DENVER | Colorado opened its health exchange marketplace Tuesday after more than two years of planning — but the exchange website temporarily was overwhelmed by tens of thousands of visitors, briefly preventing consumers from creating new accounts.Scantily clad models, right to left, Meghan McMahon, Sharayah Jones, and Katina Shoemaker hand out flyers and display signs encouraging the public to get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, during a promotional campaign launched by Colorado HealthOP, a health care co-op, in Denver, Tuesday Oct. 1, 2013. Colorado opened its health exchange marketplace Tuesday after more than two years of planning but the exchange website temporarily was overwhelmed by tens of thousands of visitors, briefly preventing consumers from creating new accounts. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)The problem was resolved quickly, and Connect For Health Colorado executives said the first day went well, with 100,000 page views per hour through midafternoon. There were 3,000 phone calls to a call center set up to handle questions.But the website ran a banner at midday advising consumers that new accounts couldn’t be opened because of a high volume of visitors — more than 34,500, according to spokesman Ben Davis. The problem was resolved shortly thereafter.“As expected, we encountered several challenges when our system went live today,” exchange CEO Patty Fontneau said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “These challenges were addressed quickly and efficiently with minimal impact on the customer experience.”Customers who need health insurance can use the site to find out what their choices are, what their premiums will be and whether they qualify for subsidies to reduce their payments.The exchange has taken out television ads promoting the site and has hired “navigators” statewide to explain the new shopping site to the uninsured.Events were held Tuesday to rally attention for the site, perhaps none splashier than a promotion by Colorado HealthOP, a nonprofit health insurance cooperative. The cooperative hired scantily clad models to hand out flyers about the new exchange to pedestrians on a busy downtown Denver thoroughfare.On a warm fall day, male and female models wore little except shorts with the message “GET COVERED CO” across the behinds.Colorado officials insisted the state wouldn’t be affected by any potential federal shutdown prompted by a congressional stalemate over the health law. Colorado is one of 17 states that opted to create its own exchange, rather than rely on the federal government to run it.President Barack Obama said Monday that a shutdown wouldn’t affect implementation of the health law in any state. Most of the law’s funding does not come from annual appropriations.“That funding is already in place. You can’t shut it down,” Obama said.___Associated Press photographer Brennan Linsley contributed to this report. Kristen Wyatt can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt___Online:https://www.connectforhealthco.com
People attend the grand tasting the day before the CherryArts festival on Friday Oct. 23, 2015 at Stanley Marketplace.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel A weathered sign marks its territory Sept. 22 at Stanley Aviation. Built in 1954, Stanley Aviation manufactured airplane ejector seats but after years of being abandoned the building will be getting a facelift. The 100,000 square footage will be transformed into a marketplace that will house a restaurant, beer garden, community park, office spaces and a variety of dining, shopping and recreational options. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel) Mike Riendeau (left) and Gerald Gould (right) compare floor plans from different decades to determine where to take samples from in order to move forward with construction Sept. 22 at Stanley Aviation. Built in 1954, Stanley Aviation manufactured airplane ejector seats but after years of being abandoned the building will be getting a facelift. The 100,000 square footage will be transformed into a marketplace that will house a restaurant, beer garden, community park, office spaces and a variety of dining, shopping and recreational options. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel) Flight Line Ventures’ partners Lorin Ting (left) and Mark Shaker (right) stand in front of the 100,000 square foot warehouse hangar doors Sept. 22 at Stanley Aviation. The two bought the space in order to transfer it to a new marketplace that will house a restaurant, beer garden, community park, office spaces and a variety of dining, shopping and recreational options. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel) Karla Rehring, left, helps her partner Nicole Landek put together floral arrangements for the Stanley Marketplace’s grand tasting on Thursday Oct. 22, 2015 at Landek’s home in Stapleton. Rehring and Landek own a floral company named Poppy & Pine Flowers that they run out of their homes. They will be one of the bussinesses opening up in the Stanley Marketplace, less than a mile from their homes.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel Pat Ryan hangs lights before the CherryArts at Stanley festival on Wednesday Oct. 21, 2015 at Stanley Marketplace.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel Floor plans from different decades are used to determine where to take samples from in order to move forward with construction Sept. 22 at Stanley Aviation. Built in 1954, Stanley Aviation manufactured airplane ejector seats but after years of being abandoned the building will be getting a facelift. The 100,000 square footage will be transformed into a marketplace that will house a restaurant, beer garden, community park, office spaces and a variety of dining, shopping and recreational options. