony will take place at our historic venue, the Durban Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC), which has been transformed into a world-class events and conference centre over the years.”The Samas had a long history of promoting local music and acknowledging the contribution made by musicians to grow the music and entertainment industry.“We salute our musicians and appreciate the role they play in impacting lives as well as showcasing South Africa’s diverse culture and rich history through music. eThekwini is proud to be partnering with the Recording Industry of South Africa for this year’s SAMAs.”Samas chairman Refiloe Ramogase said the new partnership with the eThekwini Municipality marked a fresh chapter for the awards ceremony.Award nominees will be announced later this month.Source: South African Government News Agencylast_img read more

Farmers drop organic labels over certification process, access to markets, study says

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Midwestern fruit and vegetable farmers are more likely than their counterparts in other regions to give up federal organic certification, according to a Purdue University study. Access to organic markets and consumers as well as the demands of obtaining and retaining certification seem to be the most significant drivers of their decisions.Obtaining U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification can be an expensive, year-long process that requires changing management practices and working with certifiers who determine if farms meet the government’s extensive requirements. But that’s worth it for many farmers who can command higher prices for organic products since demand has been rising quickly over the last decade.In 2017, organic food sales topped $45 billion — up 6.4% from 2016, according to the Organic Trade Association. Sales have more than doubled since 2010. Fruits and vegetables are the top-selling category, making up nearly 37% of organic food sales.“Consumers are demanding more organic fruits and vegetables, so there is a push to certify more farmers,” said Ariana Torres, a Purdue assistant professor of agricultural economics and horticulture & landscape architecture and co-author of the study. “There’s been a lot of money invested from the federal and local governments to get more farmers organically certified. The decision to decertify can have an effect on those programs, organic food supply and the bottom lines of farmers who spend so much to get into the program in the first place.”Despite the boom in demand, the number of organic farms has declined from 14,540 in 2008 to 12,818 in 2015. Some of that is due to consolidation of small and medium farms into larger operations. But some operations are simply leaving the organic program.Torres and Maria Marshall, a Purdue professor of agricultural economics, published their findings in the journal HortScience. Data are based on more than 1,500 farmer surveys.Of the 234 farms that were or had been organic at some point, the authors find that 36% had dropped certification. Large- and medium-sized farms were less likely to decertify than small farms. These farms may be able to produce enough volume of fruits and vegetables to access high-value, high-volume markets.That may be because fewer of the smaller organic farms are located near markets that would purchase large quantities of organic produce. Transportation to larger population centers may be less cost-effective for small organic farms.Also, many farmers who decide to opt out are likely selling their organic produce directly to consumers through farmer’s markets or community-supported agriculture programs.The data show that 72% of farmers continued to use organic practices even after decertification. Those farmers seem to be committed to organic agriculture and might be able to obtain premium prices for continuing to use organic practices without the need for an official certification.“Your customers know how you farm in those situations,” Torres said. “The farmers don’t need that tag to say the farm is USDA certified. The farmers just need to have a good relationship with the buyers.”In California and the Northeast United States, where decertification rates are lower, access to large markets likely keeps farmers in the program because they need certification to obtain premium prices.“If you’re a larger operation or selling to supermarkets, that requires you to be certified organic,” Marshall said. “But if you’re selling close to home, directly to consumers, you’re probably more likely to decertify.”Organic farmers were also likely to opt out of certification if the process became too much of a hassle.“Farmers were more likely to decertify if they perceived that loss of freedom, paperwork, cost of certification, interaction with the certifier, and lack of information were barriers to remain certified. It seems that the requirements embedded in the certification process were detrimental to the decision to remain certified,” the authors wrote.Understanding the reasons why organic farmers decertify may help inform government decisions on certification rules and processes.“That may be something that lawmakers may want to keep in mind,” Marshall said. “We want to maintain as many organic farmers as possible. Maintaining them is a lot less costly than certifying new ones.”Torres added that improving access to markets, especially for small operations, might make a difference.“If we want to incentivize farmers to remain certified, we probably want to support the access to markets,” Torres said. “If you’re small enough and can’t reach the market, programs that group certified small farms together to get them better access to large markets could be helpful.”The USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Research and Education Initiative supported the research.last_img read more

