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Here, my friends, is the bracket you’re up against in your effort to win a free Landmark subscription.
FIRST ROUND WINNERS: Kentucky, Purdue, Buffalo, Valparaiso, Texas, Notre Dame, Wichita State, Kansas, Wisconsin, Oregon, Wofford, North Carolina, Mississippi, Baylor, VCU, Arizona, Villanova, North Carolina State, Northern Iowa, Louisville, Providence, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Virginia, Duke, St. SWEET SIXTEEN: Kentucky, Buffalo, Texas, Wichita State, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Baylor, Arizona, Villanova, Northern Iowa, Providence, Virginia, Duke, Stephen F. ELITE EIGHT: Kentucky, Wichita State, Wisconsin, Baylor, Northern Iowa, Virginia, Duke, Gonzaga. Grab a snack and your favorite beverage and settle in near a TV during some of the tournament games. If hired, your first assignment is to interpret this email sent out recently by Beverlee Roper, first district county commissioner in Platte County. Heard an interesting observation recently by someone in regard to the wild and crazy growth projections school districts like Park Hill and Platte County R-3 have been spouting recently. When even those observers on the left side of the aisle are questioning projections of exploding enrollment, you know the school districts have a bit of a credibility problem on their hands. Guy Speckman, publisher of the Savannah Reporter, has been on a roll with observations about public school spending, hitting home runs on a weekly basis.
The book entitled The Silence, The Series and The Season of Sungwoo by our man Chris Kamler becomes available this week.
While many of us see an intersection of two state highways and think that would be a great place for a revenue-generating, respected public-serving entity like a QuikTrip, many folks at Parkville see an intersection of two major highways and think that would be a great place to plant a pawpaw tree or build a tribute to the hummingbird.
Oh, and there’s more than just a scathing state audit facing some folks within the St. As Guy Speckman, publisher of the Savannah Reporter, wisely says in his column in our Other Voices item on this page, it should be a wake-up call for all local governments and the elected officials who serve on governing bodies.
It’s time for those who serve on boards to stop nodding heads in agreement at every proposal placed in front of them and start asking some tough questions of those who serve underneath them.
Based on what I’m about to remind you, there would seem to be reason to at least put this topic on your radar. In a story we did last April, The Landmark reported that Platte County R-3 had re-hired Westbrook and Co.
Reik explained he used a rubric to determine which company was the best firm to meet the needs of the district. In that same Landmark article from last April in discussing why he recommended taking Westbrook over the lower bidder, it was reported that Reik said Westbrook officials are very helpful. Congressman Sam Graves came walking into The Landmark office Friday afternoon carrying his lunch, which was a bag of fast-food from Sonic. We saw this play out in 2011 and 2012 when projections of rapid and enormous growth in student enrollment at Platte County R-3 were making the rounds. If that’s the case, Park Hill is now projecting a growth rate of as high as 666 students per year.
We do know of a common denominator involved in those earlier wildly incorrect growth projections made at Platte County R-3 and the new ones being made at Park Hill. Architects make good money off of the construction of large, new, expensive buildings, am I right?
Even one of the biggest government bureaucrats around, first district Platte County Commissioner Beverlee Roper, has been known to preach repeatedly against public debt.
Check out the letter to the editor on this page for the first return volley against Reik’s comment. My guess is that if R-3 had a very low amount of debt per student, proponents of the proposed tax increase would be touting that as a very positive sign of the district’s fiscal health and past financial management practices.
After many hours of thoughtful deliberation (in other words, in a 30-second conversation that consisted of yelling to each other while walking out separate doors of a building), Chris Kamler and I have decided upon a date, place and time for his book signing event in Platte County. His book is about the Kansas City Royals and that Korean dude who flew in during the Royals’ magical 2014 season.
We’ll have the official Landmark Newspaper Plinko board set up for anyone willing to give it a whirl.
You’ve read stories in this fine newspaper about crimes occurring at Platte County hotels in what is known as the KCI corridor along Interstate 29. Last week’s event that you saw on our front page featured gunshots when perpetrators fired at a person who had spotted someone in his pickup in a hotel parking lot. If hotel staff members are debating whether a situation warrants a call to 9-1-1, that’s when they need to call 9-1-1, Lewis said. Sheriff Owen backed up the KC police official’s concerns about shoplifting in the corridor.
So public transportation, the lack of which is cursed by economic development officials who blame it in part for a perceived shortage in available workforce, has its downside in the law enforcement arena. FYI, Lewis mentioned the Kansas City Police Department’s North Patrol division leads the Kansas City metro area in the number of vehicles stolen while the engine is running with the doors unlocked. Does the Quality Platte County R-3 Schools committee realize the owner of the consulting firm they hired has compared their election campaign to O-rings under a toilet? A reader sent me this question: If the Platte County R-3 proposal is so great why do they need a nationally-known political consultant to make their case? Word on the street is that the Quality Platte County R-3 Schools committee will be using a political consulting firm in an effort to help it pass the proposed 43-cent tax levy increase in the April 7 election. The political consulting firm that has been contacted by Quality Platte County R-3 Schools? Laura Hulett, deputy treasurer for the Quality Platte County R-3 Schools committee, would not verify whether the committee has hired a consulting firm. Two weeks ago I reached Roe on his cell phone to ask him whether his company has struck a deal to assist the R-3 pro-tax group. Roe told me he didn’t know if his company has a deal in place with the R-3 pro-tax committee. These are the types of conversations that two guys who generally don’t give a crap have with one another.
If you take some time to digest the situation in its entirety, let’s not be totally shocked by the alleged partnership of R-3 pro-taxers with the normally anti-tax firm of Axiom.
Axiom did work for a Kansas City zoo tax proposal not too many years ago, so this wouldn’t be the first time it has consulted on the pro-tax side of an issue.
Sources inside the administration building say Nancy Armstrong, new county clerk, has disposed of at least one of the employees she had inherited from previous clerk Joan Harms. Check out the coverage of a couple of important local business stories on our front page this week by assistant editor Valerie Verkamp. And what about the gunfire outside a Platte County hotel after a witness approached three black males who were allegedly performing smash-and-grabs upon vehicles in the parking lot?
No matter how hectic a day I might be having, when I see someone about to walk in the front door of the local license bureau office I realize my day isn’t so bad after all. There are some interesting-looking dudes and dudettes doing business at that location every day. Kansas City-area community centers are throwing out vending machines and switching to healthy food snack options, so from now on you’ll have to sneak in your own Twinkies and Ho Hos. Some of the early reaction by county commissioners to the four proposals for Shiloh Springs Golf Course that came in from potential management firms is fascinating.
Beverlee Roper, first district county commissioner, must have had a good night’s sleep the night before because she actually seemed focused and on point for most of the Shiloh discussion. Other than that Groundhog Day reference which thankfully was ignored by the other two commissioners, Roper made some common sense comments and observations, which means by next meeting she’ll be ready to run from the stances she took this week. Roper pointed out it looks to her that Shiloh was designed postage stamp style on a piece of property, rather than flowing in a more unlimited manner that a golf course designer probably would have liked.
Duane Soper, second district commissioner who is a golfer and user of the Shiloh course, countered that he thinks Shiloh can one day make money. Now is the time to start focusing on ways to cut losses, move on and get rid of the annual financial drain.
There’s a lot of studying that will need to be done to sift through the gory details of Martin’s proposal, but my first reaction? And here’s another benefit, especially for supporters of the parks department who may not be avid golfers.
As you’ll see in our story inside this issue, Parkville and Platte City have police budgets that amount to an expenditure of $229 per resident. According to information gathered by DJ Gehrt, city administrator for Platte City, Riverside’s police budget equates to $1,006 per resident of Riverside. As your Landmark heads to press Wednesday, we’re being told the thermometer will hit 70 degrees later this afternoon. That being said, I wouldn’t mind having to kick my pickup into four-wheel drive at least once this winter. The Quality Platte County R-3 Schools committee, the campaign organization promoting passage of the 43-cent tax levy question on the April ballot, is already at work.
In 2012, Platte County R-3’s levy increase proposal was soundly defeated 55% opposed to 45% in favor. We will assume that’s a Platte City address, though the paperwork does not list the city, state or zip. Deputy treasurer is listed as Laura Hulett, who is employed as a public relations person by the school district. Missouri Ethics Commission finally posted a copy of the agreement it reached with the Park Hill School District after Park Hill was found to have committed an ethics violation (see Landmark front page in Jan.
Conditions were a little weird covering President Obama’s trip to the region Thursday. I don’t know who was in charge of deciding in what setting this speech would be held, but it turned into a barn-like event inside what they called the Anschutz Sports Pavilion.
This was my fourth time covering an Obama appearance in the KC area, Valerie’s third. Tuesday night I headed to City Hall in downtown Platte City for a meeting of the economic development subcommittee. These various Platte City subcommittee meetings, while often newsworthy, are also often very short.