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel) The Platte Street Kindness Yoga location holds regular classes every day of the week, and a new location will be opening at Stanley Marketplace in Aurora. Photo by Sara Hertwig Rindy Leeds guides a Vinyasa yoga class at the Kindness Yoga studio located at 1539 Platte St., Denver. A new location is coming soon to Stanley Marketplace. Photo by Sara Hertwig Winehouse performs during the grand tasting the day before the CherryArts festival on Friday Oct. 23, 2015 at Stanley Marketplace.Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel AURORA | Construction crews only started morphing Aurora’s former Stanley Aviation building into a viable hub of culture and commerce this month, but the scene around the long-vacant aviation factory on Dallas Street has been anything but quiet in 2015. Hosting the first satellite edition of the CherryArts Festival, securing dozens of buzz-worthy tenants and receiving millions of dollars in city-approved future tax incentives composed just a portion of the year’s accomplishments for the team of entrepreneurs behind the forthcoming Stanley Marketplace, a gastronomic and retail bazaar set to open on the Aurora-Stapleton border this spring. Already fully leased, the marketplace at 2501 N. Dallas St. is slated to boast more than 100,000 square feet of operating space and house 48 businesses that offer everything from teeth cleanings to triple IPAs. All but five of the Stanley outfits already have a brick and mortar shop, though every tenant is new to Aurora, according to Mark Shaker, one of three partners at Flightline Ventures, the Denver-based development firm spearheading the $25-million project. A weathered sign marks its territory Sept. 22 at Stanley Aviation. Built in 1954, Stanley Aviation manufactured airplane ejector seats but after years of being abandoned the building will be getting a facelift. The 100,000 square footage will be transformed into a marketplace that will house a restaurant, beer garden, community park, office spaces and a variety of dining, shopping and recreational options. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel) An old maintenance room still shows tracings of tools Sept. 22 at Stanley Aviation. Built in 1954, Stanley Aviation manufactured airplane ejector seats but after years of being abandoned the building will be getting a facelift. The building will be transformed into a marketplace that will house a restaurant, beer garden, community park, office spaces and a variety of dining, shopping and recreational options. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel) “I love the location of the property and it being a bridge between two communities that have physical barriers, psychological barriers and demographic barriers,” Shaker said of the project. “We believe (that) how you get people together is through culture — through art, music, food and dance.”Posh, metro-area eateries including Denver Biscuit Company, Rosenberg’s Bagels and GoodBird Kitchen, as well as retail outpost Mondo Market, were a few of the more well-known entities announced to take residence in Stanley late last summer. “The opportunity at Stanley is certainly different,” said Rayme Rossello, owner of Comida, a Mexican eatery with locations in Longmont and Denver. “There will be a nice diversity of menus throughout the building and having more restaurants and more options will, I think, potentially be a bigger draw. And if my experience this weekend at the CherryArts Festival is any showing of who is potentially going to come out once it’s open, it’s going to be tremendous.”One of several cultural events hosted at The Stanley this year, the CherryArts Festival at Stanley took place over three days in October and served as a litmus test for what kind of patrons Stanley may attract upon opening, according to Shaker.“It was wonderful and really interesting seeing where people were coming from, because you had a combination of well-to-do art buyers from across the region, and then you had a lot of people walking over form the Aurora side and walking from the Stapleton side,” he said. “It was a neat mix, and exactly what we are looking to do when we open.”The building also hosted a month-long art exhibition in cooperation with Black Cube, a mobile art gallery, as well as a Christmas event with the Aurora Police Department earlier this month.The city granted initial approval for a separate TIF site on the Stanley property this spring, which is projected to generate about $7.6 million in public improvements over the course of several years, according to Andrea Amonick, manager of AURA. Earlier this spring, she said that the city struck a deal with Aurora Public Schools and Flightline to give a percentage of Stanley’s generated TIF money to APS as critics of TIF financing for years have argued that the subsidies withhold necessary funding from other entities such as counties and schools. Even though completion is still about six months away, one thing’s for sure: Aurora is anxious for the marketplace to open its doors. “It’s a game changer, for sure,” said Tracy Weil, executive director of the Aurora Cultural Arts District, which sits directly south of the Stanley building. “And now I think it’s time to bring together Stapleton and all the things that they’re doing there into one larger community.”Unifying ACAD with the Adams County section of the city and beyond has also long been a vision of Ward I City Councilwoman Sally Mounier, who said that she would like to see the city purchase property along Dayton and Dallas Street in order to marry the two zones. Mounier has touted the Stanley project since it was first announced in 2014 as something the beleaguered pocket of north Aurora has needed for years.“I honestly don’t think there’s going to be any hesitation on the part of the folks from Stapleton to commingle with folks south of (East) 25th (Avenue),” she said. “I think they’re thrilled to death with what Stanley is doing — really everybody is. I can’t see that this is going to do anything but make the area better for everybody.”