In Clash of Greens, a Case for Large-Scale Solar

first_imgA loss of tax credits would hurtBut unless Congress extends the federal investment tax credit for solar power beyond 2016, commercial and utility-scale projects that now enjoy a 30 percent credit will face a much lower 10 percent credit, and the residential solar tax credit will be eliminated entirely. Under those circumstances, utility-scale solar power may have a tough time competing with new natural gas plants, though the cost advantage of utility-scale solar projects over smaller installations is likely to persist.As its advocates note, solar power produces none of the climate-altering carbon emissions or health-endangering air pollutants of coal or natural gas, and none of the hazards associated with nuclear power. Utility-scale solar projects do, however, occupy hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of acres. Fortunately, recent experience demonstrates that large-scale solar power can be developed in a manner that minimizes damage to the environment.One important step is to favor farmland over undeveloped open spaces when siting large solar projects. No agricultural area may be better suited than California’s drought-stricken Central Valley. Building big solar projects there could be a double win, amping up the state’s supply of renewable energy while introducing a dry energy crop in place of the water-hungry cotton fields and sod plantations that farmers no longer have enough water to irrigate.There are many other parts of the country where photovoltaic panels may be the highest and best use of agricultural land, especially on fields that lie fallow or depend on government support to remain in cultivation. Large solar projects have already been built on farmland in states as varied as Arizona, Minnesota, and North Carolina. In one camp are those who see solar power as a noble use of our non-urban land, even if that means encroaching on farms and natural areas. The alternative, they say, is runaway global warming caused by the continued burning of carbon-based fuels — a far worse outcome than the construction of industrial-scale solar projects. This group makes the same argument for the widespread deployment of wind turbines.Others see sprawling solar projects as blights on the landscape and threats to wildlife. Their concerns about protecting vulnerable species and natural open spaces have deep roots in the American conservation movement, and they cannot be discounted. But the danger is that they underestimate the devastation likely to be caused by climate change and overestimate the energy that can be generated from solar panels on rooftops and on smaller parcels of urban and industrial land. We are burdened by an aversion to encroaching on open spacesThe United States is blessed with a vast reservoir of open spaces, but we are also burdened by an ideological and aesthetic aversion to seeing those open spaces encroached upon. In Europe, clean energy proponents tend to encounter a more pragmatic public response that allows for integrating wind farms and solar fields into landscapes that have often been affected by human activities for centuries or even millennia.Widespread acceptance of offshore wind farms across much of Northern Europe reflects this more tolerant regard for large-scale renewable energy facilities, in contrast to the diehard resistance that U.S. offshore wind proposals have encountered.To supply all of America’s electricity from the sun, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that solar installations would have to occupy about 0.6% of the country’s total land area. That’s equivalent to less than 2% of U.S. land now in crop production, but it’s still a big stretch of terrain, almost the size of West Virginia. While this is far more solar than a balanced renewable energy economy would require, it is a useful gauge of solar power’s land needs.Roughly a fifth of our total power supply could come from rooftop solar arrays, NREL says. Additional solar electricity can be tapped at “brownfield” sites — abandoned and often-polluted industrial properties that are not suitable for residential or commercial use. Brownfield solar projects are being developed in many parts of the country, but these sites are often costly to convert and have a hard time competing with larger solar projects on less encumbered lands.Construction of utility-scale solar facilities has soared since 2010, accounting for almost two-thirds of all newly installed photovoltaic capacity in 2014. A big reason for this is the much lower cost of building these projects: In the first quarter of 2015, utility-scale power plants based on photovoltaics (PV) cost less than half as much per installed watt as residential rooftop PV, and 29 percent less than solar power installed on commercial buildings. Philip Warburg is the former president of the Conservation Law Foundation and once worked as an attorney at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C. He is the author of two books on renewable energy. This post was originally published at Yale Environment 360. Habitat protection can defuse criticismBut solutions to the green energy/land conservation conflict can be found. In a number of places, solar developers have anticipated conservationists’ concerns by paying meticulous attention to wildlife and habitat protection. The Moapa Band of Paiutes, in southern Nevada, set a strong example when the tribe created a separate, 6,000-acre conservation area for 75 desert tortoises found on a 2,000-acre site it had selected for solar development.This 250-megawatt project, slated for completion in June 2016, will sell its output to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, supplying the electricity needs of 100,000 households. Today