We did get to hear a presentation from Bo Woodruff about AMVETS’ fundraising efforts to acquire a tankchair, which is a heavy duty off-road wheelchair. If you’re wondering how acquiring a tricked out wheelchair for community use winds up being tagged as an economic development discussion, join the club. While I strongly support the acquisition of the contraption, hope the fundraising effort is successful, and agree the wheelchair would be beneficial to local disabled persons, I would not anticipate a flood of new economic activity being generated because of it.
Next on the agenda for the economic development subcommittee was an item dealing with shredding of older city documents. Platte City Mayor Frank Offutt let it be known that the city turns 175 years old in 2015 and there will be some kind of celebration--or at least an observance of some sort--tentatively set for Saturday, July 4. The mayor also informed the economic development subcommittee that an anchor from the USS Platte, a former fleet oiler vessel, is available to the city. The mayor indicated the anchor will be placed in the city’s small park next to the Platte River at the foot of Main Street, which has a name but most of us only know it as the small park next to the Platte River at the foot of Main Street.
It has been great to have the skills of assistant editor Valerie Verkamp back on The Landmark news beat the past couple of weeks. Occasionally it becomes time to clean out my news notebooks, review those sticky notes attached to my desk and place any news nuggets into this column space before I forget to get them distributed to the fine readers of this newspaper.
Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years now, and most people think that they were initially tamed for one thing and one thing only: hunting.
Understanding how dogs help people is important in order to realize what the benefits of having a dog actually are, and the list is not a short one by any stretch of the imagination. With the right training, motivation and dedication, any dog can turn from being just an ordinary house pet into a courageous and loving personal hero. That being said, let’s look at a few of the ways in which dogs help us, and see what makes these dogs do what they do.
The nice thing about this area is the fact that all breeds can be civil service dogs, from the traditional German shepherds, corgis and Dalmatians to the more unorthodox and slightly controversial Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and bulldogs, there was even a Chihuahua registered as a civil service dog. Believe it or not, these dogs are adopted as puppies by families with this predestined goal. Needless to say, these families are carefully selected and the dog in question receives a comfortable, loving and healthy upbringing, socializing and getting used to a metric ton of people as well as other animals and environments. After the dog is returned to the social services, he or she receives special training in order to safely and quickly identify certain queues and signs that help us throughout our day to day lives.
The dog needs to be able to guide and assist the human that it is assigned to, and always keep him or her out of harm’s way. After that bit of training is done, the dog then goes into the last bit of training, the “etiquette” part.
As you may of have seen, assistance dogs or seeing eye dogs tend to receive special treatment, being allowed to enter everywhere, and roam around where their heart pleases. That being said, the service dog has to possess certain knowledge and rules regarding the establishments that he or she will be walking in. After that is all said and done, the dog meets the human that he or she will be helping from then on, they will be supervised by a social security worker for around a week and then they will be left to their own business. It is important to note that these dogs will never, under any imaginable circumstance, bite a human, not even as a manner of playfulness.
Another thing to note about these dogs is the fact that even though they have their owners best interest and safety in mind constantly, these dogs will be lacking in the courage department, and if an altercation arises, either with a pack of dogs or with other humans, they will tend to back off and escort the human to safety through other means. Also known as canine police officers, these dogs are seen as majestic, brave and statuesque by the ones that they are protecting, and horrible, ruthless, merciless and relentless by the ones that they hunt down, and amusingly enough both sides are right. These dogs are bred, raised and trained in such a way that enables them to become the perfect crime fighting and crime preventing dogs, and they waste no time ceasing that opportunity. And so, police forces around the world have settled on breeds that can be classified as being big, but not incredibly big. Out of all these breeds, the most prominent police dogs are German Shepherds because of their outstanding level of intelligence as well as physical prowess.
This one is a little bit iffy because it differs from country to country, however the general rule applies, the dog must be strong and above all else loyal, so the dog’s training starts as soon as he or she is born.
As soon as the pup reaches 3 – 6 months of age, he or she is then given to a police officer who will act as the dog’s handler for the remainder of the dog’s life.
Even though these dogs are part of a police force, it does not mean that the dogs themselves have restricted roles.
These dogs are treated by other police officers as their equals, and just like human police officers, the dogs receive vacation days, ranks, promotions, demotions, medals, merits and even the right to retirement. That’s right, these dogs will not serve the force until the end of their days, but rather until they grow very old at which point it can either remain with the handler as a house pet, be put up for adoption or simply sent out to a family that needs a skilled dog. This issue often arises at the age of retirement, when the dog is old and already has a lifetime of police work under his or her belt, and might not have the patience or willingness to learn how to socialize with other dogs. Another thing worth mentioning here is the fact that these dogs spend the vast majority of their time doing police work, and an abrupt stop can take its toll on them. By far the meanest, the most rugged and at the same time the most devoted ones end up in the military.
Dogs have played a crucial role in warfare ever since World War 1, when they acted as mail couriers and messengers between trenches.
This is also why it has become a custom to cut the tails and the tips of the ears of certain dog breeds. Historically, the Doberman, the Boxer and the German Shepherd have been the all-time stars and favorites of combat theaters all over the world, however recently Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, Bulldogs, Dogo Argentinos, and Amstaffs have joined their ranks. Today dogs are actual soldiers mostly used mostly for special operations and these fearless canines have seen action and even made history in the Middle East.
They have next to no contact with civilians and are accustomed to life in a barracks from an early age. They are deployed into action as soon as they reach adulthood, and are handled by specially trained handlers in order to keep them relatively safe on the battlefield. Make no mistake about it, these dogs are not bad dogs, they are not dangerous, they are not particularly aggressive, however they are bred and trained to think and act like a soldier, braving the front lines, staring danger right in the face and defying it at every turn. After a lifetime of military service, these dogs earn a respectful and honorable retirement, and just like police dogs they are either given to the handler alongside which the dog has fought, or to families or people that are in need of such a disciplined dog. Out of all the areas of service that dogs activate in, the military one is by far the most demanding, not just physical but also psychological. Luckily enough dogs don’t usually suffer the full extent of this ailment, and can recover over the course of a couple of years. Dogs are a lot more than just pets, they are the eyes that you need when yours give up on you, they are the ones that keep the streets safe, the ones that are defending you abroad and saving you in case you get trapped under fallen buildings. Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. The information contained on this website meant to be a substitute for advice from your own veterinarian or dog trainer. Football fans have a curious love for certainties – knowing that this player was definitely better than that one, that one club is clearly bigger than the other – that seems to be a product of the untidy nature of the game itself. While even something as free flowing as basketball, for example, comes with a 24-second shot clock that turns a match into a series of incredibly detailed set pieces, football lends itself to a constant state of semi-anarchy where anything could happen at any time. We’re forever trying to throw boundaries around this sport, little pieces of territory that easier to understand the more bite-sized we can make them. So when something as monumental as the undisputed Best Club Side Ever get completely outclassed in a 4-0 drubbing, it’s understandable that people start preparing a new section in their mental History of Football Wikipedia article. Sure, there are some fairly obvious problems with this Barcelona team – but if you spotted them, you can bet that Tito Vilanova has too. The over-reliance on Messi is a slightly harder problem to solve, but again can be attributed at least in part to Vilanova’s health issues.
The two most eligible managers in Europe over the summer will be Jupp Heynckes and Manuel Pellegirini, but they both know only too well how Madrid teaches its managers, and are unlikely to want another taste. Andre Villas-Boas has only been in the door five minutes at Spurs, and his experience at Chelsea has left him too financially comfortable and too wary of mega-club politicking to make abandoning his fledgling White Hart Lane project worthwhile. There are few clubs who have flirted with relegation and almost gone out of business before then, just a season later, managing to win the league and consolidate in the Blue Square Bet Premier. However, that’s exactly what the Tigers have done and they’ve also had to deal with plenty of other difficulties as well. The club was originally founded in 1885 before changing its name to Hyde United shortly after the war, although they didn’t simply ‘let their club die’ and start again as many teams often do – they remain the same club.
In terms of recent years, perhaps the most dramatic point for the club was being wound up in 2009, only for a bucket collection at nearby Manchester City and an often misunderstood deal with The Citizens to save them.
The collections were able to pay for the money the club owed but as the club’s fans state, there was still the matter of a “tax liability which, while it wasn’t quite old enough to be included in the Court figure, still had to be paid ASAP, together with other liabilities”.