LOS ANGELES | Soundcloud is entering paid music streaming, hoping to turn its huge community of cover singers, dubstep remixers and wannabe stars into a bigger source of revenue.Since its launch in 2007, the Berlin-based online music service has allowed pretty much any audio to be uploaded to its cloud — from Kanye West outtakes to teenagers singing over canned music. It has slowly introduced tools to earn revenue, introducing paid services for artists in 2008 and ad revenue sharing for invited musicians in 2014.In this March 22, 2016, photo, Eric Wahlforss, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Soundcloud, poses for a photo during an interview in Los Angeles. Soundcloud is entering paid music streaming, hoping to turn its huge community of cover singers, dubstep remixers and wannabe stars into a bigger source of revenue. Soundcloud will have a staggering 125 million tracks available when the paid tier, Soundcloud Go, launches Tuesday, March 29, about four times that of other paid services. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)But after signing deals with major labels, including holdout Sony Music this month, Soundcloud is adding a subscription plan for consumers, giving them ad-free listening and a whole range of music from mainstream artists that had shunned the service because it only gave tracks away for free, including top acts like Taylor Swift.Soundcloud, privately held and with tech investors like Union Square Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, will have a staggering 125 million tracks available when the paid tier, Soundcloud Go, launches Tuesday. That’s about four times other paid services.The fast-growing field of paid music subscription services is already crowded, led by companies like Spotify, with 30 million paying subscribers, and Apple, which jumped to 10 million after launching last year.Soundcloud hopes to distinguish itself with its massive variety and huge audience of 175 million monthly listeners.“We’re at the very early days of streaming,” said Eric Wahlforss, the co-founder and chief technology officer, in an interview. “The pie is going to be very large over time.”Soundcloud Go will cost $10 a month and offer ad-free offline playback on mobile devices. It’ll also allow artists to choose whether to give away tracks for free or reserve them for paying customers — an option not allowed by Spotify, which depends on having quality free music to draw in prospective paying customers.Wahlforss said a key selling point for consumers is the many tracks on Soundcloud you won’t find elsewhere.“You’re going to be able to listen to a Rihanna next to an emerging artist, next to a DJ set, next to a mashup in the same playlist,” said Wahlforss. “It’s new for us, it’s new for the world.”For example, on Soundcloud you can find gems like a John Legend’s cover of the Adele hit, “Rolling in the Deep.” Or a 4-minute version of “30 Hours,” a shortened take of one of the songs from Kanye West’s latest album, “The Life of Pablo.” The album version is exclusively streaming on competing music service Tidal.Soundcloud’s reputation for hosting music that is off the beaten path is what drew DJ Kaskade to the platform. Without saying whether he’ll put music behind the pay wall, Kaskade’s label owner Stephanie LaFera said it has long been a place for the DJ to connect with fans looking to dig deeper than a standard release.“We feel like we’re speaking to an audience that’s already with us, fans that are open to experimentation, sub-genres and all the quirks that come with the world of electronic music,” she said.Follow AP Business Writer Ryan Nakashima at https://twitter.com/rnakashi . His work can be found at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/ryan-nakashima
This image released by HBO shows John Oliver on the set of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” With the return of Oliver to HBO and Alec Baldwin’s guest hosting slot on “Saturday Night Live,” this is shaping up like a big weekend for late-night’s treatment of the new president. (Eric Liebowitz/HBO via AP) This Feb. 4, 2017 photo released by NBC shows Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump in the opening sketch of “Saturday Night Live,” in New York. With the return of John Oliver to HBO and Alec Baldwin’s guest hosting slot on “Saturday Night Live,” this is shaping up like a big weekend for late-night’s treatment of the new president.(Will Heath/NBC via AP) Melissa McCarthy’s impersonation of White House press secretary Sean Spicer exploded on social media last weekend. Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah are nightly newscasters of the absurd, Samantha Bee is continuing her biting work and Stephen Colbert’s opinionated topicality has rejuvenated his CBS show in competition with NBC’s Jimmy Fallon.“We have to live in (Trump’s) world now,” said Steve Bodow, executive producer of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. “We used to be able to observe him, but now we have to live in his world. He’s taken the country hostage, in a way.”The mountain of material has been daunting. Bodow’s fellow executive producer, Jen Flanz, likens the pace to cramming for a different test every day. Bee seemed breathless recently telling viewers, “Believe me, we are not done,” and beseeching them to stick with her through a commercial break after comparing confusion surrounding Trump’s immigration order to the “healthcare.gov of Islamophobia.”Once an occasional feature, Meyers’ “A Closer Look” segment is like a newspaper opened every day at the top of his show. There’s so much to work with that he said he toggles between “multiple Constitutional crises” and “mundane, every day weirdness,” like confusing comments Trump made about historical figure Frederick Douglass.“The Daily Show’s” Noah did a “Profile in Tremendousness” about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, mocking the jurist’s story about crying when he first learned of the death of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as “the whitest thing I’ve ever heard.”“Daily Show” correspondent Hasan Minhaj has also emerged as an important voice, a Muslim comedian at a time many Muslims feel under attack.Into this maelstrom steps Oliver. He’s made it a point in past years to say he wanted to avoid the day-to-day tumult of politics, believing it best suited to those with a nightly platform while he concentrates on his investigative comedy. But some things are hard to resist, and his show about Trump’s family name change from “Drumpf” was one of last season’s highlights.How much will Trump dominate his upcoming round of shows?“We’ll work it out,” he said. “I could lie to your face again. I don’t know. We’re very anxious to not make it all Trump all of the time, both for the level of interest and on a level of what the human soul can sustain.”Oliver said that “there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit with an administration like this and you kind of have to reach past that.”Bee and her staff had a “what now?” meeting after an election they weren’t alone in thinking would turn out differently.