the tribe is well along with the planning of a second solar plant on a slightly smaller scale.San Jose-based SunPower has been similarly vigilant in developing its California Valley Solar Ranch on the semi-arid Carrizo Plain, sometimes referred to as California’s Serengeti. San Luis Obispo County officials and a trio of national environmental organizations negotiated a rigorous set of environmental safeguards for the project. Before construction began, biologists hired by SunPower created new dens for the San Joaquin kit fox, temporary “condos” for giant kangaroo rats, and wildlife corridors allowing pronghorn and Tule elk to pass easily through the solar fields. Solar arrays sit on 1,400 acres of land, producing enough power for 100,000 homes, and 12,000 additional acres have been set aside for conservation in perpetuity. California has high hopes for renewablesThanks to the California Valley Solar Ranch and many other plants generating power from solar, wind, geothermal, and other qualifying sources under the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard, roughly a quarter of California’s retail electricity today comes from renewable energy. Under state law, investor-owned utilities and other electric service providers must supply 33% of their power from renewable sources by 2020, and if Governor Jerry Brown has his way, half of California’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2030.To meet this ambitious goal, diverse groups are now debating the governor’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which would devote roughly 177,000 acres of farmland and open spaces to clean energy projects and related transmission. Under the same plan, large stretches of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts would be dedicated to conservation and recreation. This is just the kind of innovative problem-solving with public participation that can advance renewable energy on a large scale while protecting the environment.Green energy advocates may have thought their most formidable foes would be defenders of the fossil fuel status quo. They hadn’t counted on so much friendly fire from traditional allies in the conservation community. But projects like the Moapa Paiute installation and the California Valley Solar Ranch show that, done right, solar development can address habitat protection and wildlife concerns.The truth, however, is that clean energy is not without costs, and decarbonizing our energy supply involves making tough choices. Wide swaths of terrain will be needed if we are to capture the sun’s vast energy potential. Figuring out a responsible way to install renewable energy projects on that land is vastly preferable to the alternative — a world under siege from climate change. If the United States and the world community hope to avoid the worst effects of climate change, solar power will have to play a pivotal role in electricity production. The technology is quickly maturing, and the price of solar panels has plummeted to the point where new utility-scale solar installations are a sound investment, cheaper than new coal plants and frequently competitive with natural gas.In 2014, solar power accounted for almost a third of all new U.S. electric generating capacity. If the right policies are adopted, solar power could be the leading source of electricity worldwide by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.As the adoption of solar power goes mainstream, the challenge now is finding enough space to harness the sun’s energy. For solar power to cut substantially into our reliance on fossil fuels, major solar projects will have to be built on a noticeable portion of the landscape. There will inevitably be environmental impacts. Already, large-scale solar projects have created unexpected and unsettling fault lines within the American environmental movement — conflicts that will have to be resolved with creativity and compromise if we are to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. NIMBY reactions plague developersIn some states, the same not-in-my-backyard reaction that has stymied a number of wind farm proposals is now plaguing solar energy developers. Upscale suburbanites in Bedminster, New Jersey, are waging a war of attrition against a solar plant that has been proposed for a moribund farm near their homes. Photovoltaic arrays will be a visual blight on a cherished agrarian landscape, some residents claim.The Bedminster parcel was long ago rezoned for ten-acre country mansions, which neighbors have declared they would rather look at than a solar plant — despite the developer’s claims that the proposed solar arrays would be screened by a grassy berm and natural foliage. While visual aesthetics have fueled this particular battle, New Jersey’s strong farmland preservation policy is likely to deter the widespread adoption of solar power in other, more actively farmed parts of the state.Tensions can run equally high when solar projects are proposed for natural areas, such as the patch of New Jersey forest where Six Flags Great Adventure has sought to build a solar farm. Those who object to this 90-acre project apparently give little thought to the 1.4 million acres of mountains and forests that mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia will have destroyed by 2020. They are focused on concerns closer to home. RELATED ARTICLES Surge in Renewables Remakes California’s Energy LandscapeHoping for a Climate Change BreakthroughGoldman Sachs Is Our Best Bet Against Climate ChangeTaking Action on Climate ChangeGood News Bad News With Climate ChangeSeeking Common Ground on Climate Change PolicyScience, Climate Change, and PolicyRethinking the Grid Nine Surprising Signs That Momentum Is Building for Climate Actionlast_img read more