Hence, City stepped in and helped out financially, agreeing a frontloaded deal with Hyde to pay this off in return for the use of Hyde’s Ewen Fields as their reserve team venue. It did mean that Hyde were forced to repaint their ground so that it matched City’s blue, rather than United’s red, however. Many people, often those keen to falsely accuse Hyde of ‘selling their soul’, say they wore blue as well for the sake of securing City’s money but the club again claim the reason was that they wore the traditional white and navy colours to mark Hyde’s anniversary. All in all, it seems to be a win-win situation and, when the deal comes to a close at the end of this season, the ground will be repainted, the club will remain intact without any debt and Hyde fans will be able to cheer on a team that has just retained its Conference status for next year. One would venture that, when the deal was first agreed, most Hyde fans would have settled for a few years of consolidation with little drama. Not bad for a part-time side with the fourth lowest average attendance in the league of 789 which is sandwiched between the top two clubs in the country in City and United. It’s also impressive when you consider that Gary Lowe and Martin Booty, the duo who got Hyde promoted to the Conference resigned their posts just a few weeks after the title win due to budget disagreements. Few things are easy in non-league football, especially when you’re dining at its top table as a smaller club, but Hyde seem to keep on bouncing back. I suppose haters are always going to hate, especially from fans of supposedly bigger non-clubs around the Manchester area, but the accusations and hurdles don’t seem to be doing Hyde FC any harm at all. Take the example from another England game that influenced the debate, the Euro 2012 group stage clash with Ukraine. In the past few months, however, I’ve come to accept that my position on goal-line technology is shared only by Uefa president Michel Platini, and for different reasons. Barcelona were teetering, with only 30 minutes remaining to save their Champions League campaign after a lively Paris St Germain performance had left the Catalans looking shaky and bereft of ideas. So if effectively removing one of Messi’s legs isn’t enough to stop him being a rampant footballing force – if he can single-handedly bamboozle a team put together at the cost of more than 20 contentious ex-Prime Minister’s funerals while nursing an injury that would cause most mortals to forego standing up, much less participation in elite athletic activity – then how can he ever be stopped?
Little over one year since they were first announced, A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers will this Friday take to the field at Parramatta Stadium in their semi finals clash with Brisbane Roar. In a way, the game represents a battle between new and old in Australia football, as the Wanderers face a Brisbane side who can trace their history back to 1957, and have two league titles to their name. Although a current 12 game winning streak may suggest victory for Western Sydney is likely, whatever the result the Wanderers can be proud of an incredible season.
But to get a real understanding of the significance of the Wanderers’ achievement, it’s important to describe their rocky road to the A-League. From even before the league’s beginning, groups have advocated for a team in the western suburbs of Sydney.
Almost a decade after that report was released, the New South Wales capital still only had a lone A-League representative. With the A-League struggling as newly formed clubs collapsed left, right and centre, it would take a bold bet to set the league back on a prosperous path.
Despite being backed by Football Federation Australia and the Australian government, many were dubious that a club could go from nothing to being able to field a side in the forthcoming season only six months later.
While the signing of manager Tony Popovic a month later may have been greeted with approval, the 39-year-old’s lack of experience didn’t soothe the worries of many sceptical fans. Eventually the players started to trickle in, but again the slowly assembled roster didn’t allay the fears of many. With the new season looming, rumours that German star Michael Ballack was considering a switch to the Wanderers quickly caught the media’s attention, only for the team to instead choose little known Japanese midfielder Shinji Ono. An immensely passionate supporters group has flourished, and bar a few minor incidents, the Red and Black Bloc have been credited with creating possibly the best match day atmosphere in the A-League. All in all, it has been an incredible rise for the Wanderers, and they now find themselves just two games shy of claiming the A-League double in their first ever season. And so they face perennial powerhouse Brisbane Roar on Friday night (AEST), in the first A-League semi final of the weekend. The game also takes on an emotional significance for the Wanderers after the tragic death of their media manager Rod Allen over the Easter weekend. If they can go all the way, the achievement will arguably represent one of the greatest accomplishments in world football of recent years.
As introductions to top-flight management go, Paolo Di Canio’s has been little short of disastrous. The County Ground, home of Swindon Town, lies next to the town’s most notorious landmark – a tortuous loop of bewildering road junctions known as The Magic Roundabout.
The jewel in Swindon’s potted history, despite better documented recent events, remains the 1969 League Cup final. Their next moment in the spotlight, 21 years later, again showed the club’s taste for the big occasion - but also the habit that the fates had for ruining their big day.
One of the great joys of the English football pyramid is the impact that a freshly promoted team can make in its new, rarefied surroundings. This very website recently claimed that Gorman once insisted on a contract clause allowing him to follow Hoddle to pastures new. It was then that they took what seemed a hopeless gamble - opting not to appoint a seasoned hand to work the tiller, but giving the hot tempered, ref chasing Italian tyro, Paolo Di Canio, his first job in management.
After a chaotic decade drifting down the leagues, Swindon found renewed purpose, and cruised to the League Two title.
Shock and disappointment turned to farce as the Italian broke back into his own office to collect a few unnamed ‘personal items’. As Paolo Di Canio begins a new life on the big stage, spare a thought for his former club, dealt another body blow in an endless search for stability. With the news that Abou Diaby’s legs have quit on him once again, it reminds me that Arsenal football club have paid a heavy price for changing the culture of English football. While the careers of Aaron Ramsey, Eduardo da Silva, and Abou Diaby have not panned out according to hopes, it is also fair to say that the club has no idea where their careers mays have gone had they stayed healthy.
Secondly I look back on the whole awful tackle trilogy and reflect on champions and how fragile a championship season truly can be. This may be the least flashy newsflash to ever blink across your eyes, but it doesn’t make the news part any less true. This fait is now so accompli that Alex Ferguson this week stated that his target for this season is now to break the record Premier League points total, set at 95 by the muscular vintage of Jose Mourinho’s 2004-05 Chelsea team.
When you think back over the great United sides of recent history, they had at least one department of transcendent, pantheon-level quality.
The 1999 side possessed a four-man unit that will be brought up in misty-eyed pub conversations about the all-time great midfields for generations to come. So no, Manchester United are not eyeballing a place in history thanks to the raw power of their scintillating team, but rather are fortunate to playing in a season where every top club is caught up in a transitional period, but United’s is less transitory than the others.
Spurs are transitioning up the way – a new coach, a new philosophy and new personnel have them on their way towards challenging for next year’s title, providing they can keep Gareth Bale and add some depth to the front and sides of their player pool.
You can only play what’s in front of you, as they say – and looking at the quality of the obstacles between Man United and the record they suggests a very large and problematic asterisk should be pasted next their potential achievement.
A trophyless United came third while handing an awful lot of starts to Roy Carroll, Alan Smith and Mikael Silvestre.


Context is key in all sporting discussions, and this United squad look set to fuel many heated pub debates on the subject of greatness. On our flight back from Dusseldorf to Stansted last Monday night, my friends and I, who had taken in two Bundesliga games over the weekend, wondered if any Germans fans had made the opposite journey at the same time to watch the Premier League. The most likely trip for them, from a geographical point of view anyway, would’ve been to watch Man United vs Reading on Saturday, then Wigan vs Newcastle on Sunday. Considering the two factors of cost and entertainment are what ultimately dictates a fan’s decision to go to the match, its little wonder why the German football experience is becoming increasingly popular to the British, and why it had become a pilgrimage my friends and I had to make. We were among 80,000 of them at the Westfalenstadion on the Saturday to see Borussia Dortmund face Freiburg, and boy, they let us know about it.
We had paid slightly more than this for our tickets (?25 each), but we still got plenty for our money.
A couple of seasons back, Arsenal experimented with reading out the first names of players and encouraging the crowd to shout back the second names. On the pitch, the home side started slowly, but thanks to Lewandowski, who took his goals fantastically and created the fifth with a superb solo run, they ran out comfortable winners. On the way back to Dusseldorf we got chatting to Jerome, who’d just been standing in the Yellow Wall. Jerome was with five friends who seemed typical of the type of fan we’d come across: young, happy, polite, loud and decked head-to-toe in merch. The following day we had tickets for Borussia Monchengladbach vs Hannover, two sides hanging on to ambitions of a Champions League spot.
When wandering between our seats, the bars and the toilets before kick-off, it was apparent that away fans were using all the same facilities. While playing in the United States is a move many players make towards the end of their career, the same cannot be said for those playing in the women’s game. Playing in the new National Women’s Soccer League has attracted players from all over the globe, as discussed in a previous blog, with one of those drawn by the professional league being former Arsenal and Chelsea striker, Lianne Sanderson.