“We thought, OK, we all need to think about being in a place where we’re probably going to be quite critical of a sitting president,” she recalled. “What does that mean for us? I don’t know if it’s going to change anything particularly, but it’s important for us to think about.”Bee hasn’t soft-pedaled her comedy, and she recently announced plans for a non-Trump alternative to this spring’s White House Correspondents dinner, an annual gathering of Washington media with the president and other elected officials. But she has recognized other views, like her bid to find some common ground with conservative commentator Glenn Beck.The show also has to make a special effort to find some moments of joy each week, she said.“There is so much happening, so much coming at us on a daily basis, that we do have to think about what we can do that’s just plain silly,” she said.Colbert, whose show had been floundering so much that early last year there were whispers it wouldn’t last, sharpened his focus during the campaign to become pointedly topical. He’s not been afraid to bring back his former Comedy Central character and former Comedy Central colleague, Jon Stewart. When he returned from a vacation following Trump’s inaugural, more than 4 million people sought out his first monologue on YouTube.Last week, Colbert also beat NBC’s “Tonight” show host Jimmy Fallon in the ratings for the first time since the week Colbert took over for David Letterman on the “Late Show” in September 2015.Colbert walks a careful line, since CBS is dominant in the parts of the country where Trump has his strongest base, but he’s been careful to mock Trump, and not necessarily the people who supported him.Fallon, who’s been the late-night comedy king from the instant he took over from Jay Leno in 2014, is the one comic clearly struggling in the new era. Critics and Trump opponents criticized him last fall for a cringeworthy interview with the Republican candidate where Fallon playfully mussed his hair. When Fallon brought back his Trump impersonation recently, that fell flat, too.“Being soft in an era when Fallon competitors like Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah are delivering strong critiques of the president could hurt Fallon and his ‘Tonight’ show in the long run,” critic Laura Bradley wrote in Vanity Fair.Fallon’s form of breezy comedy felt right for the times three years ago, much less so now. He’s evidence of how things can change — and may change again still.It’s a blistering pace to keep up with. As Meyers noted, “two weeks into the Trump presidency, and already it feels like two years.”AP Television Writer Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed to this report. NEW YORK | HBO’s ads promoting John Oliver on “Last Week Tonight” depict him cowering behind a desk, with the tag line, “Scary times call for a scared man.”Be not afraid. Between Oliver’s return Sunday from a three-month hiatus and Donald Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin’s stint hosting “Saturday Night Live,” this is shaping up to be a big weekend in what has already been a promising start to the Trump era in late-night comedy.
FILE – In this April 14, 2020, file photo, a person wearing a protective face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walks past the Rocky statue outfitted with mock surgical face mask at the Philadelphia Art Museum in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) FILE – In this March 26, 2020, file photo, a man wearing face mask walks past a fashion shop at a downtown street in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File) FILE – In this April 13, 2020, file photo, a newly painted mural shows a youth wearing a face mask, during a government ordered lockdown to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Bogota, Colombia. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File) FILE – In this April 15, 2020, file photo, a man wears a face mask with a smile, to protect himself from the spread of the new coronavirus in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File) FILE – In this April 11, 2020, file photo, Tatiana Datolla, left, and Armando De Rosa lower their protective masks to kiss at the beginning of their wedding ceremony, at the deconsecrated Santa Maria in Tempulo church, in Rome. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File) 1 of 6 PITTSBURGH | On Saturday afternoons, the Strip District neighborhood of Pittsburgh becomes a jam-packed hub of old-fashioned shopping. People stride along Penn Avenue, hopping from greengrocer to butcher to fishmonger to Italian market, smiling and gesturing and jabbering as they go.Not this weekend. As strange, spaced-out lines formed outside favorite establishments, the chatting was muted, the sidewalk sidesteps were awkward and tentative, and the facial expressions were, well, not really facial expressions at all. Just like much of the planet during these jumbled coronavirus days.Smile, they say, and the world smiles with you. Unless you’re wearing a mask. Then the world can’t see your smile, much less smile back.The rise of the protective face mask — first in China (where smog and SARS gave rise to its use years ago), then elsewhere in Asia, into Europe and now marching across North America — has abruptly excised half of the face from our moment-to-moment human interactions.With it has come a removal of crucial visual cues that people have used for millennia to communicate, understand each other and negotiate space in the public arena — to find common ground.“Our minds light on the face like butterflies on a flower, for it gives us a priceless flow of information,” Daniel McNeill wrote in ” The Face,” his 1998 book on its significance throughout human history.A partial inventory of the information that’s lost when the mask goes up: Smiles. Frowns. Lip movements. Crinkle lines at the mouth’s edge. Cheek twitches that indicate approval or disapproval. Reflexive gestures that collaborate with the eyes to say: Hey, I mean no harm. Or: Hey — back off.“It’s not just covering us up. It’s blocking something. It’s a barrier to communication. Is she smiling? Sarcastic? Is she happy to see me? I can’t figure it out,” says Christie Cawley, a Pittsburgh business adviser whose consultancy, tHRive, helps nonprofits with business skills.“With the masks, when people are making eye contact, you don’t know if they’re friendly or not,” Cawley says. “It’s a whole communications channel that we naturally have as humans, and it’s kind of dulled — turned off a little bit.”On Sunday night, new regulations from Pennsylvania’s governor took effect saying that most businesses still open in the state must bar anyone without a mask from entering. Other governments — states and nations — have imposed similar restrictions, which sit atop people’s already palpable desire to shield their mouths and noses from taking in the insidious virus that causes COVID-19.However legitimate, that still creates a potentially disorienting situation: Instead of a fellow human coming openly toward you, we’re encountering each other with visual cues removed, like astronauts or deep-sea divers or hazmat-removal teams.