Helping Military Families Become More Resilient Through Various Transitions

first_imgWhy do some military families bounce back after stressful transitions (e.g., transitioning into civilian life), while others struggle to readjust?Cover image and logo– used with permission from the MilitaryTimes.com Below are practical applications for strengthening individual and family processes for resilience. These implications are a collection of examples from various researchers who have studied resilience and military families (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12). Implications for Building Resilience in Military Families Assist family members in drawing upon various strengths. For example, the ability to reduce conflict during a taxing deployment.Help families adapt to a new normal. Assist them in providing clear information for adapting to the change; helping them to accept the things they cannot change.Support connectedness through fostering nurturing and loving relationships among all family members and by making community support available and accessible.Invite all family members to engage in joint participation and shared decision making. For example, deciding as a family where to vacation when the service member returns from training.Help identify potential triggers that may evoke stressful memories. This is especially important to consider in service members with posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries.Enhance shared meaning making and making meaning of adversity. For example, allow family members to share personal perspectives on challenges and successes experienced during deployment.Allow family members to openly share positive and negative emotions experienced throughout various military transitions. This could be done by reaching out to family members at several time points during each transition.Aid in identifying and anticipating stressful transitions or situations. For example, have families create a list of the potential challenges (or joys) they may experience when relocating (e.g., PCSing overseas).Coach families to develop a shared method for checking in on one another’s emotional or stress status. For instance, parents can check in with their children by asking them to share their fears and joys during deployments.Support military families in utilizing healthy coping strategies, such as relaxation or distraction; diverging away from drinking alcohol or spending excessive amounts of money as a means of coping.Foster a positive outlook through hope, faith, or optimism. For example, help family members gain a sense of personal perspective that their life has meaning and purpose.Encourage the reestablishment of individual and family routines and rituals while the service member is away. This might include the continuation of family game night or reassigning household responsibilities.Finally, we can teach family members how to create and set forth on personal goals in hopes of fostering self-efficacy and a sense of purpose.For more resources on helping military families maintain resilience and overcome transition-related challenges, be sure to head on over to our Family Transitions page! Also, be sure to take a look at our upcoming Resilience Series which will focus on promoting protective factors to support personal, family and community resilience. This three-part webinar series will take place on August 20th, 22nd, and 27th, so be sure to RSVP today! This article was written by Jennifer Rea, PhD and military spouse to an Active Duty Marine. Jenny consults with the MFLN Family Transitions team to support professional development for military family service providers. You may find more blogs, podcasts and webinars from Family Transitions here. We invite you to engage with Family Transitions on Twitter @MFLNFT and with MFLN on Facebook @MilitaryFamilies.References 1.  Masten, A. S. (2013). Competence, risk, and resilience in military families: Conceptual commentary. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 16(3), 278-281.2.  Walsh, F. (2016). Applying a family resilience framework in training, practice, and research: Mastering the art of the possible. Family Process, 55(4), 616-632.3.  