The 25-year-old has been signed up to play for the Boston Breakers, one of eight teams that makes up the new league, which kicks off in just under a month. Sanderson is one of only a few players who will play out in America from the UK, but she has plenty of experience having already represented Philadelphia Independence and DC United since moving state side. It’s a long way from South London, where Sanderson grew up, but she is looking forward to the latest chapter of her American adventure. Sanderson was one of four free agents picked up by the Breakers after the initial draft processes had taken place, and while she is pleased to be picked up by the Massachusetts side, she admits the process isn’t one she’s a fan of. With players evenly distributed amongst the eight teams, each side will have internationals and college players, making it difficult to predict who will come out on top. While teams such as Portland will have a forward line consisting of Canada’s Christine Sinclair and U.S golden girl Alex Morgan, Sanderson believes it isn’t necessarily the teams with the biggest names that will come out on top. She herself will be paired up front with up and coming star Sydney Leroux, and she states chemistry will play a big part in them being successful. However, she hasn’t been part of the England setup for a few years, having fallen out of favour, but would she welcome a call-up, should it come her way?
Remembering that help she has received is potentially a big reason why Sanderson set up the JoLi Academy with partner and team mate Joanna Lohmann. The academy is designed to knock down barriers facing young girls all over the globe who want to be successful in sport, with the pair having just returned from a camp in India where 100 girls from all over the country attended.
There was a general skepticism last summer that Swansea could possibly top the achievements of their debut Premier League season this time around. However, despite all of history giving Swansea’s attempts to better season 2011-12 a very hard stare, they did it.
All that’s left for Swansea to realistically achieve this year would be to scramble a few places higher up the table, an accomplishment that would gather a relatively minor increase in prize money and, I suppose, some pride. Rather than continue striving for victories with no merit beyond the immediate intangibles of triumph, there is actually a lot more long-term positive outcomes in play for Swansea if they just take the rest of the year off and amble their way to their summer holidays. If Swansea opt to play out the season honourably fighting for every point as if the actually mattered in a practical sense, rather than a merely Corinthian one, then all they are doing is placing their prize assets in ever-more attractive poses in the shop window (perhaps Vorm rests his arm on his knee with a jumper casually thrown over his shoulders, while Williams laughs and points to a boat on the horizon), making a summer of disruptive speculation and upheaval all the more likely. What they should actually be doing is giving these men as little opportunity to impress as possible. The benefits of phoning in the remainder of 2012-13 are many, varied and far outweigh the benefits of competing for points that Swansea’s Cup success has rendered utterly meaningless. Mike Skinner, echoing Freidrich Nietzsche, once said that the two great European narcotics were alcohol and Christianity, but if his allegiance to Birmingham City was anything more than a token gesture, he might have including supporting a football team as a third addition. For the passionately tribal, the drug of supporting a football team costs a small fortune with every hit. I recall a conversation I had last year with one of those fortunate souls who was not brought up around football, one of those real-life ignorant muggles for whom I imagine the names Mark Pougatch and James Alexander Gordon don’t carry the same psychological angst. This all goes back to the Nick Hornby principle of the complete lack of last-minute-winner equivalents in real life.
When Twitter boomed in popularity a few years ago, there grew a large suspicion of passionate allegiance to one team given it coincided with the worst aspects of internet discourse – stubborn dogma, intellectual bankruptcy and constant and vicious abuse of those who undermined their cause. Journalists who dared to have an objective opinion were accused of quite the opposite – an anti-X agenda or bias. The price of the drug goes up and up, but the seats of the non-attending protesting Manchester City fans at the Emirates in January were simply filled by fans of the other team. One year on from his humiliating Stamford Bridge exit, Andre Villas-Boas is moving on and making waves. Gerard Houllier, a man who knows more than most about the cruel, cut-throat world of the Premier League, once remarked that seeing his Liverpool side play for a new manager was akin to seeing another man with your wife.
Andre Villas-Boas came to Chelsea with a hefty reputation, having steered Porto to an undefeated league campaign and Europa League triumph. As unfair as it seemed on a young, talented manager, AVB didn’t make it easy on himself.
To a gallery of arched eyebrows, Levy instead turned to Villas-Boas, swapping the press pack’s golden boy for one of the most widely derided managers in recent memory. That said, to claim Chelsea were wrong to fire Villas-Boas is perhaps to oversimplify the issue. Spurs under Redknapp were a breathless battering ram of a side, talked up as title contenders until they were dramatically, then repeatedly found out.
While it can be argued that Villas-Boas effectively inherited a Champions League side, there have still been plenty of hurdles for the new man to overcome. AVB has come a long way from the dark nights of last May - but it’s not just at the Lane that he can find signs of quiet satisfaction.
You hear that term quite often this time of year when the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee is making choices for at-large berths into the men’s college basketball championship tournament.
Unless the city has evidence of wrongdoing--which it apparently does not have at this point, despite some occasionally unsavory accusations--Nan should let this one go. The eye test also says the current mayor squirms a bit in her chair when Jones speaks up at meetings. Roper fired off the email to a circle of friends and alleged supporters, at least one of whom wanted to be sure that I saw it.
Either way, if you’re a taxpayer to the Platte County R-3 district you helped pay the tab.
This observation came from the Line Creek Loud Mouth blog, a blog not known for conservatism, by the way.
We pay people administrative salaries, yet give them menial job tasks that could be done by far less expensive employees. We’ll have some available for purchase in The Landmark office, 252 Main Street, Platte City. This time, there is no McDonald’s included in the site plan for the intersection of Highway 45 and Highway 9. Joseph School District had been using the same auditing firm, Westbrook and Company, that Platte County R-3 has used for years? Employees who work at management levels inside school districts and other units of government often develop friendly relationships with particular firms. The district chose an auditing firm with a price 26% higher than an equally qualified bidder. Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen dropped in our office Tuesday afternoon and commented he was on his way back to his office and had lunch sitting in his car.
The Landmark was at a meeting of the Park Hill School Board in December when it was remarked the district has grown by about 150 students per year over the past 30 years. That seems the stuff of fairy tales, fantasies, and revenue projections at the county golf course. The common denominator is that there has been input in developing those projections by the architectural firm Hollis and Miller.
If you don’t know what The Landmark Plinko board is, check out a recent picture posted on my Facebook page. Thugs are breaking into vehicles and stealing items in what the police call smash-and-grab crimes. It was recovered near 82nd and Troost in Kansas City, unoccupied, obviously with holes in the windshield. It pisses me off,” said Major Roger Lewis, division commander of the North Patrol Division for the Kansas City Police Department, about the rising number of crimes in the KCI corridor. Owen says since the public transportation bus stop was put in near Wal-Mart on Barry Road shoplifting in that area has seen a marked increase. Kansas City police and the Platte County Sheriff’s Department have formed a task force to study the issue of crime in the KCI corridor and what steps can be taken by law enforcement to prevent incidents and to solve the ones that do occur. The only sources declining the opportunity to confirm it are the official spokespeople for Axiom and the campaign committee. Axiom Strategies has built a name for itself by fighting against things like tax increases, not in favor of them. Roe was in Texas that day, a state where he is spending much time in helping to guide the likely presidential campaign of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Not only did it have an ill-advised, poorly-timed proposal it was trying to sell, but to make matters worse R-3’s pro-tax increase campaign was outfoxed and unprepared in 2012 when its levy question was hammered by voters 55-45%. Dairy Farmers of America announces it is moving out of Platte County the same week that Valerie was already doing a feature story on efforts the Platte County Economic Development Council makes to retain existing businesses in the county. Gotta say I think a reality show or video podcast based on the adventures of the attorneys and defendants who enter the hallowed halls of the Owens Lee Hull Jr.
See our front page story for more details, but I’ll summarize some of the highlights that hit me while sitting in on their discussion Monday.
A couple of times she actually sounded like the promising 2012 candidate Roper instead of the hugely disappointing officeholder Roper. Like many of us with no emotional investment in the sport of golf, Roper doubts Shiloh will ever make money.
He also said he does not want the county to sell Shiloh, using the defense that taxpayers have already spent $10 million over the years at the golf course.
That fits the wishes of Soper and others like him who don’t want the course to go away. Getting rid of Shiloh frees up many $$$ that can be used on other park projects, projects that wouldn’t be developed by private industry. Based on some questions they’ve posed in an online survey, it looks like the Vote Yes side has determined its magic number is 2,000, as in they believe it will take 2,000 yes votes for the issue to pass. That same address on NW 126th is listed as the address for the organization’s treasurer, Vic Perrin. 14 issue) in last year’s laptop levy campaign that was hammered by voters 61% opposed to only 39% in favor. Under the deal, Park Hill must adopt a procedure that, in the future, the superintendent or his designee will review all publicly-funded informational items related to ballot issues prior to distribution. As you know by now and can see on our front page, the president came to Lawrence for a speech at Kansas University.
