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Travelers get blues at pump

first_img“The prices have been so volatile,” Montgomery said. “But any time you’re talking about higher than $3 a gallon in the rest of the country, something else is going on.” Experts blamed tight supplies with several refineries shut down for maintenance and market speculation bidding up crude oil futures for the next two months. But if past patterns hold true, gas prices will continue surging at least until mid-summer, when they’re expected to level off, Montgomery said. Then they’ll surge again in August and September until demand drops late in the year, give or take geopolitics or another hurricane. “It seems like every time you get to a new level that’s intolerable, it goes back down a little, then they go back up even higher,” Montgomery said. “It’s hard to budget.” Still, the number of locals expected to travel over the three-day weekend is a 1.6 percent increase compared to last year, the auto club said. That includes 80 percent who will travel by car, or a 1.7 percent jump from a year ago. Meanwhile, some 455,000 will fly to their destinations. Statewide, close to 5 million are expected to hit the road – 4.1 million by wheel and nearly 730,000 by air. Josh Orendain, 20, of Pacoima is only heading to Vasquez Rocks County Park – just 42 miles north – for a weekend hiking trip. Gas prices often enter into his road-trip decisions, whether it’s the beach or to a concert, he said. “Sometimes you have to wonder if it’s really worth it,” he said. “I thought about going to Coachella (music festival in Indio). It would cost $40 in gas, and the tickets are already $150. … It makes me feel like they should have electric cars already.” Danny Maimone, 41, of Santa Clarita is planning to fly a leg in his summer family trip to tour the Midwest. “We’re flying to Salt Lake City, then driving to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park,” he said. “That’s why we’re flying – hopefully, the gas prices will be lower there. If it weren’t for that, we would probably drive to Salt Lake to see the sights along the way.” But Patrick Greene, 34, of Northridge said he’s heading to Pismo Beach along the Central Coast for the weekend, and he doesn’t mind the higher prices. And it’s not because he drives a diesel pickup truck. “I kind of hope prices will go up to maybe seven, eight dollars,” he said. “Then maybe people will drive less and there won’t be as much traffic. … It’s the price you pay to live here.” eugene.tong@dailynews.com (818) 546-3304 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Of the 3.1 million Southlanders vacationing this holiday weekend, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California, some are coping by taking shorter trips, while others are mixing in air travel to keep the family budget in check. “The only thing that people can control is their own behavior,” said Marie Montgomery, an auto club spokeswoman. “There are people who are looking at buying more efficient vehicles… because they are seeing that this is something that’s not going away.” Indeed, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded hit a record $3.19 Monday, according to an AAA survey of 85,000 self-serve stations, exceeding the previous record of $3 a gallon set in September 2005 amid refinery shutdowns due to Hurricane Katrina. In California, the average for a gallon of regular statewide was $3.45, up 8 cents from a year ago (and about 38 cents higher than in Texas). In the L.A.-Long Beach area, the average also was $3.45, or about 6 cents higher than the same period last year. Meanwhile, the federal Energy Information Administration placed the national average price for a gallon of regular at $3.22, which equals the all-time high of March 1981 during the Iraq-Iran conflict, when a gallon cost the same after adjusting for inflation. SHERMAN OAKS – For Memorial Day weekend, Daniel Carpenter is heading into the heart of Texas – and he’s not coming back. “California is too expensive,” said Carpenter, 55, of Agoura Hills, who is planning a one-way, 1,400-mile trip to a suburb of Austin, where he will retire. “Over there, gas is at least 40 cents cheaper,” he said Monday, gassing up his Honda minivan at a Sherman Oaks station where a gallon of regular unleaded cost $3.43. “They’re pricing me out of the market. I don’t even drive my RV over here. I just park it in Texas.” But short of moving out of state, most Californians have resolved to live with higher-than-average gasoline costs. And they’re tightening their belts by yet another notch as prices climb to record highs with the start of the summer travel season this weekend. last_img read more