Mancini, J. A., O’Neal, C. W., Martin, J. A., & Bowen, G. L. (2018). Community social organization and military families: Theoretical perspectives on transitions, contexts, and resilience. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(3), 550-565.4.  Meadows, S. O., Beckett, M. K., Bowling, K., Golinelli, D., Fisher, M. P., Martin, L. T., … & Osilla, K. C. (2016). Family resilience in the military: Definitions, models, and policies. Rand Health Quarterly, 5(3),12.5.  Masten, A. S. (2018). Resilience theory and research on children and families: Past, present, and promise. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(1), 12-31.6.  Masten, A. S., & Cicchetti, D. (2016). Resilience in development: Progress and transformation. Developmental Psychopathology, 1-63.7.  Ungar, M. (2018). Systemic resilience: principles and processes for a science of change in contexts of adversity. Ecology and Society, 23(4):34.8.  Clark, M., O’Neal, C. W., Conley, K., & Mancini, J. A. (2018). Resilient family processes, personal reintegration, and subjective well-being outcomes for military personnel and their family members. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 88(1), 99–111. https://.org/10.1037/ort00002789.  Saltzman, W. R., Lester, P., Beardslee, W. R., Layne, C. M., Woodward, K., & Nash, W. P. (2011). Mechanisms of risk and resilience in military families: Theoretical and empirical basis of a family-focused resilience enhancement program. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14(3), 213-230.10.  Gewirtz, A. H., Pinna, K. L., Hanson, S. K., & Brockberg, D. (2014). Promoting parenting to support reintegrating military families: After deployment, adaptive parenting tools. Psychological Services, 11(1), 31.11.  Cox, K., Grand-Clement, S., Galai, K., Flint, R., & Hall, A. (2018). Understanding resilience as it affects the transition from the UK Armed Forces to civilian life. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2436.html.12.  Wright, K. M., Riviere, L. A., Merrill, J. C., & Cabrera, O. A. (2013). Resilience in military families: A review of programs and empirical evidence. Building Psychological Resilience in Military Personnel: Theory and Practice, 167-191. doi: 10.1037/14190‐008 by Jennifer Rea, PhD Military life is dynamic and interrelated with its own life challenges (1).  Service members and their families face unique stressors in the various transitions they face (e.g., frequent moves). While, many have the ability to cope with and overcome transition difficulties, other military families may need additional support.As military families face more stressors and hurdles, they often emerge stronger, more loving and more purposeful in their lives (2).  Through each transitional challenge, many military families are expected to maintain resilience all the while minimize family vulnerabilities (3).What is Resilience?Resilience “occurs in the face of adversity and is reflected in individuals and families ‘bouncing back’ after hardship”(2,3).  As a “process that occurs over the life course” (4).  resilience is the capacity to adapt to several new transitions and challenges (5).Resilient Individuals and Families are not Islands unto Themselves.Individuals are embedded in families and families are embedded in communities (6).  That is, individual resilience is dependent upon the systems the individual interacts with, including one’s family and their community (7).  For example, military unit support and community connectedness have been found to be related to family well-being and adaptation to transitions (3).Tools for Building Individual and Family ResilienceFamily processes; things families do (e.g., effective communication), are important to identify as they influence individual and family resilience (8).  As overlooked tools, some family processes are qualities an individual (or family) possesses allowing them to flourish during adversity (9).To build resilience among military families, we must help them recognize their untapped capabilities and reconnect them to sources of sustenance and nurturance. By doing so, we can scaffold their way to becoming more resilient through successfully navigating military life transitions (9).Cover image and logo– used with permission from the U.S. Dept of Defense.last_img read more