Yes that sounds indoors, I understand, but there were doors open on the backside of the audience next to the media tables. Of course since we featured Bo and this topic on the front page a couple of weeks ago, Landmark readers are well aware of this topic. It did seem like an odd setting for Bo’s fine presentation, but apparently the city leadership believes every potential topic for the full board of aldermen needs to be vetted by some subcommittee. On Tuesday night there was at least one piece of newsworthiness to come out of that hour of our lives that we’ll never get back. Please duly note the dates of the Big 12 Tournament and let’s not schedule your book signing to conflict with those days. If you missed her byline there for a bit, it’s because Valerie was enjoying a winter-time tropical vacation to an undisclosed location.
There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that her boss back at The Landmark ordered the attack by the squishy fish assassin as some sort of payback for leaving him temporarily overworked. Truth be told, nobody know what the actual reasons behind taming wolves and turning them into dogs were, but we do know that owning a dog comes with a great deal of advantages. Police, firefighting, bomb detection, crime fighting, the military, customs, civil services, search and rescue, show business, these are but a few of the fields that employ the skills and services of dogs from around the world.
Don’t worry though, dogs don’t really appeal to the imagined standard, they are more helpful and obedient. Seeing eye dogs, service dogs, assistance dogs, even temporary pets, and all that for the sake of helping their human counterparts in need. That being said, the families that adopt them know that in a couple of years they will have to return the dog so that the dog can start his or her civil service career. Things like traffic lights, road signs, the presence or absence of cars in an area, physical boundaries and even specific buildings and ways in which to recognize them. A seeing eye dog, for example, must be able to tell when it is safe to cross the road, as well as being able to identify where exactly they are supposed to go. This generally means that they will not answer the call of nature inside, nor be aggressive towards other people, damage anything or even make their presence felt while inside said establishment. They assist officers with a lot of tasks, on patrol and even apprehending criminals, not to mention the fact that these guys can track down a criminal and pin him down faster than a human could ever imagine. They can fulfill a wide variety of tasks, and they are often called to do a multitude of different tasks, from sniffing luggage to hunting down escaped convicts, to catching criminals on the spot, these dogs can and eventually will do them all. These dogs are more or less constantly surrounded by humans and always in a stressful environment. Just like in us humans, a sudden retirement will leave us more or less unfulfilled and grouchy, moody, with a constant desire to get back in the saddle.
They are selected from birth and are trained throughout their puppy years in military bases and installations side by side with human soldiers. Their training is varied, and by the time they reach adulthood they are not only some of the most disciplined dogs that you will ever see, but also incredibly smart and capable.
Over time dogs have proven why they are man’s best friend, and as time goes on they will find new ways in which to do so. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. Just about every other sport divides up into discreet bursts of action, regular points where the rulebook catches its breath and says ‘this part of the game is over, now this one can begin’. Has your team just spent a relentless ten minutes dominating possession and pounding the opponent’s defence? There’s a reason why that hateful phrase ‘in the Premier League era’ has such currency, and it’s not just because Sky dominate the game’s coverage and desperately hope that you’ll never remember a time when paying ?500 a year to watch some games on TV was something only a crazy person would do. Throw in a similarly epochal drubbing for Real Madrid in Dortmund the following evening and the transfer of power narratives are everywhere you look, begging to be written up then carved onto the tombstones of the First Great La Masia team, of Spain’s dominance of European football, of Revista de la Liga being a ratings-grabber on UK TV. It’s no secret that Barca are vulnerable to high balls, but next year Carles Puyol may well be fit to win a few of those aerial battles, or at least shout at Gerard Pique often enough that he pays a modicum of attention to the world-class footballers flitting around him in the penalty area. Without a suitably qualified tactician tweaking the schemes and laying out the plans game-to-game, Barcelona were naturally forced to fall back on what they already knew to get them through matches. As their least replaceable part appears destined to head back to his spiritual home in West London – where the people like him and do what he says and don’t mind grinding out a 1-0 win from time to time – the lack of available options for the Real Madrid bench becomes terrifyingly significant. Jurgen Klopp is scorching hot stuff right now, but it feels unlikely that Dortmund will let him go, if only because if he departs in the same summer as Hummels, Gotze and Lewandowksi, BvB might as well shut down their football operation entirely and concentrate on the handball team instead.
Jorge Jesus, David Moyes and Laurent Blanc may be possible outsiders, but none are likely to set pulses racing in the merengue boardroom. While Bayern embark on their adventure with Pep Guardiola and Barcelona look to move into year ten of Messi’s senior career, Real Madrid are staring down the barrel of the Rafa Benitez era – and that’s definitely worth a new page in the history book. Last season the club, with what was rumoured to be one of the more limited budgets in the league, clinched the title and now sit pretty in 15th place in the Conference. With the score at 1-0, the TV cameras showed that, despite the best efforts of John Terry, a Marko Devic shot had crossed the line. Instead, Fifa, ever the proponent of free-market Thatcherism, has decided to allow its own regional bodies – Uefa, Conmebol, Caf, et cetera – and the individual national bodies and league systems under its jurisdiction to make their own decisions on goal-line technology, and to open up the bidding to all and sundry if the give it the go-ahead. The rules, after all, have not changed – the Premier League is just getting a bit of “help” in enforcing them correctly. When Real Sociedad or St-Etienne or Mainz miss out on a European place by two points thanks to a goal-line dispute while Everton or Southampton or Newcastle march into the Europa League thanks to an extra point courtesy of Hawk-Eye’s intervention, who is going to turn around and tell them nothing is amiss? So talented in fact, that despite having a hamstring as tight as James Brown’s rhythm section, he was still able to display enough pace and trickery to draw three PSG players in his jinky wake, before playing a ball that eventually found its way to an unmarked Pedro to score. His lateral transference creates spatial dissonance in the personnel cycles that are such a basic part of pre-reactive defensive schemes in the high-block strategic configuration.
By working to channel Messi’s ludic circumstances into a pre-designated optimum alternative, you can maximise your opportunities to contextualise his influence, allowing the team’s functional side-outs to retrieve position and initiate a retro-incursive response. Obviously we’d love to ‘ave ‘im ‘ere, but we’ve already got a lot of quality lads like Taarabt, Zamora and Mackie in that position. After starting slowly, and not scoring their first goal until round four, the side rocketed up the ladder to snatch the A-League Premiership from Central Coast Mariners. Thus Professional Footballers Australia’s farsighted report in 2002 on the establishment of a competition to replace the old National Soccer League emphasised the importance of having at least two, if not three teams in Sydney.
This failure was not for a lack of trying however, and indeed several attempts to start a second side had been made.
And on the 4th of April 2012, that bet came in the form of the yet-to-be-named Western Sydney team. Popovic had spent several years working as an assistant manager, but nothing would prepare him for the task of building a new club from scratch. A combination of untried youngsters, off contract veterans and the odd foreigner was certainly a good start, yet would it stand up to the pressures of A-League football?
Although Ono was well regarded and had some European experience, he was hardly a player of Ballack’s reputation.
And the Wanderers have even managed to attract international press coverage, with the New York Times website running a piece on the team recently. If the Popovic-led team can trump the Queenslanders, they’ll face the winner of Sunday afternoon’s game between Central Coast and Melbourne Victory in the Grand Final. The highly respected former-journalist had played an important role in the new side’s development, and will be sorely missed by all. Having won all three regular season games against the Roar, the home side will be confident a place in the Championship decider is within reach.
From being a solitary dream in the mind of many fans to a fully fledged club lifting the A-League title in just over a year would be a great footballing fairytale. Appointed a full seven days before his first game, Sunday’s narrow defeat to Chelsea, the Italian has endured a week of intense speculation over his political beliefs. His availability suggests that Swindon may have more reason than his political leanings to resent his rise to prominence.
Like many of their fellow West Country clubs, Swindon have largely muddled along in comfortable anonymity. Facing an imperious Arsenal side, the third division Town were deserved winners, local legend Don Rogers scoring an extra time winner, as Arsenal showed that it wasn’t just their future generations that could throw away a final. Armed with an arsenal of dependable talents like Martin Ling, Nicky Summerbee and Paul Bodin, Hoddle manoeuvred his side to victory in one of the great playoff finals. The arrival of Di Canio at a listing mid-size football league club appeared an appointment bound to end in farce - like Tony Montana running a branch of Rymans. This season, led once more by a charismatic figure who’s much better behind the dressing room door than a microphone, the Robins soared towards a return to the Championship.
It was another bizarre chapter in the history of the club, and had left the team rudderless once again. In the wake of their rollercoaster ride with di Canio, the board and fans of this unassuming club would doubtless settle for a year or two of consolidation - free of bungs, bobbles and break-ins. Obviously, none of the horror tackles in and of themselves could be directly attributed to such forces, but the fact that the same club had three such leg-breaking tackles in such a condensed period of time says to me that there was a general trend of pushing the envelope on challenges against Arsenal.
The first thing I feel looking back is that these players gave their bodies to help advance the Premier League into a new era of football.