Man Utd fans should be ‘mad’, admits Pogba

first_img0Shares0000Paul Pogba belives Manchester United fans are right to be furious with their performance in losing to Brighton © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 20 – Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba believes the club’s fans have every right to vent their anger after a first-half collapse saw the Red Devils beaten 3-2 by Brighton.Jose Mourinho’s men are already three points adrift of Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham, who they face in their next Premier League fixture. “We always play for the shirt and the fans, this is not the result we or they wanted,” Pogba told MUTV. “They should be very mad. We should be mad. Everybody is mad.”Pogba scored his second penalty of the season deep into stoppage time at the Amex, but by then it was too little, too late for the visitors as Mourinho’s pre-season predictions of defensive problems were realised on a difficult afternoon for centre-backs Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.United were also beaten on their previous visit to Brighton in May and Pogba believes they failed to approach the game with the right attitude.“That’s twice in a row we’ve lost against them here,” said Pogba.“I think that shouldn’t happen. Last year we had almost maybe the same attitude as today, and it’s not right.“Myself first, should have done much better, less mistakes, control more the game. This was a bad performance for all of us. It’s wrong we dropped points.“You have to wake up for the next game and definitely not play like we did today.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Andy Goldstein’s Sports Bar Best Bits – April 3

first_imgJoin Andy Goldstein, Jason Cundy and chums as they round up the best bits from the Sports Bar week.last_img

Media, Web firms draft video rules

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Media companies Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc., CBS Corp., NBC Universal and News Corp. joined Internet companies Microsoft Corp., MySpace, Veoh Networks and Dailymotion to issue the guidelines, which would require sites to use filtering technology to block copyrighted clips from being posted without permission. The incentive for the coalition’s Web sites and others to comply is the media companies’ promise not to sue if any copyrighted material sneaks past their best efforts to block it. “Today’s announcement marks a significant step in transforming the Internet from a Wild West to a popular medium that respects the rule of law,” NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker said in a statement. “By recognizing the mutual benefits of a technology-based framework to control piracy, technology and content companies have laid the foundation for the lawful growth of video on the Internet.” Web companies being sued by content owners might be reluctant to join such coalitions, especially when other coalition members are seeking compensation for past violations, said Internet attorney Andrew Bridges of the San Francisco firm Winston & Strawn. “In general, it’s not a surprise that companies in litigation can be reluctant to join something that may be only a partial resolution to an overall dispute,” Bridges said. Bridges called Thursday’s guidelines more of a treaty than a contract, noting that the coalition members specifically stated that the guidelines do not preclude any company from seeking legal remedies in a dispute. “These principles may be a noteworthy attempt to reach some common ground that could minimize friction and minimizing friction is good for everybody except the lawyers,” Bridges said. The guidelines, which do not apply to search engines, e-mail or browsers, are designed for sites that host user-generated clips – such as YouTube. YouTube, which is being sued by Viacom for allowing copyrighted videos to be posted on its site, announced its long-awaited filtering technology Monday. That technology would identify unauthorized content after it is posted on the site, then take steps to remove it. In contrast, Thursday’s guidelines require that sites use technology to block offending clips before they are posted online. The guidelines also require Web sites to identify Web sites that repeatedly try to upload unauthorized content and either block those sites or remove links to them. Media representatives who asked not to be quoted said that Google had initially participated in discussions, but later decided not to participate in the coalition. YouTube issued a statement Thursday that reopened the door for cooperation. “We appreciate ideas from the various media companies on effective content identification technologies,” Jeremy Doig, YouTube director of engineering, said. “We’re glad that they recognize the need to cooperate on these issues, and we’ll keep working with them to refine our industry-leading tools.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Gary Gentile THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A coalition of major media and Internet companies Thursday issued a set of guidelines for handling copyright-protected videos on large user-generated sites such as MySpace. Conspicuously absent was Google Inc., whose YouTube Web site this week rolled out its own technology to filter copyrighted videos once they’ve been posted. last_img read more