“Different levels of smiles lead to perceptions of warmth, competence, trustworthiness, attractiveness, etc.,” says Fan Liu, an assistant professor of decision sciences and marketing at Adelphi University whose research focuses on nonverbal communication. “These perceptions and characteristics significantly influence our daily social lives.”Nonverbal cues, she says, play a central role in communication that we don’t always realize. “When these cues are cut off, people are more likely to focus on outcome rather than process,” Liu says, and some nuances of human interaction may be lost.No wonder. There’s a reason why history’s greatest artists didn’t make their names painting shins or elbows or thumbs.The face is the gateway to who we are, the front door to our humanity and individuality. We mouth off. We have face time (and FaceTime). We pay lip service and give each other lip. We grin and bear it. Are all these going by the wayside … at least for now?There’s a reason, too, why masks suggest something surreptitious and nefarious. Covering pieces of the face is often presented as shorthand for mistrust or menace across modern culture, from historical literature (” The Man in the Iron Mask “) to comic books (” Batman “), from TV (” The Lone Ranger “) to movies (” The Mask “) to music (” The Stranger “).Such potent cultural cues can be activated, however subconsciously, when we cover our faces — even for the most legitimate (and protective) of reasons. A mask, in short, can be alienating no matter who is behind it — and particularly when there’s a power imbalance in the conversation.Leah Lizarondo, co-founder and CEO of Pittsburgh’s 412 Food Rescue, says her team’s ability to show empathy has been impeded by its new contactless, mask-forward methods of dropping off food. She recalls meal distributions at Pittsburgh school-bus stops over the past month — done with masks and, she laments, less humanity because of it.“There’s something extremely surreal about dealing with someone when you can’t really smile. It’s exactly the opposite of what you want this exchange to be. You don’t want it to be a transactional exchange. You want it to be a relationship,” Lizarondo says. “We’re trying so much to create analogues to that empathy. I’m not sure we’re there yet.”Which raises the question: If this endures for weeks and months, what would those analogues be? If half of the facial radio signal is obscured by face-mask static, how do the messages punch through? Will new methods of socially distanced nonverbal communication emerge?“The important point is not to rely on any one visual cue. Furrowed eyebrows could mean that a person’s angry, someone’s confused, someone doesn’t have glasses on and they’re squinting,” says Mary Inman, a psychology professor at Hope College in Michigan.“So we need to take time and ask people for clarification,” says Inman, who studies people’s perceptions of discrimination. “It’ll slow down communications a little bit, which could be a good thing. … If we go to (wearing) full masks continually, then we will be needing to slow down and clarify.”You can bet on one thing: Until that happens, things may be awkward. For now, though, we still have the eyes. Have you heard? They’re windows to the soul. But, alas, only to a point.“The face is the focal point. Now we’ve lost the focal point of that kind of communication. It is going to add a layer of distance between us,” says Dan Everett, a linguist and sociology professor at Bentley College in Massachusetts. “It’s sort of like we’re dogs without tails now.”___Ted Anthony, director of digital innovation for The Associated Press, has been writing about American culture since 1990. Follow him on Twitter here. FILE – In this April 16, 2020, file photo, a man wears a mask while walking in front of a closed building in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Travellers Rest Golf GroupLast week Thailand celebrated the King’s 85th birthday and what a magnificent spectacle it was on TV, full of colour and tradition and attended by thousands. The word “magnificent” I use sparingly but it was the only word I can think of to accurately describe the condition of the Bangpakong golf course where the TRGG played on Monday 3rd December. Bangpakong is nearer Bangkok than Pattaya so it is not a course we visit very often but the reports we were getting from golfers who have played it were very encouraging so we went to see for ourselves. I played the course about a year ago and was one of those people singing its praises and I can report it did not disappoint. Without exception all our players thought it was great and so we have made regular bookings for the next few months. It is one of those courses that seems to make every golfer play well, fairways like carpets and greens that are even paced and true means good scoring is inevitable, which gives golfers confidence rather than the normal feeling that the course has just beaten you to a nervous wreck.Ian Bell.Judging by the scores returned most of the field will have left feeling good about their game, I scored 34pts and only made it into 14th position.So the results for Bangpakong were as follows. Ian Bell (7) played more like a scratch golfer and finished in first place with 44pts followed by two golfers finishing on 41pts. Dave Edwards (11) edged out Mike Rushant (11) on count back.On Tuesday 4th December it was the turn of Greenwood (A and B course) to play host to the TRGG faithful. Another of those courses that is usually in excellent condition but has suffered from the wet weather in November. No doubt it is getting back to normal after the excellent weather last week.Rick Schramm (8) will have no complaints with the condition of the course, taking first place on 37pts closely followed by Phil Corbett (28) and Ian Smith (8), both finishing with 36pts, Phil taking runners up spot on count back.It was back to two divisions on Thursday 6th December at Phoenix (Ocean and Mountain) because of the large turnout. Division One (up to 14 handicap) was headed by Fergus Brennan (10) on 39pts, finishing just ahead of wily Ito Akitoshi (8) on 38 and equally inscrutable Nick Thomas (14) on 37pts.John Baxter (15) shooting 34pts found it was sufficient to take the Division Two (15 handicap and above) title. Michael Maguire (21) came in second on 33 and Arthur Heck (22) on 30 took third place.On Friday 7th December a much smaller group headed off to Pattaya Country Club to complete the week’s golf. This is another course we haven’t played for a while and I am glad it is back on the agenda. Mike Rushant (11), continuing his good form of previous weeks, took first place on 35pts, winning on count back from Ito Akitoshi (8). Fergus Brennan (9) trailed in third on 33ptsGood luck to all you golfers for the coming week.Mike Rushant.