A team with stronger players or more athletic players than their opponent has every right to press that advantage, and besides, as the old adage goes, a contrast in styles makes for good fights. For some reason, many people seem to tend towards making champions post hoc obviously deserving of their title because of some greatness inside of them that made things inevitable. A 15-point cushion and a cluster of rivals who are either lacklustre, limited or waging a cold war against their own coach mean that club captain Nemanja Vidic has been incorporating trophy-lifting and crowd-saluting routines into his own detailed pre-planned training and medical programme for some months now. At time of writing, United require 22 points from the 27 that remain available to them – a tricky proposition, but by no means impossible when you cast an eye over their remain fixtures, and factor in a lack of European competition to stretch their resources. The 2008 team boasted a fluid front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and a pre-tantrum era Carlos Tevez that flitted and interchanged and scored and scored and scored with a joyous, purposeful abandon. If more squads today were able to blend the steel and artistry of that Giggs-Scholes-Keane-Beckham axis, reports of the death of 4-4-2 might have been slightly less exaggerated.
When you consider the mediocrity of a Young-Anderson-Carrick-Valencia midfield, whose only function is to play with bare minimum competence for long enough to allow Robin van Persie’s brilliance to secure a win, you have to wonder if that fabled Ferguson wine cellar didn’t start out life in the Glaswegian’s home as a collection of bottled water. Some typically down-to-the-wire transfer dealings in the summer meant that their transition began too late for them to seriously worry United during this campaign though, and instead they remain focused on securing Champions League Qualification and Europa League glory without Spursing the whole thing up in the manner that they’re desperately trying to transist away from. A crippling belief in a philosophy of cheap, home grown talent that’s getting the formula two-thirds right but stumbling on the last bit has forced the Gunners into title-irrelevancy this year. Heavy investment in Eden Hazard and Oscar to complement Juan Mata in a dynamic attacking midfield was a step forward. Last season an incredible work ethic allowed them to overcome the arrival of the Tevez tantrum era to snatch the title.
However, while the 2004-05 Chelsea held off an Arsenal team who had only just stopped being Invincible, the rest of their challengers were not much more impressive than the current top of the table filler.
Fourth spot was occupied by an Everton team that, while impressive by their standards, was still an Everton team.
However, it will certainly be the greatness of their achievements, and not the team itself, that will set jaws a-flapping. Combining the prices of match tickets, travel and food & drink, they’d have spent much more than us, and almost certainly been less entertained by the football.
The 50+1 rule, where a minimum of 51 per cent of the club must be owned by its members, is the basis of this, allowing fans to have a say in how the club is run while still allowing for major outside investment. For starters, the train journey to the ground from our base in Dusseldorf was included in the price, which is a standard rule across the Bundesliga for games in the same region. It failed, as did the embarrassing attempt at making Elvis Presley’s The Wonder of You the club song. Nuri Sahin, the returning hero for whom the biggest cheer of the day was reserved, also scored twice.
His confidence that Dortmund’s fans make a genuine difference to how the team performs was firm. Dusseldorf’s Old Town, known as ‘the longest bar in the world’, had had its way with us the night before, but with sore heads vanquished by frikadellen and fresh air, we headed for Gladbach early, keen for more of the same as yesterday.
There isn’t a great deal to do in Gladbach, especially on a Sunday, when nothing opens in Germany.
There was plenty of drinking on the street, but the weather called for a warmer pre-match watering hole.
Luuk De Jong’s first half goal, neatly finished after a gorgeous through ball from man-of-the-match Patrick Hermann, separated the two sides. There was no fuss with our journey back to Dusseldorf – an endless supply of shuttle buses ferrying the throng to Hauptbahnhof, then trains ready and waiting as we arrived. I am excited to work with Lisa Cole (Manager), all the players and coaching staff, and I look forward to hopefully bringing a championship to Boston. I get you have to make it fair, but I think the players should have the choice as to where they want to play. Just a decade ago, it was all crumbling terracing, a last-day reprieve from relegation to Non-League purgatory and Leon Britton at the heart of midfield for the Welsh club. Forward planning and sensible financial husbandry laid the foundations for Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers and finally Laudrup to build a very cosy house on top. A comfortable mid-table finish on the back of some delightfully intricate, neutral-wooing football represented success beyond the wildest dreams of such a modest-spending club, and the Premier League had in the past bestowed a brutal sophomore slump on similarly precocious upstarts.
With a sprinkling of bewilderingly cheap imports from Spain and some extra directness tweaked onto their passing game, the Swans have somehow become both more aesthetically pleasing and more effective. Laudrup’s men have already gathered 40 points – the total that we are constantly assured means that they now morally and legally cannot possibly be relegated.
But let’s not talk about what a devalued concept ‘pride’ is in modern football, because doing so might make Barry Davies weep, and making Barry Davies weep is a sackable offence here at the Ramble.


Ever since they disposed of Chelsea and grasped one hand firmly on the League Cup, ravenous agents have bee circling Swansea ominously, looking to convert ?2m goal-bargain Michu into correctly priced goal-fair-value Michu for a larger club.
Every dropped point and lethargic performance will make Swansea’s valuable personnel less attractive to potential suitors, and therefore more likely to be still present in South Wales come September to hook up with whichever reinforcements the club management can find for an assault on the Europa League and upper reaches of the Premier League.
If nothing is at stake – and it isn’t – Swansea’s players should be shirking tackles and avoiding sudden movements at every opportunity. In order to safeguard the legacy of their greatest ever season, Swansea owe it to themselves, their future and their fans to throw the rest of this campaign right in the bin. I was there chasing another high – another rush of intense adrenalin and joy because someone who I’ve never met or talked to might kick a ball into a goal.
For Andre Villas-Boas, the dog days of last Spring must have been like being ditched at the altar for your best mate, then finding out the new couple had won the lottery. The bigger they come, the harder they fall - and the sharpening of knives was audible from the moment Villas-Boas landed in West London.
That sultry night in Munich had seemed to be Villas-Boas’ final humiliation – instead, it earned him a surprise second chance on these shores.
Press speculation centred on old hands and wise heads, with David Moyes fancied to continue Spurs’ steady upward mobility.
It was a bold, ballsy move from a club that could have happily played it safe - yet Levy was adamant it was the right decision. The forward thinking, abrasive young coach was always an awkward fit in a dressing room of experienced but egotistical talents. Instead of the grand plans we saw derail at Chelsea, the manager has kept a low profile, sending out a side which sticks to Spurs’ cultured principles. The lack of a reliable striker has seen the astonishing Gareth Bale given centre stage, in a way even the freewheeling Redknapp never quite dared. His predecessor at Spurs, exactly the kind of gregarious man manager Villas-Boas was compared unfavourably to, is fighting for his reputation in W8*. Finish in the top four, ejecting either their fiercest rival or his former employer from Europe’s elite, and AVB will be very much more Bill Nicholson than Christian Gross to the people of N19. Check out the ample parking space available on Platte City’s Main Street at most hours of the day. Do you know how much money the park tax will generate this year if it ends 14.6% ahead of 2014? Second place gets an autographed copy of Landmark columnist Chris Kamler’s new book The Silence, The Series and The Season of Sungwoo.
Basically, our contest is won or lost in the later rounds because later round victories are rewarded with more points than the early rounds. Parkville--home of golf carts legalized as street vehicles, parks, nature areas, parks, nature areas and did I mention parks--can be a bit quirky when it comes to proposed development. You were elected to lead, not to be led by the paid professionals on staff at whatever public entity you’re serving. Don’t just list the elected position on your resume and think warming a seat at meetings is all you need to do.
But Westbrook’s reputation is no doubt taking some hits after what has been revealed in St. Joseph School District’s experience, it might be time to re-evaluate some things like longstanding relationships with particular firms, not only in the field of auditing but in other service categories.
So incorrect, in fact, that the district has trashed those earlier numbers and toned down its most recent predictions of growth to a level less likely to trip the crazy meter. The tone at Park Hill has changed in recent weeks, not surprisingly at a time when the district is now pushing the need for a major facility expansion (see last week’s front page).
This thing better have some pictures in the early pages or I’m going to need a shock collar to get through it.
The plan is to set up shop on the sidewalk in front of The Landmark office that Friday afternoon, maybe around 2-ish or 3-ish, and hang out through the early evening hours. Suspects--police say there were four black males involved--opened fire at the witness through the windshield of the suspects’ stolen Mercedes. Lewis made the comment Friday morning while addressing a group of hoteliers in a meeting called for the purpose of talking about the recent criminal activity that has occurred on and around their properties.
The more public knows the better steps they can take to protect themselves and their property. That’s why the type of vehicles most often hit are pickups and SUVs--vehicles most often driven by folks who would have a weapon inside. One night last week, Lewis said, a clothing store in Zona Rosa was hit with a $10,000 loss in one shoplifting incident.