LORRAINE GALLAGHER LAUNCHES STINGING ATTACK ON EX AFTER PLANS TO HONOUR DEAD DAUGHTERS

first_imgThe mother of tragic schoolgirls Erin and Shannon Gallagher has launched a scathing attack on their father after he started a fundraising venture in their honour.Tony Traynor plans to walk across the West Highland Way in his native Scotland in honour of the tragic girls who took their own lives recently.Mr Traynor, 37, who hadn’t seen his girls since Erin was 2 and Shannon was 4, also wants to have a community centre named after them. But the girls’ mum Lorraine Gallagher told Donegal Daily she wanted nothing to do with her former partner and she knows neither would her girls.“We started a new life a long time ago and he has some cheek trying to do this now.“He wasn’t there for the girls when they needed him and now he announces that he is doing walks for them and trying to name a community centre after them.“What they needed was a responsible father when they were little girls growing up and he admits that he was never that. “He admitted that he had a drug and drink problem and that’s what made me leave him.The late Erin and Shannon Gallagher“He would be better off keeping quiet and not trying to make even more trouble and insult the memories of Erin and Shannon.“It’s a bit late for him trying to become a role model for his two little girls when they are cold in the ground,” said Lorraine.Lorraine’s world fell apart last October when Erin took her life at the family’s home in Ballybofey.The 13 year old had complained she was being bullied, both physically and on-line, just weeks before her death. Six weeks later her, her older sister Shannon, 15, also took her own life.Lorraine said she is trying her best to cope for the sake of her other son Sean James, 4.“I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to lead as normal a life as I can for Sean James.“He was everything to the girls and I am trying to be as best a mum as I can for him. “That’s what the girls would have wanted. They adored him,” she said.LORRAINE GALLAGHER LAUNCHES STINGING ATTACK ON EX AFTER PLANS TO HONOUR DEAD DAUGHTERS was last modified: February 20th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Erin GallagherLorraine Galaghershannon gallagherTony Traynorlast_img read more

PICTURE SPECIAL FROM DONEGAL GFC NEW YORK BANQUET

first_imgDonegal NY Chairman Laurence McGrath presents Michelle Comar with a special award for her hard work in support of the Club and the annual banquet.IT’S home from home for many ex-pats and the good people at the Donegal Gaelic Football Club in New York keep a wee bit of the county alive in the Big Apple.The banquet this week honoured some of the club’s members.With thanks to Ira Goldman for the pictures. Former Donegal NY Manager Donal Gallagher, Chairman Laurence McGrath, and championship-winning Junior Manager James McFadden at the 2012 Donegal GFC NY banquet.Former Donegal Football Club NY Chairman & 2012 Donegal Association of NY “Man of the Year”, Jimmy McGonagle and Team Manager Pat McGill hard at work at Donegal GFC NY annual banquet.Chairman Laurence McGrath and Raffle Chair Jimmy McGonagle look on as 2012 Damian Meehan Award winner Annie O’Donnell draws the winning raffle ticket at the 2012 Donegal NY Football Banquet.Keelan McLaughlin receives the “Club Person of the Year” award from Donegal GFC NY Chairman Laurence McGrath at the 2012 Club banquet.2012 Donegal GFC NY award winners: Seamus Smith, Campbell-Houlihan Award; Annie O’Donnell, Damian Meehan Award; and Liam Deane, Young Player of they Year, with Donegal NY Chairman Laurence McGrath at the Club’s annual banquet.PICTURE SPECIAL FROM DONEGAL GFC NEW YORK BANQUET was last modified: August 10th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:PICTURE SPECIAL FROM DONEGAL GFC NEW YORK BANQUETlast_img read more