PSC golf from The Golf Club Sports BarMonday, Nov. 1, Green Valley – Stableford1st Jim Bryan (18) 37pts2nd Roger Koehler (24) 35pts3rd Allen Wittingham (11) 34ptsOur comp today experienced some unfortunate conditions: at times there was more sand on the greens than in the bunkers. Jim Bryan handled the sand the best and came in with 37 points for the win. Roger Koehler got hot on the home stretch and finished alone on 35 points. Allen Wittingham had a back nine 20 and beat out John Emmerson and Brad Sproxton.Wednesday,Nov 3. Phoenix – Stableford1st John Emmerson (10) 34pts2nd John Dearden (19) 34pts3rd George Young (13) 33pts4th Henry O’Brien (18) 33ptsThe recently coiffed John Emmerson pressed his way to a victory today with a fine back nine 19 points. John Deardon blobbed his was to a back nine 16 points to be snipped on count-back. The same could be said for the battle for third where George Young hit the frame on his last golfing day before heading back to the UK, beating out Henry O’Brien.Friday, Nov. 5, The Emerald – Stableford1st Brent Merron (9) 39pts2nd John Walsh (20) 37pts3rd Otto Schmid (27) 35pts4th Brian Holden (7) 35ptsA larger than normal group today took on the challenge of the sloped and sanded greens at Emerald. Brent Merron led the way with a fine 39 points; however “The Gentleman” John Walsh was the talk of the day – fresh off a lesson with Richard Livingston he raced out on the front nine in 24 points. Sadly succumbing to the pressure, he dragged himself around the back in just 13.Otto Schmid had a fine back nine of 22 to beat out Brian Holden and Sugar Ray Handford respectively. Thanks to all for joining us this week.Note: The Golf Club is located on Soi LK Metro, off Soi Buakhao and Soi Diana junction. We can be reached on 085 434 3377 or email@example.com and our new website is www.golfclubpattaya.com.
FridayDFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: Visitors using the group fitness membership can avail of the THB 2,000 offer for five visits to the gym after their membership has expired. The offer includes unlimited use of DFiT facilities including tennis courts. For more information, call 038-425611 ext. DFiT.1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets upstairs at Altos Restaurant, 144/99 Thappraya Road near flyover. Contact Jeremy Watson 085 818 2172, www.pattayabridge.org.2:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Bowling at PS Bowl on the top floor of Tops Supermarket at the junction of Central and Second Roads. Contact La at PS after 1:30 p.m.SaturdayPattaya Archery Club meets between 10am and 12 midday every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at our dedicated shooting range within easy reach of Pattaya, near the new railway road. Beginners of all ages are welcome, and equipment and coaching are free. For more information call Eric, the club President , on 089 535 1193 or visit www.pattayaarcheryclub.com Ocean Marina Yacht Club invites experienced sailors and learners for racing weekends and funsail/training weekends. The club has 5 star clubhouse facilities and a fleet of 25′ racing yachts available. www.omycsailing.com, phone Kev Scott 087 825 0011.8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School. Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: firstname.lastname@example.org:00 a.m. – noon & 2 – 6 p.m. (Sat & Sun – Also Monday to Friday) Horseback riding at the Horseshoe Point Riding Academy, the biggest equestrian center in South-East Asia. Show jumping, hacking, trail, dressage and classical dressage. Training courses from beginners to advanced riders with English speaking instructors. Leisure trail riding, group and private classes. All levels of riders welcome. Over 100 horses and ponies available. Located on 1,500 acres of beautiful tropical garden land just outside Pattaya. Free shuttle service available. For more information: phone (+66) 3873 – 5050 (ext. 4016-18), fax (+66) 3873 – 4973 or email: email@example.com:30 am. -10:00 am. International Players Academy meets every Sat. morning for Jr. Intermediate level Tennis at Ambassador City Tennis Courts. Visitors are welcome, just bring your tennis racket, ages range from 10-16. For more details call CJ on 086 086 2121Indoor Lawn Bowls Free at Coco Club every Saturday for school or college aged children from 11.00am – 2.00pm, with Male – English and Female Thai tutors. Parents can sit at the bar and watch. New champions needed! Call Sue on 087 135 8357 or pop in to the club at Baan Amphur – signposted behind Phoenix Golf.3.00 pm – Pattaya Cricket Club practice nets at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. All ages and abilities welcome. Please contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.orgSundayBadminton players are invited to play 3 mornings a week at X-zyte Sports Club on Third Road. We play 10-12am Sunday, Tuesday and Friday with a mix of mostly 50+ farangs and younger Thai’s.The Amazing Sunday Golfers are a friendly group of average index who welcome new players. Each Sunday they have friendly games on different courses with a meeting point at the course. Contact Philippe at 082 546 0770 or email email@example.com to be updated each week for the upcoming game.8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School. Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: firstname.lastname@example.org:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Softball plays slow pitch recreational pick-ups games at every Sunday at 12 noon. New players always welcome regardless of skill level, experience, age or time away from the game. For more information and directions see the softball page at the Pattaya Sports Club website www.pattayasports.org or contact John at email@example.com or call 089-932-54332:00 p.m. The Pattaya Backgammon League (PBL) meets every Sunday at B.G. House & Restaurant @ 2 p.m. For further details phone 081 664 9085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org:00 p.m. Pattaya Jungle H3 meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month and departure is from the Lek Hotel on 2nd Rd at 3pm. For more info please call Kai on 01 863 5095.Monday1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets upstairs at Altos Restaurant, 144/99 Thappraya Road near flyover. Contact Jeremy Watson 085 818 2172, www.pattayabridge.org.2:45 p.m. Pattaya Hash House Harriers: The club for drinking people with a running problem meets every Monday at 2.45 pm at the Lek Hotel, (between Soi 12 & 13 on 2nd Road). The bus leaves at 3.00 pm, and the run starts at 4.30pm. More info at www.pattayah3.comTuesdayChess and Scrabble Club: every Tuesday 12pm – 5pm at Hoek-Van-Holland in Jomtien. Take Thappraya Road to intersection with Beach Road. Dong Tan Police sub-station is right there. Walk back towards Pattaya 10 meters along walking path. Hoek-Van-Holland is on the right, before the parking lot. Bring your own chess set and/or scrabble board. For more information please see website www.hoek-van-holland.com – Everyone welcome.The Pattaya Chess Club meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30 p.m. onwards at Brauhaus on 2nd Road between Soi 7 and Soi 8. Learners and anybody who would like to play chess are most welcome. Boards and clocks are provided.Pattaya Ladies Netball Club: 7.30 pm every Tuesday at Fairtex Sports Club. All ages and abilities are welcome. 100 baht per person. Please email email@example.com to confirm or find us on Facebook – ‘Pattaya Ladies Tuesday Night Netball’Wednesday1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets upstairs at Altos Restaurant, 144/99 Thappraya Road near flyover. Contact Jeremy Watson 085 818 2172, www.pattayabridge.org.3.00 pm – Pattaya Cricket Club practice nets at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. All ages and abilities welcome. Please contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org pm – Club Petanque Thailand plays Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. The court is open for groups every day. New and bigger surface. Very good drainage as well as better lighting. No membership fee. Find us at Soi Nernplabwan 100/2 Moo7, next to Sutawas Temple and small Banglamung Police station. Contact: 085 280 7182, fax 038 248 067, email: petanque.Th@gmail.com (English, French, German, Scandinavian); (Thai & Chinese: 080 618 2831.)Thursday7:00 p.m. Pattaya Panthers and Panties (mixed) Touch Rugby every Thursday night at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. New players are always welcome – we are a very sociable team! Please contact Paul Crouch on 089 902 6286 or email@example.com
Archbishop Wood’s Jarrett McClenton (1) and Devon Cobb (5) show the PIAA Class AAA championship trophy to fans after the team’s win over Central Valley in Hershey, Pa. on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. Archbishop Wood won 33-14. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Another state championship for Archbishop Wood and another postseason plug for senior running back Jarrett McClenton.Less than two weeks after McClenton drove District 12 champion Archbishop Wood to its third Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association title in four seasons, the Villanova recruit picked up Player of the Year honors with Monday’s release of the PA Football Writers’ Class AAA All-State team.McClenton, who rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns in the Vikings’ 33-14 triumph over WPIAL power Central Valley on Dec. 12, edged Warriors’ star Jordan Whitehead for the state’s top honor.McClenton, who finished the season with 2,191 yards and 254 total points, is joined by senior offensive lineman Ryan Bates and senior linebacker Jake Cooper, both two-time selections and Penn State recruits.Archbishop Wood’s B.J. Powell (17) reaches for Central Valley’s Jordan Whitehead (3) during the first half of a PIAA, Class AAA championship football game in Hershey, Pa. on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)Whitehead, a Pittsburgh commit, rushed for nearly 2,000 yards on just 148 carries, but was tagged for his performance in the Central Valley secondary. The senior picked off six passes and was among the state’s most dangerous return men.After guiding his team to the semifinal round, Somerset’s Bob Landis was tagged coach of the year. Senior defensive back Brody Smith led three players selected from Jersey Shore while senior wide receiver Freddie Simmons was among three players selected from Bethlehem Catholic.State semifinalist Bishop McDevitt earned six spots, led by returning all-state picks in senior quarterback Nick Marsilio, senior running back Andre Robinson and junior wide receiver Kobay White.