Axiom is a very successful multimillion dollar company now with a national presence and a lot of irons in the fire. Armstrong had walked out of the office, apparently so she wouldn’t have to see the carnage she had ordered. Well, except the part where she announced for no apparent reason that she went to college with the daughter of the mayor of Punxsutawney, Pa. Martin wants to run Shiloh by aligning a group of investors to operate the course as a non-profit for a few years, then mentions he would make a $1.2 million offer after three years to buy the course from the county. The private sector has done a fine job of handling golf courses in Platte County in recent years. My guess is we’ll be back again the next time a president, Obama or otherwise, comes to the area. Give me a meeting that is not time-consuming yet has some news value in it and all is right with the world.
Despite the 87 other things I needed to be doing at the time, I headed down there anticipating--hoping for is probably a more accurate description--a 30-minute meeting, tops.
After the mayor’s presentation about the 13-ton anchor from the aptly named USS Platte--which has been out of commission since 1999--being available, the committee recommended the city spend the $3,000 to have the big-ass anchor shipped here from New Orleans.
Size also plays an important role here, dogs that are too small will simply not put up the power or exercise the strength necessary to take down a criminal, and dogs that are too big are often very hard to handle, too dangerous and can make for great targets for criminals due to their size, not to mention the fact that they eat too much. The dog and the handler’s lives are intertwined, and the dog will never leave the handler’s side. With a metric ton of training as well as hardcore situations constantly stressing the line, these dogs end up lacking social skills with other dogs.
This issue does cause some temper spikes, although the fear of biting is out of the question (if you are the master). She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.
Well, don’t let yourself blink too long, because three passes and awkward deflection off a shin-pad later you might find yourself a goal down without the cruel universe having the decency to let you know the paradigm was shifting while your eyelids were touching. Also, Barcelona aren’t afraid of spending money, and one or two technically gifted six-footers would make all the difference. And when you know that giving the ball to the best player in the world will result in a goal 50-60 times a season, it’s difficult not to take that option every time. Sure, that’s not totally fair either – doesn’t football thrive as a result of its universality and simplicity? As a result, Fifa has awarded the contract for the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup to German company GoalControl, the Premier League has picked Wimbledon line-judge Hawk-Eye, and Platini’s Uefa has entertained no bids whatsoever.
Ultimately though, the so called home of Australian football still lacked representation in the national competition. With their marquee signing arriving only a week before their first ever A-League game, doubt lingered in the minds of many. Ono was regularly talked about as one of the signings of the season, as were several of Western Sydney’s other new players.
The question hasn’t been whether Di Canio, a raw and inexperienced lower league manager, can haul Sunderland to safety, but whether a man who’s expressed fascist sympathies should be allowed to manage in the top flight.
Sadly for the club left in Paolo’s shadow, this isn’t the first time they’ve found themselves held down by the hands of fate.
As League Cup winners, Swindon earned a place in Europe – only to be denied by their lower league status. Ossie Ardiles had led his charges along a winding road to Wemberley - only to have his dream snatched away. Leading Leicester 3-0, Wiltshire shook as Leicester levelled, and looked set to deny Swindon all over again.
Swindon’s adventure in the top flight began, and continued, with a flurry of goals - unfortunately, they were all at the wrong end.
Millwall prevailed, and both the Lions and Austin himself are now prospering in the Championship. The board handed the reins to Kevin McDonald until the end of the season, and Swindon currently lie sixth, their sails sagging as they cling to a place in the playoff shootout. For this quiet club, nestled near the vortex of the Magic Roundabout, things are rarely that simple. All promising players with buckets of potential whose career trajectories were forever changed by horror challenges that broke legs.
These three tackles were essentially bound to happen sooner or later if clubs kept setting out the way they did against Arsenal. The chorus of voices that believe the appropriate way to play against Arsene Wenger, Brendan Rodgers, [insert name of current Chelsea manager here], or Michael Laudrup’s slick passing play is to advocate kicking them out of existence has diminished greatly over the passing years. The chemistry of those three players at that exact point of their respective careers was glorious, lightning-in-a-bottle stuff, and no team has been able to truly replicate it since.
United’s trip to the Emirates at the end of April remains the biggest threat to their record-hunting as a one-off event, but over the course of the season Arsenal started far from the top-spot and have only drifted as time goes by.
Minimal investment in half a season of Demba Ba and set of patented automated finger-crossers to aim at the spectre of Fernando Torres as a replacement for Didier Drogba was a step back. This year, only Carlos has looked completely engaged while a Samir Nasri level of fecklessness has swept through the rest of the squad.
The fact that fifth-placed Liverpool were 37 points behind Chelsea (and only ahead of Bolton on goal difference) should only emphasise how utterly mental their Champions League victory that season actually was. The talent, vision and philosophy of the two squads doesn’t compare – muscular unity versus ramshackle reliance on one man’s goals will never be much of a contest. It’s a model that might not work for all clubs, but does show respect to the fans that keep them running.
It’s probably got something to do with the reserved nature of the British and the shyness at expressing themselves in public.
We returned our fan cards and had refunded any unspent money (complimentary bags of crisps were also being dished out). We also realised after about an hour of wandering the streets that the ground wasn’t anywhere near the city centre. It’s hard to imagine this being the case in England, whoever was playing, and again emphasised the trust the clubs have in their fans.
Hanover’s direct tactics created little, but their fans – supplemented by a megaphone and drum – were constantly loud.
No faffing with tickets, no queues, and just enough time to pick up some beers for the ride.
Then there’s the peace of mind that thanks to the club’s structures, fans are making as much difference as they can without getting on the pitch and playing themselves.
Nowadays, they enjoy Michael Laudrup, Michael Laudrup’s impeccable hair, Premier League football in a shiny new stadium, a Michu to call their very own and Leon Britton at the heart of midfield. Such clear continuity of coaching philosophy has allowed Swansea to evolve naturally through divisions and personnel, arriving at their current exalted plane a well-oiled machine – and with plenty of scope to improve in years to come. Laudrup’s previous managerial career was also cause for arched eyebrows, with solid boom periods of triumph interspersed with harrowing busts of poor form and off-field calamity, in a karmic CV that suggests Laudrup conducts training on a desecrated pet cemetery or something.
What’s more, they have a trophy – something that David Moyes and Arsene Wenger would literally* murder a sackful of puppies for at this stage of their careers – and the promise of European competition for the first time since their Welsh Cup exploits weren’t considered, to boot.
Their place in the third qualifying round of the Europa League could only be bettered by the playoff round place offered by finishing fifth in the league – a position currently held by Arsenal with a healthy 10 point and game-in-hand advantage. Michel Vorm, Ashley Williams and Laudrup himself have also been subject to transfer speculation – but not Leon Britton, never Leon Britton.
No sprinting back into position should be attempted with taking several minutes to first stretch hamstrings adequately. The addicts know the costs, emotional and financial, and yet every week they come back for more. The only thing more tantalising and more unbearable than watching your team play is looking to the side as they do. But the only thing more enjoyable than witnessing in a football stadium an assortment of accountants, lawyers, postmen, young and old, who have little in common, embracing in a manic hysteria, is to be part of it yourself. The impassioned abuse was not only correlated with tribalism but most often, if not always, caused by it.
Constant references to his age and unfair comparisons with Chelsea’s greatest ever manager appeared to undermine the new man before he could even begin.
It’s now becoming crystal clear which side of London had the right perspective on Andre Villas-Boas. Villas-Boas has largely succeeded at Spurs because of a marriage between a manager and board that have learnt from past mistakes. Villas-Boas has also bought astutely, replacing Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart with Fulham duo Dempsey and Dembele. Spurs have fought a seemingly endless battle for North London supremacy, finishing below Arsenal in every Premier League season. At the other end of the pitch, Villas-Boas dealt with a change of first choice goalkeeper diplomatically - and the form of Hugo Lloris has vindicated this decision.
More than that, he could complete a yearlong redemption - from the Premier League’s persona non grata to its Manager of the Year. If past performance is any indication, Landmark office manager Cindy Rinehart is considered among the front runners to come in last, but if that happens any potential prize will go to someone else.
The portion of the letter that needs explanation deals with some bizarre remarks Roper makes about development potential at KCI Airport. It has taken six years for the housing market to recover and the trend for the next generation is marrying later and not having more than one kid. Anyone that thinks public education is not a train off the financial tracks is simply ignoring the facts that are in front of us every single day. Also, Chris is hosting a book launch party this Friday night, March 13 at Dirk’s bar and grill in Platte Woods. Read the contents of a blistering state audit that was just conducted on that school district.