BASKETBALL: FOUR LETTERKENNY BLAZE TEAMS FOR ALL-IRELAND CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

first_imgBASKETBALL: Under 14 Boys had already qualified for Super Cup Finals and All Ireland Club Championships having won the league outright. Our other three qualifying teams went on to win playoffs this weekend and therefore have also booked their places in the above. UNDER 16 BOYSBlaze under 16 boys went into the Northwest playoffs with the goal of securing a place in the All Ireland Club Championships. To succeed they would have to first have to over come a determined Ballyshannon side. Blaze started the game with full court man to man pressure in the hope of forcing Ballyshannon into turnovers. The plan worked and Blaze built up a strong lead of 31 to 4. With one eye on the final which was on later in the day Blaze started to run the bench and rest some players. Despite the score, Ballyshannon never gave up and started to close the gap. Blaze continued to push the ball offence and got some nice scores of the fast break. Blaze changed their defensive formation to zone and closed out the game with a score line of 53 to 22.Blaze would have to wait till after the next semi final between Donegal Town and Dungloe to see who they would be facing in the final. As it turned out Donegal Town emerged victorious from a very exciting match. Going into the final, Blaze knew that if they lost this game then they would have nothing to show for all their hard work. With everyone focused on the game, Blaze started were they left off against Ballyshannon. They started of playing their own brand of tenacious defence and fast moving of offence. Blaze played some excellent high energy defence and got their rewards with some easy scores of the fast break. Blaze went in at the half with a 39 to 23 lead. Donegal town continued to attack the basket and resulted in some of the Blaze players getting into foul trouble.  Blaze changed to a zone defence in an effort to stop the fouls and control the game. Blaze closed the game out with every player getting on the score sheet and a final score of 77 to 42. The Letterkenny boys are now looking forward to the Super Cup and the All Ireland’s.UNDER 16 GIRLS U16 North West Cup Semi Letterkenny Blaze 41 – Donegal Town 25Donegal Town got off to a great start and took an early lead in the opening quarter and led 15-8. Blaze came out fighting in the 2nd and played great defence and rebounded the ball really well to keep donegal scoreless in the 2nd quarter and  Blaze led 22-15 at half time.  A low scoring quarter from both teams  in the 3rd meant Blaze held onto their lead going into the final quarter leading by 10 points.  Blaze managed to control the final quarter and finished the game 41-25. Katherine Kelly had a great game for Blaze finishing the game with 17 points and Sophie Carr led the scorers for Donegal Town with 13 points. U16 North West Cup Final Letterkenny Blaze 41 Sligo All Stars 39 Letterkenny Blaze met Sligo All Stars in the final of the North West Cup. Having lost to All Stars twice in the league they knew it was going to be a tough battle. With only 2 points in it in the opening quarter, both teams would have to up their game to get ahead. Eilis Dolan had 7 points in a row and Aoibheann O Grady added 5 in the 2nd quarter to extend their lead to 7 points  at half time. Another tight quarter between the teams left Blaze with only a 6 point lead at the end of the 3rd with all to play for in the final quarter. We were left an exciting 4th quarter with both teams with players in foul trouble.  Sligo All stars were starting to catch with up the Blaze girls  however when the final whistle went it was Letterkenny Blaze on top with a 3 point lead.  Aoibheann o Grady finished the game with 11 points with Eilis Dolan and Eimear Quinn on 7 points for Blaze while All Stars Aishling O Reilly had 13 with Ciara Mooney on 11. UNDER 14 GIRLSLetterkenny Blaze U14 girls travelled to Ballyshannon on Sat March 5th to compete in the North West Play Offs. In their Semi Final they were matched up against a very spirited Sligo All Stars Team. It took both teams a little while to settle before Blaze got the first score of the game however this produced a quick response from Sligo and the game was up and running.Letterkenny gained the upper hand in the first quarter and this continued into the second quarter when a couple of converted fast breaks meant that Blaze went into the halftime interval leading by 9 points on a score line of 20-11.The Letterkenny team continued to add to their lead in the third quarter with some good teamwork on both ends of the court and while the fourth quarter was a closer affair the Letterkenny girls ran out comfortable winners with a final score of 34 – 26. A good performance with 9 different players getting on the score sheet.  Next up in the Final was a very well drilled Ballyshannon Team. Previous meetings between these two sides were very close hard fought games and this would prove to be the case once more.Both teams didn’t want to give any advantage to the opposition early on so the start of this game was a bit cagey with both teams not wanting to make any mistakes. This lead to a low scoring game however it did not lack in excitement as both teams worked hard for scores. A mixture of nerves and solid defence saw the first half end with Blaze ahead by 2 points at 13 -11. The large home crowd got behind their team in the second half however they were ably matched in noise levels by the loyal travelling support for Blaze. The second half mirrored the first with scores hard to come by however the young girls from Letterkenny Blaze were able to stretch their lead in the 3rd quarter and hold out for a well-deserved victory on a score of 23 – 18. Next up for the U14 girls is a meeting with Donegal in the North West Super Cup Final on March 13th with a 13.30 tip off in the Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town. Donegal are North West League winners and will be strong favourites for the final particularly with home court advantage however something tells me that this team from Letterkenny Blaze will not be just going over to make up the numbers.Under 12 Boys and U12 Girls are in Ballyshannon this weekend to play in the League Finals for that age group.  Good luck to all the boys and girls.BASKETBALL: FOUR LETTERKENNY BLAZE TEAMS FOR ALL-IRELAND CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS was last modified: March 11th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:all-irelandbasketballLetterkenny blazeu14last_img read more