‘All stakeholders should join hands to serve consumer’

first_imgPANAJI: The Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), a leading consumer rights’ organisation, is working towards a movement where corporations, manufacturers and retailers become corporate members of CERS, and all these stakeholders serve consumers together.Talking to The Hindu on the sidelines of an event organised by consumer rights body GOACAN on Sunday, Walter Vieira, chairman of the Ahmedabad-based CERS, said, “I want to start this movement because I firmly believe that corporates, manufacturers and organisations like CERS are not enemies, but are on the same side of the table to serve the consumers.” Consumer-centricHe added, “If the consumer is the centre of business, as it should be in any business, then what is the conflict? You want to give them the best, value for money. And these corporates should then be able to say on their letterheads, ‘we are a consumer-centric company and that we are members of CERS’.”“My second thing is to reach out to retailers. [For instance,] in Singapore, they have a placard on the counter saying ‘we are approved by the consumer union of Singapore. If you have any complaint, contact here’. It shows it is consumer-centric and compliant,” said Mr. Vieira.He said that in developed countries, consumer unions are able mobilise huge funds through magazine subscriptions. He recalled how CERS had to close down its magazine Insight, which was losing ₹1 lakh a month as it could not get more than 1,800 subscribers. At present, the CERS runs a Hindi magazine called Grahak Sathi with funds from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. It expects to get grants from the Gujarat and Telangana governments for Gujarati and Telugu issues.Govt. support lackingMr. Vieira admits that the consumer movement has failed to take off in the country because organisations have not been able to get masses involved. But he laments that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has been giving huge grants to organisations like FICCI and CII for consumer protection, but not even one-tenth of the amount to consumer organisations. “Does it make any sense? Six months ago, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan announced huge grants to the Advertising Standards Council of India. You are giving them a couple of crores, to do what? To protect the ad agencies?” he asked. Mr. Vieira said he was not not happy with the consumer courts in the country. “The idea is fine, but the government is not supporting it. Not giving enough money to support it — infrastructure for courts, personnel, nothing,” he said.last_img read more

Giants’ Prize Free Agents Ready

first_imgEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Free-agent prizes Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, and Damon Harrison are ready to get down to the business of rebuilding the Giants’ defense.Reflecting on their comments March 10 after they officially signed their monstrous free-agent contracts, Jenkins has more work ahead than the others in justifying the $204.25 million combined outlay General Manager Jerry Reese made for them.The former Rams cornerback described his best quality as his ability to create turnovers in man-to-man coverage. But it was his brutally honest depiction of his greatest weakness that might have brought a small gasp from Reese, whose five-year, $62.5 million offer kicked off his Day 1 spending spree.“I can say to myself, ‘Improve on stop being lazy at the end of games,’ ” Jenkins said. Gulp.Jenkins then explained that his focus occasionally wandered as the clock ran down. It is a tendency he can ill-afford as he and fellow cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie work to improve a secondary whose late-game performance cost the Giants five fourth-quarter leads in 2015.“Instead of just relaxing, thinking about the ball not coming to my side, you know, and focusing more on the game. It’s just a mind thing. It’s easy to control. Playing on this level, some things are going to happen.“You’ve just got to improve, man.”Vernon, now the highest-paid defensive lineman in the league with a five-year, $85.5 million deal that includes $52 million of guaranteed money, said he was excited about forming a rejuvenated pass rush with linemates Jason Pierre-Paul, Jonathan Hankins, and Harrison. The defensive end who had 7 ½ sacks last year knew full well that the Giants’ 23 sacks ranked dead last in 2015.“Last year wasn’t what was expected to be,” he said. “That’s not the Giants’ standard. That’s not the Giants’ way. “From what I remember, they’ve always been stout.”Pierre-Paul, along with former Giants safety Antrel Rolle, was actually one of the people who persuaded Vernon to sign with the Giants.“I could just tell how he spoke,” Vernon said of Pierre-Paul, ” he’s a man trying to get (back to relevance). I’m trying to be a part of that.”While Vernon hones his pass rush and Jenkins tightens his focus, the 350-pound Harrison said he expects to form an impenetrable middle against the run with the 320-pound Hankins. Taken as a unit, the pair represents 670 pounds of space-eating ability.“We just have to do our jobs to the best of our abilities, and complement and work off each other,” Harrison said. “It’ll be fun with me and Big Hank in the middle.”As for leaving the Jets’ 3-4 alignment, where he played directly over the center, for the Giants’ 4-3, the defensive tackle anticipated a flawless transition.“The 3-4 and the 4-3 are actually similar, except for the outside linebackers,” Harrison said. “You play the exact same positions. It’s just the defensive ends are in, and you have linebackers.”The free-agent trio is tasked with pulling the Giants’ defense out of the rankings cellar, and no one understood that better than Harrison after he signed his five-year, $46.5 million contract.“They invested a lot in me, and I know they’re expecting a lot out of me,” he said. “That alone is motivation to help the franchise get back.”Later, the Giants agreed to terms with linebacker Keenan Robinson, late of the Redskins.(ERNIE PALLADINO) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