Realize that the paid professionals don’t have the same level of ownership in your entity that you do. Reik said it is Westbrook’s thorough audit and helpful attitude that makes them the company many school districts turn to for their auditing needs. Change can be inconvenient for some staff members but overall change is a good avenue of protection for patrons and taxpayers. A stray bullet traveled through a first floor hotel room window and struck a sleeping guest in the leg. I’m not sure how somebody gets away with $10,000 in one night of shoplifting, but police say it happened. A local school tax levy campaign is small potatoes in Roe’s world, as he let me know in our phone conversation. The question is, will the campaign have enough contributed money available to throw to Axiom for the firm to do the campaign any good?
Getting Shiloh off the county parks department books would free up tax dollars for other amenities and services not offered by the private sector. If the district commits any further violations within a two year period , then Park Hill will be required to pay the remainder of the fee. Double garage-sized industrial doors--which allowed a pretty damn crisp wind to blow through on a cold day. It will require a crane to unload and place the massive object, and Absolute Crane of Platte City can do that for $800, the committee heard. Sure, they can hit it off extremely easy with humans, however other dogs will prove to be a great challenge for them. Leo Messi – despite only being able to win a mere Champions League quarter final single-leggedly while the semi passes him by – remains the best player in the world, and is only 25. Mats Hummels, Lars Bender and Gareth Bale all spring to mind as suitable and achievable targets for Sandro Rosell’s open wallet.
It’s hard to imagine Jordi Roura had any better ideas than ‘pass to Leo’ – partly because he’s a self-admittedly limited manager, and partly because ‘pass to Leo’ is, more often than not, a cracking idea. However, it turned out Artem Milevskiy, who provided the assist that never was, was actually offside when he played the ball to Devic. A third technology, Germany-based Cairos, has also been approved by Fifa, so a total of three different goal-line technologies are vying for big-money contracts across the globe. Much like the roads that lead to their ground however, Swindon are a seemingly average club with chaos and legend at its heart.
A host of financial irregularities were exposed, and the team were denied a debut season in the top flight. A Paul Bodin penalty was enough to send Swindon sprawling over the line, and headfirst into the Premier League. Even when they were competitive, the Robins found a way to lose – a memorable late Oldham winner at the County Ground reducing Gorman to a quivering wreck on the dugout floor. Life in the big time was bloody and brutal for this overachieving club, caught cold by their leader’s late defection.
Swindon, their sails tattered once more, plummeted into the fourth tier the following season.
It’s befitting for a club based in a railway town that their timing is so consistently appalling. With their controversial, charismatic leader gone, Swindon Town may find they miss the drama. Match after match, tackle after tackle, over the course of several seasons, the three or four poorest decisions by opponents, even with no intent to injure whatsoever, were likely to lead to terrible injuries. The Chelsea and Manchester United clubs that won during that era, as well as the various League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League winners, they all had to navigate the path of uncertainty that every time they step onto the field some unfortunate fate might befall their season, and indeed, might even fell the very physical integrity of their bodies. Failure to reconcile the inversely powerful influence of the triple-headed ego of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole on the pitch as compared to in the dressing room was a step into sticking fingers in ears and hoping the problem would go away. Perhaps this was a top-down non-committal sigh of a season – the players seem tired of Roberto Mancini, and last summer was the first of Sheikh Mansour’s reign that didn’t see a true superstar join the club. Oddly though, this United team’s inherent quality is closer to their dismal rivals than Chelsea’s was, which would somehow make any potential record point total all the more impressive.
The choice of sausages and burgers washed down with local brew was an improvement on the generic offerings in England, and was obtained without the hassle of queuing for 20 minutes thanks to Dortmund’s efficient fan card system. From right outside the ground and with our ears still ringing, we got a tram back to Hauptbahnhof.
So we jumped in a taxi and about 20 minutes later stopped outside what looked like a spaceship in the middle of a car park – Borussia Park. This worked out quite well: again, the beer and snacks were cheap and varied, and the Hanover fans to our right had congregated early to mark their territory. Gladbach’s Nordkurv did a great job too, the hollering back and forward with our Sudkurve impressive throughout.
Keeping players healthy for preseason training should be the club’s primary focus for the rest of this campaign.
Moreover it’s not a particularly enjoyable wake-up call to reality to know that it is a self-sufficient world.
The drug of tribalism had taken such strong hold of people’s lives that it was turning grown adults, some of whom had families and children, into swearing monsters they would be embarrassed to introduce to their parents. Putting aside the weight of expectation, there was ultimately little to celebrate in the new man’s eight month tenure.
Chelsea may be mocked for their frequent lack of hindsight, but there were few commentators keen on giving the new man more time at the tiller.
At first, these relatively cheap additions suggested a conservative season lay ahead - as it turns out, AVB’s changes have added depth and flexibility to an already talented first XI. It feels as though the Portuguese prodigy is determined to do things differently this time - and it’s paying off. It is unbelievable that there are still folks who want to fight when it is suggested the rate be cut slightly to allow a portion of that half cent sales tax to fund more basic services, such as law enforcement. Public education insiders were quick to totally destroy the last education reform issue on the ballot, and probably for good reason.
Some things in there will anger you, frustrate you, amaze you, and most of all should put you on alert. Realize that those paid professionals you may have come to believe will always be there are often thinking of their next step on the career ladder, the next job that they may see as bigger and better. Particularly in a case like this one, where a change would also have meant saving significant taxpayer dollars.
Justice Center and the Pool Hall, with the hope being that borderline nut jobs and some slightly boozed-up folks will be more likely to buy a book. It seems like the incidents are getting more violent each week,” the sheriff told me later. Axiom can work wonders but it takes significant dollars, not chump change, to put its recommendations into action. Roper also was strong in expressing her desire to have the county explore the idea of selling the Shiloh property to a developer rather than mandating it be kept as a golf course.
It should be noted this is not a lot of $$, but it sends a message that leadership at the district is not living up to ethical standards in elections. And keep in mind because of the security factors involved in presidential visits, the media must be set up and in place for a couple of hours in advance of the speech. And with grace and good fortune, they’ll have an actual professional football manager guiding them through training for the whole season, rather than an over-promoted coach worrying about his friend’s health. Goal-line technology would have incorrectly awarded a goal, thanks to its blind and wilful ignorance of the crucial seconds prior to the ball crossing the line. Hoddle seemed the kind of experienced, cool headed character they needed to eke out survival.
The intervening years have offered little else than downward momentum, coupled with further cruel blows. If you can stomach clicking on the link to the Abou Diaby challenge, you’ll see Alan Smith essentially saying that the tackle was a red card, but understandable. Throw in a desperately uncertain coaching situation and there is no way to tell where this Chelsea team will ultimately end up.
You can perhaps understand why the team interpreted this as a sign that they should build a cosy nest out the laurels they earned last season and get to resting.
Every supporter joined in with the anthem, a stirring if simple number, and was transfixed on the stadium announcer as the teams were announced, booming back the second names as if it was a duty.
Also, the day’s other game between Frankfurt and Stuttgart was being shown on the big screens – a pretty good incentive for fans to get in early and begin creating the atmosphere. Investing huge amounts of time, money and energy in it ourselves means that we don’t particularly want to know it will carry on happily enough without us. You’re swearing, kicking, punching the air, and generally behaving like children but you are doing it all together.
He began to be seen as a dishevelled gatecrasher at the party – openly mocked or simply ignored.
Yet I don’t see these same insiders promoting any plans that will curtail the squandering of millions of dollars on public education waste that has been created nationally, regionally and locally.
It’s your job as an elected official to look out for your local taxpayers and patrons because your paid professional is looking out for number one. Based on the established growth trend of 150 students per year, that level would be reached about the year 2030.
I wish I had a buck for every time this newspaper has had to put a verbal squeeze on law enforcement spokespeople to get basic public right-to-know information from them. This is never good for an administrator’s job security nor for the district as a whole in trying to win over the hearts and minds of the taxpaying patrons it serves. So, yes, assistant editor Valerie Verkamp and I were basically locked in a deep freeze for hours that day.
Your Landmark editor, crazily thinking, you know, that the president would be speaking in normal indoor conditions--in other words, not with an Alaskan wind blowing on the media tables--didn’t even wear a coat into the place. On the eve of the season’s start, he departed for Stamford Bridge, leaving apprehensive assistant John Gorman in his wake. From the 5-3 capitulation at home to Arsenal, Villas-Boas’ departure seemed inevitable, the Portuguese floundering in a maelstrom of negative press.
The debate wasn’t whether he was the man to lead the Chelsea revolution, but whether he had his faculties intact.
At least someone had taped a letterhead with the presidential seal on it on the door of the media’s porta potty (a unisex porta potty, pity the poor ladies, this thing had been abused if you know what I mean) to add a touch of class.
Whatever the reason, if we can effectively judge the caseload of the courts by the number of cars parked out front, the caseload has decreased noticeably.



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