HARPS GO DOWN 0-2 TO CHAMPIONS LONGFORD IN FINAL GAME OF SEASON

first_imgFinn Harps went down to champions Longford Town in their final game of the season this afternoon at Finn Park.Longford missed a number of chances before David O’Sullivan rose highest form a free-kick to make it 0-1 on the half hour.Despite being outplayed for spells, Harps were given the perfect opportunity to draw level in the 68th minute when they were awarded a penalty when Pat McCann as impeded inside the area. However Town goalkeeper Bennion did enough to save from Sean McCarron.Long made just of the points ten minutes later when Mark Salmon scored from inside the area.Longford go up and harps will be left to ponder how a season, which started quite brightly, fell away from them.  HARPS GO DOWN 0-2 TO CHAMPIONS LONGFORD IN FINAL GAME OF SEASON was last modified: October 12th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:finn harpsFinn ParkLongford Townlast_img read more

NCAA title game revisited

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 In the five NCAA games prior to title night, he averaged 11.0 points and 10.4 rebounds a game. But against the Tar Heels he was in nearly immediate foul trouble and finished with two rebounds and zero points (all three of his shots attempts were from point-blank range). And yet Illinois was still within a couple of misses on clean looks at 3-pointers by Luther Head and Dee Brown of winning the championship. * A much-repeated criticism of Illinois on its play against the Tar Heels was that it attempted too many deep jumpers. Indeed, the Illini fired up a final-game record 40 attempts from 3-point range, hitting 12. But whatever scoring Bruce Weber’s team might have been able to coax out of its post players was dissolved by Augustine’s figurative no-show and by the team’s 6-5 (max) power forward Roger Powell’s inability to score down low against the taller Tar Heels. * Considering how little it got of a positive nature out of center James Augustine, it’s surprising that Illinois was in a position into the final minute of the game. The 6-foot-9 lefty, who shot 62 percent from the field while averaging 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds on the season for the Illini, was the Most Valuable Player during the Big Ten Conference tournament. It’s not as if I didn’t have countless things that were more in need of my immediate attention. But, thanks to TiVo (what a grand invention), Sunday night I watched the April 4 NCAA championship game between North Carolina and Illinois in its entirety for the first time since being courtside in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Some observations . . . forgive me if I’m written them before: center_img The Illini guards were successful taking defenders off the dribble early but the Tar Heels were in a zone much of the second half, effectively cutting off their penetration opportunities. * Had North Carolina not prevailed, the “under-achieving” tag would have been difficult for Coach Roy Williams and his players to peel off. Four of those Tar Heels (Sean May, Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants and Marvin Williams) were among the first 16 selections in the June 28 NBA and three other key members of that team starters Jawad Williams and Jackie Manuel, and reserve Melvin Scott) were exceptional four-year players. There you go. Just what you were looking for on a Tuesday in mid-August more national championship analysis! Big Man Camp Approximately 60 college and NBA post players were on hand last week in Las Vegas for the 28th edition of the legendary coach Pete Newell’s camp used by players to enhance their low-post skills and footwork, which many players even some earning hefty salaries are sorely missing. According to Jeff Fellenzer (the Wilson High and USC graduate who is the executive director of the Pete Newell Challenge) and several NBA personnel directors in attendance at the camp that was held in Cox Pavilion, sophomore Patrick O’Bryant (Bradley) and senior Rick Cornett (Notre Dame) were among the most impressive players during the week. The 7-foot O’Bryant also caught NBA scouts’ attention while serving as a counselor at the Michael Jordan Flight School camps in Santa Barbara earlier this month. Others who seemed to catch on to what Newell and his instructors (including Metro State coach Mike Dunlap, like so many in the sport, a Newell “disciple”) tried to teach them included Louis Amundson (UNLV), Marcus Arnold (Illinois; a transfer from Illinois State who will be eligible to play for the Illini this season), Charlie Bass (Ball State), Cass Mattheus (Utah State) and Caleb Green (Oral Roberts). The ninth Pete Newell Challenge, set for Dec. 21 in The Arena of Oakland, has Stanford-Princeton