The Hard Wrap Magazine

first_imgPlease find attached the 10th edition of the Hard Wrap magazine, the official magazine of Touch Football Australia. The Hard Wrap was released at the recent 2012 X-Blades National Youth Championships event and includes all of the latest news and information about Touch Football across Australia. To view, please click on the attachments below. Related Fileshard_wrap_issue_10-pdf2012_ntl-soo_v4-pdfRelated LinksHard Wrap Magazinelast_img

Scorpions want to sting again

first_imgBy BEN HARRISIt seemed New South Wales Scorpions came from the clouds last year to win the women’s Elite Eight division at National Touch League.This year they won’t be so incognito.With the targets on their back, every team will be gunning for the Scorpions.They had an unblemished record in 2014, which gives them the confidence heading into this year’s campaign.Adding to that confidence is majority of last year’s side remain, which makes them definite short-priced favourites.New South Wales Mets will be nipping around once again.The perennial finalists love the Elite Eight, having played in every final since the first competition at the 2011 NTL. This year should be no different.Louise Winchester is the major drawcard for this side; she’ll work in tandem with Ash Quinlan.Mets also picked up Shellie Davis and Tayla Clifford to add to their arsenal.Queensland Chiefs have a lot of Australian representatives – 10 in all – playing and will be a team to keep an eye on.Emily Hennessey returns and she adds that much-needed spark the Chiefs were lacking last year where they were knocked out in the semi-finals.Their matches against Mets and Scorpions will be incredible showdowns.The Stingrays could be the dark horses of the competition having made the semi-finals last year.They have some talented players but it will come down to consistency.Stability was something lacking the New South Wales Country Mavericks in 2014.The Mavericks failed to win a match last year despite making the final four in 2013.A new coach and a new-looking side means the Mavericks should go better this year.New South Wales Rebels, Queensland Country Outlaws and The Alliance are not to be discounted from the field.The Outlaws made massive improvements in 2014 and with a lot of youth-based players in their side, they could pull off a few upsets.The Rebels didn’t have the best of it last year but they only missed the finals by a win.Not having Maddie Studdon (injury) is a lost but there are other Australian representatives who are able to step up.The Alliance is building every year and will be hard opposition for teams.Leah Percy captains the side, which has brought on the best talent from around the country.You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2015 National Touch League in the following ways: Websites www.ntl.mytouchfooty.com www.touchfootball.com.au Social Media Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2015) Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus (live streaming of select games will occur, stay tuned to www.touchfootball.com.au for all of the links)Related LinksWomen’s Elite Eight previewlast_img read more