___2014 PENNSYLVANIA FOOTBALL WRITERS’ ALL-STATE TEAM, CLASS AAAQUARTERBACKTravis Edmond, Southern Lehigh – 6-1, 185 seniorNick Marsilio, Bishop McDevitt, 6-3, 205 seniorHunter Merritt, Conneaut – 6-1, 185 juniorJulian Spigner, Bethlehem Catholic – 6-3, 190 juniorRUNNING BACKJarrett McClenton, Archbishop Wood – 5-8, 165 seniorAndre Robinson, Bishop McDevitt – 5-11, 210 seniorFrank Aigeldinger, Crestwood – 6-1, 220 seniorMichael McDaniel, Bethlehem Catholic – 5-11, 195 seniorAustin Kemp, Thomas Jefferson – 5-11, 210 seniorWIDE RECEIVERCharlie Fessler, Cathedral Prep – 6-4, 194 seniorRiley Stapleton, Indiana – 6-5, 205 seniorKobay White, Bishop McDevitt – 6-1, 190 juniorD.J. Moore, Imhotep Charter – 6-0, 200 seniorFreddie Simmons, Bethlehem Catholic – 6-3, 175 seniorTIGHT ENDNaseir Upshur, Imhotep Charter – 6-2, 230 juniorOFFENSIVE LINEMENRyan Bates, Archbishop Wood – 6-5, 280 seniorChad Zunich, Manheim Central – 6-3, 310 seniorHayden Mahoney, Malvern Prep – 6-5, 280 seniorAnthony Long, Bishop McDevitt – 6-3, 292 juniorZach Venesky, Valley View – 6-5, 290 seniorATHLETEBryce Boyd, Cathedral Prep – 5-9, 185 juniorPhil Overton, Red Land – 5-10, 175 seniorKICKERChristian Puzzi, Blue Mountain – 5-9, 150 juniorDEFENSIVE LINEMENBryce Mostoller, Somerset – 6-3, 235 seniorBryce Charles, Jersey Shore – 6-0, 240 juniorRyan Buchholz, Great Valley – 6-5, 235 seniorJames Trucilla, Cathedral Prep – 6-2, 266 seniorDom Loffredo, Jersey Shore – 6-0, 190 seniorLINEBACKERJake Cooper, Archbishop Wood – 6-2, 220 seniorBrett Zanotto, Franklin Regional – 6-1, 219 seniorQue’Shawn Jenkins, Bishop McDevitt – 6-1, 225 seniorBrock Stoudt, Muhlenberg – 6-1, 220 seniorTrevor Morris, Malvern Prep – 6-2, 200 seniorDEFENSIVE BACKJordan Whitehead, Central Valley – 5-11, 180 seniorBrody Smith, Jersey Shore – 6-1, 174 seniorLance Blass, Crestwood – 6-1, 183 sophomoreBrandon Stanback, Bishop McDevitt – 6-0, 190 senior___PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jarrett McClenton, Archbishop WoodCOACH OF THE YEAR: Bob Landis, Somerset
In this Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens senior director of security Darren Sanders removes signs that were posted in support of former Ravens running back Ray Rice in front of the NFL football team’s headquarters, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)BALTIMORE (AP) – The Baltimore Ravens’ security director is accused of groping a woman and pressing up against her at the team’s stadium after a December game, according to court documents obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.Charging documents filed in Baltimore City District Court said 48-year-old Darren Sanders is also accused of kissing the 34-year-old woman’s neck and attempting to force her to grab his genitals.Ravens senior vice president Kevin Byrne said Wednesday that Sanders has been placed on paid leave, per the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He isn’t with the team and won’t travel to Pittsburgh for the Ravens’ playoff game Saturday night.Sanders’ lawyers say he denies the allegations.The woman worked at M&T Bank Stadium and was asked to escort Sanders to another part of the building several hours after the Ravens beat the Jaguars on Dec. 14, the court documents said.“He hit and/or groped her buttocks more than once as they walked down the third level hallway,” the victim told Baltimore police Sgt. Kerry Snead, who outlined the accusations in court documents.The documents said after the grabbing and other advances, the woman walked away, and told several co-workers what had happened. A witness also saw part of their interaction, the documents said.A hearing is set for Feb. 9.“We are investigating this case thoroughly,” Ravens senior vice president Kevin Byrne said Wednesday.Byrne said the woman is not a team employee. The Associated Press does not generally identify alleged victims of sex offenses.The charge against Sanders lists his address as that of the Ravens’ team headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland. Normally, defendants in a criminal case are required to list a home address.Sanders’ lawyers said he did nothing wrong.“He is innocent and looks forward to his day in court,” the firm of Alperstein & Diener said in a statement.“Mr. Sanders has worked his entire career to keep others safe as a police officer and as a detective with the Baltimore City Police Department and currently as the senior security director for the Baltimore Ravens,” the statement said. “He is a man who possesses tremendous integrity, and he has worked to ensure public safety by protecting the health, welfare and security of the community.”A spokesman for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office on Wednesday declined comment, saying the office does not comment on active cases. A Baltimore police spokesman did not immediately respond to multiple requests.In Maryland, a fourth-degree sex offense is the lowest level of such a charge. It’s punishable by a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.News of the summons was first reported by the Baltimore Sun.Sanders’ first year as a full-time employee with the Ravens was 2004.This year, Sanders launched the Ravens’ investigation into the Ray Rice domestic violence case after being told by a police officer details of a video that showed Rice hitting his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator.Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in a news conference in September that the officer described the scene to Sanders, who relayed the information to other team officials.“So, (he gave) his description to Darren, Darren took notes and gave his description as he understood it to (coach) John (Harbaugh) and (general manager) and Ozzie (Newsome), I believe,” Bisciotti said.In 2004, Sanders was charged with bringing a concealed pistol into an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he was shot in the hip when the gun accidentally fired. Sanders, identified in archived accounts of the incident as an off-duty Baltimore police detective, was working at the game as a bodyguard for Bisciotti.It’s unclear whether Sanders was convicted of the charge against him.