and Cal-DePaul matchups. Newell, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe (near Del Mar), turns 90 on Aug. 31. A reunion of some of the players he coached at Michigan State and Cal (including 1959 national championship team members Darrell Imhoff, Stan Morrison and Tandy Gillis) will be held in Rancho Santa Fe Sept. 9-10. Miscellaneous stuff And some of it is non-basketball related! * Nick Fazekas, a 6-9 junior at the University of Nevada, had a cumulative 24 points and 16 rebounds over 33 minutes for the U.S. against Puerto Rico and Argentina during its final two games in the 21-Under World Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Fazekas, along with Adam Morrison (Gonzaga), Hassan Adams (Arizona), Chris Hernandez (Stanford), Leon Powe (Cal) and Brandon Roy (Washington), is one of the half-dozen best college players in the West. Nevada faces UCLA (with Washington vs. New Mexico) in the John R. Wooden Classic in the Arrowhead Pond on Dec. 10. * Peanut butter and (grape) jelly sandwiches and only sourdough bread will do have suddenly become an addiction for me. Go figure. It’s not one of these “it reminds me of when I was growing up and mom made them for me” deals, either. I probably didn’t eat as many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in all of my life as I have the last two or three weeks. * I saw “Hustle and Flow” Friday night and it’s the best movie I’ve seen this year which, if you follow the industry at all, you understand hasn’t exactly been a stickout year for flicks. Terrence Howard is “big time, baby!” (I had to throw a little hoops-style hype into the description). Although the movie breaks down a bit over the last 15 minutes or so you’ll have to see it to know why Howard is mesmerizing throughout. If he isn’t nominated for Best Actor, I’ll stop eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. * Nine games will be played during the Nike Extravaganza at the Anaheim Convention Center on Feb. 4. The most noteworthy of the contests are the final two Dominguez vs. Elizabeth, N.J., St. Patrick’s and Mater Dei vs. Westchester. * I ventured into a Ralph’s the other day to buy some skim milk and left after spending $26. I broke one of the Ten Commandments of shopping: Though Shall Not Go Into A Grocery Store While You’re Hungry. But I also tossed a copy of the Sporting News High School Football Magazine into the cart. It’s pretty in-depth, in terms of team and player ratings, both regionally and nationally. Mission Viejo is No. 1 in its national Top 50 teams’ ratings, with Poly at No. 8, Bellevue (Wash.) 20th, Clovis West 31st, Concord Del La Salle 33rd and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 49th. Here’s something my admittedly basketball-oriented perspective has a tough time dealing with: Mission Viejo’s Chane Moline, the 6-2, 240-pound running back who has rushed for something approaching 4,000 yards in two seasons and it seems as if about 500 of those came in the Diablos’ two wins over Poly in that stretch was rated only the 20th best prospect in the West. Huh? Someone who follows this football recruiting thing a lot closer than I do suggested it was because “he didn’t test well in the spring” (during the various scouting combines). Groovy maybe he didn’t run a 4.5 40 or dance nimbly around a lot of cones lined up on grass. All I know is that the guy “tests pretty well” when it counts the most from September to December. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Little excitement in today’s USDA numbers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Conclusion, boring report. Santa, back to work.Today’s report was vanilla and boring. No big changes that sparked huge price movement in either direction. Shortly before the report corn was up 3 cents, soybeans up 1 cent, with wheat up 8 cents. At 12:15 corn was unchanged, soybeans were down 3 cents, and wheat was up 6 cents.If you were looking for drastic changes today, you were certainly disappointed.The question is: Will this USDA report day be bearish, with Santa bringing lumps of coal for grain producers? Or will it be bullish, with Santa bringing lots of presents of higher prices?  There certainly are lots of news tidbits that have been floating around for weeks. They would include Argentina and its election, China, weather in South America, U.S. production reports, and U.S. grain exports to include just a few.Corn ending stocks were 1.785 billion bushels, up 25 million bushels from November. Soybean ending stocks were 465 million bushels, unchanged from the last report. Wheat ending stocks were unchanged at 911 million bushels. World ending stocks of corn were down and world ending stocks of soybeans were down, both in very small amounts. World ending stocks of wheat were higher. No huge surprise there.The biggest changes took place with the corn table today. Ending stocks up 25 million bushels, corn exports reduced by 50 million bushels, corn used for ethanol increased 25 million bushels.This was predicted to be a pretty boring USDA report day. There were not any production numbers or yields for U.S. corn and soybeans to be released today. With grain exports trending below those of a year ago, ideas of slightly higher corn and wheat ending stocks are present. Corn exports were expected to decline 50 to 100 million bushels while corn used for ethanol was thought to increase that same amount. The final U.S. 2015 corn and soybean production and yields will be released with the Jan. 12 report. On that same day, U.S. grain stocks as of Dec. 1, 2015 will be released. The election of Mauricio Marci as the next president in Argentina has dominated the news for the past three weeks. It brings much uncertainty, yielding lots of price volatility in recent weeks. The runoff election on Nov. 23 is ushering in a new era of government in Argentina. Argentina has seen a struggling economy for years, some would say decades. Rampant inflation has been dominant for years. The current president, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner has been in office for eight years. She is not exiting quietly with her political appointees refusing to vacate their positions. Lots of money is being spent during her last days as president. Mauricio Marci is a strong advocate of business, a far cry from the strong threads of socialism currently running through Argentina.Marci has stated he would reduce export taxes on grains. How much and for which grains is a huge unknown. He takes over the reins as president on Dec. 10. Those taxes have long been a festering sore for Argentina’s farmers. The taxes have formerly been a strong incentive for Argentina’s farmers to hold onto nearly 18 million tons of unsold soybeans as they hoped some kind of change was around the corner. In recent weeks Marci has floated about the idea of reduced export taxes, though the amount appears to be uncertain. In addition, there has been strong talk that Argentina would devalue its currency very shortly. Those two ideas from Argentina of lowering export taxes and the currency devaluation pushes more money into the pockets of Argentina’s farmers. U.S. producers are on edge that soybeans will soon be flooding the market, pushing soybeans to new contract lows. The potential movement of Argentina soybeans, perhaps a lot of soybeans, has raised the notion that soybeans could reach $8 in coming weeks.China’s economy is also in the headlines. Their economy has been struggling, although a struggling economy in China translates into just 6% growth. That is something the U.S. would kill for when we have been crawling along at a pace of just 1% to 2% growth for years. China has been stimulating the economy, pumping huge amounts of money into the banking system, just like the U.S. and Europe has been doing for years. China also imported a record amount of US ethanol in October.Weather uncertainty hits us on two fronts. First, in Brazil with two huge extremes. Southern Brazil is too wet and has been wet for weeks. Northern Brazil is too dry. Some weather trackers like World Weather are forecasting for the dry conditions to continue in northern Brazil in coming weeks. Second, is El Nino.The current El Nino is the strongest for the past 20 years. For years there have been correlations for El Nino to translate into weather changes for the next US growing season. Some are already that this El Nino is a “Monster,” that it will influence strong weather events for the next decade. That is something to grasp and hang onto.Export loadings for corn year to date are 285 million bushels, last year at the same time were 379 million bushels. Soybean exports to date are 802 million bushels; last year was 872 million bushels.Just when you thought you were suffering from information overload, allow me to pile on. Here is what the market will be watching in coming days. Dec. 10, the new president in Argentina will take office. Dec. 14 will provide additional details on upcoming policy changes in Argentina. Those changes would include the likely lowering of export taxes on grains along with the devaluation of their currency. Dec. 16 is when the U.S. Fed meets to discuss policy. It has long been anticipated that meeting would detail the raising of U.S. interest rates.With no production number or yields with this report, it will be dismissed even quicker than previous reports. Any changes in Argentina policy will dominate price activity in coming days and weeks.Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!last_img read more